Startups: Common Pitfalls

Starting a company requires dedication and pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality if you want to get through the initial stages. It asks people to exit their comfort zone and take a leap of faith. 


However, it asks for something else, too – intelligent planning.


Each year, many startups fail. While not all do so for the same reason, there are common pitfalls that break new companies. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones and how to avoid them.

Not Consulting the Customers

Founders of companies that provide products and services aim to see their customers happy. The standard rule is to find a problem and then deliver a solution to it.


Still, many founders will get stuck to one solution, even if it isn’t the most probable one, and become rigid towards change. Assuming what the customers want is excellent for creating an idea. Consulting the target audience is the only way to finalize it.


Talking to future customers is imperative. No fantastic product comes out without proper guidance from the people who will use it in the future. Understand the market and follow what it says. It is, ultimately, what makes or breaks your product. 

Creating a Bad Team

The old saying goes, ‘people are your greatest asset.’ However, it is only accurate if you get the right people.


In the beginning, you’ll generally be working in a small team of up to five people with a similar mindset and dedication to your cause. These people work long hours to make it happen. Soon down the road, you need to hire more people, and getting the wrong ones will influence how your company develops.


Making sure that you’re hiring the right people for the job asks for a detailed hiring process. Ensure that people are a good fit for your business before you even start checking their technical capabilities. 


They can learn the workflow, but they aren’t likely to learn determination that is necessary for a startup to thrive.

Scaling Too Quickly 

The idea that a business can achieve success in a month or a year is the reason why many companies crash and burn. Yes, the entrepreneurship field is competitive, and you need to move fast, but rushing without a solid foundation only leads to failure.


It takes time for a business to develop and start making a profit. Launching a business takes strategic movement and not falling into the trap of fast money.


Then, entrepreneurs become frustrated with the lack of steep income growth. Moreover, if you scale without a good base, you won’t be able to finance the development. It asks for a lot of patience, but moving slowly and deliberately is what generates success.

Not Detailing Finances 

Everyone knows about the importance of the business plan for your business to flourish. Nobody pays so much attention to the financial section of it in the beginning. Still, it helps to determine whether your idea is viable, and this is what any potential investors will focus on when they consider your company.


The financial section of your business plan should contain three parts – the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow projection.


You’ll also need to calculate the full price of operating your business each month, including your salary. It shows the ballpark price of starting your business. Putting together an income statement shows whether a company is profitable.


There are also many taxes to consider, so you may not want to handle this part by yourself. As the experts at Tax Law Canada say, taxation related to business is much different from that you pay as an individual. You may need a professional, at least at first.

Waiting Too Long to Launch

On the other side of the spectrum, from rushing for fast money, we have perfectionists who wait too long to launch the first version of the product. The sad truth is that not many people will care about the first version. 


Still, an early launch helps further development of the business by creating feedback. Furthermore, launching the product before it’s 100% finished leaves room for improvement. 


Not only will that help you develop the brand, but it will help people feel like ambassadors, which creates a loyal customer base.

The Bottom Line

Small business owners will need to be committed, dedicated, and willing to make sacrifices to make their business work. They will also need to shift their mindset and be ready to recognize when they’re making a mistake.


After all, mistakes are a way to learn. You can’t entirely avoid them. What you can do, though, is your homework – learn about these issues and make each of your decisions well-informed. 


Do so and stay resilient even when mistakes cross your path, and success will come.


David Jackson

David is a personal finance expert, a professional male model, and an entertainment writer.