August 1, 2018


What are the Typical Mistakes Startups Make?

By Pavel Kukhnavets

Starting a business is not an easy thing. Thinking about running your startup, you’ll face many challenges and will have so many things to think about and decisions to make.

You may have brilliant ideas and strategies but they do not mean anything if you don’t know how to set them in motion in the right way. The main idea is – launching a startup requires great precision and some efforts.

That’s why it’s crucial for startups to learn to recognize the traps and evade them, ultimately turning them to advantages.

There may be an external pressure that can cause you to make a poor decision and hurt your potential for success.

There is no ideal solution. However, you may be aware of several common and dangerous mistakes and try to avoid them.

So what are the typical mistakes that may kill startups at the very start? I’ve combined them into the short list:

Unclear and unrealistic goals

Goals matter. Right goals can give you direction when you first start your business. They will keep you on track during daily operations. Do not invent the wheel, just a popular SMART goals concept that will help you to identify where you want to go and outline specific steps that you will take to get there.

Skipping planning

Planning any first project requires a serious approach and some efforts. This planning may be tedious, but without a clear plan for your startup, you will be operating in the dark.

It should include business idea research and market potential. A financial plan and marketing plan are the most important ones.

Too big founding team

When the founding team consists of too many members it can also lead to not desired results.

Giving equity is a good way to motivate more individuals when a startup is lean on cash.

Too much equity that too many shareholders may have can be problematic. And even too many team members can be problematic in the beginning.

No tech-oriented members among founders

Having technical founders is crucial for startups. If you have no them, there will likely be significant costs in paying for tech development and maintenance.

In fact, a company may not survive without this hard cost.

Weak marketing

If you want to generate real revenues, you should start with realistic goals, a smart plan, and an aggressive product strategy.

It’s not a solution for a startup to rely on paid advertising. Usually, it has only one or two channels to use. You should be able to generate sales regardless of fundraising success and profits.

Not knowing your customers

Startups should always have a clear vision of their ideal customers/users. It’s a vital part of any successful marketing campaign.

You should do detailed market research to identify who you are trying to reach, where you can find your potential customers and how they will react to all your activities.

Too high overhead

It’s time to worry if overhead is already high or the profit margins are going to be too small. Tend to control costs better than the competitors.

Avoiding innovations and new technologies

New technology can provide new opportunities and any innovation may help you to do your work more efficiently and even help to save your money.

They may be intimidating and require some time to learn and implement. However, an unwillingness to adapt to tech advances may hurt your business.

Not making a commitment

Startups require some important success-oriented character traits, including dedication and a serious sense of commitment.

The owners of startups need to be willing to make sacrifices and face problems if they want their businesses to be effective.

I guess there is no business without mistakes. The main idea is to be aware of them and consistently work to make smart decisions in your startup campaign.

If you can deal with such mistakes, success will be definitely within your reach.

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