The stress of building a startup to profitability is one problem, the frustration that comes with failure is another, which we are going to take a critical look at today. A lot of people have had start-ups that didn’t just cut it. ‘Cut it’ in this context make reference to their slow growth and non-profitability.
There are a number of reasons why such could occur to a startup, some of which I’d touch in this post. Just stay with me.
It’s not solving a problem
Errm.. Before you expect your startup to flourish, one thing you should be absolutely aware of is to be sure that there is a problem out there that need to be solved. You should make sure it’s making life easy for some people, and there you have your customers.
Take for example, VoguePay is making online transactions easy for businesses and organisations, Hotels.ng allows you to book hostels anywhere you are before even getting to the place, and also, ToLet.com.ng saves you the stress of touring the whole country in looking for a property to buy or rent. Just solve a problem, and you’re ready to go.
You don’t know your finances
As a startup founder, this isn’t expected of you. It is important you know every aspect of your finances. How much is going out or coming back in over a particular period? If you don’t, and you’re careless about it, I’m sorry because you might not reach profitability when you actually should.
You have a very poor marketing skill
To be honest, solving a problem and letting people know you solve that problem are two different things. This is where your marketing skills – largely digital – comes into play. It is important that you get your marketing activities just right, so you don’t have to solve the problem you claim you do for yourself only.
Start-ups like Jumia and Konga had such terrific marketing plan that propelled them to the very top, which they still are today. I’d advise you consider a course – maybe online – on digital marketing (there are free ones too) or you employ a vast person in the field.
This is a major problem especially if your startup involves the delivery of goods or services. Your location matters a lot, and it has to be where you have an unhindered and smooth access to your potential customers. Anything short of this would just minimise your supposed feats.
There is a reason most start-ups are based in Lagos, but that is a topic for another day.
The wrong team
I chose this to be last so it can be emphasised on. Your team has a very significant influence on whether your startup would soar or not. Even in the event that you experience one or more of the above problems, having the right team who shares the same vision as you and the startup, things can sure be restructured and put in place.
Do you want a free advice? Take your time in picking the right team, it pays.
So there you have it, a few reasons why your startup doesn’t cut it, Kristen isn’t soaring too high, or is still crawling three (3) years after launch. Be sure to avoid them, and let us know which other ones you have encountered before now.