Simple but Important Tips to Launching a Successful Startup
Even with some knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship, not everything goes smoothly. When starting a new venture, many people realize how physically and morally demanding this could be. Here are simple but important tips aspiring entrepreneurs wishing to launch a successful startup must follow.
Look for clients, not investments
A startup should start with sales. If you do not have an MVP, you can get letters of guarantee from potential clients or simply collect applications for a product that does not exist. Only after that does it make sense to go to gas pedals and funds. Because customer development and real willingness to buy a product are different things.
Make sure that the idea will inspire you in the coming years and is worth working for
Ask yourself if your chosen business segment is so interesting that you want to devote the next 3-7 years to it? And do you love the customers for whom you make the product? If not, you’re better off leaving the idea to someone else.
Find someone who cares
This advice could still sound like “believe in yourself” but the truth is that you always need someone else: there will be very difficult days and without support the risk of giving up halfway increases. Every growing startup needs someone at the beginning of its journey who supports it, listens to it, and motivates it not to stop.
Take all risks on your own
People who try to share responsibility for their actions with others should not be in business.
Don’t entice employees with options – right now your business is worthless and options are just a clever way to get working hands cheaply on murky terms.
And don’t expect anyone to help you with the investments – the task of looking for money is entirely up to the funder. If you’re not prepared to understand venture economics, build relationships with angels and funds in advance, and trust it to partners – you’re putting all the risk on someone else’s shoulders and are likely to close.
Rejecting non-targeted clients
There’s something worse than rejecting a client at the last stage of a sale. Getting paid by an untargeted customer is a disaster. Untargeted customers early on are dangerous: they won’t get value from the product, they’re unlikely to buy again, they’ll ruin your reputation, and worst of all, they may undermine your belief that the product will benefit anyone at all.
Stop thinking that someone knows better than you what to do
There’s a big difference between training that gives you tools and coaching. Early-stage startup founders often get addicted to trackers and stop thinking with their heads. Other people’s entrepreneurial experience and tools are useful, but you have to rely on your own experience, knowledge, and intuition when testing hypotheses and segments. Where does the belief that someone knows your business better than you come from?
Be prepared for routines and ops
It is rare when a startup starts with an automated product. The first year is a tough operating routine. If your pre-seed isn’t $1M, you have to be ready to “roll out orders” on your own. And no one has canceled all the official routine, reams of paperwork, taxes, and questions like does asc 606 apply to private companies?
To take an experienced Head of Sales Department as a co-founder
There are a lot of great managers and experts among founders, but very few good salespeople. Most startups close before they reach the first sales stage: most of the founders have never sold themselves and believe that making a good product is enough. If you have no experience in sales, if you are not ready to learn how to negotiate, write scripts, and listen to calls from sales managers every day, your chances of success are minimal. The same is true for advertising: delegating lead generation to a third-party marketer without any understanding of marketing is extremely risky.