For successful entrepreneurs, having a great idea is only the beginning. In the time between coming up with a brilliant concept and establishing a profitable business with long-term prospects, a lot can go wrong. Even the best ideas can struggle to gain a foothold in today’s competitive marketplace if they aren’t supported by good decisions along the way.
Fortunately, students in business programs don’t have to go in blind: they can learn from the mistakes that others have made and use the skills and knowledge they’ve developed in their courses to do better.
Are you planning to become an entrepreneur once you’ve earned your diploma in business administration? Read on for five common mistakes that entrepreneurs typically make, and how to avoid them.
1. Not Having a Detailed Plan: Set Attainable Short- and Long-Term Goals
One of the most common mistakes made by entrepreneurs is jumping forward without a detailed business plan in place. The ideal plan for any start-up has both short-term and long-term goals so that a business not only knows where it’s heading in the future, but exactly how it will get there.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you should aim to challenge yourself, but also remember that setting unattainable goals will usually backfire by resulting in perpetual failures and shortcomings for your team. For this reason, goals should be ambitious but realistic. They should also be specific, so that failure or success can actually be measured along the way and plans can be adjusted accordingly.
2. Having Too Big of an Idea: Start Small and Build Your Way Up
Even before developing a detailed business plan for their start-up, students in business programs need to ask themselves if they’ve sufficiently narrowed their concept. It’s important for budding entrepreneurs to be passionate about their big idea, but they should also make sure not to bite off more than they can chew.
By limiting expectations and starting small, you’ll be able to build off of your successes one step at a time and grow organically, rather than attempt to do too much at once and allow grandiose aspirations to interfere with the immediate needs of the business.
3. Trying To Do It All: Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate Work
Entrepreneurs sometimes feel protective of their ideas, which can make it difficult for them to hand off work to others. But an entrepreneur who tries to do everything themselves will not only burn out quickly, they’ll be missing out on all the unique skills and perspectives that a diverse team can provide. During your business administration training, you’ll learn that a successful company is never a one-person show, but a team effort.
4. Overlooking Marketing: Use Your Business Training to Sell Your Product
No matter how revolutionary a product might be, potential customers need to be aware of it before they can buy it. This is where a lot of start-ups go wrong, thinking that the strength of their product will speak for itself. Rather than relying on wishful thinking, draw on your business training to develop robust marketing plans to get the word out.
5. Fear of Failure: Take Risks and Learn from Your Setbacks
Entrepreneurship is an inherently risky venture, and no matter how well a business is run, missteps and setbacks are always a possibility. What makes an entrepreneur successful isn’t their ability to avoid mistakes altogether, but their ability to learn from those mistakes and apply that wisdom to the future. Ultimately, the biggest mistake you can make once you become an entrepreneur is being so afraid to fail that you avoid taking the risks necessary to succeed.
Do you have a big idea that you’d like to turn into a business?
Find out how Willis College’s diploma in business administration can help you master the skills you’ll need.