Turning an idea into a thriving business requires a vast investment of time, money, energy, care, and devotion. Your business is the sum total of months of preparation, perspiration, and determination. You want it to do well. More than that, you crave your startup will take off. You need it to.
There is no reason it shouldn’t. You can avoid falling into many of the startup traps by learning from the failures of others. Here are the six most common mistakes startups make, complete with information on how to avoid them.
Just under half of all startups fail because they start a business before they have clearly identified a market for the product or service. If there is no market, there will be no demand and no sales. Before you pour your time and money into your business idea, ensure there is a market for your product or service and identify your potential customers that will benefit from it.
Not Investing in Marketing Early
Nearly half of all small businesses do not have a website, despite the web being the main way consumers find products or services. In the twenty-first century, if your business does not have a website, consumers will not find it.
Gone are the days of ‘build it and they will come’. Marketing is essential for building brand awareness and getting your product out to the masses. Marketing is often overlooked when businesses are starting out. There is a myriad of initial expenses that are all competing for limited funds. But it pays to save some cash for marketing and drumming up interest and anticipation for your launch.
Doing Too Much
New business owners often try to take on too much of the workload. It is understandable. Your startup is your baby. It sat incubating in your brain for months and now, as you deliver it to the world, you want to make sure everything is perfect and provide it with the best start to its business life.
But giving it the best start means delegating. There will be some tasks that others can do better than you. The key is identifying those tasks and offloading them to other people. To stay on top of all the tasks your employees and contractors are working on, check out the cool features of this scheduling software.
Going with the Wrong Investors
Many startup founders rush into bed with investors. You should be eager to snap up outside capital, but money isn’t everything. If your investor is going to meddle in your business’s affairs and restrict your freedom to run the company as you see fit, you need to be sure you are getting expert input and value from their investment.
No Written Contracts
When those early customers come trickling in, the excitement builds, and it can be tempting to jump straight to work. However, if a disagreement over the services provided develops at a later date, untangling the responsibilities of each party without a written contract is difficult and legal troubles come with a hefty price tag.
It pays to take the time to hash out a written contract, with clear indications of what is expected of both parties, before any work is undertaken. There are plenty of online resources available that offer contract templates for a wide variety of services and industries.
Once you launch and your product or service take off, you will need to hire more employees. It might be tempting to rush the hiring process in order to scale up quickly. But taking on too many workers too soon can backfire for a number of reasons.
Firstly, many entrepreneurs hire full-time workers when they really need part-time workers, crippling themselves with large staff overheads. Another common mistake when hiring is to pay too much attention to credentials. Your worker may have impressive qualifications and work experience, but if they are not the right fit for the company’s culture and values, they can do your brand more harm than good.
Avoid the common traps and give your startup the best possible start by learning from the failure of others. Keep these six problems in mind as you expand, and you will put your startup on the path to success.