In every type of business, no matter how well-educated you are or what background you came from, challenges are unavoidable. Startups are highly likely to encounter problems and issues along the way. However, while these challenges may be unavoidable, the actions done to counter and get through them depend on the startup business. These actions may lead them to more and harder challenges, or a solution the challenge first encountered. Mistakes are probable, but there are mistakes which a startup could avoid and save the costs and time associated with these mistakes. Here are some avoidable mistakes which startups are highly to commit, especially at the early stages of their business.
UNCLEAR ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Having no clear organizational structure often leads your company and its people to confusion. In other words, every position and role in the organization should be clearly defined and well-structured. The CEO and his roles in the organization must be clearly enumerated and his responsibilities and power should be clearly stipulated, especially as to the extent of his power and authority. There must also be a proper escalation of issues and solutions in the company. Without a proper escalation ladder, people would be confused on who and where to start if they have important matters to raise. Oftentimes, the result will be not being able to address these matters, which might lead to the breakdown of the company’s internal relationship and performance.
HIRING AND PURCHASING TOO EARLY
The tendency of most startups is that when a big capital is made available or a huge funding is granted to the organization, it purchases all the equipment it can and hire too quickly. The excitement of having financial resources have the tendency to push the founders or the owner to buy what it can to provide for the startup. However, this might lead to early burnout of the company and can stray them from the real objectives of the startup. Office equipment, high-tech gadgets and instruments are necessary for startups. But these things should be carefully planned by management. Also, hiring too many an too quickly may burden the startup. Always remember that hiring should be taken seriously and planned accordingly. Not everything is necessary during the first stages of the startup – start with the ones which are absolutely necessary in running the business. The rest of the financial resources may still be needed in other areas such as marketing, networking, collaboration and other investments.
Startups, especially at its early stages, want to gather as much market as possible. With this, some may under-price in order to attract buyers or customers, not considering the real costs of doing business – the materials used for the product, the cost of marketing, labor, utilities, rent and many other costs and expenses incurred in its operations. Remember, you should be able to cover all the costs incurred. The goal is to cover all these expenses, break-even, acquire small profit or just minimize the losses. Prices in the market should be taken into consideration – you should not be too low or too high. The important thing is you covered for your costs and you considered your market – also consider supply and demand for your product or service.
LAUNCHING TOO EARLY OR TOO LATE
Before launching, you should have already tested the product. Launching too early may destroy your reputation and may lead to users not trusting your company. The technique is to focus on the usage of the product that has already been tested. Also, consider alternative actions, if ever there will be issues after the launch. Make sure to inform your users or customers and appropriately advise them, just in case there will be technical glitches. If there may be problems in launching too early, there are more problems which can result to launching too late or too slow. It is normal for startups to have apprehensions in dealing with possible issues and customer feedback. However, you will never know how your product will fair in the market if you will not launch. Just make sure that you plan carefully on its launching – determine possible problems and solutions. This way, you can also test your product and you can learn from real end-users. Just make sure, however, as mentioned earlier, that you appropriately inform and advise your customers.
ABSENCE OF MARKETING STRATEGY
Your startup needs an identity. This can only be achieved through proper branding and carefully planned marketing strategies. Invest on branding and marketing. Do not hesitate to hire and find yourself an expert on these matters. The branding and marketing professional can concentrate on how your product and company will be presented to its potential customers, while you can focus on making and improving your product and running your business.
There are other mistakes which every startup makes. However, these are the common biggest mistakes which are very avoidable. Knowing these avoidable mistakes would help you and your startup save up on the cost of these mistakes and rather appropriate your resources to other areas of your business.