It can take years, if not decades, of business successes (and failures) to learn the secrets behind creating a successful startup.
The CEO of Foreworth, Mario García, has founded, invested in, and managed his fair share of businesses throughout the years. We caught up with him and picked his brain for advice for newcomers to the startup world. He shared with us some honest and revealing insights based on his own experience.
Below are our 5 key takeaways for creating a successful startup.
- Be sure you’re solving a real problem.
There are thousands of ways to get a project off the ground, but you’re guaranteed to experience failure if it turns out there’s no real problem to solve. You must always ask yourself before embarking on a project, “would customers be willing to pay for this product or service?” You should try to confirm the want and need for your product or service with potential clients and real players in the industry you’re targeting. If it turns out there is no need, then it’s time to regroup and adjust accordingly.
- Get prior experience in different business areas.
Having worked in a wide variety of management positions in essential business areas like customer relations and sales will help you make informed decisions by allowing you to draw on past experiences. There are already enough obstacles to overcome when launching a startup that you don’t want to be weighed down by learning the fundamentals of company management as you go. Take advantage of your time working in other startups and established companies. Learn from their mistakes and apply them to your future endeavors.
- Self-finance as much as possible.
Avoid financing rounds in the early stages of your project and search for clients as soon as possible. One typically spends an enormous amount of energy fighting for outside funding only to get weighed down by the bureaucratic management of shareholders and the early intervention of the so-called “experts.” Save as much as you can beforehand and make an honest go at getting your product off the ground with as little outside help as possible.
- Project conservative timelines and results.
It’s wise to always expect the unexpected. Projects are rarely as straightforward as they may seem, and this makes aggressive, unrealistic timelines a recipe for disaster. As the saying goes, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
- Be prepared to make sacrifices and difficult choices.
If you’re serious about creating a successful startup, sacrifices must be made. Your social and family life will likely suffer and your energy and finances will be completely tied up in the project. It's best to take on this sort of commitment only when your personal situation best accommodates the demands of this taxing endeavor.
Creating a startup, especially one in SaaS, is a learning experience that, while immensely enriching on a personal and professional level, should not be taken lightly. Before you commit to anything, be sure to carefully consider the 5 tips provided by Mario. You may even find it helpful to hire a Startup Consultant to help guide you through the decision-making process. And once you’ve finally decided to move forward, remember our most important piece of advice: enjoy the process!