Find out about the most common mistakes made by startups, and most importantly, how to get through that first year without making them yourself!
Starting a business is exciting, particularly if it ensures that you can make money from your passion, or gain the freedom to live a life that is more free and gives you more time to put into the things you love.
However, it is not a guaranteed success for everyone. In fact, scarily, two thirds of startups never make a return for their investors. *Gulp*
The good news is that so many who have gone before have made mistakes and they have continued to learn and grow and eventually, succeed. Even better is the fact that those mistakes are quite common, and by being aware of them you have a great chance of avoiding them altogether.
To help you, here are 5 common mistakes made by startups and how to avoid them:
1. Keeping It All Solo
Whether you won’t let anybody help, you refuse to outsource or have trouble delegating, playing solo as a startup is bad news. You will need to make connections and lean on someone at some point and if you don’t and you remain inflexible, you could end up failing because you won’t drop your pride. There’s no shame in admitting you need help.
2. Being Inflexible
Being inflexible can mean only thinking one method of production can work, only accepting certain types of investment, or as we mentioned above, refusing to get help. If you are fluid, open to new ideas and open to problem solving in creative ways, you can weather any storm and there will be storms.
3. Expanding Too Quickly
Growing pains are normal for a small business but expanding too quickly can be lethal. You can put money into too much growth and end up broke and unable to progress. Of course if you don’t put money into growing a little, you may lose business and struggle to progress. It is a balancing act but as a general rule, being cautious about any expansion is important.
4. Thinking You Need A Premises
So many startups make the mistake of thinking a warehouse or office contract means they have ‘made it’. It can often be what startups dream of. However, these days, you really do not need those things to do well. You can actually get really big without having to use any large, hefty contracted premises. Instead, use services virtual offices and affordable self storage. They are designed to support startups and have flexible, affordable contracts to make it that much easier too.
5. Ignoring Criticism
Startups can often be riding on a gust of fantastic feedback and momentum. The problem is that this can create a false sense of security and any criticism can be ignored. It is important to listen to all feedback and criticism whenever you’re lucky enough to get it. It is also important for any clients, suppliers or potential customers to see you handling that negative feedback well. Doing so shows you are professional, willing to grow and willing to learn. It doesn’t belittle your startup at all to accept criticism and learn from it.
Are You Ready To Make Leaps & Bounds With Your Startup?
The above are just some of the mistakes made by startups, especially in that tentative first year. By learning from those who have gone before and failed or succeeded, you will have a better chance of your startup weathering those storms. Hopefully you can come through the other side and become one of the success stories, boosting the economy and helping you thrive in your career.