I had 3 startups until now and here the mistakes I would have loved to avoid in my first startup:
- Hoping all will be 'just fine'.
It simply won't. Statistically you will fail. The sales you hoped would explode will not. So plan for small milestones, small successes on the way to big success. Don't plan to sell 1 000 products, plan for the first 10 and define what are the next steps to get to 1 000 after you sold the first 10.
- Spending big money before qualifying a Minimum Viable Product in front of consumers and the trade.
- Being dependent on long production time or high minimum order quantity. I was dependent on both, they forced me to produce A LOT of stock, which I didn't sold profitably at the end.
- Having high production costs for each product.
This capped the free sampling we could do with key influencers and celebrities.
- Having a high number of SKUs (product's shapes and color combinations). This increased the complexity and put pressure on the level of stock we had to have.
Naturally, even in my first startup we did many things right, like Branding, creating a product people wanted, the PR campaign, building an automatic logistic and shipment platform...
If you have a startup and want to talk more/ would like a mentor, give me a call. I'm currently mentoring 3 startups.