Starting up is no easy task. The first thought that comes to your mind, even before you have that single successful idea is, “what if I fail?” How many times entrepreneurs have shut shop because of this fear, and how they have regretted the decision!
Starting out is turbulent; it is a massive responsibility, as you are not only responsible for your needs, but also the needs of the resources you would be hiring. You may not be an expert in everything, and you need the right talent to manage your commitment to the startup. It gets very tough as you go deep into the startup.
As a startup mentor, I have often observed entrepreneurs goof up in some way or the other, which leads to losses and finally end of the startup.
There are some common mistakes that we are going to discuss here, and I will tell you why it is important to have a mentor during these times.
#1 Not Preparing Before Starting
When you are starting out, you need minimal to no distractions. However, if you have no support in the form family, friends or other close people, then you might land in a pool of distractions. People might expect things from you, and you may dedicate the time needed to build the startup, firefighting the wrong things.
It is always a good idea to start with preparation. Take it as a pre-requisite to sit down with family and friends, and clear out the expectations from you. Ideally, you should clear out all the details of your startup, what you plan to do, and how much time you would be able to spend with them. This will help you focus better.
Where does the mentor fit into this aspect? It is not easy to prepare the people and your life for better focus. The mentor will help you realize the kind of distractions you might fall prey to, and what are your chances of losing focus. With the mentor, you can find out what things you need to prepare before starting out. The mentor will also guide you through the ways in which you can prepare your life for the startup world.
#2 The Fear of Failure
This is the biggest mistake, and you will see how it spreads like a wild fire, all over your startup, and engulfs it even before the startup comes into existence. Such is the power of fear, which is why most people claim you should avoid it.
When you start out, believe in your idea. It is very important that you realize that your idea is worth everything, and imagine success. Always remember, you should fail to succeed. If you don’t fail, you would never learn the path to success. When you fail, just learn from your mistakes, and you would be able to better your startup life.
The mentor helps you prepare for failure and removes that tiny fear that you have. They train you hard to prepare you mentally to fail, and learn from it. A mentor will also help you realize the importance of failure. They will chalk a plan out of every failure so that eventually you succeed with your startup idea. In some cases, the mentor will also validate the startup idea to see if it is feasible and workable.
#3 No Proper Planning
Having a good business idea is not enough; you need to plan for the idea you have. A good business plan will help you realize your vision, your goals, the blueprint for the success and insights into the market. Most often, startup owners simply start their business, without caring about the minute details of the market. They don’t really plan for the future, which is why they tend to operate in the dark, and eventually fail.
Startups should ideally research the market, conduct competition research and have a business and financial plan handy to help realize what they want to achieve with this startup.
The mentors help with creating the business and financial plan. Mentors will ensure you have created a feasible plan, and not something unachievable or unrealistic. The mentors are essential for thorough planning, and to ensure that you have considered all the possible elements for planning.
#4 Not Hiring the Right People
Even though you are a startup, you need the right people on-board to make your idea work. Don’t think about hiring people at a later stage. It is always a good idea to hire people as soon as you have the idea, so that you can create the product you are planning.
For instance, if you want to build a mobile app, then you need to hire the designer, developer and other people to build on your idea. If you don’t hire the right resources or plan on developing the app yourself, you will not be able to deliver it to the market on time, and you would fail miserably, with no chance of getting back. On top of it, you wont have enough time to concentrate on core marketing and other activities that is important to sell your product and gain profits for the business.
The mentor is an important person in here. They will help you build the right army of resources, and will take you through the various stages of resource building. They will also help you identify the types of resources you need, and what kind of people you should be hiring for the same.
#5 Skipping the Data
The biggest mistake startups make is avoiding data. They believe data is for the large enterprises. However, that is not true. Data is for everybody who can make sense of it, and create insights out of it. number crunching is typically essential to create the business plan, make your startup agile and to keep building on real-time insights. a slight change in the market will definitely affect your startup, and data will help you stay prepared for the same.
Mentors will help you capture the relevant insights, and will guide you with data and analytics. They will teach you how to use data, what kind of analytics will help, and other details to help build key performance indicators and define the milestones for your company.
#6 Not Defining the Target Audience
Your startup business or product is not for everyone. The service or product you are offering is niche, and you need to define the target audience early on. Most startups ignore the need for building on a target audience, and knowing who they are. In fact, you will notice that most startups don’t even bother to research the market to identify their ideal customer, as they believe it is too much money, and they would rather spend it on their product.
The mentor will help them realize the value of defining the target audience. They will help the startups identify the audience with affordable research methods, and ensure that they are using the right definition methods.
#7 Scaling too Early
A lot of startups start growing even before they have had a chance to begin their journey. For instance, the startups who gain funding owing to their success idea, start investing on growth, and eventually fail. They don’t realize where to invest or how to grow, which is why most startups are unable to sustain.
Instead of investing immediately, the startups should keep the fund aside to work on their milestones, and eventually grow and scale the startup. They should be able to clearly define the path to the investors, so that growth happens eventually.
The mentor will guide you on when to go for investment, and when to seek help from investors. They will also guide you through growth phase, and when to start pitching for growth of the startup. Basically, mentors will take your startup from incubation to growth gradually, and ensure that the startup gets access to all the right planning and goals.
To make the startup idea into an actual business, to gain access to right brains and investments and to know how to dust the failure and begin your journey again, you need a mentor by your side. They will not only guide you through the process, but also make your life and planning easy.
Know how a mentor can redefine your startup by joining our startup growth program. It has been designed to help startups create a value proposition and to lay a solid foundation that can help them achieve their goals, and scale their startup gradually. We help startups build proper communication channels, define their goals, and even plan the ways in which they can raise money.
If you want Atit Purani to mentor your startup, and help you grow into the next big business, then sign up for this program.