Still feeling nervous about starting your own business? Here are general things you should (or already do) know about the startup scene:
1. The development cycle of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP – in simpler words, something close to a prototype) may take up to three years. You should add a few more years for the transition to a cyclical business model – and that should tell you why some companies are called startups even 10 years after launch.
2. There is a wide range of accelerators and out there, and they offer brilliant solutions to your startup needs. If your startup is based in Romania, you can find a relevant list (including other information on startup phases etc) on romanianstartups.com. An alternative is the governmental program startup-nation.ro, which offers financing of up to RON 200,000.
3. While you’re still small, access to capital may prove difficult. Be ready to reach out to smaller investors first, and work your way up the ladder as you grow.
4. You’ve failed in a startup before? You’re not alone. According to Forbes, 90% of startups end in failure. But think about it this way: Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at building a lightbulb. When asked about his failures, he said: “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” Words to live by.
5. Why should you invest in marketing, when you have as little resources as you do? Here’s the thing: while you may think you can get the same results by doing it yourself, I can promise you, you won’t. You will waste a lot of money learning something someone can do faster, cheaper, and likely better than you.
6. “I have 10 years of experience in corporations. I can always start work as an entrepreneur.” Yes, but do not forget what human resources specialists say: the qualities of the business innovators are mostly different from the ones of a successful manager in a big company. The latter has to be conservative and precise considering the hierarchy of the company itself, whereas the former needs vision, leadership, and the ability to take risks. Thoroughly knowing a market is, in principle, the main asset of a founder. However, to this, you should add the qualities of an entrepreneur.
7. Do you think that a startup is a solitary battle that you will have to fight for a long time? This is not at all the case. Go out there. Network. Find partners. Find mentors. Bring in a co-founder that lives and breathes your idea. And, if you do bring in an investor, make sure they also pledge some of their time and experience, on top of their money. At the end of the day, they will profit from your success too!