What are common mistakes startups make

10 Common Startup Mistakes - And How To Avoid Them

As an entrepreneur it can happen that at times you think you can conquer the world. But there are things that abruptly put the brakes on startup ambitions and bring the company to the verge of failure. This is not always due to the business model or the quality of the idea. We list the 10 biggest mistakes that startups make over and over again in the course of their development. Very many of them are completely preventable.

Before the point of no return, you can still tackle the U-turn. Provided you learn from your mistakes.

Most founders like you are probably aware of the following 10 points in one form or another. Our tip, however: It can't hurt to regularly look at the fundamental mistakes and think about them. After all, you should also learn from the mistakes of others.

The sole focus on the idea

Don't get stuck on your idea. The euphoria about your own idea can cloud your view of other areas. The team and the implementation are more important than the idea. And: no successful startup has not significantly changed its founding idea at one point or another. So don't stick to your ideas stubbornly, but adapt when necessary.

The idea as a secret

Don't panic - nobody will steal your idea! In any case, it's very, very unlikely. Even in the (unusual) case, you can show off your skills. We already know: team and implementation are more important than the idea itself. Better to take this risk than not to tell anyone about the idea right away. By the way: nondisclosure agreements are a no-go for investors.

It doesn't solve a problem

Funny, but still: Many entrepreneurs do not think too much about whether their product solves a specific problem. Offering users added value - that should be the driving force behind business ideas that will later lead to economic success. If you have not even dealt with whether the user can use the product at all, your idea is doomed to failure. Therefore: Check user interest and regularly look at the competition!

The wrong people on the team

Friendship is all well and good. However, if your partner doesn't fit into the team at all, it's time to make painful decisions. Inappropriate employees sometimes endanger a startup faster than one would like. Only the best people will advance your idea. Complementary skills are not to be underestimated - you can't do everything on your own. In addition: Outsource what is not part of the core business!

Too much at once

Your product does not have to be the egg-laying woolly milk pig - and actually shouldn't be. Keyword: Minimum Viable Product - bring your product to market as quickly as possible with the most essential functions. Otherwise you will get entangled in wanting to do everything correctly and completely right from the start. Don’t overengineer your product!

Business model? What's this?

Numerous founders confuse the business idea with a business model. The idea alone does not earn any money - so think about who would pay for your product and for what reasons. The best thing to do is to write it down in the business plan. With this you can convince yourself and others of the economic potential of your idea.

Lack of market orientation and unclear target group

Many founders simply work past the needs of their customers. It is not you who decide whether the product is well received, but the user. Don't forget to research your target audience thoroughly. Clear definitions make marketing easier later.

Marketing is unnecessary

Most startups invest their precious time in the development of the product, but completely forget about a strategy for how the product can be successfully marketed. The best product is of little value if no one is aware of it. You also have to be able to communicate your idea. Don't be one of those startups with a blatant marketing deficit!

Cash, cash, cash

The dear money! Many founders underestimate the time it takes for the idea to really take off. The money can be low before a piece has even been sold. Money from external investors is not bad, but should not serve as a panacea. Above all, one should not have unrealistic expectations. In addition, the influence component must always be taken into account in the case of external financing. After all, you want to remain the boss in your own company, right?

Never ask for advice

Optimism, but foamed: Even if you are completely convinced of your idea - constructive and objective feedback helps you to identify risks, wrong decisions and incorrect assessments in good time. Let experts put your idea through its paces and use your networks. Otherwise you will get lost in your optimism. Feedback from customers is also advisable - the focus should be on the customer's benefit and not your own.

What are other reasons for failure?

There are of course countless other mistakes that can lead to failure of a startup. Countless blog posts and articles can be found on the WWW on the founders' common mistakes, experiences and findings.


In conclusion, it should be said: Dare to make mistakes - but learn from them too!


Image: David Goehring (Own Work, No Change) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)], via Flickr CC]