The Top Ten Most Common Mistakes Startups Make

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Making mistakes in business is almost inevitable. In any case, even the most established companies blunder at some point. It is all part of learning. 

Sometimes, you may ere unconsciously, but how you respond to your faults will determine whether your enterprise will survive through the murky waters of business. 

According to various stats, over 20% of startups fail within the first year. Fortunately, this does not have to be you as long as you know the common mistakes startups make. Here is a list of the top ten blunders you should avoid when venturing into business.

1. Inadequate or Poor Planning

Whoever said, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail was 100% correct. Inadequate or poor planning is one of the most common mistakes startups make. Starting a business without a plan is reminiscent of setting it up for failure.

Many new entrepreneurs opt to go with the flow, hoping to succeed even if they do not have a solid plan or strategy. A blueprint is vital for business growth and sustenance, and it can help you define your goals, secure financing, manage risks, and track your expenses.

2. Not Getting Customer Feedback

The customer is the backbone of your business. Without them, you won’t realize any sales or revenue growth, and you’ll have to shut down inevitably. Unfortunately, many startups fail to focus on their customers. Some don’t even know their clientele base, not knowing that the customer is a vital part of the product development process.

If you want to build and sustain your business, you must listen to your clients. Customer feedback is essential in influencing decision-making when developing your products. It helps you provide better services to your clients.

One of the quickest ways to collect customer feedback online is via Google Review. As you know, Google is one of the biggest online platforms, with over 4 billion users worldwide. If your startup is listed on Google with several Google Reviews to back it up, you can be sure your business will stand the test of time.

3. Not Having a Marketing Strategy

Let’s face it. There’s no way customers can know about your business if you do not promote it. No matter the quality of your products or services, no one can appreciate and invest in your venture unless they know what you are offering.

Many startups avoid investing in marketing teams, assuming they do not need it or the service is relatively expensive, given that they are just starting. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. 

You can start marketing your products or services via less expensive platforms like social media to promote your business and lure prospects. You can also try word-of-mouth referrals.

4. Not Recruiting the Right Staff

Hiring the ideal personnel can help propel your business to greater heights. Unfortunately, many new entrepreneurs opt to go it alone during the company’s initial stages instead of looking for experienced and qualified staff to help them.

Even though you can learn to be a jack of all trades, successful entrepreneurs know that they need professional help to reach the top. Recruit professionals with different skills and strengths to help grow your business.

5. Not Preparing for Failure

No matter how successful you project your business to become, it is essential to have a plan B. Preparing for failure by having a contingency plan can help your business from collapsing. 

Unfortunately, many startups are not usually ready to face obstacles and hard times. They are essentially not prepared for failure, and when they hit a snag, they do not know how to respond to the situation.

6. Avoiding New Technology

We live in a digital world where new technologies emerge nearly every day. But one mistake many startups make is failing to leverage these innovations. Some businesses avoid new technology altogether, subsequently missing out on the opportunities they present.

Whether it’s developing a professional website or installing CRM software in your systems, new technology can help reach your target audience more efficiently and aid your business provide better customer service.

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7. Mismanagement of Cash Flow

Poor management of cash is one of the reasons startups fail within a year or two. Since startups operate on small capital, proper cash flow control becomes more critical than ever. Any mismanagement of these funds can cause the business to stall or collapse completely.

Some new entrepreneurs feel they need to invest in the best products and instead end up overspending on deadstock, while others choose to underspend, only to limit their chances of success.

8. Poor Leadership and Mismanagement

Starting a business requires excellent leadership skills. Unfortunately, some new business owners do not take time to hone their leadership skills before venturing into business. The results of this move are always catastrophic, and the enterprise is most likely to fail.

All the decisions revolving around the business are your responsibility. For this reason, it is essential to undertake a short course to advance your leadership and management skills.

9. Inability to Adapt

If someone told you Amazon started as a retail bookstore before becoming one of the largest online marketplaces, you wouldn’t believe it. The company’s ability to adapt to change defined its success.

Many startups blunder by not adapting to the changing times, failing to recognize that consumer demands change and unforeseen events occur. The evolving times mean your business might face hurdles, and it may not survive if you do not rethink your strategy.

10. Failing to Ask for Help

Another common mistake many new businesses make is failing to ask for help when they need it the most. Many entrepreneurs and business owners assume they have to go it alone to become successful. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is easier to make it to the top if you have the right people to guide and boost you. 

If you feel your startup is on the verge of collapse, it doesn’t harm to ask for help. However, you shouldn’t allow it to reach that point. Seek assistance from financial advisors, credit financiers, mentors, and other business owners who have been in the game.


Many startups collapse within one or two years, but this does not have to be the case with your new business. You only need to avoid the above mistakes and learn from them to have any chance of succeeding in whatever venture you opt to pursue.

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About the Author

Tobias Simmons is a personal finance blogger born in Ontario and based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He's no Doctor of Science or financial expert but is a self-taught student giving advice for the average peer.