The most important things you should know as a startup founder
Building a startup is not an easy task. Founders witness new experiences, learn from their mistakes, and go through various ups and downs. But when we talk to these founders personally, most of them often have very little knowledge about crucial things they must be aware of. So to simplify your life as a startup founder, we are here to tell you 10 critical learnings.
- Prepare a business plan
Planning is the first step on the ladder of success. Most of the fastest-growing companies in the world have solid business plans. Having a business plan does not guarantee success but having the right business plan does. Your plans should be flexible. They should have the ability to forecast changes and measure the success of the enterprise.
- Do legal stuff
Getting your legal framework set up is important. What your legal liabilities would be, how you would be paying taxes, what your restrictions are, and others. You must take assistance from a professional lawyer or a law firm so that you don’t face high penalties later.
- Focus on the cash flow
As an aspiring startup founder, you must pay attention to the cash flow. To keep going, the cash flow position must be favourable. Positive cash flow ensures you can finance and cope with your mistakes without hassles. For this, you must hire a professional to do the cash flow projections for you. The predictions must be analysed from time to time and take corrective action when needed.
- Books, books, and books
As an aspiring startup founder, you must read enough books and enhance your knowledge. We all know Warren Buffet. He insists every business person read at least 500 pages each day. But if you can’t read that much, start little and build over time. Reading doesn’t mean you must read business books solely. Try reading about psychology, go for audiobooks, etc.
- Accept failures
In your entrepreneurial journey, there will be times when failures might hit you, making you feel demotivated. But you must note that it is a part of the process and the tough time may pass soon. A solid mindset to accept failure and standing again motivated is crucial. Also, do remember to have backup plans. Persistence, resilience, and consistency is the key to success.
- Networking and connecting
The entrepreneurship journey can be lonely sometimes compared to a 9-5 job. Loneliness can be stressful. But this is not a compulsion. Networking with other business friends can teach you so many new things. There are times when you might get stuck in similar business situations. In such cases, your companions can help you overcome tough situations. After all, learning and growing together is never a bad idea.
- Focus on one thing at a time
Paying attention to too many things at one time leads to specialisation in no industry. If your business deals in a particular industry/Services, focus on that Services/service/market rather than trying to capture more opportunities. Once you have enough of a client base, you can move on to the following things. But your core focus must be only one Services/service at the initial stages.
- Know your competitors
Knowing and analysing your competitors is something you shouldn’t miss as a startup founder. Dive deep into how your competitors have reached where they are today. Make a plan of what exactly your Services will be, how it is going to rise above the competition, and how you will attract customers to your Services/service. Keeping an eye on your competitors will help you analyse what trends are prevailing in the market and much more.
- Building a right team
Building the right team can take your business to the next level. You can choose to work with agencies, freelancers, or/and full-timers. Each one of them has its pros and cons. But which one to choose solely depends on your budget, the level of skills you need, the resources you have, the timeline, and so on.
It is one of the crucial decisions to make. You, as a startup founder, must know when you need additional funds and where to raise them. There are various options, like taking a loan from banks, issuing an IPO, etc. Bootstrapped companies must look for funding and think of expansion only when the Services is performing well in the market and has captured a decent market share. Don’t follow trends blindly if you feel you don’t need them.