4 Tips to Beat the Odds and Succeed with Your Startup

June 10, 2022
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

If only there was a formula for startup success, but even if there was, it would probably be so deeply guarded that only a select few could access it. Fortunately, while nothing guarantees that your startup will be the one among many others that will have staying power, there are certainly things you can do to make that success more likely.

Get Your Degree

Yes, you can create a startup without a college degree. But a degree also gives you a leg up on some of the competition in many ways. College is a great place to make connections–in fact, you might end up sitting next to your future startup partner in your Introduction to Entrepreneurship class. It also gives you the theoretical underpinnings of business principles and concepts and helps prevent you from reinventing the wheel in various ways. While college can be expensive, you shouldn’t let that deter you. Utilizing student loans can be a great way to pay for all or part of your costs, and you may be eligible for both federal and private loans. There might also be grants and scholarships you can apply for.

Refine Your Idea

It would be nice to think that all you need is a good idea to succeed, but you need only look at the various early social media sites that rose up and fell into oblivion to see that isn’t the case. What you need is an idea that is tested and refined. You may have an opportunity to do this in some of your classes, but even if you don’t–or you don’t want to be quite so open about revealing intellectual property–there are plenty of ways to develop your idea. Your research of competitors and the market should be thorough. If you can connect with startup communities, such as accelerators or incubators, these can be great places to get feedback and work on your idea until it’s ready for prime time.

Expect Setbacks

It isn’t negative thinking to expect setbacks. It is if you think you’ll probably run into some challenges, and you’ll probably give up, but even if you try something and fail, that’s not really anything to worry about except to the extent that you pay attention to what went wrong and try to learn from it. The world of entrepreneurial success is littered with stumbles and failures along the way, and when you understand that it’s normal to face difficulties, they will be far less daunting when they arise.

Get the Right People

Start by identifying the essential team roles and which ones need to be in-house vs outsourced. Surrounding yourself with the right people is critical. As an employer, this means choosing employees who are passionate self-starters and who can work well without close supervision. As a new entrepreneur, this means identifying mentors who can help you work toward your vision. If you end up partnering with one or more individuals to run the company, this means choosing people that you work well with but who have complementary strengths. In other words, if you are good with data, you need someone who is good with the people side of things and so on.

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