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10 Biggest Mistakes of First Time Entrepreneurs

10 Biggest Mistakes of First Time Entrepreneurs

Ravi Kikan
Ravi is a Mentor at MentorEdge ( A CIIE- IIM-A initiative), A Knowledge driven enterprise. He is a Growthhacker for Startups, Online Community Builder, Startup Connector and B2B Marketing Expert.

You Tried, You Failed, So What…Try Smarter Next Time

Well again the mistakes are many and the list is endless:)

It is mostly the fear of failure that stops people to startup. Some people take too long to plan while the others keep dreaming about starting a new venture but hardly take the jump.

But hold on

There is another level of people “The Crazy Ones” whom we fondly call entrepreneurs who jump into creating ventures. If you ask them honestly “a success or a failure is not what they are looking at” , it is the adrenaline rush of creation that they run after.

But What if ?

The risk of starting up is mitigated with some humble and able suggestions by some global startup experts The only thing left then is the ability to execute the plan keeping those suggestions in mind.

While talking and discussing with some entrepreneurs, couple of common mistakes came into light:

Target Audience

Whether doing B2B or B2C the Target Audience has to be well defined and addressed to. The entire planning will be based on the same and keeping those demographics into mind and planning. You need to have a macro and micro details of the TA and how, where, when you will reach out to them.

Business Planning

Hold on, this isn’t just excel sheet compilation. This is your blueprint of your vision. Most people mistake a business plan to be a cost revenue projection however it is more than that. It is a blueprint of how will you progress, make money, run the company and grow it. It is also a voice to tell yourself and stakeholders that these are the pitstops that will lead to our final goal. Not to forget the final goal has to be defined and put into as a milestone. It has to cover both short term and long term objectives. You just don’t make the business plan for the investors, you make it for yourself. Period.

Founding Team

This is the most critical mistake. You cant run the Olympics 400 relay race with a sub standard running team. The selection of the founding team and the startup team is super critical. The right amount of passionate, likeminded, multitasking and domain experts need to come on board to help the startup sail smoothly. A bad team selection and the startup may just loose steam.

Related: 10 Mistakes That Kill Startups


Dude if you haven’t done both your primary and secondary research for your products and services you are hitting an alien market for sure. Startups who have spent time in understanding the market, TA, customers, competition, products & services have better chances of success.

Cash Flows

It is critical and not just essential. Inability to make cash flows for the next 24-36 months is a sheer indication that you haven’t done your base work correct. Create a list of cash inflows and outflows. This will ensure you dont run out of money and end up being stressed out and thereby losing focus from your main activities.

MVP Damn it

One of the most interesting observations made by entrepreneurs was this. People jump into the venture without testing the MVP in the market and taking feedbacks to improve it. This is mostly in the product run startups. In order to succeed the better option is to bring the MVP out asap.


Staying far from your customers is a BAD BET. You need to be in touch with your customers and try bouncing your ideas to them and taking their feedbacks. They are the ones who will finally buy your products or services. Keep a Tab on them.


Many new entrepreneurs spend much of their valuable time (which they can spend on building a MVP) on running behind investors and angels. Sometimes the disillusionment ruins the prospects of starting up. All alternate channels like debt, bootstrapping, crowd-funding are given back seat. They are essential not doubts but giving them no 1 priority unless you are not a hi tech disruptive startups may not make lot of sense to start with.

Mentor Support

Many new entrepreneurs do not use this path. Getting a mentor or a bunch of experts on board is a great option for them to avoid anything which they cannot foresee. A Mentor brings in his experience to handhold the venture and helps the entrepreneur fine tune his or her planning for a focussed approach.

GTM Planning

This is one of the most critical elements for failure of business. A well defined Go To Market Planning is super critical for a startup. The founding team has to have this planning under their belt to market. A poor GTM is a sure suicide for the products and services.

Also Read: Common Mistakes To Avoid While Starting Up Your Business

Some global startup experts have shared their valuable tips here: ” TOP MISTAKES “

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.