Quotes to help you get started !!!
“Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.”
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”
“There’s no shortage of great Ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.”
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work & learning from failure.”
Topics: 5 Preparations: Classes, Work, Mentor, News, Events. 7 Competencies: Communication, Innovation, Opportunity, Focus, Flexibility, Attitude, Stress Mgt, 10 Decisions: Self, Fit, Market, Competitors, Planning, Procrastinate, Small, Networking & Learning, Image, Help.
A. Preparation for being a Startup Founder
Introduction: Whether you’re still in school or sitting in a cubicle and contemplating a career change, the idea of starting the next successful Startup can be pretty appealing. Startups are fast-paced, exciting, & can give each employee an ownership stake in what they’re building. And, if you’re a Founder, you get to lead the charge—not to mention be your own boss. Here’s what you should do before thinking about starting a company,
1. Take Entrepreneurship Classes
Running a company means learning how to do a lot of things beyond your typical core strengths & interests. You need to be able to manage product development, evaluate potential markets, & track your finances, etc, none of which come particularly intuitively. And while classes are no substitute for real world experience, they can help teach you about some fundamental skills & processes that any entrepreneur needs to know. If you’re no longer in school (or your school doesn’t offer relevant classes), Udemy has free & inexpensive courses that you can take online, covering everything from product development & finding your market , to raising money.
2. Work or Intern at a Start-up
This could be, the most important thing you can do. Seeing how entrepreneurs handle the ups & downs of starting & growing a business is immensely valuable. It also may give you a chance to take on several Startup roles and get out of your comfort zone – things you’ll need to do as a Founder. If you’re still in college, reach out to the appropriate start-ups in your area to see if they could use some part-time help, or spend a summer Interning. Already in the workforce? A great transition into the Startup world is to work for a company that focuses on your industry and could use your expertise.
3. Creating a Mentor
If you’re working at a start-up, don’t be afraid to let the Founders know that you’re interested in starting a company of your own one day. Most of the time, they’ll be happy to open up about parts of the business that you don’t know about. Most successful people in Silicon Valley got to where they are today through the Mentoring of others and are eager to pay-it-forward to the right people. Show them that you’re smart, motivated, eager to learn, have a good product idea and they will be more than willing to help you.
4. Follow Industry News
Keeping up with Industry Blogs has several advantages for entrepreneurs and aspiring Founders. First, it will give you a look into what other companies are doing and what’s working (& not working). It can also help you identify trends around what companies are raising money or getting acquired. Most Blogs also publish Guest Posts from entrepreneurs, investors, etc, with tips, trends, or other insights into the industry. I personally keep TechCrunch and PandoDaily in my Google Reader account; I only read a handful of articles every day, but I make sure to scan every headline.
5. Attend Startup Events
When you start a company, having a support network – who understands your challenges – is incredibly valuable. Attending Startup events is a great way to begin building a network of like-minded people. Subscribe to StartupDigest to learn about start-up events in your area or look for local Meetups. And—most importantly—when you go to events, try to focus on having a few meaningful conversations with other participants – instead of trying to network with as many people as possible.
Starting a company might seem like a daunting task, but the truth is, you can set yourself up for it the way you would for any career: Do the research, make the connections, align yourself with great people, then get start tackling the work. You’ll feel confident that you will succeed.
B. Core Competencies needed by a Founder
Core Competencies are a major strategic advantage your business can have over its competitors. They can be verifiable technical competencies (such as achievements, skills, knowledge, & expertise) or non-technical competencies *. Many companies have the same . . .
B1. Technical Competencies: designers, programmers, etc. The immeasurable non-technical competencies are what sets some companies apart and help determine which Startups – although they may be similar to many others – will succeed.
* B2. Non-Technical Competencies are personal and professional skills that cannot easily be measured. Some examples of these skills include accountability, ethics, attitude, competitiveness, etc. Screening for certain non-technical competencies – and improving these skills in current staff members – is vital to business success, especially in a Startup that is just beginning to gain influence.
Make sure that that your Team & employees are well informed by putting multiple communication channels in place [Memos, Email, Newsletters (if needed) etc]. Invest time in communicating info regularly & consistently. If your Startup is primarily virtual, invest in Project Mgt SW. If your Startup is office-based, have meeting rooms and inspire a culture of open collaboration across the floor. Ensure that everyone is kept informed about new developments and that all information shared is professional & appropriate.
The desire & capacity to develop & support something new can be one of their great strengths. In order to be innovative, Startups need employees who are personally invested in developing new products, services, methods, or approaches. They should actively propose new ideas & technologies to better accomplish goals.
3. Opportunity Recognition:
Employees in a Startup should be adept at recognizing and sharing profitable business opportunities, such as potential new products, clients & partners. And they should be able to take calculated risks to pursue the kind of valuable opportunities that will lead to achieving business goals.
You & Team need to really focus on your Startup’s mission. All of your long- & short-term goals & tasks must align with your company’s mission & vision. Mastering this core competency means – as a Founder – being able to effectively visualize, develop, & communicate your mission & goals with/to your Team. Establish your primary focus and make sure that your entire Team understands how each of their roles aligns with the end-goals of your Startup.
