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How to Survive a Startup. Entrepreneur MBA Podcast 4.2

Summary: In today’s podcast, Steven Hoffman from Founders Space and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss the methods used by successful startups. These solutions are effective in helping entrepreneurs build their business ventures with data-driven decisions.

How to Survive a Startupsurviving a startup

Being an entrepreneur means taking a lot of risks and a lot of stress. However, setting up a successful startup takes conviction, creativity, hard work, discipline, and more. Unfortunately, many people have tried and failed to build viable business ventures over the years due to having highly limited knowledge. Still, before considering launching a startup, try taking on different jobs to gather the sufficient experience necessary for the startup. In addition, make an adequate plan to learn as much as possible about every aspect of the business. That’s to say, you should know how the business grows, what makes it successful, why customers like their products, how the company builds its brand, and more. 

The major reason entrepreneurs launch a startup is because they have a specific problem they want to solve. Plus, they have a burning passion for solving the problem and have a strong business opportunity they seriously believe in.

Know the Right Reason to Launch a Startup.

Many startuppers failed because they did not know the right reason for their ventures. Having a clear goal to set up your startup will enable you to navigate every challenge you face. Real startuppers launch their companies because they perceive a specific problem they want to solve. They have brainstormed and know their solution will effectively resolve the problem. Then again, they believe that the solution will add extreme value to their business. 

Besides, entrepreneurs always have something real and understand a market for their products. They don’t mind gambling everything to ensure that their dream sees the light of the day. They have enough money to sustain them for at least a year without needing a job and are also happy building and running a business.   

Back up your Business Idea with Data

Many entrepreneurs concentrate their energy on coming up with the most beautiful ideas. But the truth remains that ideas without data to back them up are mere fantasy. You may think that your idea is pretty superb, but until you’re able to show convincing evidence that it provides real value to customers, it’s only a dream. As an entrepreneur, you should identify opportunities and capitalize on them. Experiences have shown that overly concentrating on ideas at the beginning is a waste of time and will put you on the wrong track.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs who focus more on their ideas instead of team building wind up failing. That said, startuppers should channel their attention to bringing in the best team. They should connect with passionate people to help them figure out what works and fails to work.

Work with the Right Team

Successful startuppers are people who know how to leverage teamwork. It is difficult to launch a successful startup all alone. It’s on record that entrepreneurs who go solo in building a business often give up when faced with challenges. However, having collaborators with a burning commitment to the project would likely make you stick it out. The right team will have your back when you’re confronted with a seemingly difficult situation. There’s a great need for you to work with people that are as passionate as you’re in the mission. Research has shown a direct correlation between the success of startups and the number of co-founders.

However, if you don’t have co-founders, at least bring in dedicated employees and compensate them mostly with equity to give them an adequate sense of belonging. 

Learn About your Competitors

Founders of startups should learn as much as possible from their competitors to know what makes them great and copy their best idea. In other words, they should go deep into their competitors’ territory, scouting out everything they can. In addition, they should analyze every last feature, function, and facet of the competitive environment. Plus, they should prioritize using your competitors’ products daily to understand everything they do.

Define the Problems

The first step of building a startup is clearly defining a problem you want to solve and who will benefit from the solution. Every startupper should provide clears answer to the following question below:

 

  • What is the problem?
  • What is the solution?
  • Who is the customer?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How large is the market?

An objective answer to the above questions will help put the entrepreneur on the right track.

The Bottomline

Knowing whether your startup is worth the time, effort, and money going into it involves due diligence. Setting yourself up for success in building a startup is not about how passionate you are and how much you believe in yourself. It entails being more objective. You need outside confirmation. Put differently, you need people to have a hard look at your business plan and tell you if you are not making a wrong decision. Working with experienced people in startups will help you make informed decisions. They will look at the available evidence and weigh in on the decision.

About the Guest speaker, Steven Hoffman

Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff) is the CEO of Founders Space, one of the world’s leading startup accelerators, with over 50 partners in 22 countries. Founders Space was ranked the #1 incubator for overseas startups by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazines.

Hoffman is also a venture investor, founder of three venture-backed and two bootstrapped startups, and author of several award-winning books. These include “Make Elephants Fly” (published by Hachette), “Surviving a Startup” (published by HarperCollins), and “The Five Forces” (published by BenBella).

 Learn About Financing Solutions

Financing Solutions, an A+ and 5 stars rated BBB company since 2002, is a direct lender that provides lines of credit to small businesses and nonprofits.

Financing Solutions small business financing product is a great alternative to a traditional bank line of credit because it costs nothing to set up, nothing until used, and when used, is inexpensive. The credit line requires no collateral and no personal guarantees. Small businesses use their line of credit to help with emergencies or opportunities when cash flow is temporarily down (i.e., Payroll funding) Please feel free to fill out the no-obligation, 2-minute business line of credit application here. The time to set up a credit line is when you don’t need it so that it is ready to be used, just in case.

Note: Financing Solutions donates 10% of its profits to various nonprofit charities

 

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