Entrepreneurship demands the ability to understand, appropriate and make use of risk. Successful entrepreneurs are those men and women who can develop a gut feeling, hunch, instinct or curiosity into a tangible project. Among the obstacles facing entrepreneurs, one must include self-doubt, hesitation and the inability to make wise decisions. New entrepreneurs in particular can be faced with a particularly powerful kind of doubt, one that suggests that an entrepreneurial idea “cannot be done”. An entrepreneur must engage in intelligent, proactive risk-taking in order to succeed in a new start-up. Paying attention to the process involved is crucial, and this article explains five major pitfalls and how to overcome.
- Failure to Transform an Idea into a Sound Business Plan
Entrepreneurial success begins with two key factors: a good idea and its subsequent development. However, having a good or unique idea is not enough to form an entire business or launch a project. Your idea must be analysed for its weaknesses, its strengths, and how it will unfurl into a marketable and potentially profitable project (these are all fairly basic management expert tips). For this to happen, you must transform your idea into a disciplined and thoughtful business plan. Your business plan outlines the execution of your idea. It takes the abstract aspects of an idea and transforms them into something tangible. Your business plan must include a cost analysis, a timeline of potential growth with various benchmarks, the expertise required to launch your project, and an analysis of the risks involved.
- Failure to Overcome Fear
Fear is healthy and understandable but do not let it cripple your potential success. The obstacles you face are not yet mistakes! They are simply challenges. For young entrepreneurs, facing the rounds of self-doubt can be particularly daunting. Consider your status as a uniquely affirmative one: you are a maverick and not a wallflower. Act as such and you will start to believe it.
- Failure to Find the Right Mentors
As you create a business plan and conquer self-doubt, be sure to surround yourself with people who complement and enhance your project. You cannot accomplish everything on your own. Recognize where your expertise lies and where it does not and form alliances with those who add what you do not have. This can include hiring experts in finance, negotiation, marketing, business strategy, law and tax. Engage such experts from the start to optimize your project’s potential.
- Underperforming by Over Committing
Part of recognizing where your expertise lies involves recognizing what you can and cannot do in terms of personal resources, time and effort. As a new business owner you may also have an active family life, which may include raising children, running a household and holding down a job. These responsibilities will not lessen. Understand early on how to balance entrepreneurship with the rest of your life, or else both your project and your family life will suffer.
Whether male or female, first-time entrepreneurs run the risk of encountering untrustworthy individuals who are prepared to rob you. In your business start up you may face additional hazards because some may assume that you are a novice when it comes to business negotiation. Careful preparation of your business plan and your projected capacity for work and growth should help limit your exposure to swindles and scams. However, taking a small amount of time each week and reviewing the trust you have invested in certain people, companies, facilities and practices is crucial. Do this on your own or with your most trusted advisor. The key is to weigh the risk you are taking when dealing with any person or company.