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3 Reasons To Delay Your Startup And How To Overcome The Slump

12 February 2019 16:00, UTC
3 Reasons To Delay Your Startup And How To Overcome The Slump
By Carmen Campo

The business world mostly follows the proverb periculum in mora — there is no time to wait, it’s time to act. However, there is also one more Latin word which sometimes defines the opposite situation — procrastination, which came from the word procrastinare. Pro means "forward" and crastinus means "tomorrow". To procrastinate is to put off or delay something until tomorrow. The usual reason for doing so is that the activity we want to delay is boring, unpleasant, or downright hard. In the world of startups, there is no reason to consider the new venture as either boring or unpleasant as the startup is often the product of the founder's dreams and visions that he/she longs to turn into reality.

But in my years of being exposed to startups in the work of manufacturing, retail, design, capital raising, and finance, there are 3 reasons that crop up as the most common reasons for tarrying.

Delaying is not necessarily a bad thing as some things require more careful thought and planning or some need the right time for a strategic launch. But these "hard" reasons are making the first leap more difficult for some. However, you can always find some benefits in these situations and turn them into an advantage for your business’ sake.

Laws and regulations that impede the launch process

Based on world bank data from 2003 to 2016, the time required to start a business globally dropped from 51.9 days to 20.9 days. But in certain countries, the prospect in 2016 is still gloomy with 230 days in Venezuela, 99 days in Cambodia, 84 days in Eritrea, 80 days in Brazil. Countries that overcame this slump are the same countries showing a vibrant startup community now, like HK SAR and China with 2 days in 2016 from 11 days in 2003, Macedonia with 2 days from 49 days, Azerbaijan with 3 days from 105 days!

The other countries are slowly catching up, like the Philippines with 28 days from 49 days, Peru with 26 days from 100 days, India with 26 days from 123 days, and Indonesia with 25 days from 181 days! If you are located in a country with a long time frame, it pays well to plan ahead and factor this in so you can focus on your team, product, service, and capitalization.

Lack of capital

When you start something for the first time, it is often the case that you have no idea of the real cost. Projects sometimes go awry due to lack of due diligence in this area. Six months into launch time and you find you need more than the operating capital that you have projected. For people venturing into new paths, new technology, new products, or new markets, the uncertainty as to the cost is increased.

Seeking advice from a mentor or advisor with expertise in the industry or market you want to delve into might help remove some of the guesswork. Capital raising now has swung from banks to online platforms like equity crowdfunding sites such as SeedInvest, CircleUp, FundersClub where the paperwork is less and money is raised from more investors. If you are a blockchain startup, you can sell tokens at a discounted price to the public to raise capital for your launch or growth and expansion via an ICO.

Failure in the product or market study

Rigorous prototyping and market study pepper the life of a startup...and even then problems and issues that you did not foresee crop up and cause the delay of the product or company launch especially for tech and design-driven startup firms. This is not a bad thing as this further clarifies your service and streamlines your product. What others do to cover lost time is to get their future client base involved in the creation process to target two things: build a loyal customer base as well as gain honest feedback from future users of the product or service.

31.05.2018  |   in ICO
The failures are then turned into a beneficial process for all those involved. Time invested, both by the company and by the customers, are translated into a stronger relationship which can spill over to even a new product or service entirely. The worst that could happen is you selling failed prototypes (sans safety issues) as a memento or collectible for die-hard fans. The popular avenue for this path are the online platforms for rewards crowdfunding such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo where new and innovative products are market-tested with less the cost than the traditional methods.

Sync together as a Team

With all of these in mind, the legal, financial, and product/service development issues are bumps in the road that can, in fact, benefit startups as they serve to protect, beef up, and enrich your startup company in preparation for further slumps in the road ahead. A strong team forged through tests and trials can better weather the storms ahead.

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