How to avoid start-up failure

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michaelStart-ups come in all shapes and all sizes, with personalities that are as diverse as the people who run them. In Australia, we are seeing an entrepreneurial culture continue to gain momentum as stories of breakout successes from incubators and tech start-ups on TV appear along with political funding announcements in this space.

I am seeing more emerging entrepreneurs begin to believe that this is the only way to succeed as a young business.

Realistically, today’s stereotypical start-up culture can be highly effective, because their hours are flexible, workers are happier and in many cases, more productive. Offices are also fun and clients get a positive first impression.

This type of culture however, like any other, has drawbacks to go along with its benefits. The stereotypical start-up culture is not appropriate for every new business.

We are seeing young people start businesses with seed funding or investment, and also dangerously getting themselves into debt. We need to ensure a balance is found.

Sure there are stories of success, including people being down to their last credit card or dollars and pulling themselves out of trouble to succeed but more often than not, failure is a genuine occurrence.

It is still important to get advice, plan and only involve people you trust.

Don’t always be swept up by the glossy stories. Being in business involves a lot of hard work and no success comes easily, especially in today’s competitive and innovative world of business.

Your office doesn’t have to look like Google’s. You don’t have to be ‘off the tools’ within a year. Don’t let outside influences and stories make you deviate from your plan, because every business is different. Don’t forget your bottom line when working, because without sufficient revenue, your business won’t be able to succeed. Don’t lose focus on what’s really going to drive your business forward.

Don’t build a business that is a carbon copy of one you’ve already seen or read about.

Think carefully about what your business needs to be successful, and how you want your brand to be perceived.

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