By Marilyn Thorp, Success Business Coach, Trainer, and Consultant, www.coachnexphase.com
Mistake 1 - Uncertainty of reason
Jumping into business ownership because of dislike for your current job or the company is not enough. Before making the big decision, take time to assess and reassess your reasons for leaving a job that has dependable income with decent benefits to venture into an unknown area with little or no experience. Be genuinely honest with yourself and take timeout to figure out the whys. You have to determine if this is the right season for you to the transition to entrepreneurship.
Mistake 2 - Marketability of the idea
This mistake can be costly. People often make this mistake because they are convinced that their business idea is the greatest thing out there and the world is waiting for it. Remember it's less about you and more about your clients/customers. So before stepping into the role of ownership, do some intense research to stress-test the idea for its feasibility. In researching your target market, take a critical approach in assessing whether there will be a demand for your product or service. This is a necessary step in deciding whether or not to proceed.
Mistake 3 - Not having a business plan
This is a big no-no. Would you travel to a strange city without your GPS or map? Of course not; you are heading into unchartered waters and need some oars to guide you throughout the journey. Writing and implementing a business are your GPS, your map, and your oars. There are some fundamental requirements you must have. They include clear business definition, goals and objectives, marketing plan, and financial projections. Many new business owners ignore this step and the outcome can be fatal to the business. Think of the plan as a living document to help you build a successful and sustainable business.
Mistake 4 - Not having the right stuff
Do you have what it takes for owning and managing a business? Do you have a high degree of passion, commitment, and desire for working for yourself? Before transitioning into entrepreneurship clearly figure out what are the motivating factors that propel you to embark on this journey. Once you commit to taking this path, do not be persuaded by the soothsayers to hang up your dream. Keep the light burning because there will be times when you need that flicker of hope to charge you up during the tough times.
Mistake 5 - Wearing the "super hero" cape
Not knowing your business strengths and weaknesses can hinder the results you desire. Identifying your strengths helps to figure out the gaps in the management and operation of the business. For example, if your technology skills are limited, don't spend valuable time trying to install a network system. Instead hire an expert to get the job done. In the long run, it will be less costly and time-consuming.
Mistake 6 - Prematurely quitting your 9-to-5 Job
If you are employed, don't quit prematurely. Work on the preliminaries of setting up your business, such as marketing, planning, acquiring some customers, etc. before you turn in your resignation notice for your day job. If possible, have a plan to transition into your business full-time.
Mistake 7 - Not assessing the full cost of starting a business
It is a fact that some businesses have lower start-up costs than others. Take time to ascertain the costs involved in starting your business. A quick approach is to do a detailed inventory of items or services needed to get started and include all associated costs. Also keep in mind it could take 6 to 18 months to realize a profit. Of course, this depends on a number of things that are under your control and your level of effort. So be sure you have replaceable income to live on while you are building your business.
Business ownership can be both exhilarating and rewarding at the same time. However, keep in mind that making smart decisions and applying sound principles together with a sensible plan are key solutions to realizing success.