In the year 2013, Sprig was established in San Francisco, USA, as a company specialized in delivering healthy meals. The food delivery market was an emerging market in that period and generates good revenues for the projects operating in it, and more can still be absorbed.
In addition to the fact that the founders of the company were able to secure good sums from several investment rounds that provided them with more than 50 million dollars, Sprig was able to produce healthy meals of high quality and reasonable prices that were very popular in the American market.
Which made the company achieve remarkable success, raising its market value to more than $ 100 million, but this success did not last for long, as the profit margin that the company was achieving was very weak and reached the point of being unable to cover operating costs.
The project could not raise the price of meals because this would lead to a decrease in demand and thus a decrease in sales, which prompted its founders to offer them for sale, but the company in this case does not have a clear business model and therefore will not attract investors in any way, as it does not make any profit, which led to its closure In the year 2017, four years after incorporation.
This is one of many examples of startups that were written to fail as a result of mistakes that were not in the eyes of their founders. 1
The absence of a clear profit model for the project is not the only mistake that startups and start-up entrepreneurs can make, in the following lines we will learn about a list of the top 10 mistakes that novice entrepreneurs and emerging entrepreneurs face during the first stages of work, we take a look at the most prominent obstacles and what leads to them And how to deal with it and overcome it or even avoid falling into it.
Top 10 Mistakes Beginning Entrepreneurs Make
1. Blurred vision
The vision is the image that you want your project to have in the future based on your goals and aspirations behind establishing the project and what you aspire to achieve. Having a clear vision ensures that you work on the right goals and know the mechanisms to achieve that vision, goals and what you aspire to. The vision is expressed in the form of a written statement within the project or company plan .
The absence of a clear vision is one of the most prominent problems facing novice entrepreneurs, and often this constitutes an obstacle in the way of setting correct and clear goals that bring the project to the position it deserves, especially since a clear vision is the main catalyst and engine of the work team, which determines the extent of his belief in the idea of the project and then his enthusiasm And his passion to work on it.
There are many reasons why an entrepreneur may not have a clear vision of his project and what he is working on, and we are not going to list them here. Rather, the most important thing is that you define your aspirations and ambitions from what you are working on, and then define a clear and applicable vision within a specific time frame so that you reach your project what you really want.
2. The absence of indicators and performance measures
Performance indicators are measures of project performance and the progress it is making over time, that is, they tell you if you are heading in the right direction towards your goals or if there is an aspect that needs development, improvement, or some form of modification.
Projects use performance measures at multiple levels, as they can be used to identify the performance of every aspect of the project, such as marketing performance, sales performance or customer service, at advanced levels that give indicators a more comprehensive picture of the performance of the project as a whole.
As for the mistake that entrepreneurs commit in this aspect, it is either wrongly identifying the metrics so that they do not give an actual picture of the performance of the project or any of its departments, or not identifying indicators at all.
For example, the number of visitors to an online store cannot be considered a performance indicator, because the number of visitors does not affect the actual results of the store, which are sales, but rather the percentage of sales to the total number of visitors is the actual indicator of the success of the project, because sales are the actual value and real profit.
Therefore, be sure to set correct and accurate performance indicators that give a real picture of the performance of your project and the extent of progress towards the specified goals. Correct indicators are those that are directly related to the project’s objectives and the real value of it.
3. Focus on growth
Entrepreneurs have absorbed the idea of growing enough, and it became obvious for any project that growth should be at the top of its list of goals, regardless of the feasibility of growth for the project and whether or not it was a right decision and the willingness of the project and those in charge of it to do so.
About 70% of startups fail due to ill-considered rapid growth strategies, 2 so it’s very likely that the decision to focus on growth is wrong. Other aspects may need this focus, the project may not have the sufficient resources necessary for growth, or the work team is not yet ready for this decision.
Of course, this does not mean that the decision to grow the project is always wrong, but the entrepreneur must study all the merits of the project and what he possesses in terms of qualifications and resources, and then decide which aspects should actually focus on, is it sales, customer service, product development, or growth And expanding to new markets?
4. Trust in intuition
Although it is difficult to fully acknowledge the truth or error of personal intuition, many large and successful companies today started a fleeting idea in the minds of their founders, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are good examples of this 3 , but it is not always your intuition a good option to start a company, and it will often be very risky .
Regardless of whether or not you are willing to take such a risk, it is best for you to make sure that your intuition is useful and if there are any factors, ideas, or evidence that support this intuition and support your ideas. More clearly, you must make sure that there is a group of people who are ready to adopt your idea and pay money for what you will provide them, whether a service or a product.
It takes a lot of research, study and analysis of data, numbers, market studies and a target group in order to be able to reach the right decision regarding the feasibility of relying on your intuition or not.
Relying excessively on personal intuition to establish a project and without making sure of the feasibility of the idea and if there are any factors that support and support it is completely wrong and is likely to lead us to great negative consequences for the project.
