Every startup in the world is founded with hopes of success and profits. But not all live up to these expectations. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the ones that succeed learn from the mistakes of others and take every step wisely. Whereas, those who fail think they already know everything.
If you, too, want to prevent your startup from crumbling even before it has stood on its feet, it’s high time that you learn about the common mistakes that can wreck your startup and focus on avoiding those as often as you can. Below is a list of such mistakes. Go through it, and you’ll definitely pick up some gems to help you along the way.
Mistake 1: Doing Everything Alone
Running a startup is not an easy task. There are hundreds of ups and downs, and you can never be a master of several things together. Therefore, if you try to go about running your startup all by yourself, you’re only gonna fall on the floor (face first).
When running a startup, it’s very important to have at least one person, other than yourself, by your side so as to make sure that you don’t have to face everything alone. Not only can a partner help you run the business, but they can also provide moral support during hard times.
Mistake 2: Not Having A Business Plan
Running a business without a plan is just like going somewhere without knowing the directions. You’ll end up getting lost, tired and frustrated. Before launching your startup, it’s important to have a plan in place so that you can reach your goals faster and more effectively.
To have a clear business plan in place, you should start by defining things like the purpose of the company, your potential customers, the direction desired for the company, the competitors, the mission and values of the company and the way to measure success.
You don’t have to create a full-fledged business plan like you would in business school, but it’s always nice to have a good starting point and directions to move forward.
Mistake 3: Mismanaging Finances
Raising funds for a startup is a big deal. But once you have the funds, it’s an even bigger deal to spend the money wisely.
One of the biggest mistakes startup owners make is spending too much on unnecessary things. For example, some entrepreneurs get tempted to hire a lot of employees just because they think it’s necessary, whereas, in reality, only a few employees are needed to properly run a startup in the beginning.
Be careful in deciding where to spend money. Running a startup can bring up many unexpected expenses, and without adequate funds, your business will be very likely to crumble in such situations.
Mistake 4: Playing Safe Often
Another common mistake that leads entrepreneurs to failure is not thinking big enough and always playing safe. By targeting a small niche, you might be able to avoid competition, but at the same time, you’ll be reaching a very small segment of market, no matter how great your product might be.
When you create something good, competition is inevitable. So, you better face it with grace, rather than trying to hide under a hood.
Mistake 5: Launching at the Wrong Time
Timing is very important when launching a product. Launching too soon or too late can cause a lot of problems and sometimes even lead to failure.
Make sure that you launch at the right time. You might be tempted to launch a product before the right time, out of sheer excitement. But until a product is completely ready to go in the market, launching it is only going to bring worse consequences.
Another mistake some startup owners make is launching at the same time as other successful entrepreneurs in their industry. This often proves to be a huge mistake, since all eyes are on the companies that are already established, and the newcomers get easily overlooked. As a result, all the money and effort spent on marketing and launching the product goes down the drain. So, it’s very important to choose the time of your launch wisely in order to get maximum benefits.
Mistake 6: Not Having a Professionally Designed Website
Internet is the fastest way of reaching potential customers today. And any startup that does not have an online presence is missing out on big opportunities.
Startup founders should focus on building their online presence right from day 1. This starts with having a professionally designed website that showcases your expertise and presents your company in the best way possible. For example, this Pakistani property listing site still has the same design that it had on the day it was first made live. Look at how these guys have focused on elegance and professionalism since day 1. Because at the end of the day, visual appeal is the first thing that matters to most visitors.
Mistake 7: Not Recruiting Wisely
Another big mistakes startup founders commonly make is hiring too soon. When a company is founded, there isn’t a need to hire a lot of people just because you think you should. More employees should be added to the company only when there is genuinely a need and your business can’t run without the person you’re going to hire. Starbucks was founded by three former students from the University of San Francisco. They didn’t hire a ton of people on day 1, but instead, scaled up slowly and added more people to their team with time.
Also, make sure to tweak your hiring process from time to time. This will help ensure that your business doesn’t suffer after a bad recruitment choice.
Mistake 8: Getting Influenced by Others Quickly
Last, but not the least, don’t listen too much to others. Yes, advice and feedback from others can help greatly in improving your business, but taking criticism very seriously can also harm your business. Therefore, be very careful about who you listen to and whose advice you follow.
So, this was the list of 8 mistakes you should avoid at all costs in order to prevent your startup from failing. If there’s anything that you think should be added to this list, let us know in the comments below!
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.