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10 devastating mistakes that start-ups make

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Undoubtedly, managing your business is a daunting task! Yes?

Whether it’s a small scale business or a huge establishment, you are bound to face ample challenges. Similarly, you might face many obstacles after launching your own start-up. But it can lead up-to success when handled right. There are always so many decisions involved, so many things to think about, all the pressure and minor set-backs, that can often de-track you.

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I have associated with a start-up myself and trust me there is no such fool-proof plan to reach success but if we avoid various common and stupid mistakes, that can make or break your business, then no one can stop you from moving forward. But before I tell you about these common mistakes. Just know that everyone makes mistakes! Screwing things up, here and there can be costly, but in the long run, it teaches you valuable lessons and we can always learn from them.

All you need is a little bit of planning, smart business goals for your start-up and a wise mind. Learn from the tips given below and avoid these typical errors:

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  1. Are you afraid of failing? Don’t be

It’s natural to be afraid. But it’s probably one of the biggest mistakes people usually make; being afraid of failure. ‘Failure is the key to success’, yes we often hear people say that and you gotta believe us, its’ TRUE! Facing your fears, and not letting it control you is very rewarding and positive for your future ventures. The real reward is when you get back up again after you have failed and learn from it rather than dwelling on past mistakes with continuous ‘oh, no’ ‘oh, no’.

Mostly, entrepreneurs or people in general, associate the word ‘fail’ with falling behind, having no or little capability of doing things, and losing! To be very honest, failure is definitely not how people think. Failure is ‘learning’. Even though not being able to achieve something hurts for a moment, but eventually, we succeed, if we try again.

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I know when I started working with a start-up, not that I was a founder or anything, yet I took ownership. Their failure was my failure. I remember, after a year of struggle how we have maintained composure under conflicts and difficult situations! Boy oh boy, we failed in generating leads but did it stop us? Not for a second. Now, we have become one of the thriving small-scale companies that is helping global teams to enhance their productivity.

2. Lack of pre-planning!

Yes, we all know how tiresome planning can get! But without a solid plan for your business, you are searching for a needle in the haystack! (We don’t know how this punchline fits here, but it kinda does). The crucial plans that you should consider working on before you launch something of your own are business, financial and marketing plans to be precise.

So, yep! Plan ahead and get super organized. When you are building something new from scratch. There might be a number of tasks that are happening parallel to each other, or you might be taking on a number of roles on your own. So it’s important you set your priorities in order. First things first, last things last! It not only makes your work easier but also makes you far more productive.

3. Sticking to the wrong idea

You have an idea! Yes, we understand. It feels good and you just want to implement it right away before anyone in your circle steals it. Calm down, person! Hold your horses. Sometimes, only having just an idea is no good show. We all have ideas.

But you gotta realize that if you are entering a market you have never been before, it’s important you go in with the right idea and a careful thought process. Don’t just blindly follow your gut. Evaluate. Run experiments. Make cost estimates. Make tweaks in your ideas according to your audience and changing trends.

4. Being a Lone-wolf

I totally admit, sometimes it’s hard to trust and work with people. You might be afraid of professional partnerships, because of many examples of failed industry experiences. Totally understandable. Especially, when it’s your own product, you just want everything to be perfect. The reason why you might be afraid of giving control. You may not want to jeopardize your work but, we suggest… delegation.

Do proper paperwork, make documentation, download legal forms and then give other people some control. That way you will feel calmer and not overwhelmed. People who are working with you will have a direction and you won’t have to micromanage. Still, having a doubt whether the people are honestly working or just wasting your minimum resources? Use project management or staff time monitoring tools to set your tasks and time in perfect alignment to your goals. They will keep track of all the activities of your team. So you can just  sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

5. Lack of effective marketing strategies

This is important! Your product is nothing without good marketing. You have developed a product, now you want to sell it. How will you do it? This is where marketing comes in. People will only buy it if they know about it. Right? Use word of mouth, digital marketing, advertising, and various other techniques. There are no rules, just a few simple techniques, and good luck charm.

But not all types of marketing can suit every business. Choose the one that resonates with your idea. But assuming that you don’t need a marketing plan is totally bonkers!

6. Spending all that you’ve got

You think that all you need to start a business or a company is a huge investment but the thinking is wrong! We feel like maybe that’s the only way to have and attract large conversions. That may be right in many cases but if you explore a little bit more you’ll see there are many alternatives available that are less expensive when compared with the luxury advertisement. It’s essential that you stick to a budget and maintain a perfect balance between over and under spending.

Keeping your documents in electronic form also helps you track expenses in real-time, providing a clear and up-to-date picture of where your money is going. This visibility allows you to identify spending patterns and pinpoint areas where you might be overspending. With digital records, it’s easier to categorize expenses, making it simpler to manage budgets and forecast future costs. Moreover, you can easily share and review them with your team or financial advisors, facilitating better decision-making.

7. No Market Research

Doing little or no market research is probably the last thing you should do! Do extensive research before stepping into the game rather than just relying on public data. It is an important step to blast that rocket off from the ground and straight into the space. Know the nature of your venture, know your target audience, demographics. Prepare yourself. Know what’s in demand. You can either do it on your own or hire someone to do it for you.

8. Ignoring start-up competition

Entrepreneurs everywhere are paranoid. They are hungry for competition, so to speak. They like to keep a keen eye at their competitors and ready to take them out as they enter the ‘Game of start-ups’. All fighting for a top spot with hell lotta determination and enthusiasm!

That’s the real challenge, my friend! Every other company is here to meet the needs of customers, but that’s not it. The success depends on your ability to satisfy your consumers far better than your competition. So before you start, identify your competitors, the place they hold, what are their objectives, strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. Based on which map-out the value that you can bring that’s different from what they are offering!

9. Not enjoying the journey

Not having fun? Why not? You finally have an opportunity to live your dream. To fulfill that long-desired purpose of yours. You get to be the CEO and the founder. Stop worrying too much! Life is no doubt full of surprises. You either get what you want or you don’t. Still, enjoy the journey. It may take time for you to get there but eventually, you will and that’s the beauty of it.

10. What’s your back-up plan?

You have an idea. You have a team. You have the resources. You are all set. Your product is finally in the market. Going good. After a few months, something unexpected happened. You are back to where you were. It all went down the drain. What will you do? Do you have a plan? Have you figured it all out? No? Then you might as well do it right now. Create your essential back-up plan beforehand, in case of a devastating situation and save yourself a nightmare altogether.

This is just a sneak peek into the mistakes many entrepreneurs make when launching a start-up. Whereas the mistakes are endless. It can also be: losing motivation, not keeping up with tech trends, not networking much, moving too slow or too fast, thinking too small or too big, launching at the wrong time, ignoring the facts, and just getting it all wrong!

Don’t panic! Maintain your composure, calm your nerves and take the first step!

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I am precisely described as a tech junkie working in content development and marketing for a thriving start-up: Stafftimer App. Literature lover by default. My interests range from politics to social issues, books to tech trends, gadgets and so on.

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