It’s not easy being a startup founder. From establishing a team for your startup, to fundraising, to the process of designing and building a product or solution and more, you are constantly working around the clock. It’s even worse if you’re a brand new startup founder and are getting your feet wet for the very first time. You will most likely find yourself in many unfamiliar situations and may be tempted to use shortcuts to get things done, so here are some pitfalls you should avoid if you want your startup to be successful in the long run.
Many startups rush to bring their product or solution to the market without first laying a solid foundation and framework that will sustain it for the long term. In truth, your product will go through several iterations before reaching a certain standard that justifies its existence in the market. Beware of falling into the trap of pushing your product on to the market through vast funding alone; this happens to new startups that receive a sudden, immense injection of capital and have more money than they know what to do with. Given enough resources, even the worst products can be forced to market and on to customers, though whether or not those customers stick around long enough to generate enough value for the startup to be profitable is an entirely different matter. By dedicating your time and effort to building a solid foundation – an undertaking which may take several years – you are in effect creating a feasible, sustainable business and product that will continue to grow and sell for years to come.
Some startups, though they are able to hire high-quality talent, might skimp on the recruiting budget and instead settle for substandard hires. The mistake here is thinking that, as long as they can complete the task, it doesn’t have to be perfect nor does it matter how good they are. Actually, that line of thinking is going to lead to even higher costs for your startup in the long run than if you had just hired high productivity employees because the risk of mediocre workers underperforming or just making mistakes is much higher, and it is your startup that will bear the consequences. You have to also take into account the fact that you may have to retrain them and reiterate your product, which will end up costing your startup precious resources. Therefore, it makes more sense to hire high-quality talent even if they do cost your startup more money initially.
If your startup really cannot afford to recruit high-quality talent, you can still take them on as mentors or advisors instead. They can offer you valuable insight and mentorship that can see your startup grow and thrive in a competitive market. If you want to take a risk with a promising though under-qualified candidate, just be sure that you have the resources necessary to cover up any costs, such as training, that may be incurred.
Building a sustainable business for your startup is hard enough; you don’t have to complicate things by choosing ventures that you are uncertain of. To reduce the risk of failure, your startup can focus on products and space that you are already quite familiar with, one where you can manage most if not all of the variables. A good place to start would be something that you are passionate about, something that would drive your motivation and keep you focused for a long time to come. If you still really want to try out something unfamiliar, then at least do the proper research and homework first before attempting it so that you minimize the risk of failure.
Just knowing about these 3 mistakes is not enough; you have to do your part by being proactive and take the necessary measures to avoid them. By doing so, your startup will have a much greater chance of succeeding as a result.