If you’re starting your own company, it takes more than just a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality to get you through your new life as a business owner. As the founder of a new startup, it can be scary to actually take the leap into starting something new while leaving the security of your old 9-5 behind. However, if you avoid some common pitfalls of other startups and learn from their failures, you’ll be on a path to success.
Below, we will dive into some mistakes that startups make and what to do to avoid them:
Not getting your life ready
As much as you might believe in your business, it’s going to take some time before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. But before you can expect to run a successful company, you’ll need to make sure every other area of your life is prepped as well. Your significant other, if you have one, is going to need to be prepared for you to focus almost all of your attention on your new startup. If your family or partner isn’t all in with you and just as excited about your idea as you are, it can create distraction from the most important task at hand – growing your company.
Not consulting experts
Just because you sort of know how to do accounting doesn’t mean you should be responsible for all of the financial information for your new company. After all, wading through all the tax rules surrounding businesses can be a job in and of itself.
You can’t be good at every aspect of your business – this is when you need to go to the experts. Bookkeeping vs accounting, do you know the difference? It’s important to rely on the real professionals who know what they’re doing so you can focus on your business strengths like selling your product or service and growing your company.
Look, no investor is going to blindly give you money based on your 30-second elevator pitch. Unless you’re on Shark Tank, you’ll have to prove your business metrics and measure your potential for growth with real, hard data. Stories and belief in your business are great, but investors want hard numbers.
Scaling up too fast
If your startup is new, it can be hard to pull the reigns on making decisions when you’re flush with cash. Many companies make the mistake of hiring too many employees too fast and too early in the process, for example. Or, many companies start to spend their budget on the wrong things. Unfortunately, these companies realize too late and end up closing their doors for good.
Refusing to delegate
Even if you think you’re a great multi-tasker and you enjoy working late into the night every day, it’s impossible to continue to run a one-man show when your company gets to a certain size. By refusing to delegate tasks, you’re only cheating yourself. The best way to run your business is to design airtight processes that outline how you want tasks accomplished so your employees have the proper guidelines to get work done.
We get it, it can be tough to give up control in some areas of your business, but at the end of the day, you’ll have to get over it and relinquish those reins to capable employees.
Not managing your time
Your days are going to be filled with meetings, calls, and number-crunching but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of your hours. Use time-management sites like Tomato Timer which breaks up your day in 25-minute sections called “Pomodoro’s” or other similar apps that help you structure your day.
Forgetting to take care of yourself or employees
Startup culture can be brutal and the burnout rate is high. Avoid this pitfall by making sure your office environment isn’t toxic. Encourage your employees to work hard but offer benefits that provide your workers with a good work-life balance.
Here are some other perks you can offer to balance out a high-volume startup:
Starting a new business and thinking outside of the box certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, but with some of these tips in mind, you can easily find success and grow your company.