It is still fresh in my memory of when I started venturing into business and calling myself an entrepreneur, 12 years ago.
It was a small, fun business of chocolate fountains and desserts for parties and events – started out of interest and collecting some funds for my wedding.
Fast forward, I am still an entrepreneur with a diverse business in the wellness and leadership field. I sell products as well as my service. Throughout these 12 years, a lot of valuable experiences taught me lessons and mistakes that I did as well as I learnt from others.
1) Setting unattainable goals
Setting goals is important so you are driven and self-guided. You know what to achieve.
But, new entrepreneurs may have mistakenly set unattainable goals.
Yes, dream high – Hang your dreams up to the sky!
Dream as high as the sky. If you fall, you will fall among the stars – I heard that too. But wake up. Setting a realistic, timely and financially sensible goal is really important when you start a business so you can have a good baseline.
Most importantly, you can appreciate progress and elevate your motivation.
But don’t underestimate yourself. Your personal goal must not be detrimental to your business plan, and vice versa. Your business progress is not the mirror of your success as a person, remember that okay?
2) Spending too much and little margin
Making your business a charity hub. You know…“More discounts for friends and family”, “Tak ape lah..aku belanja, it’s my treat”.
Always spending and not gaining profit, keeping little margin and afraid to compete with rivals selling at retail price! Or, should I say, having a feeling of invaluableness and doubt you deserve to gain such profit?
Your business is not a charity, but you can do a lot of charity when your business grows. Respect your customers by allowing them to believe they have a good product and excellent service from you, not because of your sympathy and charity towards them.
3) Avoiding assistance because of cost – do it all by yourself
Cost-effective measures – I agree that this is important in business.
But what most entrepreneurs mislead was to avoid anything inducing cost other than products. That includes any sort of assistance.
As a result, most of them feel exhausted. Too many things to be done and yet seeing too little gain. It is burning out their motivation. Truth is, business is never a one-man show.
Accepting help and investing in appropriate assistance in your business will help it grow.
4) Putting your products first before people
Yes, your product is the best and the most amazing! But, it is nothing without a customer.
Remember, your product is not a trophy. Selling them to the customers will only make them valuable and usable. So, put the people first.
Understand your niche, your pool market and customers’ demand. Providing good on-sale and after-sale service is the reason for the high return customer rate. Especially when you are in the networking business – your team is your loyal and returning customers! Serve them well and you will have no worry about emptying your stocks.
5) Poor discipline and routine
“Business gives me flexibility” – said a new entrepreneur who quit a 9-6 job.
True, but what is not true is that flexibility allows you to keep a good discipline and routine.
Entrepreneurs mistakenly regard ‘flexibility’ as not attending or showing up consistently to their business. Lack of discipline and poor routine made them spend more time on leisure, less income-productive activities. And to make matters worse, they also do not consistently open their shop for business!
A good routine helps to shape a person’s discipline and strengthen their mental core. A simple routine in this ebook will guide and help you to achieve more than you may think you can.
Remember, dreams get you started. But actions, consistency and discipline are what keep you going.
Of course, there are a lot more mistakes and lessons but listing them here is not to instill fear and doubt for a new entrepreneur like you. Knowing them will help you to avoid making the same mistakes and direct you to a better startup or restart of business.
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