Common Mistakes a New Entrepreneur Might MakeAs a new entrepreneur, you have a great idea for a business. You work hard to build a website to support the business, but you’re careful not to rush into the launch. Some tweaks here, a little adjusting there—you want everything to be perfect before announcing it to the world.

According to Alison Johnston Rue, a contributor to The Daily Muse and CEO/co-founder of InstaEDU, an online tutoring company, that’s not the way to go. “It’s the opposite approach—launching something imperfect, getting plenty of feedback, and going through quite a few rounds of trial and error—that will ensure that your company is set up for success.”

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

So do her other nominations for “big mistakes a new entrepreneur makes”—but certainly advice worth considering.

Mistake #1: Start with a Business Plan

Johnston isn't suggesting you abandon this tried-and-true first step in starting a business, “but you’re wasting your time if you start by drafting a 20-page plan.”

Yes, do your due diligence—including all the appropriate market research and financial analysis—and then find the easiest way to assess how much potential consumer interest there’s likely to be in your future product.

“Without a product that people like,” Johnston notes, “a business plan is pretty useless.

Mistake #2: Don’t Let the Cat Out of the Bag

It’s only natural to want to keep your brilliant, once-in-a-lifetime idea to yourself until launch-time.

Why make it easy for someone to steal it?

But there’s a good reason for sharing what you want to do—the process can make your great idea even better.

Getting feedback from other entrepreneurs (as well as “normal people”) can be very helpful, Johnston says. “Discussing your start-up with others will give you greater insight into where there are holes, what does (or doesn't) resonate with people, and the strategies you could use as you’re getting started.”

In other words, someone’s casual reaction to your idea may provide insights into marketing and development that would have never have occurred to you otherwise.

Mistake #3: Sit Back and Wait for Customers to Flood In

With all the hard work you've put into your new venture, you’re probably convinced as soon as people hear about your product, they’ll knock down the door to be your first customers. Johnston reminds new entrepreneurs “there are thousands of products out there fighting for the attention of your target customers.”

And plenty of would-be customers aren't ready to buy right away. “Most great companies take some time to find their audience.”

Don't Make These New Entrepreneur Mistakes

Anxious to launch your new business?

Flexibility, creativity, and the willingness to experiment are qualities just as important as the enthusiasm that got you this far in the first place.

What new entrepreneur lessons have you learned about starting a business?  


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