analyticalStarting out as a new entrepreneur can be difficult. You probably have dreams of success and stability, but chances are, you will have a few speed bumps along the way. Many individuals have worked hard and “made it,” but it wasn’t because of luck. These people paid the price and were willing to work for what they received. But even more important, these people did their homework and made crucial decisions that helped, rather than hindered, their business success. What were these moves that led to entrepreneurial victory? Here are some common mistakes people make and a bit of entrepreneur advice to help you get on the right track.

Lacking a Clear Focus

Sometimes, entrepreneurs lack a clear focus. In other words, they are unsure about where they want to go with their business or what the best route would be. They begin and simply hope it will work out for the best. This almost never works out (unless you are one lucky person.) You should create a solid business plan from the very beginning to improve your chances of success in your business pursuits. Put your ideas and goals on paper. Then revise and revise again. Once you have a solid plan, you are more likely to do well in your goals, because you actually know what they are.

Forgetting the Importance of the Customer

When you’re just starting out, you have a lot to do. You are worried about creating procedures, hiring employees, ordering products, and several other things. While these efforts are essential, they can also lead to distraction. You must remember that the most important area to focus your attention is on the customer. You want to improve your customer base each and every day. And when you do get a customer, make sure that customer feels appreciated. After all, the customer is always right. If you don’t have a happy customer base, chances are that you won’t have a company for too long. Prioritize.

Underestimating the Power of Online Marketing

In today’s day and age, there is no better way to market than online. It is incredibly inexpensive (and often free) and can reach millions of people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to expand your customer base and business relations, set up solid pages on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also choose to make video clips for YouTube or create a blog.

Being Closed-Minded

Be open-minded. If you really hope to be successful in your business pursuits, you cannot be closed-minded and believe your way is always the “right” way. The fact is that, often, multiple ways will work just fine. Listen to your employees. Do additional research. And change your procedures, products, or anything else that might not be working if you can see a better way. Being flexible will definitely lead to more success for you and your business.

Believing You Know It All

Another mistake some new entrepreneurs make is believing they know everything. Or perhaps they are just too embarrassed to ask for help. Truthfully, most successful entrepreneurs have asked others who know, namely experienced business people and other entrepreneurs, their secrets and practices. There is no shame in it. Ask entrepreneur advice from others who are more experienced, what they did to attain success and what you can do to improve your practices.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but it is possible if you do your homework first. Learning from others who have done it and being smart in your decisions can lead to great success in your business pursuits.

About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finances. He has received many accolades for his work in teaching and small business consulting.