20 ways to avoid start-up failure

Founders of a previously successful business have a 30 per cent better chance of success with their next venture. Here's how to avoid start-up pitfalls on your way to the top.

The world of business can be ruthless for growing businesses. The good news is you’re growing, but the bad news is that staying competitive isn’t a one-off. Successful businesses are constantly evolving, spitballing new ideas, trialling new products and services, keeping current customers happy while reaching new customers every day.

In the UK, four in 10 SMEs may not make it past their fifth anniversary. What separates these businesses from the six in 10 that actually do make it in the long-run is rigorous planning.

The most common reason for business failure is that many start-ups run out of cash within the first year of business. Others make the wrong decisions when it comes to choosing a business partner or core team. Some can’t cope with the workload and end up sacrificing customer relationships and networking opportunities.

While most business leaders stress that there is no magic elixir for success, taking care of the four basic elements of business, people, planning, competition and motivation, helps start-ups most when they are in their growth phase. According to entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist, Dominik Matyka, founders of a previously successful business have a 30 per cent better chance of success with their next venture. Still, entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful if they have failed before.

Ultimately, Matyka advises talking and listening to people will push entrepreneurs towards success, whether they are “customers, venture capitalists, fellow entrepreneurs,” to help validate your ideas. Connecting with people within your organisation, your business network, customers and even competitors involves strong social skills, which is why charismatic entrepreneurs tend to propel their brands forward faster.

In order to pre-empt roadblocks to start-up success, and to make the planning process easier, Market Inspector’s infographic below outlines 20 tips for entrepreneurs.


Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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