February 08 ,2016 | by Thiago Kiwi

Startups can avoid failure by ‘staying humble’, says expert

Startups can avoid failure by staying humble

Startups can avoid failure by keeping their feet firmly on the ground and staying humble, according to Sarah Bakai.

In an article for, Bakai said that over 90% of startups fail, with some sources stating that more than half of new businesses fail in their first year. She said the causes of failure are “nearly always avoidable” and she provided several tips to help startups avoid becoming just another statistic.


According to Bakai, some startups fail because as a result of overconfidence. Businesses that perform well to start with and receive support from family and friends can end up getting carried away, which can lead to arrogance.

“Arrogance is perilous. Staying humble means prioritising the things that matter; things like the quality of your products and your customer service,” Bakai said.

She added that startups “run before they can walk” and suggested that businesses with a limited cash flow should consider hiring an apprentice, as this will enable them to avoid having to pay for an expert and will also help local unemployment.

Entrepreneurs should also “scrutinise their bills” and look at ways in which they can cut costs. This will enable them to save thousands, which Bakai said is “the difference between failure and success.”

Financial value

Bakai also advises startups to “set clear goals” and list tasks in order of financial value. Businesses often have the same demands as larger companies but with a much smaller budget, so they should be “flexible and creative” when it comes to making decisions on marketing, HR and administrative support.

Bakai added that startups are “nimble and flexible in a way that big businesses can only dream of” and that they should play to these strengths, as it will enable them to limit the damage that can happen in the early stages of a startup company’s life. 

Thiago Kiwi

Thiago is the LSBF Blog Editor who manages news and features content on the site, and writes about business, finance, technology, education and careers.

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