Startup Regrets – What I’d Do Differently if Starting Now

by Matt Fischer

Having operated my startup, SportsFormulator, for 18 months now, I’ve looked back and thought about what I wish I’d have done differently. I’ll outline my startup regrets and why I’d have done somethings different if I were to start a business today.

First, I’d have tried to get more startup capital.  I funded the business myself but wish I’d have tried getting a home equity loan or some sort of additional financing at the start.  It’d have been nice to have more of a cushion so I could have not had to bypass some opportunities that came along to benefit my business.  Having extra money to do some sponsorship deal that could have been outstanding exposure would have been nice.  You can start a business on a shoestring budget but it’s nice to have more money obviously even if you don’t need to spend it right away.  Just having it available can be a gamechanger.

I wish I’d have found a mentor when I was starting.  I started up working out of my house so I was alone most of the day and was relying on friends to bounce ideas off of and seek advice from.  The problem with that is not having a lot of people who’ve been in that situation.  They’ve never managed a budget, marketed a product or made the “executive decision” so it’s a different perspective you approach an issue with when you have that experience.  It’d have been nice to have more seasoned entpreneurs to seek counsel from when I started.

The one thing I’ve often debated but wouldn’t yet consider it a regret is paying for advertising sooner.  If I’d have started doing a small budget marketing campaign would it have paid off?  It’s a question I’ve debated.  Nearly all of my traffic has come from free advertising.  Advertising is always something open to debate as various channels have differing returns.  Remembering how busy I was when I started because I simply wasn’t as efficient as I was now, adding marketing campaigns could have overwhelmed me.  That’s something I’ll simply leave in “regret limbo”.

I do have some regrets but the one thing I don’t regret is going for it.  I don’t regret starting the company and pouring everything I have into it.  I’ve learned so much, met some great people and experienced a lot that’ll be of benefit to me and others the rest of my life.

Read more of my series on entrepreneurship here.