90% Of New Startups Fail. Don’t Let Yours.

Starting a business is a daunting task. As enticing as some of the extreme cases may sound, most startups are doomed to go down in flames. Even startups backed by big money only succeed 15% more often than ones that start in your backyard for $25 and a Starbucks gift card from your grandma. Here are our best tips on what to do when starting a startup, and how yours can be one of the ones that succeeds.

The Do’s

1. Lock your ego in a drawer and throw away the key.

This is the big one. We get it – your startup is destined to change the way we do… whatever you think your product is going to do. The truth is, there are a lot of people out there with big ideas who think they’re going to be the next Facebook or Google, but even if your product succeeds and turns a profit, there’s an infinitesimal chance you will be one of the big players – and that’s okay!

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are about 100 million new startups every single year. That’s about 3 new startups per second! Most of these will barely take a step above the ground floor, sure, but the competition is still there.

There’s no shame in not being #1.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t aim high or aim to succeed – quite the contrary! We just want you to temper your expectations and not feel bad if your idea doesn’t end up being sold for $1 billion and changes the history of the human species.

If you set unrealistic goals, you run the risk of issues like allocating money and resources to the wrong places or biting off more than your schedule can chew. Know your scope.

Be realistic about what you can accomplish and you will be more likely to succeed. If the circumstances allow you to go bigger, take the chance, but only after careful, pragmatic consideration.

2. Do your research and use your tools.

As tempting as it is to go it alone, you’re more likely to succeed if you study. Extensively. This was true in the 11th grade, and it’s true now as you’re trying to start a company.

Read books. Read articles. Watch credible videos. Learn what has worked in the past and what doesn’t and make educated choices based on them. It might be difficult to find the time, but even a little bit can go a long way.

While early tech giants like Facebook and Google were mostly flying by the seat of their (digital) pants, we live in the future now where there are a plethora of great tools to use for your startup. One of the biggest problems new startups have is being disorganized, and Qbitt, our free scheduling app, is an excellent resource for your startup to use.

startup team

3. Hire and work with the right people.

While it was great working with Roger when you started that band in college, he may not be the best partner for your tech startup, given that grad was six years ago and the most he’s done since then is play video games in his parent’s basement.

The people who work under you need to either be passionate about your product, bring an important skill or talent to what you’re trying to accomplish, or both. If you happen to still be in college or are planning on going soon, there’s perhaps no better place to network and meet like-minded individuals, so take full advantage of where you are at. Speaking from personal experience, there’s perhaps no better place to make lasting contacts.

Too late to network? No worries.

Let’s say you’re already out of college and didn’t do as much networking as you had hoped. That’s okay! There are plenty of ways to meet other big thinkers and entrepreneurs – with Qbitt being one of them! Qbitt is designed to bring local businesses together, and with the app’s built-in social network, it makes for a great place to meet other business owners.

Don’t be afraid to find a mentor.

If you’re just starting out, it couldn’t hurt to try to be a part of a startup first, rather than trying to be CEO right out of the gate. This could be a great place to network or meet a mentor – someone who has been there before who could steer you and your ideas onto the right path.

The Dont’s

1. Don’t do it for the money.

We all love money. Even people who say they don’t care about money love money. With that in mind, realize that only 40% of startups ever end up turning a profit, let alone succeed in any meaningful way.

You should be in this because you feel as though there’s a niche to be filled and that you have the means and knowhow to fill it, not because you envision yourself on a yacht carrying a smaller yacht in five years.

Cynicism can be poisonous.

Don’t let the glitz and glamor of the few million or billion-dollar startups obscure your vision. Approaching your startup with cynicism in your heart can kill your dreams faster than cyanide in your veins – keep both far away!

If you’re approaching your startup from the perspective of wanting to make money and not because you feel you have a service that can fill a niche, you may want to take some time and restructure your plans.

man taking notes startup

2. Don’t overspend.

Despite their romanticized image of modern sleek offices filled to the brim with comfy couches and pool tables, nearly 70% of startups begin at home, and 58% start with less than $25,000. If that seems like a lot of money to you, make sure you understand that lower five-figure numbers like that barely scratch the surface of what most successful startups will end up costing.

If you’re just starting out, chances are high that you’re not going to be working with a lot of money, making finance management paramount to your businesses’ success.

3. Don’t be disorganized.

You may have come up with your million-dollar idea drunk on cheap whiskey on a Friday night, but that doesn’t mean your company needs to match that energy. Your first step should always be to make a solid game plan.

There are a lot of questions – so answer them.

Who is paying you to work on this product/business/idea? Do you know what channels you will want to market and advertise through? How much time do you expect this idea will take to come to fruition? Using free organization and scheduling tools – like Qbitt! – can be a boon to your startup.

Bonus tip: Just have a good product.

Before you laugh this one off, take a moment to think about it. Are you sure your product is useful? Will it really fill that niche? Are there products and companies out there doing what you’re doing better already?

If your project is already well underway, ask yourself this: is my product high-quality? Does it look cheap? Did you skimp on your web designer? How well does it stack up to the established titans in your respective industry? This may seem like a no-brainer, but too many entrepreneurs skip these questions – don’t let it be you!

Qbitt is a startup, too. We know how it goes.

We’re a startup whose product is designed from the ground up to help other businesses expand their clientele and interact with other like-minded individuals. Discover new local startups on Qbitt, available free on iOSAndroid, and in your browser.

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Kirkland, WA 98033

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