This week in Melbourne, the #sbcEnergyAus team had the luxury of attending Pause Fest 2018. An annual festival held in Melbourne filled with visionaries from all sides of business, creativity and tech. It brings together a varied group of leaders such as NASA, Pixar, Netflix, and Amazon; the platform for the future.
Guy Kawasaki led a Top 10 mistakes of entrepreneurs discussion, ending his lecture with a quote that struck us all, “In a startup you only need 2 things; someone to make it; someone to sell it”.
Here are our top 10 tips to make life a little easier to stay afloat as a startup!
1 Live leanly (we can still pretend you have an office in the top floor of a high-rise )
As a startup funds are limited and it is important to asses where they would be best spent. Use what you have wisely, you don’t need a large office, or elaborate events to impress. If you spend less, you’ll have more to focus your growth on the highest potential activities.
As well as having the funds to take part in surprise opportunities. Innovating your product, creating revenue and taking opportunities should always be priority within your startup.
2. Make it a must to gain customers
This may be reiterated too much, but success from a business comes from sales. If people are buying what you are putting out, that means good publicity and money in the door for your startup. The quicker you obtain a steady flow of interest and customers, the faster you’ll be able to take off and ultimately scale.
3. PROMOTE: Tweet, Insta, share your selfie (maybe not), Facebook. Market yourself!
Create a solid brand and get it out there. Take advantage of free social media advertising, we find Twitter works best for us. Connect wisely with potential investors, customers and maybe even future employees. Be proud of your organisation and it’s mission; tell everyone about it! Publicity will always help you pave your path to success.
4. Never stop learning
When growing your business from the bottom it’s hard to know what exactly needs to be done, and how long it will take. As one project finishes, new ideas surface or are created within another project. There is always something to gain from a certain experience, and to learn. You think you may know everything, but I’m sure you will soon realise there’s always fresh information to be learned to help you continue to capitalize on your business.
5. Familiarise yourself with the difference between experience and talent
When looking for potential employee’s, experience is key. While talent is valuable, experience gives you stability, and promise for success. Startups will be thankful for that kind of comfortability when trying to grow their expertise.
6. Accept when it’s not working and take the criticism
Startups become immensely close with their business and the products they are creating, it’s their passion. It’s crucial to keep in mind that there will be unforeseen changes down the road. Do what’s best for the company by focusing on what the customer wants, what the market needs and what you have funds for. Learn and grow from criticism and use that fuel to shape it into your vision with the tools you’ve learned.
7. Become familiar with your community (fangirl a little)
Be an active member of your startups community. Find out who has become successful and learn from them. Make connections with big or small corporations if they could further your education in the field or help grow your resources. Paint an image of who, and what your startup stands for and immerse yourselves in the field’s culture.
8. Don’t accept if you can’t deliver
When entering into a contract always go in with 100% confidence that you will be able to deliver. If you believe it’s not within your reach don’t be afraid to negotiate your terms to what could benefit both you and your client. Allow yourself to be realistic about what you can obtain at the time and choose the plan that will help you grow, succeed and discover new opportunities at a pace that your startup can perform the best at. Customers want your success as much as you do.
9. Be excited about your startup and product
Late nights, no sleep, failed attempts and little activity can catch up to you. It’s absolutely vital to stay positive about what you are doing and to remember why you started in the first place. Being successful doesn’t come overnight or without setbacks but it’s not fair to give up on yourself or the team at the first hurdle. If you remain driven and passionate it will run off on your whole team and potential investors.
10. Set your goals high
Set your goals high, that there are endless amounts of opportunities waiting for you and that while there may be changes along the process continue to grow your connections. If you think your business will fail, it will. Keep your plans and objectives realistic, but set the bar high because anything is possible!
Every startup comes with its own set of challenges to overcome and while everyone’s circumstances may differ, they share one common goal of succeeding in making a difference. It’s how you decide to conquer those obstacles, that creates your platform for the future.