Launching any venture can be a daunting task, and a startup is no different.
It’s usual to encounter a large number of obstacles in these early stages, and it’s the way in which these hurdles are handled that separate the successful stories from the failures.
Such barriers might be better navigated with a little forward planning, which will help to avoid pitfalls in the long run.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating A Startup
Here are some mistakes to avoid when creating your own startup:
1. Having a Poorly Thought Out Plan
A formal business strategy isn’t a necessity, but it is worthwhile to have an idea of where you intend to steer your business.
Business planning is often shied away from and regarded as the homework no one wants to do.
According to Sujan Patel, vice-president of marketing at the software company spoke to Entrepreneur.com, about how big-format planning is becoming obsolete, although adding that a considered plan of your company’s direction is vital.
“You don’t need a formal 20-page business plan to successfully plan a business.” Patel says.
“You need to know who your customers are, what you are selling and what people are willing to pay for your product or service.”
2. Not Utilizing Social Media Marketing
The staggering reach of social media should never be underestimated.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, for example, should be utilized for product sales, whereas a site like LinkedIn is ideal for building a brand, meeting like-minded entrepreneurs and showcasing your skill-set and previous exploits.
It’s important to understand who your audience is when developing a marketing strategy. Testing the waters with a few social audiences with the aim of a developing a small, customized audience is never a bad idea.
Generally, startups are on a limited budget, so it would be advisable to invest in a small audience over time rather than blow your marketing capital on a massive launch campaign.
3. Ignoring Customer Service
According to Bill Gates: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Don’t let this be an excuse to give lax customer service, however. Ensuring that a customer has a thoroughly enjoyable experience when dealing with you is paramount.
Due to many transactions taking place online or over the phone, it’s easy to forget that customers are people who are more likely to turn clicks into conversions if they have a good experience.
Implement ways of interacting with customers when it’s not possible to communicate with them in person. This can be done in various mediums: e-mail, telephone, or live chat.
Also monitor review sites such as Yelp to see how customers are reacting to your business, and how to rectify situations where customers walked away unsatisfied.
4. Having Ill-Prepared Infrastructure
It’s no secret that all businesses are heavily reliant on the internet.
For this reason, it’s important to have the lifelines of your startup in place and running smoothly before actual transactions can occur.
Your business should have a strong web-hosting provider that supports a personal website, in addition to obtaining an e-mail address that matches your domain name and is in general professional and draws attention to your business.
This will show all potential clients that you are serious about your undertaking, and will go a long way to validating your brand.
5. Lacking an Inspiring Work-Space
The chances are that you will likely be working long, arduous hours as you build up your company, and that can tire you out quickly.
Sitting in a cramping, dull office will do nothing but augment this feeling, which is why it’s important to work in a space that inspires and encourages creativity.
It could be something minor – a painting, funky wallpaper or interestingly-shaped mirror – but these touches go a long way to shaping a space into something less dismal and altogether more stimulating for productivity.
Obviously not everyone will be able to emulate a company like Facebook, with their ping-pong tables, coffee bars and daily sunsets over Greenwich Village, New York.
But, as far as your budget will allow, always go for open, well-lit spaces that will ensure that you, as well as your employees, will be encouraged to work harder and be more productive.
Thanks for checking out this article on 5 mistakes to avoid when creating a startup. They’re all important mistakes that hopefully you’ve now stopped yourself from making!