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The Most Common Mistakes Founders Make and How to Avoid Them

Starting a business is undoubtedly risky and hard work. Many startups fail due to several common mistakes. Even though failure is part of the learning process, it is not really necessary. Learning from the mistakes of others can help you succeed as a startup founder. You will avoid some of the typical founders’ mistakes. To build a successful startup, do not repeat these common errors.

1. Creating product or service no one needs

Many startup founders get blinded by their ideas and create services or goods they believe people will purchase. However, this is not often the case. It may be that the service or product falls into an industry or category where there will be a need for it in the future, but its form is not the right one. You can avoid this mistake by performing market research. Apart from traditional research, collecting potential customer reviews is also vital. This will help you understand if consumers will buy your product or service. Start by building a minimum viable product to see if people need it.

2. Inadequate planning

It is not necessary to create a forty-page business plan. However, you need a basic strategic plan to follow. A plan is vital for sustaining your idea. Although planning may be tedious, it will help you have a roadmap for your company. You should have clear steps on the way to proceed in a manner that provides you the flexibility of adapting to the ebb and flow of your industry. If you are too busy to get your startup business running or the thought of writing a business plan is intimidating, there is no need to get stressed. You just need a simple strategy which outlines marketing, finances and key business details. After that, add some goals which will help you stay on track during your daily operations.

3. Half-hearted attempts

To build a business, you need patience and passion. You also should understand that running a business will affect other areas of your life as well. Therefore, be willing to make sacrifices, deal with the challenges you will face and put in the required time to be successful. Inform your family and friends about the time you have to spend running your business so that they can be more supportive of your vision. You will need their support in the frustrating and stressful life of a startup founder.

4. Waiting for perfection

Waiting until things can be done perfectly has killed many startups. It is natural for entrepreneurs to want to introduce their killer ideas to the world in their best form. However, perfectionism can stall your progress. Your enterprise is not going to be perfect. You will have to work on the imperfections and you can only do so after launching it. It is impossible to grow your startup by attempting to perfect something before encountering the real problems your customers will have. No business launches perfect solutions from the start. Furthermore, early adopters of new products or services are fairly tolerant. Therefore, seek to improve your services or products incrementally.

5. Bad pricing


Setting a price that either undervalues or overestimates a service or product is one of the common founders’ mistakes. To price your services or products correctly, it is critical to understand the variation in labor rates, tax consequences, and your actual expenses will be. Many startup founders underprice their service of products due to lack of confidence. If your prices are too low, they will undermine the unique value of your business. It can take you many years to recover from undervaluing your goods or services. Overvaluing your products or services, on the other hand, can cause you to run out of business for lack of customers. You can avoid this by exploring the market thoroughly to identify the most appropriate price points for your goods or services.

6. Expanding too soon

Seeking to expand your business without all the things you need could lead to negative repercussions. Business research and experience have shown that before expanding a startup, it should have key resources like secured supply lines, key staff or management, cash, access to credit and access to equity. Do not underestimate the power of organic growth. This kind of growth may be slow at the start, but it achieves a stable positive outcome.

7. Failing to seek advice

A majority of startup founders fail because they do not get advice from the right people. It is vital to get advice from people who are knowledgeable about business transactions such as financial planners, strategy experts, accountants, and lawyers. Having a mentor is essential. By reaching out to the right people, your business can grow.

8. Failing to deal with people well

As a startup founder, you will succeed better if you have a likable personality. If people do not like you or what you do, they will be reluctant to do business with you. It is critical for every business owner to have people management skills. You need to have excellent customer service skills and deal with your employees well since they are your biggest asset. Your employees are there to grow your startup. Therefore, treat them well by paying their remunerations at the right time and relating to them professionally.

9. Failing to speak with customers

Many startup founders make the mistake of not speaking with their clients. It is critical to call your customers and listen to their suggestions and feedback. Apart from getting new customers and guiding them through your platform, contact your old customers a few times a year. Turn your first and former customers into ambassadors of your brand and provide them with special offers because they believed in your product or service first. These customers are also more likely to provide your business with the best referrals.

10. Choosing the wrong partners

Having partners is vital to your startup journey. Choosing the wrong partners can have an adverse effect on your startup. For instance, if a cofounder is not as motivated as you are, then misunderstandings may occur when things get tough. Therefore, choose partners wisely for they may be with you for life.

11. Failing to have the right balance

As a startup founder, you will find that you are expected to be involved in your business every day and night without a break. You may not be able to go on holiday for the first couple of years. However, you still need to have a good routine between your private and work life. Otherwise, your health and family will be affected. Many startup founders experience physical fatigue and nervous breakdowns due to overwork. By having balance in your life, you can also focus more on every activity you start.


Startup founders make many mistakes that end up ruining their businesses. Founders also often learn how to run their businesses successfully the hard way. Knowing the common founders’ mistakes and avoiding them will go a long way in eliminating stress, exhaustion and financial difficulties among other problems as you run your business.