The success rate of a first-time startup for an entrepreneur is around 18%. While this statistic may seem a little depressing at first, keep in mind that it doesn’t mean YOU are going to fail. It should just serve as a reminder to do your best to learn from other’s mistakes! We’ve compiled a short list of some common mistakes first timers make and added some advice on how you can avoid them.
The Money Mistake
We all know the saying, “You need to spend money to make money”. While there is some truth to that, it certainly doesn’t mean spend all your hard-earned startup capital in one shot. It can be tempting to think that your idea/product/service is so amazing that you’ll have consumers lined up around the block in no time thereby recouping the initial cost immediately. But that’s not exactly realistic. It is important to examine each part of the business and determine what are non-essential expenses and hold off on those until you start making money. That being said, don’t shy away from spending on things that will help save the business money in the long run, i.e. an accountant, attorney or developer to help make decisions and negotiations with the business’s best interests in mind.
The Attainable Goal Mistake
You’re probably thinking, “Goals? Obviously, I have goals, I started my own company so that I can rule the world in the near future!” That’s awesome and we’re not saying you need to give up on that goal. But you do need to make sure it’s attainable. Your goal of world domination won’t be realized if you don’t have a solid plan of action. Make a list of short term (rule the block) and long term (rule the world) goals and make sure they are attainable. Aim for the block in six months, ruling the city in a year, etc. and create a timeline of when you’d like to reach your ultimate world ruling goal based on your plan of action.
The Keeping Your Idea a Secret Mistake
It’s tempting to want to protect your big idea and not tell anyone about until launch time, but the reality is, unless you talk it out with others you really have no idea if anyone will even want what you are selling. Talk to others in your industry. Talk to potential customers. Tell them your idea, ask them what their needs/wants are and figure out how you will be able to tailor your business plan to meet those needs and wants. Find out why others in your industry may have failed. Learn from their mistakes and listen to all of the feedback. If you need to connect with other likeminded members of the entrepreneurial community, please check us out: http://thedockingstation.spaces.nexudus.com/en/about
The Fear of What If’s Mistake
We know, we know. The very first thing we told you was that your odds for survival were slim. But don’t let that scare you! If you allow yourself to become incapacitated by all the things that could go wrong, you’ll be too afraid to even try to find out what might go right. By recognizing that every new startup has these fears you can remind yourself that they are just fears. And fear is meant to be overcome.
Mistakes are inevitable. You’re not supposed to know everything and even if your business is successful (which we KNOW it will be!) thirty years down the line, we guarantee you’re still not going to know everything. Take some time to learn where others may have failed so that you don’t have to.