Building a successful startup is not an easy task, and it might be tempting to try and be all things to all people in your industry. That business model, however, is not sustainable and our guest today explains why keeping it simple is the way forward for your business. Joining us today, is George Deeb, managing partner of Red Rocket Ventures and author of 101 Startup Lessons: An Entrepreneur’s Handbook. George is also a regular contributor for Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine and he’s here to tell us what to do in order to get your startup off the ground.
In a recent article for Entrepreneur Magazine, “Want Startup Success? Keep It Simple, Stupid!”, George explains that the mantra ‘keeping it simple, stupid’ is a great tool for entrepreneurs to keep themselves organized. In the early stages of their business, entrepreneurs very often try to bite off more than they can chew, but if they focus on what they do really well, and own that small space, for the time being, good things will happen. George says, “You have limited capital as an early-stage startup, and you want to spend it as effectively as you can.”
When trying to pin down the needs of your customers, George recommends going in with the mindset that you need to first and foremost, listen. It’s important to ask the probing questions that can pull the critical information out of them in order to identify their pain points. You need to ensure that your product or service is a must-have for your customer; that it really solves your pain points.
The entrepreneur needs to realize that they shouldn’t lead a conversation with a pitch about themselves or their product, but rather, what they want to learn about the customer. By taking that approach, you are differentiating your business from the many others who try and use chest-punding tactics. The prospect will recognize when a business makes the interaction all about what they need.
You also need to make sure that you have a strong team on board for your startup. More often than not, investors back teams, not ideas. If your strengths don’t lie in a certain part of the business, then find a committed and motivated person to take on that role. Whatever those complimentary skillsets may be, make sure you position yourself well for the investment circuit.
Once the opportunity for investors comes around, be sure to absorb all of their knowledge and expertise. That can ultimately be worth as much, if not more than the capital they give.