It might be easier to talk about the things that make a startup succeed since there aren’t so many of them as those that can ruin your dream of making it big in the world of entrepreneurship. However, it’s definitely even more important to pay attention to all those realistic problems that have already prevented so many startups from surviving the very first year.

Like in any other aspect of life, a list of dos and don’ts varies depending on particular circumstances and there’s no universal solution for success. Still, experience has shown that some obstacles appear more often and have a more devastating effect than others.

So, what is it that every startup owner needs to be careful about if they want to make it past year one and how can such obstacles be avoided? Let’s have a look at some of the approaches that should be avoided at all costs in order to have a successful startup.

One-(wo)man show

Many companies fail because they have only one owner who can’t or won’t delegate responsibilities. Running a company is too hard for one person in most cases. Although it makes sense to have a person who makes every important decision about the future of a company, if that person doesn’t consult at least friends or colleagues, chances are some seriously wrong decisions will be made.

Solitude and the feeling of being isolated from the world around you are extremely negative emotions that might have a serious impact on your business. For this reason, it’s always better to get more people involved, at least in the brainstorming process.


Perhaps you offer some great product or service, but if there’s no one around who actually needs it, you’re likely to close down your business very quickly. There are more or less prosperous areas in each country and the success of your business is likely to depend greatly on the environment.


Will you be able to find qualified people to hire as well as niche-related clients to collaborate with in the area? Are there any already established competitors? These and many more questions loom above every startup. Luckily, many businesses and startups today do business exclusively online. So all you will need to do is find someone to design you a good site and find you quality hosting and domain name that will suit your business’ needs.

Not being open to changes

The fact that you have an idea, i.e. a vision of what you want to reach, doesn’t mean that you need to stick to it no matter what. It is great to have a vision and an aim, but you need to be ready to change and adapt them as you go along. Running a startup is like an experiment in many aspects. You try and see what happens and hopefully avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Whether you’ll end up with your original plan or not is less important. What is crucial, though, is that you find an idea that works best for you and your company, even though it usually means letting go of your initial idea.

Insufficient funds

Of course, money is a major issue for every company, no matter how old or big it is. A startup is no different when it comes to the need to have just the right amount of money at your disposal. Most people turn to banks for loans, although there’s an increasing demand for financial companies which can help you get a loan even if your credit rating is not great.

The problem with a startup is that it rarely gets a second chance if things don’t turn out as planned the first time. Once the money dries out, a startup disappears unless it has started making money up to that moment. Sometimes it happens just before the idea even takes off, but the owner(s) simply can’t afford to wait any longer and wish to cut their losses.

Not giving your best

It’s quite understandable that if you wish your business to develop, you need to do everything you possibly can to create conditions which facilitate success. Any half-hearted effort will surely be reflected in your business results. If you believe that you will hold on to your day job, while at the same time you will be developing your startup, you might want to give up straightaway. Truth be told, some have managed to do both, but there’s a much higher number of those who’ve failed.

The list doesn’t end here, but it should give you an idea of what each startup owner faces. Knowing how to recognize the danger and being ready to deal with the problems are among the most important skills every manager and/or startup owner needs to develop, if they wish their business to grow.