Having a great idea isn’t enough to bring it into the world. You have to verify the demand for the product and do the right things to introduce it to new people.
That’s why it’s no surprise that companies have a hard time surviving. Reports show that 50% of companies don’t survive more than five years.
You shouldn’t just decide to start a new business without learning how to do it right. Keep reading to discover seven startup founder mistakes that will hurt your chances of success.
Table of Contents
1. Staying Attached to One Idea
It’s easy to get tunnel vision as a startup founder. You believe you have a fantastic product that everyone needs to buy. But even if you have something valuable to offer, your ideal customers may not share your sentiment.
That’s why you can’t get attached to one idea when you start a company. You’ll need to shop around your idea to see what people think and determine if they will buy.
You’ll need to modify or scrap your idea if you don’t get a good response. You may still be able to make changes to make your product more attractive. However, you must be willing to let go of your original vision if it’s something people don’t want.
This also doesn’t apply to the period when you’re getting started. You’ll need to adapt your vision constantly to respond to changing market conditions.
2. Underestimating Startup Costs
It’s easy to underestimate how much a business will cost. You may have a general idea of what things cost in the best-case scenario. But with how much friction you encounter in business, your costs can significantly exceed what you plan.
Be sure you look at common business expenses and see which ones apply to you. Try to create a larger budget than you believe you’ll need. From there, you can look for the best prices and try to come in under budget as much as possible.
This will help you manage your expectations and still have enough room to pay for more products and services without blowing all your money.
3. Not Lining up Financing
It’s no surprise if you don’t want to take on debt to start a company. If you can afford to do things with your own money, it makes sense to go that route.
But debt isn’t always bad for a startup. You probably don’t want to use debt for common expenses and unexpected situations. You should always have the cash available to handle those things.
However, there may be situations where debt makes sense. Take a situation where you get a large order and don’t have the money to handle production. Temporary funding for startups is a great way to handle those orders.
You can use debt to take smart risks and quickly pay down what you owe.
4. Failing to Delegate
You have a lot of work to handle as a business owner. You must manage your products, talk to customers, and market your products. It’s not easy to do all this yourself.
Unfortunately, many startup founders try to take on more than they can handle. They’re afraid to trust other people’s work and end up not getting everything done.
Be sure to delegate where possible to free up your time to work on more critical tasks. You’ll still get the work done and be able to grow your company more than when you are on your own.
5. Failing to Market
Marketing is one of the most challenging parts of building a startup company. You can have the best product out there and a unique way of doing things, but you won’t grow your business if you can’t reach new customers.
You’ll need to do the work to figure out where your ideal customers hang out. Do this by creating customer personas that detail their demographics, interests, and problems. This will help you track down the best platforms to advertise.
Once you know where to advertise, you can start creating marketing content that appeals to them. Avoid generic messages that try to win everyone over.
6. Hiring the Wrong People
You’ll need a great team if you want to grow a startup. However, talented people are expensive. They know what they’re worth and have options to work for companies that pay fair rates.
Unfortunately, some founders try to save money initially by hiring unqualified people. You may get some work done when doing this. But you’ll constantly need to question the work and regularly do things over again.
It’s usually more cost-effective to hire talented people. You’ll get work completed faster and won’t need to babysit your employees.
7. Ignoring Advice
It’s tempting to think you know everything as a startup founder. You know your product the best, so it makes sense that you know how to manage the company that sells it.
But that won’t always be the case. Things constantly shift in business. Even the most experienced business owners have trouble keeping up.
You need to find experienced professionals who keep up with changes and offer advice. You can do this by networking with other business owners or getting consulting services to offer advice.
Check out Knowledge Leaders to learn more about getting expert advice.
Avoid Common Startup Founder Mistakes
Starting a business is something you shouldn’t do lightly. Even if you don’t have many startup costs, you’ll spend a ton of time and marketing dollars in an attempt to get new customers.
Unfortunately, many startup founders make many mistakes because they don’t do research beforehand. Avoid the startup founder mistakes above to make the right business decisions.
Check out the blog to learn more tips that will help make starting a business easier.