5. Wrong employment decisions
Entrepreneurs are the ones who make the most mistakes related to employment policies and decisions in their projects, and this has many impacts on various aspects of work, ranging from material costs to poor productivity, through the impact on the project’s reputation and the absence of a balanced work culture.
The most prominent reasons that lead to wrong employment decisions are reliance on personal relationships in employment and not on professional qualifications, delegating recruitment tasks to people who are not well-qualified to manage human resources, and the difficulty of directly tracking the performance of employees, in addition to facing difficulty in attracting people who are qualified and possess the necessary skills Actually for the project.
What makes matters worse is that the effects of wrong employment decisions do not appear directly, but the issue may take some time until errors and their effects in this regard are discovered, and what this has effect on the project’s work and its outputs as a whole.
6. The project comes first, not the customer
The project is important and what you provide in terms of products or services as well, but the customer is the most important, so no matter how well you create a unique, distinctive and high-quality product, you will not achieve profits without a customer willing to pay money and buy the product.
Novice entrepreneurs misunderstand this equation, and quickly find their focus on the main project or product, completely ignoring the customer’s need and aspiration for this product. No matter how distinct and unique your product is, focus on the user’s experience with that product and whether it offers real benefit to the customer and meets their ambitions.
If you do not succeed in applying this equation to your project, it will be easy for customers to abandon you and go to another competing project for you that offers a practical product and fulfills the aspirations of customers through it and what they are looking for.
7. Ignore competitors
Although strategies to ignore competitors were a successful idea in many industries previously, they are no longer beneficial today with the expansion of markets and the growth of sales and the emergence of e-commerce markets that do not know borders or one market, but rather create an atmosphere of open competition across borders, so in case Today someone advised you to ignore competitors for your business, as it may be better for you to ignore it than to ignore the competitor.
The research and study of competitors provides you with a deeper and better understanding of the market, consumers and the field in which your project will be active. It will give you a broader view of the nature of customers and the target groups of the audience and their characteristics and what they are looking for in terms of the products or services provided.
Thus, this would save you a lot of time and effort, instead of experimenting and learning from your own practices, you can conduct a comprehensive study of your competitors and learn from their practices and invest these results for the benefit of your project, so you saved a lot of effort and time.
8. Do not test the idea or product
It is natural for us to admire our ideas and be enthusiastic and passionate about them, and therefore believe in their success and value regardless of whether the idea really is like this or not, and even if the people around us ask about it or test it on them it is very possible that our enthusiasm towards the idea will be transferred to them, and therefore we may not reach From such a test to a completely correct result.
It is best to test your idea on a larger scale, away from your circle of acquaintances and people with whom you have a personal relationship. A mistake of this nature prevents sufficient feasibility study of the idea and the extent of acceptance it can receive from the target audience.
On any suitable platform, create an advertisement for the service or product you intend to offer and track how much the target audience interacts with the ad and how receptive they are to the idea you intend to work on.
Of course, there are many other testing strategies that can be relied upon to ensure the feasibility of the idea in its initial form and before actually implementing it.
9. Work alone
It is very common for a novice entrepreneur to feel that he is the best person to do the task and is almost the only one who knows what he should really do, but it is unfortunate that we tell you that this feeling is not true. You will be able to do everything that your project needs, and if you take that risk, you will never reach satisfactory results.
Instead of consuming a lot of time trying to implement tasks that you are not proficient in, it is better to hire specialists in this aspect and invest your time in areas that you master and know how to deal with them.
Give up the idea of working on your own, no matter how small or micro your project is, it is natural that there are things that you are not proficient in working on and therefore you have to seek the help of others, you can hire freelancers who specialize in the work you need as the freelance will carry out the tasks that you want by agreement between you and him, so you will not be forced to employ People permanently, use an independent platform to get freelance services in the specialties your project needs.
Excessive work on the project or excessive passion for the idea is one of the prominent difficulties in the life of entrepreneurs, as this often leads them to a state of exhaustion and social isolation and then their loss of the safety net around them, in addition to the uncertainty surrounding this type of Business.
All of this leads to what is known as “job burnout,” which annually costs the business sector in the United States more than $ 300 billion. 4
Working on your own project is fun despite the difficulties of the beginnings and the obstacles that you may face, but avoid being motivated by excessive enthusiasm and exaggeration in work so that it does not give unforeseen adverse consequences that negatively affect your project and the work you do.
These are 10 mistakes that entrepreneurs make in the beginnings and early stages of their work, all in all they are important matters and aspects of the project and making mistakes in them will inevitably lead to undesirable results for you as a project owner and may undermine many of your efforts, for this reason, take this list of mistakes seriously. On your entrepreneurial journey, pay attention to every detail associated with it so that you try as much as possible to avoid it.
In turn, if you have any experiences with mistakes that you got while working on your project, don’t forget to tell us about them in the comments and what you learned from them.