9 Deadly Mistakes That Every Startup Should Avoid Doing!


Startup firms formulated almost 2.5 million jobs in 2015, according to a Census Bureau report. One of the challenges modern firms overlook is figuring out which potential problems to worry about- and how to deal with them once they hit. While some are obvious- have money for payroll and don‘t promise what you can’t deliver- others can catch you off guard if you‘re not aware to watch out for them. Moving too fast on a good idea can leave you in a bad position, for instance, as can grow your customer base without clear revenue targets.

The items below, shared by nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council, are some of the mistakes they’ve seen or made during the course of their career, which make for excellent jumping off points for discussion and review.

Here is what they advise you avoid doing:

1. Thinking That Speed Means Success

As an entrepreneur, we are constantly expected to deliver and deliver fast — from investors, customers or even the team. Being in the Silicon Valley, at times you do feel pressured and start believing that speed means success. Sometimes, it’s OK to slow down, just never stop. Focus on a few things, do them well, and you will truly see the things that matter most. – Akta Adani, Kyra & Vir

2. Outsourcing Product Development Early On

Outsourcing development early on, as a tech entrepreneur, is a big mistake. If you give away equity for funds and spend those funds on development, then eventually the equity is gone, and you have no way to change your product. If you had given that original equity to a tech co-founder, you would be able to make product changes for the lifetime of the company without relinquishing additional funds or equity. – Dan Spalter, Circle for Roommates

3. Getting Too Emotional About Mistakes

Change your attitude about mistakes. Making them is inevitable; how you handle them is critical. If you look at mistakes as a learning opportunity, they will be one of the most valuable investments you make. If you react emotionally to a mistake, it is a complete waste of energy, and a missed opportunity to learn. – Michelle Blum, Nutrish Mish

4. Being Overprotective of Your Ventures

Entrepreneurs make the mistake of viewing their ventures as their babies, being overprotective and holding onto them longer than they should. Whether it’s going public, an acquisition or a merger, having an exit plan at the outset helps an entrepreneur stay focused on the end game. With that in mind, an entrepreneur can focus on onboarding talent, while staying creative and relevant in the marketplace. – Alejandro Maldonado, Flow Studio LLC

5. Expanding Too Fast

In my experience, the draw towards rapid geographic expansion took our focus off our core markets and strained our team’s resources. We ultimately paused but lost valuable time. When your company is small, be incredibly protective of your team’s focus when exploring the myriad of opportunities you encounter. Most are distractions or initiatives you may not be ready to tackle yet. – Matt Bennett, Peerspace

6. Not Focusing Enough on Revenue

Generate revenue from day one (or as close to it as you can). There are countless people who spend years creating something with no idea how to turn it into a revenue-producing business. Hack together something, anything, that enables you to generate revenue, and you‘ll alleviate a lot of stress and risk of failure. – Stephen Creasy, South Street Designs

7. Growing the Customer Base Without Clear Revenue Targets

I think being at Stanford, I got dazzled by the success and exponential growth of startups in Silicon Valley. I kept pushing my team to look at increasing the customer base without too much focus on revenue targets in the long run. After the acquisition of my second venture and with the start of Bent Chair, I have realized there is a lot more joy in having the company sustain itself. – Natasha Jain, Bent Chair

8. Failing to Implement Great Ideas

Many entrepreneurs think that just because you have a good idea, you will be successful. This is not the case. You can have the greatest idea, but if you can’t implement it into your company, it’s useless. Also, you should have the proper team to execute the necessary tasks needed to scale the company. Without a team who is qualified, it’s very difficult to make a company successful. – Eddy Zillan, Cryptocurrency Financial

9. Not Ensuring Enough Cash Flow

Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Not financially planning for the ebbs and flows of business income adds an additional layer of unneeded stress and anxiety. New entrepreneurs should focus on building a nest egg that will help weather a slow month or clients who may be on the slower side of payment. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. This is even more so for entrepreneurs. – Jon Clark, Fuze SEO, LLC