3 Common Start-up Mistakes (and how StrategyX Can Help You Fix Them)
Everyone makes mistakes. Start-up business owners make plenty, just like the rest of us. The problem is that for start-ups these mistakes can prove fatal. The sad fact is a lot of businesses fail within their first year, but the good news is that we can learn from these collective mistakes. Some mistakes are more common than others, so here are three ways a lot of start-ups struggle, and how StrategyX can help you fix them.
Mistakes Don’t Have to Mean “The End”
Before we get started, be aware you will make mistakes. Not even StrategyX can help prevent every mistake in the book. However, our system uses the knowledge learned by studying tons of successes and failures, mistakes included, to help you analyze, adapt, and overcome these common mistakes.
Remember the “5 Ps” of success: Prior planning prevents poor performance. By learning how to prepare your business for the challenges every start-up faces, you’ll reduce the impact of these challenges and set yourself up for future success. StrategyX can help you prevent them, and it can help you fix them when they invariably do occur.
Mistake #1: Trying to Do Too Much, Too Fast
It’s common for start-ups to try to do everything the first time around. It’s understandable—you want to provide the best experience for your customers, right? You need to make sure you cover all your bases. In a bid to make sure you don’t miss out on anything, you work yourself to a frenzy trying to include every feature, detail, and widget you think your business needs.
While the goal itself is admirable, the result is you end up spending too much of your resources—time, energy, and money—on trying to fit everything in. What ends up happening is often a bloated or poorly organized mess that can’t properly make use of all those features. You’re simply trying to do too much, too fast. This happens most often with less organized projects where ambitions win out over realities.
Solution #1: Prioritize, Plan, Prevent Burnout
StrategyX solves this by organizing your business so that you can see what you have, what you can afford to include, and what you should prioritize. There is always room for growth. You won’t ever be able to include every single thing that you want right out of the gate. Instead of burning yourself and your business out, lay out the things you absolutely must have and the things you want to see, and prioritize them.
Once you have this road map, you’ll find it a lot easier to navigate the challenges that come your way. This is a good example of how proper planning is paramount to success. Knowing exactly what you need and when you need it will help you grow your business until you can include all of the things you want.
Mistake #2: Overspending, Underperforming
Starting a business takes a lot of capital. It’s easy to hit snags like delays and unexpected expenditures. External factors like contractors not showing up on time or doing a poor job can throw your budget for a loop. Ambitious business owners may also simply throw everything they have at every problem, but for most of us, that’s not a realistic option. You’ll run out of money by spending on things you don’t need or could find cheaper somewhere else.
This is a mistake of ambition, like Mistake #1 above. It’s not wrong to want higher quality, but many times you’re either not getting the quality you’re paying a premium for, or you just can’t afford everything right from the start. Part of the problem is assuming the first deal is the best, and the other part is not knowing how to work within your means.
Solution #2: Efficiently Using Your Budget
With the StrategyX software, laying out your business needs is simple. You can see exactly what you need to spend money on and assign a budget accordingly. Knowing what you can afford to spend will help motivate you to seek out better deals. The more money you save without sacrificing quality, the more money you’ll have to spend on things like advertising. It’s a win-win, right?
If you’re willing to do the research, you can almost always find a cheaper option that is just as good for your business’s needs. While you’re at it, you can plan for the future. And when you do need the premium stuff, you have a better idea for how to obtain it. Using StrategyX to organize your development budget takes a lot of stress out of that idea.
Mistake #3: Scaling Too Quickly
At first glance, this might seem similar to Mistake #1, but this is a more subtle issue that crops up usually after the first taste of success. It’s one of the most common and yet most heartbreaking ways a start-up fails—getting caught up in early success and scaling too fast. The business makes some money, and an overeager business owner thinks they’re more flush with cash than they really are. It leads to disaster. Hiring too many people, spending it on the wrong things, and not being able to support the hasty expansion are the result.
Sure, you want to spend money on marketing, and when you have a need and the means for it you want to hire more qualified employees. It’s easy to hire too many people, or spend too much on marketing before your company even meets the increased demand. Maybe you haven’t yet worked out the production issues that are slowing you down, but you’re already putting more stress on the production system.
Solution #3: Know Your Limits
StrategyX is designed to help you scale. This also means showing you when not to scale, or rather, showing you just what your business is producing, what it can handle, and where you need to focus your efforts. Taking the guesswork out is an incredible benefit when trying to expand your business. Are you even ready to expand?
Organize and prioritize your work with StrategyX to see if you’re ready to scale. Maybe it’s a better idea to spend more cycles focusing on ironing out the wrinkles in your current business plan and securing a steady revenue stream. That’s when you can start looking to grow.