As more and more young people are choosing entrepreneurship instead of the old 9-5 job, we are seeing a myriad of innovative ideas, revolutionary approaches, and sometimes even business models that are modified to work best in the current economy.
However, even as the age of people going into entrepreneurship instead of corporate life continues to decrease, it doesn’t change the fact that there are still a lot of mistakes to be made. So if you are a young aspiring entrepreneur, here are the common mistakes you must avoid at all cost:
1. Not getting job experience first
Even if you are absolutely sure that your enterprise risk assessment software will immediately take off in the market, it is highly recommended that you gain job experience first after getting your diploma. Yes, you might be the best of the best in your business management class, but what you learn in school can’t beat real-life experience.
When you get a job before starting a business, your skills and knowledge will continue to grow beyond what you learned in college. You will get to learn more about your field, pick up even more skills, and build a network of potential clients and business partners. And if you are not a trust fund baby, getting a job first and foremost will help you save money for your startup.
2. Launching too soon
We get it, you want to introduce your million-dollar idea to the world as soon as possible. The excitement is perfectly understandable and is all too common among young (and even older) entrepreneurs. But despite how excited you are about your business idea, do not launch it until you have perfected your business plan.
Keep in mind that the successful businesses you see now were not concocted overnight. They took months or years of planning, re-planning, and polishing before they saw daylight. Hence, if you launch your business too soon, the possibility of failure is much higher than if you’ve waited until you were 100% ready.
3. Playing by the book too much
Fresh out of business school; you think you have this entrepreneurship thing down pat. But although formal training is important for many aspiring entrepreneurs, you will soon come to realize that not every problem can be solved by a quick review of your textbooks, nor can a business be effectively run in a ‘by the book’ approach.
This is one of the reasons why gaining experience is essential before starting a business. By working for someone else first, you can learn how some things must be solved with an outside-the-box solution, and why some matters just can’t be handled with a textbook approach.
4. Trying to run a one-man show
Unless you are starting a small business that can function with only one person, trying to do everything yourself is not a good business principle to start with. A lot of young entrepreneurs have the ‘I’ll do everything myself so it’s perfect’ mindset, and this is exactly the thing that causes many new businesses to fail
Although you are the person running the show, you still need a team to help you turn your vision into reality. And as early as now, you have to learn how to lead a team and work with other people without micromanaging them. Even if you are a leader by nature, actually handling your own team when you start a business can be a lot different from your leadership experience in school.
5. Being fickle-minded
As a young entrepreneur, it’s normal to have a thousand ideas running through your mind every day. In fact, having a lot of ideas is a great sign that you would make an innovative entrepreneur. However, there is a difference between having a lot of ideas and being fickle-minded. In the latter case, you can’t make up your mind about what to do for your business, be it about your products/services, goals, or opportunities.
That said, start your business with a solid business plan. Finalize your ideas before you make any attempt to launch. And if there are changes, make them before the launch (not after).
Starting a business isn’t easy, regardless of your age. But as a young entrepreneur with underdeveloped skills and lack of experience, the risk is inevitably higher for you.
Does this mean you should give up on your business dreams until you get older? Not at all. In fact, starting young can mold you into an even more successful entrepreneur in the future. However, you should not go in blind, and by knowing these common mistakes, you should be better prepared to take on the future of business ownership.
Do you have any other tips to share for young entrepreneurs like yourself? Tell us all about them in the comments below.