A recent survey by University of Phoenix showed that about 63 percent of those in their 20s have a keen desire to start their own business. People born in the 1990s are now proving this study right. Today, you can easily find at least one person in every urban household who owns a business. Even people working in secure, corporate companies are quitting their jobs to pursue their passion for entrepreneurship. After all, the Golden Age of startups is here and how.
Serial entrepreneur Alain Rossmann, Founder and CEO of Klip, says, “You can achieve 10 times more now with 10 times fewer people and 10 times less capital. It’s unbelievable. This is the golden age of startups, and I hope everyone takes advantage of it.”
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But what does it take to start a business? What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur, especially if it is your first time? Here are five traits of first-time founders that you can pick up to overcome your fears and realise your dreams:
Your vision is your weapon and the only thing that will keep your ship afloat even during times of adversity. Having a clear vision and jotting down your goals is the first step to become a good founder. Unless you know your product well, you will not be able to find the right investors or even a strong team to carry out your business operations. You need to have clarity about your business model, growth prospects and the potential market even before you get your business rolling.
This is a no brainer. A good founder must possess excellent communication skills. By communication skills, we don’t being fluent in a particular language, but the ease with which you can put across your idea to stakeholders, customers and your staff. At any point, you should be able to talk about your business model in a crisp and clear manner.
All first-time (and even serial) entrepreneurs sometimes have people telling them, “I don’t think your idea would work”, or “Nah, there are so many people already working on this, you don’t have any chance of succeeding in such a competitive market.” Have you heard such statements too?
The real deal is to take such feedback positively and work on developing a better business model. Maybe your idea needs a little bit of a twist or you need more funds to market your business well. Always keep looking for constant feedback at every phase of the journey and take measures that ensure your efforts trump all obstacles.
In the beginning, every founder performs all tasks on their own. Paul Graham, co-founder of YCombinator and Viaweb, has famously said that startup founders must “do things that don’t scale”. This means that businesses take off only when founders work enough for it to happen. You might want to scale up operations in the future and hire teams or even interns to get things done. But initially, it will just be you, and it’s always better to work on your own at first. Create standard formats for each and every operation, so that your future employees can follow the path set down by you.
So you have a great idea up your sleeve, you got funded by a strong investor and you are now hiring a team with the best talents. These may be the building blocks of your business, but without energy and enthusiasm, you will not be able to move any further. Staying motivated and full of energy will not only make your employees look up to you but also make your investors more confident about your goals.
Successful startup founders are adept at developing and promoting technologies that have the potential to change the world. Mastering these traits will definitely help you become better at your job and ensure the sustainability of your startup.