I often come across what I can only describe as #entrepreneurfail! When you are starting a business you’re sure to make a few mistakes along the way, it’s the only way you will learn. However, there are a few too many common mistakes that fall straight into the #fail box. Collectively I label these Entrepreneur Fail. I’ve listed the most common symptoms someone could be suffering from EF, but don’t worry I’ve also provided helpful ways to get over the condition.
“I want to be an entrepreneur” = #entrepreneurfail
Why oh why oh why? I think a lot of people have been misled and given the impression that running a business is the easy way out, the glamorous ‘career’ choice. HELL to the NO. Taking the risk of starting a business is the hard way, the gamble, almost like the last throw of the dice. But having the ambition to be ‘an entrepreneur’ alone is very vague, it’s like saying I want to be an athlete, what discipline are you going to perfect
Remedy – Be clear on what skills you have or opportunities you can exploit. If you haven’t got a passion for something or a clear ‘idea’ just wanting to be an entrepreneur isn’t going to make it. You’re better off taking up a hobby on the weekend whilst working a 9-5 – it will save you a lot of stress.
You can only be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org = #entrepreneurfail
You are approaching organisations representing your business, you’ve sent them a proposal that you think they will be interested in but DOH your contact address is myname@gmail,hotmail,yahoo,afreeemailservice.com or worse email@example.com. There is nothing that says tiny operation like an unprofessional email or free email service.
Remedy: At the very least get some email-hosting from a service like 123 reg. This is a very simple way of looking professional. firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t got a professional looking email address then be careful the type of organisation should probably be more on a personal nature to build a relationship or conduct research, rather than to make a sale.
You introduce yourself or refer to yourself as an ‘entrepreneur’ = #entrepreneurfail
Lord Alan Sugar and Sir Richard Branson believe that an ‘entrepreneur’ is something that somebody calls you. It’s sounds a little arrogant if you introduce yourself as an entrepreneur especially if you have nothing significant to back it up with. In my opinion an entrepreneur is somebody that has a proven track record, setting up and running numerous ventures. If you have one business that is not making sales let alone profit you definitely are not an entrepreneur!
Remedy: Explain what it is you actually you do i.e. I have a fashion business selling …., I am a football agent, I am an artist, I am a fashion designer. The generic term entrepreneur has little meaning as an ambition or definition of what you do.
You’ve written a 40 page business plan and think the next stage is to raise investment #entrepreneurfail
You spend some time researching an idea and more time writing down what you have researched and you create a 40 page business plan. If you scroll through to page 33 it predicts a £1m profit in year 5. Now all you need is £45,000 to get your idea off the ground (or off the pieces of paper)…. UH OH. This only plan you have so far is a plan to fail. I think you are limiting your chances of success if you haven’t given your business idea a test run.
Remedy: Before writing a comprehensive business plan make contact with your potential customer, create a prototype or minimum viable product and test
My revenue stream will be the money I make from advertising on my website #entrepreneurfail
With the Internet boom it seemed that every ‘entrepreneur’ was going to become a Web tycoon. They were going to set up a fashion blog or a starting a business blog and simply be able to retire on the money they were making from advertising. OH DEAR. You need probably 50k unique visitors a month to even start thinking about advertising, then there’s considerations like bounce rate, time spent on your site, relevance to target advertiser.
Remedy: Your website is like a channel on a television with over 644million channels to choose from. Advertising should be one of many revenue streams and certainly shouldn’t be your only/main one. When thinking of a website be creative about the ways of generating money.
What do you think, have you experienced any of the above, or have I missed out any common traits of the not quite-entrepreneur. Leave your comments below.