The entrepreneurial career path can be very exciting and rewarding. It is also fraught with frustration and challenges.
You are going to face a lot of risk and uncertainty as a business owner. Around one out of five businesses fail in their first year. Half of all businesses are defunct by their fifth year. Unfortunately, even many profitable businesses aren’t exactly thriving.
Most business failures can be attributed to mistakes made by the entrepreneurs that founded them. All entrepreneurs should be aware of common mistakes that could derail their future success.
If you are a business owner, you should be aware of the mistakes listed below. Your company will be far more likely to thrive if you try to avoid them.
Confusing busyness with productivity
Have you ever listened to an entrepreneurial keynote speaker? They often talk extensively about the amount of time they spend working. Their lectures about empathize how fatigued they feel due to the long hours they work. This often comes across as a form of humble bragging about their commitment to working hard.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs learn the wrong message from their mentors and heroes. They have come to think that the secret to success is clocking as many hours as possible.
Hard work only pays off if it leads to results. There are lots of tasks can waste your time, resources, and energy. Fruitless activities include:
- Spending too much time on many social media sites that don’t resonate with your target customers instead of focusing on a couple of sites that are relevant to them
- Attending useless networking events that never lead to new clients
- Having ongoing meetings with potential clients that are not showing signs of sincere commitment
You need to manage your time carefully as an entrepreneur. The consequence of wasting time on unproductive tasks is that you have less time to do something useful. You also will be more likely to suffer from burnout, which can derail your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Always being penny wise and pound foolish
You need to get your money’s worth on every purchase. Whether you are buying a new manufacturing unit, hiring a digital marketing agency or procuring a patent attorney, you need to get the most bang for your buck.
Cost is one factor to take into consideration. However, you should remember that you usually get what you pay for.
Too many entrepreneurs try to take the cheapest route possible, which they end up paying for later. Entrepreneurs that higher the cheapest digital marketing agencies end up sabotaging their brand in the process. These companies often engage in spammy SEO tactics that might get their company blacklisted from Google.
You should always perform a cost-benefit analysis before making a major purchase. You don’t want to always choose the cheapest option.
Getting too fixated on metrics
Big data has made business owners more analytical than ever. They focus on countless metrics that could indicate their success.
However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Some entrepreneurs become obsessed with tracking metrics. Some metrics aren’t even relevant to their long-term success, but they can’t resist the temptation to monitor them. Jordan Harbinger, the co-founder of the Art of the Charm podcast, says this is a mistake that he makes all too often. He monitors daily podcast downloads, even though there is a little correlation between them and the company’s long-term profitability.
Abusing alcohol, tobacco and other substances that may slow down productivity
Some substances are incredibly toxic to your body. They end up taking their toll on your productivity. Alcohol and tobacco are two of the biggest examples.
You need to use alcohol sparingly. Tobacco is a completely unnecessary substance that you should kick altogether. If you’re having trouble overcoming tobacco addiction, then you might want to try using a tobacco alternative. Nicotine patches work well if you are a smoker. If you are used to chewing tobacco, then there are tobacco-free alternatives as well. Black Buffalo has a line of smokeless, tobacco alternatives that can curb your nicotine cravings without the other harmful effects.
Putting emails on the top of your priority list
Checking emails is an important part of running any business. However, you need to be careful about overestimating their importance.
Some entrepreneurs have said that one of their biggest mistakes is checking emails first thing in the morning. After checking emails, they spend the rest of the day focusing on everybody else’s priorities instead of their own.
They burn precious cognitive energy working on emails early in the day, which diminishes their productivity for more complex decision-making priorities later. Other entrepreneurs check their emails every 15 minutes, which disrupts the flow of other tasks they are working on.
You can’t let emails go unanswered for days on end. However, it is a good idea to set aside a part of your day when everything else is taken care of. This will help you use your time more effectively during the parts of the day when you are most productive.