5 Facts for Founders

Welcome to “Upstarts”! A website community for founders and wannabes.

About one third of businesses fail within two years. Here are five questions you should know the answers to before starting a business. Thinking about these questions will increase your chances of success.

  1. Do you have supportive friends and family? In my opinion, this should be the number one consideration for anyone starting a business. Being a founder is hard and time-consuming. If you don’t have the backing of those people you are closest to, it will be a long, lonely road.
  2. Do you have a really good business idea, that solves a clearly defined problem? Did you take the time to validate your solution with your prospective customers before you make large investments? Talking to people will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your concept. You can also learn the key words that will help you audience connect with your idea.
  3. How do you answer the question why you are the right person (or team) to build this business? For example, is your business in a field you are already connected to? Your business will have more credibility if you have knowledge and expertise recognized by the industry you have targeted. And of course it is easier to get a meeting if you have relationships. A larger network also means a significantly larger extended network. Associates can make introductions, helping you get in front of the right people more quickly and giving you a better chance of being taken seriously.
  4. Are you expectations reasonable and realistic? In my business, we had to adjust our expectations related to time and so have most of the founders I’ve encountered. Time expectations include questions such as: how quickly can I develop my product or service, attract customers to generate revenue, or engage investors? Expectations also relate to how you define success for yourself. Are you looking to build a long-term career or hoping to build and sell? Not everyone wants or expects to become Mark Zuckerberg, but many founders start with unrealistic goals.
  5. Are you really committed? To be successful you have to demonstrate determination, tenacity and flexibility.  You can be committed to the idea or vision, but you need to be prepared to pivot and adapt as you learn. Read the article.

Is it easy? Absolutely not! But if you believe and work very hard, it might just be possible.

Until then, remember: you’re not alone!

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