Updated: May 4
Whenever starting anything in life, if you do not have a strategy, then there is a lot of room for error. Startups make mistakes just like every company would, however some of these mistakes can be avoided if approached with the right strategy. Just because you have a small office with 10 people does not mean you don't need to plan. Here are some of the mistakes that startups tend to make:
1. NOT KNOWING YOUR GOALS
Almost 50% of startups don’t survive the first 5 years. Almost all startups are growth-oriented in the beginning. Therefore, goals play an important role. Make sure the goal is measurable, specific, and time-bound. It must be attainable, and not something that would be too far to reach, for example, if Grab, Asia’s leading transport service company says they want to be the next best transport providing service app in the world, this task lacks specifications and time duration. A better specified and time allocated task would be to be the best transport service application in 3 Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia in 8 months.
2. ADDING UNWANTED VALUE/FEATURES
Another common mistake startups make is adding too many elements or features to their product or service to add value. This makes the main problem blurry and confuses not only the customers but the whole team working on the project as well. Focus is shifted whenever working on too many things at once, therefore to avoid this mistake, try making the product or service simple at first, and solve the already existing issues.
3. YOU ARE A PALM TREE
Being a startup is like being a palm tree, whenever there is a strong wind, all the tall and rigid palm trees fall, it's the ones that are small and flexible that bend towards the direction of the wind to stay alive. They have adapted to their surroundings and nature. Just like that, founders need to trust the market instead of their own opinions. As for the roots of the tree, this is the culture of your team, the stronger the connection with the team the healthier the palm tree will be. The majority of the founders find themselves having a different product in their hands than what they had originally thought of. It is never the same as the original idea. Accepting change and being flexible is key to stay focused in this fast-moving market.
4. SORRY, WE HAVE TO FIRE YOU!
Startups usually have a small team, most of the time it's just 5 people working. If you hire the wrong person, then the whole team suffers, because that one person is one-fifth of your company. Mostly when people are hired for startups, they all tend to have a similar perspective towards the brand, therefore avoid paralyzing your team by hiring the wrong person. However, there is a way to control or change this, creating a good working environment, leaving open room for communication, and giving the right tasks to the right people, all these things help build a good relationship with your team. If things don't work out then you will have to fire an employee.
5. BE READY TO BE CONFRONTED
Whenever we are working hard on a project, we may have the illusion that we are doing a good job because we've spent all this time and effort trying to finish the work. That is not the case however, transparency is important in a startup. Founders of startups are people who have a pre-decided vision and dream for their company, therefore they get the illusion that whatever they are doing is only for the betterment of the brand. Always listen to your co-workers about what they have to say about your work or you. This helps in improving yourself and the startup because you end up learning something about yourself or the startup that you might have not known before. If every day you learn 1% from your mistakes and errors, then by the end of the year, you have improved 36 times more than you would have. Whenever someone corrects you or points out a weakness, reward them instead of giving explanations. Knowing your mistakes in a startup can motivate you to fix those mistakes.
6. LAUNCHING THE PRODUCT TOO EARLY
We all know that the founders of startups are excited about their ideas and launching it as soon as possible seems like a trend all the founders want to follow. In reality, no one cares about the launching of a startup, mostly the people who use your product or service first will be your employees or close friends and family. Launching the product early will help you get the feedback necessary to make changes and improvements. The problem is that the product still has flaws in an early launch, most people when they will see your product won't be coming again due to the reason that it's an unfinished product. It's always a better idea to release and launch a product when its ready for the world and the future, releasing it too early with an unfinished project can give the brand a bad image.