Young vivacious talent, high-levels of energetic team, intelligent, hard-working, and ambitious grit to transform great ideas into reality – these characteristics are common in every startup founded. However, what makes aspiring startup founders lose from established leaders in the competitive race of success? The answer is one but obvious: lack of experience.
While getting market repute and established as a startup founder will give you a sense of pride and prestige. However, it takes more than a ground-breaking concepts and great enthusiasm to drive a successful startup. Rookie leaders are bound to make mistakes. If they are lucky enough, then they can fix errors while strengthening sustainability of your startup venture.
However sometimes, they have to learn their lessons the hard way – by hitting the wall and stumbling upon roadblocks to progress, while dealing with failures in their journey. As hard as it might be, starting your own business is not an easy feat.
If you have been paying close attention to becoming a part of the startup ecosystem, you probably have heard about the infamous ‘nine out of ten startups will fail’ phrase. While these statistics might seem like a nightmare for early-stage startup, actually there is nothing to discourage and dampen your spirits. On the contrary, it suggests you to prove that you can win against the odds in your favour and let this statistics remain an empty myth among startup founders.
Here are 5 most common mistakes seed-stage startups make, and suggestions on how you can fix them:
- Ignoring the business’ scalability
So you have great concepts to develop particular products or services. But how will you launch them into the market and reach to wider customer base? Do you have plans to expand your business to national or international markets? Where will you navigate your company in the longer term?
Your startup journey will not end by the time you launch your first product. To maintain brand awareness and retain customers, you have to make sure that there is always room for improvement. Before introducing your products into the market, it is crucial to think about viable path for your startup to scale up and adapt with the changing environment.
- Hiring wrong talents
Establishing a solid and high-performing team is crucial for early-stage startups. The problem however lies in the fact that most startup founders are only focusing on recruiting talents with high-qualified skills and experience. While having top individuals behind your back is a great support, this alone will not guarantee your startup to shine.
Rather than weighing upon one’s skills, startup founders should consider more on one’s personality and attitude. Make sure that your new hires understand your business’ vision and share the same values. Knowledge and skills can be taught, but you cannot just change someone’s character.
- Chasing funding
Fundraising is not the only way to measure your business success. Yes, money is a necessary component to run your startup. However, obsessing over funding and ignoring product development is a bad idea.
When you start pitching for investors, you should understand that much or less, there will other voices to take into account in the decision-making process. That being said, you might lose some control and ownership over your own venture. You should further bear in mind that what matters is, not how you can raise loads of money. But rather, how your startup can sell products and make profitable business.
- Failing to listen to customer insights
Your products should be able to solve people’s problems. Do not waste your money building products that are not practical and related to your target customer necessities. Hence, before developing products, it is imperative for an entrepreneur to conduct market research.
Take time to listen, to meet and interview potential customers. By listening to their insights, you will gain meaningful input to develop a useful product, while measuring customer demand for the products.
- Losing focus
Getting distracted or drawn towards new ideas or new projects is probably the greatest challenge for most entrepreneurs. It is understandable that young startup founders possess high creativity and bright minds. Owing to which, hundreds of new ideas keep coming up everyday. While these ideas might seem like good ones, you should be selective enough to not lose sight of your initial strategy.
Rather than getting distracted by these ideas, you should set sights on the bigger idea, prioritise your product and audience. Do not exhaust and overwhelm yourself by working on several projects at the same time. This not only ruins the quality, but studies have further proved that multitasking is the worst way to accomplish goals. Therefore, before moving onto other projects, make sure that you have completed the current ones.
Next read: Supercharging Your Startup: Funding Assistance and Where to Get It