- Find your Customer first:
There is nothing more important. Before you build the product, before you quit your job, until you sell something, you have achieved nothing.
Choosing a name is not progress, setting up an office is not progress, building a product is not progress. The only thing that counts is getting revenue, and it comes through customers who purchase your products.
- Having Co-founders makes things easy
There are many successful startups with a single owner no doubt, but things can be a lot easier with a co-founder or co-founders.
You will enjoy all the obvious benefits that having more hands and broader skills bring, but possibly more important is the emotional workload sharing. A startup would be making tons of decisions on a daily basis, which can be mentally and emotionally taxing.
There is no “My boss can worry about that”
There is no “I’ll look at it tomorrow”
There is no “Hey, I can rest for the weekend”.
The only people you can share these struggles with are your co-founders.
- You Need To Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
You have a wonderful idea and get excited about the prospects but your whole family and friends know about it and tell you to go get a job or why your idea will probably fail. Getting a high paying job with a steady salary sounds more sensible.
You might hear a thing like your product is not good enough, or a change in government policy can destroy your business in a second, so why risk your life?
You are going to hear all sorts of things from all sorts of people, so get ready to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Nothing worth having comes easy. Relationships (of all kinds) requires work. Making customers requires work. Building a team takes work.
- Manage Cashflow Properly
Every other thing can be managed but when your business is running out of cash, you are in the red zone. You cannot move without cash because you will need to pay for things on a daily basis.
Know where every penny comes from and where every penny goes and don’t lose sight of who pays you.
Having passion will drive your startup, but everything else needs to be paid in cash.
- Solve a Real Problem
The problem should be meaningful and expensive for someone while the solution should be simple, scalable, reasonably priced and defensible for you. In addition, if you are starting your business to get rich or make money, you are likely to fail. If you are starting your business to solve a meaningful problem, you are likely to persevere through the hard times.
Great founders of successful businesses are good listeners. Listen to viewpoints and understand them. That doesn’t mean you must agree, but this will help you understand the points made and why they need to be addressed.
Along the way, good listening skills will help you a lot, especially when dealing with all sorts of people, ranging from your co-founders to your employees and to your customers and also investors.
Building a startup or a business is not a single player sport. You have to build and manage a fantastic team to pull it off. Be honest about your weaknesses and strengths and hire people to do what you struggle with. Always communicate with your team and discuss on how they are going to move the company forward. Because companies don’t do things, people do things. When building a team, make sure you surround yourself with people you can trust.