Here are some costly mistakes we see startups making everyday:
- Thinking the ‘great idea’ is enough.
Everyone that comes to us has a great idea. But in most cases, your product/service will need a lot more than a great idea. It will need many other ‘standard functions’ users expect to see and work properly. Do you know what they are? The business will also need time to grow and mature… Instagram didn’t start getting traction after almost 18 months.
- Building an MVP.
MVPs make sense when you have a truly ‘unseen’ concept (e.g. when AirBnB first began). But if your idea is a twist on current maket solutions, building an MVP is a time and money ‘waster’. In many cases, investors and customers don’t believe the MVP or it doesn’t include the features trial users need to feel the value. And, usually, the MVP costs 40% or more of a full functional platform. If you’re in an industry where market fit is likely (Gig, D2C, Ecomm, Fin Tech, Delivery, etc.), you might save months and a significant amount of money skipping the MVP. For example, if you are launching a new kind Dougnut shop, would you build a fake storefront in a different location?
- Forgetting about the administration tools needed to run (and grow) the business.
Startups hire Freshify because we have years of experience designing and building business management tools. You can’t forget about the tools you’ll need to manage transactions, users, orders, subscriptions, content, chats, notifications, analytics and many more. Is this in your plan? You won’t get investment nor acquired without it.
- Not following the latest UX and creative norms.
Your app will be sitting (on user devices) right next to apps that have spent hundreds of millions in planning, design and development… will your app look as good? Will it follow UX and UI best practices users expect? Or did someone just tell you wire frames would take care of this? A team of experts in the latest UX and design trends will ensure this is covered.
- Not planning future releases.
Do you know the features you MUST launch with? And which features you’ll need to roll out in 2 months, 6 months and 12 months? Many startups think they must launch with everything, or worse, just their key function. This mistake can kill your startup.
- Not planning, selecting and implementing 3rd party technology services your app will need to operate.
Do you know which services to use for SMS notifications? Or how to send spam compliant emails from the app? Or how to implement Google Maps or take advantage of free AWS startup credits? So many startups simply don’t know what NOT to build.
- Not launching with the most basic functions users must see to repeat use.
Did you know that Google users expect to see Google sign up? That younger generation likes to sign up with a phone number, older users like to use email? Push notification controls, auto sign-in and many others are often overlooked. Most founders implement all sign-up methods or only one. Another mistake.
- Not building with the latest technology.
Have you selected the technology most investors and large companies like to see for acquisitions? Have you built it on a platform to allow reliability, scale and connection to other systems? Or have you just used what your dev shop uses? Make sure this mistake doesn’t kill your chances for acquisition or later rounds of investment.
- Not documenting the build and data plan to industry standards.
Have you ever led the documentation and data planning for a new platform? Are you sure the developers you’re talking to do it with their build and do it to an industry standard? It’s a major problem down the road if you don’t handle this correctly and we see this mistake often.
- Not coding, managing code or following QA and deployment industry standards.
The development industry changes almost weekly… from how code is written, checked, tested, stored and migrated. Even successful software developers are not using the latest methods and processes. Are you? This is another potential startup killer.
- Not marketing the service (app) based on core benefits to the primary, secondary and tertiary target audiences.
There are lots of social marketing freelancers and small agencies randomly producing social posts. But do they target and speak to the people they should? In most cases, these firms collect a lot of money for poor targeted and performing media posts. Startups need to carefully target their marketing, especially just after launch.
- Not choosing and designing the revenue model to generate revenues immediately.
Unless you already have millions of investment dollars to build a data-mining or AI platform, it’s best to show that revenue generation works right away. It doesn’t have to be more than a few cents per user, but there should be a solid demonstration for the future. There are ‘big hitter’ exceptions, but most founders should design for immediate revenue generation.
- Not tracking user performance analytics to deliver the data investors need to see.
Many startups forget this key ingredient to their products, but it is vital to their success. It’s necessary to start collecting data on what it costs to acquire each customer and the average spend per customer. It is pivotal for additional funding rounds.
- Not setting up the company’s governance and stock structure to enable easy and smooth investment.
Did you incorporate within your state, use an attorney who doesn’t do this every day? Or, perhaps you just used an online service. We see companies over-spending early on legal, getting tied to an attorney who overcharges or slows them down. Sometimes expecting their current structure to carry them the distance. Startus need to follow best practices for incorporation, stock issuance, IP protection, etc.
- Not implementing solid platform tech support for disasters and other minor issues.
Do you have Tier 2 or Tier 3 support in place after launch? Are you ready to respond to technical issues? In many cases, the support you need for responding to technical problems or disaster response is not too expensive, but it can kill your early user base if not in place.
- Not building a platform that can handle millions of transactions and users.
Many startups simply don’t plan for success. They plan to ‘prove’ the idea instead. They select a developer who simply builds a small system not architected for millions of user sessions or transactions. They spend the first year or two building an MVP, or a platform that is not truly a cloud based architecture, DB and server structure. Of course, this creates a costly mess and many months of delays when the concept is proven.
There are more mistakes you can avoid… talk to us today about how we might help you journey toward success MVPs