5 Business Lessons to Learn Before Launching a Startup. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

5 Business Lessons to Learn Before Launching a Startup.

April 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Do you have an idea for a great startup? Have you come up with a product or service you think people will want to buy? You are not alone. The world is full of innovative thinkers looking at problems and trying to capitalize on solving them. And it takes a lot of work to get your ideas in front of customers. More importantly, it takes a lot of knowledge to navigate your way to success. Here are five things you should know before you begin working on your startup.

Failure Can Be Good

Living with fear is one of the things you should never do when starting a startup. Failure is high on the list of things that could frighten you. It is a well-known fact that the majority of startups fail. That means that your startup has higher chances of failing than making it.

But failure can be a good thing. It is often better to fail early on than invest a lot of your time and money into developing a product or a service that has no future. Failure is also a great opportunity for reflection and learning from mistakes. So embrace it as a useful, albeit unpleasant, necessity.

People Matter the Most

What are the most important resources for launching a startup? Ideas matter a lot. Business-savvy is more than welcome. Having some money would not hurt, either. If you are new to founding startups, chances are your pool of resources will be very limited. You might have a good idea, but a bad business sense. Or you might be a business-minded person with a good idea, but not enough money to get it to the market.

The one resource that can compensate for the lack of other resources is — people. Your co-founder and your team will be there to do their part in launching your startup. If you surround yourself with talented and dedicated people, you will find it easier to deal with even the most difficult situations. Also, working with people you can spend time with is very important. Charles Phillips, the CEO of Infor, likes to hire people he could enjoy having lunch with. Niceness is an underappreciated characteristic, and it counts for a lot in high-stress situations. And you will see plenty of those when launching a startup.

Having an Idea Is Just the Start

One of the more common reasons people launch startups is because they think they have a good idea. The startup scene is full of ideas that solve people’s problems, satisfy the needs of the market, or create new needs they will satisfy.

However, having an idea is not enough. For one, it is difficult to come with a good idea that will do well on the market. There is a series of steps you need to go through before the idea even begins to materialize. And the real test begins — will people be interested in buying a product or service based on that idea. So, while ideas are important, they are far from being everything you need for a startup.

It Takes More than Funding to Succeed

If only your startup would be able to secure outside funding, and all of your troubles would go away, right? One of the major sources of funding for startups is personal savings and credit. Having a lifeline in the form of an angel investor or a venture capital fund that is ready to back you up would do wonders for your startup.

It turns out, however, that the lack of funding is not the number one reason startups fail. Two out of five startups fail twenty months after they have raised their first round of funding. So it can’t be about the money. Funding is important, but startups are more likely to fail because no one is buying what they are selling. It is about the product or service, and the startup’s ability to market it.

Startups Need Full-Time Dedication

One of the best things about startups is that you can launch them without quitting your job. They can be sort of like a side gig you have after you do your day job.

If you want your startup to grow, however, you will need to be completely dedicated to it. That usually means quitting your job and putting in a tremendous amount of hours into your startup. In an ideal situation, you will dedicate yourself to your startup full-time at the point when it starts to show real promise. Often enough, you will have to become a full-time entrepreneur before you get to that point.

Misconceptions will hurt your chances of launching a startup. Unfortunately, people who are not experienced entrepreneurs often fall victims to the myths that keep them from seeing their ideas through. That is why it is important that you learn at least the basic business lessons before you begin working on your startup.

Staff Writer; Ron Adams

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