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Learning From Mistakes

8 Common Reasons Why Your Startup Is Going to Fail

Sure you're excited to be building your own company, but are you paying attention to budgeting, your online presence and what the competition is up to?
Image credit: Shutterstock
Contributor
Founder of Verma Media

So, you’ve finally done it: You’ve raised some capital, maybe even attracted some investors and started to build up a team for your dream company.

Related: 11 Mistakes Standing Between You and Your First Million

You’ve always had an entrepreneurial way of looking at the world, and now it’s finally time to apply that mindset to building your own company.

But despite your drive, and how much you care about your company, you’re not doing as well as you thought you would. You’ve hit a few roadblocks on the way to success, and you’re not entirely sure how to handle them.

Still, the fact is, many companies face these problems. And there are eight habits preventing you -- and them -- from building a successful company. If you know what they are, you’ll be well on your way to changing things around.

1. Lack of planning

Especially for companies just starting out, not planning enough can be one of an entrepreneur's biggest problems. However good your idea or service is, if you haven’t thoroughly planned out in advance aspects like who your ideal customer is, how much money you plan to spend month to month and what your short and long-term goals are, you’ll struggle more and more as your company grows.

While it’s exciting to get started, creating a business plan is the first thing you’ll want to do.

2. Underutilizing technology

Even though investing in technology can seem like an expenditure you can do without, in the long run, you'll hurt your company if you don't. The right technologies -- whether that might be an accounting app or a subscription to a site that helps you get all the right legal documents and sign them online -- can save you not only time, but money, too.

Related: 8 Mistakes Business Owners Make Creating Their 'About Us' Page

And, oftentimes, if you find a technology you can’t afford, there are alternatives out there you can use for free. If you consider yourself more of an old-fashioned entrepreneur, it’s time to change things up and take advantage of the technologies that can really help you.

3. Marketing to the wrong customer

One of the biggest mistakes new companies make is not marketing right. That could mean identifying the wrong customer base, or advertising in the wrong places or designing a site that turns off users.

However good you think your product is, it can be easy to assume that that’s all you need. But the opposite is true. If you want to break your bad marketing habits, take a look at this guide from HubSpot to get started.

4. Overspending

While it’s worthwhile to spend money where it counts, it can be easy to get carried away and spend too much. Especially in the beginning of your company’s development, you’ll want to throw money at new problems that come your way. But it’s important to budget correctly; otherwise you may spend more money than you have, and not have enough for the future.

Having good cash-flow management is key to solving this problem.

5. Underspending

On the other side of the coin, you may not be spending enough. Sometimes, you want to hold on to money for later that you should be spending now -- for example, on very necessary market research, which will quickly generate more revenue for you, or hiring someone for your team who can handle important aspects such as fund-raising.

For a list of what you should definitely be spending your money on, read this article.

6. Lack of an online presence

Just as it’s important to market your company to the right audience, you’ll also benefit greatly from having a strong online presence. However perfect your product, if your website is too text-heavy and hard to navigate, or if you aren’t spreading your content across the right social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, no one is going to know about your product.

Everything’s online now. So ensure that you’re using the right online strategy.

7. Failure to delegate

One of the worst habits you can have is relying only on yourself when it comes to running your company. When it’s your own dream coming true, your own concept, it’s easy to want to control all aspects, from financing, fundraising and content creation, to marketing and social media.

But not only will this habit burn out quickly, you’ll also have trouble identifying and solving problems. With effective delegation, you’ll be able to manage your team and get things done efficiently and creatively.

Related: 9 Common Mistakes Made by New Entrepreneurs

8 Playing down your competition

When you’ve got your own company and your own idea, and you're focusing on building it while also spending wisely, you just might forget about your competitors. But if you ignore the companies selling the (almost) same product or service you are, you’re going to lose money.

You’ll want to strategize by researching what makes your brand different and preferable to consumers and then highlight those differences in your marketing plan.

If you want to build a successful company, it’s all about having the right habits, especially in the very beginning. By ensuring you follow these tips, you’re sure to find the success you’re looking for.

What challenges have you come across with your new company? What habits have helped you out the most?