Ever thought of how damaging it can be to not know what you don’t know? Well, that’s the realm of mistakes where you can operate in total oblivion of where you’re missing it. If you’re working on a startup then you ought to know that it’s not a stroll in the park. Many a time people get to note their mistakes after some illuminating blunders. Biblically it is said that destruction is wrought out of ignorance. The vast majority of mistakes can be avoided if one is cognizant of their existence. That’s why herein I’m discussing 10 mistakes you might probably making in your startup. This topic is important because on average, at least 7 out of every 10 startups fail.
Being A Lone Ranger
I once discussed an interesting subject on whether or not human beings can effectively multitask. Scientifically it’s proven that a human being cannot effectively do that. What they misconstrue for multitasking is actually the handling of multiple tasks in turn (not concurrently). You can’t effectively do everything no matter how brilliant you think you are. Sometimes you need a dissenting voice that will question your perspectives so as to redefine or refine them. Most successful startups have co-founders. Even on the financial front, financiers are generally comfortable in investing in startups with cofounders. They figure that if you can convince someone else to risk it all and go on a business venture with you then you probably have something solid. Most entrepreneurs are unaware or negligent of this – avoid the mistake of going at it alone.
Managing Instead Of Leading
As a founder, you are visionary – you lead. Due to wearing multiple hats one ends up confusing management for leading. Managing maintains the status quo whilst leading entails breaking new ground and charting new courses. Operating a startup is riddled with uncertainty and risk; that means you ‘leading’ yet playing a managing role can be quite damaging. Remember that for you to establish yourself and scale operations you’ll need to pivot from time to time. So don’t confuse managing with leading – as the founder lead and let someone else manage.
So here’s where most startups err, they think that if my business idea is great then customer inflows will just have to trickle in. This kind of thinking conditions most entrepreneurs to belittle marketing campaigns. Especially these days where digital marketing is the in-thing, most do it half-heartedly. Big global brands like Coca-Cola still invest huge sums of money in marketing. So what then exempts you as a startup still trying to make it in the business world? Never make the mistake of taking marketing casually because you think customers will automatically just come.
Not Letting Go
When you start off a startup you’ll most likely be at the helm of everything which is understandable. However, moving forward, you must gradually let go of some of the reigns and let ones skilled for certain roles handle them. Oft time I’ve seen founders of startups eventually letting go of the CEO role and giving it to someone else. As a startup scales, you might find that your skillset might no longer sustain all that’s needed – learn to let go and let the skilled ones handle it.
Launching Too Soon
As a startup, it might at times be wise to lay low for a while doing market researches or beta tests (where applicable). Remember you can be a startup for as long as 10 years so don’t rush. Launching a product or service too soon is a fatal mistake made by most startups. Be sure you have done all the necessary homework before launching.
Most startups make decisions at the moment without any due planning prior. Being spontaneous can be edgy and fun but can lead to huge problems. Plan – layout strategies, frameworks and guidelines and follow through with empirical execution. This is also quite central in financial management, don’t make rush spontaneous decisions – plan, execute, monitor and evaluate.
Pricing is critically important and must be done after due research. Consider all the variables such as inflation, market forecasts, volumes, financial projections and so on. Most startups make the error of under-pricing or over-pricing their products or services. I once did an article on pricing strategies one can employ for their business.
It’s quite unfortunate that most entrepreneurs think that the higher the complexity of a business concept is the higher its appeal will be. Don’t make the mistake of over-complicating things – rather simplify. Present a product in a way that can be easily understood by any person.
It’s good to want to involve friends or relatives in your business ventures but be careful. Most entrepreneurs when they consider people to work with in their startups tend to pick people based on familiarity rather than competence. Never compromise the quality of human resources at the expense of favouritism that’s devoid of objective competence-based considerations.
Disregarding Customer Feedback
It’s commonplace that some startup entrepreneurs think themselves high and mighty. This predisposes them to think they know it all and can’t be told things by anyone. Customer feedback then tends to be disregarded or discouraged altogether because of this. Most successful startups morphed into global businesses due to customer feedback – never take it lightly.
So this is it, the 10 mistakes you might be committing in your startup right now. All these mistakes can be dealt with to enhance the growth of your business. The startup culture is quite crucial to where Zimbabwe is headed as a nation. Thus we need more and more people to come up with successful startups that’ll make it big.