7 Warning Signs That Your Startup Is Going Wrong (and What to Do)

Ever heard of a startup packed up a few months after the operation?

Of course, this happens every time. In fact, it is estimated that 9 out of 10 startups fail.

True, these startups did not fail overnight; There may be some things that went on before that event, things that pushed them to the end, some initial warning signs that show they are going to rock.

When a business is moving towards a rock, you know that sooner or later it will collapse.

You don’t want that to happen in your business, do you?

The good news is that these early warning signs are noticeable and avoidable. This means you can do anything to avoid them and shut down your business.

But it starts with you knowing those symptoms; So in this article, I will share with you the possible symptoms that can help you maintain your talent and help you recognize them. If You never come across any.

I’ve included tips What do you do If you ever encounter this warning sign.

Ready? Here we go:

1. Operating costs are higher than the revenue generated

I know of a few companies that came out publicly to announce that they were shutting down because they could no longer keep the servers running.

Imagine being in business, your customers love your product; They are paying for it, but their full fee cannot cover the cost of marketing and advertising together, not to mention the salaries of the employees.

You’re (secretly) pumping money into business from somewhere else and hoping things will get better soon.

But unfortunately, nothing is changing; Even more people are signing up for a small fee when you are struggling to keep the server running. After a while, you leave.

Write differently, when the revenue generated is compared to the cost of the operation, it is a possible sign that the business is above the creek.

What to do: Make some changes; This could be business models, products and / or services, your methods and procedures, ideas or even prices. Whatever it is, change.

Also, you may want to reduce your operating costs, number of employees or even go to a smaller office to curb rent.

A business should not only be able to sustain itself by taking care of its operating costs, but also be able to generate sufficient revenue to keep its operators afloat.

2. No (obsessive) early receiver

This is usually the result of users not creating what they want, or simply because the market for the product is not yet ready (or not mature enough).

If there are no real people around you (except your mother) who are fanatical about your new product, this is an indication that the user is not needed and there is no warning sign.

A product, service or app should be able to attract some attention from at least a small group with which you can create a following.

What to do: Of course you already know that no one buys what they need or want, so make what people want.

If you have already released the product on the market, consider going back to the drawing board with your team and working on a strong market-attractive product.

If you haven’t released the product yet, I suggest you do a feasibility study before jumping on it, no matter how exciting it may be.

3. Poor marketing / advertising

Just having a supermarket-attractive product or service or both is not enough, you have to put it there to see the world.

Failure to do so may result in failure of the entire firm in the end.

This is simply because a low quality product and a great marketing product can sell more than just a great product that is not as snuffy.

Did you know that most businesses spend a lot more money on marketing and advertising than they do on products?

If it’s just a small group, made up mainly of your family and friends who are aware of your offer, there won’t be too much patronage.

What to do: Upgrade your marketing; If you need to hire a copywriter to write a terribly persuasive sales letter or rewrite your web copy, please do so.

Bring a solid marketing strategy or get an expert to do it for you and be sure to apply it thoroughly.

In short, take advantage and improve your marketing.

4. Poor communication and not listening to customers

It involves poor communication with customers, disregard for critics, and disregard for customers. In general, it’s about weak company / customer relationships.

Your customers are an important part of your business; Therefore, building a healthy relationship with them is an important part of growing and sustaining that business.

Poor communication and unhealthy relationships between a company and the public can lead to many harmful things like lack of trust, criticism and even complete occupation.

Whenever this happens, you know the company is on the wrong track and could soon be folded.

What to do: Treat your customers fairly and provide excellent customer service.

In business, communication has to be a two-way street; So establish a proper communication channel through which information can flow to the company and the public. Really contact them; Listen to what they have to say.

Let customers know that you are making significant changes.

Handle critics as they should. Respond positively to negative reviews and capitalize on positive reviews.

5. Disputes between founders and / or investors

Conflict kills partnerships and destroys relationships, and can bring an ugly consequence to an entire company.

Maintaining a friendly relationship with everyone on a team is not easy, but it is certainly possible and achievable.

There shouldn’t be conflict but if it ever comes up, below is a summary of what to do.

What to do: Let’s go. That’s just about the only solution, sometimes.

Don’t be too quick to judge or criticize. Get up early. Seek remedies without blaming. Don’t play the villain; Don’t be a troublemaker.

In addition, set up a strong regulation that handles relationship issues between employees, co-founders and investors.

What’s more, trust your colleagues.

6. Lack of vision, focus and goal

Without a clear vision of where you are going, you cannot go anywhere.

A business without a vision is a business without a future. If you stop dreaming, it is a sign that you are ready to stop.

As a young entrepreneur, you should be able to know where you are going and inspire your team to go there with you. Anything to the contrary is a sign that you missed the track and are going in the wrong direction.

What to do: You need more than luck to succeed in affiliate business.

Set goals and motivate yourself and your team to work towards those goals. Don’t stop dreaming even when you have already achieved “all your dreams”.

7. A disabled team

Behind every successful company is a capable, successful team.

Disabled team members can seize a startup as quickly as bad, unwanted products.

What to do: As a team leader, be a good example.

If a team member or two doesn’t do what they should be doing when they should, you may have to cut them off.

Test new employees to test their abilities and suitability. It is very essential to ignore the training of both new and old employees.


While it is not necessary that a business should collapse, it is important to know that businesses do not collapse in an instant. There should have been some things that triggered the collapse, some that I shared with you above.

Check out these warning signs and if you ever notice any of them, apply the appropriate tips in the “What to do” section of the article to overcome those issues and keep your business going.

Zoe Uwem is a young entrepreneur, a successful freelance writer, copywriter and a content marketing strategist who writes and helps companies spread the word about their business. Joe blogs on his personal blog and runs a community for freelance writers, Freelance Writing HQ. You can hire him to write for you too. Find Zoe on her website ZoeUwem.com or follow her on Twitter Joeyum.

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