Is your startup.. not getting started?

Starting a new business can become a scary, tedious and frustrating situation, especially if you find yourself stuck in the preparation stage of the startup process. For some, we are talking months or even years.

So many Startups come up with great ideas but will never become successful as there are too many factors and reasons, according to them, that is restricting them from launching. The pitfall is that someone else will eventually come up with something similar, take action and launch a successful and striving business and you will lose a piece of the market share, if not all.

Working with many startups over the years, I have learned so much about why Startups find it difficult to get their new business idea converted into a viable business concept and launch.

As a multi-business owner who has started over 10 successful and profitable businesses myself, I find it difficult to believe that it should take you months or that you need lots of money before starting your new business.

Here are five of the most common reasons I have found why many Startups never get started and what you need to do to avoid these pitfalls.

1. The Need to Get it Perfect

Many startup Entrepreneurs try to get everything done to perfection before they decide to launch – if they ever do. It can lead to an endless road to nowhere by constantly tweaking, changing, editing, and fine-tuning their business concept, website, and other components. Why would I say that, and what does it mean? – well, procrastination is nothing but a way to give yourself a break that can manifest in many forms. It is nothing but a way of procrastination or an excuse to deal with a fear of launching. Because of this underlying fear, you try and avoid the cause of the fear by postponing the situation that might cause that fear. It might be a fear of failure, or a fear of making rookie mistakes, a fear of losing clients, not being good enough, and belief it or not, there are even people that have got a fear of success and being put in the spotlight, cause they been told by their parents never to boast and brag. Unfortunately, you will have to deal with and try and sort out the issues that cause you to procrastinate, but there is a way you can jump over that hurdle without going to therapy. Launch at 70% of completion or even earlier. By that point, you will have your business idea more or less sorted out, know your customer base, products, and services, the solutions to their problems, and some idea of the inner workings of your business, methods, and procedures. Don’t worry about having it perfect at this stage, as you will use your first 2 – 3 projects or customers to fine-tune the rest of the 20% as you go along, sorting out the minor nitty-gritty issues and makings changes where needed. What about the outstanding 10%? Well, that is for implementing your marketing and branding strategies. You would want to iron out all the issues before going big on marketing and focusing on client acquisition.

2. Getting it done Myself

Oh, this one I like the best. So put yourself in this scenario and see whether you can relate to these statements made: “I can design my logo – how hard is it to do?”, “I use a web design online portal with drag and drop to build my website,” or “I just download some templates or contract and tweak it a bit,” or “I’m gonna save some money by registering my businesses myself.” Or “I just read up on Google® or watch YouTube® how to do it” and so the list goes on why people think they need to develop their business and “Save Money.”

Don’t get me wrong – I understand that young Entrepreneur’ and startups’ value lies in the IP of their idea and that they might not have the funds to invest in expensive business development services. Yes, tools have become widely available to do all these things and are downloadable for FREE.

The question is: “Why does the majority of Startups who do everything themselves takes a very long time to start, is not profitable, does not get the number of clients they want, and plain simple fail?


Let me explain a couple of reasons by using typical real-world examples.

So you’ve got this great idea that you think is the next big thing, and like most Startups, you start by giving your new business a name and now have to get yourself a logo. You go online and search for something that resonates with your “brand in development,” download and try to tweak it a bit cause you want it to look a bit different than the original, right? You need software to make the changes, and which one do you choose? Quickly browse on Google, and after checking what the top 5 image editing programs are, you download the free version to find that you are limited to what you can do, and your logo has to go as is or you continue your search.Finally, you get the right software but now have to watch 10-minute long Youtube® videos to see how to make those changes or apply the effect you envision. According to you, the final product is looking great but wait. Will your customers and ideal target market feel the same? To top it off, you spend five days learning to become a graphic designer with the skills to stretch, resize, and apply a shadow effect to your logo to realise later that the logo is not looking so great when applied to a dark background.The same principle applies to the rest of all the components that you need to set up before launching your Startup – Your business letterhead, email footer, social media pages, templates and forms, and your website’s development. When discussing website development, some platforms make it easy for you to put together a nicely designed web layout by dragging and dropping using available templates. Or you can download a WordPress template and follow the accompanying documentation on making changes and building your site yourself. Of course, you can customise the design to make it look unique, but the main issue comes when writing copy that appeals to the customer and having a web design that flows and converts. 

Let’s put it out there: You are no expert web developer or professional copywriter, except if it is your field of expertise. You start building your site until you need to start writing the content, creating price lists, and editing your site’s images until you realise you need to write the terms and conditions and privacy policy page that is now compulsory for all websites. From my own experience, it is fascinating.


