Picture this, you put everything you have, your money, time and energy into your startup only to watch it crumble within a few months of operation. This is a harsh and sad reality of most startups.
Every day someone opens up a new business without knowing the consequences and the risks involved. Many mistakes are made along the way that hurt the business gravely. You should learn from the mistakes of others so that you don’t repeat the same, as some mistakes are too big for your startup to bounce back from.
Being an entrepreneur is no walk in the park! It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted too. Good thing is, some failures can be avoided. If you can avoid and learn from the mistakes of other entrepreneurs then you increase your chances of success.
On that note, let’s look at some common mistakes that startups make:
- Not Paying for expertise/ Failing to enlist the help of a professional
Your startup is generating some profits but instead of using some of those profits to hire expertise that is needed, you decide it will save you cash if you did the work yourself. So, you’re willing to handle multiple roles simultaneously and ultimately turn a blind eye to, for instance, some legal issues that may contribute to your startups’ downfall.
Every part of your business should be done expertly, Paula Andruss in her article on Entrepreneur states. You may decide to do your own taxes and even draft your own contracts in an effort to save that coin. But this is a grave mistake as you cannot be good at everything.
A startup has many responsibilities that keep growing and over time, you will not be able to cope with everything. It will definitely be a recipe for disaster.
There are forms an attorney can fill out for you and laws that he will understand that you won’t. Proper handling of legal matters from the beginning will save you from a myriad of future expenses. Hiring a professional accountant is important too. As he will help you with things like tax filings, financing, etc.
For example, if you’re a one-person business, you might think that there’s no need to complicate things by forming a corporation or forming an LLC. Well, you might know that this is actually a good thing as it protects your personal assets against creditors.
You wouldn’t want a scenario where your creditors come to claim your house would you? So, it’s important to get advice from a lawyer. It’s good to hire an attorney to watch out for you.
Even though you can find a lot of information online its best to have a professional who understands business and legal terms that could prevent you from making costly mistakes.The best thing to do is earn profits that will allow you to comfortably hire someone to help you manage the business or even outsource some of the work to professionals.
- Fearing failure
No entrepreneur wants to hear the word failure. Failure is a scary word. Most entrepreneurs fear failure so much that it acts as a barrier to taking crucial risks that could, in the long run, be very beneficial to their startups. The fear of failing can only pull your startup behind because you will be scared to take steps that have a potential to uplift your startup.
It’s all about mindset. When something doesn’t work as you had envisioned you should take it as a learning opportunity. It will hurt but you would have learned something and you can apply that lesson and move forward.
- Seeking advice from many mentors
I know this seems a bit contradictory as you are told that no man is an island and that you should seek advice from others when it comes to your startup. As they would have more experience and can help you validate your ideas.
Problem with seeking advice from so many different experienced entrepreneurs is that you will end up delaying your business decision-making process.
It’s important that you seek advice from experts for your business. But, don’t consult every Tom, Dick, and Harry. When it comes to business, it’s important to have a single advisory board that you meet after every few days.
- Not paying attention to upcoming marketing trends
Most startups tend to take time before they can adapt to some of the emerging market trends. A good example is Influencer marketing trends. Most Startups make the mistake of not engaging influencers. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing is the fastest growing online customer acquisition method.
- Not Saving for a rainy day
You never know when your business will hit a low peak. Most startups make the grave mistake of not having an emergency fund. This means that your business will not be able to bounce back.
In other words, it’s called not preparing for the worst. You need to keep an emergency fund for your startup for the unforeseen.
- Choosing the wrong team
This will be very costly to your startup. It will cost in terms of lost income, time and also lack of morale. Most startups tend to pick a team based mostly on friendship.
Past experience working with your team in stressful times is what is important as opposed to just being friends. You have to carefully pick your team.
- Lacking a social-media presence
In this day and age, if your startup avoids social media, then that’s where you’re going wrong. Nowadays, lack of a social media presence is one of the biggest mistakes a Startup can make. According to ONS statistics, only 60% of businesses are using social media.
Lacking a social-media presence is a recipe for disaster. According to this article, 90% of American adults have a smartphone. This means that a large portion of your target market can be found online.
It’s crucial that you know that the process of building a social media presence will take some time. Don’t go in expecting immediate results, but it will pay off, finally, all you have to do is gain followers and engage them. For example, facebook marketing is helping startups gain recognition and so it’s something to look into.
- Failing to plan
As they say, “When you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” You need a business plan to act as a guide to your startup and its growth. Without a business plan, you will struggle to make decisions, get loans etc. When you plan this will mean that you won’t be stuck because you will have a roadmap.
It’s safer when you don’t expect too much from your startup. You will always make mistakes. What you need to do is learn from them. The key is learning from your own mistakes and from the mistakes of others before you. That way you will save yourself a lot of cash and heartache!
Now that you know about the mistakes above, avoid them at all costs as this will help you go a long way towards growing.