Published 07 November 2017 Category: Compass Tips, Business Insights, Businesses, SMEs, Startups, Entrepreneurs

6 Mistakes Mid-life Entrepreneurs Must Avoid

This post is about the six mistakes solopreneurs and entrepreneurs must avoid. Despite the common wisdom, they continue to be ignored.

Mistake #1: Building a Widget or Starting a Service First and then Trying to Sell It
This is still the most common mistake a rookie makes and is probably the cause of more failures than any other factors. These days, we see people who are convinced that their ideas are so amazing, customers will flock to them. This is 99.9% of the time not true and must always be avoided – particularly in midlife where time, money, and energy must be preserved. Here is how to avoid it:

  • Go to Google and research your idea

  • Is there anyone else doing the same thing?

  • No? You’re in trouble already

  • Yes? Great! Research all the other ideas

  • What is the problem you can solve for people better than anyone else who already runs such a business?

“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail” – Mark Twain

Mistake #2: Not Knowing if there Is a Large Enough Market You Can Reach

  • How much demand is there for your idea?

  • Is there competition? (that’s a good thing)

  • Is there a niche somewhere in this niche that hasn’t been explored?

Mistake #3: Not Knowing Exactly Who Your Customer Is

  • Do you know your customer?

  • Do you know their unmet needs, wants, and desires?

  • Do you know what their objections might be to your offering?

  • Do you know how they speak?

  • Do you know something about their income?

Mistake #4: Unrealistic Financials

  • How much do people pay on average for your product or service?

  • How many customers would it take to cover expenses for at least a year?

  • Have you considered every possible expense?

Mistake #5: Unrealistic Time Lines (“My Ship is Coming in Soon”)

  • Remember the old - ‘everything takes longer and costs more.’?

  • Do you have enough ‘runway’ (money) to survive for at least a year?

Waiting for the ship to come in at the eleventh hour to save you when your money is nearly gone is going to sink your ship 99% of the time.

Mistake #6: No Plan and No Strategy
If you have a plan but no strategy you’re in trouble. If you have a strategy and no plan, you’re also in trouble. No expert help. Maybe you think you can read a book and save money on expert help. You’re in trouble again. If you do your homework right, this could be the change that made a difference for you.

Get the best expert advice you can, network, learn all you can about your business and customers: it will save you tons of money and much lower bills...even therapy bills!