Being an aspiring entrepreneur is the beginning of an exciting journey with many difficulties. You’ll face challenges, insecurity, no support, confusion, hopelessness, failure, and maybe even identity crisis.

You’ll be stressed and broke for some time. If you manage to go through that period and become a newbie entrepreneur, there’s a lifestyle of financial freedom and meaningful work ahead of you.

However, there are plenty of mistakes any entrepreneur can make even after that initial stage. Let’s say you’ve failed a few times but are not making money online. You’re taking risks, building products, validating new ideas, landing clients, making customers happy, and managing your money. That’s enough to be able to call yourself an entrepreneur. No need to ever get to the part where you make $100,000 a month and deal with investors.

But even as a small business owner, you’ll face plenty of hardships along the way. Here are a few common mistakes you might want to avoid:

1. Paying too much attention to the competition.

The competition matters and there’s a lot you can learn from others making money in the same field. But spending too much time looking into their businesses means having less energy and focus for yours. Don’t make that mistake.

2. Not delegating.

Quitting While You're Ahead! Understanding the Limits of Natural Business Growth

As a self-made entrepreneur, you’re used to doing everything yourself. It might have been working out so far, but with that approach, you won’t be able to grow. Your personal development and business will suffer as a result.

It’s time to delegate, which is actually a pretty smart thing to do and the benefits are many. One quality of leaders is letting the experts do their jobs. Delegation also frees up your time and you can do things you enjoy. Or invest time in finding new clients, entering new markets, networking or working on new business ideas.

Even if you aren’t big enough to have a whole aspect of the actual work to delegate, a virtual assistant will do. Find one, train him and then let him manage your email, make appointments and calls, do research, organize your days, etc.

Later on, you can hire a freelance writer, web designer, social media manager, marketer, and more. The first hire is usually the hardest but it is a step you should take now.

3. Chasing popular niches.

The riches are in the niches. But with so many other entrepreneurs and Internet marketers, all popular markets are saturated. Exploring the big businesses that have been dominating a certain niche which you’re interested in might be tempting. You think you can do it too with enough hard work and a good strategy. But it’s simply not worth it.

It will take much less time to tap into niches with low competition.

Yes, finding them is a challenge and that’s where the work is done. But once found and after you create a bit of solid content, you can be the one dominating and making profits. Then, once you have a system that works, you can be doing that for tens of other markets. Each will be a separate income stream and that will make you more financially stable.

4. Noncompliance with quality standards.

Now that’s a legal mistake that can have serious consequences. While it’s not the most enjoyable aspect of building and running a business, going through all the requirements concerning customers, stakeholders, products, and more, is a must. Each and every organization or individual that’s a business entity is required to do that in advance and be prepared.

One of the most popular sets of international standards and most widely used management tools is ISO 9000.

To ease the process of going through all the necessary information, there are ready-made forms and checklists that are ISO 9001:2015 compliant, such as 9001Simplified.

These are just 4 of the common mistakes new entrepreneurs make but are a good start to re-consider your methods and change direction if necessary.