The Blunder Years
Michaela Atanassova Newcastle 29.03.18
Entrepreneurs Society, Newcastle University
New entrepreneurs make mistakes but through analysing them they can be transformed to good ones that would not hurt their business permanently. The aim of this article is not to provide the perfect model to eliminate mistakes but to demonstrate that there are acceptable ones that can make you grow into a more confident entrepreneur.
Firstly, first-time entrepreneurs often apply what they hear or read to real life and get frustrated when things don’t work out. This style of entrepreneur is often reluctant to sway from these principles as it doesn’t align with their ‘vision’. However, to solve this an entrepreneur should invest more time in research – through looking into all perspectives to get a more complete picture of their business, and then align the strategies from there. There is not one right way of starting a business as most gurus suggest and an entrepreneur should firstly find their style of that matches their visions instead of modelling themselves on successful people.
One of the worst mistakes is following someone else’s way of executing day-to-day tasks and running a business – it is impractical. Usually a style evolves over time according to the circumstances and following a strict schedule would offer an inflexible way of dealing with unexpected shocks. In other words, a style evolves after learning from what works and what does not, after learning from mistakes without much overreaction and persevering by finding solutions to recover from financial, economics or other unexpected shocks which can include disasters (like having your shop on fire because of a gas leak).
Other bad mistakes that can undermine your business idea would be to focus on the product and sales exclusively – to forget that real people stand behind the realization of the idea. Some small businesses think the more people they have, the more they should produce. For example, if it is a software product that needs constant maintenance, the developers should be passionate and know the depths of the product intricately because otherwise they would not be able to keep up with the growing sales. It is wise to have a strong passionate and highly competent team that knows how much to invest of themselves and what they would want to change with dedication.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s good to make mistakes at an earlier stage as it’s better to learn how to correct them when they do less damage. Investigating what went wrong or why customers were unsatisfied could differentiate you from businesses which only want to acquire new customers instead of building relationships with them.
To conclude, mistakes are part of human nature and our society often perceives failure to be the end of the world. However, most successful entrepreneurs were people who failed a lot before becoming successful. The aim of this article was to stress the importance of resilience and keeping true to core principles of the main vision of an idea before going into the real world and confronting doubts and challenges at every corner.
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