6 Blunders(to Avoid) That Noob Entrepreneurs Make
They want the easy way out in everything they do when executing their idea.
Over the years working as a consultant, I have come across many entrepreneurs who believe that entrepreneurship is all about the next big idea. But they never really involve themselves to put in the work, that comes in executing those ideas. Even if they do put in the work, they usually don’t commit to it completely.
Most of the entrepreneurs these days or at least the unsuccessful ones(which are a lot) tend to have the “hire others to do the work” mentality. Thus, they never put themselves in the grunt work because of this they never fail and never do they ever learn.
Things like these are perhaps the ongoing struggles for noobie entrepreneurs. Whose prime motivation came from a Youtube con artist talking about making big bucks by selling his online course. Yes, he did make big bucks by milking these poor saps out of their money.
I have had experienced many clients who came to a consulting firm after the ship had already sunk. They had been conned by amateur developers, and people alike who took advantage of their innocence.
The following are the few blunders you should avoid making if you want to be successful in the initial phase of your journey.
1. They think that their idea is unique, and others might steal it.
Most of the times, people don’t come towards consulting firms because they believe that their idea is unique. And the firms will steal them — they are wrong about this. Most established firms have thinktanks and data resources that the general public does not have access to.
Big Data is a common term used these days to categorize large datasets of information. Data mining algorithms classify these types of data and derive business results. Those results are then researched to develop products. Of course, there are always some ideas that aren’t conceived through such lucrative ways but the chance for that to happen is relatively small.
The ideas most people conceive are based on the information they have access to. The education they receive and the social circle they are involved in. There are many factors, that contribute towards ideation and it highly depends on these various factors.
Thus most of the ideas that are being conceived by the general public are either being done or have been done or will be done in the foreseeable future by other people having access to the rich amount of information. An idea is unique unless it solves a particular problem & until it is executed through a proper channel can it be deemed special.
2. They do not research extensively about the possibilities of their idea.
Is it possible? Have you tried researching through academic journals, articles, current trends, search and vice-versa? Have you gather expert advice on the subject matter from someone already doing work in the field? Is the field that your idea represents new? Can it be sustained in your current demographic & market?
These are all exciting questions that you need to address before going towards the execution of your idea. Most of the times, people do not document their ideas. That is plausible when they don’t usually document them. Most of the times noobies are so starstruck by their ideas — they become blind. While doing such acts, they forget the main purpose of research and feel entitled to their opinion. This blinds them, and they feel the need to brag about their idea’s potential.
Without ever knowing the details, they talk about their idea as being the next big thing. Meanwhile, somebody else who has access to information might have even implemented their “idea” in a different timestamp using the right processes and tools.
3. Without consultation, they contract an independent developer to build their application.
The results, not only will you get scammed for your application but you will also lose a lot of money and time in it. This can give any person depression and temporarily demotivate them. Perhaps in some cases can be really damaging towards their mental health.
Consultation is perhaps the first step where you aim to connect with other people’s opinion on the subject matter. This helps you in gaining another perspective or advice.
Whenever you have an idea, Ask google.
Google is one of the best ways to underlining everything you need to get started. We live in a digital age, and if try enough — we can find all the exciting ways to build a product. In the age of free subscription, If you take a leap of faith — you will fail, that’s a given but in doing so you will learn all the ways you need to succeed.
Before understanding the process from a multidimensional view from an expert, it is not wise to connect with an independent developer for your application. Most of the people, I have seen so far get scammed by developers who take advantage of their innocence. You not only will waste money but also you will lose the will to build your idea into a reality when you experience such an event.
Have as many experts backing you up when you make a decision. Calculated failure is essential for success but a blunder like this can break your dreams from ever leaving the ground. Before you ever make a move to connect with the developer — ask yourself whether you have a concrete idea of what you want them to build.
As not all developers are software engineers nor are they experts — they will make mistakes. But if you have a design specification document that a consulting firm can help you in creating. Then the developer wouldn’t have issues regarding developing your product as it will contain all the necessary constraints to be aware of — when the product is being developed.
Never proceed to connect with a developer that doesn’t process your business idea without a requirement specification document.
Advice: If there isn’t a concrete system mentioned by the developer while developing your app — proceed with caution.
4. They do not aim to commit to their idea, every day regardless of the hour.
I have had a few clients over the years, who have definitely surprised me when it came to their dedication and resilience. Not only did they commit to a 9to5 job but also they were able to work on their startup meanwhile working on their PhD and masters education. Perhaps some even did training workshops on the weekends as well. Now, this is what I call commitment.
Now many people “believe” they can’t adjust their routines along with their startup. My advice would be to change your mindset and you will change your life. There are many people I have met over the years whose productivity spiked when it came to changing little things in their routine. Like the time they woke up, and the time they went to sleep.
We all have the eureka moment with the next big thing. But the difference between us and the people who commit to it is — resolve. Most people work every few hours every day. They research their nights and even weekends to get things done. They break their goals into subgoals. If something they can achieve in 6 months — they do it in 1 year by breaking it down into a timeline where they can perform other activities as well along with meeting their goals.
“You know you’re doing what you love when Sunday nights feel the same as Friday nights….”
― Donny Deutsch
They map their contingencies and their metrics for success. This is how they can sustain in the long run because they have set a time they can commit to. When the time comes, they will be there in the place of their hard-earned dream.
