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Why Entrepreneurs Fail 3 tips to help future entrepreneurs There is an old cliché, quite often used to motivate athletes, that hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard. It is a sentiment that also applies away from the arena or stadium, especially in the world of small business. Starting your own company can be a daunting task, and it takes much more than just a great idea to make a successful run at being your own boss. Trying to monetize that great idea is akin to navigating an obstacle course of unknown challenges and hardships laying in wait to trip you up. And just like in sports, it is the entrepreneur who is willing to put in the time, effort and hard work who is more likely to succeed over the new start up that thinks the idea is enough and simply sits back and waits for the business to take off. As disheartening as this may be for the failed entrepreneur, each business that comes up short did so for a reason, and understanding those reasons is a key for people who are interested in investing the time, energy and money into building their own enterprise. As these hard workers work their way through the obstacle course to success, they can learn lessons from the failures that line the path. Know your customers It is almost too simple a concept to mention, but it is surprising the number of businesses fail because they simply don’t understand their customers. More often than not, the entrepreneur is so focused on the product or service they want to sell that they neglect to consider what it is their potential customers are looking for. It is great to love your own idea, but you need to be able to disas-sociate yourself from your genius and take the time to consult with consumers. Find out if they are ready to buy your item as is, or if you need to make adjustments. You most certainly want to have the answer to this question before you invest too much time or money developing an idea that does not capture the interest of your customers. Don’t be afraid to seek out help Forging out on your own can be intimidating, but while the busi-ness (and money invested in it) may be yours, you are not alone in this venture. Almost every municipality offers resources to help small businesses and entrepreneurs at all stages of developing their idea. Entrepreneur centres not only offer valuable connections in the local business com-munity, but they also offer experience and expertise that can help grow your business. If you feel like you’re struggling, seek out these organizations and ask for help. Know when to pivot Building a business from scratch is not a linear process. As mentioned before, it is like winding your way through an obstacle course. When you set out, you may have thought you had a bulletproof idea, but reality is proving otherwise. While self-assessment and critique is difficult, it is worthwhile to take a step back, assess your approach to date and determine if you need to change course and try a different approach. This could mean running your business differently or radically changing your business model to take advantage of one element that is achieving success. It may be a humbling exercise, but when your results are falling short of your targets and you are losing money, it is a worthwhile one. When fostering your entrepreneurial spirit, keep these failures top of mind. They can help safeguard your great idea from landing on the scrap heap of unrealized potential and guide you towards the successful path through the obstacle course. LE By Denise McClure Denise McClure is the manager of the City of Brampton Entrepreneur Centre. Denise has over 16 years of progressive marketing experience in consumer and small business marketing. Before joining the Brampton Entre-preneur Centre in 2013 as the Manager of Entrepreneurial Services, Denise launched the successful City of Brampton Economic Development brand, B…more. Denise is a partner in a successful family business. Connect Denise McClure Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 01.2016 Submit your Articles 9


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