7 Startup Mistakes to Avoid

Approximately 80% of startups survive the first year. This figure might be surprisingly high considering the widespread view that most businesses fall within the first few months.

After the first year, the number falls significantly. Poor management is one of the leading causes of such failure. Let’s discuss the seven key mistakes you should avoid when managing a D2C startup brand.

1. Insufficient Planning

Entrepreneurs should have both long and short-term plans with measurable objectives and goals. A detailed plan should include dates and deadlines. Cash flow needs, inventory management, growth, employees, resources, and plowing back profits are some of the key factors to consider while planning. If you look objectively at the business, you’ll know what to expect and how to respond to challenges.

2. Lack of Pivoting and Testing

A successful entrepreneurship journey entails pivoting and testing at different stages. Test your assumptions, and if you disprove them, go ahead and pivot. If the assumptions are proven, proceed to the next stage.

Managing a startup is a process of constantly adjusting and responding to various changes. Always scan the environment and respond to it with tests, assumptions, and pivots. Doing so will lead your business in the right direction because you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect ahead.

3. Poor Execution

We all have ideas, some are feasible, but others may not work. An idea only works if you plan and execute it effectively. Some entrepreneurs want to make money but don’t have the drive, ability, and desire to execute their plans.

Some of the mistakes that lead to poor execution are lack of a defined direction, poor communication, missing deadlines, and lack of delegation.

4. Fear of Failure

When it comes to leadership, expect to fail sometimes. If you become too cautious, you won’t progress, and your chances of failing will increase due to stagnation. See failure as a lesson that teaches you how to do things differently.

Always be willing to explore new opportunities by reinvesting, changing strategies, and hiring new staff if needed.

Need the motivation to take risks? Listen to our podcast where Ross Mackay, a college dropout, shares his journey on how he founded Daring Foods at a young age.

5. Giving Up Too Early

Entrepreneurship is a marathon. It’s a long process, not a sprint, filled with challenges and frustrations. As such, it requires patience, self-belief, creativity, determination, endurance, and strategy.

If your business doesn’t take off immediately, give it time to gain traction. Don’t rush to start a business if you won’t give it enough time to succeed.

6. A Poor Network

Sometimes, your network matters more than what you know. Collaborators and partners mean a lot if you want to operate a successful startup. If you don’t have a strong network, you’ll struggle to make everything work properly. During difficult times, your collaborators can advise you accordingly based on their experience.

Always attend trade shows or become active on LinkedIn if you want to connect with like-minded individuals in your field. Check out our podcast where Dawn Dobras, the CEO of Credo Beauty, explains how surrounding herself with greatness opened doors for her.

7. A Poorly Organized Team

If you work with the wrong people, your company will always be behind with its goals. As the startup owner, it’s your duty to clearly define the values, mission, and strategic plans for your business.

Communication is key, so have an honest dialogue with your team regularly. Increase team productivity by delegating duties. Remember, a startup where the owner runs all operations suffers stunted growth.

Final Thoughts

Developing sustainable practices as a startup owner is the key to securing healthy growth and gaining control over your business. Stay on course by taking calculated risks, communicating effectively, planning adequately, executing plans and ideas, connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs, and organizing your team. Don’t be in a rush to succeed; give your startup enough time to grow.


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