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Try to Avoid These Common Startup Mistakes

Being part of a startup company is an obviously unique and exciting experience, especially when it looks like you’re likely to succeed. However, no one usually succeeds in business unless they abide by basic rules of the road. In a recent Entrepreneur.com article entitled, “The 7 Toughest Startup Lessons You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way,” the author outlines some of the most common mistakes CEOs and other leaders often make.

If you’ll take the time to review the following summary of that article, along with a few additional ideas, you can hopefully sidestep the errors that so many startup leaders often make.

Important Ways to Help Your Startup Meet Its Chosen Goals

  • Use your best organizational skills while creating a highly detailed game plan and try to stick with it. Obviously new events can require you to “tweak” your original plans, but you’ll find that staying organized will prove very beneficial;
  • Do your homework by conducting adequate market research –this should help you properly identify who your best customers should be and the best ways for you to effectively pursue them. Never assume that you already know this information, even if you’re carefully observing the marketing tactics of your chief competitors;
  • Hire a good accountant (and tax adviser) and stay on top of these tasks. The last thing you need is to get in trouble with the IRS at an early stage or have to worry about an audit. Keep good, clear records and ask insightful questions if you don’t understand every aspect of your startup’s finances;
  • Only make promises you’re certain you can keep. Everyone watches startups closely to see if their creative energies will be equally matched by their leader’s basic business skills. If your word can’t be trusted, fewer customers and partners will allow you the time you may need to create a new “first impression;”
  • Never lose sight of the importance of expanding your business to new customers and developing new products and services. The more you have to sell, the better your chances of outperforming your competitor who’s relying on just one product;
  • Remember that getting your company up and running quickly and efficiently is an important part of succeeding. One of the best ways to do this is to have your experts crunch the numbers that support the way you plan to enter the marketplace. Will you be offering a free product or service to first-time customers (even though this can be risky)   -- or will you be making industry presentations that showcase your greatest strengths and distinguish your products and services from your competitors? These are just two of the best ways to get your company name out there quickly and effectively. As one expert has put it, be ready to “negotiate and close fast;”
  • Be sure to put your customers first. Make sure to invest plenty of money during your first operational days to be sure you’ll be properly interacting with your first prospective customers. If you can’t make them feel special, odds are they’re going to walk, especially if you make it difficult for them to obtain the highest levels of good customer service;
  • Don’t let failure or setbacks steal your energy. These are a common part of every startup experience. Just quickly learn from your mistakes, perhaps speak with a mentor or two about them -- and then move forward;
  • Avoid quitting your other job until you’re absolutely certain success is “in the bag.” Far too many entrepreneurs get so excited with their first sales that they forget that everything can unravel quickly. Hold on to your “day job” for a good long while if you can. Then let it go when your time has become crucial to your successful startup’s continuing growth.

Should you ever start buying into the idea that you and your startup company are invincible, be sure to read the article entitled, “33 Startups That Died Reveal Why They Failed.”

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia