Seven Illusions to Watch out for When you Launch a Company
To get your startup off the ground, you need more than just a good idea. You will have to invest in the right technology, clearly understand the niche you are about to fill, be knowledgeable about the competition you will face and finally, put together a dedicated team to pull your ideas together.
Thousands of companies are launched every year, but most of them fail and the founders are left with diminished pockets and a head full of wisdom. Many founders realize too late that they do not have a sustainable model, the right resources or that they have entered a saturated market. They falter even before they can find their first client. Here are a few tips that will help you pull through during those difficult first days after you launch a company.
- 1 Ask for a check
- 2 If the investor has not given you a ‘yes’, then it is as good as a ‘no’
- 3 Good team and a great opportunity
- 4 If an investor says ‘no’ and then says it is ‘not about the team’, it is mostly about the team
- 5 Pivoting is okay but be careful
- 6 Spreadsheets may be wrong sometimes
- 7 Hiring other people to solve your problem is a trap
Ask for a check
You know you have an idea you can work with and you have just given a terrific sales pitch to an investor. Now what do you do? Should you give the investor time to go home and think about it? No. The investor is not going to wake up tomorrow and send you the money you need. As soon as the pitch is over, ask the investor to take a decision on the spot.
If the investor has not given you a ‘yes’, then it is as good as a ‘no’
There is no point in holding on to hopes when you need a quick decision. It can be employees, resources or partners. You may think you have an encouraging answer but even then, do not wait.
Good team and a great opportunity
A good team and a great opportunity beats any other factor hands down.
If an investor says ‘no’ and then says it is ‘not about the team’, it is mostly about the team
You may think that the investor has rejected your product or app, but the problem is most likely your team. It means the investor is not confident that you can get the job done, but is being polite about it. If you are hearing a lot of ‘no’, maybe it is time you re-evaluated your team.
Pivoting is okay but be careful
Launching a startup is a first-hand lesson in self-discovery. You will be learning what works, what does not and you will see some opportunities you did not see before. You may even take a different direction than where you started.
Be careful. You may get more opportunities by pivoting, but do not expect all your problems to be solved instantly. It is also hard work, so prepare.
Spreadsheets may be wrong sometimes
Spreadsheets and rosy projections will not bring in the money. Forecasts usually do not live up to their promise. The sooner you accept this, the better for you. Focus on executing not on making spreadsheets.
Hiring other people to solve your problem is a trap
During your start-ups early days, you may be flooded with offers and requests from other contractors who may want to help you with web development, recruiting, marketing and even fund raising. Avoid them. Otherwise you will end up depleting your resources with substandard results to show in the end.
Launching a startup is very challenging. Whichever stage you are at, hang on. It will be a tough fight and you will end up learning a lot of lessons whether you win or lose.