Every entrepreneur has a story about a time when they failed. Sometimes, things outside your realm of control happen, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Other times, though, you can learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid making them yourself.
1. You didn’t make a business plan.
When it comes to writing down a business plan, there’s no wiggle room; you have to do it. The plan is for you, not necessarily your investors, at least not at first. When you write down your business plan, you have a roadmap for turning your idea into a business and communicating that idea with others.
2. Doing free work to attract customers.
A lot of people feel that you shouldn’t monetize your idea until you have a solid customer base. This is a mistake, though, because marketing your business to get those customers will cost money, a huge problem if you’re not making some money back. Every type of business needs to be profitable in order to offset expenses. Plus, those customers that got everything for free won’t see value in your product, which means they won’t be willing to pay for it. You could lose the customer base you worked so hard to get, all without seeing any income yet.
3. Thinking that your passion will defy the market.
You have to learn about business opportunity, no matter how in love you are with your business. There’s no replacement for market research. You need to fit a market need in order to be successful. Successful people like Pete Briger know that there are plenty of great ideas out there, but many of them don’t translate to a viable business.
4. You dream more than you act.
The world is full of dreamers. What sets the successful apart from the rest is that they act on their dreams, they don’t simply continue brainstorming. You have to execute in order to actually build a business. You also have to be comfortable with the uncertainty, responsibility, and risk that comes with entrepreneurship.
5. You take advantage of a booming market.
If you try to reach customers in an already-crowded market, you’re not going to be easily noticed. Try to market your business to a smaller, under-served niche. Or, if you’re going to compete in a loaded sector, make sure you’re offering something of value that goes above and beyond what your competitors offer.
Starting a business comes with a ton of risk. It’s not necessary to always pay the price that others have paid, though, since there’s a lot out there to learn ahead of time.