Getting a business off the ground is no small feat. When it comes to startups, entrepreneurs often find themselves playing a game of minesweeper on the ‘expert’ difficulty. Mistakes are costly and avoiding them can make a world of difference. Luckily, there’s no shortage of info and advice out there for young entrepreneurs. Here are 11 things they should never do:
- Relying Solely on an Idea
Good ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s often easy to fall in love with a great idea and ignore many of the practical aspects of getting a startup up and running. It’s worth mulling over it for a while and to develop a plan of attack, rather than act on the initial impulse.
- Ignoring The Market
Entrepreneurs must rely on other people’s experience. Perhaps the market is already saturated with the product or service they’d like to sell or maybe there are just too many hurdles to jump over to make a particular idea feasible. “Performing market research can clear these things up before they become costly,” entrepreneur Glenn Sandler, from Melbourne, Florida, advises.
- Ignoring The Legal Aspects
Entrepreneurs who handle the bureaucratic elements early on, give themselves time and energy to think of the business itself. Startups can be unpredictable enough, even without getting sued out of the blue or facing any other legal issue.
- Focusing Too Much on The Details
Startup founders don’t have the luxury to obsess over the smallest things. They have to think of everything, at least at first, and it’s important to prioritize the fundamental aspects. If they get sidetracked by one design element or another, they risk not seeing the forest for the trees.
- Ignoring Feedback
Feedback is crucial for a startup’s success. Entrepreneurs can easily form an attachment to what they’re selling and throw objectivity out the window. By listening to customer feedback and by continuing to experiment, a startup can remain ahead of the curve and gain even more customers in the process.
- Skimping on The Talent
Valuable, competent employees do not come cheap. It’s tempting to want to save money, especially when starting things off, but entrepreneurs rely on the skill and professionalism of those working for them. The talent can make or break a startup.
- Ignoring Customer Service
Great customer service does wonders for a company’s growth. If customers are treated politely, as people and if the startup does its best to satisfy their needs, they’re likely to return and eventually become loyal.
- Not Delegating
Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of dealing with everything themselves. It’s tempting to want to micromanage every aspect but, over time, it can lead to burnout. A good entrepreneur knows the strengths and weaknesses of his or her employees and delegates accordingly.
- Relying on Middlemen to Find Investors
Businesses that specialize in finding investors for a startup offer no guarantees of success and ask for a retainer. Yet nobody knows the company better than the founders. They can network and take an active role in the business community. Meanwhile, they can assess possible investors by themselves and save money in the process.
- Not Bending
The business world is dynamic. Things change all the time and entrepreneurs must change with them to survive and thrive. “Not being able to adapt to the market and its newest trends can lead to a company’s demise,” business professional Glenn Sandler says.
- Being Afraid of Failure
Regardless of the number of advice entrepreneurs receive, the trip to success takes place on a long and bumpy road. Mistakes are sometimes unavoidable. Yet learning from them firsthand without putting an unhealthy amount of pressure on oneself will be of great aid in the long term.