5 Deadly mistakes that startups make and how to avoid them

Avoid hiring family and friends since they can be difficult to manage.
Avoid hiring family and friends since they can be difficult to manage. PHOTO/FILE
Setting up a successful business is not an easy undertaking. Whichever the trade and regardless of an entrepreneur’s proficiency, mistakes are bound to happen – especially when launching a new business.

There are a myriad of oversights that can occur in the initial stages and while some can be easily rectified without much harm to the business, some of them can bring your startup to its knees within a short time.

Below are some of the most common startup mistakes you should avoid.

1. No due diligence
The need to conduct extensive research and get a clear understanding of the product, the market dynamics and the industry you are venturing into cannot be stressed enough. The location, target market, pricing and competition should be well understood before launching.

2. Going it alone
Every aspect of your business needs to be done with expertise and it is not possible to be good at everything. You will need to pay professionals for complicated issues such as legal, financial and tax aspects.

3. Disregarding paperwork
When a business is still new and not much is going on, most entrepreneurs tend to take things lightly and seal deals with promises and handshakes.

People can interpret things differently or change their mind if things do not go as expected. To avoid misunderstandings down the road, it is advisable to put every agreement in writing in the presence of a lawyer.

4. Hiring the wrong people
Picking the wrong employee can be a huge hindrance to success. Focus more on passion instead of high qualification and experience. Expertise is important but a positive attitude guarantees a full hearted effort in achieving the company’s vision.

Avoid hiring family and friends since they can be difficult to manage and fire – leaving you with a hard choice of a failed business or ruined relationships.

5. Snubbing critics
The success of your business is pegged on your customers’ satisfaction. Do not ignore customer feedback especially criticism since it is a chance to learn and improve on your weaknesses. Addressing customer problems keeps them happy and earns you repeat clients as well as several referrals.