Over at the popular networking site LinkedIn
one fella asked a very thought-provoking question — "What are [the] top three 'sins' of a startup, from your experience, one should avoid?"
Here are some answers, in no particular order:
- Failure to clearly define target customers
- Not understanding your profit and cost drivers
- Not having a clear purpose and vision of the company
- No strategic business plan for success
- Chasing the dollar vs. your passion
- Too much debt starting out
- Knowing the difference between making a mistake and adjusting one's course
- Believing that the best technology will win
- Underestimating the implications of your risks
- Failure to hire or retain top talent
- A great accountant
My top sin is not defining your target customer. One should always ask, "Who and why would anyone want my product or service?" before proceeding. Debt control and a detailed strategic plan are important success indicators as well.
What do you think are the top sins when starting a new business? What specific actions can help prevent one from committing them?