Embarking on an entrepreneurial endeavour can be extremely exciting, but there are so many stumbling blocks that you need to avoid during the early stages of building your business.
Here are some tips to help young entrepreneurs hit the ground running, rather than tripping up on the same issues as thousands of others before them.
Entrepreneurs need to keep a lot of plates spinning at the same time, which can be an incredibly fatiguing process. You will be wasting your energy altogether if you are constantly trying to take charge of every tiny detail of your business even though you have hired people to fill certain roles for you.
Instead you need to focus on getting the right individuals onboard and then trust them to work effectively so that you can ensure that all of your own responsibilities are being dealt with.
A start-up will need to keep its intellectual property safe, or else face up to the likelihood that it could be poached by a competitor. Even so, plenty of entrepreneurs make the mistake of overlooking this and leave their IP up for grabs.
This also works in the other direction, as you need to ensure that your own efforts do not infringe on the existing IP of another organisation, so be prepared to learn to navigate this issue with care.
The temptation to start spending as soon as money beings to pour into your business will be strong, but this will leave you in the lurch if you do not build up a financial cushion to let you cope with any unforeseen setbacks in the future.
Of course you should not be overly frugal, and investing in your start-up can help it to grow reliably; it is simply sensible to avoid splashing out without first justifying it logically.
Going all-in too soon
While most rags-to-riches stories revolve around an entrepreneur taking a huge gamble and committing themselves entirely to the enterprise that would eventually earn them their fortunes, in reality this all-or-nothing approach is rarely the right way to go.
Instead you need to make sure that you time it right and ease yourself into entrepreneurship at a pace which suits your skills, preserves your social life and does not leave you overcommitted financially.
Around half of small businesses fail within 5 years of being launched, so you have to be realistic about your chances of success from the very start and most importantly steer clear of founding your whole enterprise on false assumptions.
You might assume you know all about your target market or all about the industry in which you intend to operate, but unless you have direct experience yourself or can rely on others who do, you will be heading down a slippery slope.