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9 common mistakes made with a startup

There are countless decisions to make in starting a business, and any one of them can hurt or help the success of a startup. However, it will likely be a mixed bag where some decisions will help ensure success, while others will be a hit that can set the endeavor back.

There is no fool-proof way beyond hindsight that determines which decisions are good ones and which ones are bad, but startup experts cite these as lethal mistakes that can lead to significant mishaps.

  1. No planning phase: It is best to do some market research and then come up with a business plan based on what the research says.
  2. Not having SMART goals: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals help businesses attain objectives and build on those successes.
  3. Undervaluing your services or products: This is often due to a lack of confidence or fear of failure, but founders need to believe that the business truly offers something of value. Identify a good price entry point and go with it until the market says it is not working.
  4. Not using new technology: Bugs and glitches can punish early adopters, but often there are opportunities for a new business to put space between itself and its competitors. It is also smart to adopt new technology before habits set in, and retraining is needed.
  5. Avoiding marketing: Marketing comes in many forms, but its essential purpose is to get the word out there about a new product or service. It is a mistake to assume that customers and their business will bust down the door.
  6. Not knowing the customer base: Founders and employees must understand who the business serves and where to find those customers.
  7. Spending too much: Expenses are unavoidable but avoid the temptation to accumulate too much overhead. Create a sustainable budget and stick to it.
  8. Not spending enough: Starting a business is hard enough, underfunding it does not give it a chance to grow, mainly when there are areas of opportunity or signs of growth.
  9. Doing everything: It can be hard for some owners to delegate, but it is better to build a good team that allows the owner to focus on the unique activities they do to drive the company’s success.

Owners need a team

No one goes it alone, so business owners will often need to organically add staff, work with a partner or investor and have a reliable team of vendors. A business law attorney can often be a real asset in helping with contracts, business structure and a wealth of advice based on years of working with other clients.