BERLIN, GERMANY / ACCESSWIRE / March 4, 2020 / Starting and scaling a successful business has always captivated people.
The promise of financial freedom, traveling to beautiful countries while working, and having no boss to jerk you around just seems irresistible.
So much so that it seems like nowadays, everybody wants to live the “entrepreneur lifestyle”, without any real knowledge of what it really takes to become truly successful.
Because here’s the thing: although starting and scaling a new business has “technically” become easier than ever in the past few years, there are plenty of pitfalls, challenges, and painful mistakes that most entrepreneurs make during this journey – often setting them back years or even prompting them to give up before they had a chance to reach their full potential.
So in this article, widely-successful entrepreneur Marvin Steinberg debunks 4 sneaky mistakes that 90% of startups make, while also giving away useful tips on how to avoid them, so ambitious startups can experience real success.
But who exactly is Marvin Steinberg?
He’s a respected entrepreneur from Germany, best-known for revolutionizing the German energy industry by being the first to fully leverage the true potential of online marketing in a predominantly offline industry, at scale.
As a result, his own distribution company “db swpro” together with the energy supplier “db swdirekt” built a scalable system involving over 25,000 people that generated millions of dollars in extra profit, within just a few years. In fact, the system was so valuable that Marvin even managed to make a successful exit and sell it to an American multinational after just 6 months.
Today he’s involved in dozens of companies in the software, tech, and the blockchain sector, and he’s also helped hundreds of 7 and 8-figure startups scale to their next level through his accelerator company, Steinberg Invest.
When asked about his mission in an interview, Marvin Steinberg said the following: “I know how hard it is to become successful as a startup. In today’s uber-competitive world, it’s difficult to get the funding, know-how, and network you need to turn your vision into a reality. And without these, it’s impossible to scale, no matter how good your idea is. So I’ve made it my mission to find promising startups, and give them the opportunity they deserve to make it as the “next big thing”. I do believe in unicorns, and I’m busy growing them”.
According to Marvin, these are the 4 most important mistakes that startups should avoid at all costs.
Mistake #1: Not validating your proof of concept before scaling it
By far the most common mistake new companies make is that they come up with an idea, build an expensive and time-consuming product around it, and then launch it to the market with a huge advertising budget – only to realize that nobody really wants it.
This is a particularly sneaky mistake because we humans are very protective of our ideas. We believe that if we’ve given enough thought, care, and attention to something, then it MUST be good.
Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case. The cruel reality is that your market doesn’t care about your product or how much energy, time, and money you’ve invested in making it “perfect”… they only care about themselves and how this product of yours can help them get from their current situation to their ideal situation. That’s it.
Yet, most companies assume that their product *must” be good enough and if their target market isn’t buying them, it means that they simply “don’t get” the genius behind the product.
And the sad thing is that dozens and dozens of companies go bankrupt because they can’t let go of this irrational notion.
So what’s the solution? You have to properly validate your idea before launching it to the general public.
Create a beta-version, observe how people actually interact with it in social groups you’re in, and start meaningful conversations with members of your ideal customer groups to find out exactly what are their pains, fears, hopes, and dreams, and how you can position your product so that they’ll see it as THE solution to your problems.
Do this, and you’ll see a massive shift in how people perceive your product.
Mistake #2: Trying to “wing” your high-level marketing strategy
Another common mistake: most entrepreneurs think that if the product is good enough (and it has been properly validated), then it should start selling on autopilot, just like that.
Unfortunately, nowadays, competition is so strong and noise is so thick that there’s a 95% chance nobody will even notice your product on its own – unless you invest some serious effort in your marketing.
But not just any marketing… because of this fierce competition, everybody is fighting for the same customers, and you have to simply be better than your competition.
As the saying goes “whoever can spend the most to acquire a new customer, wins”. And Google and Facebook, the 2 powerhouse marketing platforms on the planet know this all too well.
Ad costs are constantly rising and it’s not enough to “show up” anymore – you have to out-think and out-strategize others with better marketing campaigns.
So, to succeed, make sure that you develop a customer journey that’s optimized around conversions, from top to bottom, and uses the right marketing tactics for each stage of your funnel. This way you can lower ad costs and costs per acquisition while increasing brand loyalty and customer lifetime value at the same time.
80% of a startup’s success is determined by the quality of their marketing, so don’t neglect this. Either become world-class at marketer yourself or hire A-players who can help you get to the next level with their experience, network, and proven process.
When it’s time to realize your startup’s true potential, you need proven solutions that guarantee success.
Mistake #3: Not differentiating yourself enough from your competition through innovation
Another common problem: being dime a dozen.
Since there are so many new companies launched every single day in every industry imaginable, the only way for you to really stand out is to position yourself as something unique.
Think about this: What’s the 1 specific thing you do better than anyone else? And once you have your answer, create a unique selling proposition for yourself that will serve as the basis for your marketing.
For example, CPI Technologies, one of Marvin Steinberg’s companies has the following USP:
“CPI Tech is the only high-frequency trading platform for cryptocurrencies, FIAT, and cryptonized real-world assets that combines rock-solid software with unprecedented profitability.”
Even though there are other companies out there who do similar things, CPI Technologies is the only one that focuses specifically on combining rock-solid software that’s a pleasure to use with a conversion-optimized platform designed to be as profitable as possible – thus creating a positive ROI for CPI Tech’s clients within months, or often within just a few days.
But what if you’re not the only one who’s doing a certain thing? In that case, just innovate on an already-existing concept – simply make it better or different.
For example, back when Marvin was leading his energy distribution company – an industry that routinely gave its sales force commissions to motivate them – he was the first to come up with the idea of offering his salespeople lifetime commissions. That way, he could pay less in front-end commissions and could compete with big rival companies such as EON or Vattenfall.
Figure out something that nobody else is doing and start doing it. You’ll see great results.
Mistake #4: Being a perfectionist
This is perhaps the sneakiest of all mistakes.
Not because it’s the biggest, but because it’s so deceptive… and so many people fall into it.
And as a result, they end up achieving nothing since instead of actually doing things, they end up postponing action because “want to make everything perfect”.
The following meme perfectly encapsulates the problem:
However, the real tragedy is that people who make this mistake think that they’re actually doing the right thing, minimizing the chance for them to make mistakes. Oh, the irony.
In reality, most companies never grow above 7-figures (not to mention 8 or 9-figures) precisely because they’re afraid to get started with something before they think it’s “perfect”. And as a result, they miss out on countless opportunities, invaluable experience, and real-world testing.
It has been demonstrated time and time again that if you start small and test, test, test, you’ll end up way more successful than someone who is procrastinating under the guise of “perfectionism”.
However, it CAN be very scary to go out in the world and test, especially when you can lose a lot of money, reputation, and momentum doing so.
And that’s precisely why 9 out 10 successful startups have an accomplished mentor who can guide them through this challenge and help them figure out which opportunities are worth pursuing, and which ones should be ignored.
Having such a mentor is the surest way to explode your growth and get the guidance you need to get to the next level. However, make sure to choose someone who has a proven track record and has built several successful companies before, because they are the people who really know what they’re doing.
So there you have it, 4 powerful tips to make sure your startup won’t make the 4 sneaky mistakes that could sabotage your growth.
Make a conscious effort to abide by them and you’ll be amazed how much faster you’ll get to the next level with much less friction. Keep hustlin’.
Concerned Person Name – Steve Barmer
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SOURCE: Deepanshu Bhatt
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