Owning a Startup? Challenges to jump for a better Startup Founder

Whenever we hear the word “entrepreneur”, we think of freedom! Breaking the traditional 40-hours-per-week work schedule and working on your terms as and when you like. Developing a great idea, launching successful products and having a blast! But, starting and running a business is nowhere near it. One has to face many challenges like raising capital, building a team, beating the competition, finding customers, building a brand image and so on! Owning a startup is nothing less than an adventure where every day is a new hustle.

So, how can one become better at the startup game and rise against all odds? In this article, I share some of the best tips on becoming a better startup founder.

1. Have a Vision

If you are taking the responsibility of running a company, you must be able to see the big picture. For example, what is the motto behind your organisation, why you are choosing this business, how your business is going to help the community, why your business is different from others, what is the voice of your business and so on? You must understand all these things and should have a clear goal in mind.

We are not considering vision as magical thinking where you can set unrealistic goals for the company and think whatever you may want to. If you want to become a better startup founder, you must have an awareness of what success means to you, what challenges your business might face and how you can overcome them.

2. Find the Right Team

You need the right team to execute your vision. You must understand that a startup cannot run on its own on your shoulders. You need to delegate tasks so that you can work upon the most important aspects of your business. Here are a few things you must consider while hiring the ideal team for your startup:

  • Whether the employees understand your vision or exhibit a passion for your business.
  • Whether the employees will be able to fit into your company culture.
  • Do they have the required skills for your startup.
  • Are they team players or whether they will be able to adjust with other people in your company.
  • Will the employees bring value to the company.

Sometimes saying no could be the hardest for you, it doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a company. But, if you want to become a better founder, you must learn this too! There will be times when you will have to make hard decisions. You must be able to put aside your emotions and think about what is best for your business.

3. Keep the Employees Motivated

We expect startup founders to be tough people who do not let their emotions block their path to success, but we do not expect them to be robots! Many people take false guidance from my tip #2 about making hard decisions for the betterment of the company. They start pretending that they do not care at all for their employees and are just concerned with their business goals. If you run a company with such a notion, it will impact your work culture and your employees.

As a startup founder, you must learn how to balance work and life, not only for you but for your employees as well. Your attitude should be such that it motivates them to work for your company and not just for paychecks. Here are a few ways you can be a humanitarian and a successful entrepreneur together:

  • Try providing flexible working to your employees.
  • Give the option to work from home if required.
  • Do not hesitate in acknowledging the hard work and dedication of your employees.
  • Provide them with opportunities to grow in their career.
  • Give regular feedback on their performance.
  • Celebrate success with your team.
  • Make sure your company promotes work-life balance.

4. Be prepared for Problems

One thing that you must keep in mind is that there will be naysayers all around you. They would stop you from taking risks and investing your time and money in a business. You must learn how to tackle them. Also, you must know that there will be obstacles like legal issues, weather problems, economic downturns and so on at some time or the other in your business. Do not be afraid of them. Instead, build resilience against them. Seek advice from a mentor or read what other entrepreneurs have to say about building resilience. Learn from their experience and use your knowledge and inspiration to beat every challenge that comes along your way.

5. Take Advice, Criticism and Suggestions

Once again, I will stress the fact that running a company is no one man’s job. You are the decision-maker but you should be open to what your team thinks and suggests. It would not only make them feel valued but will also help you in decision making. You must be open to suggestions, innovations, and approaches that can be used in accelerating your business. Here are some ways to practice this:

  • Conduct meetings with your employees and ask them to put in their suggestions and insights about the company.
  • Set up an advisory board, if required, for your company that can help you in making critical decisions.
  • Work with a coach or a mentor who can guide you and prepare you for tough situations.
  • Network with other CEOs and founders to share experiences and learn from them.

The Bottom Line

If you want to become a better startup founder, you must have a clear vision of your business. Choose your team wisely by assessing whether they will be able to take your vision further. Do not turn into a robot CEO who is just concerned with the company. Be a motivator for your team as any problem might arise without notice. Last, but not least, be open to advice, criticism and suggestions from your team.

Although it depends on you what kind of a CEO or a startup founder you want to become. But, if you want to become better in this startup game, you must follow these five tips! What else do you think matters for a startup founder? Share your thoughts.