Who among us has not made mistakes when starting out as an entrepreneur?
No one can be an expert in all areas and control all stages so that they don't make a single mistake. We have compiled the most common mistakes to help you avoid them.
Share your mistakes and conclusions in the comments too, as Vasyl Khmelnitsky, a well-known Ukrainian entrepreneur, did in one of his publications;)
Don't do market research, CusDev
Started your project on intuition and based only on personal experience? Believing that your business idea is bound to succeed is fine. However, it is worth backing up that belief with market research data and indicators. Be sure to research your customers' needs, market capacity and competitors.
Making financial projections based on an ideal situation without taking risks into account
Often entrepreneurs make sales plans without taking into account the peculiarities of the market, competitors, seasonality and other factors. Of course, one wants to believe and show the investor the best projections. However, experienced investors also ask about the risks that will not achieve the desired results. They can probably predict them themselves, but want to see how adequately you assess your options for dealing with problematic situations.
Poor customer service
Not paying enough attention to service and not dealing with complaints. 84% of consumers believe that service is the deciding factor for repeat purchases. So to ignore the importance of good service is a big mistake. And despite all the advertising channels, people still tend to trust recommendations from other users (86%), and negative feedback isn't exactly what you need.
Business partnerships without "on shore" arrangements
Is it possible to run a business alone? It can, but it's very challenging, especially if it's not a micro-business and there's a goal of scaling. A business partnership is all about delegating duties and responsibilities, supporting and backing. But you and your partner may have different perspectives on running the business and developing it. Don't start a business together unless you have talked through and written down your arrangements. The more detailed your duties and responsibilities, the better.
Have not calculated your financial capacity.
Most projects don't generate a profit for up to a year, and often much longer. Determine how long you can run and sustain your project without additional funding and start looking for an investor in advance.
When entering international markets, you have not considered the specifics
If you want to enter international markets make sure you understand the local laws and regulations. In addition to registration, taxation and business operations, study the Law on Personal Data Protection. Incorrect documentation and handling of user data as prescribed by the Act can have dire consequences, not to mention reputational risks. Pay particular attention to the Data Protection Act and GDPR if you are going to scale your business internationally in the future.
Looking for money, not partners
Often entrepreneurs are looking for investment in a project. But money is not the most important thing, it is better to find a business partner who will bring not only funding to the project, but also his experience, reputation, connections, opportunities.
Of course, this is only a small list of mistakes, and every entrepreneur makes them on his way to success. The main thing is to remember why you decided to start your own business in the first place. Whether you have made a mistake or a few, what is important is that you keep going towards your goal.