Mistakes happen, especially in business. Some are costly, like botching your distribution chain or assigning the wrong staff member to take on an important project.
On a high level, entrepreneurs can wait too long to jump into a field and miss opportunities, or not have everything planned well, and jump in too soon. They can partner with the wrong people. This can lead to a business rife with conflict about what the end goal should look like or how to dedicate resources. Entrepreneurs can even misunderstand the real value of their product and set their prices too high or too low.
To help identify pitfalls, members from Young Entrepreneur Council below share instances where things went wrong in their business. Here’s what happened and what you should avoid:
1. Assuming A Second Market Will Adopt A Product
Assuming that a product built for one market would be adopted just as readily in a similar one: If I had been more thorough with researching a new market and interviewing people in that space ahead of time, I could have avoided a lot of wasted effort. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and get their honest feedback. You may not like what you hear, but it will save you much frustration later on. — John Rougeux, Causely, Inc.
2. Not Double Checking On A Photo’s Copyright
I unknowingly used a copyrighted photograph in a three-second intro reel I purchased for my YouTube channel. I assumed the business I purchased this from cleared the copyrights. Unfortunately, they did not and a photographer demanded $15,000 and had 174 videos taken down from YouTube. I hired a lawyer and removed the copyrighted material and got my videos restored, but it could have been prevented. — Christine Hronec, Gauge Girl Training, LLC
3. Launching With Too Many Partners
I launched my business prematurely because I was so excited, and I started with too many partners. You should start small, and your partners should be different in terms of the skills they have to offer. — Volodymyr Berezhniy, JAV Digital Solutions
4. Not Making Sure Key Players Got Along
I am a non-tech founder of a tech company. From the beginning, I was clamoring to find an engineer that would work on my big idea. The problem was that once I found someone that could do the job, and more importantly who showed any interest, I jumped. I didn’t spend the time making sure we would work well together, and it blew up just a few months later, wasting money and valuable time. — Ben Mackinnon, Kard Financial, Inc.
5. Waiting Too Long Before Starting Up
I think waiting too long before starting up is the biggest mistake I’ve made. Once you do take the plunge, I don’t think there are any mistakes — there are, as the cliche goes, only learning opportunities. — Varoon Raghavan, Princeton Growth Ventures, LLC