10 Most Common Startup Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

It’s good to learn from mistakes, but it’s not necessary to make a mistake to learn; in that case, we always learn from others’ mistakes. We hear about fear of startup failure as tons of starts fail every then and now and the reasons are almost same for most of them.

I talked to hundreds of entrepreneurs who failed in their ventures in one way or other and have read about hundreds of others and surprisingly, they all had almost same challenges. Although, there were some exceptions, but here, I have summed up the 10 most common reasons for startup failure:


1- Failing to Create Value

The most common failure I observed was, “Building Something Nobody Wants”. At times you think something could be too good, but for other’s it’s not! Some startups even make a good entry by creating value, but as they lose momentum in engaging users according to their needs, they fade out. 


Think of the problems around you and bring innovative solutions to those problems. The more useful idea you have the more successful your startup will be.

Being useful is the single reason for Facebook to be successful. It’s creating value for everyone and so they want it.

2- Hiring Poorly

To build something great you must have the right people to do so. Hiring and keeping up the good team is one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face today.


Have a hiring principle: “I have the budget and I know what is required from the person I am recruiting.

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3- Out of Focus/Boredom

As an entrepreneur, you are always coming up with some great ideas. Some of them are really greater than what you are working at the moment. But, wait, hold on! Once you’ve started working on a startup, you must know that it won’t work without complete focus.


Do not startup anything until you’re determined to take it to a level and once you’ve started up, avoid the distracting ideas. In case if you’re bored, consider reading How to Deal with the Entrepreneurial Boredom.

Other than the ideas bombardment, you may find lot of other distracting and de-motivating elements. Do read our guide on 16 Motivation Killers That Every Entrepreneur Must Deal Strategically.

4- Poor Sales & Marketing

The main reason for poor Sales & Marketing is not the low budget, but a poor business plan.

Solution: Must have a business plan, before starting up a micro business even!

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5- Wrong Co-Founders

Well, not in all the cases, you need a co-founder, but having a right co-founder solves half of your startup problems. In case if your co-founder is not the one who you need the situation can lead to an ultimate failure.


Think well before getting a co-founder onborad as if you really need one. In many cases where financials can allow, you may think of outsourcing stuff to consultants rather than having a co-founder.

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6- Investor Chase on Unhappy Customers

95% of the startups that fail chase investors before thinking about the customers, but they forget that investors will not entertain them until and unless they have a good number of happy customers!


Focus on creating a valuable business with happy customers. One happy customer will bring you ten more and once you have customers, investors will look for you!

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7- Poor Financial Planning & Insecurity

Even if you have a great idea and you can do all things yourself, you will need a specific amount, i.e. for marketing, PR, fixed or running costs etc. On the other hand you must have to make sure that how you are going to cover the expenses till the time your business starts earning.

Unfortunately, most of the people who startup an idea in a rush do not work on this area and end up closing the business and get back to a 9 to 5 job.


A proper business plan that has forecasts and estimates can help eliminating this chance of failure. On the contrary, you can think of initial funding of your startup out of savings or some borrowings on low return rate.

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8- Over Spending

They think that the more money they will spend, the more sales they will have. Well, that’s how startups fail because they fail to get the required ROI.


Planning right from the beginning to avoid running out of money!

Even if you have an abundant supply of finances, spend only what it needs. Spending more money helps only if it increases the ROI. So, rather than increasing the budget, increase ROI.

Avail and explicitly use the free where you can find. It’s neither shameful nor does it bring any harm!

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9- Trying to Be Jack of All

At times we think we are jack of all, but when it comes to build a successful business, you need mastery in everything.


Do not hesitate to seek help when you are not clear about anything. Posting your queries in Linkedin groups work best. Besides that, if you can afford you can hire a consultant too!

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10- Ignoring Social Media

Even if most of your users are not online, you need an effective Social Media Presence, because this is the most powerful way to interact with your customers and know what actually they want. Failing to understand the power of Social Media then contributes to the failure.


Bring your offline users online as well and get them involved in the conversations. This is how the multiplying effect is generated over the Digital Media which helps in boosting your share in the market!

I hope, after knowing the most common startup mistakes and their quick fixes, you will save lot of your time and money.