3 Major Mistakes to Avoid as a Start-up Owner According to Vlad Rigenco
Everybody makes mistakes. But when you are starting a new business, you want to try and keep the errors to a minimum, should they become costly further down the line. Luckily, countless entrepreneurs have walked this road before you, and many of them have committed common mistakes that the rest of us can learn from. To go over the three major mistakes you need to avoid as a first-time start-up owner, we spoke to entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Dood Inc., Vlad Rigenco. With all of this experience under his belt, Vladimir Rigenco knows a thing or two about how to build a sturdy foundation when you found your first start-up business.
Not Understanding the Difference Between Management and Leadership
If you’re an entrepreneur, you are likely used to working for and by yourself and may have to readjust when you begin managing a team. When starting up a new business, it is easy to confuse management with leadership, but a successful leader is an idea machine. You inspire others to see the vision, make connections and secure funding for the company’s continued growth. When your company is in the initial start-up phase, you may believe you are able to handle all of the functional roles, but it is a fatal mistake to believe you can do so. It is important to relinquish some control as you begin your business — many hands make light work. As a secondary point to this mistake, be sure to ease into the hiring process, and ensure you have a good idea of company culture before you start interviewing candidates. You will want to build a strong team at the outset of founding your business that you can rely on and trust. You want to have a team of driven, industry professionals who you can trust to manage projects and tasks with the highest degree of efficiency and execution.
Forgetting to Create a Solid Business Plan
Secondly, when you start a business, you want to build a solid foundation and think through every possible avenue before starting. Vlad Rigenco explains that if you do not have a strong, solid business plan when you start building your start-up, your chances of success are slim to none. Building a business plan will include objectives, target demographics, budget, strategy, weaknesses, and more. Planning for success is great, but you also have to plan for failure and consider all of your available options. Being able to identify areas of weakness in your potential business is crucial — you don’t want any surprises to blindside you when you’re in the infancy stage. That being said, you may have a very specific action plan to achieve a very specific vision, but it can’t be written in stone. Some things will not pan out as you envisioned, and you might have to change your course of action. Being able to be agile and fix problems quickly and focus on being solution-oriented instead of problem-oriented is key to running a successful business. This attitude will serve you well as you continue to scale up your business.
Listen to Your Customers
When you first start building your product or service, you want other people to be as happy with it as you are. The third mistake you want to avoid is not gathering customer feedback before launching your business. The assumptions you might make in the process of building your start-up may give you the impression that you are working on a big problem, and many start-up owners believe that their product is the exact thing that their customers want, but this is a major area of caution. When you start coming up with a product idea, Vladimir Rigenco explains that you need to ensure that it is exactly what your consumer wants, and it is never too early to start gauging feedback from people about your product or service. One of the best ways to ensure that your product will sell is to remember the 50 percent rule of traction: spend 50% of your time on product and 50% on getting traction. You need users to tell you what to make and you can’t make a good product without their guidance. While making a product, users are your best advisors, they can in fact guide you better than the CEO of a big corporation. Develop processes to understand the language of the market. The market is never wrong, follow what it says.
Vlad Rigenco concludes that starting a new business is one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world but there are many potential missteps that can cost you in the long run. By avoiding the three common mistakes listed above, your business will already be ahead of the curve.