Startups are often poorly perceived as easy to make. People imagine that to start one, you only need an idea and the investors will come running. It may be the reason why so many inexperienced daredevils want to try their hand at entrepreneurship. The media also presents a misleading image of a unicorn startup earning billions of dollars, using Facebook, Instagram, or Uber as examples. What they don’t mention is the struggles accompanying founders from day one.
Remember that those startup unicorns are very rare, that’s why they’re called unicorns!
1. No need for the product on the market
Over 40% of startups failing is down to misjudging or simply ignoring the market’s needs. Failure is inevitable if you’re releasing a product that no one is interested in buying. Some people hope that luck will help them with their startup but when it comes to business, there’s no luck. Only prognosis, analysis and logical thinking. A product with no value will sink quicker than you think.
2. Lack of money
Problems with the budget are of course connected with poorly made market analysis and many other issues. But some startupers dive into the business without having any budget to begin with. This is a mistake you need to avoid. Personal savings and bank loans won’t suffice when it comes to running a successful business, hiring people, creating marketing campaigns and so on. Wait until you find a good source of financing, then hit the start button.
On the other hand, money problems are often connected with startup founders being too eager and hasty. In the scenario where after your first batch of funding you buy everyone on your team a MacBook Pro, rent a duplex office space with a chill room, foosball and fresh fruits delivered to your door every day, and your product is not even released yet, well that’s the highway to fail. Spending money on unnecessary goods isn’t good for business unless your position on the market is stable and you’re receiving regular, satisfactory income.
3. Startup fatigue
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy on anyone’s psychic. Some people can’t take the stress and slowly give up on their startup. Before you get into it, think deeply if you’re really up for starting your own business. As we already established, not every startup is a unicorn, but definitely all of them demand a lot of dedication. The stress, the worry, the sleepless nights, the list goes on. Until you’re sure that your product is a success, you basically worry 24/7. You’ve got bills to pay, people to compensate, investors to find etc. The lack of a support system can lead to a quick burnout and your startup failing. Don’t let that happen and take care of your mental health. Take weekends off and ask your employees for help.
4. Team issues
The first issue with the team refers to co-founders. There may come a time in your startup history when you and your partner start going in different directions. When co-founders want different things, it means that you’re not on the same team any more. You may argue and break apart.
Another thing that threatens your team is the lack of experience in the startup industry. False beliefs that we covered before resulting in disappointment. People think working in a startup is only fun and games. In reality, the stakes are high, many arguments and frustrations may occur. Some team members may decide to leave the company.
A successful startup team should be united and driven by the same goals. The vision, mentality and startup environment is quite specific and you have to inform all of your team members about it from day one.
5. Ignoring feedback
Some people want to create a product for themselves. That’s alright, but maybe not for risky business purposes. If you want to sell and make lots of money, you need to put your selfishness aside.
The biggest mistake you can make is not listening to your customers. Never ignore any feedback you get, whether it’s from your clients, your business partners, your family or your employees. Of course, don’t believe everything people say, just think about it. A startup founder needs to be determined to make his/her own decisions but also able to compensate for mistakes and be open for improvements.