Running a startup isn’t an intuitive thing to do. The more experience you have under your belt, the more prepared you will be to tackle these issues
Question: What was your biggest challenge in the initial stage of starting your company and why?
“Focus is a constant challenge. Entrepreneurs see opportunity left and right. Knowing what to go after and when is vital. Without focus, you spread yourself too thin which ultimately weakens your chances of success.”
– Ben Maitland-Lewis (@maitlandlewis), Pretty Instant
“Our first year we had one enterprise client and a few different startups as clients. The startups were all run by first-time entrepreneurs and bit unorganised. It was often hard to convince them that continuously improving the product and getting feedback was more effective than fire drills and pivots without feedback. I should have pushed harder for consistency.”
– John Arroyo (@arroyolabs), Arroyo Labs, Inc.
Being the visionary
“Once you build your product, the hard work really begins. Having conviction in your idea is one thing, but following through with actions is the scary part. You spend a lot of time building something in secret and have to undergo a shift in attitude in order to put it all out there and prove it works.”
– Jessica Baker (@ALIGNEDSIGNS), Aligned Signs
Making a name for your business
“For me, it was gaining the trust of my clients. Why should they work with me versus someone who’s already an established name in the legal sector? To an extent, I think that most startups experience this. You’re a wild-card; an unknown. You might be great to work with, but since you aren’t an established brand, you could also be a catastrophe waiting to happen.”
– Steven Buchwald (@steven_buchwald), The E2 Visa Lawyer
Taking/explaining the risk
“Coming from a conservative family, my parents especially believed it was important to choose a conservative profession. They wanted me to work an office job and build a steady income. When I had told them I wanted to start a new company, I was met with resistance, but in the end they understood my decision and accepted it.”
– Ajmal Saleem (@suprexlearning), Suprex Learning
Getting our first client
“It took ages to get my first medical transcription client, and once we did it was off to the races. It was difficult to tell prospects to just trust me when all they wanted to do was speak to references, which we didn’t have yet. Once the first office gave us a chance that’s all we needed, because we were able to capitalize on that and grow very quickly.”
– Ben Walker (@datatranscriber), Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.