8 things startups can focus on while working on their startup
It is understandable that running a startup requires a lot of nerves. An entire career and the responsibility of taking care of the employees mentally and financially is an uphill task. Hence we have seen many startup founders not focussing on the obvious things they need to. They end up slipping on multiple things. Here are 8 things we have found that the startup founders miss on.
• Too many advisors/mentors
It is a fair assumption to make that the founders will come only with one or two skill sets that are required to run the organization. Hence the temptation to pick up people who are skilled in areas that are unfamiliar is high. It is also understood that the startups cannot afford highly skilled people in employment because of the cost. So, going in for mentors / advisors is the right strategy. They bring in lot of value. However, we have seen this to be counterproductive when they have too many mentors or advisors for a startup. This is because each one of them will tend to drive the startup in their fashion. There will be contradictory points of view. Hence it is advisable to have a select few (one or two) to begin with. These can skills that the founders have no capability or don’t feel comfortable at all. There are a few in between skillsets that the startup founder need to learn to handle it themselves.
• Spending time on the pitch
It is important that pitch of the organization is refined and practiced to perfection. You must understand that everyone is busy and have their own apprehensions about engaging with a startup in any way. You have to impress not only your investors but also every other person you will come across. This could range from your landlord, vendors, potential and current employees. All of these people need to buy in to your pitch so that they believe in you and would work with you in some fashion and will help you in achieving your goals.
• Building a well-rounded founding team
Usually, a set of classmates or colleagues in a specific team form together to launch a startup. There are a lot of advantages in this because the founding team will have so much of unity as they have spent the time together. However, it is a problem if they come in with a single skill set as they were either classmates or colleagues. This will be an issue because they will be too good in one discipline and too bad in others. So, it is important that the founding team consists of people from multiple skill sets.
• Hire and Fire people on a rapid pace
You would need to grow your startup. You will have to take a risk and go out to hire people on a rapid basis. At times, you would end up taking more people than you need. This will be to fulfil some urgent requirement that needs to propel your startup. However, all the people you hire may not fit in to the culture. You would need to ethically hold on to these people as long as they are willing to work hard to help you reach your goals. You should not hesitate in firing people because you would want to look nice in front of your other people. You will have to fire the employees if they begin showing attitude and not willing to put in the required number of hours. You will have to keep giving official warnings to these people. Atleast, you will then be able to show to your other employees that you gave these employees enough of a chance to continue and it was their fault that they got fired.
• Be in it full time as early as possible
It is good to begin part time. This s because it is a risky pre position to leave your cushy job and begin something uncertain. This situation is also good because it will allow you to spend sometime to figure out the product market fit. However, you cannot continue in this position for long. The theoretical concept of you hiring good people who can run the organization for you will not work You will have to step into it full time as that is when you will be able to understand the needs of the business, put in the time, effort and money to make it successful. A half-baked effort will not make you understand where the mistake is, in case you are not growing.
• Establish your Buyer persona
It is important that you put in your efforts in the right place. You will have enough contacts to get you meetings with multiple people. As much as you would want to grab those, you will also need to understand that the people who do not fit in to your buyer persona will be a wastage of your time. For e.g., you can meet a junior or an unconnected person in an industry as they might connect you with someone senior. Meeting with an unconnected person in an industry where you have no chance to solve a problem will be a total waste of your precious time. So, you will have to define your buyer persona as early as possible. You should meet people who either will fit into this buyer persona or someone who can connect you with people who would fit in with your buyer persona.
• Product-Market fit
After you decide your Buyer Persona, you should also ensure that your product has the right market fit. You should constantly be ideating with your buyer persona and find out what their current and future needs will be. You should then make your solution or pivot in order to ensure that you attain the market expectations. You will otherwise not be able to make an impact with your prospective buyers and make a sale.
• Establish a value proposition
After identifying the right product market fit, you should inform your buyer persona on how your solution will be of use to them. This is because, your potential buyer might not understand how they can use your solution. This will lead to the buyer thinking that your solution is one more in the market and will not give proper attention to your stimuli. So, work hard on conveying your value proposition the right way
As a startup founder, it is imperative that you play the game the right way. Your skills, your charm and your hard work will definitely help you get there. However, there is a bit of scientific approach that you would need to follow in order to achieve the success the right way.