A good product will fail if you make the wrong moves as an entrepreneur. It won’t matter how well you know your audience, or how appealing the product is – if you make big strategic mistakes, your startup won’t stand a chance. Fortunately, knowing what those mistakes are goes a long way towards avoiding them. Here are 5 of those mistakes you need to learn about:
1. Aiming Too Low
Being an entrepreneur is difficult. The amount of things you do not know and the amount of uncertainty can easily cow even the bravest of hearts. You could easily end up aiming too low and not making big enough moves to actually move the needle in your favor.
The biggest sign that you are thinking too small is if your startup actually achieves its set goals. That means those goals are too easily within your grasp, which means you are pushing your team to its limits. Don’t be afraid to go after bigger game. Maybe it’s time for a round of fundraising to develop a new marketing campaign or a new product feature. Aim big, and you will win big.
2. Going Too Far
Some startups fall apart because their leaders dreamed too small. However, there are just as many startups that have fallen under the weight of the entrepreneur’s ambition. Big dreams are nothing if they cannot realistically be achieved.
Big bets are great and necessary for a startup to carve out a niche, regardless of industry or target market. However, those bets should have a good chance of paying out. One-in-a-million wins can happen, but the odds are in the numbers. Remember that each failed plan has a cost, tangible and intangible. Mix up your plans. Have a few clear winners in your strategy, while making sure there is room for a few big moves.
3. Failing to Unify Your Goals
Goals are fantastic. They unify your team’s efforts and make sure you are all working towards the same thing. However, you can easily have the wrong kind of goals. Each of your initiatives and plans need to be leading towards the same thing. Having your marketing department generate more leads without having proper sales funnel development, for example, can quickly hamper your plans and lead to ruin.
When you make plans, make sure they all ultimately lead to the same place. Otherwise, you could easily end up winning every battle and still lose the war.
4. Doing Too Much
Startups, by nature, are limited. Your capital is tight, your team is small, and your brand is unknown. However, some entrepreneurs make the mistake of pushing their small business too far, enacting initiatives and plans that the company actually has no chance of achieving. That kind of overreach can lead to tremendous waste and eventually ruin the company.
You need to stay realistic. Take a look at what you have and what resources you can muster. From there, you can make plans in accordance with what you know. There will be no real math you can follow to guarantee that you won’t stretch the team too thin, but keeping what you have on hand in mind will keep you from enacting too many plans at once.
5. Not Properly Following Through
Many startups fail due to entrepreneurs resting on their laurels. They get a few initiatives off the ground, their product is successful, and they have a few good plans resolving. Life is good, and they don’t want to risk what they have, so those entrepreneurs funnel resources into the successful product line. While smart on paper, what often ends up happening is other possible product lines can be choked out, limiting the startup’s addressable marketing and overall potential.
The lesson here is to follow through. Just because one plan was successful does not mean you can sit back. Chase those other product innovations down. See what new markets you can take or what other revenue streams you can develop.
Knowing about and avoiding those mistakes is only the beginning if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. You need to hone your knowledge and ensure that you and your team can execute your plans properly. Do that, and your startup will have a bright future.