Businesses aren’t made from dreams alone- blood, trust, and smart planning will make those dreams a reality.
So you’re a young entrepreneur who wants to make it big in the industry and you did all the right steps- have a solid, unique idea that will serve as the core of the operation, gather enough resources, and launch the startup that will turn the idea into an actual business. There are many problems, however- the market is intensely competitive, the creative spark that started the whole journey is gone, and personnel issues or setbacks from the key decision makers are stifling the entire venture. What happens next?
We don’t want that dream to disappear, so here are a few attitudes that any entrepreneur to keep the fire going:
1. Maintain a healthy relationship with staff.
It goes without saying- happy staff, better performance. A company’s staff isn’t a toolbox- each member is a partner that will help in the fulfillment of the vision. It doesn’t matter whether it is an intern or a major stakeholder- everyone is a part of this journey and denying your partners of the benefits and incentives they need to stay for the long haul will create personnel issues that can spell the end of any startup. Treating each employee with basic human decency can forge bonds that will weather any storm that a business will face, and this decency can range from offering reasonable startup contracts to not giving out mandatory overtime unless it is absolutely necessary.
2. Cultivate growth energy in the team.
This attitude gets its own entry because a satisfied team can channel that goodwill into a positive mindset that is growth-oriented. There are two ways to go about it: sustaining high morale and promoting efficiency. Keeping up the morale in a team is much harder than it looks, but inspired workers turn out better results. Celebrating achievements, no matter if it’s large or small scale, will give employees a sense that their work is getting them closer to the goal. On the other hand, giving criticism in a respectful and constructive manner will ensure that the task is accomplished without fostering resentment or bitterness.
Efficiency is another matter altogether, but it also contributes to growth by making sure that all resources, effort, and time, are effectively directed to have maximum impact. Whether it’s by organizing contracts in a proper filing system or delegating tasks to the most qualified members of the team, it’s prudent to promote efficiency in all levels. We are all subject to the law of conservation of energy, and we’d each like to use our energy to do the most that we can. Why waste that time and resources on things that can be solved by working smarter and more organized, right?
3. Maintain laser focus on a clear and reasonable goal.
With all the talk of growth, it becomes a danger if a startup loses sight of the purpose it began with. Any venture can get over its own head with grandiose promises of expansion and growth but fail to address the niche that it was created to fill. Growth isn’t bad, of course, but goals need to be reasonable and achievable before growth can take place.
This not only applies to a company’s vision but even to the major initiatives and smallest tasks. Every target must align to that greater vision, and be clear, achievable, and doable for the people that need to fulfill them. In that way, efficiency is maintained (by making sure resources, energy, and time are used for appropriate reasons and in the proper amounts) and solid steps towards the company’s goal can be made. Once the goal is achieved, the growth can take place through effective setting of incremental but reasonable objectives.
4. Flexibility is king.
Of course, we can talk about achieving goals all we want, but what happens if other factors change the playing field? Perhaps a competitor creates or markets a product better. Maybe costs for a manufacturing a product increase. It really does look like the worst of times if these obstacles come in the way of the goal but thinking of effective short- and long-term solutions to these setbacks will ensure the survivability of the whole operation.
Sticking to the rulebook for every problem that a startup faces is a poisonous attitude that will leave a company unable to adjust to the conditions of the market that it is in. Instead, openness and receptiveness to change and innovation will steer the ship when going through troubled waters. Be ready to revise the way small tasks are done, and even rethink the company’s main business strategy or ethos if need be. The market is unpredictable, but it can be a stable ground for startups if the most effective decisions are made to navigate it.
There’s no getting around it- entrepreneurs must walk the talk when it comes to their products and services. However, a practical but flexible mindset that supports a healthy relationship with staff, orients them towards growth while maintaining focus towards the goal, and is willing to adapt to any obstacle will go a long way to protecting and sustaining any startup.