When you start you have no experience. This explains why you don’t know what you don’t know, and also why you even don’t know that you don’t know. It’s the so called Dunning-Kruger effect, but this is a different topic. The point is that not knowing makes startup owners and entrepreneurs to make some mistakes that an experience business person won’t do. So, be warned that these mistakes are possible and they are deadly.
1. Confusing management with leadership
When you start, you do everything. You are the visionary, you plan and you execute. But, your business is taking of because you provide leadership, which strangely starts not to be enough once you have liftoff. It’s time to let managers manage and you keep a leadership position as soon as you can, even if this costs money and you have a problem giving up on your absolute control. It’s simply more efficient and allows you to keep building.
2. Hesitating in getting founding
Your business look good. You have clients, but now you need to develop to meet your clients’ needs, and you need more funding but you are reluctant to do so because this might mean borrowing or ceding partial control over your business. The secret here is to grow when you feel that this is what your clients want. Yes it’s difficult to get funding, but if you don’t do it you’ll miss the opportunity.
3. Seeking publicity too soon
One mistakes that happens is to market what you don’t have or a product that might not be at hand. You will sell and take orders from potential clients, and you will be able to postpone for a while, but if this takes too much you will lose your business and your reputation. So, try to control your marketing enthusiasm until you have enough reasons to consider that you are safe and you can deliver on a promise.
4. Keeping a low inventory
Linked with the mistake mentioned before, the low inventory issue happens when you try to work with the money that you gained with some initial sales. The first investment was quite expensive and you think that waiting to sell everything is a way of making enough to invest in a second container let’s say. But, again, you might get orders and until your goods are coming from the producer you might loose your customers and with them your business.
5. Not hiring help when you should
It’s your business and you know it better and it’s difficult for you to accept that somebody can be at least as good as you are. Delegating is difficult and hiring people to do part of your job as good as you do it is difficult also, because you think you know this better. While this might be true, you are but one person and it’s difficult for you to do everything.
6. Not letting go
There will be a moment when your company will outgrow your capacity to lead. That’s the perfect moment to think about taking a different position and a different approach. While this seems to good to be true and something that you will figure out easily life gives us examples that this is not always the case. Stepping down is never easy, but this always gives you access to new opportunities.
7. Lacking in agility
Getting bigger means you are slower, but lack in agility is also found in small companies. If you are not proactive in understanding market changes you’ll soon become obsolete even as a startup. This happens way to often to be disregarded and there are so many of those who fail in their first year of launch that will tell this story. They simply did not adapt fast enough to changes.