Surviving the Initial Years of a Startup?

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A startup is a company that is working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed. Startups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or one individual. During the journey of developing something big and unique, the startup founder(s) face several challenges like lack of resources, lack of funds, lack of good employees, and many more which one or the other way shakes his/her determination of continuing the startup and start thinking of quitting. This article discusses the ways to survive the intitial years of startup.

  • You Should Not Fear To Make Mistakes: Making mistakes while exploring something new is a bliss. Human tends to make mistake when they learn, when they try new things, when they assume and when they grow. These mistakes are beneficial if not repeated. They helps in growing the business in a better and defined way. Some common mistakes startup founders do and then realize something which could be better if done.
    • Making mistake of doing everything themselves helps to realize the importance of partnering with the people who are proficient in performing particular task like a web developer for website development, an app developer for app development, a web designer for web designing and go on. Teamwork is the most important thing which runs your startup.
    • Making mistake of saying Yes to everything articulates the value of denial and be simple in spending on things which are necessary.
    • Making mistake of focusing on irrelevant things helped startup founders see the importance of their goal and to make their users awesome.
    • Doing many things in one go is one of the mistake that leads to downfall and this is where they realize the importance of focus.
  • You Should ASK For Right Things You Need For Your Startup To Grow: There is a saying "Stop Asking "Why am I still stuck in that situation?" and Start Asking "What do I need to learn from this situation?" which means you should ask for your users to contribute to your success. Many startups focus on asking wrong people & ask for wrong things in their infancy. This leads to a lot of stress, discouragement & financial hardship in the early years. You should ask your employees for more focused approach. But that requirement should be relevant. Ask people about their capability and interest and then plan your strategy accordingly. You can ask readers to become customers & pay you for your products and to give regular feedback. Ask for your website visitor to sign up for your newsletters and share your link on their social media account.
  • Courage To Take Risks: Each person has large and amazing thoughts. But only 1 out of 100 has guts to make a move. Startup founders are no special case. Amid the underlying phases of a startup, the founders have great vision and boundless desire. Startup founders invest months arranging, planning and mocking up things that it postpones the real reason for the organization – to sell something & make money.
  • Keeping a Track Record of All Work Related Facts: No matter how much you ask, how many mistakes you make, how much you do, it all can go for waste if you do not measure. During the first few months of your startup. You should define what you want to do and what are your values & philosophies. Try listing down the bunch of metrics that helps you to figure out about your progress. You need not be obsessive about this measurement nor too detailed. Most of the measurement is automatic thanks to tools like Google analytics, Bank statements, time trackers & email analysis applications. So use them and make a rudimentary report every month. If nothing, just write down the metrics on a white board and hang it near your workspace. Update it regularly and you will have a clear sense of where you are heading and where you are failing.
  • Patience is the Key to be Determined and Achieve Success: There is a saying related to patience "Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." Normally startup founders tend to be impatient & anxious. They want the change, fast paced action and movement. May be that is why they did not fit into the corporate environment and choose their own path. But this very nature can kill their startup in early years. It is very important to give their startup the time it takes to settle down & grow. Never expect immediate results or quick fixes in early years. Instead focus on laying strong foundation, good values, good processes & building teams that work well. All this does not mean, startup founders should set their goals very low. Instead, they need to be realistic and give time for their startup to grow.

So stay calm and patient and learn from the mistakes. Focus on growing your startup by taking right decisions at right time.