6 Worst Mistakes Startups Make

You have a great idea and you’re finally ready to move into “startup” mode but not sure where to begin. After all, you don’t want to be among the 50 to 70 percent of small businesses that fail within the first year.

While there are lots of things entrepreneurs do right, the list of what typically kills the egg before it hatches is relatively short.

Here are six places where founders most often go devastatingly wrong:

Spending a lot of money on a website.
Your brand is important but not that important. Put great (not good) content and products up there and traffic will rise. Technical companies should focus on developing their products, making sure they don’t create something with so many features that it does nothing. If you have something people want, they will come.

Thinking their first business plan is the final business plan.
While the intrinsic vision of your business and who it serves is unlikely to change, revenue plans probably will. The first way you plan to make money may not work. Successful businesses know how to pivot – always trying and measuring different revenue models.

Not spending enough time talking to people, THEN not spending time talking to enough people.
Successful entrepreneurs are hustlers at heart – and good conversationalists, too. Listen so you’re not just talking with people to talk, but getting to the meaty stuff and building real rapport. And, remember to remain open and cross pollinate ideas with people inside and outside of your industry and management level.

Hiring employees instead of evangelists.
Don’t be afraid your employees will one day be better than you. That’s what you want – bright, impassioned people who can’t stop talking about how much they love their jobs and company. If you create a transformative culture, you’ll find employees who care as much as you do – without giving up equity.

Confusing passion with delusion.
Working in isolation builds the tightest feedback loop – yourself. Companies are created for other people. Interact with them, ask for input. Be willing to be criticized. If you don’t, what use is it to create a company?

Thinking you deserve success.
Hard work doesn’t equal success. Be humble. The startup world, like life, is not cause and effect as we would like. Work hard to create something amazing because the act of creation will make you a stronger, more masterful person – not just to make a lot of money getting acquired.

: What were the worst mistakes you made in the early stages of business?

BONUS PINK Link: Why you may want to consider the “get rich slow” method.

By Stephany Zoo
Stephany is the cofounder of BUNDSHOP, the world’s first online retailer to feature curated luxury products designed in China.

“If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere.” Marilyn Monroe

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