In Summary
  • The problem with many entrepreneurs is they get overwhelmed with different aspects of running start-ups and forget to perform a litmus test on the sustainability of the business.
  • For this reason, I will try to list for you the most common signs to draw your attention to and prevent you from hitting the iceberg.

The problem with many entrepreneurs is they get overwhelmed with different aspects of running start-ups and forget to perform a litmus test on the sustainability of the business. For this reason, I will try to list for you the most common signs to draw your attention to and prevent you from hitting the iceberg.

Financial struggles
Well, poor management of finances is one of the most common problems business owners face when starting a company. Naturally, you do not expect the business to breakeven with immediate effect. However, after a projected period, say, a year, the business should be able to breakeven. Where, year on year, the startup cannot breakeven, then it is sinking.

Over-crowded marketplace
On the other hand, young entrepreneurs have fairly innovative ideas but do not set aside the time to analyse the market and their consumers’ requirements. What happens more often than not is that startups create products or services users are simply not interested in. For this reason, define your target customers, define your buyer-persona, demographics, their educational background, interests and needs in order to determine whether your offering will fit their personal or business lives.

Lack of teamwork
It is quite common to see politics at the heart of a start-up’s culture, what results in such a situation will be demotivated employees working to meet their end and not for the startup. As such, always define what is expected of your people and provide opportunities to reinvent themselves. This way, you will keep them motivated to work.

Poor leadership
Startups fail or thrive on the basis of leadership. Not only start-ups but also any business at any stage. As such, solid leadership is the key to business success. Such leadership involves the ability to join together all the bits and pieces that make up the entity and direct them to the vision. Where different stakeholders lose trust in the leadership, it is definite that the startup is sinking.
Well, before your startup is sunk and gone, you need to do a surgical post-mortem of your progress so far and with this, you identify the key areas that could give your start-up a new lease of life.
Paul Njuguna, Email: [email protected]