What Should You Keep in Mind During Your First Startup

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Starting your own company is always a daunting task. You want to make it the best place to work in the world, but that’s a tall order. You must establish an internet reputation and defend oneself against defamation. Furthermore, you must continually improve the value of your sales in order to fund expansions and move your business to the next level.

It can be overwhelming at times, but here are some helpful hints to help you launch a successful business:

Get to know your clients: Get beneath their skin and figure out what motivates them, what their biggest pain points are, and what problem they’re trying to solve when they buy your product. If they’re comparing you to a competition, learn everything you can about that competitor and how to position yourself against that competitor in the minds of your customers.

Know your industry: Gain a thorough understanding of the sector you serve. Make yourself known as a subject-matter expert, study about impending industry trends, and become visible in your business niche so that you’re completely immersed in it. You can’t lead from the outside; instead, dig as deep as you can with your startup and alter it from within.

Lead with revenue: The purpose of any business is to produce money, therefore work on making it profitable and then reinvesting the profits back into the company. If at all possible, avoid going into debt or taking VC financing since it will follow you around for the rest of your life. Not all firms are able to stand on their own two feet from the start, but your goal should be to make money from your clients rather than be a sponge for investor money.

Done is better than perfect: No matter how well you plan things out, startups are a fast-paced, chaotic atmosphere. Don’t try for perfection in your first deployment; instead, do your best and improve things as you go. I’m not endorsing shoddy work; I’m just trying to steer you away from perfectionism, which isn’t practical.

Stay flexible: Part of the fun of starting a business is trying something new, which means you won’t have all the answers or foresight. Be ready for a lot of unexpected changes and learn to flow like a river through obstacles to achieve your business and technology objectives.

Don’t be scared to fire individuals (or customers): The only thing worse than terminating a lousy employee is not terminating them. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t supposed to be. However, if they simply don’t fit, it will deteriorate morale over time. Be patient, give individuals the skills and opportunities to achieve, but you must be able to go on without them if they simply cannot. By the way, the same concept applies to your most challenging consumers. Approximately 5% of them may end up costing you more to support than they bring in. Keep an eye on the abusers and don’t be scared to cut them loose in a nice manner.

Always have a backup plan: The man who forced me to memorise earns a half-million dollars a year. Maybe he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve. Always have a backup plan in any business effort, and never become too attached to an idea. Things don’t always go as planned: you must be able to distinguish between a short setback and a fatal failure, as well as take a critical look forward at the company’s future and be prepared to quit if you truly believe it will fail. Be upbeat about your startup’s prospects, but not overly so.

Recognize the flaws in your startup: Do you want a success secret? Bring a box of donuts to your helpdesk crew unannounced on a Saturday morning and just hang out and bullsh*t with them for a couple of hours. Read through open tickets to figure out where your company’s true failures are - the time you spend on this will be well worth it.

Success is rarely a straight line: don’t expect to get from here to there in a straight path. It’s a lengthy, arduous journey that usually necessitates a lot of mid-course adjustments when the industry shifts and your business strategy encounters unexpected roadblocks.

What matters is that you arrive, not that you have to make a lot of unforeseen changes along the route.