Disclaimer: This Article is updated by Yusra Qasim.
You can find many start-up guides out there on how to create a business. However, this article will focus on four tips that will help grow your company through its infant stages.
1. Fund Yourself
Although you can get funding from many different sources, such as family and friends, venture capital, crowdfunding and angel investors, you should always try to self-fund. This may sound impossible and even ridiculous. Sometimes we box ourselves into thinking that we absolutely need a certain server, marketing department or even a sales team, but in reality, you can launch without it. Some ideas are very capital intensive to get started and this is particularly true with time-sensitive projects. Although some of those can be started with less capital than you think — talking about the ones that can be, in one way or another, stretched with very limited capital. Thus, dig deep and see if your idea could launch without giving away equity.
2. Share and Collaborate Ideas
You hear from different places not to share your idea until it’s ready. You should share your idea the second you have decided to do it. People will fuel you in different ways. You will have eureka moments in practically every other conversation. Furthermore, the person you are sharing your idea with might shine some light on an area you have not have thought of. Free advice is always welcome. Next thing you know, set up meetings, guidance on how to enter these markets and even advice on the company name.
3. Spend Smart
Stay nimble and cut your urges. The time will come when you can in-house a service or department. At that point, it is a decision of strategy. Do not get ahead of yourself. You will have ideas that you find amazing and you must implement. You will find a machine you cannot work without. You may find someone you think might be the perfect person to help you take off. Always question your urges and realize that this comes with major risks as well. In-housing a department will create a fixed cost you may not have the budget for in the long-term; that idea might have already been implemented by someone else and it didn’t do well; that machine may need repairs; that person may very well take on another job a few months down the road. Do a proper risk assessment on your urges, try to be as unbiased as possible, and once you have done your proper analysis, then implement. Once you have implemented though, try to create some sort of feedback loop so you can act quickly if something is not working, allowing you to learn and adapt in real time.
4. Work for Success
This tip is simple — put in the hours. Business owners and entrepreneurs constantly debate whether working efficiently or working long hours is more important to get a start-up out of its infant stages. I think it’s both. Why do they have to be mutually exclusive? It’s simple. Just think, there are more than seven billion people living on this planet. Someone is bound to have a similar idea with a bit more resources than you. It becomes a marathon of who’s more efficient with their time as they are putting the long hours.
Every start up is different but many share similar traits. You just need to adapt, implement, and evolve.