Founder & CEO - Enerzi Group | Serial Entrepreneur | Startup Coach | Pro-MMA Athlete | TEDx Speaker
While there is no sure shot way to run a successful venture, there are some common mistakes that one can avoid making in the journey of an Idea to a successful Venture..!
Transforming a mere idea into a profitable business model is an ardent process in itself. However, starting from scratch is a herculean task in itself. Building a start-up is like raising a child where so many things can go wrong and a series of right steps taken decide how a startup grows and succeeds. This means there is a possibility of committing mistakes at multiple stages in many ways.
While there is no sure shot way to run a successful venture, there are some common mistakes that one can avoid making in the journey of an Idea to a successful Venture.
Being too instinctive for funding:
In most cases the founders feel the idea they are working on is a great one and deserves to be invested in, beyond their capacity. This leads to raising capital too early with an excitement and but forget to plan their underlying operations and hence fail to manage the growth. Raising funds at an early stage and using resources in an unplanned manner is the root cause of failure in most start-ups. Careful planning to the last level is essential for the success of the startup. Startups end up innovating newer and more efficient ways only in absence of abundant resources hence in many cases it might be better to limit resources than fund abundantly till the operations and business model is in its place.
Poor market research:
Starting a business without doing adequate market research is as good as playing dice. Instead of leaving it all on chance, entrepreneurs must do required analysis of the market, the target demographic and demand. This is what I call as knowing your startup well. Only then will the venture be capable of making informed decisions and ensure the progress of the enterprise. This will also enable the startup to deal with the uncertainties better.
Floating in wonderland:
This is most common and a dangerous mistake. Founders get obsessed with their idea and want to build a great product/solution in isolation without even talking to their intended customer. In order to please a wider audience, sometimes one tends to diversify and add so many features that the product itself loses its intended identity the entrepreneur looses time in building something which he does not know if meets customer expectation just aptly. Over-diversification often leads to the product failing to meet its general requirement. Therefore, one must take into consideration, the effects of adding a feature into the product before going through with the plan.
Lack of Agility:
When facing a storm, the mightiest trees that stood proud and rigid, fell like a bunch of sticks. But the leaves that bent to the wind survived every onslaught! We have all come across this phrase at some point in time. While this may hold true sometimes in life, it is an essential attribute that business ventures need to stick to, more so in the current market dynamics. Agility needs to be a basic characteristic of our business model in any enterprise in order to deal with the ever-changing market scenario.
Duplication of Competency in Core team:
A right mix of people, make the right environment for a company to progress. Founders like themselves and hence anyone who thinks, speaks and works the same way. This leads him hiring and onboarding people of similar expertise and mindset. While it is important to have some ideological similarity when one hires the core team, it is detrimental to the organisation to have the founders duplicate the same expertise by creating clones. Have a team that can constructively criticise you as a founder and hence add value to the teams overall performance.
Align with Partners:
Being the jack of all trades does not work out in every scenario when it comes to handling large projects. Considering the time constraints, at times it is better to outsource certain parts of the project. Effective delegation with an apt legal structure is key in managing such projects that require a collaboration of many enterprises. One must not limit the growth of his startup based on only internal strength but rather leverage on the huge infrastructure available in the market by aligning and forming strategic partnerships to accelerate manufacturing, development or revenue growth.
Mistakes are bound to happen and every business model is bound to face its share of difficulties. However, one can stay over the edge and persevere if he is aware of the mistakes that can be avoided. If one can do that and strive to succeed, then the sky is the limit!.
One must not limit the growth of his startup based on only internal strength but rather leverage on the huge infrastructure available in the market.
Originally published May 2, 2019