You’re not alone in your challenging struggle to grow your business. Many others have been through this path.
Every business has its own set of unique challenges. Nothing grows from nothing so don’t forget that tenacity is what even businesses like Google and Apple depend on. For a better chance at success, please don’t ignore the following common pitfalls. They aren’t cast in stone but they can help.
A Big Dream is the Best Dream
It’s a charade to think that the size of your dream has anything to do with its success rate. Who doesn’t hear the cliché ‘Dream Big’? But remember that the sheer hugeness of the Titanic made it painfully difficult for it to turn away from the iceberg that caused its doom. Your best bet may be starting small.
If They Did It, I Can Do It
‘I can’ is a golden principle in every human endeavor but it mustn’t be taken at face value only. Situations are never the same. Watch out for changes in the environment, and don’t make the mistake of seeing things from only from past angles. You can do it if the current conditions permit.
Everybody Clones It
Nobody celebrates mediocrity. They celebrate originality. Sure, there’s absolutely nothing new as far as the world is concerned, but you can always add a touch of originality to an existing idea instead of a blindly plagiarising.
All I Need is the Impulse
No! An impulsive dream is always the beginning of any business idea but it goes beyond that. You need knowledge. Gather facts. Ask questions. Naivety is as dangerous as a cancer in business.
All I Need are the Returns
If passion is completely absent from your business, you will soon be heading back home with a folded up business because every normal business goes through a gestation period. Returns don’t start flooding in immediately. It’s your passion that bridges the gap and energizes you for the wait.
I Trust My Partner
As much as partnering may be an attractive option in starting your business, beware of people. Trust must never be taken for granted. More often than not, humans demonstrate their exploitative propensities before you can call it quits. Consider legalizing sensitive aspects of the partnership.
She Can Have the Promo Copy
Your idea is your property. You decide what you do with it, but don’t be too open while sharing your idea. Ensure you hold the aces. Use confidentiality agreements and think of getting your patent.
Everybody is a Prospective Customer or Partner
Watch out! Before you strike a deal with anybody, you’ll do yourself a lot of good to consider capacity. Capacity is a very sensitive issue in the legal aspect of business. Consider if the person is a minor or falls into other categories who cannot transact business. Your legal adviser will help.
I Have a Product No One Can Ignore
Lie! Customers don’t beat a path to your doorstep anymore to get the best mousetrap you produce. You’ve got to take it to them out there, wherever they are. Position yourself very well through detailed marketing. No business can succeed without adequate marketing.
I Know It All
Nobody knows it all. Things are changing in your niche every day. You must stay abreast of the trends in your field. Never rest on your oar lest your dream die a natural death through a systemic extinction.
I Can Spend Anything to Actualize My Dream
Of course, when you’re gripped by your idea and considering the deluge of motivational nuggets that flood around you, you’ll be ready to break the bank. But you’ll be better off if you can make every effort to cut costs.
New Things are Here Too
Variety is the spice of life, but in business, focus is as important as the dream itself. Don’t ever lose your focus. You came into this business to achieve some aim. Those aims should be your guide at all time.
A Business is a Business
If you trade in gladiators, you may end up being killed by one of them. Remember Batiatus in the movie Spartacus? A business must sell value. It’s not about you only. It’s about you and your world. Don’t invest in a business that does others harm.
I’m the Pro
You’re not. There’s no business that someone hasn’t already done something similar or related to it. You’ll do well not to neglect the advice of a mentor. Get one and learn the ropes.
All is Set
It’s believed that one of the reasons why the Titanic had such a huge number of casualties is because the captain didn’t carry enough lifeboats and made poor decisions. He thought all was set. Nothing is ever set for certain in business, so don’t close your eyes to the inevitability of alternative plans.
About the Author
Taiwo Adeyemi manages the human resources department of an international school in Nigeria, Day Waterman College. You can find him on his website, Healed by Inspiration, and on Twitter, @TaiwoAdeyemiJ.
This is a great article and I hope everyone taking a leap on entrepreneurship will heed these warnings. There’s another pitfall to avoid and that is not visualizing your target market. Without proper visuals, those interested to start a business will just waste their time creating business plans that don’t really work. There are tools to use to help start-ups visualize their target market. these tools help in analyzing the needs of the customers, penetrating new markets and managing risks, among others.