The Top 5 Mistakes Most Non-Tech Startups Make

Cao Hữu Tín

In today’s app-heavy world, it can be hard to remember not all startups are tech startups. Non-tech startups don’t rely on technology alone to build their product, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to the challenges and struggles of any startup. 

Non-tech startups can fall into some common mistakes. Below, we’re outlining a few, and how founders can avoid them.

Not Acknowledging Their Abilities in The Market

This is the most common mistake non-tech startups make because they are newcomers and do not have a profound understanding of the market they are getting into. 

In able to understand both the opportunity and challenges you encounter as a startup it’s important to analyze the market, including the competition. There is a classic quote from the legendary book The Art of War: 

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Non-tech startups need to be realistic about their ability to provide their products or services in the market. Remember, when you’re starting small, you don’t have enough resources to be everything to everyone. The key is concentrating on an aspect or market where you can be an outstanding offering.

They Underrate the Network of Users

A network of users is the backbone of companies, and after acknowledging their abilities in the market, non-tech startups have to build their connection with users with focused marketing.

With the rise of social media, you have a chance to interact directly with the audience who will use your product or service. This initial connection is a valuable source for non-tech startups because you can learn more directly from your potential buyers and develop a rapport with them. 

After developing the network of users, hopefully, your business will gain market traction, demonstrating the market needs. But of course, this needs to be balanced with creating the actual product. 

Lack of Good and Suitable Teammates

Taking a narrow-minded perspective when it comes to hiring talent will not give you creative solutions to novel problems in the market. You need diversity in human resources to be successful with your plans.

Indeed, it’s really hard to cannot develop your business alone because of the many tasks that need to be accomplished. So, when it comes to finding the right fit for your growing team, it’s important to remember fit and function. 

Teammates who are a good fit can interact with everyone harmoniously and continue to create a thriving culture. But, don’t forget about function–you need partners whose quality of work stands out from the crowd.

Fixating on Fundraising

Any business needs money to survive; however, spending too much time searching for it can distract startups from other important aspects. 

When in doubt, think a little smaller, which could take the pressure off fundraising gobs of cash. You should be realistic about your fund-raising ability and develop the company step by step. 

As mentioned above, a network of users is the backbone of your company. Zach Zelner, CEO of PupSocks, said in the Business Insider interview, “Until you’ve got 100 passionate users—which can usually be acquired by word of mouth—you’re not ready to grow.” If you raise millions of dollars, but nobody cares about your brand in the market, that big money is meaningless.

Being Stuck on the Original Idea

Your market always changes. When you assume your first thought is always right, please remember that YouTube is originally a dating website. 

YouTube evolved and changed its service to become a super-dominant company for video uploading. When you do not catch up with the change speed of the market, you will lose your customers to competitors.

One of the sources where you can find new ideas is your team, and if you hire right, your teammates are always ready to give you creative solutions. 

Therefore, human resources are valuable if you know how to use them effectively. 

These five mistakes still exist if non-tech startups do not change their perspectives, and the Aspire360 team is specialized in helping you with this issue.

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