Common Mistakes Made By First-Time Founders

Building and launching your first startup can be exciting. You can’t wait to add “Founder” to your job title.

However, you need to realize that building and running a successful startup as a first-time founder comes with a bunch of challenges and hurdles, which may cause you to make mistakes. 

Some Common Mistakes Made By First-Time Founders Are

1. Trying to do everything Yourself

Yes, you have the idea and you have a clear image of what you want to build and achieve, but you will be making a great mistake if you try to be everything and do everything yourself.

You want to oversee the marketing activities while being the product manager, project manager, and head of engineering, as well as looking for investors and co-founders.

The truth is, you can’t do it all, and if you try to do it all, you will burn out in no time.

What you can do is - articulate your vision first, then get the right set of people that you can delegate activities to, while you focus on coordinating the process.

2. Hiring the Wrong Team

One of the deadliest mistakes any startup can make is not hiring the right set of people to handle the project. 

It is important to get the right set of people who have the required skills, and experience and that will believe in your vision and see the bigger picture with you.

Remember, great employees are an investment that will pay off in the future.

Therefore, hiring the right people can contribute to the overall growth of your startup and can also lessen the need for you to spend resources trying to replace the wrong employee. 

You can read up on top hiring mistakes to avoid as a founder, to serve as a guide during the hiring process.

3. Waiting For A Perfect Product Before Launching

Nobody wants to use an unfinished product, but waiting to have a 100% perfect product before hitting the market will forever be a bad idea. You might just be waiting forever because no product is 100% perfect.

To avoid waiting till eternity is the reason why you need to focus on having your MVP.

Your MVP is a Minimum Viable Product that has enough features to attract early adopter customers and validate a product idea early in your product development cycle.

Instead of waiting for a perfect product, work on pushing out your MVP and validating your startup idea.

4. Not doing Market Research

Many first-time founders downplay market research during their startup journey. Most believe that since they have an idea, all they need to do is get engineers to build a good product and people will automatically embrace their product.

In reality, it doesn’t work like that. 

You need to be able to gather and analyze necessary market data which will provide useful insights into how your potential customers will react to your product or service. You can only achieve this when you carry out comprehensive market research.

Figuring out how to carry out comprehensive market research can be daunting, so use this post we made on How To Carry Out Market Research For Your Startup as a guide. 

4. Not Prioritizing Marketing

This is very common, not just for first-time founders, but for early-stage startups too, as most startups tend to view marketing as an afterthought. 

They believe once they have a good product, the product will sell itself. Reality sets in when they notice they are not making the kind of impact they need in their market and among their target audience.

The truth is that every product needs marketing, no matter how perfect the product is. 

A startup may lack the necessary resources to embark on massive marketing activities. Still, there are many low-cost marketing activities you can adopt for your startup as a first-time founder in the early days.

What Next For First-Time Founders?

Having an idea and executing the idea as a first-time founder can be challenging. Navigating these challenges requires some level of knowledge and experience, and experience is something that most first-time founders lack.

There are so many resources out there that you can leverage.

If however, you’d prefer a more tailored-for-you approach, our 8-week intensive Founder School Program, where we teach and mentor founders on how to successfully execute, launch and grow a successful startup, might be just what you need.

Click here to find out more about the founder school program and how it can accelerate your startup to the next level.

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