Entrepreneurship is like creating your own world with your own rules.
A world where you are the King, and your decisions will make or break your world. Not surprisingly though, there are more failures in entrepreneurship than success.
And this clearly shows that not every Entrepreneur is capable of making the right decisions. Heck, even most of the human beings are not able to take the right decisions at the right time.
But that doesn’t mean that decisions should not be taken or the fear of failure should make you hide. Bad decisions are of course bad and should be avoided. But the brave makes the decisions and then makes them right.
In this same endeavor, let’s go through some of the decisions which can make or break a business enterprise.
If you are the entrepreneur, then these 6 things should be clearly avoided:
1) Lots of Thinking and Very less Action
Don’t be late and miss the train. Lots of new entrepreneurs and startup founders face this dilemma in the early stages. And there are some seasoned entrepreneurs who go through this phase as well: the period where lots of thinking and brain storming is done but nothing concrete comes out. If you have an idea and have a vision of making it big, then just do it.
Solution: This small formulae can help you: Think Big ; Start Small ; Scale Fast.
Yes, you are thinking big and its very appreciable but start small. And focus on scaling fast.
2) Focus on raising VC money
The main focus of the entrepreneur should always be on building a great product; nurturing a great team and finding out what your customers want. Venture capital will follow suit automatically. If you primary focus is to grab the millions which VCs have, then it can prove disastrous for your business.
It is said that the VCs find the best Businesses to invest in and rarely it’s the other way round. 9 out of 10 VC funded companies actually fail!
Solution: Instead of looking for VC money, you should rather be focused on finding the true 1000 fans for your business.
3) Over-promise and Under-deliver
Human psychology tells us that we humans tend to remember negative things more than we remember positive things. And the news channel and newspaper know this fact. This is the reason bad news sells faster than good news. Our brains are wired this way; we can’t help it.
Now, if you are a new entrepreneur and just starting your journey then one thing you will definitely do is over-promise. And once you do that, you have lost an excellent chance to impress your customer or clients.
Over-promising leads to under-delivering most of the times and it creates a bad impression in front of your customers and clients. And this bad impression will remain longer than you expect.
Solution: Under-promise and over-deliver to your customers, which can turn the tables in your favor, instantly. Over-delivering is an art and when rightly used, it can pave your way to success.
4) Scarcity of new ideas:
Today’s information age is all about innovation and ideas. Being an entrepreneur, you should always and always look out for new ideas inside your domain. If you are not able to find the ideas, then hire a person who can.
Solution: Bring in the idea guy into your team. Find a person who has lots of ideas in store, and use it. Don’t discourage anyone from sharing anything. Even a stopped clock shows right time twice a day!
5) Going Solo
An entrepreneur’s mind is like a puzzle, which gets complicated with each passing day. There are plans which are in the pipeline and the operations which should be taken care of right now. There are tax related issues which should be handled with care and there are angry clients wanting your attention.
Admit it, you can’t make it to the top all alone. You need a team which supports you and believes in you. Going solo is the worst decision any entrepreneur can ever make. And here is a small VC tip which comes from straight from a VC: They don’t invest in companies; they invest in teams.
Solution: Find a co-founder as fast as you can. If not a co-founder then atleast find a person who can handle the operations when you are not around. Focus on building the team, and the team will build you.
6) Stop Marketing
When I asked one of my entrepreneur friends about their marketing efforts, he replied me, “Who needs marketing when your products rock?” 6 months down the line, he is begging me to spend money on PPC to bring in business.
PPC is instant marketing, no doubt. You spend dollars and you get instant customers. But the real marketing is when you get customers organically, absolutely free of cost, without spending a penny on PPC.
We call it Content Marketing, which actually rocks.
But more than often, entrepreneurs fail to understand organic marketing practices and lose a big chunk of profits and business. It is said that marketing should be started even before you launch your product.
Solution: First find your customers and then sell your products. Here is an interesting blog by Seth Godin (America’s greatest Marketer) about this question here: Which comes first, the product or the marketing?
Do you want to share any story related with Entrepreneurship? Any decision which you wished that you had made? Or any decision which you shouldn’t have made! Please share your views right here.
[Editor’s Note: 6 points made above hold true in majority of situations, however, there are always some exceptions which can throw all these so-called-rules out of window]