10 mistakes to avoid when starting out as an entrepreneur

10 fouten die je moet vermijden als je begint als ondernemer

The entrepreneurial adventure is exciting and full of twists and turns. Meetings, conversations, independence… Starting your own business is like welcoming your first baby.

But beware, the road is sometimes strewn with pitfalls. According to INSEE, 1 in 4 French companies fail within the first two years of business. To avoid this and make the most of the experience, l’Express Franchise explains the 10 mistakes to avoid in entrepreneurship.

Before taking the plunge, it’s a good idea to test your idea and talk to people around you, as it’s easy to get carried away and lose your footing. It’s at this point of reflection that blinders syndrome can set in. You’re so convinced that your idea is brilliant that you’ve stopped hearing constructive criticism and comments on your business model. To avoid developing a service or product that has no real use, remember to talk to people around you, carry out market research and find out about your future business sector!

Team building is an important part of the adventure. The wrong choice costs you energy, time and money. As the saying goes: when there’s a doubt, there’s no doubt! You can call on a recruitment professional to help you with this process. Good recruitment starts with a precise job description, with clear, structured missions. A good working atmosphere is one of the keys to motivation, performance and company success.

The growth phase of a business still requires a budget and the taking of risks. When you set up your own business, you need to be aware that you’ll have to make a certain financial investment. Saving is good, but you have to know when to spend your money. According to a PayFit survey of 500 entrepreneurs, 22% admit to having poorly anticipated and managed their cash flow forecasts. Spending is not a waste of money, at least not when it’s well thought out.

Investing in your company is a good thing…within the limits of the funds available! Most entrepreneurs go bankrupt because of a lot of unnecessary expenditure. To avoid this, it’s best to keep track of your expenses, or to have an accountant follow you around, who can tell you when the expense is worthwhile and when it’s not. In this way, you can assess the areas in which you are investing too much (or too little!).

The partner has an important role to play in your structure. Like recruiting a team, the wrong choice of partner can spell the end of your business. How do you find the perfect partner? You need to agree on your vision of the company, its objectives and its values. The complementary nature of your relationship will limit disagreements and heated discussions. Good communication and understanding facilitate decision-making and corporate governance.

The entrepreneurial adventure is as exciting as it is full of uncertainties, doubts and risks. It’s normal to feel apprehensive and doubtful at times. It’s good to be aware of this, but don’t let it paralyze you in the face of the unknown. Fear prevents you from making the right decisions. But don’t panic: it’s human to be afraid, and it’s even more human to make mistakes! Take calculated risks. How? Asking yourself if the game is still worth the candle, weighing up the consequences if the worst comes to the worst, researching the likelihood of your idea succeeding… The key is to know if you still want to take the chance and dive in head first.

Communication is essential to your adventure. Whether communicating with investors, customers or other stakeholders, it’s an aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. Various channels are at your fingertips: website, blog, social networks, your friends and network. But where to start? The main marketing actions to be implemented are the creation of a website, the use of social networks and paid advertising. Don’t hesitate to put them to good use! If this isn’t your strong point, professional communicators can help.

When you start out as an entrepreneur, you tend to want to do everything yourself. But it’s not such a good idea. You have to accept that there are people more qualified than you to do some of the work on your project. It will remain yours, even if you ask others for help. What’s more, doing it all yourself takes time, energy and knowledge! It’s not certain that this is the best way to be most efficient…

The support of those around you is just as important as your business plan, and should not be underestimated. Taking the plunge into entrepreneurship is not an easy decision: leaving your job, setting up a business from scratch, investing yourself. All this generates stress. Those around you can help you by lending a listening ear, a comforting shoulder, or even by investing in your project!

To finance your project, the State or the region can help! Several forms of assistance are available, including NACRE (Nouvel Accompagnement à la Création ou la Reprise d’Entreprise), a regional financial aid scheme. There’s also ARCE (Aide à la Création d’Entreprise) and ACRE (Aide à la Création ou à la Reprise d’une Entreprise). Make sure you get all the information you need, as these grants can be received simultaneously!

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