Denver Startup Week wraps up tomorrow, and we thought it would be helpful to share a few lessons we’ve learned over the past two years as a startup. It’s fun and exciting to have the entrepreneurial spirit, but there are challenges to starting and growing a business.
Here are 10 tips for new startups:
- Honest Feedback - Get your product in front of beta testers as soon as possible. Move beyond sharing with friends and family so you can get honest feedback from people who don’t care about hurting your feelings.
- Diverse Perspective - Build your founding team with people who have different backgrounds and perspectives.
- Speak Their Language - Spend time talking to other founders, investors, and entrepreneurs to learn the lingo of the community. You need to be able to communicate your idea in a language that everyone understands.
- Find Key Metrics - Everyone knows this is important, but it’s critical to identify what your key metrics are and measure, measure, measure.
- All About the Team - Every startup needs to build a team that is full of great, multi-talented people. As hard as it is, if someone isn’t working out, you need to fire them quickly.
- Build your Network - As the founder of a startup, you need a network so get out there and meet people. Build your network. Your connections are invaluable as you navigate the first couple of years of founding a company.
- Quit Your Day Job - I’m sorry to say, but you have to quit your job to found a company. You need to make the startup the priority in your professional life.
- Don’t Get Too Big Too Soon - Startups need to validate each business goal and review metrics along the way to ensure that growth is sustainable. You don’t want to start spending money that you have from investors without the validation that you’re meeting milestones.
- Play to Strengths - Within your team of employees, identify the right person for the right job and make sure that everyone is playing to their strengths.
- Support Network - It’s not easy to start a new company. There are a lot of ups and downs and, as the founder, you’re going to need a strong support system. Your friends and family can help you get through the tough times and celebrate the milestones.
I hope these tips make it easier for you to handle the growing pains of a startup. If you’re a founder of a startup, let us know what lessons you learned along the way.