- Don’t be afraid of going solo
There are many budding entrepreneurs that worry a lot about being sole founders. Many people have an idealized version of startups that involves a co-founder bringing in different skill sets. There are some benefits you can get from being a sole founder, despite what you may have heard – but it is important to have a team of strong advisors like Wenta, helping you, with each of them bringing in something meaningful. The advisors will be there to help you in building valuable connections, investments, and clients. If you are the sole founder, you can take advice from your mentors, and make decisions with speed and greater clarity because you don’t have to involve many parties.
- Don’t stop testing
It is easier for you to win a lottery than have a successful product without doing extensive testing. Your time and money are very valuable, which is why you should never waste your time on a product that fails in the marketplace because you couldn’t do enough research. Don’t stop testing at any point. When you test your product before it goes to the market, you increase your chances of success and generating cash flow from it. You need to be ready for failures – there will be a lot of products that fail during the testing phase, but you should not be discouraged by this. Investing in research is going to save you a lot of cash in the long run because you have the chance to avoid ideas and products that will not succeed in the marketplace.
- Avoid focusing on useless vanity metrics
Everyone loves looking at growing numbers, but it is important to know the difference between vanity metrics and real metrics. Vanity metrics are easily manipulated and are not a true representation of your business. A good example is getting a lot of likes on social media. The real metric that matters is how many of the likes are interested in your products. Maybe most of the likes are coming from other countries and they can’t help your business grow. Such metrics overinflate your perception of progress and you can be fooled into thinking your business is doing well while it is not.
You can focus on the number of downloads of your app, but this doesn’t tell you about the number of active users. How do you define “active”? Does it mean taking any action or does it mean spending time on the app?
Facebook puts a lot of focus on “user engagement” instead of the time users spend on the site, which many social media platforms use. Facebook is focusing more on getting an accurate reflection on user engagement. This shows the value of their audience to advertisers and shareholders.
It is important for startups to have accurate data because it will help them know the health of their business and the direction the business is going. Getting the wrong metric complicates things because it will give you the wrong picture.
- Need for speed
Speed is very important when it comes to businesses today. The fastest company always comes on the top, and not the largest. A common mistake is startups focusing a lot on getting things perfect, but they end up running out of time and money. It can be scary to move at a fast pace, but you need to be quick if you want to stay ahead. Planning is a must if you want to succeed, whether it is using planning tools or on a wall in your office. You should track where you are, what you are doing next, and where you are going.
Look at what you need then break them into small experiments. They can be for a few hours a few weeks, and they can run side to side. Know what you want to achieve by the end of the experiment, and the decision you have made. This way, you will move the project faster and with more accuracy because you don’t have to rely on guesswork. This means you will be able to know what works and what doesn’t before you invest a lot in it.
- Do not put your feet up just yet…
The first step for many startups is fundraising. But you will most likely have spent the past couple of months working on your pitch and getting yourself ready. After succeeding and getting the funds you were looking for, it is easy to take your foot off the throttle because you think that things are going to get easier because you have cash now.
Once you have gotten funding, you need to put even more effort so that your investors can see they made the right choice by investing in your startup. A good way of doing this is to build a business that generates positive cash flow. This is not the best time to relax. The only time a successful founder can relax is when they have sold their business. Your efforts are going to pay in the end.