Startup Strategies: 5 Valuable Lessons from Successful Entrepreneurs

Startup Strategies: 5 Valuable Lessons from Successful Entrepreneurs

To succeed with a startup, you need to perfect a formula that combines emotional intelligence, practical skills, confidence, research, a strong team, and at least a little luck. Here’s the problem, though: There’s no way of knowing precisely how much of each element you need. Thankfully, we can get closer to nailing the formula for startup success by examining the strategies used by entrepreneurs who have made it. 

From practical tips like using serviced offices with meeting rooms to more ethereal advice like befriending failure, here are five valuable lessons from entrepreneurs who built successful businesses. 

1. Build Your Team Sooner Rather Than Later

You may think you need to have some momentum going before you start bringing a team together. However, if you try to go it alone for too long, you’ll only hold yourself back. Instead, start gathering a talented team as soon as possible. This could be a business partner who’s as invested in the idea as you are. Depending on the nature of your enterprise and the funds you have available, it could also be freelancers, volunteers, or paid employees. 

2. Don’t be Shy About Seeking Funding

If you’re thinking that the first point is all well and good for founders with wealthy parents or a lot of capital, don’t sell yourself short. With a solid business plan and plenty of market research backing you up, there are plenty of funding opportunities you can apply for. From government programs to angel investors, there are many sources of funding you can mix and match to ensure you’re able to assemble a brilliant team and fund the development of your products or services. 

3. Become a Fan of Failure

Many startups fail to launch because their founders fear failure. This fear can lead you to avoid taking chances, which is ironically the best way to ensure you don’t succeed. Of course, you don’t want to go into meetings unprepared or otherwise seek out bad results. However, it’s important to have a positive attitude toward potential failure. This will empower you to take calculated risks because you’ll know that even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll have learned lessons that will fuel your success in the future. 

4. Network like there’s no Tomorrow

If you shy away from networking opportunities, you’re telling yourself that your skills, talents, and ideas aren’t worth sharing. In addition to blocking yourself off from the opportunities networking can provide, that’s a dangerous message to send to yourself. So, if you think your business idea is valuable enough to make an impact in the world, then put some action behind that belief by seeking out opportunities to network

5. Scale Like a Pro

Many startup founders want to be the next big thing, which can lead them to overinvest in growth while underdelivering on their core offerings. This scaling mistake can spell disaster. For example, Vice Media recently filed for bankruptcy, not because their audience had shrunk but because their expenses and investments outstripped the profits they were able to rake in. 

Another well-known startup, KIND Snacks, almost went down the same route. Founder Daniel Lubetzky told USA Today that his obsession with growth at all costs nearly tanked the company. However, he was able to pull out of the tailspin just in time and recalibrate his goals and priorities. In doing so, he drew in millions of dollars in funding and resurrected his company.  

Keep these lessons in mind as you build your business, and make a point of seeking out advice from entrepreneurs who’ve done it all before. This simple yet powerful strategy will set you up for success. 

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