Avoid These Common Startup Mistakes
Every entrepreneur has a story. And these days, with the rise of content marketing, more entrepreneurs than ever before are sharing their experiences with wider audiences. When your startup is in growth mode, tap these three tips from seasoned entrepreneurs to position your business for success—and avoid common startup mistakes.
Don’t try to do it all
The phrase “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’” very likely could have come from an entrepreneur. Why? Because every successful businessperson will tell you that the key to getting your startup off the ground is building a team. As an entrepreneur (or a solopreneur), it’s tempting to try to do too much; after all, your business is your baby. But as tough as it might be, the only way to grow is to bring in skilled team members who will supplement your skill set and bring your company’s potential to the next level. Surround yourself with a diverse group of experts in areas like finance, technology and marketing to ensure you’re making decisions based on collective intelligence, not just your own opinions. As Mark Cuban says, know your competencies. Then, hire for the competencies you don’t have.
No investor is better than a bad investor
When you’re seeking funding (and absolutely need it to get to the next level), every investor suddenly starts looking like the investor of your dreams. When this happens, it’s time to take a deep breath, take a step back and consider bootstrapping. Although it may seem like every startup has an investor, in reality about 82% of startup funds come from the founder (or the founder’s family and friends).
One of the most serious mistakes an entrepreneur can make is partnering with the wrong investor—someone who doesn’t share your vision for the future of the company, or your view on finances and the best route for growth. Do your due diligence, get to know many investors, and make sure you select the partner who will truly help you succeed. If we’ve learned one thing from working with both startups and investors, it’s this: having no investor is better than having a bad investor.
Establish systems, even if it’s not fun
Systems. This is probably the least sexy part of building a company, which is why failing to set a foundation is one of the most common startup mistakes. But without structure in place, your company will never get off the ground. As you develop your startup, take time to set up systems (finance, operations, and more). Not only will these keep your company stable when inevitable challenges arise; they will also support your company’s growth and prepare you for when things do start ramping up.
There’s never been a better time to grow a business. Why? Because more successful entrepreneurs than ever are sharing stories and advice that you can apply to your startup today. Be the smart entrepreneur who learns from others’ common startup mistakes—and then applies the insights that put your biz ahead of the pack. So go out there and build your team, build your processes and do your investment due diligence. Your business will thank you.