Success factors to see your startup grow
Entrepreneurship is a long and bumpy road. There are many obstacles that come up quickly, and overcoming them can be difficult. Entrepreneurs face many challenges. Ultra-competitive competition, administrative complexities, cash flow problems, work overload, doubts…
We have identified, in our view, the important factors for entrepreneurs to ‘succeed’ in their projects. Idea, execution, funding are all important, but good timing – and market appetite – even more so!
Finding the perfect timing and market appetite
Is the market really READY for what you have to offer? Is it the right time? Or is it too late and there is already too much competition? The globalisation of our lifestyles means that our needs and problems overlap with those of others. The competition is tough, which is why you have to create a product that is inherently viral, build the best product possible, because usually when a new activity appears several groups (startups) offer it.
Who then stands out from the crowd? The one who wins is not the one who has the idea, it’s the one who spreads it.
The startup that succeeds in growing the fastest will be the one that offers the best product, the best service experience, at the right time! Consumers will spread the word in the community about which product is the best (with equal financial resources, of course).Then comes the execution! Let’s talk about the founding team. Starting up alone is difficult, it is better to have two or three people to start. In the life of the company, nothing will go like the wonderful pitch this team will make to present their startup. There will be product pivots, changes in the market, an unexpected competitor or whatever … The only constant in this adventure will be the founding team! And for this to be successful, in addition to diversity of thought, diversity of people, there needs to be diversity of style, people who look at the world in different ways and have different perspectives and skills from the start. The complementarity, the resilience, the flexibility and the pleasure they have in working together, it is this harmony that counts above all!
The success of an entrepreneur may depend as much on his original idea as on his ability to surround himself with the right people. It is essential to build an ambitious and complementary team focused on a common goal. But very quickly, to ensure the development and sustainability of the project, entrepreneurs must face a new challenge: raising funds. The search for funding is often a decisive stage for project leaders and here again a good project team will help them to stand out.
Anticipation of financing needs and how to ensure its financing?
At the beginning of an entrepreneurial activity, founders start with their own funds and then turn to family and friends (= love money), but this is quickly exhausted. Entrepreneurs then start looking for capital to increase the chances of rapid growth. Anticipating financing needs is an important challenge.
Among the various ways of obtaining funding for the startup: bank loans, grants, love money, crowdfunding. When larger financing needs arise, one should turn to business angels (BA), venture capital and other seed investment funds. There are platforms (eldorado, earlymetrics, dealroom, etc.) to find them/us.
If there is a real market, if there is a bit of traction (generating a bit of turnover, having a few customers, a few users, etc.), raising funds quickly becomes faster.
To sum up: the original idea/innovation is there, the team is united, the financing is secured and the business model is in place, but is the immediate success of the startup guaranteed? When you become an entrepreneur, you have to face a major disadvantage: doubts and loneliness in the face of adversity.
The office is a real place of socialisation. For an employee, going to work every morning is often accompanied by other rituals: meeting colleagues over coffee, discussing the past weekend, debating current events, etc. Whether you are on your own or in a small team, you are on your own to make strategic decisions and you have no one with whom to discuss the problems you face. Depending on the environment and the difficulties encountered, these doubts and loneliness can quickly become overwhelming. And this is a major cause of failure!
How to solve this, by going to meet your peers! Because they are in the same universe and generally face the same problems, they will be able to advise you and guide you through the different situations you face. Coworking spaces are a good place to develop your community. On condition that you play the game (what’s the point of going to a coworking space if you’re going to stay in your corner). You have to seize the opportunity to meet and exchange with your coworkers.