Running your own startup may sound like a very appealing idea. Being able to make big and important decisions concerning your life, your work or your company is something most people aspire to, instead of just doing whatever you’re told to do day after day. Launching your business symbolically and actually means taking your life into your own hands. However, managing a startup is not at all simple, starting from day one. And it doesn’t get any easier over time as well. There are several very important things you should pay attention to if you want your business to even stand a chance of becoming successful.
First things first
At the very beginning, you need to know what you want and set your priorities. Without a clear vision and a good idea about the direction you want your business to be heading in, you won’t last long. You have to set your goals and design a plan on how to achieve them, since improvising too much can make a complete mess out of your business.
If you’re not starting a company by yourself, make sure all the other stakeholders know their role in the team, their duties and their rights. Make a shareholders’ agreement, since you don’t really want to settle issues like division and dilution of shares along the way. You should also agree upon a specific and firm organizational structure and stick to it; of course, you’ll have to improvise a bit when the company starts growing, but having absolutely no idea about how you’ll handle the future development won’t do you any good.
Some would say that in an era of cloud computing, having a physical working space shouldn’t be among your top priorities. But this is just partly true. Having your whole team under the same roof has many advantages. It improves the employees’ productivity as well as the quality of communication among them, while, at the same time, helping to build a specific connection among team members. There are numerous factors you should pay attention to when leasing a working space, like size, layout, price and lease length, just to name a few.
There’s a particular type of office that has gained popularity recently, especially in places where startup companies are thriving, such as Australia. These are the so-called “serviced offices”, usually found in buildings that are run and managed by a facility management company and then rented out to all sorts of businesses. The advantages of this type of office are lower prices, flexible leasing, support staff that maintains the building and is at your service, as well as immediate availability. For instance, if your company is operating in Australia, finding and renting a serviced office in Sydney is quite simple, quick and just a few clicks away.
Running a company doesn’t mean that your job stops as soon as you leave your office. You’re on a mission 24/7 and you shouldn’t miss any opportunities to meet and get closer to potential clients, partners and investors. Having a good product or service might mean nothing without having the right contacts. That’s why networking is a vital aspect of your business and you should never underestimate it. In order to expand your network of contacts, consider outsourcing some activities like appointment setting services so you could have more time for core segments of business. Your list of contacts is never large enough and you need to try expanding it whenever you have a chance.
Picking your team
Naturally, when choosing your partners and employees, what matters the most is how good they are at their job. However, you ought to take a few more things into consideration, above all their personalities. They should be not just hard-working and resilient, but they also need to be team players able to fit in and harmonize with the rest of the group. It’s important that they share your values and possess a temperament that’s complementary with different personalities.
Also, make sure they can handle stress and pressure. You don’t need people who are useless in critical situations. Remember, if you hire someone who’s not too seasoned in your industry, you can always train them and teach them to become better, but it’s much harder to change someone’s character in order to make them blend in and perform well enough.
Of course, there are dozens of other aspects you’ll have to deal with, such as motivating your team, reaching out to customers, money management and much more. Running your own business offers a sense of independence but also demands a lot of dedication and entails big responsibilities. At the end of the day, it becomes a lifestyle that’s very exhausting on the one hand but, at the same time, very rewarding and inspiring.
Now is your turn!
What is your most important advice for startup management?
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