The traps you want to avoid falling into – Part 2

In part 1, I talked about a startup founder’s areas of focus, understanding the customer, deepening your expertise in your subject matter, and also some mindsets that need to be adopted or avoided.

In part 2 of this article, I want to point out a few other mistakes that I think would slow down a startup’s growth and hinder its success. This second set has more to do with your pace, your people, as well as your interpersonal and emotional skills.

Not building enough momentum

This is something I touched upon this in previous writings. When you run out of ideas, you’re left with one thing and one thing only; more marketing. Which is the start of the downfall of a company. Let’s face it: your customers are not impressed by any fancy marketing you will do unless you work hard to keep them happy and making purchases. Besides, when you first start out, you can’t afford to allocate time to marketing. Instead, you must channel your energy towards creating a strong customer base.

Lack of team diversity

I am a fairly diverse person, and I struggle to find other people who are as diverse as me on a team. Diversity is hard to spot in oneself, much less in others. I would encourage founders of color or women to put together a diverse team from the beginning so that everyone benefits. When I look for cofounders, I always search for individuals who look different and share my diverse background and perspectives. 

Lack of empathy

One of my favorite books is Freakonomics by Daniel Kahneman and Stephen J. Dubner. They talk about the effectiveness of having empathy. “People are bad at evaluating how close they should be to another person or a group,” they write. “We tend to think of ourselves as impartial judges, when we are often operating from biases we are not aware of.

Not having a clear vision

If you are not careful, not having a clear vision of where you are going can ruin your startup. The best way to avoid this is to have a good idea of what you want to achieve in the business. Just like a company needs a business plan, you must have an idea of your end goal as a founder. If you don’t know what you want, then you don’t know where to look for it. 

Final words

I want to conclude by stating that good startups stay focused on the long-term goal of being great entrepreneurs. Good entrepreneurs always keep an eye on their vision, for which they must always be customer-centric.