It all takes time, and you can get discouraged quickly by looking at your half-developed website with dummy content that links to other websites or trying to edit legal documents and contracts you have downloaded from the web.

So, in essence, you try to become an expert in graphic designing, web development, copy-writing, and areas that is not your forte while spending days or even months to learn how to do it yourself. At the same time, you could have gotten it done by experts while focusing on making the deals, making up for any lost time, and paying the developers who helped you build your business. If you want to launch your business quickly – invest in getting the experts to develop it and get it done professionally

3. Lack of Finances?

Most startups believe that you need a lot of money to start a business and are probably right. It all depends on the type of business and how fast you want to grow big or position yourself in the industry. But I disagree that you need to have money to start a business. There are many stories of billion-dollar companies that started out with nothing. The real question to ask is: “Do I need my own money to start a business.” When asked many Startups why they have not started, one of the typical answers are: “I need money to start” or “If only have the cash”. The mistake that is made is that Startups think that they need to start with their own money or that they worst need to get a job to make money so they can start a business while having a concept or IP on which they can leverage to raise capital through individuals or companies that are willing to invest on their ideas for a percentage share in their company, profit share or a loan. Suppose you have a great concept that is proven to be successful even on paper. In that case, you can raise funds needed to develop your business and start generating profits to pay of your loan or share the profits with your investment partner. It is why you should make an effort to make sure you have a great layout and presentation of your business plan that makes sense to any investor before you even start with your business development. Not having financial resources should not be an excuse not to start your business. Many operational companies without business cards, a website, logo or Customer Relationship Management System. Gmail® is free and should at least have a cellphone. As long as you can provide a service or product to solve a problem, you can generate an income that can finance your business development – but Starting is key.

4. Lack of Research

Oh Boy, this point is probably the main reason, so many Startups fail before they haven’t even started. Research does not only mean opening a browser and typing in some keywords to check if another business is already out there doing the same thing you plan to implement as your new business. Research means defining WHO you are doing WHAT for WHOM by providing VALUE as a SOLUTION to a PROBLEM and WHERE (physical or remotely) This includes making sure you choose the correct name for your business based on your business concept and if it will appeal to the target customer, and if it will be able to benefit from what you have to offer. Having to discover your real target market or find out that yours is the only one that likes your business name and brand and making many mistakes by not implementing your due diligence can be very costly and time-consuming. Make sure you have all your facts right and never make bold statements such as: “We are the only one” or “Everyone will use this,” as it might not be the case. Being prepared means you have all the hard evidence to present to your investors or incorporate in your copy when compiling your business information. Find out what is needed for your new business to run. I was hoping you could look at your competition or similar companies from the perspective of what I can learn from them and even do better and not try to re-invent the wheel. Not to talk about re-inventing the wheel. There are so many tools out there that can kick-start your new business by having the operational tools already available at a small monthly cost. Do not develop a new app or web Component that already exists just because you did not do your homework. Compile a document with all the different aspects of your business: Your business description, target customers, products and services and especially the benefits and how it will make your customers feel emotional, costing, operational aspects (how it works), possible staff, workspace needed, tag lines, available social media hashtags and URL’s and add to your document as you do your research building a document that I call your Business Profile. You will compile your content for your website and marketing material from this document. You might find the Research part a bit tedious, but it is an essential cornerstone of your business based on facts and knowing your numbers.

5. Getting Influenced by Others

Because you value the feedback and comments of your family and friends, you find it essential to consider their opinion on your new business idea. Of course, you know what I will say, right – This is your initial idea and business concept. Suppose you will be influenced by every person who does not have a 100% understanding of what it is about or listening to a constant hostile critic. In that case, you will soon turn your focus on something else or perhaps a different business idea.

You need to understand that if you are not surrounding yourself with positive, opportunistic people, you will get a lot of criticism from Naysayers and people who do not want you to succeed due to jealousy. It will delay the process as you will constantly change your idea based on others’ opinions or even cancel the whole process.

Of course, there is the opposite where you might get great feedback from people that understands the industry, business coaches, or people with a background and experience in the industry.

Either way, you might end up moving back and forth trying to make sense of it all, ending up doubting yourself and postponing the whole process.

My advice would be to listen to the right people first. Getting advice from unsuccessful people or family and friends that might be negative or even over-positive about your idea because they don’t want to hurt your feelings might not be the best thing to do. I would rather listen to advise from successful business people in the same industry. As Entrepreneur, they will usually be more than willing to share their honest and valuable feedback.

Take home what you can from advice and verify with adequate research but never get discouraged by what others have to say. My rule number #1 is: “Don’t worry about what others think or say about you or your ideas.”


Now that I have shared my “5 Reasons Why Startups Never Start” with you, you have five fewer reasons not to start your new business.