A new year, a new startup? The main obstacles to look out for

Another new year is fast approaching and besides giving us the chance to reflect on and re-evaluate on the year that has elapsed, the onset of the new year is often a good time for new beginnings.

If you are thinking about starting a new startup venture at the beginning of the new year then read the following post, which attempts to outline and neatly summarize the possible obstacles and pitfalls you might encounter so that you will be well prepared to overcome them.

Startups are launched every day in every corner of the world, but sadly the global data shows that over 95% of such new, innovative ventures fail to become viable businesses. The reasons to explain this phenomenon are wide and varied. The aim of listing them below is not to discourage you from pursuing your own innovative idea and starting your own startup venture, but rather to give you a head’s up, to help you be prepared for what might go wrong and maximise the chances that your own startup venture will meet with viability, success and profits in the new year, 2019.

First of it is the initial idea of the startup itself. If the idea is not good or strong enough then it will most probably not be able to achieve the desired impact and produce the expected results. The second commonplace problem with startups is not having the right team in place to undertake the endeavour. For your startup to succeed you need to make sure that all of your team members, not all have the right and adequate knowledge, expertise and experience to carry out their respective roles, but also share the same common values and visions and can work hard in a coordinated manner, having the same motivation, so that with the right leadership they can reach success.

When thinking of starting a new startup, bear in mind that change just for the sake of change is not innovation in its own right. To be truly considered an innovation, your new idea need to be addressing and resolving an important, real problem. The root of any innovation stems from the challenge to do something better, smarter or faster so that it will satisfy a real need. Therefore, the absence of real differentiation of your offering from the rest of the solutions out there could be the reason you startup ends up failing. Similarly, if your startup is not adequately adjustable, flexible and lacks in scalability then it might be more prone to fail than succeed.

Another problem that is often faced by startups is the lack of adequate experimentation during the preparation phase or the absence of a testing/pilot period which would reveal any problems, omissions or difficulties prior to the actual launch, giving time and space for corrections and improvements and allowing to cover any gaps in the planning of the innovation being put forward. Moreover, startups face the risk of failure if mistakes had been made during the various stages of its development, from inception to launch, especially if these have to do with false or inaccurate expectations, forecasts and provisions.

For a startup or new innovation to succeed, the overall goals and strategy of the parent company need to be completely in line with the aims of the startup itself. Moreover, the startup is at risk due to the often observed phenomenon of strategy to execution gap, while even if this is successfully breached, the startup may fail due to the lack of effective, efficient and creative branding.

An important pre-requisite for the success of a startup is the existence of the market for such a product or service. However, this alone is not enough as the startup may fail due to poor timing, if the market is not at the time ready to support the offering, while an added danger may come in the form of being outcompeted by competitors.

Regular monitoring and feedback gathering is also a crucial success factor, while having measurable performance indicators and benchmarks is equally important, as is the notion of accountability. Low efficiency and cumbersome bureaucratic procedures may hinder a startup’s chance for success, while the absence of an overall positive culture that nurtures innovation is an added danger that needs to be factored in.

Last but not least, in order to succeed startups need the proper institutional framework within which they can effectively be established and grow. The proper infrastructure, the existence of proper rules, regulations, standards and overall confidence in innovation at the level of the overall society and economy can hugely benefit any startup to reach success.

Lets us close this article with a sincere wish that the new year be full of new, innovative, creative ideas that will turn into promising startups and then grow to become viable business. Trust your instincts, feel confident, inspired and creative and give it a go. And if you need expert assistance and guidance, our expert resident team will be around to offer a helping hand in 2019 as well. Happy New Year!

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George Milios

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When I’m asked what I do for a living, I debate in my head how to answer the question. Should I say: "I’m an SEO" and wait for the inevitably confused look? Perhaps I should go with my best friend’s answer, instead: “He looks through and organizes information on the internet to get high rankings on Google.” You have to admit, anyone who can organize the internet is probably pretty cool. Should I keep my answers brief, or should I take a little time and educate them about the awesomeness of SEO?

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