By Komal Shah, Senior Enabler at Espark-Viridian, India
There are many reasons why startups fail.
The product may not be a market fit, or perhaps, too much is being tackled at once. It could also be, due to the co-founders’ toxic relationship. Whatever your company’s “fatal flaw” may be, there is a good chance you can prevent it from hampering your company’s growth. Early stage startups have some common concerns. Here are some tips that can help you avoid failure:
A Timely Launch
Often, the biggest gaffe is made right in the beginning. Sometimes companies wait too long to release their product. Most startups build much more than they truly need to, but this is often only realized in hindsight. In such cases, the product ends up being a waste of resources more than a measure of success. The focus needs to be on utilizing limited resources in the right way, especially in the early phase. Build only what’s important, go out and test, come back and make changes, go out and test again – That’s probably the most lean way of building your product and get to the path of success more efficiently.
Obsessing Over Competition
I have come across many startups who are absolutely obsessed with competition. They have been stalking each and every move of the competition. Though it’s important to know your competition, understand what they do and where they are going, you don’t have to obsess over them. Your obsession should be your own product.
When it comes to small companies, employees need to take up multiple responsibilities, and happily. If you don’t manage this expectation upon hiring, you will be managing employee issues six months down the line. Get the right people to do the job and test for both, aptitude and attitude, to help you shape your dream.
Fundraising Focused Approach
Throughout my journey of working with startups, I have observed that young entrepreneurs think raising VC money is a measure of success. Hence, they are constantly looking for investors, pitching in startup events and networking all the time. This ultimately drives them to lose focus from the main objective of doing the business. I believe, the only thing that matters is building a viable, growing and profitable business.
Constant Feedbacks is a Distraction
You will have a ton of people frequently sharing feedback and opinions on your business. It’s easy to get occupied with it and want to tweak everything instantly. Keep in mind that people will give you feedback based on of their market knowledge and domain experience — it is your discretion to apply those inputs to your company without losing sight of your vision.