Most Common Mistakes of Start-Ups

Businessman Planning Startup Business Concept

Businessman Planning Startup Business ConceptLea WolfingerBy Lea Wolfinger,  Senior Director, Ashton Tweed


New and competitive businesses emerge in the life science industries every day, making it no easy feat to lead a start-up or own a small business. There are many common business mistakes made in the early stages that could potentially drive your start-up biotech or pharmaceutical company to fail. However, these mistakes can be avoided with the right foresight.


Bad Strategy

The fix: Design a strategy with strict deadlines, no gaps, and a long-term plan for your return on investment. Stick to the strategy and tweak if necessary according to marketplace changes and results.


Lack of Market Research

The fix: Ask yourself, “Who is going to buy my product?” And make sure you know the answer. Then research that target audience for your marketing campaigns and strategies.


Can’t Stand Up to Competition

The fix: Create a product that is different from your competitor’s and that solves a problem theirs can’t. Research your competitors to learn what they do and how you can do it better.


Wrong Team

The fix: Ensure your staff is just as passionate about the business as you are and that they have necessary skills for the team. In smaller businesses and start-ups, you can only afford a small number of employees, so make them count!


Thinking too Big

The fix: Make sure your concept is not too broad or vague, or that you are trying to do too much. It is important to have a set focus when starting and to keep it simple. Build up your company before expanding your concept.


Thinking too Small

The fix: Assess your idea to be certain that it is not too small or incomplete. An idea is just an idea until it is developed into a full and tangible product. Ensure your idea can be applied practically, and your target market will appear.


Misplaced Values

The fix: Put your customers before your revenues. You should value your customers more than anything, because they are your support. So treat them well and guarantee them a good experience every time.



The fix: The ups and downs of business in our constantly changing economy are unavoidable. Your company has to be flexible and adaptable in a changing market and know when to cut its losses.


No Money

The fix: Your company needs to optimize its resources and have a financial plan. Running out of cash is not an option. Venture capital experience is a plus. If you don’t have it, seek someone who does.


Poor Leadership

The fix: Although there may only be one founder of your business, it is often good to have more than one leader. Fresh ideas and new perspectives are important for effective leadership, and therefore a small leadership team is better than one single leader.


No Mentors

The fix: Pinpoint a person that inspires you and whom you trust. A good mentor or advisor is a key resource, especially because they can steer you away from the wide array of bad advice and misconceptions about entrepreneurship that’s out there.


Unfortunate Timing

The fix: Oftentimes an unexpected change in the market or a surprising move from a competitor can be the downfall of a small business or start-up. Do your research and follow the trends to more easily prepare yourself and to soften unexpected blows.


Trying to avoid these mistakes by hiring the perfect team? Ashton Tweed can help.

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