Becoming a business owner can be one of the most rewarding career choices you can make. You set your hours, decide who you’ll be working with and what projects are worth your time. If you go down this path, nothing is stopping you from working remotely in your pajamas if the nature of your business allows for it.
However, getting a new business off the ground means taking up a great deal of risk. There’s no way around it. After all, 90% of companies fail.
You can increase the chances of success by considering the following 7 risks and including them in your business equation. So, what mistakes are other startups making?
1. Not targeting the right audience
No matter what you’re selling, there should be a market for it. In other words, spraying and praying is the wrong way to go about it, as it will almost certainly lead to failure. Instead, get to learn what your audience is hungry for and deliver it, even if it feels like you’re copying someone else.
As the old saying goes, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Go with what yields the highest chances of success instead. Eliminating the guesswork is a big part of that. Only when you know what the market demands and no one seems to have supplied yet, should you start innovating from scratch. Otherwise, improving upon a proven concept is your best bet.
2. Misjudging the optimal pace of growth
Right off the bat, growing as fast as possible is the first thing to cross your mind. While there’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of confidence, being too courageous can lead you to miscalculate the market demand or render you unable to write a paycheck to your staff.
On the other hand, the snail’s approach is not the answer either. Do that, and you could find yourself losing out to your competitors or failing to hit the right market timing. The key is taking a calculated risk by observing the state of the market, what your competitors are doing, and your capacity to make it happen.
3. Lack of focus on cybersecurity
With the likes of GDPR and the consequences of non-compliance that follow a breach, no one startup should take cybersecurity lightly. The fines are enormous, and not something a typical startup can handle. Not to mention the irreversible loss of a good reputation. Yet still, everyone tends to have the opinion there’s no chance it can happen to them.
If you’re unlike the rest, you already know the importance of using essential security tools such as an antivirus and a firewall. If you transfer lots of sensitive company data that you don’t want anyone to intercept, consider investing in NordVPN Teams as well. It’s an industry-grade tool that combines the privacy provided by a virtual private network with remote access functionality.
4. Working with the wrong people
Your company is the sum of who you work with. That may not 100% hit the mark every single time, but how far away is it from the truth? So if you want your startup to go in the right direction, you need the right people to call your team members.
It boils down to their ability, intellect, trustworthiness, work ethic, and so on. Going the extra mile with additional pre-screening isn’t going to hurt either.
5. Entering an oversaturated market
Let’s say your products and services are top-notch. But if the market hardly has any space for more competitors, you’re not going to have a pleasant time trying to breakthrough.
Do you offer something that goes beyond the offerings of your competition? If not, you stand almost zero chance of succeeding.
That’s the bad news; the good one is that you can always improve until you finally reach that point. If nothing else, make sure you have a unique selling proposition, so you stand out from the rest of the pack.
6. Not gathering the necessary funds
Funding is the backbone of any startup. Unless, of course, you’re willing to have zero staff, no physical premises, no investments, and no marketing campaigns. But that’s more of a one-man-band than what’s implied under the term “startup.”
If you’re working with a loan that you will need to repay, then you have another weight on your shoulders – a ticking clock. With the rest of what a typical startup needs to deal with anyway, can you handle the extra pressure? If not, it will obstruct your critical thinking, thus reducing your chances of success.
7. Forgetting to test the concept before going live
An ideal situation would be to have solid backing on a fundraising platform. That way, you already know you’re going to make some sales when you’re ready to go live with your product launch.
Think of it like testing the waters – if your idea is revolutionary and great, the power to you! If not, at least you’ll know where you stand and not waste your precious resources on fruitless endeavors.
Here’s another good old saying you’d do well to remember: failing to prepare is preparing to fail. By reading this far and absorbing what you’ve learned, you’re already positioned to beat the odds and turn things around in your favor. As long as you have something awesome to create and bring to life, that is.