tldr; In this game of startups; some win, some lose.
Undoubtedly, managing your business is a daunting task! Please, tell me about it.
Whether it’s a small scale business or a huge establishment, you are bound to face ample challenges. Similarly, you might face many obstacles after launching your own startup. But it can lead up-to success when handled right. There are always so many decisions involved, so many things to think about, all the pressure and minor setbacks, that can often de-track you. Agreed?
Previously I launched my online startup and failed. Now I am working for one and trust me there is no such foolproof plan to reach success, but if we avoid various common and stupid mistakes (which I made plenty, bdw), that can make or break your business, then no one can stop you from moving forward.
But before I dig a little deeper into it; just know that everyone makes mistakes! Screwing things up, here and there can be costly, but in the long run, it teaches you valuable lessons and we can always learn from them.
All you need is a little bit of planning, smart business goals, a wise mind and luck on your side.
Here, I will outline some of the mistakes to NOT make while starting something of your own:
Fear of failure
It’s natural to be afraid. But it’s probably one of the biggest mistakes people usually make; being afraid of failure.
Failure is the key to success.
Yes, we often hear people say that and you gotta believe me, its’ TRUE! Facing your fears, and not letting them control you is very rewarding and positive for your future ventures. The real reward is when you get back up again after you have failed and learn from it rather than dwelling on past mistakes.
However, entrepreneurs or people in general, associate the word ‘fail’ with falling behind, having no or little capability of doing things, and losing! To be very honest, failure is not how people think. Failure is ‘learning’. Even though not being able to achieve something hurts for a moment, eventually, we succeed, if we try again.
I know when I started working with a start-up, not that I was a founder or anything, yet I took ownership. Their failure was my failure. I remember, after a year of struggle how we have maintained composure under conflicts and difficult situations! Boy oh boy, we failed in generating leads but did it stop us? Not for a second. Now, we have become one of the thriving companies that are helping global teams to find digital solutions to their problems.
Lack of pre-planning!
Yes, we all know how tiresome planning can get! But without a solid plan for your business, you are searching for a needle in the haystack! (I don’t know how this punchline fits here, but it kinda does). The crucial plans that you should consider working on before you launch something of your own are; business, financial and marketing plans to be precise.
So, yep! Plan ahead and get super organized. When you are building something new from scratch. There might be many tasks that are happening parallel to each other, or you might be taking on a number of roles on your own. So it’s important you set your priorities in order. First things first, last things last! It not only makes your work easier but also makes you far more productive.
Sticking to the wrong idea
You have an idea! Yes, I understand. It feels good and you just want to implement it right away before anyone in your circle steals it. Calm down, person! Hold your horses. Sometimes, only having just an idea is no good show. We all have ideas.
But you gotta realize that if you are entering a market you have never been to before, it’s important you go in with the right idea and a careful thought process. Don’t just blindly follow your gut. Evaluate. Run experiments. Make cost estimates. Make tweaks in your ideas according to your audience and changing trends.
Being a lone-wolf
I admit, sometimes it’s hard to trust and work with people. You might be afraid of professional partnerships, because of many examples of failed industry experiences. Understandable. Especially, when it’s your product, you just want everything to be perfect. The reason why you might be afraid of giving control. You may not want to jeopardize your work but, I suggest… delegation.
Do proper paperwork, make documentation, and then give other people some control. That way you will feel calmer and not overwhelmed. People who are working with you will have a direction and you won’t have to micromanage.
Still, doubting whether people are honestly working or just wasting your minimum resources?
Use project management tools set your tasks and time in perfect alignment with your goals. They will not only keep track of all the activities of your team but also will increase the overall levels of productivity. So you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Lack of effective marketing strategies
This is important! Your product is nothing without good marketing. You have developed a product, now you want to sell it. How will you do it? This is where marketing comes in. People will only buy it if they know about it. Right? Use word of mouth, digital marketing, advertising, and various other techniques. There are no rules, just a few simple techniques, and a good luck charm.
But not all types of marketing can suit every business. Choose the one that resonates with your idea. But assuming that you don’t need a marketing plan is bonkers!
Spending all that you’ve got
You think that all you need to start a business or a company is a huge investment but the notion is flawed! We feel like maybe that’s the only way to have and attract large conversions. That may be right in many cases but if you explore a little bit more you’ll see there are many alternatives available that are less expensive when compared to the luxury advertisement. It’s essential that you stick to a budget and maintain a perfect balance between over and underspending.
No market research
Doing little or no market research is probably the last thing you should do! Do extensive research before stepping into the game rather than just relying on public data. It is an important step to blast that rocket off from the ground and straight into space.
Know the nature of your venture, know your target audience, demographics. Prepare yourself. Know what’s in demand. You can either do it on your own or hire someone to do it for you.
Ignoring start-up competition
Entrepreneurs everywhere are paranoid. They are hungry for competition, so to speak. They like to keep a keen eye on their competitors and ready to take them out as they enter the ‘Game of startups’. All fighting for a top spot with a hell lotta determination and enthusiasm!
That’s the real challenge, my friend! Every other company is here to meet the needs of customers, but that’s not it. The success depends on your ability to satisfy your consumers far better than your competition. So before you start, identify your competitors, the place they hold, what are their objectives, strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. Based on which map-out the value that you can bring that’s different from what they are offering!
Not enjoying the journey
Not having fun? Why not? You finally have an opportunity to live your dream. To fulfill that long-desired purpose of yours. You get to be the CEO and the founder. Stop worrying too much! Life is no doubt full of surprises. You either get what you want or you don’t. Still, enjoy the journey. It may take time for you to get there but eventually, you will and that’s the beauty of it.
Pro tip: Do you have a backup plan?
You have an idea. You have a team. You have the resources. You are all set. Your product is finally on the market. Going good. After a few months, something unexpected happens. You are back to where you were. It all went down the drain. What will you do? Do you have a plan? Have you figured it all out? No? Then you might as well do it right now. Create your essential back-up plan beforehand, in case of a devastating situation, and save yourself a nightmare altogether.
This is just a sneak peek into the mistakes many entrepreneurs make when launching a start-up. I did too. Whereas, the mistakes are endless; losing motivation, not keeping up with tech trends, not networking much, moving too slow or too fast, thinking too small or too big, launching at the wrong time, ignoring the facts, and just getting it all wrong!
Don’t panic! Maintain your composure, calm your nerves and take the first step!