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Published on Oct 9, 2013
It's daunting to incorporate a business or launch a new product for the first time. Any entrepreneurs who have made that leap will tell you how terrifying it truly is. When looking back, what would they do differently? Here are the top 5 common mistakes made by first-time entrepreneurs.1. Taking too Much Advice Many first-time entrepreneurs are so afraid of failure that they take too much advice from other sources. Every piece of feedback received must be weighed and measured for accuracy. Don't blindly follow another person's advice unless that person is a co-founder collaborating on the launch of the incorporation. Alternatively, it’s unwise to blindly launch a new product or service without receiving any advice at all. It’s crucial to find a balance; seek guidance from objective third parties, and never let the opinion of one or two prospective customers influence the direction of your business. 2. Toxic relationships While it's certainly important to ask for advice, you don't want to receive instruction from someone who seems knowledgeable but is in fact uneducated in your industry. Of course, brainstorming ideas and reviewing a business plan with a successful entrepreneur in your field is better than with a franchise owner in another field; the markets are different, which means the advice may not prove beneficial for your particular industry. If you're trying to navigate social media, you'll want a guru who knows the ins and outs of social media for your industry. The same holds true for marketing or any other section of the business. 3. Flying solo Before, during and after the incorporation of your business, you'll need to network with other business owners to promote your incorporated company and acquire customers. Other business owners are a valuable resource for cross-marketing, advice and vendor relations. Networking, and consequently word of mouth, will ensure that your name and business will receive additional exposure and referrals. 4. Too Many Features Your incorporated business will never be everything to every customer. Many new business owners try to provide several products with the mistaken assumption that this will help them reach more customers. Providing an abundance of products or services stretches the incorporation too thin. Instead, focus solely on one or two products or services, and make them the best available on the market by knowing them in and out and working to perfect them. 5. Ignoring Customer Feedback Surprisingly, many small business incorporation owners ignore feedback from customers immediately following the launch. Although research is conducted prior to a launch to determine target audiences, market size and so on, entrepreneurs must keep tabs on customer satisfaction once the product has been made widely available for the public. There are forums, blogs, and websites where customers can complain about poor product quality or satisfaction. If you're not tuned in, you could be missing an opportunity to tweak your product or services to better fit the needs of your customers.