Have you noticed that there are a lot of businesses that run in Nigeria? The truth is that not all these businesses actually make profits. When the going gets tough, some of them pack up and leave it all behind them in pursuit of another ‘greener’ pasture. Buddying up with someone else, that is a business partner, doesn’t always guarantee success in business. In another post, I highlighted some important factors to look out for in a business partner.
The best way to learn in life is by personal experience or from other people’s experience. Having said that, why make the same mistakes others have made before? In this article, we will take a look at 5 common mistakes that entrepreneurs should avoid at all cost as it could spell doom if ignored:
- Poor planning and research
Every serious entrepreneur should not start off a business without carrying out extensive research on the business he or she is interested in. It can be counterproductive not to carry out a research on the business and instead, rely on words of others. Even if you have a neighbour that is successful in the same business you want to venture into, do not make the mistake of relying solely on one person’s experience. If you can, pay someone to carry out more research on the prospects of the business, the business’ target audience, the cost, and other things that may be required. If on the other hand, you cannot afford to pay someone, then you can ask to be mentored by that neighbour of yours whilst also getting your hands dirty. You will be surprised at what you will learn.
Once you know what the business entails, you should draw a plan on how you are going to run your own business. Many businesses start making money after their first year of being in existence while some make money within a few weeks or months. For this reason, you can decide to set aside money for maintenance for a whole year without relying on the immediate profit from the business. That way, whether you make a profit or not, the business will be running without disruption until it is able to break even.
- Not adapting to change
I’m not talking about the promise of “change” that politicians and political parties make before the election. No, far from it! I’m talking about adapting to changes in your field so that you can catch up with the trend. Any business that is yet to have a strong online presence in this global age will most likely appear unserious. For this reason, an entrepreneur that is yet to learn the basics of operating a computer is not yet ready for the world. We are in a world where distance is no longer a barrier in doing business. If you want to maximize your business potential as an entrepreneur you should endeavour to get a website for your business. Taking conscientious efforts towards interacting online will help boost your business and expose it to the rest of the world. It’s time to think beyond local business!
- Borrowing unnecessary amount of funds
If the first thing you think about as an entrepreneur who wants to launch a new business is to borrow money without having a clear picture of what capital is needed to startup, then you might be headed the wrong way. If you can, avoid borrowing money and start with what you have saved up for the business. If the business is very capital-intensive and demands that you borrow money from the bank or other sources, make sure that you limit the borrowing to ‘what you need’ as against ‘what you want’ for the business. Be aware that borrowing funds will amount to a lot of pressure as you will be expected to pay back regardless.
- Ignoring customer feedbacks and complaints
Another mistake Nigerian entrepreneurs make is that they forget to take customers feedbacks or complaints seriously. Your customer is the reason you are in business in the first place. If you fail to regard them and treat them with respect, you may lose them easily to your competitor. One scorned customer will go all the way to ruin your business reputation. You need to continually seek feedbacks from your client with the aim of getting better in your business.
- Not taking advantage of customer buying patterns
Do you know that companies pay a huge amount of money to have people study their customer’s buying pattern? Why is this so, you may ask. The reason is that it is the fastest way to determine what new product to introduce into the business and also the areas of the business that can be improved upon. If you have access to your customer’s buying pattern, their preference and their comments, you will be a better entrepreneur because you will be providing them with what they actually need.
If you can avoid these mistakes, you will be on your way to the top as a leading entrepreneur in your chosen area of business. Don’t forget to comment below and I’ll be happy to assist further.
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