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5 Common Mistakes That First-Time Solopreneurs Should Try to Avoid
  • 12 April 2017
  • Eric Michaels

5 Common Mistakes That First-Time Solopreneurs Should Try to Avoid

As Forbes reports, Thomas Edison famously said "I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work." These types of quotes from famous historical figures can be truly inspirational in the early days of your business. After all, you can learn a lot from the mistakes that you make. Similarly, by taking note of the failures that others in your industry have faced, you can work to overcome these challenges in your own business. Here are five common mistakes that first-time solopreneurs should try to avoid.

1. Aiming too high with the first product

Shooting for the moon is admirable, but it is important to remember that you have rent and electric bills to pay in the coming months. Try starting out with a product that establishes your brand but does not take every bit of energy and money you can raise to produce it. If you try to reinvent the wheel on your first attempt, you could end up losing your company before you are able to introduce your product to the market. Try to remember that establishing a business that runs smoothly often takes a certain level of practice and repetition. As such, you may want to start by launching a simple product or service that fulfills a definite need. Once you achieve a certain level of success, you can invest in one of your more adventurous, exciting ideas.

2. Wasting money

As many small businesses struggle financially in their first year, you may want to hold off on investing in an office or a company car. After all, these types of expenses can drag your young business down before it has a chance to truly develop. When you launch with limited means, you should try to take a bare-bones approach to your expenses. As a best practice, you should try to limit your major spending to resources you need for research, development, or support.

3. Establishing prices that are too high

Unfortunately, many small business owners start out with a certain level of debt, due largely to the variety of different expenses involved in establishing a new brand. Many solopreneurs may respond to this scenario by pricing their first products on par with their major competitors. However, small business owners who go this path are ignoring the place of a new company in the marketplace. After all, before consumers trust your brand and are willing to pay the full price for your products, you have to win them over. If you price your goods too highly, you may turn off potential customers and prevent your company from growing at the most crucial time.

4. Forgetting to seek out legal guidance

When you are launching a new business, you should work with a legal professional to ensure that you are doing all you can to protect your brand and stay compliant with the latest rules and regulations. For example, a reputable attorney can help you register a trademark for your company name. By investing in the necessary guidance from the start, you can avoid several legal nightmares down the line.

5. Tackling too much busy work

As a solopreneur, you likely relish every opportunity to work in the trenches. While this passion can make all the difference to your overall success, it is important for you to save your energy for the truly important tasks and strategic decisions that come with running your own business. As such, you may want to look for ways to outsource any "busy work" or specialized tasks that may require a certain level of expertise you do not possess. For example, when you are ready to launch your first ad campaign, you may want to refer to third-party providers to test out different direct mail solutions and social media tactics before spending big. For day-to-day office or administrative tasks, delegate.

First-time solopreneurs are bound to make some mistakes. By making an effort to learn from your own mistakes—and avoid the challenges that your contemporaries have faced—you can improve your chances of success.

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