5. Flexibility: Founder & Employees . . .
must often wear many “hats.” In order to succeed in a Startup environment, employees need to be flexible in terms of their willingness to try new & different tasks & approaches. They must be open to others’ perspectives and be able to switch between strategies & methods when needed.
When Hiring, employers often look closely at a job candidate’s tech skills and forget to look at his or her attitude. This oversight can cause you to hire someone who is qualified but a bad fit overall for the company. In a Startup, where agility, innovation, & focus are key, some of the most important non-technical competencies for existing & potential employees are listed below.
7. Stress Management
Startups are often high-stress environments, especially since one employee is likely to be in charge of multiple jobs. Startup employees need to have diverse skills and be able to handle many projects, clients, & tasks at once. This means that being able to efficiently function when under stress is important for Startup work. In addition to being able to remain calm under stress, employees should also maintain self-control, even when being provoked. Finally, having this type of competency also entails an understanding of self. Employees should know their limits & manage their own behaviors to avoid or reduce stress.
C. Decisions to help you Succeed.
1. Know Yourself:
(your true motivational level, the amount of $$$ you can risk, & what you’re willing to do to be successful). We all want to make $millions. But what are you willing to give up to reach that goal? How many hours a week will you work on an ongoing basis? How far out of your comfort zone are you willing to stretch? How far will your family stretch with you? To be successful, keep your business plans in line with your personal & family goals + resources.
2. FiT – Choose the right Business for you.
The key to success is finding needs that you can fill, that you want to fill – that will produce enough income to build a profitable business.
3. Be sure there really is a good Market for your Product.
One of the biggest mistakes Startups make is to assume a lot of people will want to buy a particular product or service, just because the business owner likes the ideas or knows one or two people who want the product or service. To minimize your risk for loss, never assume there is a market. Research the idea. Talk to real potential prospects to find out if what you want to sell is something they’d be interested in buying, and if so, what they’d pay what you want for the product or service.
4. Research your Competitors
No matter what type of business you are starting or running, you will have competitors. Even if there is no other business offering “exactly” what you plan to sell, there is very likely to be other products or services your target customers are using to satisfy their need. To be successful, you need to research the competition and find out as much as possible about what they sell and how they sell it. You want to be “Better, Faster, Cheaper”. Competitive research is something you should plan on doing on an ongoing basis, too. If there really aren’t any other competitors, it’s possible there isn’t a market or a real need for what you want to sell. You want a growing market.
5. Do the Planning to Succeed
If you’re not seeking investors or putting a huge sum of money into your business, you may not need an elaborate Business Plan, but you still do need a 1 page or Lean plan – one that specifies your goal – your destination – and then lays out at least a minimal roadmap for how you’ll get to where you want to go. The plan will grow as you progress and learn more about your customers & competition, but it will still help you stay focused and headed in the right direction.
6.. Don’t Procrastinate.
The problem with waiting till everything is perfect is that it leads to procrastination. No one ever really has all the pieces in place – even after they’ve started their business. Yes, you need to research the market, have a simple Biz plan in place (1 page or Lean), and take care of the Legal issues. But if you try to make everything perfect before you launch, you may never get around to starting your business at all. As soon as you have a Minimum Viable Product [MVP] go for it. Get it out there & see what Customers think. Then you’ll know if you’re on the right track or need to make some modifications.
7. Start “small” till you go BiG !!!
Some people believe that entrepreneurs are risk-takers. But for the most part, successful entrepreneurs don’t like walking blindfolded out on a limb. Instead, they take controlled risks. They test an idea on a small scale, then build on what works well, tweak what shows promise, and discard the disasters.
8. Networking & Learning.
Get a Mentor, join groups with like-minded people (ie, Meetup, BNI, YEC, EO, etc), learn everything you can about your industry and also what it takes to get from where you are, to where you want to be. Attend Industry conferences; Take Training or other “free” or $$$ Courses, of course. You’ll save a tremendous amount of trial & error by learning from people who have been there, done that.
9. Create a good Image – Digital Presence.
Even if you’re only running a local business, you need a comprehensive digital presence. At a minimum, you need a professional-looking Website, an Email list that lets you communicate with customers and prospects on a regular basis (ie, monthly) and a presence on the Social Media – that your customers frequent. While you may get many of your customers by word of mouth, referrals, or networking, you still need a strong digital presence. The reason: prospective customers are likely to look you up on the Web, before they decide whether or not to contact you. Coupons, special offers, & useful info sent to your Email list can encourage customers & prospects to buy from you or make repeat purchases.
10. Get Help to do the Routine Tasks.
Understand the difference between working for yourself and building an ongoing business. If you want to build a business, you need to develop systems & methods that allow you to have other people to “do” the work of the business while you do the planning. You limit the potential for growth, if you don’t bring in other people to work for you. The challenge is finding people who are willing to take the risks now for the rewards later.
Comment: Do you know any other Factors that would help a Startup Founder to succeed?
fm the Muse, eSkill, Biz KnowHow 10-20 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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