By: Anna Gotsch
Running your own business is exciting but also overwhelming…and we want to help. We sat down with founders: Crystal Berger, Micaela Mangot and Maggie Davis to put together a list of 10 Things Every Founder Needs to Know. Whether you’re just getting started or struggling to grow your business, check out these tips from women who have been in your shoes!
It’s a common mistake for people to undervalue themselves and their business when they’re first starting out. Crystal Berger- founder of EBO, the nation’s first automated media booking software – says, “don’t allow people to tell you your worth, your value or how much someone else is going to appreciate your worth.” Make sure you know the value that your business brings to the market so you can confidently negotiate when the time comes.
You may want to take your time and perfect your product or service before you launch your business idea, but Micaela Mangot – VP of Global Business Development at Samarian Group – advises to just determine the Minimum Viable Product and launch quickly. You will see what needs to change and improve along the way. Mangot reminds us that, “The first idea is never the last.”
You may think that as a founder you’re expected to know everything about everything. But that’s not the case. Many skills can be easily taught or outsourced. Mangot believes not everything can be learned from research, some things just take years of experience. A good way to broaden your knowledge is to surround yourself with experts in the industry. Try your best to learn from their mistakes, rather than making them yourself.
You’ve heard it time and time again, “trust the process.” But there’s a reason you’ve heard that saying so many times. “Your process perfects your purpose,” says Berger. In other words, everything you experience on your journey, good or bad, will help you to find your purpose as a founder.
People perform best when they are excited about their work so make sure your business idea is something you are truly passionate about. Not only will your passion show in your work, it will also make pitching yourself to investors that much easier. When you truly believe in something, it’s apparent when you talk about it. Investors will see your energy and passion when you pitch yourself, making you and your business idea more attractive.
This may seem like an obvious one but it is important! Maggie Davis – founder of MD Public Relations – advises, “when you’re starting your own business, don’t forget to factor in the taxes that will be taken out of your income at the end of the year. Build that into your budget and when pricing products or services.”
But isn’t the whole point to pitch my product? Kind of, but it’s more than that. According to Johan Van Mil, Co-Founder of Peak Capital, you should focus less on pitching your product and more on pitching your team and the market potential. Good talent and a strong market potential is extremely attractive to investors.
Focus on choosing the right people to join your team. In other words, find people who believe in your business and goals just as much as you do. However, keep in mind it is also beneficial to have a team of diverse thinkers and creators. You can have the best of both worlds, just take the time to seek out the right people from the start.
Research, research, research. This is perhaps the most important part of starting a business. Research will tell you if the market really needs your product. Doing your research is especially important if you don’t have much industry experience. Meet with as many people in your industry as you can, seek out feedback, conduct interviews with your target customer. Do whatever you can to find out more about the market.
Forget the old saying, “It’s just business, it’s not personal.” Whether we like it or not business is personal. So be kind and be honest, advises Davis. People will sense when you are being genuine and it will make them more likely to work with you or support you.
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1. Are you an aspiring entrepreneur or started your business already?
2. Are you committed to a year filled with growth and accountability and have the time to contribute peer to peer mentorship to other community members while growing together year after year?
3. Are you open to travel and gathering in person for strategy sessions and events, or would prefer to be remote and fully online?
4. Do you have a detailed business plan and strategy in place to grow your company even if you did not start it yet?
5. Are you willing to learn new skills, get vulnerable, and focus on accountability even when things get hard along the way?
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