It is no secret that the majority of startups do not succeed. In fact, around three-quarters of all startups ultimately fail, and 25 percent of those will close within one year of opening. While there is no perfect formula to ensure that your business prospers, you can avoid a number of common pitfalls that could potentially contribute to its demise.
Some of these stumbling blocks involve factors beyond your control, such as an unsuitable economic climate or challenges within a particular market. However, entrepreneurs themselves make countless mistakes, ranging from startup mismanagement to getting the fundamentals wrong.
Here are a few of the reasons that startups fail and how you can prevent them from affecting your business:
Having the wrong idea
It is impossible to found a successful startup without first starting with a strong idea. Early on in the development process, you will need to determine whether you can take your concept and turn it into a reality. Remember that consumers want fully developed products, not just ideas. At the same time, you must also turn your product concept into one that can provide the answer to a unique problem and fill an existing void in your target market. Your product must be one of the very best available that can solve your given issue if you want to make your enterprise a success.
Not putting customers first
After putting so much time and effort into developing your vision into a reality, you can potentially become too wrapped up in your own ideas and ignore the most important element of your business: your customers. Many entrepreneurs do not even recognize when they are putting their intended audience on the back burner. However, it is crucial that you involve them throughout each stage of your startup.
Always listen to customer feedback and put their wants before your own ideas. You should constantly ask yourself what your customers would want before you make any decisions. Is your product still piquing their interest? Will they use your services more if you made alterations? You can answer these questions and attract more customers by consistently engaging with both current and potential consumers.
One of the most common reasons that startups fail is a lack of operating capital. If you underestimate just how much money you will need to open your startup, you will run out of funding and be forced to prematurely close your businesses.
There are countless other mistakes that you can make when it comes to funding a new venture. Financing operations before you are ready to scale your business is one bad move. Another is missing important company funding deadlines. You should also be careful how you manage your startup money. As head of your business, you must be able to follow your numbers and know exactly where your money is going. If you need extra assistance, you should add a professional accountant to your team.
You cannot reap the rewards of a successful startup without first carefully planning out each aspect of your company’s operations. This ever-important step is one that entrepreneurs frequently skip, thereby bringing their businesses into existence without any real strategy or direction.
You should therefore develop a realistic business plan that covers a wide array of crucial topics long before debuting your products. For example, you must lay out your needs for employees, design a marketing strategy, and address any challenges that you could potentially face in the future. No matter what kind of plan you create, it should contain a certain level of flexibility. Numerous factors can change your strategy at any time, so you must be able to adapt accordingly. You should also create a plan B and C in case your first plan goes awry.
Opening in the wrong location
Where you decide to open your business can either lead to its success or its failure. Even a business with a strong plan and management team can fail to thrive due to a poor choice of location.
The type of location you should look for depends on the kind of startup you are launching. If you are opening a brick-and-mortar company, you will need to find a location close to your customer base. Online startups, on the other hand, can operate from anywhere. However, you should still pay close attention to your choice of location. There are a number of startup hubs across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, that support the work of entrepreneurs by providing local business incentives and easy access to funding.
Assembling the wrong team
Improper human resource management is yet another factor that often contributes to the failure of a startup. After assembling the capital, the ideas, and the plan you will need to open your startup, you then need to gather the team who can help bring your vision to life.
While it is always important to enlist the help of professionals that possess the right tools and experience, you also need employees who are as motivated as you are. Often, drive and creativity are enough to create a strong team, so you should not focus solely on skills.
The role of the founder is key to creating a good team. Every startup needs a strong leader who is capable of delegating when needed, doing rather than thinking, and communicating the company vision to employees. You must possess these skills and more if you are to offer positive contributions to your startup’s team and drive your business to success.