Being in business for 14 years has taught me much and I have had to learn many lessons the hard way my way of giving back is to hopefully prevent you from making some of the same mistakes I made and expedite your journey to success.
Here are my Top 10 Mistakes I feel new inventors / entrepreneurs make when starting their new venture and ways to avoid them.
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1. Not believing in yourself.
This is crucial to any successful venture. If you do not believe in yourself who will? Dont let self doubt get you down, believe you can make it happen and you will.
2. Not doing enough homework prior to launching a product.
The last thing someone wants to do when introducing a new product to market is to put all of the leg work into it just to find out that the product already exists or there are patents on a similar concept that may cause problems down the road. Follow the necessary steps in market research prior to investing the first $1.00 into your business.
3. Plan too big too early.
It is great to dream big! But planning to be too big too early can cause major problems for a new product or new business. Starting small and setting realistic goals to get to that bigger goal is key always keep the bigger picture in mind but take it on in small chunks to get there.
4. Underestimating the cost of starting their venture.
While my specialty is starting a business on a shoestring budget, it is still important to calculate the actual cost of start up list all of the things needed prior to selling product number one and be sure you can cover those cost. It does not need to be expensive to start a business, but you must plan accurately no matter what your start up budget is to ensure you do not crash and burn financially before you even launch.
5. Getting involved with the wrong people.
It is important to start a business with people or businesses that you can trust! All too often inexperienced entrepreneurs eager to see their product become a reality take offers from people promising to help them when the only interest they have is their own bottom line. Check and double check everyone you decide to do business with. I can not stress how important this is.
6. Not taking intellectual property seriously
If you have a product you are launching and have not done a thorough patent search you could wind up on the opposite end of a lawsuit and that is not a place you want to be. Be diligent in finding out if what you have already exists. And never assume your idea will not garner interest from others and be copied protect your intellectual property by using a good patent attorney who fully understands your product and concept and can research and file your intellectual property accurately.
7. Ignoring the business aspects involved in bringing a product to market
It is one thing to have passion, another thing to have a great idea, but you need to have some business skills to make that passion and great idea work for you. If you are going to be the idea person and the CEO of your own company educate yourself on how to run a small business and at least understand the basics so that you can make your idea a reality without costly business mistakes.
8. Not understanding financials and profit margins
To be in business and stay in business you need to be profitable, or at best make enough money to stay in business while your business grows. Understanding how to read an income statement to gauge how much is being spent and how much is being made is crucial. And if you intend to grow organically by funding yourself, generating enough profit to reinvest in yourself is key to your success.
9. Fearing failure!
There are no true failures in business unless you throw in the towel and quit. It is certain that new ventures will have set backs, hurdles and roadblocks but how you look at them is key.
10. Trying to do everything and control everything alone.
As a start up it is typical that the inventor / founder wear all of the hats in he beginning. However, there comes a time when those hats can be and should be shared with others when financially feasible. Trying to control all aspects of a business or have your hands in everything could lead to burn out and contribute to everything being done halfway and nothing being done to 100%
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Posted in Business Service Post Date 12/04/2016