My Startup is failing. What should I do?

Well, of course the answer to that question is not that simple, but the harsh reality is that many startups fail. If your startup is beginning to end, there are some last resources you can turn to before it is too late.


The main question to ask yourself is WHY your startup is failing. Chances are there are more than a couple of factors contributing to it, but you need to be able to clearly articulate which specific problems your business is experiencing in order to invest in the right solutions. Isolating the problems will help you and your team focus efforts on what matters the most. 


These are some of the most common struggles that startups face. There are many ways to fix them, but I have included the one most relevant piece of advice on what do about them.


1.- Fact: I can’t drive enough traffic to my website.

Potential Problems:  Your Main headache is Marketing, either

* Your ads are not relevant enough 

* You ads are not reaching the right audience

* You might be overlooking the power of SEO

What to do: Focus on 1 (and only 1!) marketing channel until you make it as effective as possible. Suggestion: Start with SEO


2.- Fact: I can’t get people to convert once they get to my website

Potential Problems: This is a hard one. Your problems here might be one or a combination of these: 

* You are not getting the right audience to your site

* You are not merchandising your product correctly

* Your product does not satisfy the market needs 

* Your website or checkout process is too complex and not self-intuitive

What to do: Look at your site metrics to pinpoint the issue and then focus on the end to end customer journey. Assess how your website, product or service serves the needs of the customer at the different steps of their journey. 


3.- Fact: I have a lot of sales, yet I am still not profitable

Potential Problems: You probably have a business model issue

What to do: Revise your costs and then your pricing. Think about changes you could make to the way you operate. You clearly have validated that the product you are offering is valuable so you are in the right path.


4.- Fact: I have too many sales and I can’t keep up with the demand

Potential Problems: You clearly have operational issues to take care of. 

What to do: Review your end to end Value Stream Map, which is the chain of tasks that you or your team perform to create value to your customers and see how long each task takes and identify where you could drive improvements before considering expanding your team. Scalability is essential for the longer term survival of your startup. 


5.- Fact: Customers complain a lot or Unsubscribe

Potential Problems: 

* Your product or service does not meet the high level of quality that customers are expecting

* You have a customer experience problem

What to do: Do a focus group. Meet with your customers to understand what is it about your product that needs improvement and work on that feature. Listen carefully to their struggles to derive valuable insights on things you can change for your benefit and theirs.


6.- Fact: ran out of money

Potential Problems: 

* You are not selling enough

* You are not making the right investments

What to do: Similar to the previous case, you need to start focusing on your customer and how you provide value to them. In the end, customers are the reason for your existence as a business. As long as you focus on them, on what they need and on how you can improve your product or service to better serve those needs, you will never run out of money again.