5 Common Mistakes Startups Make and Tips to Avoid Them

Starting a business can be intimidating and overwhelming. However, when done right, it can be an extremely rewarding and exhilarating experience.

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of startup businesses make the same mistakes when they’re just starting — and we want to help you avoid making these same mistakes.

This article will cover the five most common mistakes that startup businesses make and give you actionable tips to avoid going down the same path.

5 most common mistakes startups make and what you should do instead

1. Insufficient planning

Today, many business professionals are under the misconception that business plans are outdated and a waste of time.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

You see, according to research, having a business plan creates a 30% better chance for business growth and success.

That’s because a business plan gives you a “roadmap” to work off. It allows you to set short and long-term goals, deadlines, and actionable steps that you can take every single day to achieve your overall objective.

Your business plan helps you consider:

  • Business structure
  • Business model
  • Cash flow needs
  • Management
  • Employees
  • Vendors
  • Inventory management
  • Basic marketing channels

And many more elements that are crucial to the success of a business.

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2. Product or service isn’t differentiated

Understanding the problem that you’re solving through your offering, enables you to differentiate yourself from others.

Differentiating a product and service is a function of understanding the pain point or problem you’re solving and how you’re solving it differently from your competitors.

It’s a result of consistent progress in determining the true problem your business is addressing. This takes time and the more you work on your business, you can determine what makes you different.

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Also, keep in mind that, in the early stages of your business, your differentiator will be different from when you’re at maturity and have some skin in the game.

Here are a few ways in which you can differentiate your product:

  • Offering excellent customer support and service – A study shows that 60% of customers won’t hesitate to switch brands when they’re experiencing bad customer service.
  • Use price as a differentiating factor – This doesn’t mean that you need the lowest prices. Instead, you can offer different price packages or loyalty programs.
  • Use speed – Deliver your products or services faster than your competitors.

3. Fear of failure

Often, the fear of failure causes new business owners to be too cautious — which ultimately makes them more likely to fail.

Start with what you have and do what you can. This will propel momentum and build your confidence — which ultimately helps you overcome fear.

We encourage the concept of Lean Start-Up: Fail fast, fail forward.

4. Unclear about your target audience

Customers are the most important part of a business.

However, the trick is to niche down so that you know exactly who you need to be marketing your offer to. Many businesses make the mistake of simply saying “my customer is anyone who likes my product”.

This is the wrong approach. Instead, you need to do market research to determine who exactly your target market is:

  • Their age
  • Their gender
  • Their income level
  • Their habits and buying behaviors
  • Their values
  • and more…

5. Giving up too early

Starting a business is not the same as running a business — it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

All things considered; it occurs too often that new entrepreneurs don’t last past the first 3 years after they start.

To achieve small business success, you need endurance and perseverance. Above that, you need an alliance with people who want to see you win, and that’s where a coach becomes of value.

In the end, it’s all worth it when you’re a successful entrepreneur, sitting at the top of your empire.

Set your startup up for success

Now that you’ve seen the most common mistakes that many startup businesses make, as well as the tips you should follow to avoid making these same mistakes, you can start strategizing a launch plan for your startup.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who needs help to plan and implement your startup company to ensure business success, get into contact with our team today.

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