Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen to two stories of entrepreneurs who were vulnerable enough to share their biggest blunders in business and the lessons they learned.

Here are some of their blunders and lessons they learned:

  1. If you are working full time but want to start your business, don’t rush into entrepreneurship. Plan properly, save at least 6 to 12 months salary.
  2. You don’t leave your job today and start a business tomorrow, you start your business on the side [side-hustle] and grow it to a point where the client’s orders will need you full-time. You move from side-hustle to full-time hustle.
  3. When you make the decision to be an entrepreneur, don’t make an emotional decision, think through your decision, weigh the options. Don’t be intoxicated by the hype of entrepreneurship.
  4. Know who your customers are. Not every customer should be your customer. Not every competitor is your competitor. Focus on your customers more than your competitors
  5. The market is big for everyone, curve your niche and build your tribe. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. When you try to be everything to everyone, you accomplish being nothing to anyone.
  6. You will have to downscale your lifestyle. Let go of things that will be expensive to maintain.
  7. Take care and look after smaller clients the same way you will look after big clients. Small clients will keep you in business, big clients will make you lots of money. Don’t be tempted by the glamour of having big-name clients. Big clients tend to be bullies, they dictate terms, but small clients are more amiable to negotiate with you.
  8. Continuous learning and self-development are always critical when starting and running your business. There is more to learn in business from when the money comes into the business and when paying suppliers.
  9. Cash flow is king, 30 days without invoicing and getting paid is a long time for a startup. Cash flow is the lifeblood of a startup.
  10. Business finances are not personal finances. You can’t just swipe anywhere with your business card.
  11. Bonus: There is a difference between having a great idea and a great business. Know the difference.

My Biggest Blunders is a platform where entrepreneurs and other professionals are vulnerable enough to share their professional blunders and mistakes and lessons learned.

Watch out for the next instalment of My Biggest Blunders in April 2021.

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