Experts weigh in with possible reasons why your startup sucks and what you can do about it
In this fast-growing startup world, more people are starting their own companies. Rather than seek employment, graduates would rather build their own businesses. Employees are leaving 6-figure salaries to go and launch the startups they have been dreaming of.
However, sometimes things don’t go as planned and you find that you and your company are on a downward spiral. You have gotten super depressed about it. Why is your startup failing? Why are the sales figures so low? You have your prototype and you believe it is good to go but it appears nothing else is good enough in your company.
As these questions continue to linger in your mind, let’s look at why your startup sucks right now and what you could do about it:
1. An outright silly idea
Fortunately, most people have a lot of ideas every day. Unfortunately, not all these ideas are good enough to make them worth venturing into as the basis of a company. Your startup is driving you crazy probably because you chose to run along with the stupidest idea that came to your mind.
The silliest ideas can make for good businesses, but when almost everyone you tell about your startup doesn’t like it, it means you should just leave it as an idea. The only remedy for this is to let it go – don’t waste your time on something silly. The best entrepreneur knows when to give up, that is probably now – before you’ve spent your hard-earned money on an idea that doesn’t pan out.
2. Poor pitching
You have this amazing idea, but you can’t explain what your startup does in less than 30 seconds?
Imagine you met a potential investor in an elevator while going to meet a client. You have no idea when the investor will get out of the lift. In this case, you have just under 30 seconds to pitch your business. How do you go about it? With your elevator pitch.
If you can’t get the right pitch, you lose the investor.
Elevator pitches aren’t just relevant in elevators. They’re simply supposed to be short enough to deliver during an elevator ride. This is because our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Google it.
With such short concentration spans, the shorter and more precise your pitch is, the better your chances of capturing any attention from clients or investors. To improve your elevator pitch, check out these 6 tips on creating the best elevator pitch to interest investors.
3. Your startup doesn’t solve an existing problem
The best entrepreneurs create businesses and companies out of existing needs.
In fact, all the huge companies in the world today started out as solutions to existing problems.
When your startup isn’t solving any problem, there is no need for it in the market.
In this case, your best bet is to invest your time in something else that solves a problem that people are struggling with.
4. You’re operating in a small niche
Startups know that limiting themselves to certain niches sometimes doesn’t pay off, and this could be one of the reasons why your startup sucks. This is especially true when the niche is extremely small and the financial investment doesn’t reflect in the revenue and profits.
You have to do research into your target market. Determine how the current market trends affect your product, and what number of people need it.
Sometimes you will find that the people who need your product are almost negligible. The numbers will probably not give you a good return on investment.
5. Your startup cannot be scaled
This usually affects the startups that serve a small niche. When your company cannot be scaled beyond geographical boundaries, investors might shun you. As a result, you get stuck serving a very small population.
At this point, your product could be a very good business, but it remains a small business. You have the choice of exiting by selling the business, sticking with it at the scale it is on, or finding a way to scale.
6. Your employees suck
Hiring is a very integral part of any company. When you make bad hiring choices, they reflect in your company’s growth.
Several startups make the mistake of hiring personnel who don’t have what it takes to make the company succeed. This is even worse when you don’t notice it for whatever reason and your company dies a slow death.
Luckily, there is a remedy for this if you notice the problem early enough. Fire those employees, and fast. The greatest entrepreneurs fire fast and hire slow.
7. Poor publicity skills
Any publicity is good publicity. That’s the rule of business, just get the publicity first. Poor publicity skills become apparent when you’re not making any effort to get some press.
How will your potential customers know about your existence if there’s no mention of you anywhere?
If you want your startup to stop sucking, you have to be out there trying to score some points with the journalists who care about your target market. It’s now easier than ever before to identify the journalists you should reach out to. Platforms like Pressfarm give you a platform to discover journalists, what they do, the publications they write for, and how to get through to them. The PR specialists, writers and designers at Pressfarm can also help you create content that will capture media attention and get you press coverage. This team is experienced at developing press releases, guest posts and media kits that put each brand front and centre in its niche. What’s more, the Pressfarm team can also distribute this content widely and get you published in respected media outlets.
If you’re struggling to harness the right kind of publicity, we’d recommend signing up for a PR package at Pressfarm. This way, you can earn quality media coverage as you focus on what you do best.
8. Neglecting the value
Have you gotten to that point where you care so much about getting money, and so little about providing value to the consumers? You have to stop doing that. Go easy on the money a bit. Whether you believe it or not, every time you stop offering value to consumers, you lose a customer or two.
The most successful startups and established businesses alike always put the quality of the product first. They keep improving it consistently. They focus on the money later. It’s important to understand that customers are always willing to pay provided they get value for their money.
9. Lackluster branding
Image is everything. I’m sure you have heard that phrase before, and it is true.
You have a life-changing business idea that you believed in so much that you started a company for it. The solution is almost perfect, but why are you struggling to get clients?
Ever think it could be your branding? It’s time to find out; first by hiring branding experts to advise you; secondly, by asking a wide range of people what they think about your logo, colors, etc. If over half of these people think that your branding could be part of the reason why your startup sucks, then you should refresh your branding. Repositioning your brand could be of tremendous value to your startup.
10. A pitiable user experience
Customers won’t care that your startup is innovative if the product is difficult to navigate and use. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that these customers will leave you in a heartbeat.
The best remedy is to work on that user experience. Life is already complicated enough – people just want a product that is easy to understand and work with.
If you’re starting to believe that your startup sucks, evaluate its performance with the above factors in mind. You might just find the solution to building a more successful startup.