AI innovation expert. Founder and CEO at instarel.ai. Driving disruptive business performance at System Soft Technologies.
The last 20 years have brought a rollercoaster of changes in the business world, but the concept of entrepreneurship has stayed relatively the same. While its definition varies, entrepreneurship still retains that aura of setting up a business to add value and solve a problem.
While that may sound as sweet as honey, is it always as good as it sounds? Entrepreneurship may be the new gold attracting innovative minds to its mines, but it is demanding and filled with ups, downs, uncertainties, and the part most entrepreneurs dread — failure.
While some have found their breakthrough by leaving their corporate job to become successful entrepreneurs, many haven’t been successful, and countless others will join that ever-growing list because they joined for the wrong reasons.
The Salient Role Of Passion In Your Journey
As Richard Branson once said, “A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you’re doing, why should anybody else be?”
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Passion plays an essential role in an entrepreneurial journey. Often, it is what has kept most entrepreneurs going amid uncertainty.
It is important to have that one reason that makes you want to pursue entrepreneurship. Let it be your “why.”
Entrepreneurship is not easy. Having clarity of purpose is essential for an entrepreneurial process because it paves the way for identifying what problems you aim to solve and how you intend to achieve them. When there is clarity, you can identify your audience and know how to communicate with them effectively.
Common Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs Make That Lead to Failure
An entrepreneurial journey will not be complete without mistakes — they are inevitable. Those mistakes can be devastating. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of business, 45% during the first five years and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. Some of these mistakes include:
1. Creating A Solution Without A Demand
Many entrepreneurs make this mistake. There is always a problem to be solved. There will always be customer pain points that need a solution. However, these indicators are not enough reason to dive into creating a solution.
A CBInsights analysis of 101 startups polled the reasons why most businesses failed. According to their founders, 42% of small businesses failed because there was no market need for their services or products.
While it is beautiful to have a business idea to solve a problem and tempting to put it out in the market, it is critical to know that the solution is needed before creating it. The higher the demand for a solution, the more customers will line up for your product.
2. Not Taking Advantage Of Technology
In an age when technology is at the center of business, it is saddening that many entrepreneurs are not taking advantage of it. Technology is a part of our everyday life and an enabler for business and branding. You can monitor statistics in your niche through artificial intelligence technology and understand what your customers are saying — and know what they want — through social media.
Many objectives can be achieved in your business by effectively turning to technology as an asset. Find out industry stats, facts, what your competitors are doing differently and how your services can be unique while appealing to your target audience.
3. Taking The Salesman Out Of Entrepreneurship
Many entrepreneurs want to sell their brand without doing anything with sales. That is mission impossible. Sales cannot be separated from entrepreneurship.
To connect with your customers emotionally, become a thought leader through consistent content creation across social media. Then, when they need your type of product or service, they will turn to you.
4. Not Humanizing Your Brand
Most entrepreneurs get their marketing all wrong, and that is because they prioritize their product over their customers. Business is about your audience, and if you do not make your product or service about them through marketing, you risk losing them to competition.
People buy from people they know and like. That is why you and your employees play an important role in branding. You and your employees make up the brand. You need to walk, talk and breathe the brand, and that energy will spread from your brand to your target audience.
5. Running The Show Alone
Most people go into entrepreneurship thinking that they can handle everything on their own. It is challenging and almost impossible. In the long run, it will affect your mental health and possibly lead to a breakdown.
Embrace delegating tasks to employees or consider adopting management tools to automate tasks. Delegating or automating tasks can take the burden off you and help you focus more on important tasks that generate results.
To conclude, there are always exceptions with entrepreneurship — those who beat the odds and survive. Your business can be one of them. Learning from other entrepreneurs’ mistakes puts you in a better position to do things differently. While failure is always a part of the process, why wait to make your own mistakes when you can learn from others before you make them?