From technology start-ups to retailers of the most innovative products in today’s marketplace, the best businesses are at one point or another considered a start-up. Just the word start-up can sound at the same time glamorous and terrifying. For some people it may conjure images of board room brainstorming sessions with multi-million dollar ideas scribbled on a whiteboard, whereas for others it might bring about images of heartache and stacks of unpaid bills.
Regardless, there’s no doubt that for a business to be successful, it has to make it through the “start-up” process intact.
Some of the best ideas in the world have failed to produce success, simply because the inventor, creator or leader made a few detrimental mistakes along the way, leading to the demise of potentially great start-ups.
While there are countless mistakes that can lead to failure, there are a few common and often repeated mistakes that tend to make the process of sinking go just a little faster.
1. Lack of customer service or the inability to acquire new customers
Undoubtedly, customers are vital to the success of most start-ups. It’s important to find a way to not only engage the customers you have, but also build your customer base in the process. Many start-ups don’t take the time to research quality CRM services, for example, and instead just decide to wing it. For any start-up that is user or customer-centric, it’s vital to have tools in place to meet the needs of customers from the start, at the same time as you’re reaching out to new customers.
2. Having a business leader that believes he or she can do everything alone
Yes, the budget is tight when a company is in the start-up phase, but this leads to the refusal to spend on anything. Many owners would rather just take on everything themselves. As mentioned before, a great CRM service is one way to keep a start-up on the right track.
Another would be utilizing the services of a public relations professional or a SEO service. These may seem like unnecessary expenses for an already struggling start-up, but it’s important to spend on things that are going to help you grow your business. Of course you’ll have to choose wisely, but a start-up founder who tries to take on everything alone is going to be burned out. Plus, they likely don’t have the skillset to do everything as effectively as a specialist. It does require some help, no matter how difficult it is to admit it.
3. The story of your start-up isn’t being told effectively
The story of a start-up is one of the most important ways to grow a brand and develop interest in what you have to offer. There has to be an effective story that goes along with your start-up, and you and your team members have to be able to tell that story in a way that is going to generate interest and make you stand-out from the thousands of other start-ups.
4. Consistency is better than infrequent bursts of genius
Often a start-up begins with a brilliant idea, but a long-term business can’t be based on an idea alone. There needs to be follow-through, planning and day-to-day performance. Sure, you can launch a start-up on an idea, but that idea isn’t likely to carry you through to success. The best start-ups have individuals that are not only idea people, but are also able to perform consistently and focus on the overall picture.
About the AUthor: Larry Caretsky is the president of a leading CRM company, providing services for small to mid-size businesses.