If you feel ready to enter the startup world, now is the best time! But first read carefully this article to avoid entering in the statistics of Startup failures.
We live in a time when building a great product, finding the right audience, getting it out there and promoting it has never been easier.
But most startups fail. And often it’s because of a few mistakes or important steps that are skipped in the very beginning of their journey. Here are the main ones.
1. Not taking action upon your idea right away
We all have tens of ideas daily and a few of them are million dollar ones. But we need to notice which are worth it and should be turned into reality.
Validating a business idea is what initiative is all about. You need to start building the product, do your research, get to people and ask them what they think. After that, see whether the whole thing is profitable and has a demand.
That’s a must for a few reasons.
First, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort in the future by leaving some ideas behind, simply because you’ll realize they won’t make it in the real world. No matter how great they sound.
Second, you’ll build momentum and thus keep taking action. And last but not least, you’ll expand your vision by hearing what people think about it.
Keep in mind that an idea without action is just that – an interesting thought in your head. One of many.
But it’s our ability to create remarkable products and get them in the hands of the right people, who help us contribute to the world by doing our best work.
2. Not launching soon enough
You’ll never build the perfect product or create the perfect service. And if you try, you’re destined to procrastinate for a long time.
But time is our most precious resource. In business there’s way too much competition to wait for the right time to launch.
The right time is when you have the first version of your product and are able to get it out there so people can start using it. That’s your minimum viable product and it’s the way every successful company is doing it today.
You don’t need to make your first customers pay. In fact, it would be great to use them as beta users and let them use it for free in return for their valuable feedback.
Too many startups have failed because they’ve waited too long to launch. Don’t be another one.
3. Listen to feedback
Now that you have it, make the most of it. Especially the negative ones.
Ask your customers specific questions about every feature and even side things like your site, the checkout page and the sales copy. Then, start analyzing the feedback and improve or add features to your product accordingly.
Send them every new version of it for free too. That’s how you’ll keep receiving feedback and will know it’s honest.
Businesses exist because of their customers. Remember that at any stage of your journey and cherish your clients.
4. Not being patient enough
The whole process takes time, often too long for the average person’s ability to wait.
Some startups have taken up to a decade of people’s life. But we’re talking about big things here, which may start small and take years to be built and scaled. With great effort they turn into something that changes the world and is used by millions.
Let’s use the example of a website or app. Building traffic for a website in the beginning is extremely difficult, remember that besides your family nobody knows your product. You’re not known on search engines, you don’t have a strong brand and your offer is not used by anybody.
Don’t be ashamed to use some Marketing tools at the beginning, like pay per click or social media ads for example. Start small to test each tool. Don’t invest a lot of money without being sure this is the right one for your business. This will help you build a reputation online and If you keep up the good job, the results will come. Hard work and persistence have to go side by side and together they can pay off.
So if you’re serious about launching a startup, go for it. But if working hard for months doesn’t sound very nice to you, or if the thought of having to wait a lot before money starts coming scares you, then this is not for you.
5. Not being specific about the problem
Every successful product you’ve ever heard of is built to solve a certain problem many people share. It may be saving customers’ time and money, helping them deal with something, alleviating a pain or doing a difficult task.
Whatever it is, there’s an important problem behind it. So be specific about yours.
Usually, the best startups are the ones whose creator defined a problem he/she also shared and cared about, then found a way to fix it to help others who struggle with the same issue.
So choose yours carefully and make sure an enough number of people have it as well.
6. Not targeting the right audience increase chances of Startup failures
Choose your audience. If you’re too broad you won’t be effective developing your product. You can fail to understand your user’s need and you will not solve their problems with efficiency. There is a risk of being superficial for all audiences, which allows competition to be better attending your future consumers.
Who is your main target? Teenagers? Travelers? Engineers looking for job? When your startup take off you can think about reaching other audiences, but it’s extremely important to focus the scarce resources that you have in your pocket to reach your target.
7. Not choosing the best team
The team is the heart of your startup. Venture capitalists in general prefer Startups that have at least two cofounders. Many successful companies started with a minimum number of two people: Airbnb, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
Besides having your cofounder, sometimes you have to enter in fields that you’re not an expert. For that reason choosing a professional to do the job is a difficult task.
If you choose the wrong web developer or web designer they can take the company to the wrong path, which costs more and spends valuable time. Some websites help you find your cofounder or a professional that can take your product to the next level. Here we recommend Cofounderslab and Upwork.
If you’re not ready to be all in and give all your energy, time and focus for your startup, then your talents may be better invested into another field or career path.
However, remember that a lot of successful entrepreneurs came from startup failures. Don’t let the fear of failure avoid your dreams come true. Like the CEO of Dropbox Drew Houston said:
“Don’t worry about failure, you just have to be right once.”
Startups thrive in an environment of uncertainty and startup founders need to be able to hustle long enough. They need to be passionate about what they do to keep up their own motivation and truly care about their product.
What startup mistakes have you made?
Article by Lidiya K.