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Get ahead of the pack by learning from the mistakes of others

Research shows that around 90% of all startups are considered failures. From poor planning to a lack of marketing spend, there are many components that ultimately lead to a startup’s failure and in this article, we’re going to go over the three most common mistakes that startups make and explain them in great detail so that you can avoid running into the same issues.

A Lack of Strategic Planning

Like most things in life, having a plan is a good idea because it helps you keep track of your goals and gives you an idea of where you’d like to be in a month, two months or even half a year’s time. A plan will help keep your business on track, and it’s important to devise a strategic plan for your startup so that you know where to lead your company.

A strategic plan, in startup terms, means giving your business a clear direction and priorities that you should be following. By having priorities, it makes it incredibly easy to have a plan in place so that you can focus on the important components of your business first. Anything that has a drastic effect on your company should be the where you spend most of your resources and efforts, and this is why it’s important to have a strategic plan which outlines the majority of your business’s direction.

Without a plan, you’re also not going to get much funding. Investors, be they banks, entrepreneurs or even your audience via crowdfunding, aren’t going to go along with your business idea if you don’t have a strategic plan ready to show them that you know what you’re doing. Investors don’t just want to know what you’re going to do immediately after you receive your funding–they want to know your plans for the future, how you’ll continue to improve your services or products, and how you plan to grow the company.

In short, having no strategic plan will make both running and funding your business difficult. It’s vital that you have some kind of plan ready so that when an investor requests a roadmap or if you suspect that your business direction has changed from your original idea, then you’ll have a way to stay focused and get your team back on track.

A Lack of Marketing Investment

When you look at companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike and Apple, they’re instantly recognizable due to the amount of money they have poured into their marketing. Be it the logo designs, the promotional campaigns or even the graphics on their website, everything looks and feels clean because they’ve poured plenty of money into making their brand stand out and look professional.

Marketing investment involves a number of different components. From getting a good logo designed to connecting with influencers to grow your business, it’s important that you keep all of these points in consideration when you’re trying to build credibility. If you build up your brand early, then it has an easier time staying around and the more you get your marketing materials out into the public, the easier it will be to remember your company.

Far too few companies invest in their marketing because they think that their products are more important. While it’s true that you don’t want to end up as a company with good marketing and a shoddy product, you have to trick the right balance and invest equally in both. An excellent product alone isn’t going to sell if no one knows who you are, what it does or why they should buy it. Many entrepreneurs and new startups neglect the power of marketing, and it’s one of the biggest problems that can cause a startup to fail spectacularly despite having solid ideas and an excellent product.

So if you’re going to show off a new product or service, make sure you invest in marketing from the beginning. Get a good logo designed, hire an experienced website designer, and use professionals to create marketing materials for you. Run promotions and pay for advertising, but don’t neglect the power of influencers and how word of mouth can spread your product just as fast as advertising if done correctly.

In short, don’t overlook the importance of marketing. Invest money and resources into it, and you’ll see experience fantastic results that will keep your startup in business.

A Lack of Support

Many entrepreneurs have this idea that they can do everything on their own. They believe that they don’t need to hire outsourced help, they think they don’t need emotional support and they refuse outside help because they want to make their business their own. Sadly, a lack of support, in any shape or form, is going to harm your chances of creating a successful business. At the end of the day, startups are inexperienced, they lack the strength and attention to make it big, and they’re going to need all the help they can get.

Start by adding a couple of freelancers to your business, then move on to employees and always consider the people who will support you in the shadows. Be it family members, friends or a mentor that you connect with over social media, it’s vital that you always have people supporting you.

However, professional support should also not be overlooked. When it comes to starting a company, you’re going to be on your own until you hire people to work for you. However, even after you have a couple of employees and freelancers on your payroll, you’ll still need help with things outside of your team’s knowledge. This can include technical support like fixing networks and computers, or it could involve outreach to improve your website’s SEO.

Startups can’t go it alone for too long. Sooner or later, there’s going to be a hurdle that you and your team can’t overcome, and this will ultimately lead to a business with poor efficiency. Aim for nothing but the best by hiring professional services to give you a hand when you most need it, but also remember that emotional support in the background from friends and family can have a bigger impact on your motivation than you think.

So to conclude, a lack of support is one of the biggest mistakes that any startup can make. You need the drive and motivation to succeed, and it’s provided not just by yourself, but your fans, friends and family. Once your business starts to grow, don’t overlook crucial aspects like hiring professional help, partnering with other companies, or even finding yourself a mentor can offer wise words whenever you’re uncertain about something.

Final Words

These three common mistakes are very easy to fall into, so it’s important to be mindful of how you’re treating your business in order to avoid them. Focus on building a solid business plan for you even launch your products or services, and make sure it outlines important aspects of business operation like your sources of income, how you plan to grow and potential issues and how you expect to solve them.

Don’t neglect marketing either. Stay away from the trap of getting a cheap logo with a free website and instead, invest money to make your brand stand out so that more people view you as a professional company and not a scrappy startup. Finally, make sure you find a form of support that can bolster your motivation and give you the drive to work hard and succeed. With these three mistakes in mind, you can easily create a successful business and become a part of the 10% of startups that do succeed.

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