One of the trends that are taking over entrepreneurial community is “Millennial Entrepreneurs”. The term ‘millennial’ primarily refers to people who were born between 1981 and 2001, one could further classify the Millennials as Generation Y and Generation Z.
Generation Y refers to people who were born between 1981 and 1991 and Generation Z refers to people born between 1991 and 2001. The primary difference between the two is that while the former was exposed to personal computers, cell phones and video games; the latter grew up with smartphones, tablets and apps at a young age.
This is reflected even in the type of companies that each start, two of the most prominent millennials in the billion-dollar club right now are Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook Inc and Evan Spiegel of Snap Inc. and we are very familiar with how both of them started up.
While these two names are successful, there are many who started up but never made anything out of their company. Reasons? The mistakes they made as millennial entrepreneurs! While the reasons for the failure of a startup could be many and could be applicable not just for millennial entrepreneurs, here are 5 mistakes that entrepreneurs (especially millennial entrepreneurs) need to avoid.
What if someone steals my idea?
This is a common paranoia when it comes to entrepreneurs, “what if someone steals my idea?” Truth be told, no idea is unique and every idea (or at least some variations of it) would’ve been tried by someone in the past.
If you consider that your idea could be easily stolen and executed by someone else, then it is high time you forget that your idea is unique. You need to realize that the success of a company lies in building for the consumers and that needs market validation. Start speaking with people and validate your idea.
Above all, learn to accept criticism to your ideas and apply them as feedbacks to create a strong and compelling value proposition when you are executing your idea. The real success of a startup does not lie in the idea but lies in the way you execute your idea.
Hiring the right person for the right job
Once you validate your idea, you will start working on your product. Being a novice entrepreneur, one cannot expect you to excel at everything (sometimes anything). During those times, you might feel that if you had an extra helping hand then it could solve everything.
So far so good right? Well, this is where most companies make mistakes. While an extra hand might help you at times, you need to understand whom you hire and ensure that you as a leader are able to guide them in achieving your vision for the company.
Sometimes unnecessary hires in the early stages to show growth might bite you in the back when you are trying to become cash flow positive. Hiring the right person for the right job is another crucial skill that you need to equip yourselves during the initial days of the company.
Apart from the mission and vision, it is also important to establish certain core values of the company, which will set the foundation of the company’s culture and will ensure higher employee satisfaction and retention in the long run.
Not focusing on core operations
It is evident that we are in a tech bubble, and investors have been pouring money into the tech startups over the last decade. There are many entrepreneurs who have been chasing behind investors while not focusing on their core responsibility as an entrepreneur.
During these times, you need to question yourself on “why you wanted to startup initially?” Was it to raise funds or run a successful company that is self-sustainable?
If the answer is latter, then start focusing on your operations and see how you can generate revenues from your customers. Once you start attracting your customers, you will naturally find investors waiting to invest in your company.
Tech Startup Need Not Look At Digital Marketing Alone
This is a very pressing problem with the new age entrepreneurs. You might have come across a lot of companies when asked about marketing might name one of the social media channels. It is time to remember that a tech startup need not look at digital marketing alone, but a few offline presence can help them a lot as well.
While marketing might sound like an easy task once you understand the basics of digital marketing, you actually don’t realize the time and money you invest in that when you are deeply consumed in the social web.
There are many entrepreneurs who keep pushing their products on every available platform. They need to understand that marketing is about establishing a conversation with their customers and enabling them to solve their problem through your product/service.
Another area where entrepreneurs make mistakes is A/B testing. While it is good to have your grounds covered for optimal results, you might have to be in a position to take the right decision based on the results and the bandwidth you have in your initial stages.
Setting the basics of Finance and Accounting Right
One basic skill that majority of the entrepreneurs lack is not having a proper accounting of the money spent on different amenities in the early stages. While it is tempting to grab every offer that comes your way, you need to ask yourself “If you really need that right now”
It is like chasing after Venture Capital when you are yet to build your Minimum Viable Product. Entrepreneurs should learn to focus on the unit metrics used to measure growth and calculate ROI for the efforts that you put in.
Once you start having the basics of your finance and accounting set, you can start correcting your above mistakes. You can always know who is that extra hire, the conference that might be burning money, the right marketing channel to explore for maximum ROI and how to generate more revenues from your customers.
While startups built by millennial entrepreneurs are fundamentally built on contrarian views over any fundamental practice, you need to start encouraging/accepting the same contrarian view to your ideas when you receive it from your customers, employees or investors. As previously mentioned, these healthy debates are what will set you on the right path and ensure your organization’s success.