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So, you’ve decided to climb the entrepreneurial hill; you’re resolved to putting in the work no matter the odds. 2020 didn’t go anybody’s way. So, for starters, pat yourself on the back. Kudos to you for still sticking around with passion in your eyes and fire in your belly. Yes, you’re on your way to building your startup, but there might be a few monkey wrenches.
Even with the pandemic in the picture, you need to assess quite a few things, a few challenges. Knowing about these challenges will help you better prepare for the road ahead. And here they are.
As a founder, expect yourself to be pulled in all directions. Time management is key as you go from one day to the next. One day you’ll be pulled into marketing. The next day you’ll find yourself handling operations. The day after that, you’ll be preparing a sales pitch, and after that, you’ll be pulled into the tech team to A/B test your product. The responsibilities will be manifold, so plan well ahead of time.
With an early-stage startup, everything is new, shiny new. It’s so new that you may have to set up processes for everything, from scratch! Suppose you want to write a blog post. Who are the stakeholders needed? Does a graphic designer come in at any stage? Who will oversee the entire process? Often, your core team, with or without relevant experience, must sit down and learn on the fly. In a way, you must be able to adapt to almost any role that comes your way.
Sometimes, the moment is just right to launch your product. Sometimes, it’s not. But, for some reason or the other, some founders fail to strike the hammer when the iron is hot. They get lost in the nitty gritty, making sure everything is absolutely perfect. It's in this phase that precious time is lost. It’s perfectly alright to ensure your product launches flawlessly. However, attaching a timeline to things would make your life less difficult through all the vicissitudes before you launch.
The effects of hiring are pronounced, doubly so in a startup. It is when you go from a handful of employees to ensuring you have a team with the same entrepreneurial spirit. At this formative stage, a wrong hire is a like a bad apple in a ripe bunch. So, it makes sense to be rigorous. Ask the right questions. Listen to the answers. If all goes well, hiring becomes less of a hassle. But all of it is worth the effort. It pays a lot to have faithful employees in the long run.
Stern competition is not just limited to the big players of the industry. Competition is rampant. Forbes goes on to report the following.
“Today, approximately, 137,000 businesses are launched every day in the world.”
Indeed, competition is necessary to keep you on your toes at all times, but it’s important to maintain superiority over the rest by satisfying customer expectations, because the customer is still king. In the face of competition, it’s best not to lose sight of the real deal, the only thing that matters: customer satisfaction.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re at pre minimum viable product (MVP), preseed/seed, or even series A. A startup can always do with likeminded investors to invest in the proposed venture. So, ensure your network has connections who’re compatible with your vision and your mission. You never know when you might come across a fellow co-founder to join your ranks or a keen angel investor looking to diversify his or her portfolio. Keep networking when you’re in pursuit of raising funds.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking around! It’s always good to broaden your horizons with quick reads. Without further ado and with these challenges in mind, we hope you lay the foundational block of your startup with aplomb.