As an entrepreneur, success is obviously the goal of your endeavors, but taking necessary risks in order to reach a successful result sometimes can result in inevitable setbacks. The obstacles that face an entrepreneur’s career should not be seen as absolute failures, but as useful tools to reevaluate the strategies employed and make all necessary adjustments. While everyone reacts to failure differently, there are useful considerations that an entrepreneur can take into account while designing a management style that assists the business recover from a downside event. As being an entrepreneur is strongly linked to making mistakes, the focus is to identify some of the common reoccurring mistakes among different types of businesses and learn how to return to success. However, as success is something that can take up many definitions due to many different points of view and without exhausting the matter, we could very simply agree that returning to success is an ongoing cyclical process that repeats itself as long as one continues under all conditions. Despite the fact that “not quitting” could be the most important lesson, there are several things on the “mistake learning curve” that can turn a potential mistake to an ally.
Don’t let your actions be driven solely by passion
The first thing that we learn is that entrepreneurship is primarily driven by passion. This is very good, and without this energy, many great business ideas would not have come into life. The mistake can happen when passion isn’t backed up by thoughtful estimations and controlled actions.
Assumptions must be limited as much as possible, especially at the early stages of business
Assumptions play an important role in scenario analysis and future projections about performance. However, at the early stages of a business, assumptions must be limited due to the limited track record of the new venture. Generally, as a rule of thumb, the less the experience, the more inaccurate the assumptions are proven to be.
Prioritization without undermining small things – Early identification of issues
Entrepreneurs while trying to focus on the matters that have the highest impact, they often disregard some smaller issues. These smaller issues, grow into bigger ones that most of the times are out of control. As a response to this, a failure detection culture can be developed that will diligently analyze and take into account all potential threats and weaknesses in a timely manner.
Using perfectionism and speed wisely
There is a popular quote which says “speed is good but accuracy is everything”. Despite it being correct, we would rephrase here and we would complement that apart from being accurate and perfect it is also important to do this in a timely manner. Failure to deliver accurate results in reasonable time due to an idealistic approach that you follow in your business can potentially drive you out of business.
Don’t commit to anything that won’t allow your business to evolve and change
By the time we form a certain way of doing things, we tend to attach to it and this could be a serious mistake. Of course keeping certain principles is something that is in the very core of your business and can help you recover from confusion in difficult times. Nevertheless, the survival of every business is strictly connected to adaptation and embracing change. This doesn’t mean that you will suffer the loss of your business identity. This simply means that when the environment changes, the only way to persevere is by having an evolving mindset. This evolving mindset can include the existing core competencies and successful business relationships, such as those with clients, partners, and employees but should not be limited to them.
Managing timing, expectations, and Cashflow
It is crucial to achieve proper timing of certain business milestones, manage the internal and external expectations from the performance of your business and at the same time secure an effective liquidity from good cash flow management. These are principles that every entrepreneur should know. What many don’t know is that proper timing, expectations management, and Cashflow management rely on each other in order to be functional and bring good results either in times of prosperity or in times of distress.
In challenging times focus also on the bigger picture apart from survival
This one more common mistake that many entrepreneurs do especially when they face obstacles in their ventures. Instead of dividing their time and efforts so that they can address both survival and creativity, they are overwhelmed by the hardships and forget about their long-term goals. Although difficult to avoid, this mistake should not be the case even under the most challenging times. Putting aside your long-term business goals can lead you to become less competitive in your business segment. Finally, you may end up a business without survival problems, but with no growth potential. Indeed, we can include many paradigms from an entrepreneur’s life that when they are given proper attendance, serious mistakes can be avoided. However, from all that can be said, nothing compares to the famous Japanese proverb that says “Fall seven times, stand up eight”. Mistakes are there for entrepreneurs to make them learn, adjust and evolve. In no way, they are meant to make them quit from their business endeavors.