A Startup Founders Keys to Success
I’ve always been interested in early stage businesses. I’ve met Startup Founders from all walks of life. Winning ideas, losing ones, whatever the case may be, there seems to be a few takeaways that can set apart founders who who are really successful and step outside the box.
For background, I’ve been Angel Investing as a Limited Partner 500 Startups, Arc Angel Fund in New York, as well as independent businesses in a variety of check sizes ranging from a little as $15,000 to as much as $250,000 depending on the opportunity. My stance on investing is all about the possible percentage return based on overall risk. I tend to stick to Investments in industries I know very well and have found it to be helpful.
My objective is to align with outstanding Startup Founders. We contribute through coaching, mentorship, introductions, and of course, a state of the art engineering team for early stage businesses. Having India as a “growth capital” asset makes it really easy and agile for startups to quickly get into Pre/Post MVP and really drive down costs, especially on revenue generating businesses.
Here are some key takeaways I would suggest to any Startup Founders and their startup:
1) You have to sell the vision that will excite people. Otherwise, people are not going to work, and startups are hard and challenging. If the vision is not exciting or you can’t tell the vision right, it won’t work. At Optamark, by the end of this year, we will be liscenced to begin selling franchises nationwide. My entire job will be to empower other prospective sales/business owners who currently have a job and convince them to take the gamble on “being your own boss”. If the “dream” cannot be conveyed, the business will ultimately fail. This is absolutely critical in the leader to communicate to his/her team.
2) Create alignment. The job of the Startup Founders is to create alignment between sales, marketing, product, customer support, investors, and the board of directors. You want to make sure that everyone is marching towards the same direction and the same goals. As a Startup Founders, you never have enough resources, the pressures are high, so alignment is the job of the leader. Implementing this is something that should constantly iterate till you can get the process down to a science.
3) The job of the Startup Founders is to set the tone for execution in a startup. Make the company and your business execution-oriented.
4) As a Startup Founders, your job is to fill the gaps. There will be gaps that you will have to own as the CEO. You don’t want to fill the gap for too long, but when there is a gap, your job is to fill the gap. Getting caught up in the day to day of things when your constantly getting interrupted with one thing or another, you need to have a clear and organized process of filling them. I use Google tasks and just keep checking my progress constantly on keeping the ball moving and making sure I have a process in place to bridge these neverending “gaps”.