Top 10 Start-up Mistakes to avoid
31st, March 2019 - Guest blog
Entrepreneurs are known for their enthusiasm, their zeal to create something new, and their drive to succeed. Equally standard, though, are the plethora of mistakes they often make in finding their way to success. Despite the pressure to show results and turn a profit, entrepreneurs across industries can benefit from reviewing a few common start-up mistakes.
1. Going it alone: Even if you’ve got a great idea, you’re best served by working with one or more partners. Especially at the beginning, there’s a lot of work to do, and you’re unlikely to be an expert in every area you need to address. From securing financing to hiring the first critical employees, there are plenty of bases to cover before you even start building, marketing, or selling. No matter how dedicated you are, you’ll burn out quickly if you’re not sharing the load – both the actual work and the emotional toll of the start-up roller coaster.
2. Having no plan: Enthusiasm just isn’t enough. Before you start really rolling, you need to stop and think about the whole idea from start to finish, thoroughly evaluating every what-if along the way. You’ll be able to refine the details as you learn along the way, but you need at least a high-level plan to begin with.
3. Ignoring timing: Planning matters – and luck never hurts! – but timing is critical. If you’d started a new business in 2008, you’d have been rocked by the global recession, no matter the quality of your idea and execution. Be sure you check the calendar a little closer to home, too – your family and other personal priorities will always be a factor.
4. Discounting experience: Having some background in the field you’re diving into can be very important. Whether it’s education or experience, a strong foundation can help you understand what you’ll need to do and who you’ll need to talk to as you move forward.
5. Halfhearted efforts: Motivation can make the difference between failure and success. You need the right attitude and the right commitment – if you can’t give it your all, just go find an ordinary job.
6. Missing core skills: Even if something’s hot, if you don’t have anything relevant to offer, you’re burning time and money. Remember when WhatsApp sold for $18 billion? All kinds of people were trying to make their own copycat communication app – without the backing of vision and experience.
7. Insufficient funds: This one seems obvious, but plenty of entrepreneurs start without enough money to get anywhere, or blow their funds on the wrong priorities.
8. Wrong location: Can you afford to hire the resources you need in the area you’ve chosen, let alone open an office? Can you test products and services locally? Global ambitions are great, but starting locally lets you learn as you grow.
9. Unwilling to learn: No job is too small for an entrepreneur. When you make it big, you can delegate, but in the meantime you have plenty to learn. HR, finance, legal – even if you don’t like it, the work still needs to get done.
10. No support: Whether your business succeeds or fails, you’re taking a big risk. Keeping your family and friends close means you’ll have the support you need to make it through.
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Mr. Hamid Farooqui
Hamid Farooqui is a serial entrepreneur who is the CEO of a fast growing SaaS (Software as a Service) company called SoGoSurvey that he co- founded in 2012.