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5 Mistakes People Make When Starting A Business

Nearly everyone wants to be their own boss, but less face it running your own business comes with a unique set of challenges. Here are 5 mistakes people make when they start a business.

1. They focus on the wrong things. 

The first and best thing you can do when starting a business is get a customer. There's no way to know if people are going to want your product or service until you actually get someone to pay you money for it. Applying for a business license, printing business cards, and sticking a magnet to the side of your car are all great but they should come after you've proven another person on this earth will give you money for what you're offering.

2. They think their idea has to be unique.

People share with me all the time their ideas for a new invention or business concept. I get it, they came up with a cool or unique way to solve a problem they faced. Hey, that's partly on track, however most businesses that succeed are not spawned from new ideas, they're spawned from old one's.

When your product, service, idea is new, you'll need to educate people on why they need it before they're interested. It's far easier to sell them something they already think they need. There's nothing wrong with taking a proven business and making it better.

3. They think their idea has to remain a secret.

A side-effect of thinking your idea has to be unique is that it has to be kept a secret. I cringe when someone brings up an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) when talking about their business idea. How do you expect to get anyone to buy your product or service if it's so vulnerable you can't share it with potential investors, family memembers, and friends?

In reality if you have a good idea and your'e successful everyone is going to attempt and copy it. If the idea itself has such a low bar to entry anyone and their mom will copy it, it's too weak to begin with. Share your ideas openly, ask people to punch holes in it, then fill those holes. That is a much better approach.

4. They're starting from zero.

I don't want to discourage anyone from going out and taking chances but do consider when starting a business there's someone else who's been in the business longer, has more resources, and mor experience than you. Your chance of succeeding in an industry you haven't already been working in our minimal.

A good place to start is to work in an industry you think you might want to own a business in one day. Become an expert in that industry. Learn from your experiences and make relationships. It will be much easier to launch out on your own with wisdom, experience, and customers than starting from scratch.

5. They wait for everything to be perfect.

Look, if you're petrified of failure there are plenty of places to get a job. If you're too afraid to build your dream, there's nothing wrong with helping someone else build theirs. And like I was saying earlier your best chance of starting a business might be working for someone else. But it you're serious about starting your business don't wait until everything is perfect. Figure out a way to create what's called an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). That just means to put together the abosolute minimum version of your product or service you share in the marketplace.

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