7 Dangerous Pitfalls Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

Scaling / October 22, 2015 / Kristie

Whether you’re just started your own business and are working on growing or you’re just thinking about starting your own business, these 7 pitfalls are things you don’t want to fall into!

We interviewed CEO and founder of Marketcircle, Alykhan Jetha, and asked him what the top pitfalls to look out for!

Here’s AJ’s list of top 7 pitfalls entrepreneurs should avoid.

pitfalls entrepreneurs should avoid_600

1. Being overly cautious

Being an entrepreneur means you’re going to constantly be making important decisions. While you obviously don’t want to make decisions on impulse, it’s easy to spend too much time thinking to the point where you overthink it. Perhaps you’ve heard the term “paralysis by analysis”. It’s when you spend so much time preparing for your shot that you end up missing your chance to take it. Sometimes you need to just go for it. Make a decision. Experiment. Don’t be scared to try things out because once you get going, things are going to change anyway. Just make a decision and keep moving forward.

“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”– Wayne Gretzky

2. Hiring friends and/or family

You need to hire someone and you have a friend or family member that’s eager to help you out. What’s the worse thing that can go wrong? Your buddy Jimmy may not be an expert in his field but he’s your friend and he needs a job. He’ll be helping you out and you’ll be helping him out. It’s the perfect fit, right? Not quite. Hiring friends or family can cause problems and headaches that you don’t need–especially if they’re not performing well. Avoid this mess all together. If you insist in hiring a friend, read this article first 5 Steps You Need to Take Before Hiring a Friend.

3. Getting held back by other people’s fears

You have a strong feeling in your gut telling you to take action. But someone else’s fears are clouding your judgement. They may have some good points, but you have this feeling inside you that is pushing you to just do it. Listen to your gut. Don’t let other people’s fears hold you back from doing what you feel is the right thing to do. It can end up costing you more by not taking action just because you let someone else’s fears get in the way. If it doesn’t work out in the end, at least you’ll know you did it because you felt it was right and you’ll be learning from your own mistakes. It’s much worse to carry the regret or resentment from not taking action because of the fear felt by someone else.

4. Thinking of failure as a catastrophe

Ah, the dreaded “f” word– failure. Some cultures (Japan, for example) look at failure as bringing dishonour to your family. An article posted on BBC by Mariko Oi titled Where are Japan’s entrepreneurs? explains that one of the reasons Japan has such a low level of entrepreneurship is due to their cultural view on failure. But failure doesn’t have to be a bad word. It’s not always a negative thing. When you fail you learn, you grow, and you get better. We all mess up sometimes. You don’t have to be perfect. It’s better to try and fail than not try at all.

“Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.” — Tom Peters

5. Taking feedback too seriously

It’s important to get input from others. There’s a lot of great insights that can come from other people with an alternative perspective. Just make sure that you understand the context in which the feedback is given. Consider the person who is giving you the feedback, their stance, experience, etc. Analyze who the advice is coming from and apply the weight of the advice to who is giving it to you. For example, if you’re discussing business with a friend or family member who’s never run their own business or taken a gamble, the advice they will give you will likely be heavily on the cautious side. Whereas the advice you get from another entrepreneur may be completely different because of their own experience and fearless nature. Because come on, you have to be a bit fearless to start a business in the first place.

6. Cutting too many corners

Finding the right balance of price and quality is difficult–especially when you’re just starting out and you’ve put all you have into starting a business. The problem is that sometimes taking the cheaper route ends up costing you more in the long run. For example, when it comes to branding your business, take the time to explore and research all your options. Then choose the option that gives you the most value and high quality within your budget. Don’t just choose an option because it’s the cheapest. Often times that leads to having to spend even more money to re-do it. When in doubt, ask around and see how much other businesses have spent in a particular area so you can gauge how much you should be budgeting.

7. Getting too comfortable

Some entrepreneurs get too comfortable in their business. They get into a routine and business becomes stagnant. If you shy away from taking risks, or making changes, you won’t be able to adapt and grow. You won’t be able to move forward. Scaling your business takes effort. You need to think about your business and your processes and be open to making changes for the future of your company.

“If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.” — Mario Andretti

For other words of wisdom from our CEO, AJ, check out our previous post The Best Advice for Running a Business.

Join 38,877 subscribers making clients happy and growing their business.