9 Tips for Fledgling Startups

January 31, 2017

Are you contemplating launching your own Startup? Did you already launch your Startup but concerned that you are making wrong decisions? Are you worried that your startup will be in the 90% group of Startups that fail? These concerns are normal and you are not alone, but if you follow these 9 tips you will give yourself a great chance of succeeding.

1) Don’t go at it alone

"Any big endeavor or adventure is better done, and done more successfully, when there's a group of people doing it together, at least two or more." Starting a company is a long and difficult journey and having a partner to provide additional viewpoints, add additional skills you may lack, and to provide accountability are fundamental to success.

2) Ensure your company has a mission and a purpose

The mission should be at the heart of your company and will define the reason for your company’s existence. Coming up with a strong mission that is ambitious and forward thinking will inspire employee engagement and ensure everyone is striving for the same goal. Focus on why you doing and not with what you doing!

3) Commit to one business

Dedicate, give it your all, and be fully committed to the idea. Being an entrepreneur is about making a commitment to a project that will take a great deal of time, so if you plan on succeeding while still holding down another job you might want to think again. A startup is not a 9 to 5 job and you will need to make sacrifices to fit your life around work.

4) Sever your clients, not yourself

Keep the clients in mind with every product decision you make and you will eventually produce a product or service that your client will use. Your product or service is not for yourself so ensure you properly validate with your end users. That is why it is essential to validate the product with your customers early on.

5) Plan thoroughly, but don’t plan forever

It is necessary to plan where you want to go and to produce a detailed roadmap so each person associated with your startup knows the plan. So producing a simple business plan or a one page lean canvas is important. However too many times startups overanalyze the plan and try to make every detail perfect. Just go and learn and iterate as you go.

6) Find funding and capital

Having a great plan and not being able to execute due to lack of funds in the bank can be frustrating, so ensure you have a plan of attack on how to raise capital. This will take time so be prepared for that. There are several options available to you from crowdfunding, family and friends, taking out a loan or look for equity investment, but whatever plan you go with ensure you have a budget to maximize the potential.

7) Launch as soon as possible

Your first product or service will never be the same through the life of your company, so launch and learn. It is more important to launch then to launch perfect. Once you are live test and improve, test and improve, test and improve.

8) Keep a long-term vision

It’s easy to get stuck in the weeds early on as a startup trying to ensure your first clients are happy, but make sure you have the startups long term vision in mind and not that of your clients. Clients can be demanding and will try to mold the startup around their business so be aware of this. Make your client happy, but don’t lose sight of where you want to go long term as a startup.

9) Don’t give up

Most startups don’t fail; the founders and partners simply give up on the initiative. As the adage goes, “never give up, great things take time”

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