Starting your own business is a huge step, and the effort and hard work can result in a good pay off. However, nothing s certain when you start to go it alone and it can never hurt to be aware of some common pitfalls, in order to avoid them and succeed in your venture.
1. Giving into Pressure
While getting advice and help from third parties can be super helpful, and really enlightening, there is also a limit. Obsessing over the opinions of other people, and letting yourself be influenced in such a way that moves away from what you and your startup really are, then your message could get a little lost.
2. Going Solo
Have you ever noticed how few successful startups come from one founder? This can be a really intense journey, and having friend, or even someone likeminded by your side can help lift you when your spirits are low, and others depending on you can be great motivation to keep going, even when times are tough. There is also just so much to do, that it can be way too difficult for one person.
3. Failing to Prepare….
…is preparing to fail. Make a detailed plan covering everything from your first steps to the ultimate goal, the time, the money, the people, everything involved and stick to this plan. It might need tweaking from time to time, but under no circumstances should you improvise when it comes to something as important as your new business.
4. Wrong Location
Certain cities in the US are synonymous with startups right now, and while it might seem cliché to head there, they’re hubbubs of business for a reason, and they’re also generally full of experts, people you can network with, learn from. Austin, Seattle, and Denver are great places to set up and are rapidly growing cities, while Silicon Valley and Boston are always a safe bet for anyone looking to grow from the ground up.
5. Missing the Perfect Launch Date
Launching your product or business is a delicate balancing act, as it is very easy, and very damaging to be too early or too late. More disasters happen as a result of launching too late – the delays are eating time and resources, and you’re likely trying to create a whole lot more than you need to release your first thing. Focus on the first thing you need to mark your presence, and when it’s ready, it really is time to go for it.
6. Forgetting to Compartmentalize
Don’t get confused with your product and your business. Your product could be a game changer in its area, but unless your business that markets, promotes, and sells the product is working, then your product can become irrelevant.
7. Trying to Micromanage
Starting a business is hard, and while it might be tempting to micromanage every aspect of your baby, you will end up spreading yourself far too thin. Hire good people, and trust them to make certain executive decisions. Things will move a lot faster and more efficiently.
8. Losing your Focus
It is very challenging to stay full-time focused when you become an owner of a business. You will need to make a thousand decisions every day, but don’t ever forget that one reason you founded a startup, and make sure your decisions are made with this in mind.
9. Missing out on Talent
While it can be tempting to post a random ad, or give a buddy a job, there are some online platforms full of talent that is affordable, and hassle free to hire. These websites are a hub of freelancers looking for work in all kinds of fields from computer programming, to online writing services, to graphic design – they can take over the assignments that make your business recognizable. Posting a description of the assignment you’d like doing on a site like Upwork, Freelancer, Ukwritings or People Per Hour, is so much more efficient than traditional ads in the paper.
You have a pool of talent from around the world that can work remotely, as well as plenty of testimonials and reviews of the individuals who apply for the job, so you can hire with confidence. For help with business proposals, press releases, funding applications or content search for online writing services, as well as editing and proof reading. They’ll have an online writer check for grammar mistakes, and if you’re looking to work with another company, they can even offer resume writing.
10. Poorly Managing Investments
While hunting down hug investments can pay off, each option can take up a lot of time or resources, and may not work out. Never forget to keep looking out for the small to medium sized investors, that end to be quicker and easier to snare, and can quickly mount up.
11. Unnecessary Overspending
While the first influx of cash comes into your business, it can be tempting to hire people and get premises, but the truth is you should be going it alone for as long as you can. Running out of money can mean game over, so it’s necessary to keep focus.
12. Giving In To Fear
Will my business be successful? Will it be helpful? What will other people say? If you really want to succeed in your start up, you’ll need to dive in head first and give it all you’ve got. Invest in yourself in order to convince people to invest in you!
There’s no doubt that startups are inherently risky, and it takes a lot of courage to take the leap and follow your dream. By following the above steps to avoid common pitfalls, having faith in your ideas and abilities, connecting with experts, and utilizing online resource to ensure you have the best proposals, design, and software, you will be on your way to success in no time at all.
Written by Gloria Kopp, content writer, educator, and elearning consultant.