There are many experts who can teach you how to be a successful entrepreneur, but how many can tell you what not to do? Since it’s much easier to fail than to succeed, let’s start with that. Here are some Causes for business failure.
The Causes of Business Failure
You are probably in the “under 30” target audience, so you value the resources and insights available to you that were unimaginable 25 years ago. By being “unemployed,” you can be a consummate entrepreneur throughout your working life. But what you have in your youth—energy, optimism, and enthusiasm—can be damaged by a lack of mentoring, focus, and guidance. These are critical ingredients and you should look for them.
Are entrepreneurs born that way or are they made or can they be? Some think that most of them were born with an innate desire to mind their own business and have a hard time keeping a job. This is true in many cases, but today there are so many opportunities thanks to technological innovation and the speed at which they change, so much is created by seeing a need and meeting it. “Out of adversity comes opportunity,” so always be mindful of needs and how you can meet them.
Here are some observations about things that are often done poorly. Do you admit anything of which you may have been guilty?
“I have an idea!” you exclaim.
It “seems” brilliant and I’ll dive in head first and make it work no matter what. Great intentions, but if your idea is truly brilliant, it can be a waste of time, talent, money, and resources. UNLESS you do your homework first. By all means explore all possible outcomes and plan for the worst, hoping for the best. Don’t let your unsurpassed optimism get the best of you and always think that this “new idea” is the big one that will lead you to fame and fortune. Many tend to jump before they look, and you are advised not to do so.
“This idea that I have is huge and will be absolutely successful.”
A subset of the latter. I will find an office, hire staff, and brace myself for the onslaught of business that is sure to come. Wow! Hi? Start small, build into it. It’s better to burst at the seams and press on the room than to waste space and overhead sucking you dry. Today you can do so much with so little, it’s mind-boggling. Smartphones, access to the Internet anywhere and at any time, the availability of online resources that in years past had to be searched, all this is available without unnecessary costs.
“I had to quit my job to devote more time to my project. I really believe that I can do it.”
May be. It’s rarely helpful to leave your career to venture into a new idea until it pays off. Depending on your path, your brilliant idea may be the same as your talents and position, or they may be completely different. In any case, before throwing caution to the wind, make sure the timing is right, and this approach is more important today than ever before.
“I can do this on my own and I don’t really need help, guidance or a business plan.”
If you come up with a hackneyed cliché: “Those who can’t plan, plan to fail.” It may seem old fashioned and outdated, but a solid, well thought out business plan has never been more important. At the very least, it will sharpen your concept, marketing plan, and, importantly, help you determine whether your assumptions are possible, likely, or untrue. There are dozens of free services available, and the better you draw the map, the more likely you are to get to your destination.
Are some of them common sense or oversimplified? Maybe. You may find that common sense isn’t all that common. Try new things by all means, but make sure you get a foundation based on wisdom, education, and mentoring.