6 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Have you made mistakes common to entrepreneurs? I sure have, and I'm sure you have too. We have countless opportunities to make mistakes every day as entrepreneurs. Some have little impact and others have the potential to derail your business.

MetropreneurMistakes that can seriously limit your potential to build a business and attract capital are easy to make and easy to avoid. I recently developed an FAQ article with The Metropreneur based on my own experiences and what I've learned working with entrepreneurs over the past 10 years. I focus on six common mistakes entrepreneurs make and what to do instead.


3 Basic Mistakes:

  1. "Idea Business Man" courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net, created by chanpipat.Reluctance to discuss an idea for fear someone will steal it. I have never seen this happen. In my experience, reluctance to share is inversely related to the probability of success. Share your idea with everybody possible and incorporate what you learn from their advice.
  2. Waiting until a product is perfect to release it. Waiting until a product is “ready” for the market probably means it has been over thought and overbuilt. Release, Refine, Repeat. Release, Refine, Repeat.
  3. Having a “Build it and They Will Come” mentality. If you are not talking to multiple customers before, during & after idea and product development, your risk of failure is exponentially higher than those who engage customers and incorporate feedback. See #1 and #2.


3 Funding Mistakes:

  1. Coins in HandsBelieving funding is necessary to start. The idea stage is highest risk; investors are seldom interested early on. Figure out how to move forward without funding for as long as possible.
  2. Failing to understand how funding works. You will waste significant time and resources absent an understanding of why and how banks lend money or why and how investors make investments. Become a serious student of money, lending, investing and investors. Applying what you learn will pay off.
  3. Building an unsustainable business model. Having a great product is useless without the foundation of a well thought out and realistic business model. A well-constructed business model will substantially improve your odds of success, so put the work in now.


You can read the more detailed Metropreneur article HERE. Thanks to Susan Post for great editing & encouragement as we put the article together! The latter half of the article highlights Central Ohio resources for entrepreneurs. I hope you have similar resources near where you live.

I'm interested in mistakes you've made and how you overcame them as you built a successful business. What can you add to the list of six mistakes and how did you overcome them?

Rick Coplin






Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net. “Idea Business Man” created by chanpipat; “A Lot Of Coins In Hands” created by anankkml.

I work alongside emerging companies on business formation, commercialization strategies, and capital planning. My passion is to find, support, mentor, coach, incubate, & fund start-ups engaged in innovative technology businesses.

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