Being an entrepreneur is not a cake walk. At first it seems like a rosy idea to lead your own company and flip out your visiting card that says CEO. Entreprenuership is one field where the chances of being successful is less than 5% yet every third person wants to be an entrepreneur. Despite the failures, entrepreneurship still seems an attractive career path.
The reason for this is that if you really have the genepool of an entrepreneur, you have no choice but to create, even if that means disastrous failure. It’s difficult to dodge failures altogether but there few pitfalls one must avoid in order to master the art of entrepreneurship.
- Never jump right in without sufficient homework
Entrepreneurs are a brimming idea machine. They are passionate about every idea that pops up in their minds. You feel that your idea has the potential to change the world. The first thing you want to do is translate your idea into a product.
But you know what is the most discomforting thing to do? Holding your horses, not building a product straightaway and work tirelessly for months in researching and analyzing the feasibility of your business idea.
Doing all of that sounds unromantic and unenthusiastic but you need to sustain yourself. It’s always better to prevent and prepare than repent and repair.
So instead ask yourself tough questions. Be your devil’s advocate and investigate your idea. See who else had thought about this idea, why it didn’t work and the possible reasons for that.
2. Acknowledge the competition
Once you have identified and acknowledged the need for competitive analysis, now ask yourself, what are your benchmarks here? It’s a natural human tendency to that you are different from the rest. You feel that you are the only channel through which the idea came into existence, no one has ever thought of what you did.
Knowing your competition will only make things better for you in your endeavors. You have to get out of the denial mode that convinces you – ‘There are no competitors’.
Understanding the competition will give you a hollistic picture of wrong doings by others and the good things that you can learn and inculcate.
You will save yourself from the heartbreak of creating an uninspiring product that already exists.
3. You may not be wrong all the time but once is enough
As you do your homework and become the subject matter expert, speak to other specialists, get their feedback, interpret the data and accept that your ideas were based on undercooked assumptions.
That doesn’t mean you hang your boots and start looking for a 9 to 5 job. It means that you need to calliberate the course of your ship and set it right.
It’s a difficult thing to do as you are married to your idea and any alteration may seem like a bitter compromise. But as an entrepreneur, knowing that you were wrong and correcting yourself is the one rule you must never break.
4. Not all ideas are scalable
You would want to build a business that is sustainable and grows consistently. No one wants to do cold calls and go door to door for entire life to sell your beloved product. Scalability is the ultimate litmus test for any business idea.
Map out the future scenarios of your business and aks yourself how long and how far can your product impact the lives of your customers.
Do not indulge into ideas that cannot be scaled after a point. That’s a clear indication of future success and viability of business. Invest your heart and soul in an idea only when you know it has legs for the long haul.
5. Sometimes businesses shut down
Yes, a ‘never say die attitude’ is an essential quality of an entrepreneur but not at the cost of everything. You have to understand that sometimes an ideas fail to fly. The reasons could be anything under the sun.
An able entrepreneur knows when to put a fight and when to move out of the ring. It’s necessary to understand the numbers, market realities, and competition and take an objective decision to move on.
As Napoleon Hill once said “Every failure carries with it the seed of equal or greater success”. The learnings from your failed start up can be a blessing to you in your next venture. But for that you should know when and how to quit.
There are million things an entrepreneur should keep in mind but is it possible to control so many things at once? No! so the best thing to do is keep things simple and fight these simple instincts and things will either turn out fine or you will have a new learning for a brighter future.