Has your start-up business fallen for the “Sorry Seven”?

A start-up company is like a premature baby. A premature baby typically spends several days or even weeks in an incubator. An incubator, as you know, is an apparatus used to maintain environmental conditions suitable for a premature baby and it prevents the baby from falling sick due to alien conditions.

Like a premature baby, a start-up business also needs an incubator in its early days. If not, the business can easily fall sick and get into trouble by making mistakes. Let us look into seven of those typical start-up mistakes: the “sorry seven”!

1) Under pricing: Start-ups think that by under pricing, they can easily attract new customers. It is a grave mistake. Don’t ever under price your product or service. If you are new and cheap, you won’t gain any confidence with your potential customers.

2) Not having a professional Website: There is no excuse for not having a professional looking website with your own domain name. There are many companies that can custom design a site for you. You can also purchase Website templates for less than $100. Most people will look into your website before they even try to call you. Websites are thus instrumental in creating a good “first impression”.

3) Bad location: Spend time on identifying your location. If you are a local retailer it is important to get foot and drive by traffic. Get a safe location where you will get plenty of both.

4) Not investing on your brand: Do not get business cards for FREE. Free business cards will have adverts on the backside of the card. This shows a prospective client that you are not serious about your business. Get a logo created and have it printed on your business card. It would be sufficient if you can print a single or two-color business card – you will not go into bankruptcy.

5) Not having an elevator pitch: The elevator pitch is a 30 second pitch about your company. This 30 second pitch should make the person listening to it, ask only one question. How do you do that? (Or) what do you mean by it?

6) Not wanting to get your hands dirty: If you are starting a business you are responsible for its success. So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty in all aspects of your business. As your business grows you can assign specific areas to other people to manage.

7) Problems between founders: Be careful about whom you start the company with. Most disputes are caused not because of the situation but the people. If there are misgivings don’t suppress it. Try and communicate the problem to those concerned and arrive at a reasonable conclusion. You might have to give and take on some of the areas with your partners.

If you avoid these mistakes in your start-up business, you can quickly drive the business out of the incubator. It will quickly start to crawl, walk and run like a healthy baby, into long term success and prosperity.

We want to hear from you! Is your start-up in the incubator or out of it? What mistakes have you committed? Please share your comments below.

Aravind Kumar

Aravind co-founded Integra and manages the company’s operations from its global delivery center in Coimbatore, India. He is the brain behind the company's IT strategies and infrastructure. His knowledge and experience working with large corporations such as Yahoo India, Rediff, and Honda prove to be instrumental to the company’s progress. He would be able to help you with your business troubles too! Drop him a line or two!

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