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What Is the Best Advice For A Young, First-Time Startup CEO?

What Is the Best Advice For A Young, First-Time Startup CEO?

Your creative energy and strong desire to bring your big idea or innovative concept to the marketplace excites and motivates you. It can also make it difficult to overcome some of the challenges you will face as a young, first-time startup CEO.

Focus is great, but it needs to be applied strategically. Use your passion and focus on building a support network and habits that will lend sustainability and profitability to your endeavour.

We can all use advice when we begin a new type of work or assume a new role.

young-ceo

As a first-time startup CEO, you’re doing both. Success is a process. Keep these recommendations in mind as you build your company to make sure the time, money, and effort you invest in your startup gives you abundant returns:

Determination Is The Biggest Predictor Of Long-term Success

According to a report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 27 Mn Americans launched a new business in 2015. Dr. Paul D. Reynolds, Director of the Research Institute at the Global Entrepreneurship Center calculates that firm birth and death rates are approximately equal from day to day.

Essentially, entrepreneurship requires a significant amount of determination to achieve success. Your level of engagement and persistence goes a long way to determining your business’ success.

The Key To Growth Is Progress

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is, “Am I busy or am I making progress toward my goals?” As an entrepreneur, you always have a task or a meeting pending.

You need to keep tabs on whether or not the items on your agenda actually take you closer to your goal. Are the results they’ll give measurable and or/actionable?

Are You Building Sales Or A Network Of Distributors?

More important how many to do you need to meet your projected sales goals? When you make progress, taking actions with measurable results, your company grows.

Build A Business, Not A Pitch

Many first-time startups look to outside investors to support their launch and their growth. They build the perfect pitch to woo investors. Your time is better spent developing a product that people want to buy and engaging in sound business practices. Your business will pay for itself and money from investors, if offered, can be applied toward expansion.

Bring Design On Board From Day One

Most businesses require design support, especially in this media-driven age. You want customers to buy your product because it works. You also want them to make another purchase or recommend your product to others; they will if the experience is as pleasing as the results.

This requires the expertise of designers to ensure the look and feel of your product, website, social media presence, and marketing blend seamlessly to create a perfect end-user experience.

Make Decisions Quickly

Your time is at a premium. You’re running a business. Don’t stress. Decide. Give yourself specific windows of time to gather information and make decisions.

For example, set aside and hour where you and your team get together and troubleshoot upcoming events and opportunities. If your decision doesn’t work, you’ll know quickly and can correct with minimal impact. Remember, delaying is the same as making a decision. You’re letting someone else decide.

Do Not Focus Too Much On Competition

Focussing on the competition more than necessary is nothing more than a distraction. Time spent following their story becomes a barrier to continuing your own.

To offset the temptation, develop a must know profile sheet for key competitors. Basically, focus on the numbers — like how many of their customers could potentially be yours.

See if you can identify their most popular products and determine if you can improve upon what they offer without duplicating it.

Get A Mentor And Build A Support Network

As an entrepreneur, you need to master many things. However, as a human being, you cannot master everything. Ask for help when you need it.
It is important to include a mentor and a skilled support network in your startup.

Take the time to develop a relationship with a more experienced business person who can offer advice when you encounter new challenges.

Failure is not necessary to learn if you have the benefit of someone else’s experience. Get to know and make part of your team, people, who can do what you cannot. You may be able to make the sale, but need operations support to get the product to your customer.

Opportunity is Everywhere

Every absence you notice is an opportunity. Every gap in service, every flaw in product design, every material improvement you envision is an opportunity for you to build something new and better. That’s what entrepreneurs do.

Today you’re a first-time startup CEO. In time, you’ll simply be a successful entrepreneur.

[This post by Jon Westenberg first appeared on Medium and has been reproduced with permission.]

Author

A Sydney based writer focusing on creativity, technology and business.

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