If you’re a young, creative person, it’s an incredibly exciting time for new opportunities. Innovation is around every corner and companies and markets are looking for leaders to emerge and disrupt the space. In order to capitalize on opportunities during this period of growth and discovery, it helps to research what past leaders have done and what they learned along the way. Every journey will be different and every individual has a specific skillset unique to only them, but sometimes, the best way to learn how to succeed is by reflecting on mistakes, or, what didn’t work.
I’ve been able to find several key examples of practices and ideals to avoid while embarking on entrepreneurship. If these sound like a road you are about to travel down, hopefully these words of warning will help you correct your mistakes before you make them!
#1. Fearing Copycats
A very common mistake that young entrepreneurs make is to fear competition and copycats. The truth is, it’s very possible that someone else has an idea similar to yours. The dividing factor, however, is that you are the one executing your idea, doing the work, and hustling to make things happen. You can’t keep your an idea a secret and expect to do market research on your project at the same time. Unfortunately, things will always be a gamble, but with the right copyright and patent practices, a smart business plan, and confidence, you’ll be able to protect your young empire.
#2. Thinking You Can Do It All
Say it with me: you can’t do it all! No matter how amazing you are, you will not be able to go from concept to launch all on your own. And why would you want to? It’s always better to have a support system and a second pair of eyes to review your work. Creating a team may be as daunting as finding the right life partner, but once you find the teammates that are right for you, your business models and success will start to shape themselves!
#3. Making Poor Hiring Decisions
Hiring your friends can seem like a great idea at first; you trust them, they understand your passion, and you work well together already. The only problem is that you may be overlooking their actual skillset, hiring for comfort rather than credibility. These two factors will play a huge role in your hiring process. You will need to be smart about who you hire, how many employees you can afford to hire, and what your new employees bring to the table. Combining all of these lessons will help you to hire the best staff for your new business.
#4. Holding On Your Launch Date
Timing is everything, and if you get the timing on your launch wrong, it could kill your product altogether. Fortune.com recently published an article stating that, “The biggest competitive advantage a startup has against big corporations is speed and adaptability.” You will need to study your market and know when to strike in order to make a big impact!
#5. Fundraising That Is Insufficient Or Too Grand
It is possible to raise too much money in the beginning stages of your startup. For some, staying a bit behind the capital curve will help to spark motivation and creativity, keeping the team hungry. And for others, having more money than anticipated can lead to poor decisions that are based just off of cost instead of what is really the best move forward. And even further still, if you plow through a ton of money in the beginning and need to reach out again, your investors may not be as willing to offer the cash a second time around if progress has not been made.
By avoiding the above mistakes, you’ll be way ahead of the game as a young entrepreneur. There will always be bumps and curveballs along the way, but knowing that you’ve laid a strong foundation and have done the research necessary to succeed, you’ll feel much better in your decision making.
To all the young entrepreneurs out there, keep on going, and keep believing in yourselves! Stay tuned to this page for more helpful tips and insider secrets.