10 Most Common Startup Mistakes You Should Avoid

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Running a business is one of the greatest thing you can do. Becoming CEO, looking for investors, delivering a product – all these things are really exciting. But starting a business is not always so easy. There are many things to think about, so many pieces to fold. People are falling into the same traps over and over. Let’s find out what the most common mistakes are and how to avoid them.

1. Skipping the planning aspect

Planning phase is one of the most important phases of the entire project. Without a solid plan your business couldn’t be successful – being organised is a key here. You should consider creating at least business, financial and marketing plan before you start. It would not only be helpful for you, but would give you more arguments when talking to investors.

2. Not setting your goals

I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.

Michael Phelps

Settings your goals is part of the planning phase. You should think over your short- and long-term goals, which would help you identify where you want to go. Remember to split your long-term goals into smaller ones. This would always keep you on track during your daily business activities.

3. Not making market research

You may have the best business idea ever, but you would never be successful if you didn’t have any customers. Misinterpreting the market and missing the proper market research are the biggest mistakes you can make when launching your new startup.

You should find your target group and check what your customers needs are. When you know it, it’s a good time to create the prototype of your product and make another market research. It’s very important, because it may occur that needs of your target group have changed or you misunderstood them. If everything is fine, you can finally start thinking about the proper final product.

4. Not paying for proper expertise

You might be the best CEO, marketer or coder, but – let’s be honest – you’re not good at everything. Noone is. However, your business needs to be done professionally. Especially when you think about your product, marketing or legal stuff.

So when it comes to important parts of your business, don’t save and use the proper experts. When you need investment agreement – go to the lawyer, who would prepare good one just for you. When you need a website or app – don’t use the free templates or try to do it yourself. Hire a professional instead, who would know what would be good for you and how to finish the project successfully.

5. Not being organised

Organising is what you do before you do something so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

A.A. Milne

Being organised is the key. Beside of having your goals set, you need to have a daily task list with things you need to do. It would help you doing your daily job, but at the same time would be very useful for unexpected things. Also, if you’re hiring someone, it’s very important to let people know what they need to do and how everything works in your company.

6. Clinging to the wrong ideas

Startups are a specific type of businesses. You can’t create the project and don’t modify it anymore. You need to adjust your ideas to the market, customers and competition.

Your ideas might be great, but you should never cling to them at all cost. This is, unfortunately, a common mistake, especially for young entrepreneurs. You should always think about your customers, not the product itself. It may turn out your idea is great, but not for a specific clients. This means you need to change your concept or your target group.

7. Not focusing on customers

The most important thing for every company is to understand who your ideal customer is. When you know it, he should always be on the top of the list of your priorities. You have to be customer-focused. Even if your product is still not ideal, but you are actually helping your clients, they will always stay with you.

Your website isn’t the center of your universe. Your Facebook page isn’t the center of your universe. Your mobile app isn’t the center of your universe. The customer is the center of your universe.

Bruce Ernst, VP of Product Management at Monetate

8. Wasting the money

You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.

Dave Ramsey

When you launching a startup you usually don’t have a lot of money and try to save on everything. But after you finally found the investor and got the first cheque you might go on a shopping spree, which is a huge mistake.

You shouldn’t waste your money on things, which are not immediately required. You should think how money can help you improving your product instead of spending it on dinner parties, decorating the office or buying a huge car.

9. Doing the wrong marketing

The big mistake is assuming you don’t need to market yourself and that customers will come to you. They won’t. The reason is pretty simple. You might have the best product on the market, but your target audience just wouldn’t know about its existence.

There are a lot of ways to reach your customers. Word of mouth referrals, social media, internet marketing, traditional one and much more. The best type of marketing depends on type of your business and your audience. You should make some research and then choose the correct type, which will work for you.

10. Fear of failure

It’s how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success. 

David Feherty

When you start any new work or business there is always some type of fear or anxiety. But if you want to become a successful entrepreneur you have to take some risk and be prepared for failure and for success. Fail is a natural part of the business. You just need to remember to learn something from every failure and try to not make the same mistakes again.

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