Common Mistakes Startups Make and How to Avoid Them

Posted on May 23 2018 - 11:48am by Matt Holtzen

With the internet, all things are possible. Once upon a time an aspiring entrepreneur needed to jump through untold hoops to get a business off the ground. Now, all a business owner needs is a dream and a website to get started selling their products or services all over the world. However, just because it’s relatively easy to form a startup company, it doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to gain traction in your field or reach profitable status. To do that, you’ll have to avoid these four common pitfalls that can derail even the most innovative startups:

Common Mistakes Startups


It’s great to have ambition. In fact, as a business owner, it’s basically a prerequisite to success. Still, nothing can sink a small business faster than shooting for a goal that’s simply not viable. Straining your budget, yourself, and your employees in pursuit of a client or customer base you’re unlikely to attain won’t do you any good; instead, it could do irreparable harm to your company.

Taking Financial Gambles

There’s a difference between a calculated business risk with the hope of solid returns, and just plain gambling with your finances. Don’t get suckered in by presentations that promise to deliver unreasonable leads and sales, because most likely, you won’t get what you paid for. In addition, resist the temptation to invest big in any one area; it’s generally a sounder idea to diversify your financial portfolio.

Ineffective Hires

Because small businesses typically have fewer resources than their established competitors, their margins for error are razor thin. As such, bringing on an ineffective employee can upset the balance of a small operation and cost a fledgling company huge amounts of capital. It might seem like business 101 to try and bring in industrious and dynamic team members, but the reality is many startup owners aren’t business professionals. Rather, they’re individuals with specialized skills who can develop unique products or deliver complex services. That’s why it’s essential they surround themselves with people who do understand the intricacies of sound business.

Broad Marketing

Startups need to avoid the “shotgun” approach to marketing. That is, rather than casting an ultra wide net in their digital marketing efforts, small businesses should focus in on long-tail keywords and target demographics. Thanks to the breadth and depth of the internet you can rest assured that whatever it is your business specializes in –– whether it’s capillary blood collection tubes or eco-friendly golf clubs –– someone out there is looking for a product just like yours. Your goal, especially early in your company’s existence, should be to locate those people. Accomplish that, and you’ll quickly start moving in the right direction.