6 Expert Tips on Launching a Startup
Regardless of whether you are planning to start the very first company in your life, or if you want to try your hand at yet another project, it never hurts to hear what more experienced entrepreneurs recommend.
However, let us say it right off the bat – we are well aware that every startup is different and unique in its own way. Because of that, some of these pieces of advice will prove to be more applicable and helpful to your situation than other – and that’s okay! Use your judgement on which information suits your planned business better.
1. Value your freedom, but be cautious
The very first thing which usually comes to peoples’ minds when thinking about launching their own startup is freedom. Freedom to work when they want, how they want and on what they want.
While this is true to a great extent – indeed, managing your own business is all about self-realization and providing the kind of services or products which are in the spectrum of your own interests, there is an important catch – too much freedom is as pleasant, as it is tricky.
In the case of a regular job, there usually is someone to supervise or even motivate you. However, with your own startup, you’re the worker, the supervisor and the quality checker, all in one person. As was stressed by Jenn Ye, Director of Startup Institute Chicago and Founder of MBASocial – “do anything and everything”. There will hardly be anyone to correct you or make up for lack of work from your side. Being unable to self-motivate to hard work can prove detrimental to the success of your startup.
Secondly, meticulously plan an efficient marketing strategy.
2. The Unknown is about to be your best friend
A piece of advice from Aaron O’Hearn, Co-founder and CEO of Startup Institute. After you launch your startup, there will be plenty of decisions to be made while the proverbial bigger picture is quite muddy. You will need to get comfortable with working without enough data, sometimes acting on nothing but a hunch.
3. Learn to be a team player
In the long run, winning a game is all about the team, and rarely about a solo player. This universal truth applies to startups just as well as it applies to sports. As advised by Ethan Austin, Co-founder and President of Give Forward, try not to give yourself too much credit when times are good – and do not over-blame others when times are bad. The key to long-term success is trying to stay as humble as back when you started, even if things are going in your favor, as luck plays quite a substantial role in the whole process of “making it”.
4. The devil is in the detail – but learn to let go
As we’ve already mentioned, you’re going to be the quality checker and supervisor of your business. That’s a great responsibility – and one that has the potential to creep up and overcome you.
Pavia Rosati, Founder of Fathom, advises that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself or the work of your employees. Don’t stress too much over the little things. While we all know that the devil is in the detail, your work should still be pleasant – both for yourself and for the people who will work with you. Sometimes, it is better to let go and move on.
5. It is more effective to act than speak
There are so many startups on the market which claim to be the next best thing – regardless of the type of actual product – only to flop after a couple of months.
Shaun Johnson, Co-founder and COO of Startup Institute, suggests showing instead of telling – a tip that we wholeheartedly identify with. There is an obvious abundance of new companies which boast and brag, without having anything to show for it. Do not be like that – remember that customers want genuine products and solutions, not empty promises.
6. You’re the boss now
At the end of the day, once you launch your startup, you’re the boss. While we have provided you with a couple of valuable pieces of advice from respected experts, from now on, you’re just like them – but a couple years back.
Who knows, maybe several years from now, it is you who we will cite as an authority in launching startups? Choose which advice you want to follow, but be critical and cautious about it. It is easy to speak in retrospect, but will any of the above pieces of advice apply to your situation?
That’s why the final advice will come from us directly: make your own success story. And don’t forget to tell us all about it!