In today’s business world, startups need all the help they can get. If you’re a startup owner, there are plenty of things outside your control that could have an impact your business’ ultimate success or failure. So it’s important to make sure the things you do have control of are optimized for success, especially when even the most conservative estimates peg the startup failure rate at 30-40%.
But never fear, the folks over at IdeaMensch put together a list of advice quotes targeted at startups pulled from interviews with folks who own a business that was once a startup and made it big. We’ve pulled some of the best ones and added some commentary below
1. Spend time completing the following sentence about your company (if you can fill in the blanks with clear, definitive, information-filled words, you will have solved 50% of your marketing challenges): We are a ______________ company, that provides _________________ to _______________, which is better than __________________ because __________________. –Gavin Finn, CEO of Kaon Interactive
This may be one of the single most important things a startup can do to ensure their business is on the right track. If you’re struggling to fill one or more of the blanks, you may need to reevaluate your business plan.
2. Wrap your business around your values. Once you know what matters to you, it will be a lot easier to create a plan and follow through with it. –Lori Deschene, Founder of Tiny Buddha
One way to streamline your decision-making process is by adhering to a strict set of values or principles and asking yourself which decision would best serve those values or principles. Too often, business owners get caught up in over-thinking each minute decision they make.
3. It pays to focus on where you’d rather be, not on the obstacle in front of you. –Dave Turnbull, Co-Founder of Chrometoaster
Along those same lines, make sure you’re always keeping the big picture in perspective. Don’t let temporary problems — and they’ll be plenty of those — discourage you.
4. Always be selling… as an entrepreneur, you have to sell people all day every day. Every meeting and every chance encounter is an opportunity to sell your idea, and you should never let an opportunity to sell pass you by. –Siva Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder of TheFind
Anyone in business could tell you the power of referrals. So how do you raise the type of brand awareness that earns you referrals? Tell everyone you know about it the way you’d tell a potential investor about it.
5. If you do something that provides value for others, figure out how you can charge for it. That’s the only way for you to provide that value long-term. –Mario Schulzke, Founder of IdeaMensch
This one may seem obvious, but think of the struggles of the movie, music and newspaper industries have faced in the last 15 years as the Internet has taken off. New ideas are great, but if they’re not tied to revenue production, they’re not worth investing in.