Launching a startup is not easy – at any phase.
Founders have many things to think about and decisions to make, most of which need to be made on a dime.
It is not rare for entrepreneurs to buckle under the pressure and start to make poor decisions, some of which set their plans back or critically hurt the company’s potential.
There is not some magic solution to obtaining small startup success.
However, one can avoid several common and debilitating errors countless other new and seasoned business owners make regularly; mistakes that lead to very negative and at times game-ending results for their companies.
Here are seven mistakes to avoid as a newly founded startup.
1. Do Not Fear Failure.
Potential entrepreneurs most commonly fall victim to the fear of failure. Failing is what helps people succeed at some point.
To be successful, you must overcome your fear of failure.
This quality of facing one’s fears and jumping right in is a very positive quality for business people to have, especially in the world of startups, where risk-taking is the name of the game.
But not only that, one should be able to know how to learn from their mistakes and pick up right where they left off.
2. Overlooking the Planning Phase.
Most people find planning of any kind to be tedious and mistakenly think they can “wing it.”
However, without a thoroughly thought out plan, one ends up working in the dark and at the whims of chance.
3. Not Setting Clear Goals.
People set goals to give them a direction towards an end – that end being a successful business.
Goals act as a sort of GPS that keeps one on course throughout the course of day-to-day operations.
Furthermore, applying “smart” goals to a business plan work by allowing one to identify where they want to head while outlining specific steps that they hope to take in order to get where they want to be.
4. End Up Misinterpreting the Market.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of going through with the launch of their business before fully grasping the market.
Whether it could be considered misinterpreting, underestimating, or overestimating certain aspects of their target demographic or poorly measuring the demand, a misinterpretation of a market can potentially kill a business before it gets going.
5. Allowing the Business to Get Behind On Debts.
Whether it be credit or tax-related, when a company allows debt to get out of control, it can significantly set the entire operation back to square one.
The most detrimental of the two for any small startup is falling behind on taxes. Once one finds themselves in such a situation, it is vital to tax debt relief before things get too far out of hand.
6. Trying to Do Too Much on Your Own.
Small business owners may start off doing a lot on their own, and many are proud to be looked upon as a “Jack of all trades,” but it does not have to be that way.
Further, it is not efficient. Employing a well-strategized delegation of tasks is the best, tried and proven method of business building.
In some cases, one need not hire or contract human help but rather the assistance of various digital programs.
In addition to that, not all human help must be on site; there are plenty of freelancers and remote services that handle everything from accounting, website development, logistics, among other things.
7. Not Pacing the Company’s Rate of Growth.
When choosing an investor, be sure to pick them based on their principles rather than the amount of money they are offering.
No one is saying money is not important – money to a business is very important. However, some investors may have unreasonable expectations of you and your company.
In many cases, this translates to them pushing you to expand your business before you or your business is ready for such.
If it turns out you cannot deliver on their expectations, the investor(s) may end up holding you liable, as they will view it as a breach in the supposed agreement.