There is this opinion that founding a startup and turning it into a billion-dollar company is the easiest thing in the world. All you need is a great idea and everything else will fall in place. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, for every startup that makes it, there are hundreds which fail, often within the first few months of operation. The thing is that there are so many mistakes startup owners can make that it often becomes near impossible to avoid them all.
Today, we will be talking about the most common mistakes that startup founders make and how you can avoid them in case you are planning on launching a startup of your own.
1. Flying Solo
Inspired by a few much-publicized success stories where a single person launched a successful startup, a great number of new startup owners and future startup owners decide to take on this entire undertaking alone. They may be afraid that someone else will steal their idea or they simply think that they have everything they need to succeed. In more cases than not, this is a huge mistake. There are so many aspects to running a business that very few people are actually capable of going it alone.
The easiest way to avoid this mistake is to find someone whose skills and knowledge complement yours and who you trust enough to include in your new endeavor.
2. No Clear-cut Business Plan
There is a reason why business plans exist. They are not something people invented so that they have more to do when starting a business. A proper and comprehensive business plan is the cornerstone of every business. Without it, you are pretty much flying blind.
In order to formulate a business plan that will work, you will want to understand where your company will stand among the competition, what its strengths are, what the values of it and how much success you can expect. It is also quite important not to be overoptimistic when formulating your business plan. Be as realistic and as brutal as you can.
3. Wrong Timing
Timing is very important in business and when launching a startup, it becomes even more pertinent. Some might say that hitting the right timing is essential for starting a business that will reap success and that will grow to its full potential.
In order to determine the right timing, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. For one, you need to observe and follow the overall economic situation in your country (or the world, depending on your startup). You also need to see how fierce the competition is and whether it might be better to wait a bit before you roll out your product or service. Also, never come out with a product (service) until you are certain it is the best it can be.
4. Hiring Improperly
Your startup will need employees, sooner or later. A huge mistake that many startups make is that they hire people too early, putting a strain on their finances; or they hire too late or too little, demanding too much from their existing staff, overworking them and compromising the future of their company.
It is essential that you know when to hire and how many people to hire. It is probably a good idea to sit with an accountant or someone who knows finances better who will be able to tell you how many people you can take on. Also, it is always a good idea to read up on business articles that cover the hiring techniques and processes to learn how to find all the right people.
5. Being Stuck in your Ways
Sometimes it is difficult to realize and acknowledge that there might be aspects of your startup that are not going in the right direction. Often, this entails admitting to your own mistakes and some people are not really ready to do this. Because of this, they keep on doing the same thing despite the fact that it is very obvious it is not working out.
The easiest way to avoid this is to be realistic and honest with yourself. Are there obvious problems with your startup? Is there a possibility that your business plan was not formulated the right way? Perhaps the market circumstances have changed? Acknowledge these.