In this fast-growing startup world, more people are starting their own companies. Graduates are not going to seek for employment, they are working on their ideas. Employed people are leaving 6-figure salaries to go and launch the startups they have been dreaming of.
However, you and your company have are on a downward spiral. You have gotten super depressed about it. Why is your startup failing? Why are the sales figures so low? You have your prototype and you believe it is good to go but it appears nothing else is good enough in your company.
As these questions continue to linger in your mind, let’s look at why your startup sucks right now and what you could do about it:
1. Outright silly idea
Fortunately, most people have a lot of ideas every day. Unfortunately, not all these ideas are good enough to make it worth venturing as a company. Your startup is driving you crazy probably because you chose to run along with the stupidest idea that came to your mind.
The best ideas can be stupid, but when almost everyone you tell about your startup doesn’t like it, it means it’s an idea that should just be left as that. The only remedy for this is to let it go, don’t waste your time on something silly. The best entrepreneur knows when to give up, and it’s probably that time for you.
2. Poor pitch
You have this amazing idea, but you can’t explain what your startup does in less than 30 seconds?
Imagine you met a potential investor in an elevator while going to meet a client. You have no idea when the investor will leave the lift at his destined floor. In this case you have just under 30 seconds to pitch your business, how do you go about it? That’s the elevator pitch right there.
If you can’t get the right pitch, you lose the investor.
Sadly, I hate to break it to you that it doesn’t just happen for cases in elevators alone. The human being today has a very short concentration span; I’m not kidding, google it.
With such short concentration spans, the shorter and precise your pitch is, the better the chances of landing any attention from clients or investors. To improve your elevator pitch, see these 6 tips on creating the best elevator pitch to interest investors.
3. Your startup doesn’t solve an existing problem
The best entrepreneurs create businesses and companies out of existing needs.
In fact, all the huge companies in the world today started out as solutions to existing problems.
When your startup isn’t solving any problem, there is no need for it in the market.
In this case, your best bet is to rather invest your time on something else that solves a problem people experience.
4. Small Niche
Startups need to know that limiting themselves to certain niches sometimes doesn’t pay off. Especially, when the niche is extremely small that the financial investment doesn’t reflect in the revenue and profits.
You have to do the research for your target market. Determine how the current market trends affect your product, and what number of people need it.
Sometimes you will find that the people needing your product are almost negligible. The numbers will probably not give you a good return on investment.
5. Your startup cannot be scaled
This usually affects the startups that serve a small niche. When your company cannot be scaled beyond geographical boundaries, the investors shun you. As a result, you get stuck serving a very small population.
At this point, your product could be a very good business, but it remains a small business. You have the choice of exiting by selling the business, sticking with it at the scale it is on, or finding a way to scale.
6. Employees suck
Hiring is a very integral part of any company. When you make bad hiring choices, they reflect as such in your company’s growth.
Several startups make the mistake of hiring a personnel that doesn’t have what it takes to make the company succeed. The worst thing is when you don’t notice it for whatever reason and your company dies a slow death.
Luckily, there is a remedy for this if you notice the problem early enough. Fire those employees, and fast. The greatest entrepreneurs fire fast, and hire slow.
7. Poor publicity skills
Any publicity is good publicity. That’s the rule of business, just get the publicity first. Poor publicity skills include you not making any efforts to get some press.
How will your potential customers know about your existence?
If you want your startup to stop sucking, you have to be out there trying to score some points with the journalists that care about your target market. Now, it’s easier than ever to discover the journalists you should reach out to. For affordable rates, tools like Pressfarm give you a platform to discover journalists, what they do, their publications and how to get through to them.
8. Neglecting value
Have you gotten to that point where you care so much about getting money, and so little about providing value to the consumers? You have to stop doing that. Go easy on the money a bit. Whether you believe it or not, every time you stop improving the value to consumers, you lose a customer or two.
Incredible startups and businesses always put the quality of the product first. They keep improving it every time. The money comes later. And by all means, it’s important to understand that customers are always willing to pay provided they get the value for their money.
9. Lackluster branding
Image is everything. I’m sure you have heard that line before; and it is true.
You have a life-changing business idea that you believed in so much that you started a company for it. The solution is almost perfect, but why does no one bother?
Ever think it could be your branding? It’s time to find out; first by hiring branding experts to advise you; secondly, by asking a wide range of people what they think about your logo, colours, etc. Refresh your branding if over half of them say it sucks. That change could be of tremendous value to your startup.
10. Pitiable user experience
No matter how innovative your startup is, potential customers don’t care as long as the product is difficult to navigate and use. They will leave you in a heartbeat.
The best remedy is to work on that user experience. There is too much complexity in life that people just want a product which is simple to understand and work with.
Originally published at press.farm on October 8, 2016.