Your startup is about to become your life. If you’re not devouring every hint, tip, and trick out there, you may as well be walking onto centre-stage at a music festival to duet with Beyonce having never attempted much more than singing in the shower. Good luck alone won’t get you through. You need skills. Real hard-earned entrepreneurial skills (we’re back to practical startup tips now, no longer talking about singing!).
For example, have you considered whether you need cloud storage? Do you know what your time to market is? Have you thought about what makes a good employee if you need staff? There are a hundred considerations to think about just to get to the point where you can put pencil to paper. Planning a business takes time. Let’s consider three of these practical startup tips.
1. You need more money
However much money you have at your disposal, you need more. Overheads, marketing, mistakes that need to be fixed (and fast), and even things like providing an unexpected range of samples to prospective clients on-demand will all have to come out of your budget.
You basically have three options. You can raise the money yourself through private means. You can secure a business loan from a bank. Or you can attract an angel investor.
Many people choose the angel investor option because business people who invest in your startup often lend access to their business mind. But beware what may be asked in return. Only give away as much of a slice of your equity as you are happy losing.
2. Start networking and never stop
Networking is more than just swapping four business cards with random people you met at a bar after a conference. Networking is all about becoming a name among your peers, such that it seems you’ve always been there and the place wouldn’t be the same without you.
Look to social media. Where are your competitors creating waves? Which platforms deliver the most traction given your market and content styles? Leave comments regularly. Reply to any messages you get. Give links in your content to your most powerful competitors and message them to let them know.
The value of networking is that customers or clients can see you standing shoulder to shoulder with the main players. And why should your audience shop for anyone but the best?
3. Get serious about cutting out your detractors
Some people don’t want you to succeed. The problem is that they’ve never wanted anyone to succeed because they can’t be bothered succeeding themselves. Negative people can leave you with unnecessary hurdles to jump. You don’t have to keep explaining yourself to people who don’t understand a thing about business or how to run a startup.
You may run into comments like, “I’ll be surprised if your venture sees the year out”, or “Here’s something I bet you haven’t even considered yet”.
Spend less face time with the people who haven’t walked a mile in your shoes and spend more time learning from those who have walked a hundred miles in your shoes and now drive sports cars. The only way is up.
Related article: Surviving Entrepreneurial Burnout and Regaining Balance