5 Setbacks Startups Must Avoid in 2017
With 2016 quickly coming to an end, it’s time for startups (as well as everyone else) to turn their attention to the new year.
It doesn’t matter if you launched your company this year or have plans to hit the ground running in 2017, nothing changes the fact that you’re excited about what the future will bring.
While some startups seemingly make all the right moves at all the right times, every company slips up every now and again. Your success is based largely on your ability to avoid missteps, as well as your process for getting back on track after a setback.
Avoid Disaster in the New Year
Every year, thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs start their own business. Some succeed, but many fail.
If you want to achieve great success in 2017, here are five setbacks you should avoid at all costs:
Losing Out on Top Talent
Let’s face it: your startup is only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
Even if you have a great idea for a business, even if you’ve enjoyed early traction, you can’t expect great things if you don’t have top talent on your team.
It’s your job to decide what type of people are best for your company. Additionally, you must offer a better experience than the competition, as this is the only way you can consistently bring the most qualified workers into the fold.
There are times when you’ll find and hire the perfect person for an open position. There are also times when you’ll fall short. As long as you “hit” more than you “miss,” it’s likely that you’ll end up with a team that can help you reach all your goals.
In today’s day and age, productivity related challenges are a bigger concern than ever before.
There are many reasons for this, including the fact that advanced technology has a way of keeping people away from what they should be doing.
Do you find yourself texting or instant messaging when you should be working? Do you find yourself posting on Facebook, for personal reasons, instead of using social media to boost your business?
Believe it or not, one study notes that workers waste 759 hours per year as the result of workplace distractions. When broken down, this means that employees lose a few hours each day to distractions.
If you don’t put this to rest in the new year, it could be the primary reason for the death of your startup.
Lack of Focus
This is a big problem for all companies, not just startups. However, it’s typically new businesses that lose their way due to a lack of focus.
Early on, it’s easy to get pulled in many directions. Furthermore, don’t be surprised if you find yourself “chasing the money.”
As difficult as it may be, it’s imperative to stay focused throughout the early days of your startup. When everyone is on the same page, when everyone knows the company’s short and long term goals, it’s much easier to make progress and remain on task.
Falling Prey to the Competition
With 28 million small businesses in the United States, you know one thing to be true: your startup will have competition.
While this is to be expected, you must have a plan for reaching and remaining at the top of your industry.
Generally speaking, there are two ways your company can fall prey to the competition:
- You can lose out as the result of something directly related to your company, such as a lesser product or the wrong pricing structure.
- You can fall behind because you spend too much time watching the competition and not enough time focused on your own company.
It’s good to know that you have competition. Even better, it’s good to make a list of these companies and what they have to offer.
With the right knowledge, you can strive to provide the best product or service, competitive pricing, and high quality customer service.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard, as wasting too much time on the competition will take away from what you’re doing for your own company.
Ignoring Your Financial Situation
The best entrepreneurs are the ones who set goals, put their head down, and do whatever it takes to achieve success.
Even though you may not enjoy the financial side of your business – such as securing funding, payroll, and expenses – you need to keep a beat on this detail at all times.
If you ignore your financial situation, you could be faced with a big surprise in 2017. In the most extreme cases, you may realize that you’ve run out of funds and have nowhere to turn.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend your time on tasks that increase ROI and drive revenue, but you can’t overlook the importance of knowing your finances like the back of your hand.
Be Prepared for Anything
As a startup, you want to avoid these five setbacks in 2017. It’s not always easy to do, but the right strategy will keep you in line and ensure that you’re in position to make progress over the next 12 months.
Above all else, be prepared for anything that could come your way.
What would happen if a key employee left your startup for a competitor?
What would you do if you lost one of your top clients?
How would you respond to a financial crisis?
When you prepare in advance, no challenge is too big or complex to overcome.