4 Basic Mistakes Startup Founders Should Avoid

We believe that if new businesses are led by a passionate founder with the right skillset, the chances of success would be higher. Avoiding just one of them would reduce a start-up’s odds of failing by about 30%.

Undivided attention
Most mistakes start-up founders make are around basic things that if you knew in the beginning you’d just avoid. The number one reason start-ups fail is because people are not committed enough. Running a business isn’t a part-time job – you have to be committed more that 110% and to do whatever it takes to make this a success.

Entrepreneurs could only build a great business if it was the focus of their working life. Anyone who isn’t willing to put five to 10 years into building their company up (won’t succeed). If you took away start-ups with leaders who aren’t focused, the fail rate would go way down.

Get the right people on board
Many of the start-up failures have been sparked by incompatible leadership teams. They didn’t have the right team building the business. And that can be because the founders start disagreeing or because they’re too alike.

Business founders needed to find the right balance between having a team whose vision aligned with their own and getting people onboard who could fill the gaps in their own experience and skillset. You need to put a serious amount of effort into deciding who you’re going to build your company with.

It's better to build your company alone (if unlucky to get a co-founder) than partnering with a disruptive persona or misfit.

Solve a problem
Unfortunately, there are some great teams out there who are just working on the wrong business model. One of the top mistakes entrepreneurs make at the very outset is developing something that’s not solving a problem. 

Talk to the people who are going to be your customers. Something might be a problem to you, but if you’re the only one who wants it solved there’s going to be no one to sell your idea to. Founders could often get caught up in developing new technology and distract themselves from their business model - investing in the technology itself doesn’t solve a problem.

Business founders should monitor the market they want to enter to ensure they aren’t rolling out their product too early or too late.

Don’t give up
Candidates vying for a position as a start-up founder must show they have “grit” to be considered. That tenacity is a vital leadership trait that increases the chances of a company’s success.

These things are pretty basic – if you have the right team who are fully dedicated and not going to give up, the likelihood of success is pretty high. You might still fail now and then, and that’s ok – fail and do it over, and next time you’ll (know what to do).

Don’t waste three or four years by getting it wrong at the outset.