Only 20% of new businesses make it past their first year. This figure may seem daunting but, many businesses fail as a result of being unable to overcome problems which, in some cases, are preventable. Don’t let your start-up fall victim to an avoidable problem. Take a page out of our playbook and learn how to solve these blunders before your business joins the startup graveyard.
1. Customers aren’t knocking
Your product or service may be great but, if no one knows about it, you won’t have customers. Your website should be optimized for receiving leads, and/or downloads. If your site is slow to load, has misinformation, or isn’t written in an inviting way, your customers may look elsewhere. Additionally, if you are not promoting your product or service to the right people, your target market will find their solution with your competitors.
In our digital world, marketing is a necessity, pure and simple. At the very least, you need a social media presence, and a website that invites lead. To be successful, your website has to meet a few key requirements. First, it must be created with responsive design, to be optimized for both mobile and desktop, after all mobile-based web visits account for over 46% of all web traffic. Next, your website needs to focus on gaining customer information, whether it be through a ‘Contact Us’ page, or with an email capture for your newsletter. Last but not least, your design must be modern, and truly showcase your brand with proper content.
Your marketing plan will depend upon your budget, your target market, and your know-how. Luckily, there are options that won’t completely burst your budget. You can find affordable freelancers, or you can enlist the help of an agency that offers marketing as well as other useful services like software/app development, website creation, security, and bug fixes. Finding one company to meet all of your business needs is ideal.
2. Staying in Budget
Entrepreneurs tend to fund their venture in one of three ways. Either they bootstrap their own projects by tapping into their savings, they seek the help of investors, or they take out massive loans. Regardless of your funding method, you need to closely monitor your budget, and allow for some wiggle room for unexpected expenses. Usually, startups are dealing with tight budgets and need to be conservative with their spending. However, budgeting does not come naturally to everyone. Maybe you’re an idea person, or a creative type, however, you can’t let budget take a backseat. Lack of funds is a frequent cause of failed businesses.
Budgets are tricky. Every startup has a unique budget and different allocations for each business expense. One way to conserve cash and avoid too much excepted spending is to put emphasis on budget planning. Under planning, and lack of expense tracking can be serious money pits for your business. Early on in your development make sure you have a highly skilled project manager on staff. PM’s are great for planning and optimizing your business’ time. Outsourcing is, of course, another option. A local company may cost too much, and some outsourcers may be unreliable. Do your research and find the right firm that can provide a plethora of services you need.
3. Inability to Scale Up
Many start-ups are too confident in what their future will hold. While others believe success is unattainable, and therefore do not plan for it. When success knocks, scaling up quickly is often a problem many startups do not know how to tackle. Scaling up efficiently without the right resources, or plan in place, can cause a new organization to crumble. If you can’t meet customer demand in time, your business and customer loyalty will be at risk.
As previously mentioned, preparation is the key to success in any project, and the same goes for startups. In order to properly manage success, you need to plan for it. If your team is small, you will need to plan for scaling up if/when the orders and requests come flooding in. Additionally, you need to be flexible, if you need to make quick hires, you may need to seek out some help. Keep in mind, scaling up a tech team is costly and time-consuming unless you chose the right Software Services Provider. Do your research and cost analysis to make sure you’re making the right investment.
4. Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Many entrepreneurs are confident they can do everything themselves. However, there are only so many hours in the day, and only so much one person can do effectively. Being too proud to ask for help can lead to serious gaps in a business. For example, a CEO with an MBA, may be skilled in business, but has no software experience and shouldn’t be sourcing his/her own software development team.
Every entrepreneur should know their limits and their capabilities, or they may end up with a failed business at their feet. Many CEO’s and entrepreneurs live by the mantra: if you want something done right– do it yourself; however, this can cause burnout and inefficiency. Delegation is key to a budding enterprise. Sure, there will be mistakes, but, most likely they will be fixable. Moreover, there are so many resources available for those looking to start companies. Outsourcing and finding resources through sites like UpWork and Guru are always options. If you are looking to jump start your marketing, build a website, and create a new app all at once, you may want to enlist the help of a one-stop-shop. Relying on one organization to do it all will save you and your team significant time and resources.
Your business is your baby, your brainchild, and your pride and joy, don’t let it fall victim to a fixable problem. If you need help, or want some consultation from experts who have been there, and know how to help, we’re here for you. Find out more about our services for entrepreneurs and how they can help your business grow and prosper.