When you’re thinking about diving headfirst into the entrepreneurial trenches, any piece of advice you can get from those who came before you is invaluable.
To get you started on the right foot in your startup journey, I’d like to share some of the lessons I learned along the way during my tenure in the venture capital industry.
First, remember that starting a company requires both time (lots and lots of long hours) and personal sacrifice. That’s why it’s important to make sure your business idea is something you believe will transform the market or directly impact a major void in a market. . Make it meaningful and something that will create significant interest from consumers.
A second guidance point, and this is probably the most critical: surround yourself with individuals and team members who are smarter than you and passionate about being part of a start-up. You need to build a diverse team of people who have a variety of backgrounds and perspectives and who can give you helpful, educated input and won’t be afraid to provide their opinions on the direction of your company. This will lead to higher-quality decisions and create a dynamic organization.
Be flexible. When you’re building something from the ground up it’s inevitable that you’ll make mistakes in the process. Being able to adapt to the unexpected will help you stay focused on what matters and the broader, more long-term goals. Don’t allow yourself to derail over the small things, and be prepared to react quickly to bumps in the road
All entrepreneurs need to prepare for every aspect of running a business, and this includes developing an ability to manage the company’s finances. Whether you are going to ask a lender for a loan or seek an investment from a venture capitalist, make sure to go in with a solid, well-researched business plan that shows the market opportunity.. Remember, angel investors hear pitches all day long and are really looking for a business idea that will stand the test of time and produce the largest ROI.
WIth that said, find a way to grab the investor’s attention. Be upfront about your business’s journey and your plans for its success.
Never fear failure. Instead, recognize that failure can teach you valuable lessons about your business as well as your career path. What works for one person may not work for you – don’t get discouraged. Try again until you get it right.
And my last piece of advice – go for it. There’s no need to spend years working on a business model. Just go and start. Do it. Test it. Good luck!