The world has become smaller and more connected. Doing business across borders is simpler than ever before, and the internet provides everyone with easy access to the tools they need to go it alone as a solo entrepreneur. In short, it’s a golden age for start-ups. But most young companies still fall at the first hurdle. Why?

Well, here’s the thing: even if you have the greatest idea in the world, you’ll still go bust if you’re not applying a couple of basic business rules. In the end, it’s the simplest – and most common – pitfalls that snuff out so many start-ups. Follow the tips below and you will be on your way to thriving.

– Seek out investors that bring more to the table than just cash. Fundraising is crucial for a start-up business. Securing a new funding round is a significant turning point for start-ups. Without funds in place, even the savviest start-up founders have difficulty developing product prototypes, testing market assumptions, and generating enough investor interest needed for future financing. Investing in start-ups is a lot more than just buying “stock” in a company. For investors who have come to the table with a history investing in publicly listed companies or the property market, it’s easy to think that backing start-ups is largely a “set and forget” strategy. It’s also just as common for start-up founders and CEOs to place too much focus on the amount of money raised, and the pre-money valuation rather than the value that each investor can bring to the table. That’s not to say all money has to be “active money,” but if you are looking to get into the best deals at the seed stage, it’s often a huge advantage if you are an investor who brings more than just money to the table.

– Micromanagement is counterproductive. When you have a business of your own, it often is very tempting to do everything your way. Sometimes even by yourself. The truth is, you can’t do it alone. Nor should you try to. A desire to control all the processes in your company and supervise all the work is known as micromanagement. The dangers of micromanagement are far reaching. Not only does micromanagement impact your own daily habits and routines, but it also has a negative impact on your business and employees. Delegating tasks effectively isn’t easy, but the RACI model can help. A RACI chart is a simple matrix used to assign roles and responsibilities for each task, milestone, or decision on a project. By clearly mapping out which roles are involved in each project task and at which level, you can eliminate confusion and answer the age-old project question, Who’s doing what?

– Effective start ups take their time to hiring employees. As your start-up begins to grow beyond its founding team, every new hire fundamentally changes the company DNA, and it becomes increasingly important to take a strategic, systematic approach to hiring. Know what you’re looking for. Look for a combination of skills and passion. Some qualities will be helpful to all job functions such as; flexibility, creativity, and problem-solving. Try to be open about the skills that aren’t the primary focus for the role you have in mind. Start-up employees often shoulder multiple responsibilities, including ones that develop as the company grows. Be open to tailoring positions to fit the unique qualifications of the desired applicants. Offer someone the chance to employ their interests on the job in a meaningful way and you may find you have the edge over more established employers.

The key message is:

More start-ups fail than succeed, and the only way of avoiding their fate is elbow grease and fanatical determination. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’ve got the essentials down before you jump in. Whether it’s effective fundraising, firing underperformers or motivating your employees these are all skills you can learn.