Trotse ondersteuners van jonge ondernemers sinds 2008

The biggest hiccups as a starting entrepreneur

Today I went to a new hair dresser to get my hair cut. She just started a business with her own unique concept. We were chit chatting about all kinds of topics, as you do sitting in that chair. I talked about what I do (being a head coach and partner at Team Academy) and what we do at Team Academy. Her question was: what is the biggest hiccup the students encounter when starting up a business?

So, what are these biggest hiccups?

Fear to start off with, fear of failure, fear to not measure up to expectations. I often hear: ‘I will not start until I have the best idea ever’. Well, okay… but what are you going to do in the meanwhile? Wait till you are hit by an idea? Learning to be an entrepreneur is learning from your mistakes. And you learn by allowing yourself to make mistakes. Is it nice to experience failure? Can you prevent making mistakes? Yes, by locking yourself up and doing nothing.

Failing and learning from this is a part of life. Part of learning. A toddler does not learn to walk and run without falling over. To make mistakes you have to get out of your own comfort zone and allow yourself to make them and, learn from them.

No market fit
As Steve Blank says, when you start up and work on your idea, you have to go out of the building and talk to possible clients. A lot of people start all by themselves, working on their ideas behind the computer, polishing them, afraid to share as their idea might be stolen or afraid to present their idea which is not yet fully finished. Feedback can be very scary (which taps into 1 again). With no feedback you can work on the best idea ever, but is this really what the world is waiting for?

So, talk to potential customers, talk to your family and friends. Find out if they are as enthusiastic as you about your plan. This already will help you a lot in starting up as an entrepreneur.



No plan
Fantastic, I love do-ers. I am an absolute do-er myself. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well a do-er is indeed great. Just do it, is a great quote and great mentality. However, a sound foundation written down in a plan, like the business model canvas, is a good base to start from before you do.

A business model canvas gives you insights in what to expect, what issues you can come across and can tackle upfront. You check your assumption via research, talk to your potential customers to get feedback and insights on your plan. Overall, a good plan can help you to prevent and overcome hiccups as entrepreneur and even can help you get funding for your best plan ever.

Sales, sales and sales….
When you want to become an entrepreneur, you have to be able to sell. You have to be able to sell your products and represent your company. And for some people sales is a big thing.

I can tell you: sales is fun, as I like sales. Done it for years and even still sometimes miss it. Sales to me being playful. Everyone can understand that when you see sales as scary, you most definitively will not sell anything. As when you do not believe in your own sales skills, who will?

To reassure you: no, we do not let you handle all this fear by yourself and yes, we are there to help you to learn from your mistakes.

Marjolein Bakker
Head Coach and Partner at Team Academy Amsterdam

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