5 Common Mistakes First-Time Founders Make

Here are five common mistakes, that as a first-time founder, you don’t want to make.

3. Underestimating the Value of Micro-testing

It costs money to test your ideas, so expect that. If you’ve tried every free marketing tactic under the sun and still no results, it’s time to adjust your strategy not your objective.

When you start a business, allocate funds to ‘testing activities’ (i.e. sales, marketing, supply chain, etc.) If a strategy is effective, invest more to scale results. When you test, measure and repeat you can confidently know that if you invest “X” and it generates “Y” in long-term sales or value then you can quite possibly gain a similar result when you scale up to a point of diminishing returns – where an extra dollar in investment won’t move the needle.

It all depends on your product and market, but small to large businesses, alike, use micro-testing to validate their assumptions and rollout plans with higher confidence levels.

4. Seeking Business Approval from the Wrong People

[pullquote align=”right”]We are all “green” and inexperienced at some level when starting a business. But through action, iteration and pivots we learn and become skilled.[/pullquote]I don’t know about you, but I want to hear from people that have had some measure of success in business. This leads me to only seek out qualified advice from those who are more advanced in application and exposure than theory.

Here’s the deal: We are all “green” and inexperienced at some level when starting a business. But through action, iteration and pivots we learn and become skilled.

When you launch a startup there is some measure of apprehension and uncertainty that exists. You may quietly say to yourself, “Wonder if I can really do this?” This internal question leads many entrepreneurs to ramp up on their ‘approval-seeking’ behavior wherever they can get it. Unfortunately, some are met with the exact opposite reaction. This is likely because they sought information from the wrong people, places and things.

Simply put, if you need a heart surgeon, don’t go and talk to a mechanic. While they are both skilled at using their hands, a mechanic can’t perform open heart surgery. In business, if no one knows about your company, you have an ‘awareness’ marketing issue – so don’t go seeking advice from a supply chain expert (unless he or she has direct experience in marketing or can connect you to someone who does).

What other mistakes do first-time founders make? Let me know in the comments section below.


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