9 common mistakes to avoid in startup development strategy
1. Lack of rationality: after coming up with a wonderful idea we think that it is great to start the company. But are there many people who think likewise and who really need the product or service we are going to create? Before starting investing money, and, what might be even more important - time, it is necessary to check if there is a real need and a niche for this product/service. If not sure, just leave it, at least for now.
2. Lack of Intention: first we should not that team is a crucial component. Are all team members - co-founders, engineers, marketing specialists, etc - motivated and encouraged to REALLY start something new? Despite all the challenges, despite many failures and mistakes that will appear on the way to success. Every single day we should be ready to make some steps that will move the project forward. Otherwise, is it worth starting?
3. Lack of Knowledge: knowledge seems to be crucial in some fields, while in others it is considered to be not as important. But it does matter. If we do not have at least basic knowledge about what we are going to do and hope to hire professionals who will do everything, then what is it that they need us for? Knowledge is a big competitive advantage, sometimes underestimated.
4. Lack of Practice: nothing comes immediately. We should try several times before reaching the result we want. So, if the result is below our expectations, maybe we just have not tried enough times? In order to reach perfection, we should do the same thing again and again… and again. When we speak about practice, I think of a Russian cartoon, that I watched in my childhood. A boy asked his mum why she can sew on a button so fast and tightly and why he cannot do it. The answer was as simple as that: “I have made it hundreds, thousands of times. If you sew on 100 buttons, you will see the progress”. Let’s sew our 100 buttons, then we will see the difference.
5. Lack of focus: start small and then expand, not the other way round. If we try to build a startup and want it to be a large-scale business since the very beginning, we can forget about it. It is better to focus on a small niche, gain experience and then apply it in other spheres, for other target customers. And let’s see how fast it will work for the second, third, fourth time (see the previous point).
6. Overconfidence: generation Y believes that with their age and their experience, they know so many things that they simply cannot make mistakes. It is unacceptable. But the fact is that everyone can. The main thing here is to learn how to admit the mistakes and work so that we do not make them again.
7. Not finishing what was started: we set the goal, start doing it and then face some difficulties. Moreover, there are so many other things to do, so we just switch to another activity. Then we have to come back to the one that was failed and… we have to start all over again. This happens so often in our lives, not being able to finish something at once and then wasting time because of forgetting what we have already done. A very simple example, which comes to my mind, is learning a language: we spent time (sometimes years) to learn it, then stop, then restart again. When we restart, we realize that rules that seemed to be so simple, are now new to us again. It is more rational to finish the activity, and then move on to the next one. But be careful, if the activity seems to be useless, it is better to stop doing it immediately.
8. Forget about customer: we should always remember that without customers our business would not exist. Sometimes entrepreneurs are so focused on their internal activities or their profits that they forget about the final goal of their business: to satisfy the needs of clients. They just need to listen to their users; adapt their products and services for clients’ interests.
9. Not liking what we do. Last but not least. If we do not feel passionate about the sphere we are in, we’d better change it. We should choose the activities according to our preferences. Do what you really like and success will come.
You read this list and think that everything is obvious? Yes it is, but unfortunately many startups all over the world continue doing these mistakes, that is why we think it is important to remind you about them! Keep in mind this short list, try to avoid these mistakes and success will be yours. Good luck!
Ekaterina Voronova from InnMind.com