As an entrepreneur, we often head into uncharted territory, and this is after all what keeps us making something from nothing, and innovating without stopping.
We all make mistakes along the way and learn from them, but what if we could just avoid some of them. That would save us a lot of time, money, and stress so that we can focus on more important aspects of growing our business.
So today we will take a look at some common things most of the entrepreneurs learn the hard way so that you do not have to.
1. You Don’t Need to Spend a Lot of Money
Over and over again we come across wantrepreneurs who are eager to invest all their live savings into their startup and while it may seem to be a righteous thing to do, it certainly is not necessary.
If you don’t even know your market or if they actually want your product, the only justification that can be given is that you are gambling your money, which in most cases might not be a very smart thing to do.We’re not saying not to take a risk, No- we’re saying that take a risk only if you have to.
Here is what we suggest to you, spend only a few thousands to get started. Maybe even less.You don’t need lacs of rupees to determine if your product is going to sell or not. If you are not sure of your market yet, a landing page can be a great option for you.
You can start with a landing page and begin accepting payments immediately. Getting a landing page is cheap and will only cost you a few thousands, and you’ll be instantly ready to go.If you can get traffic, but nothing converts into sales, continue working on your marketing skills and make sure that you are reaching the right people at the right time.If you get traffic and capture some emails, then you are on the right track.
And if you can get some orders or sales with your landing page then this is definitely the game for you and you can then look forward to investing more to promote your brand.It’s better to play it safe especially if you are doing this for the first time and that too all by yourself.
2. It’s Easy to Fall Into Paralysis by Analysis
It can be incredibly difficult and overwhelming when you start a business all by yourself, especially for the first time. For the first time, you come across terms like conversion rates, analytics, inbound marketing, mailing list, etc. While it’s easy to get lost in all this noise and lose balance, it is very important for you to take a deep breath and ask for help.
So if you have a friend who is good at optimizing conversion rates ask him to tweak out some time to review your model. Need help with your social media marketing? Ask a friend who loves social media, and see what they might find interesting about your offer.
One more thing that we see with a lot of early stage startups is small little tweaks they worry about even before starting. Obviously, a well-designed theme, or a brighter color palette, or a perfected FAQ will be a great asset to a launch but if it’s going to delay your launch indefinitely then maybe its not that a good idea. Fix a timeline and stick to it. It’s crucial for you to reach the customers first and then make changes according to the feedback.
Nobody is going to judge you on the basis of your first attempt.
Work on things that are most important first: traffic, building an email list, marketing and sales. Then start chipping away at smaller details.
3. If You Build it, They Won’t Come
Unfortunately, just because you have a website does not mean that people will know about it.
Sure your minor SEO tweaks might bring your website up in Google searches in few months and in case you are in a competitive market it might take like forever. But we wouldn’t suggest you to wait for that long. Instead you need to go out there and shout it out loud what you have there to offer.
Start your marketing strategy when you are in the early stages of creating just a landing page. You don’t need to have a month long marketing plan at the beginning just to get a little traction, just sharing your website with your friends and family also works as a great start.
If you start, and nobody comes, start again!
It may take two or three attempts before it hooks to people’s mind, so its important for you to try again.
There is no shame in starting over.
4.Your Idea is Worthless Without Execution
An idea is well, just an idea. You might be having some really good million dollar business ideas but how are you going to find out unless you carry them out. A lot of early age entrepreneurs are scared to share or discuss their ideas with their friends and colleagues worrying that someone will steal them.
But let’s be honest, nobody is going to steal an idea. The only worth stealing is something that is a proven concept.
So get started.
5. You Are Your Biggest Competitor
There is nothing better than lying on the couch and watching your favorite tv series, we have to admit that.
However every time you go for that “just another episode”, you are just spending valuable time. As clichéd as it may sound but its true that if you do not make your move your competitor certainly will, and you probably will soon be out of business
But don’t get us wrong, we are not saying that you should not watch that episode of your favorite TV series (which in our case would be Suits) , in fact we highly recommend it as a way to relax after a days work.
We suggest you use it as a productivity strategy that some highly successful people implement into a daily routine. Reward yourself with an episode of your favorite show only after you’ve done the job.
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the things that most of the entrepreneurs learn the hard way, how are you planning to apply these to your business? Let us know in the comments below, and also if there are other things that you’ve learned the hard way in your entrepreneurial journey so far, please share.