5. They want the easy way out in everything they do when executing their idea.
Recently, some of my associates from a neighbouring firm requested me to meet a potential client. Now their client worked in IT support in Huawei. Though he seemed somewhat confident in his business idea the execution, however, was his weak point. He had been scammed by a developer who had built his mobile app. As he never truly consulted with a firm because he was afraid that it will cost him a lot of money.
Fast process, Fast cash and Fast gain is their motto. And In haste do they make waste.
Because of his mistake of not getting expert advice — an amateur developer was able to con him by building a prototype like application that did what he asked but not what he wanted. Now, when I met him — he seemed a bit confused at the deliverables. Or how would his application framework work?
I have seen many people these days who believe just by building a technology application — the money would start rolling in as soon as you launch your application. They have the misconception that most services-based apps can function without the physical overhead. Especially when it comes to digitalizing a physical service like a grocery application that delivers fresh food to a person’s doorstep.
There are many problems involved that need to be addressed and many questions need to be asked before you even get down to the gist of it.
- How will you procure, the groceries?
- Are they compliant with food distribution laws?
- Are they healthy?
- What is the cost of procuring groceries from farms?
- How will you manage the logistics of delivering the groceries to buyers?
- Will you consider adding independent buyer shops on your application to sell groceries?
- How will you get your business registered? Are there any taxes you should be aware of?
- How will you market your services?
- Are there any competitors in the market already providing your service? If so, how does your product differentiate from them? List them in order!
- Are you willing to do it solo or will there be other stakeholders in the mentioned service that you’re providing?
All of these are exciting questions to get started when considering a service-based application. And consulting firms help you to get the informational, and competitive advantage you need to stay ahead of the curve.
Now as I talked to the individual — he was shocked that there are so many things that he never even remotely thought about when it came to his idea. It is daunting and somewhat sends a message of impossibility. But it isn’t when done the right way. He seemed shook and somewhat demotivated now after hearing what I told him. But this should motivate you to implement all of the pre-requisites beforehand to be ten steps ahead.
“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
― Nolan Bushnell
Remember, business is not a replacement for your 9–5 job. It requires you to dedicate all your time and effort to it besides the 9–5 that you will put into. Of course, there will be perks like being your own boss. But when you’re starting out, try hustling without a technological measure if the cost is the issue. There are so many alternatives that you can use to test run your service.
For example, you could use Facebook buy button to sell a service and when the order is booked — you can deliver it yourself. It’s cheap, cost-effective and you’d be doing a service.
Instead of learning the tricks of the trade — learn the trade.
The only way you can do that is by persisting failure and doing it on your own. All great businesses started with just one man, committing to his role every single day until one day their business became a conglomerate. But to reach that point you have put in time, effort, persistence, failure and most of all resolve.
There is no easy way out when doing business — you have to still put significant effort into it to every day make it work. The best way to kickstart any business is by doing it the old fashioned way — doing it yourself. There is a higher chance you will fail and when you do — you will learn the better way. This is highly essential for success.
6. They are impatient about results.
People have a misconception about success — they escape failure when it comes to business. If their product isn’t sold on the first day many quit soon after.
Business is a game of chances — there is a high probability that in the first 6 months to 1 year of your timeline there will little to no opportunities for trade. But that doesn’t mean you stop there — you keep going to it every day with a fresh perspective. When marketing a service — get acquainted with your buyer. When you connect with your buyer face to face, you have an opportunity to gain their confidence and trust.
The best way to sell a service is by understanding the person behind the product. Every human being has a need when you reciprocate towards it, you find it easier to sell something to them. They will happily buy it. It is the game of wits. If your service isn’t being marketed through technological means — I believe its time you take a step forward and show your audience who you are and what you aim to offer.
Be on the frontlines of your product. I have seen many people who opened their restaurants delivered themselves to the buyer’s doorstep. This allowed them to connect and share a moment. That moment can be cashed in to understand and create a business relationship with the buyer. Buyers and sellers at the end of the day are people. What do people adhere to the most? It is kindness, warmth and respect.
These are the values you need to adopt, and if you persist when implementing these. You will definitely see a drastic change that will usher something better in your favour. Which will push you one step closer to your ultimate goals of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be a stressful journey. It can become hectic when not done the right way. Do not let the glimmer of your idea blind you. Research, consult, test and fail — repeat the process again to find all the ways you need to understand to succeed.
When creating a service, remember to identify all the essential and non-essential players in it. Try implementing it with the easiest of ways possible but still allow yourself to commit to it completely. If cost is the issue, then consult with an expert. Read and document all the necessary things about it.
Many people can give you a free consultation. Break your idea into a goal and then convert it into subgoals that you can turn into questions. Ask these questions from the people having experience. Connect the dots and then implement your idea into a product strategy that sells.
But most of all read, adapt and stick to it regardless of the failures, hurdles, support and inconveniences. Whenever you feel demotivated, read books like “Good to Great” By Jim Collins or Visit sources like Entrepreneur’s Gateway.
Learn to ask other people for advice, do not worry about your idea being stolen. No one could do only what you can do. And if you can give back to people someday, do the right thing. The best things in life come to those who persist the tides until they reach the shore of their hard-earned treasure isle.
Work hard, Sleep sound, Live well and Stay safe!