Do you want to be a startup founder? Here’s everything you need to know before launching your startup.
Startup founders are often celebrated and praised for their accomplishments. But what the world doesn’t know is that behind the scenes, building a startup is fraught with challenges and obstacles. In fact, the chances of failing are often brutally high.
This is why they need to have a clear picture of what they’ll get into before they dive in. This means having the right skills, mindset, and vision to start with. Along with that, they need to evaluate the sustainability of their ideas, and dynamics between the market, industry, and competition. Hence, we can’t stress enough how critical it is to reduce the unknowns to succeed in your startup business.
Before investing your hard-earned money and time, take a step back and understand these things first. You’ll be glad that you did.
Things to Expect as a Startup Founder
New startup owners are always in search of the secrets to highly-coveted startup success. Since most entrepreneurs are different, there’s no single approach to becoming a successful founder. However, it’s worth noting the common denominators that make startup founders extraordinary in their own right.
You’re not alone in the journey
An entrepreneur’s journey can be lonely. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of sources and people to support you in your venture. As an example, accelerator programs are organizations that invest in startups from different industries.
Think of it as a boot camp for startup founders. Accelerators don’t only provide mentorship, they are a good source of funding, too. In these programs, founders can bond with other founders, pitch ideas to investors, and get hands-on support to launch and scale their startups. Some well-known accelerators in the U.S. are Y Combinator, Techstars, 500 Startups, and MassChallenge.
It all starts with a detailed plan of action
A solid business plan is a foundation that transforms ideas into something tangible. The work involved in writing the details may seem tedious. However, doing so allows a clear path for your startup to tread on.
First, create a business concept that gets the ground running. Then, write a business plan and list down the goals you need to accomplish. Never skip this part and be as detailed as possible. In this way, you’ll be able to focus on goals that truly matter for your startup’s growth.
Choosing the right co-founder is the key
One common thing among high-growth startups is that founders rarely start them on their own. While you can do it by yourself, your chances of success are better when you have a trusted co-founder to ease the burden of running a business.
So, how do you find the right startup co-founder? First, think of the skills and experience you may lack. If you’re an expert in sales and marketing, find someone who has a solid background in technology.
Our founders at Full Scale, Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson are the perfect examples. DeCoursey is a whiz at anything sales and marketing. He’s comfortable with talking and promoting our services to clients. Whereas, Watson has a penchant for creating software from scratch with no problems. They are the right match for a software outsourcing company such as ours.
Additionally, finding a co-founder is similar to traditional marriage. You can’t simply force them to like you. They have to like you enough to want to join your startup. How do you do that? Take stock of all the things you can offer. Do you share the same values, vision, and passion for your startup? Can you pitch to investors and raise capital?
This demonstrates that you’re serious about pursuing your idea and quells any doubts or fears a potential co-founder might have.
It’s going to drain your time and money
Strictly speaking, building a startup is not for everyone. At the initial stage, your startup will cost you tons of money and energy. You may ask yourself one day if all these sacrifices are worth it.
There’s also the reality that you may not make a profit at first. You may want to keep your full-time job to help pay your bills or until you can figure out a way to be profitable.
Another option for a startup founder to not eat a hole in their pockets is to seek funding from investors. Of course, this doesn’t excuse you to squander other people’s money. You still have the financial responsibility to your investors, but at least your personal savings won’t bleed dry.
Communication might be something that comes naturally to people. However, you’ll be surprised that some founders and leaders can’t express their ideas effectively. If you want team members to follow your lead, then focus on improving your communication skills—both verbal and written.
You don’t have to be a seasoned TED Talks speaker, but at least work on strengthening this skill as much as possible. Similarly, there are tons of tools and methods out there that you can use for effective and seamless collaboration with the team.
You’ll wear different hats
And we don’t mean the berets or the fedoras. As a startup founder, you’ll take multiple roles, especially in the early stages of the startup. You are expected to be the leader and manager.
A founder who lacks leadership and management skills will find it difficult to manage people and delegate responsibilities. You should organize resources efficiently, hire the right people, and inspire them to work their best.
Additionally, great leaders know how to build meaningful connections with their employees and encourage them to be productive and love what they do.
Start your Company Right!
Indeed, entrepreneurship is a path less taken. It takes grit, dedication, and commitment to weather through the challenges. The journey to launching a startup will surely have bumps along the way. This is why preparation is key to minimize or eliminate some of these hurdles.
As a startup founder, you need to work with the right co-founder, build a great product, prioritize teamwork and communication, and lastly, never shy away from asking for help from mentors or accelerator programs. Each of these areas matters and they should help you improve as you grow your startup business.
As for tapping the right mentors, we just couldn’t recommend it enough. Mentors give you the extra push to move your ideas to action. They offer their insights, expertise, and skills in the industry.
Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson are mentors that steer up-and-coming startup entrepreneurs in the right direction. Also, they are the brains behind Full Scale, an offshore software development company in Kansas City.
To get your FREE consultation with the Matts, message us today to get your startup off the ground.