What Goes On In The Mind Of A Startup?
If only we could read minds…..what would they tell us about our friends, colleagues & peers? Maybe it’s a good thing that we can’t
There is however, one mindset out there which could provide positive learning to all of us from businessmen to babysitters; and it’s especially useful to an online business owner. And that one is the entrepreneurial mindset.
A start up should be forever morphing, adapting, changing and growing. How DO you grow a seed of an idea into an online business?
Let’s analyse what goes on in the mind of a startup company’s founder/s and look for our learnings there.
Usually a start up company is built around the vision or ideas of one or two individuals. These people put themselves on the front line and could be dealing with a number of negatives to see their ideas come to life. For this reason the founder/s must be steadfast believers and unerring in their opinions of their product or service.
Founders find themselves faced with problems from the onset including doubt, bankruptcy and loneliness working as a sole proprietor or partner in a business. However, by their very nature they are often of a personality type which is optimistic, open to new ideas, constant racing thoughts and invariably – little need for sleep! If the going gets tough they frequently take on a range of roles themselves including marketing, analytics, sales, recruitment and financial. Most will also have high sacrifices on a personal level!
In the words of Steve Jobs they “think different”. Here’s some star qualities that are often found in our entrepreneurial minds!
- Conquer Fear – We all face fear at some time but entrepreneurs find a way to overcome this and do not even consider to let it hold them back! They do not cower in the face of fear but take this as a chance to act on it, push forward, and learn from the experience.
- Curiosity – Entrepreneurs have an unending quest for knowledge – to question the why, where and how? It’s this constant craving that allows them to gain new insight and discover a better way forward – to better their competitors.
- Focus on new possibilities- Entrepreneurs focus on their goal and imagine what could be – rather than worrying about the here and now. Their minds will often travel to a future state with new possibilities rather than looking backwards.
- Speed – Start ups are fast paced. They are not held back by large company policies and processes.
Yes, you must be fast paced as a startup – but also you have to be better than the big guys! A large company can absorb errors and be ‘good enough’ but as a small startup you have to excel in all areas and one big mistake could prove fatal to your business. You need customers to partner up with you because you go the extra mile but also because they share your vision and want to be a part of your project and community. Share your enthusiasm for your online business and customers will want to buy into your ideals.
If you have an idea or notice a requirement in the market, then the first step is to innovate. Provide a solution to the problem and give customers what they need. But what comes next and how do you grow organically? You will need to scale your business to fit the need. This could mean building up your team, trying new technologies, scaling up your operations. As you grow globally you will need to keep working to adapt and change to the culture and economy that you are targeting. Build a team that you can trust. You may not even be able to understand the marketing that your team are sending out in Japan, for example, but it has to work, fit culturally and still tie in with your brand.
Is there an ideal plan to follow to create a start up business? Ideally your plan should flow like this:
- An idea or inspiration
- Build it into a concept
- Create a prototype
- Build your brand
Pitfalls can often include:
- Not knowing the product/market fit
- Most startups fail not from product development, but from lack of consumer interest
- Wasting money on premature scaling.
Helpful hints to guide you:
- Have a business plan. A plan will help you to formulize what will happen and help to give you credibility to those funding you.
- Conduct a survey. Find out the pros and cons of your business by asking your target audience.
- Don’t go with ‘Should’ – Entrepreneurs tend to dislike all pre-conceived ideas and go beyond what you or others think you ‘should’ be doing.
- Hire an Accountant / Legal professional. Analyze the risks of your business and if the financial side is your weak point hire professionals to help with this.
- Start with sufficient funding. Funding is available from many means banks, investors, crowdfunding… but it’s not always easy to source. Sufficient funding is crucial to the consistent running of your business, smoothly and for a long period of time.
Ultimately, the entrepreneurial mindset can be beneficial to us all – from businessmen to babysitters – but it’s especially useful as an online business owner. Seize the startup mindset and let your creativity and imagination propel your business forward in the online marketplace.