The Entrepreneur Africa

5 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid

Running your own business is one of the most fulfilling things that you can do in life. Nothing can replace this feeling of freedom and full control. But the road to success is always bumpy.

You can learn great things from your mistakes but if you make them as an entrepreneur they might harm your business.

1. Money is your problem

You might have heard this from your friends: “I want to open a cafe, but I don’t have money for it. The bank declined my loan application, so I guess I’ll just stay where I am.” Nonsense!

You don’t need lots of money to start a business, in the majority of cases at least. But if you think you do then you’re doing something wrong.

Don’t have the money to pay the rent and do the renovation? Buy a trailer. No money for the trailer? Rent out a small kitchen and do delivery. No money for promotion? Deliver food to your friend’s offices, so their colleagues could see. No money to hire a chef? Do it yourself! If the food you make is delicious and people like it, in the meantime you’ll have the money to hire the chef, pay the rent and all the rest.

Business start-up capital is not just money. It is time, knowledge and people you’re starting a business with.

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Money is not the problem. You most likely lack time or passion. If you find it hard to spend your time starting your business, then the lack of money is just an excuse.

2. You don’t do what you love and love what you do

Here’s a typical situation: a family owns a grocery store (pharmacy, bakery) which involves mom, dad and son. This business means a lot to the father but not to the son.

There comes the time and the father gathers a family meeting and goes: “Son, you know that the grocery store is the primary source of profit for the whole family. Someday I will not be able to run it, so you will become in charge of it”. The son replies: “OK, dad. I will sell it or hire a manager.”

Then goes the scandal.

However, if you think about it, the boy is right: if you’re planning to open a business, you have to do what you love. Because only the love for your business gives the strength to cope with difficulties and makes you move forward.

3. You’re not good at what you’re going to do

There are many people who turned their hobbies into a business.

Two ladies were really into sewing and surfing. They one day decided to create designer swimsuits. Their swimwear is now sold worldwide and they surf all over the world.

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A guy who enjoys cooking opened a mini-snack bar in the downtown. He’s about to open his third snack bar.

A man who understood that woodworking is more that just a hobby. So he started a business making custom furniture. At the same time, he opened a kitchen furniture shop and a design studio.

There’s just one reason why these people succeeded – they all started a business in what they’re best at. They did things better, faster and more passionately than others.

4. You run to extremes

You want to make it big. So you decide to take a loan from the bank, rent an office, buy a golden Apple watch, leather chairs, build a website, hire a secretary and then wait. But for some reason, your inbox does not pile up with orders. All because no one understands what you sell and why. But the best part is that you’re out of money.

Renting a cool office and furnishing it with expensive “toys” will help you feel cool but it will not make your business profitable. A profitable business is one that provide value, which brings in loyal clients and stable income.

And who said you can’t run a profitable business at home wearing a bathrobe?

So, before running to extremes, make sure that your business offer is interesting and will bring you profit.

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5. You stay at square one

There’s a common illusion: “I’m gonna start my own business but keep working at my current job”. Only in your dreams.

You’re paid for effort and commitment. It’s naive to think that your employer will pay you for the time you spend starting your own business. If you were in his shoes, would you do so? Probably not. But that’s not the most important.

Let’s say you can only spend half a day working on your project. But that’s not enough. But you need all of your time and effort to make it work. If you want to start your own business, eventually you’ll have to quit.

Having a business is great!

There’s nothing else that brings you joy, money and helps to grow as a person at the same time as running your own company. So, don’t be afraid to live your dream but get ready to work for it

By: Anna Melnyk


The Entrepreneur Africa

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