Pitfalls to avoid as a first-time entrepreneur

Written by Nigel Simpkins

Starting your own business is incredibly exciting, there is a lot to think about and so much that goes into the planning, development, and execution of opening your first business. Smart entrepreneurs use that excitement as the fuel needed to hit the ground running. When your energy is high, so are the stakes, and it is really important to understand that while motivation and the desire to launch as quickly as possible are great mindsets to have, they can also lead to mistakes if you are not careful. Here are a few of the most common pitfalls that first timers make that you should avoid.

Financial Oversights

One of the top reasons why startups fail is that they mismanage their money right from the start. Overspending is a huge culprit, which is why it is essential to include room for unexpected expenses in your original business plan. When small business owners first start out it can be overwhelming to cut check after check after check, so consider hiring a financial advisor to help you. These professionals can show you how much to allocate to each sector of your business and also help educate you on why it is important to spend a certain amount of dollars in the areas that matter the most. 

Creating Inaccurate Timelines

Even if you are starting an e-commerce business from your home, you still need to think about all the moving parts that are going to affect when you can officially launch. Businesses that own and operate fleets know this all too well. With so many moving parts, and a supply chain that they will never be able to control, spending the time and money on GPS tracking and fleet management is what helps meet deliverables and manage expectations. 

The first few customers you get are going to mean the world to you, and you will want to impress them and do everything you can to retain them, however one surefire way to not accomplish those goals is to provide inaccurate timelines, even if you do so unintentionally. The devices that fleet companies use not only tell the managers where the vehicles are, but help them optimize routes, analyze driver habits, and reduce fuel costs. All that data means that they are able to then communicate timelines to their customers with integrity, intention, and fact-based information. 

Not Being Adaptable 

There are going to be things you cannot control this is simply a fact of life and it is definitely a fact of business. Currently the danger of inflation is a great example of how even when you have the most detailed business plan and execute flawlessly, things can still go sideways. What you can control however is your reactions. When the world forces you to pause, change, or redirect, are you able to pivot or do you simply shut down? To be a successful entrepreneur, the former is the only true option. Practicing this with small things is an excellent exercise because it will lessen the blow for the big changes. Things like unexpected employee turnover, power outages, and even simply a bad customer review are all examples of challenges you will face that you need to develop an adaptable skill set for.