How to Avoid a Startup FailureParthiban Vijayaraghavan
Research suggests 90% startups fail before 5 years and most startup fails due to Lack of Product Fit or Market Need or Ran out of Cash among the top reasons for failures among other people related issues.
I will focus on the people side which contributes to Failures which can be avoided.
Lack of Passion: It has become a "Diva" to startup, people are getting into this bandwagon to show off the world that they are cool, many of them have no real passion of doing it because what they see, hear and observe about successful entrepreneurs is only a tip of the Ice-Berg. Entrepreneurship comes with huge sacrifices, pain, and discomfort which many don't see it coming as their mind is clouded with sweet dreams. Firstly ask yourself a few serious questions, what is that I am really passionate about? How can I convert into a value and give to my customers? Am I willing to sacrifice my time for others for nothing in return?. Firstly develop a passion, spend some time working to create it. Have friends critique your work. Following your dream, your passion may require specific education, so look at making plans to sign up a program in your area of interest First. Be really good at it. Share your knowledge, wisdom, and service to others passionately to help others, don't overly focus on the monetary aspect. If someone has the passion for getting Rich quickly through entrepreneurship, its the first step towards disaster. Focus on value creation and delivery, money will follow sometime.
Here is the simple process (link) to Identify and Develop Passion
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”-Zig Ziglar
Lack of Focus: Many entrepreneurs are initially in an upbeat mood, they are super-excited, they run like a headless chicken doing multiple things, jumping wagons from time and again which is moving in different directions. Energy is a finite resource, if not channelized in one direction, it will get depleted fast and yield no results. Entrepreneurship is all about Failures, many Failures, those who focus and work on Goals and outcome, their probability of succeeding is much higher as they too face the same failures however when they were focused and able to reflect and learn from mistakes. Those who don't focus wouldn't be able to figure out what, where and when went wrong and continued to make the same mistakes. This is where vision, mission, and clarity helps, as these will help bring an entrepreneur and the team to stay on course.
Use Pomodoro technique (Link) to stay focused and yield results.
Lack of Execution: Only talking and storytelling won't help or go very far, founders need to execute, many of them think they are CEO's and don't get their hands dirty or get into details. Execution is King, even if the Idea is ordinary however if it is well executed, the chances of making it into an excellent product/service are higher. Founders need to organize themselves and get into the lowest details, the reason is, it takes time to build a good team until then Founders have to do it all, they cannot make mistakes due to lack of attention to details as this may cost the company depending upon the errors & omissions. This can be avoided if the founder has a good execution plan and systems to help him/her to prevent the mistakes and omissions. Another side of Execution is to reiterate and find the optimal business model. If founders lack execution skill, time is wasted, and the idea/product/ services are not tested timely they will never be able to identify the right business model. Below is an example to keep simple checklist (systems) to get things in control and able to execute flawlessly, go develop your own systems to help you execute.
One of the easiest things is to start a business, it takes less than a month in most part of the world to start a business. The biggest challenge is to sustain and grow. Don't just jump into entrepreneurship unless you are ready to make huge sacrifices and mentally and physically prepared to walk the hardship. Remember only a true passion will help you sail through difficulties. Get good in one thing at a time, Be focused on what you do and deliver it flawlessly. Lastly, execute, don't keep ideas, plans in the Head, take the energy and effort and implement it, the faster you perform, the better you get over time. I still strongly encourage to take up the entrepreneurship however with a pinch of salt. Go do, create or deliver something wonderful to this world.