Roy Osing
05 Jan 2018

How to kill your startup in 6 easy ways

Got an idea you think can make you lots of money? Good. Chalk one up to you for coming up an innovative thought. 

But the real challenge you have is to figure out how to monetize it. If you can't get people to buy it, your idea is wasted.

Here are 6 mistakes entrepreneurs absolutely must avoid:

1. Not determining how your idea is different than your competition.
Ultimate success will be determined by staking a unique claim in the market. 
If your idea is the same as, or similar to something already out there, it will be invisible. It won't attract attention and no none will buy it. 

2. Not clearly identifying who the potential customers are for your new idea.
Winning is all about targeting your idea to very specific groups of people and giving them a reason to buy from you. It's not about flogging your idea to the masses and hoping it will stick to some of them. 
If you can't define your potential customers, STOP.

3. Not involving people who have a strong marketing and customer service background.
Ultimately, the success of your idea will depend on go-to-market effectiveness. Better have people on board who have experience in serving customers and providing value-based solutions to people. 
Technology and finance expertise are needed as well, but in a supportive role. People responsible for customers must be your anchor.

4. Not testing your idea with potential customers.
It's not about how excited you and your friends are about your idea,  it's about what your potential customers think. Get them in a room and present your idea. Ask them to evaluate it. And ask them to be honest with you. 
Do they think it satisfies a real need they have? Do they think it's different than other stuff out there? Would they buy it? How much would they be prepared to pay for it? Would they likely tell their fiends about it? Does your idea excite them?

5. Not defining the unique value you are creating with your idea.
Business success comes from supplying value to people ; “gee whiz” technology only goes so far.
Figure out how you are satisfying a want or desire that your potential customers have. 
This will form the basis of your  marketing efforts and your pitch to potential investors.

6. Thinking that technology will sell itself.
It's not about a product or service. It's  about value. People don’t buy technology; they buy what the technology creates for them. Happiness. Joy. Pleasure. Solution to a problem. Making life or business easier.

Then there is the potential investor. What will it take to convince them to part with some of their money and help you launch your idea? 

If you fall into the above traps, your audience with them will likely be short and unrewarding.

Avoid the mistakes and you could have a winner.

Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead


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