Three Common Startup Mistakes to Sidestep
Once you’ve launched your startup after researching a promising marketing opportunity, picking the best business name, refining your business plan, market-testing your price points, and recruiting the right team, it’s critically important to leverage the power of established management practices and advanced technology to increase your probabilities of achieving business success.
While it’s impossible to avoid making any mistakes in your business, some common mistakes can be preempted with a little forethought. Common mistakes startups tend to make are failing to choose the right payment processor for managing global payments, failing to secure their computer systems from hackers, and failing to develop a powerful sales team.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these three potential blunders and what you can do to steer clear of them.
Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong payment processor.
Since your business will need to be able to process global online payments, it’s essential that you choose a payment processing service that provides your customer with a wide range of options for making payments. Besides the ability to offer online and mobile checkout options, your company will also benefit from using a service that offers support for manual orders, subscriptions, and invoicing.
Mistake #2: Neglecting data protection.
The first thing you should be aware of when securing your business data is identifying what to protect. Usually, these are paper and digital records related to employees, customers, trade secrets, proprietary information, financial transactions, and marketing plans.
Next, identify all possible risks, as well as your tolerance for risks associated with your company’s services, information usage, and privacy needs. Besides protecting your hardware, software, and networks, you may also need to adopt physical security measures, like locking doors, issuing security badges, or developing a fire control system with sprinklers.
Finally, you have to ensure that your employees are informed about what to do to keep business data safe. For instance, they should be made aware of common phishing techniques; taught how to use strong passwords; and trained in what procedures to follow to securely access confidential information.
Mistake #3: Underestimating the value of a good sales strategy.
A good sales strategy has three primary components: first, hiring the right people; second, emphasizing the need for consistent training; and third, equipping your sales team with the best sales software.
- 1. Hiring the right sales team: When hiring salespeople, don’t look at how many years they’ve worked in sales, but at the kind of sales experience they have that would make them a good fit for your type of business. Also, look at their consistency in meeting sales goals, their passion for providing customer satisfaction, and their ability to build strong client relationships.
- 2 Providing ongoing sales training: While initial sales training teaches basic skills like how to prioritize a work day or how to close a sale, ongoing training is more about providing your salespeople with the feedback and support they need to integrate the reality of their field experiences. It’s a way for them to share their slip-ups and learn better ways of handling a similar type of prospect or situation in the future.
- 3. Using the best sales software: The use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software makes it easy for your sales manager and your sales team to stay on top of every step of the sales process. CRM improves communication with customers through features like reporting, invoicing, and making payments. It automates all activities related to sales; captures leads and assigns them to the right sales person. And it helps keep track of customer purchase and payment history in order to establish a loyalty program.
Stack the Odds in Your Favor
Although highly talented people, especially those with technical knowledge and skills, can easily find a great job and earn a large salary, you may be one of those rare people who perform at peak capacity when you chart your own course and are open-minded enough to notice signs that your startup is starting to fail. However, the race isn’t always run by the most ingenious and resourceful entrepreneurs, because a few overlooked hazards can derail your business, making it impossible to recover. Consequently, a little old-fashioned prudence can go a long way in making sure that your business has all the opportunities it needs to flourish.