The title of this article should alert you to the error of your own ways as a startup owner. From the day you decided to push ahead with your business plan, you were determined that nothing would stop you. It didn’t matter what you were told or the advice you were given, along the way, you were going to forge ahead and see this idea through no matter what the outcome.
Is this good or bad? It’s neither as there is no right or wrong when it comes to getting the business up and running. Over enthusiasm for what your business can achieve is mostly good, as it can propel the business into the minds of consumers and steal market share from competitors. However, the flipside to irrational self-belief in success can also overshadow where the company is really going and its actual position. Here are four common ‘white lies’ of startup success stories.
Startup Success Lies
Lie #1 – I am the best manager in the industry.
Just because you are enthusiastic about an idea doesn’t mean your team will fall in line behind you. Startups usually have minimal labor needs, and if it is just you and your friend, then you might be getting high-five’s all day long. As your business grows, you will need to be able to manage multiple projects, direct more people, and develop your priorities. Around this time, you will start to see that you aren’t the best manager that is in the field.
Your team might not support your ideas, or they might grow restless and demotivated. You will never be a perfect manager. There are too many personalities in the workplace to achieve that. However, you can be the best version of yourself for everyone that works with you and for you. Look for ways to improve your leadership skills and seek feedback as necessary from more experienced leaders in other companies. No matter how fast you might be moving, the competition is never far behind.
Lie #2 I just need more money.
With a new business, funding is always a crucial priority, and yet the thinking that more money will fix everything is misguided. There is a lot of money that goes into a startup, and fortunately, there are venture capitalists like Matthew Ocko always on the lookout for a great idea or business model. However, your business isn’t going to succeed or overcome the challenges of operation just because an investor writes you a big check.
It isn’t about how much money you bring in, but more about how far you can make each dollar stretch. It isn’t the capital that makes the business grow. It is the nurturing and management of the people and the operation. More money can just lead to new pressures. If you need to repay a loan, there is motivation to bring in more to remove the debt. At the same time, decreased sales or a failed marketing strategy only serve to make the loan responsibility more stressful and challenging to meet.
Be creative in your use of money and find ways to improve profitability.
Lie #3 The customers have no clue what they’re talking about.
Of course, this business idea was your brainchild, but it doesn’t mean that it is without flaws or free from criticism. In your haste to make your dreams come true, don’t forget that you need customers to help you get there. Customers come with their own wants and needs, and when your company isn’t seeing growth, you need to look at the reasons why.
If you spend time studying your target market and listening to what your potential customers have to say, you can understand precisely what they are looking for and deliver the goods. You can’t get hung up on your initial ideas for this or that. You may need to create alternate methods of sales, marketing, or price point if you are going to become a staple in the community.
Lie #4 The more time I put in, the better my company will be.
The entrepreneur wears many hats during startup and the first few years. Thinking that working around the clock will make your business better will put you it the center of potential business failure. You will need to run your company, but you also need to be learning about business, the industry, upcoming trends, marketing strategies, employee management, and so much more.
The more time you put in, you can create a scenario where you are too close to the forest to see the trees.
Stepping back and evaluating areas of success or weakness can give you better insight for informed and strategic decision-making.
You would be hard-pressed to find a business owner that set out to fail. Their goal is to succeed, and they are committed to whatever it takes to make it happen. If you fall for these four lies, your efforts might push your company toward failure rather than success.