What is one thing an entrepreneur should do for an initial start-up?
Here is what 14 thought-leaders had to say:
- Write a Sales Funnel
- Safety Net for the Non-profitability Timeframe
- Establish the Type of People You Need to Hire
- Mentor Your Employees
- Set Up Your Start-up’s Core Values
- Have a Clear Vision
- Fit Product to the Market, Never Opposite
- Get An Experienced Business Lawyer
- Establish Your Authority to Establish Your Business
- Market Research First
- Look Out for Holes in the Market
- Focus On An Initial Start Up Procedure
- Tech Integration: Arming Yourself for the Unknown
- Cement Your Branding Strategy
Write a Sales Funnel
One of the most effective things an entrepreneur should do for their small business is to write a sales funnel and marketing plan for their business. This will ensure you know who you need to hire and more importantly who you need to market to in order to have a successful business and how to make that happen.
Loren Howard, Prime Plus Mortgages
Safety Net for the Non-profitability Timeframe
In the beginning stages of developing your company, I would recommend having enough working capital for three times the non-profitability timeframe. Any startup will have a period of time where it isn’t making any money. Ideally, this period will be quick, but tripling the amount you would need will ensure you have enough funds to hold you over through those initial working stages for the time it takes your company to start earning revenue.
Tom Mumford, Undergrads
Establish the Type of People You Need to Hire
As an entrepreneur, it should be fairly evident who you hope to hire for your new startup. You should be looking for creators, innovators and team members who can work independently and without micromanagement. Center in on 5-10 employees who can fill out your team and create a welcoming company culture, and also become mentors for any new incoming employees. This can also free up your own time, as you begin to delegate to your new team, so that you can look for new, exciting opportunities for growth.
Lauren Kleinman, The Quality Edit
Mentor Your Employees
As you begin to hire new team members, it’s crucial to begin setting up a welcoming company culture from the very start. This includes ensuring that each employee is properly trained and supported.
Truly mindful entrepreneurs easily step into the role of becoming mentors. Every successful leader has to have their eyes on their team at all times – anticipating when there is a visible lack of engagement. You see, with employee retention at an all-time low, there is no time (or often a budget) for hiring and training new team members due to poor training techniques.
Lindsay McCormick, Bite
Set Up Your Start-up’s Core Values
Everybody has their value hierarchy; it’s an inherent part of our lives, so every start-up also needs an ethical compass. Our values invisibly influence our daily decisions and thus shape our entire lives, and the same is true for companies and their mission statement.
Many entrepreneurs focus on ordinary things like business model, expenses, sales, MVP, development plan, and many others. It all is imperative, but the company’s essence is written in its mission statement. It may sound puffy. However, values distinguish start-ups today. What attracts new talent to the team? What drives growth and gives the energy to develop the ideas?
So my advice for entrepreneurs is to think about core values that will drive the company’s future growth. It can be written as a mission statement or a bullet points list with the answers to what is essential for us as start-up founders.
Tytus Golas, Tidio
Have a Clear Vision
An entrepreneur should have a clear vision for their business and be able to communicate it effectively to others. They should also be able to execute their vision and build a team of talented individuals to help them achieve their goals.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase
Fit Product to the Market, Never Opposite
Product-market fit is one of the most frequently repeated rules for every start-up or product launch. But there are still many entrepreneurs who don’t understand how significant it is! If you’re considering an initial start-up you simply have to answer the needs the market has. Remember, that this „legendary” market consists of people, who won’t pay for your product if they don’t need it. Therefore, you should definitely do a market analysis to find out if your idea is worth investing in your money and time.
Michal Jonca, Passport Photo Online
Get An Experienced Business Lawyer
One thing an entrepreneur should do for an initial start-up is to consult with an experienced business lawyer. A business lawyer can help you draft a solid contract with your business partners, set up the appropriate entity type for your company, and protect your intellectual property. They can also help you navigate the complex world of tax laws and regulations that apply to businesses.
Claire Westbrook, LSAT Prep Hero
Establish Your Authority to Establish Your Business
Any new business is going to have two major challenges, solidifying your expertise in the minds of the public, and enhancing your SEO, and focusing on establishing your authority addresses both of these needs. Startups lack brand recognition, with most consumers not being aware of their existence, and if they are, these new businesses have yet to gain their trust.
Publishing content-rich articles, offering to contribute to blogs, conducting webinars with full Q & A sessions, and publishing insightful newsletters, can brand you and your business as an authority in your market space, and the increased references bolster your backlink count, driving SEO. By establishing your authority, you not only heighten people’s awareness of your business, but of your brand.
Woody Sears, Hearhere
Market Research First
An entrepreneur should do market research on the competitors in the space during the initial start-up phase. Ask yourself, “is there a big enough demand for another one of these products?” If the answer is yes, see what the competition is doing and how you can find opportunities to improve on it in order to stand out and capture part of that market. Finding ways to differentiate yourself in a meaningful way will be the difference between success and failure.
Ann McFerran, Glamnetic
Look Out for Holes in the Market
Look for holes in the market in the industry you are looking to disrupt. Before I founded Finn, I was building a wellness company for humans researching what makes wellness businesses stand out today.
We found that pet wellness companies, in particular, lacked the quality ingredients, third-party testing, manufacturing safety standards, and sustainability practices that we wanted to bring to the industry. Consumers have higher expectations today for wellness products so businesses need to rise to meet those standards to succeed.
Wellness has really taken off in the last ten years, but looking at any industry to see what can be rethought, innovated, or improved upon is the way to pinpoint the right niche for your startup business.
James Shalhoub, Finn
Focus On An Initial Start Up Procedure
Make sure you have an initial start-up procedure in place. Do your research in advance. Have a checklist. It’s best to stay on top of things at the beginning to help ensure your success down the road. Have a plan in place and be ready to execute it.
Phillip Akhzar, Arka
Tech Integration: Arming Yourself for the Unknown
Every entrepreneur should arm themselves with tools that schedule, organize, and automate as many of their daily tasks as possible. A large part of start-up success is finding the bravery to step out of the comfort zone of someone else calling the shots and into the wilderness of self-determination, but dealing with a lot of unknown variables makes it harder for you to catch your stride in this competitive landscape. It’s impossible to eliminate all unknowns, but solid tech integration streamlines the arduous daily tasks, saving a significant amount of mental energy for the things that really matter.
Even if funding is low, don’t be too proud to outsource if necessary. The minutiae of running a business might seem manageable, but the minutes wasted on rote work add up. Hiring someone to handle the predictable challenges frees you to face the unpredictable.
Jaymee Messler, The Gaming Society
Cement Your Branding Strategy
Branding increases visibility and helps even a new entity stand out in the crowd. And every entrepreneur knows that the branding strategy is a crucial part of the beginnings of every startup journey. An entrepreneur must conduct thorough research of various elements such as the mindset of the customer base, the branding caliber of the competition, and other market trends. In defining the branding strategy, an entrepreneur also offers a distinct identity to the startup, enabling associated personnel to drive it forward with pride and commitment.
Eva Taylor, WP Buffs