5 mistakes, Startups commit!
2016 will see some great ideas and concepts turn into reality. This year we shall witness some crazy and brilliant minds join the clan of entrepreneurs (we are one among them). If you own a start up, you are living the stressful phase where not many things are known to you and you are bound to commit some mistakes that might be crucial for the company in the long run. Well, you might have read books or articles on entrepreneurship or start ups, but not many of these focus or mention the following mistakes. Assuming that you are reading this because you already own one, or looking forward to it, here’s a list of mistakes you must be aware of to avoid the blunders that will follow.
1.Choosing an improper location:
Generally, every company gets a different response from different countries across the globe. A company that runs well in the west, may be rolling in the sand on the east. Thinking on the lines of geography and demography is inevitable. Also, choosing a site that is close from where you get funds is a smart move. It is always a best practice to start with the location and then en route to other plans. Because location controls a majority of other factors that start ups are responsible for looking into.
2.Launching the company at an inopportune time:
You are not selling chips in the grocery store and must understand that a start up needs to be launched at the right time. Deciding the right time includes factors like the time of the year when the target audience is larger and effective, when you have studied the market thoroughly, when you are ready with a lot of responsible teammates and all the like. Generally, every company gets a different response from different countries across the globe. A company that runs well in the west, may be rolling in the sand on the east. Thinking on the lines of geography and demography is inevitable. Also, don’t wait too long to launch, or it will be someone else with a similar concept shining with success, at the top of the charts.
3.Not having a backup plan:
Not everyone has enough bank balance to start anew if the company doesn’t function as expected. You must have a backup plan. You could always come back to achieving the goal you failed at, but that takes time and you will need cash to support the ensuing efforts. Many companies we know off didn’t start quite well, they started with Plan A but are famous for Plan B, for example, Nokia. Nokia started as a paper mill, which eventually came to an end, and is now widely popular for its phones. Have a good idea of the backup plan prepared in your mind. Because, accept it, you are no God to predict about your startup’s future. So it’s up to you, if you want to wait years and years until you finally succeed or move smartly and quickly along the path that leads to your dream.
Assuming that funding is the most important thing that your start up needs is the first mistake start up owners commit. If you are stuck at the funding stage, please understand that something is there you aren’t thinking about and that is taking all the time, and you should be moving ahead.Also, you haven’t quite got the idea of whom to approach for funding.” A common mistake startups make in trying to meet investors is, counter intuitively, focusing too much on networking with actual investors. The best way to get a meeting with a VC is not by incessantly pursuing him or her, but rather by getting an intro from a founder that the VC has already invested in. Befriend funded entrepreneurs. Every VC will tell you that they will take meetings with 100% of the companies that their existing portfolio founders recommend.
Don’t spend all your energy emailing and LinkedIn-ing VC’s; instead, get to know founders who have been funded and win them over because their stamp of approval is one of the most valuable data points for an investor.” — Sam Teller, Managing Director, Launchpad LA. (Source: Mashable)
5.Listening and understanding Customers:
Customers offer a different point of view about your company, and their input is very crucial not just revenue-wise but also, helps you understand the competition you are about to face on launching.
As said by Sandra Oh Lin, Founder/CEO, Kiwi Crate, you must have spoken to customers, engaged potential customers at an early stage and taken enough of their inputs, that you start predicting what they are about to say.
When you are confused about certain things, it is advisable to put yourself in the shoes of a customer, that will help you figure out a lot of things.Don’t get carried away by all kinds of feedback though, and move along with a broadened idea of the path you are about to tread on.
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Writer: Rafiya Shaikh , Editor: Aastha Vijay