Pitfalls to look out for when scaling up
Building a startup is a tough job and building a successful one is even tougher. Being too focused on creating the product and thereby ignoring some inevitable issues can often lead to costly mistakes. Some of these drawbacks can be diminished by just being more mindful of them. Surely not all mistakes can be avoided and by no means should this be done at any cost. But scaling up can be a lot faster and easier if you keep your eyes open for hidden pitfalls.
1) Leaving founder conflict unresolved
Founder conflict is real and needs to be addressed when it occurs. Successful co-founders actually embrace conflict as it shows commitment. Conflict of interest between founders can often kills startups, so it is important to fix this early on. Argue, talk, collaborate, compromise - do what it takes to resolve it so that you can find the best possible solution for your startup and have a healthy working relationship.
2) Procrastinating on taking big decisions
Being a founder requires you to take decisions that will shape the future of your startup. You often have to move fast and make quick decisions, sometimes even when you don't feel ready. Keeping your ultimate goal in mind is what will keep you grounded and help make sure that your decisions not only feel right and make absolute sense for your company.
3) Not validating customer experience
Converting your ideas into product and learning when to take off or pivot are the base of scaling your startup with success. For all that, what will decide the faith of your company is client experience. Measuring how customers respond and accelerating the feedback loop is sacred for entrepreneur to know their ideas’ real market potential.
4) Neglecting the importance of mentoring
A long-term sustainable relationship with a good mentor helps in developing relevant skills, learning new ideas and doing things the right way. A good mentoring relationship helps with not only learning new concepts but gaining timeless wisdom.
5) Ignoring data security
The need for absolute data security and due diligence is of high priority, especially with GDPR. The recent Facebook scandal on data leaks is based on the policies and actions that took place in 2012 - data privacy was not taken seriously even though they might have got it under control now. So, ensure that you are not breaking any rules or violating any regulations.
6) Delegating too little or too much
You can't do it alone. No one can. This is where it all starts. You can’t scale your business as long as you remain the only employee. You got to know to delegate roles when required and focus on creating a talent pool where everyone is at peace with what they know or are good at. However, it is important to keep control and ensure that your team is in line with your vision.
7) Getting caught up in chasing short-term unsustainable growth
Sustaining long-term growth is extremely hard. Luckily, there are a few universal principles for maintaining sustained growth. Try to stick to the plan and always remain within the defined scope. This will help you preserve the authentic purpose of your business, build a strong brand and develop an active community around it.
8) Avoiding metrics
It's never too early to start measuring your data. That being said, make sure to focus on what matters most to your business model and product. A common mistake for many early-stage startups is to fall for vanity metrics - stats that look good at first glance, but can't really be translated into anything actionable.