10 Crucial Signs That Your Startup May Not Work
by Ian Wright
January 30 2018 - Startups are one of the fastest growing trends in today's business market and it's absolutely normal for this to happen if we consider recent surveys that proved entrepreneurs are among the happiest people in business. And we can confirm this is perfectly true. We started Handy Labels in 2007 because we wanted to create quality and get in direct contact with the final customers. This is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have, but it does come with a lot of challenges as well!
Actually, the amount of challenges is also the reason why many startups fail before they even get to be one year old. According to recent data, startups are the riskiest businesses on the market, which is highly contrasting with the things mentioned above. It seems that, in spite of all the obstacles and challenges, people are happier when they try to do something for themselves and not work for a corporation.
We went through our fair share of ups and downs, which is why we decided to share the main reasons why your startup may fail and what you can do to avoid such disappointment.
1. You Don't Have Business Flair
You may be on to a fantastic idea but if you can't commercialise it, your idea may become an invention, but will be just that. Even if the opportunity is huge, you must know how to make it interesting for investors and how to attract people towards it. After all, it took us a while to understand the wonderful things touchpad technology can do for us.
If you are not a marketing guru like Steve Jobs, make sure you build something people would want to buy.
2. The Money Problem
Every startup will face money problems sooner or later. We all hope it will be later, but you don't know when a crisis may strike. And the problem is not with the money crisis per se, it's with the decisions you'll take. Many entrepreneurs may ruin their business in such a situation, which is why it is important to have access to adequate funding. We do understand that having 'adequate funding' may sound rather problematic for a starting business. Nevertheless, you may want to consider putting a particular sum of money for a critical situation.
3. The Cultural Cohabitation
Every company must follow a culture, a way of doing things. This is highly important and everyone on your team must know it. Take an example from huge companies that know how to keep millions of people working together.
So, give your people a common goal and drive, and make sure you are the first to follow it.
4. A Leader's Trust
If you don't exhibit the trust and transparency that is required from a true leader, your startup will most likely be torn apart.
5. Conflict within Team Members
Regardless of the fact that you are a big company or a small label printing business, it is very important to keep the team together. Conflict will show up, but it is important to know how to handle it and turn it into a constructive feedback.
6. You Don't Know Your Audience
If you don't know who you want to target with your product or service, your startup is already lost. You need to get into people's heads and find out what their problem is. Only when you have this information you will know if your product can solve it for them and the approach to take.
7. You're not Open to New Ideas
We all get stuck in a certain type of behaviour and we all have that best practice deeply implemented in our brain. Still, an entrepreneur must think outside the box and find new ways to solve problems and generate sales. If you're stuck in a mental trap and you don't allow new ideas to come in, your startup won't survive.
8. You're Oblivious to the Market's Unpredictability
The market is not an entity per se so it doesn't really care if it crashes your business or not. The only thing you can do as a fresh entrepreneur is to adapt and change. And no, it doesn't work if you think the changes in the market won't affect your business. The butterfly effect is very well-felt in this area of life.
9. You're not Fast Enough
We live in a world where it's extremely likely that there are at least ten other startups or well-established companies doing the same thing you do (or something similar). So, if you don't move fast enough, you risk losing your advantage.
10. You're not Open to Change
Change is a part of life so it's absolutely normal to be a part of business as well. However, you have to be prepared for fast and drastic changes as your startup needs to go through several pivot moves in order to be considered successful. Be flexible and allow your business to grow where the market takes it.