Three common start-up mistakes and how to avoid them

When you are starting a business, it is very easy to overlook aspects of the company and make mistakes; here is how to avoid them.

From waving goodbye to regular paycheques to learning all there is to know about employer responsibilities, launching your own start-up is scary.

Not least because you’re well aware that around 50 per cent of businesses in the UK fail within five years.

But whilst it’s frightening to think about all the companies that never made it to the finish line, and even more disheartening to look at the ones who never really got going in the first place, it’s also incredibly useful.

As selfish as it is, failures are the best learning tools around.

And with organisations like CB Insights already doing all the research for you (they recently published a list of the 20 most common reasons startups fail), it’s easier than ever to avoid making the same fatal mistakes other fledgling businesses have fallen victim to in the past.

With that in mind, here are three of the biggest issues highlighted by CB Insights that you’re likely to face in the coming years – and a few top tips on how to expertly manage them. Take a look.

Poor hiring and team management

Putting the right team in place isn’t just about hiring the people with the highest qualifications (although having a skilled workforce is important). It’s also about finding individuals who share a similar attitude and personality.

After all, in order to handle the high-pressure, stressful environment of a startup, you need your staff to work resourcefully and productively together. Bear that in mind when you’re interviewing potential new starts.

And remember, your management style will also dictate how well your team perform.

If leadership isn’t your strong point currently, look at developing your skillset by undertaking a few courses (you’ll find lots of MOOCs for free online).

Legal challenges

Whether you’re a new startup still finding your feet or an established company that’s been in the game for decades, legal challenges are never fun to deal with.

Sleepless nights, a heavy financial fallout, an unrecoverable loss of reputation – find yourself on the wrong side of the law, even accidentally, and these are the kind of consequences you’ll face.

For peace of mind that your startup isn’t going to fall foul of regulations any time soon, seek legal advice before any problems occur.

Whether you need solicitors in Leeds or York – wherever you are in the UK – a quick Google search will help you find a reputable firm.

Insufficient marketing

You may know your product or service inside out and feel beyond excited about finally introducing it to the market, but the harsh truth is, other people simply don’t care as much as you.

To get people interested in your brand and turn them into customers, you need a comprehensive and winning marketing strategy. Fail at this crucial stage and your new business will struggle to make any money.

From social media to email marketing and PPC campaigns, there are lots of different tactics for boosting awareness of your brand, but looking after them all can be time-consuming.

If you can’t handle it yourself and don’t have the budget to hire an external marketing agency, you could always turn to freelancers for help. You’ll find lots of specialists online using trustworthy sites like Freelancer.

By taking a proactive approach and preparing for these common startup mistakes right from the get-go, you should be able to avoid being tripped up by them in the coming years.

Further reading on

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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