Start-ups are difficult. Vehemently difficult. If you manage to get in a room of entrepreneurs, the flow of topics goes from the running of their respective businesses to the very first investment that they made, the very first wrong decision that changed their lives and so on. But what everyone does not tell you is the method to absorb mistakes and learn from them. Everyone has to have their share of mistakes to be a master in their fields. “It’s human to err.” But there are some grave mistakes that one should avoid while starting up a business or it takes immense labour (mental and physical) to get back to square one from negative points.
1. Stressing on technology more than human brain
Humans are nothing without technology today. And so is the opposite true. This works two ways. First, the brain of your employees. Technology was invented out of necessity. Today it has lost its purpose. But that does not change how the world works. If you stress on technology more than you trust your employees and their ideas, you are definitely committing a great blunder at any point of your career. Much worse, if you are a start-up. It would make you lose good and trusted employees who would have helped you build your company very well had you trusted their minds more. Now, the second part. The authors have invested years making their innovation thus accept it’s as convincing to others as it is to them. It isn’t. It’s not what the innovation can do; it’s what it can accomplish for the client. Solutions are sold, not technology.
2. Trying to do everything alone
Setting up a business is like building a house. Except ideas substitute bricks and mental labour take the place of physical. And doing everything alone is not only a bad idea for a novice, but it’s a grave idea for people who are start-ups. Even experienced people while opening a branch or a complete new business, do not do it alone. There are very few start-ups who found success working alone. At that point there’s a need to advertise the arrangement and assemble the item or administration. Cash must be raised to dispatch the start-up. As a rule, it’s a fantastically overwhelming to handle this single-handedly. A little assistance from companions and expert associates can help in propelling the start-up.
3. Strictly following the business plan and not being flexible
Having a rock solid business plan and good business acumen plays a critical role in determining whether a startup is going to be successful. After all, a business plan serves as the guiding light to all and any startup, sending them in the right direction. However, forcing yourself to adhere to your business plan without any flexibility can be a real company killer. You might have read in management books that you should always make a plan and stick to it. The problem is that it doesn’t work out so well practically, and one should be willing to flex from the proposed norms, because such rigidness is never good for young startups. So, make sure you incorporate some breathing space within your business plan, allowing you to adapt with the changing business environment.
4. Allowing Investors to Manage Startup
When it comes to startups, having money is probably the beginning and end of everything. This is why it is important to handle the money appropriately. Left in the wrong hands, a startup might end up overspending, underspending, or not spending at all! Believe it when you’re told that an investor is an investor, and should not serve any other purpose in a company, especially when it comes to handling money or managerial functions. The basic idea is that an investor has decided to work with you because the only thing they are capable of offering is their money. So, if a company allows its investors to manage a company, they probably won’t have a clue of what they’re doing. So, it’s best to leave the managing to real managers and just let the investors count their dividends!
5. Do not have a clear vision and purpose of the product
A product’s features are meant to attract users to buy it, and its benefits are what cause consumers to emotionally attach themselves to these products. But, if you don’t have a clear idea of what your product is and what it can do for customer, it makes it difficult for a business to deliver value. So, your startup’s product or service has offer the best of both worlds.
6. To create the same product as your competitors have without significant advantages
Most of the time, users are exposed to a number of products that are similar in size, shape and even function. And almost 70% of the devices or appliances that we buy are nothing more that imitations of some existing company’s products or services, making it a highly-competitive market. And no one feels the heat of competition more than a startup. So, you’re going to need something that is going to have to be truly unique or functional, if not entirely now.
7. To think first of all about profit, not about customers
Almost every company that has ever failed has done so because they overlooked one major factor, their own customers! It’s not that making money isn’t important, but it would be wise to remember that a company only exists to serve its customers. And a common mistake made by startups is that the founders usually lose focus on what’s important. So, don’t worry about your business model just yet, and focus more in dealing with your customers and maintaining relations with them. Because if your customers don’t like you, no one will!
8. The lack of enthusiasm
We’ve all heard about that bat-shit crazy entrepreneur who put all his time, money and dedication into a startup and eventually had a spectacular burnout. But how often do you read about that startup that had so much potential but never reached it due to lack of interest by its founders. The most common type of mistake is not the famous crash and burn, but of the guy who was too busy doing something else that he had to eventually abandon his project. If you’re in business, you have to be entirely in business, not working a day job and running a startup on the side.
9. To launch start-up that people don’t need
When launching a startup, there are certain things that you just have to consider. For example, timing the launch of a new winter ware product with the winter season, or selling ice in the summer, or launching a business that people will actually use and gradually depend upon. You need to make sure you’re your business, products and services are something that will actually add value to a customer’s life.
10. The inability to attract investment
Starting a business, whether physical or virtual, requires that you look beyond the statistics and other paper-based data, which is important because you’re only going to convince someone to invest if you know everything there is to know about your proposed business. And failing to attract investors is one of the most basic mistakes that a startup can make, possibly leaving you high and dry. If you really can’t make a good case for your business, you could always woo your existing investor, if any.