90% of startups fail. It usually happens during the first year. There’s a whole science of staying alive on the current market. We’re trying to break it down in small steps, so we asked Slavisa, founder of getlaunched.io and other 7 start-ups to share us some tips straight from his experience:
1. Keep costs down
Be creative and always try to minimize expenses. Borrow, negotiate, buy second-hand products or trade with other businesses. If there’s something you can do it yourself, do it. Don’t hire someone else for it unless it’s necessary. For instance if you’re not a programmer, it would take years to learn programming. In this case, you need to an IT professional. If you need a ppt presentation, you can very well create it yourself and save some money. Freelancing platforms (Freelancer, Upwork, Guru or Elance) are also an efficient way to hire professionals on an hourly basis or project-based and get things done without having to hire more people on a permanent basis.
Choose mentors instead of one-off consultants. A relationship with a mentor adds more synergies than short–term collaborations with business advisers. Find a mentor who is willing to help you out along the way. Their input is important because they’ll keep an eye on your business on the long-run.
3. Ask for feedback
During the first year, you are so busy with getting things on the right track that sometimes you forget to pay attention. Don’t lose any occasion to ask for feedback (particularly from your customers). Try get it anytime, anywhere. Pick-up the signals they send you, keep your eyes wide open. If something’s not working, it’s better to notice now than build on it and have regrets later on.
4. Work from a co-working space
It’s money-saving and it’s a perfect chance to meet a variety of entrepreneurs from different fields: freelance writers, designers, programmers. You can have a coffee with them, trade your skills or find new business partners. Plus, statistics show that co-working space experiences boost start-up motivation with 85%.
You’ll be cured from the “lonely entrepreneur” syndrome. You’ll make new connections and win friends who might share valuable insight you’ll not get in any other circumstances (such as networking events, where things happen so fast you don’t have time to blink). Here are some websites to help you find the right co-working space:
- coworking spaces from Germany;
- Impact Hubs located all over the world. Here are a few European examples: Impact Hub Zürich, Impact Hub Geneva, Impact Hub Vienna, Impact Hub Prague, Impact Hub Milan, Impact Hub Madrid, Impact Hub Berlin, Impact Hub Stockholm, Impact Hub Amsterdam)
- co-working spaces from Switzerland.
5. Celebrate small victories
Have you launched a new feature? Get some pizza! Did you pitch your idea to an investor who is interested in your business? Go to karaoke! As hard as it might be, focus on keeping the motivation levels high. In the first year, you’ll barely find a moment to say: “it’s all done. We can take a break now”, so finding reasons to celebrate will help you team catch their breath and think of the day when their hard work will be paid off.
What about you? We’d love to hear your opinions! What tips would you like to share with fresh start-ups?