“I have an idea!”
This is where everything starts, doesn’t it? But as the founder of Behance, Scott Belsky said, “It’s not about ideas; it’s about making ideas happen”.
In our attempts to transform what was just a dream into something tangible, we formulate plans and hope that all the pieces fall in their place but life is more complicated than that and often we fall short when it comes to executing the said plans.
Because of the lack of the right guidance, limited resources, poor decision making, etc, although the reasons vary with their subjects, the results are often underwhelming and far from the expected outcome. An entrepreneur who is wise enough to learn from past mistakes ensures a better future. On the contrary, businesses those are not able to adapt and learn often fall behind and are eventually forgotten.
But everyone struggles, everyone makes mistakes and there is no manual that can save you from them. Every project faces new and different difficulties; however, there are some situations that arise in front of every new entrepreneur, irrespective of the nature of the business, which often results in repetitive and premature blunders that can be avoided. But how can one avoid these mistakes if they are not aware of their existence in the first place, assuming that we only stumble upon one after we’ve already committed it?
And so the question that might be crawling its way into your conscious arises.
What exactly are these mistakes that startups shall avoid?
Although the number of these mistakes is debatable, following are the most primitive mistakes that shall be acknowledged by any entrepreneur with the dreams of a startup. Let’s see if you have been doing it right or not.
Surfing on the dreamboat
Be it the overzealous teens in school or the young graduates brimmed with entrepreneurial dreams or the tired employee who is wishing for a way out or the veteran looking to rediscover themselves; we all, at some point in our life, have thought about starting our own business.
Long discussions and future plans are made in the midst of excitement but unfortunately, these plans never see the light of the day. After the adrenaline washes away, so does the will to act upon those plans. They are shoved back in some corner of your mind and eventually forgotten.
Dreaming big is good but there is no point to them if you’re not determined enough to act on them. If you want to own a startup, the first thing to do isget off the couch and work.
Starting a business is a herculean task as it is and trying to make it possible on your own can add to the weight. Granted that there is some skill in every person, no one in this world is capable of executing every task with absolute perfection without external help.
Yes, the concept and dream are yours but you do not have to do everything yourself. Having a team to work on the areas that you do not excel in will produce much better results than a solo effort. Furthermore, having a support system in the form of family and friends can go a long way.
Your journey is supposed to be beautiful and fun, what better way to enjoy it than with your loved ones.
Lack of planning
As complex as a business environment is, winging it at the last moment will, more often than not, get you in trouble and compromise the future of the business. Planning should be at the core of the business. It not only prepares the business for the expected future but also plays a vital role in the analysis of the present.
Plans that are formulated after studying the environment and the recent trends serve as the guiding force for the management. A good plan, if followed, prevents the business from having to bear unwanted expenses; it discourages too much idle time and saves the business from a hazardous and confused management.
Furthermore, smart leaders analyze the growth of their business by studying the divergences between plans on paper and their execution. Hence, in the absence of proper planning, a business cannot flourish.
Flight at first site
A startup is a constant work in progress. To achieve the level of finesse that is required to turn startups into well established businesses, every individual is needed to put their best foot forward and handle the curve-balls that are thrown their way.
Hurdles grace the path to success and it can be scary at times. Many flee at the first site of trouble; their inability to take control, lack of patience and failure to convert difficulties into opportunities renders the business handicapped.
The whole world is running from one problem or another; a human’s first reaction, when faced with an intense situation, is either flight or fight.
It is easy to leave things when they are not going your way but success only lies beyond so do not take the easy way out, don’t run for the woods at the first sight of trouble.
Take charge, lead, improve and fight till you get the best results.
Being a recluse
If you’re a frog of the well, then it is past time that you take a jump and explore this beautiful world! The world is excelling at a rapid speed, especially technology. If you do not step outside the office and see what is happening in the world then you might end up with a product that has already reached the market or even been outdated by the time.
You need to be aware of your surrounding opportunities and threats. A startup is the nurturing stage of any venture; it needs the light of new technology, technique and audience, beyond the walls of the lab.
Following the herd
If you want your product or service to be successful, then it needs to be different then the products already existing in the market!
Ask yourself, “Why should a consumer buy your product over their usual choices?”
This is where you need to stand apart from the crowd. Do something different than the rest, introduce something new and exciting, and lead the tide of change instead of being a sheep.
Unacquainted with Minimum Viable Product
In essence, Minimum Viable Product is a sample of the actual product, which is to be exposed to the consumers to collect feedback, create consumer base and to add or remove features to the sample after proper analysis.
This helps the business to grow at the rate faster than the normal routine rate. MVP presents the business with the opportunity to improve in real time and refine the product as the needs of the costumes. If used wisely, MVPs may prove to be the most useful weapon in your arsenal.
Being aware about the new up and coming methods and techniques shall be among the priorities of the management and if the team is not focusing on the advancements that are happening in the tech world, then maybe it’s time to take a step back and reanalyze and what better way to start it than gathering more knowledge on minimum viable products.
Marketing creates a buzz among the consumers; it makes them anticipated for the upcoming product. An intriguing advertisement will charm the audience into checking out the whole ad and even into buying the product. The advertisement need not be featured on television only; other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc shall also be taken into consideration.
The more popular of a trend these days is marketing through influencers. Influencers are individuals who hold a strong social presence; they use the product, review it and recommend it to their followers.
Social networking holds more power today than it has ever held in the last two decades. A good social presence might boost up the sales like never before and a negative outlook can curb the consumers faster than an epidemic.
Positive or negative, it is crucial for a business to have a social presence; the world is living on the phone now, so the business must catch up as well.
Slacking after launch
The work is far from done once the product is launched in the market; continuous efforts are to be made in addressing consumer queries and complaints, in upgrading the product, for a better experience.
Just acquiring a consumer base isn’t enough, one shall be able to hold that base and increase it ever so smoothly. A consumer comes back if they are happy with the product and after-sales services as well. Hence, slacking in efforts after the launch shall be curbed at once.
Although over the years businesses have slowly recognized the importance of outsourcing, it still is not preferred by many people. Startups, while are just budding businesses, can benefit the most from outsourcing.
Outsourcing the non-core activities ensures that the most in-house efforts are focused on the core activities, all the while being assured of marvelous results vis-à-vis the outsourced process.
In the absence of outsourcing, when all the activities are managed by the business itself, often leads to uneven quality in terms of efforts put in and a mediocre level of outcome overall.
So after reading the article one might be a tad bit concerned about managing all these points without dropping the ball.
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