There are millions of individuals all over the world who dream of owning their own business. However, according to Pat Flynn, host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast and John Lee Dumas, host of the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, less than 10% of these people actually find the courage to act on their desire. If you have decided to make this proverbial leap, then I would like to start by congratulating you and wishing you the best of luck. However, once you are done patting yourself in the back, it is time for you to focus on the nitty-gritty. A good starting point for you would be to make yourself aware of the common pitfalls that snare a vast majority of the first time entrepreneurs and stay clear of the same.
Starting a company just by yourself
All veteran entrepreneurs will tell you that you should never go at it alone. If you have come up with a great idea by yourself, find someone who would be as passionate about it and be ready to take the plunge with you. Not everything that comes out of mind would be absolutely prophetic and a co-founder will be able to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Also starting a company is not a simple task and having a co-founder will help you delegate responsibilities and achieve milestones a lot faster.
Start working on the idea before validating it
Just because something sounds cool does not mean that there is a market for it. If you are building a B2B solution, reach out to the businesses that would benefit from your solution and try to pre-selling the solution to them and see what their response is. If you are targeting millenials with a cool new widget, create an active social media campaign and see what the response is before you actually spend resources building the product.
Not seeking investment
It is always good to be partial owners of something than be sole owners of nothing. Seek an angel investment as early as possible. Not only will the extra cash help you meet your challenges sooner, angel investors typically have a lot of industry experience and their knowledge can make the difference between success and failure!
Hiring for the sake of hiring
Andrew Mason, founder of Groupon, once said that one of the most exciting part of his entrepreneurial journey was when he hired his first employee. He could hardly believe that he found someone who was willing to work for him. As an entrepreneur, you cannot do everything by yourself and you would need to hire people with a particular specialized skill-set. When you are just starting up, money is going to be tight and having undue payroll pressure can have an adverse effect on your start-up. Kevin Systrom, one of the founders of Instagram believes that during the start-up phase your basic rule of thumb should be having one employee for every core business function that you cannot efficiently handle yourself.
Having a comprehensive list of potential pitfalls is beyond the scope of any article. However, you will be off to a great start if you avoid making the aforementioned mistakes!