Starting a business can be extremely difficult. A startup owner usually has to make do with a limited budget. They also have to work harder in order to effectively sell their products and services. A startup owner has to be very careful with their decisions—one wrong decision can spell the end of their business. It is true that there is no surefire way for a startup to achieve success, but startups have a tendency to commit certain common mistakes that can, at the very least, set them back. Startups should avoid the following mistakes if they want their business to thrive.
Creating Products and Services Nobody Wants to Buy
A startup owner opens a business usually because they were enamoured with an idea for a product or service. While this is good, they should also make sure that customers are just as interested in it. Failure to do so can lead to the closure of their business, not to mention wasted time and money.
A startup owner must always remember that a business exists because it addresses people’s needs. A startup owner should therefore take note of the problems around them and determine how their business can create innovative solutions that address these problems.
Hiring the Wrong People
Due to budget constraints, a startup owner usually enlists the help of friends and family. This is not a problem if the person hired is in fact qualified for the job. But what if they lacked the skills needed for the role? Or worse, what if they get into conflicts with the team because of personality mismatch? These mistakes can cripple the startup and leave the owner with strained, if not completely severed, relationships.
A startup owner must never take hiring shortcuts just for the sake of filling an empty position. Regardless of the applicant’s relationship to the owner, proper hiring processes must always be observed. Doing so may be time-consuming for the short term, but mistakes like a bad hire are definitely costlier.
Similarly, a startup owner must see to it that everything—from employment to transactions—is documented. Proper documentation effectively protects a startup from costly misunderstandings and mistakes. The last thing any startup needs is a lawsuit from a former employee or supplier over a botched deal that was sealed only with a handshake.
Lack of Focus
A startup owner sometimes thinks that diversifying their products and services early on will make their business more profitable. But no company, big or small, can be all things to all people. A startup must have a product, service or market that will drive it forward. Otherwise, that startup will simply end up overstretching its resources trying to generate one product or service after another. This outcome will eventually lead to mistakes such as poor-quality products and services.
As mentioned earlier, businesses exist to meet people’s needs. Hence, a startup must choose one particular need and then focus its resources and energies on meeting that need. Doing so will give that startup a “sense of purpose.” It will focus its resources, efforts and strategies on fulfilling its purpose. And when that happens, mistakes will be prevented and success will ensue.
It is true that there is no easy way to business success. But a startup can suffer fewer mistakes if the owner knows why their enterprise exists and makes sure that it is attuned to customers’ needs. It also helps if he is surrounded by people who will help him achieve his goals.
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Fatemi, F. (2016, September 28). “The True Cost Of A Bad Hire— It’s More Than You Think.” Forbes.
Retrieved February 9, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/falonfatemi/2016/09/28/the-true-cost-of-a-bad-hire-its-more-than-you-think/#eb4520d71e2f
Sandberg, V. (2015, February 23). “10 Most Common Startup Mistakes & How to Avoid Them.”
StartupGuys.net. Retrieved February 9, 2017, from http://www.startupguys.net/10-most-common-startup-mistakes-how-to-avoid-them/