4 Common Mistakes Startups Need to Avoid to be Successful

You have got an excellent idea to start a business. Great! That is the first important step before getting deep in startups and in entrepreneurship in general. But most of the times, simply having a good idea is not enough. The road to success is long and paved with pitfalls along the way that young entrepreneurs need to be aware of. There are some common mistakes startups need to avoid making in their efforts to have their startups take off.

1. They Do not Have a Clear Business Plan

Not having a clear business plan is probably the most common mistake that young entrepreneurs make early on. A clearly defined business plan from the start can help a startup achieve its goals like finding potential investors and securing funding for its business.

Specifically, startups need to have a clearly defined business and focus on a specific product or service that will catch on with potential clients, according to the founders’ research. Juggling with many different ideas is best during brainstorming sessions and certainly not during a startup phase. A startup needs to inspire confidence and have a detailed plan to solve problems according to market needs.

2. They Don’t Do their Research

Another mistake startups need to avoid is to make sure they did their due diligence. Startup founders need to do their market research to identify their audience before launching a product or service. Entrepreneurs need to appreciate what the market is ready to buy and what not, respectively.

Specifically, some practical ways to identify their audience are to make research on their own and, most importantly, to do their fieldwork. Entrepreneurs should talk to people first to determine the market’s needs and if their company can fill that gap. Furthermore, surveys are another good idea that they can draw meaningful conclusions from, while friends and mentors can also be a good source of feedback.

3. They take too long to launch

It may sound counterintuitive after reading the above point taking too long to launch is also a mistake startup should refrain from making. But, let me explain first to clear any confusion that I may have created at this point.

Doing proper research is imperative before any new launch, as I am sure no one likes wasting resources. This is especially true in startups that typically have limited resources and where perfect timing is of the essence.

Good planning and quality research are always welcomed, but they should not take forever. As soon as you start having encouraging feedback about your business and you think that there is some solid foundation to build upon, you should go for it. Bringing what you are offering in front of the customers is the ultimate feedback you need to tailor your product according to their needs.

4. They don’t have a mentor

No one is born an entrepreneur, and least of all, a successful one. Mainly, entrepreneurship is heavily based on trial and error, that entrepreneurs will learn a lot during the process. To avoid mistakes and get things right from the beginning, startups should look for a mentor to guide them.

Building a startup is not for the faint-hearted as it is an emotional marathon from start to finish. A business mentor can successfully guide your startup concerning risks or critical business decisions, as well as provide emotional support. There are many things to learn in the business world, and it is vital to have the right person to support you.

All in all, if you think that you have a great idea to start a business, you are not afraid of failure, and you have the support that you will need along the way, you should go for it. Entrepreneurship is a long and bumpy journey that you will learn a lot along the way. Taking that risk can change your life forever.  

Startup EU Academy Project

Numerous European projects support and foster entrepreneurship in Europe, and especially youth entrepreneurship. There is also Startup EU Academy, an Erasmus+ funded European project that Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED) participates as a project partner.

Startup EU Academy wants to educate young people about entrepreneurship by developing their knowledge in entrepreneurship concepts, innovation methods and e-commerce. The project aspires to raise a new generation of young entrepreneurs who will create their businesses and promote European entrepreneurship.

For more information about the project, please visit the official website.

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Vasilis Bouronikos
Content & Communication Manager