We often learn best from our mistakes, but don’t want to make them. Thankfully, many experienced entrepreneurs are willing to share their ideas of what they learned from their own mistakes and even what they wish they had known before starting a business. The following tips come from those who learned the hard way about what it takes to make a successful business.
Starting out is the hardest
Some entrepreneurs say the hardest part of becoming an entrepreneur, even harder than getting small business financing, is choosing the moment actually to do it. They say it is difficult to find that magical time when the stars align, and there are no obstacles. In fact, it is impossible. If you wait for that moment when there is no risk, you will miss the opportunity to start your business.
Many people who want to start a business don’t because they are afraid to take that first step, even celebrities like comedian Will Ferrell told Fortune that he experienced great self doubt at the beginning of his career. Do your research, think it through and if starting a business is something that you want to do, do it.
Once the decision is made to start a business, experienced entrepreneurs caution others to spend time on the business plan. For some people, working by themselves has always been their dream. They think they have to come up with all the answers. It is them against the world. Those who achieved success say working with others may give the feedback and drive to think of new ideas. The ability to brainstorm and discuss ideas can pay big dividends.
Those familiar with starting a business say that finding partners who share similar beliefs and goals may be the way to go. Look for people who don’t always agree with you, but will challenge and push you. Finding someone who asks questions is sometimes better than a person who will answer questions.
Whether to go alone or with partners, those who have started their own business say it is essential to set goals. They add that it is important to know where you are heading. Even with a clear focus though, experienced entrepreneurs encourage those starting out to be willing to tweak their plans.
Carrie Kerpen of Likeable Media reminds new business owners on Inc.com to be flexible. She says it is important that you have a business plan in place, but that you are willing to change that plan. It is important to see missteps as chances to learn and to modify that business plan.
Making decisions requires information
Experienced entrepreneurs remind those planning to start a business that one of the most significant challenges is realizing there is no roadmap to success. They caution that if there is no clear direction, some newcomers wrestle with decisions to the point that no decision is made. This inaction can cripple any business.
Ryan Harwood of PureWow reminds new business owners that they should make decisions based on information, but also be willing to follow their gut feelings. After all, the reason you started a business is because you believe in yourself.
Those who learned from their mistakes tell other entrepreneurs they should be to be willing to adapt, reminding them that not every decision will be the right one and even a good decision may need to be tweaked.
An important tip from those who have built successful businesses is that a mistake does not mean the entire business plan is a failure. Meredith Valiando Rojas of DigiTour Media sees problems and constructive criticism as a way to change and adapt. Sometimes by not failing, we do not see that there are better ways to do something.
You will always face a problem, and sometimes you will think that problems cannot be overcome. But your success will depend on how you react to problems. Will you let it end your dreams or will you bounce back and use your knowledge to find a new approach?
Finding success requires failure
Even successful business owner will make mistakes. If something doesn’t work as planned, it is human nature to think about it. The hope is that you may find what went wrong and learn from that.
Entrepreneurs have a more substantial stake in their decisions and can dwell on a mistake for too long, putting their business in jeopardy. After all, an entrepreneur has put a lot into their business, and if something goes wrong, it can have a huge impact.
Business owners remind others that a mistake may cost you a client or some money, but there are ways to fix the error and overcome the consequences. Remember, tomorrow is another day, and that means more opportunities. Take time to reflect on what went wrong, but don’t let that prevent you from finding solutions to improve and grow your business.
It is often through failures that we find success. For whatever reason, you decided to become an entrepreneur. For some, it was being laid off from a job, for others, it may have been a sense of not being satisfied with their situation. There was some difficulty that pushed you to start a new business. Looking back, it is easy to see that without that dissatisfaction, you would never have started something new. Entrepreneur go forth and prosper! Good luck.
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Marsha Kelly is a serial entrepreneur who has done time in corporate America, selling her first business for more than a million dollars. She has learned what products and services work in business today, and she shares her experiences on her best4Business blog at https://best4businesses.com/. You can learn from her experiences from shopping the internet for tools, supplies, and information to build your business and improve your finances.