Most of us make mistakes when we’re starting our business. Whether it’s setting rates too low, aiming too high or even letting negative thought processes hamper our growth. In fact, according to recent figures, 9 out of 10 startups fail. And that’s because the entrepreneur does something wrong. Too often, they aren’t even aware they made a mistake.
The good news is that mistakes don’t have to mean the end, says business coach and entrepreneur Sundardas Dharmadas Annamalay.
“Many of the mistakes we make can be easily corrected with the right guidance,” says Sundardas. “The only catch is that we need to be aware of them to make changes.”
According to Sundardas, these three mistakes are among the most likely to sabotage your business:
Whether as an accountant, engineer, speaker, trainer, coach or artist, your expertise only allows you to enter the arena of whatever market you’re targeting.
Entrepreneur Mistake #1
Thinking your expertise is enough. “Whether as an accountant, engineer, speaker, trainer, coach or artist, your expertise only allows you to enter the arena of whatever market you’re targeting,” says Sundardas. “It’s your passport to enter but not necessarily to win. In order to win in a respective marketplace, you need to understand who your competitors are, as well as market trends, and the most pressing pain points your potential customers need you to solve.”
In other words, being an expert in a specific area is great. But if you can’t offer your target market the right products at the right time, too, success won’t follow.
Thinking, ‘everyone needs my service’ is not only one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make, it’s also one of the laziest.
Entrepreneur Mistake #2
Overextending your reach. Thinking, ‘everyone needs my service’ is not only one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make, it’s also one of the laziest. “Your target market is flooded with opportunities,” says Sundardas. “Not becoming laser-focused on your target market, niche, demographics and psychographics means your product or service may get overlooked in favor of a competitor’s product or service.”
The bottom line: Before you market something, think carefully about who would — and wouldn’t — care.
By not building a brand, you are essentially remaining a commodity product or service — so you are always competing with others instead of creating branding distinction.
Entrepreneur Mistake #3
Not building a brand. “By not building a brand, you are essentially remaining a commodity product or service — so you are always competing with others instead of creating branding distinction. In order to set yourself apart from others, it’s important to look for opportunities to refine and differentiate yourself,” says Sundardas.
For example, Sundardas recently worked with an up and coming artist who positioned herself as a champion for conservation. To develop her brand, she incorporated wildlife into her art did charity work connected to conservation. As a result, she won numerous awards and earned well-deserved name recognition leading to a surge in sales.
The earlier you recognize these mistakes, the easier you can correct them. That’s not only good for you, but could also save your business.
This is a sponsored post. The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
image credit: Bigstock/fizkes
Marisa Torrieri is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer specializing in personal finance, business, healthcare and technology. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and resides in Fairfield, CT. Her work has appeared in dozens of media outlets, including LearnVest, Forbes, The Washington Post, Business Insider, TIME and Health.com.