A study done by Statistic Brain, Startup Business Failure Rate by Industry showed that the failure rate of the U.S. businesses after five years was over 50 percent. Even companies that manage to stay afloat, don’t actually achieve anything other than staying barely profitable. Why is this happening? Not for the lack of trying. Although there are numerous reasons entrepreneurs fail, there are some mistakes which are more frequent than others. Here we’ll discuss those mistakes, so that you can learn by example and not by experiencing them personally.
Lack of plan
So, you have found your niche and you decided to start your business? Good for you! But do you have a clear well-defined plan, which includes market research, product testing, marketing strategies, cost and value analysis, and other crucial details? If not, you will probably fail like many other entrepreneurs who started this adventure without checking the instructions.
Every day, we hear about overnight successes of entrepreneurs and how they made millions in short time. Unfortunately, that is rarely true, and behind what seems to be a quick success there are months if not years of hard work and dedication.
It is obvious that you’ve started your business to make money, but that shouldn’t be your only objective. You need to have a clear picture of the desired results of your work. Once you have that in your mind, you can determine the budget and the timescale, make a list of priorities and set minor goals which will eventually lead to the fulfillment of your overall objective.
It is obvious why so many entrepreneurs fall at this obstacle. They are new in the business and don’t know how to organize people, projects and tasks in a way that all the deadlines are met and that each of them is a step closer to the overall goal. This can be easily resolved by investing in a professional team collaboration tool instead of trying to keep it all in your head.
There are two ways time-management issues can go: dedicating too much of your time to your business and spending too little of your time managing your business. The first one results in frustration and chaos, because you are stretching yourself too thin, while the other one leads to a sloppy approach to running a business and eventual failure.
Not enough self-confidence
Unsuccessful people often believe that they were born with a certain set of skills which cannot be upgraded or changed. They have self-imposed limitations which are preventing them to achieve more. By setting low goals for yourself, you’re setting low goals for your business too. Underachieving is not an option in a business world. Instead, you need to try to do more and be more than you are every day, by learning, listening, trying and taking risks.
Starting a new business requires a positive mental attitude which can, not only contribute to your productivity, but also help you remain calm and focused when things aren’t going as well as you planned, which is common in the business arena. Constantly thinking about how nothing that you do is good enough or how your goals are unattainable, will prevent you from trying at all.
Fear of failure
A very close cousin of pessimism – fear of failure can put a break on your ability to succeed in the first place. You need to be prepared to embrace failure as a lesson if you want to succeed in the business arena, because mistakes and downfalls are inevitable. The thing that counts the most is how you get up and recover after your falls.
“The competition is too fierce”, “Running my business requires too much time”, “Maybe I’m not ready after all”, “There is no point competing when there are so many big companies in this niche”… Any of these ring a bell? Finding logic and reasons behind giving up is a pattern that leads a business into a deep pitfall. The only way out of this is to train your mind to stop making excuses and start finding solutions instead.
Going hand in hand with making excuses, procrastination is a modern-day disease which affects us all now and then, but when it becomes a habit, putting off important tasks for tomorrow or the day after only leads to getting nothing done. You need to realize that every day counts and that if you perpetually leave tasks for later, you are only going to end up with a chaotic pile of unfinished things which are leading your business to its inevitable downfall.
Being an entrepreneur is difficult. It’s a rocky road with numerous obstacles which can only become harder if you continue to make the mistakes that already lead others to failure.