Though no two startups are entirely alike, their success or failure depends on certain common factors. This article looks at several of those factors.

Factor 1: Mentorship

A good mentor can help make a business leader succeed, while the lack of one can be crippling. People running startups should have mentors to lean on as early as possible in the process. As one Forbes.com contributor put it, “Don’t be afraid to ask people to mentor you; often they are glad to be asked and eager to help guide others as they were once guided by their own mentors.”

Factor 2: Money

Obviously, running out of money will doom any startup, but startups run dry financially for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they did not seek out the right financing in the first place. Perhaps they spent money in the wrong places, like an expensive office customers never see. Perhaps they did not put in enough effort to market the product. The list goes on, so startups need to be especially wary about obtaining and managing their money.

Factor 3: Commitment

Commitment can make or break a startup. Business leaders who believe in their company and product can inspire employees and attract customers. Meanwhile, a lack of commitment and passion from the top of a company can make it difficult to get off the ground in the first place. Making startups succeed involves a lot of hard work that can only be accomplished with commitment.

Factor 4: Lack of Knowledge

Even if a company has a great product or service, there are many other areas where expertise is required to succeed. For instance, a lack of marketing knowledge may mean that an incredible product is never seen by potential customers. Business leaders should figure out where they lack knowledge and take steps to learn more. They can also surround themselves with people who already have that knowledge.

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