The Quest for the “Easy” Startup

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THE QUEST FOR THE “EASY” STARTUP If you’ve ever played video games you have heard the word quest on a regular basis. You are ofen completng quests in order to save the princess or fnd the missing dragon. If you haven’t notced these adventures are not real. The ‘easy’ startup is also a fantasy. For some reason there are many myths that are involved with running a startup. Who thinks these fantasies up and spreads them around like wildfre Nobody knows. Ofen these rumors are started by those who have never experienced running their own business. These myths are also created by those who assume they know the answers to running a startup. The truth is many people have dreams of beginning a startup but are too afraid to move on it. Moving past your fear is the frst step to beginning a startup. Before you truly begin you must learn the truth behind many of the myths that follow an ‘easy’ startup.

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If your startup fails you’ve failed. For some reason people associate failure with two ideas: that your product must not be worth purchasing or that you should quit altogether. This is absolutely incorrect. Many successful startups have failed numerous tmes. If you need proof look at one of the cofounders of Paypal – he launched 4 startups 3 failed and one did “okay”. Failure is more of a state of mind than anything else. Yes it means that something needs to be changed because you did not reach success but success is also not a journey. Many people need to fail to learn and grow because failure teaches lessons. If you’re facing a failure with your startup fnd out why – what needs to be changed What areas of your startup were successful There are many questons you can ask yourself to turn these negatve issues into positve opportunites. Expectatons: Expect to fail. Failure will allow you to alter your business in ways that will eventually beneft your company in the future and open the doors for success when you come out for round 2. If your startup is successful from the get go work hard to ensure that it contnues to thrive. A new product will obviously mean immediate customers. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a TV infomercial that advertses your product line immediate customers is defnitely a fantasy. Just because you have created something

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great does not mean customers are going to fock to your business. In fact many people may not even know – or care – about your business. Whatever services or products you are trying to sell are irrelevant even if it’s something that has never hit the market before. Unless it is an absolutely breakthrough in science it needs to be properly marketed and given a purpose. Customers need to be given a reason to care about your product and know that it serves a purpose for them that no other product can serve. Expectatons: You’re going to spend a lot of tme marketng and advertsing through social media and be reliant on word of mouth including your own to spread the news about your business. Even afer you’ve spent hours and hours marketng customers are stll going to be far and few. It may be months before you begin to see a rise in customers so don’t get discouraged. Passion will keep your business alive. Did you know that passion doesn’t actually run your business It is extremely important to be passionate about your company and brand. You must care about your products and what you’re going to be giving back to the public yes but it is not what is going to keep your business thriving. Passion is not going to sell or market your product. It isn’t going to spread the word through friends and family. Once your products have been sampled or used the excitement in customers may sell your product to others but it is not passion that will get it there. Many startup founders get distracted with their passion because they believe that their product is good enough to sell itself. While it is vital to having faith in your own products you must be able to see your products from the customer’s point of view. Expectatons: Y ou have to allow yourself to see things from an outside perspectve. Being able to accept critcism and make changes is what is going to help keep your business going. If you’re too passionate about your services or products it may be detrimental to your company. The dreams you have of succeeding and selling an unbelievable product should not trump your intelligence or atenton to details. Every product has faws – don’t let your vision blind you from seeing them. If you don’t know get a cofounder who does. It’s obvious you cannot do it all. While being the jack of all trades is ideal it’s ofen unrealistc. Getng a cofounder can help reduce some of your workload but if you’re getng one for the wrong reasons your startup may stll fail. Because you aren’t familiar with the technical details of running a startup is not reason enough to fnd a cofounder to help your business. Y ou may be asking yourself why you need to know something if you have a cofounder who knows already .

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Expectatons: Y ou should have some knowledge in every aspect of your startup. There will obviously be large holes in your knowledge because some business areas require a lot of educaton such as sofware programming or the fnancials but having some knowledge in each department is helpful. This can provide you with some insight as to what is going on in your business this way you aren’t completely oblivious if something happens. If your cofounder is busy or out of town you must be able to step up to the plate and know who to call if something breaks or what the next step to take is to fnd a soluton. A good business plan is the key to success. For some reason people in general think having a plan is the best soluton to avoiding chaos. Then when something goes awry you can panic and have absolutely no idea what to do next. Yes a business plan can help lay things out and begin a startup successfully. Depending what kind of business you’re startng a plan can help you maintain a guideline as to how things are supposed to be done or what your predicton may be for the future. Expectatons: Stay realistc and remember: a business plan is simply full of predictons. The future can never be known even if you do everything in your power to control it. Expect your business plan to be a guideline rather than something that is set in stone. Things can always go in diferent directons and creatng a new business plan every tme something changes is absurd.

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