The biggest part of starting a business is having a plan then having the discipline to act on it. Being part of a start-up isn’talways glamorous, and often requires simply submitting yourself to the process. However, often, the gush of success and heady ambition can lead young businessmen to make a few
errors which can act as roadblocks to them becoming industry leaders in the long run.
Sense of Entitlement
Entrepreneur must avoid sense of entitlements of any sort. Graduates from prestigious academic institutions often carry a misplaced sense of entitlement that can be rather detrimental to their longterm success. They tend to believe that just having a certification from such institutes is going to get theminvestor interest and funding easily. While a good academic track record certainly impresses those mappingyour progress, ultimately the litmus test of an entrepreneur is his/her idea and the ability to execute it in sucha way that it translates into positive numbers. What we often believe to be a leadership quality forms an image of arrogance in the eyes of colleagues, peers and juniors and this is hardly going to get anyone anywhere.
Funding is all that matters
Despite the fact that funding is one of the most critical aspects of a venture, we are often be-fooled and blinded by the funding itself. Having capital for your venture is as important as having the ability to spend it wisely. To make every penny count, and not splurging it over something that is hardly likely to benefit the venture is as unwise as it gets.
Understand the market scenario thoroughly before you plan to allocate funds as a lot of relatively new business ventures have failed due to improper fund management, despite having raised significant amounts of capital. Being extravagant is the worst mistake an entrepreneur can make. Treat the money like your own and expand your infrastructure, team and geographical presence in a well-thought out, calculated and measured way.
Not being data driven
Data is a major part of what drives the market and the industry in this day and age. From managing funds, to assessing the market to analysing trends and also saturations in a specific area, data is the perfect guiding tool. Many budding entrepreneurs lack proficiency in execution as they often undermine the value of data. Going by your instincts and exercising your creativity is greatand it’s what will make you stand out but to ignore data and logic inthe bargain is highly unadvisable.
Keeping a close watch on data and ever-altering consumer behaviour is imperative in a market of constantly changing dynamics.
Too much aggression is never good for an entrepreneur. This brings us back to the first point as well. Never have a sense of over-entitlementand never believe that you’re better than everyone else. Think, listen patiently, take advice from others humbly and only then plan your next big move. Of course, listening to your own intuition is a great thing but doing so against all logic and rationale isn’t the best quality. Always remember these points: Don’t expect to turn a profit immediately, expect mistakes to happen frequently, realize that you can’t make everyone happy, some tasks are monotonous
One common mistake every young entrepreneur makes is the lack of long-term vision. Many young entrepreneurs venture into business without giving any thought on its implications, they don’t know what they want to achieve and they don’t know what it takes to achieve it. It takes dedication, endurance and diligence to create a formidable business. Entrepreneurship is as much about winning daily battles as it is about winning the overall war.
It is imperative for entrepreneurs to have a long-term and robust business roadmap and to never lose sight of it. If you have planned to make a strategic expansion in the next few months, don’t allow anything to derail you from that big move. Great things are not built over-night and if one is entering into a business one has to be prepared to work hard in silence for at least 6-8 years before they can start reaping the benefits of their efforts.
This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (June 2016 Issue).