Fixing common mistakes entrepreneurs make

Knowing where others have tripped up will save you a lot of agita.

Forewarned is forearmed. Here are four common mistakes and how to fix them.

Mistake: Spending too much time on a business plan.

Fix: Test your concept with a minimum viable product (MVP) -- a product with just the core features that allow it to be deployed, and little more. Test it among early adopters, who are often more forgiving, likely to give feedback, and able to understand a product's vision from an early version.

Mistake: Requiring a nondisclosure agreement from potential investors and partners.

Fix: Don't give away your secret sauce, but you need to talk up your idea to attract customers, investors, suppliers and employees. Investors get pitched all the time and many ideas are similar to other ideas, so they are highly unlikely to sign a nondisclosure and risk any potential legal entanglements from your conversation.

Mistake: If you build it, customers will come.

Fix: You've got to market your product for people to know about it. You could have a great product and amazing service, but if no one hears about it, the inventory will sit on the shelves.

Mistake: Targeting everyone.

Fix: It's hard to be all things to all people. To help you focus, concentrate on a niche segment of the market and develop products and services that address the pain point in that niche.

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