After introducing you to three Berlin Startups, explaining what skills entrepreneurs have and how they change the more experienced they get, I now want to take a look at how you first get your new business started.
According to the blog by BoeFly – an online platform for commercial loans e.g. small business loans – small businesses and franchise startups can be confronted with a large variety of tests within their first year of operation. Referring to the Small Business Administration, 10 percent of new businesses will go out of business within the first year and only half of them will last five years.
So, if it is that difficult to survive on the competitive market, what exactly do you, as a manager, need to consider if you want to be successful?
Chris Guillebeau, a writer and entrepreneur, reveals his advice in this interview. He starts with the most basic requirement of starting a new business: you need an idea! Chris Guillebeau suggests that you “Turn your general idea into a specific idea”, which means that you need to discover what people want and what product people would buy and for what price.
Besides, what goes along with the creation of ideas? Curiosity! Josh Linker, American author, entrepreneur and VC, argues in his blog that entrepreneurs need to “constantly challenge conventional wisdom, asking “why?”, “what if?”, and “why not?” They [need to] have a deep craving to understand the world, gain new insight, and discover a better way.”
Here a very illustrative video on where good ideas come from:
Martin Zwillinger, founder and CEO of the business Startup Professionals, goes even further and argues in his blog that “an idea alone is really worth nothing. It’s all about the execution. Execution is making things happen, and for startups it usually means making change happen, which is even more difficult.”
Change can be frightening and therefore Josh Linker emphasizes to conquer your fear. Entrepreneurs need to “figure out how to forge ahead in spite of their demons. They [need to] have the will to act instead of cower.” And they need to act fast! He explains that startups need to “use speed to their advantage and are overflowing with urgency.”
Not only do you need to react fast to changes, according to Martin Zwilliger you also need to “focus on one or two top priority goals”. We all know the problem that the more we want to get done, the more the quality of our results decreases. So to avoid that, “narrow you and your team’s focus to one or two wildly important goals, and don’t let these get lost in the whirlwind of daily urgent tasks and communications.”
Kevin Ready, an American serial entrepreneur, on the other hand discovered in his blog that “the clearest pattern behind success ends up being the makeup of skills and personalities of the people by your side – The most important thing in a startup is to have the right team.” Good teams have experience and knowledge which will lead to ideas of higher quality. Moreover, with the determination and special skill sets the team brings with it, you can much better deal with challenges. Also, “your access to resources and connections is better because a good team has a wide and diverse network of contacts in your industry.” Kevin Ready believes that “teams make all the difference.”
For further thoughts on successful teams, check out tkronsbein’s post!
Last but not least, Chris Guillebeau gives the advice to “tell everyone you know about what you’re doing.” Get your family and friends involved and let them help you to spread the word!
If you already have an idea for your own business, there are also companies that will help you to set up your startup. The Gründerzentrum of the HWR would be one source to turn to for support!
All in all, building a successful business is about having an idea and being open to your customers’ demands and feedbacks and therefore being open for change. Be fast when it comes to reorienting your idea and find yourself a competent team that is determined and focused on the goals you set. And don’t forget to tell people about your new business!
Finally, when it comes to starting your own business consider Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words:
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.