The Most Frequent Mistakes That Startups Make

It’s a well-known fact that most startups don’t end up successful; in fact, some sources claim that the failure rate is as high as 95%. So, if you’ve started such a business, the odds are already against you. However, there are certain mistakes that you can avoid to minimize your chances of failing.

After six years of running his own business consulting for companies, Mike Schoultz has seen his fair share of startup cardinal sins. Here are some of the worst ones he’s come across:

  • Being excessively afraid of failure, which hinders your decision-making abilities and healthy risk-taking.
  • Not having fun / not enjoying the startup process. (Because what’s the point then?)
  • Disliking human interaction: “your people abilities can mean the difference between success and failure.”
  • Suffering from decision paralysis; making business decisions is a crucial skill.
  • Being too careful or inflexible; change and adaptation are critical to business survival.
  • Not seeking advice or help. Listen to feedback from clients, your team and experienced entrepreneurs.
  • Having weak communication and time management skills.
  • Being unable to anticipate and innovate means that your business will fall behind in the market.
  • Forgetting to create a business model—one that goes beyond a simplified concept.
  • Running out of money is one of the main reasons why startups aren’t sustainable.
  • Being too ambitious or overly optimistic can make you forget your goals and the finer details of the business.
  • Doing everything yourself leads to burnout and means that certain areas of business aren’t being developed to their full potential.
  • Not having a growth strategy (no plans for expansion) compromises your business’s long-term viability.
  • Being unwilling to commit fully to your startup is the final death sentence; if you want the money, you’ll have to put in the extra work.

Did we leave out any mistakes that startups make? Let us know in the comments!

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