Creating a company that ends up generating millions of dollars in revenue is an uncommon feat. That does not mean that you do not have what it takes to make it happen, though. There are always many hoops to jump through in any business at any stage. Life running a company is difficult, and you have to constantly be improving. Even if you play things perfectly, your company could still fail since there is an inherent degree of luck. That being said, here are eight startup blunders that you can avoid that will increase your chances of success and speed up your path to making millions:
Not focusing enough on users.
The idea of generating millions of dollars seems tempting. Yet, the first and most important part of a new company is its users. Instead of thinking about ways to raise prices or get on a growth trajectory that we always see in pitch deck slides, think about how you can add value for your users.
You also have to figure out if your help is something that they would pay for. Once those issues are addressed (hopefully both with resounding optimism), then you can begin to think about other things.
Any move, though, that hurts your users is extremely risky to take as a startup. Having an obsession with helping them is the first step towards creating a company that will make millions.
Bad employees, especially at a company’s foundation can be one of the biggest startup blunders because it could sink the entire operation. No matter how much you might need someone to fill a particular role, you have to be patient and diligent about your hiring decisions. Otherwise, you will end up with employees that are not a good fit. These drag your company down and can cause huge issues.
Letting yourself get burnt out.
It does not matter how well everything is going if you burn out. You have to set up routines and processes for yourself so that you can maintain your level of work for extended amounts of time. There will be moments that are more intense and stressful than others, but, in running a company, there will always be some high degree of pressure.
Therefore, you do not want to burn out. It will prevent you from bringing all that you have to work each day. Considering these challenges early will help you set up a strong foundation to succeed and stay hungry moving forward.
Lack of mentor/support network.
Throughout your journey, you will have to make difficult decisions. Having a co-founder (or two) can help with these roadblocks. What helps even more, though, is a strong support network.
Surround yourself with diverse mentors and advisors that you trust. These people can offer perspective in times of difficult choices and will help much more than you might realize. They have been in your shoes in the past and can relate to your challenges better than anyone else.
Raising money at the wrong time.
Startup blunders can often involve fundraising efforts. Raising money too early could dilute your share of the company more than you would like. This can slow down your race to making millions, and it can be a distraction for your company. Raising money too late might mean missing your opportunity to scale.
Instead, be very thoughtful and deliberate about how you use your capital. It can be a fantastic catalyst for growth if it comes at the right time.
Unwillingness to adapt.
Whether this is adapting your personal leadership style, your company culture, or the company mission, you cannot be nervous about change. Even if you have committed significant time and energy towards your product, if you realize that a pivot makes sense, then you should go for it.
In the process of engaging with users, many founders realize there is a larger problem to be solved. Avoid the blunder of sticking with your smaller solution if you realize that you can make an even larger impact.
A willingness to learn and change will allow you to grow concurrently with your company at a fast pace.
Bad company culture.
People at the top of companies frequently overlook company culture. A huge part of being a founder is getting everyone else at your company to be as behind the mission as you.
When people feel like the work that they are doing is the best possible way that they could be spending their life right now, they are going to give you all that they have. Founders that get everyone behind the mission end up running companies that operate at much faster and healthier levels.
Poor marketing strategy.
One of many startup blunders is not focusing on the entire process. You could have an amazing and valuable product, but you also need a powerful marketing strategy. Barring a loud community that would share your product or a decent amount of luck, growth will not happen without marketing. Investing in a strong marketing strategy will allow you to get your product out to users and start to generate significant amounts of revenue.
Growing from a small, sustainable, company to one that is generating millions of dollars requires powerful marketing efforts.