7 ways to avoid a Startup Failure
The last decade in Egypt, the startup scene has been growing tremendously. All investors, banks and the government as well are encouraging entrepreneurs to grow into becoming the NEXT BIG THING!
The best thing we’ve been noticing is the Business Conferences educating entrepreneurs and connecting the idea banks with the money makers. Conferences like Egypt Entrepreneur Summit, Rise Up Summit and many more are a perfect demonstration of how everyone is behind this.
We’re adding ourselves to the list by sharing with you today, What You Should Do To Succeed as a STARTUP!
1. Be Overconfident, But Not Arrogant
“Do not ignore the market needs”
If you can’t sell it yourself, nobody will! So be overconfident in your product and in your core idea but don’t cross that thin line between confidence and arrogance. If you’re arrogant, you will ignore the Market Need for your product, best launching time, constructing a proper business model to guide you, and you will probably ignore all expert opinions because you will always believe that you know better! Heads Up, YOU DON’T! And even if you’re the expert yourself, be open to learning more especially from other people’s perspectives. Accept criticism in any form and use it to grow.
2.Think about tomorrow, not just today
“Have a Business Plan and a Financial Plan to Back it Up.”
It’s true if you keep overanalyzing every step you take with your business you might reach “Paralysis by Analysis” stage. Which almost definitely will make you doubt yourself and your business, leading to certain failure. Nevertheless, If you fail to plan ahead, you are basically planning your failure early one! Don’t look under your feet, LOOK AHEAD! See where your product will be in a year, five or even ten years, if you see it evolving and adapting to the market then you’re on the right track! Make sure that you always have your investors’ interest at all times so you won’t face either cash problems or cost/price issues. Have a money reserve especially for the unplanned market changes.
3.Recruit Market Representatives
“Invest in Marketing and Sales as much as in Research and Development.”
As much as it’s important to make your product perfect as much as it is to market it and sell it. Marketing and Sales are of primary function to your business. They are the people who are going to guarantee that you have a customer at the end of the day to sell your product to! If you don’t sell then what’s the point of all of this! Don’t ignore your competitors and your customers. Enrich your marketing efforts to reach your target audience. Recruit marketers and salespeople as much as you recruit engineers.
4.Drop The Ego
“Build a Team, not just a Company!”
Want a sustainable successful business?! DROP YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR! Just because it’s your idea that started the whole thing, then it’s A ONE MAN SHOW! NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! To have a strong foundation as a Startup, you need to have a talented, experienced, knowledgeable and self-motivated team. Consider your team as the pillars to your business’s success; if the pillars break in anyway, you’re doomed to FAIL! So make sure you build your team right and work in harmony along with the investors you have on board.
5.Perfect Your Process
“Make sure that you run an error-free operation.”
When big companies slack off, they usually do a big PR campaign relying on their strong reputation to back them up. You, on the other hand, can’t afford to slack off, your reputation gets built over years of meticulous hard work. You have to have a team that can back you up at every step of the process; Engineers to perfect your product, Marketers to guide you through the market and a legal team to protect you at all times! Make sure to have a good mix of “big picture” people and “detail-oriented” people.
6.Balance it or Lose it
“Work-life balance is the key to Startup Success.”
Just because you think of your project as your infant child who needs constant nurturing, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend to yourself and your well-being! As simple as the advice to any new mother, If you’re not well, your child won’t be well either! SO BALANCE IS KEY! Don’t over stress, overwork because it almost always leads to bad decisions being taken due to lack of focus, passion, and burnout. Exercise, meditate, eat right, prioritize and sleep well. YOU ARE NOT A MACHINE!
7. Bend but don’t break
“Always have a backup plan and a safety net!”
As you grow up, everyone keeps telling you that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them and even at times, say “SORRY”. Well, in the business world, we call it “Pivoting” the ability to change a course of action if it seems to prove ineffective and unsuccessful. So you need to prepare for yourself for two things; a pivot going badly and failing to pivot. Plan from the start to be flexible enough to change directions at any time as long as the business requires it!
People usually think that failure is a step back in any plan, but Entrepreneurs should always think of it as a stepping stone, failing and learning from that failure will push you further than anyone who has never experienced failure before. So even if you apply all 7 ways and still fail, know that you’re about to discover yet a new way to avoid it, So Take The Risk and Believe in Yourself!