Starting a new business is hard enough as it is, but making some common mistakes can really set you back. Here are the five most common mistakes that new startups make, based on insights from entrepreneurs and industry experts.
1. Failing to develop a clear vision and mission:
A startup without a defined vision and mission is like a ship without a rudder. It will be difficult to steer your company in the right direction if you don’t have a plan.
2. Not having a detailed business plan:
A business plan lays out all of the important details about your business- from your mission statement and target market, to your products and services, to your financial forecasts. Without it, you won’t.
3. Failing to do your research:
This is by far the biggest mistake new startups make. You need to have a clear idea of what you’re doing, who your target market is, and how you’re going to reach them.
4. Don't try to do everything yourself :
"A big mistake that entrepreneurs make is thinking they are all alone, and they try to operate independently without surrounding themselves with wise counsel. Don't try to run a new business by yourself. Find and onboard trustworthy seasoned advisors to discuss your business ideas, strategy, challenges, and progress. Wisdom and power exist in the multiplicity of counsel. Incentivize four to six people to join your company as advisors to receive continuous feedback so that fewer mistakes will occur." – James Zimbardi, chief executive officer, Rent Items
5. Don't launch too quickly:
"One of the biggest mistakes startups make is launching before they are ready. The saying 'done is better than perfect is the right advice, however, the 'done' needs to ensure it can handle new clients. Once you have launched into the public and you start getting clients, ensure that your systems and processes are in places, such as payment terms and processes, contracts, and communications, whilst still being able to maintain your marketing strategy. The back-end processes need to be watertight before you start taking on clients; if they aren't, these are the cracks that will show and appear unprofessional." – Gems Collins, online course creator, business coach and chief executive officer, Gems Collins LLC
A successful startup is not built by one single person alone – surround yourself with subject matter experts and mentors you can lean on and learn from. Although there are several startup mistakes you will want to avoid while building your business, occasional mistakes are inevitable, and manage your expectations accordingly.
Don't be afraid of failure; instead, learn from your mistakes and pivot your business model as needed. Test new ideas and acquire feedback so you can tweak your product to better meet customers' needs.