Four startup mistakes and how to avoid them
September 27, 2011
Everyone makes mistakes, and although businesses are not literally human, they are made up of humans - meaning mistakes are inevitable. At the startup stage, the trick is to curb the impact of these errors and implement a strategy that will make your operations durable trough such setbacks.
On that note, one way to avoid mistakes is to see them coming. By researching pitfalls that other startups have found themselves in, you stand a much better chance of averting them yourself. Here are four common mistakes that you should be wary of when launching a new venture.
1.) Lack of a financial framework - Some entrepreneurs, through either inexperience or sheer ignorance, fail to realize the importance of budgeting their expenses - both current and projected. Startups should draft a thorough spending plan and adhere to it at all costs. When an unexpected expense arises, modify the budget to compensate for losses.
2.) Arrogance - An ego is healthy - it helps build confidence and allows individuals to take bold steps others might not have taken. But like anything else, too much ego breeds arrogance, which in turn breeds resentment, narrow-mindedness and an inability to listen to others. Also, don't let your well-deserved confidence affect the need for you to be present or available at all times.
3.) Mistaken hopes for some lavish lifestyle - Most small businesses fail within the first four years. The reality of entrepreneurship is a challenging, meager existence, wherein hard work and long hours are the norm. While such diligence will pay off, it's important to maintain your expectations and not get discouraged when money doesn't fall from the sky.
4.) Old-school marketing - Old-school sales has its niche appeal, as does management and client relations. But marketing and advertising? Not a chance. Consumers are constantly evolving, and the venues through which they are reached need to reflect those changes.
"Unless there’s a real target audience and the price is right, ditch the traditional printed page," writes Chris Prickett for Business News Daily. "Social networks and viral marketing are 'what's for dinner' in 2010 and best of all they're free! If you don't Facebook, Twitter or blog, you don't stand a chance. And did I mention they're free?"