For those who are just making its own business and just don't want to fail it's very important to learn. And learn about different business pitfalls and ways how such pitfalls can be avoided in startup without a lot of money. We helped multiple startups with their software development efforts and we are sure that the most of them would like to know such peaces of wisdom.
That is why we keep going publishing our series of articles From Startuppers To Startuppers where we publish set of advice and different findings that experienced entrepreneurs would like to share with those who are just at the beginning of their startup way. Please, check the first post of the series to get familiar with some advice that we've already published.
Today we want to publish the reworked set of valuable insights from Josh Pigford who was the Co-Founder and CEO of Temper and PopSurvey and now is the Founder of Baremetrics, Inc. - the company that owns amazing one-click SaaS analytics tool for Stripe account to provide actionable insights for business about subscription and subscribers.
Let's keep reading :)
Hire some financial advisor or outsource finance management immediately. And that definitely one of the best pieces of advice ever! Founders are eternal optimists and believe that every new feature or deal will turn things around and everything will be perfect. Except...it won't. As a founder, you just need to be a realistic to keep tabs on your books and some financial advisor or accountant will help you from going out of business.
If you’ve raised some amount of money, you’ll may have a picture of your success and may have a deep burning desire to go hire new people - to command and conquer. But resist it! You should hyper-focus on those tasks that really contribute to your business growth, and if you can cut off all others "nice to have" things, you can do an unbelievable amount with a small team.
If you have some doubts about hiring some person or not in terms of her or his suitableness with the existing team - don't hire. If you fire someone - its totally failure on your part, not the person you hired.
As a founder you shouldn’t be doing 1,000 different things simultaneously - you just can't do them all right. Business isn’t that complicated. Very few things are urgent and even very few things actually even need to get done. As a founder, pick just 1 or 2 “must do” things each day and focus on them.
As an entrepreneur, you may like to learn new things and sometimes you just should learn some things on some level. The problem is that I can't make anything a “strength” as well as you can't do everything on your own. Focus on what you are a superstar and what is essential for your business at the moment and delegate everything else. But don't hire a lot - remember advice №2.
Don’t assume investors have answers for everything. They’ve got a specific skill set and has a wide business network that helps growing companies, but they are generally less useful when it comes to actual product decisions. It's up to you to make your product!
You’ll burn through all of your funding in a year. As a startup, you need to grow fast, and investors will demand it from you. That is why no matter how much you've raised, you’ll burn through all the funding in 12–18 months.
On the first stages when you’ve just launched your product, You simply will not have enough data, traffic, user or customers for statistical significance. The phrase “A/B testing” should not be in your vocabulary. Forget about analytics - talk with your users!
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of checking up on what your competitors are doing. But doing this puts you one step behind. It makes you reactive instead of proactive.
One more thing about checking your competitors - are you sure that they do everything right? There are a lot of examples when even huge enterprise companies failed due to the wrong product decisions.
That is the standard situation - you are searching for some specific tool for your internal usage, you can't find what works for you and you decide to build your own. Wrong! Building internal tools won't save an insignificant amount of cash and will stifle future growth - focus on what is truly important (advice №4). There is a bunch of different ready-to-use tools and may satisfy all needs of a small startup.
Its all said.
User actions are much more relevant than user feedback - especially if it is buying actions. Feedback from users is great for understanding their line of thinking, but not great for understanding what they actually do or what they actually want. That is a usual picture - they say one thing and do another one.
A behavior of $9/mo customer is entirely different than a $99/mo customer. Customers with small check usually are not only the most price-conscious, they’re almost universally the neediest and captious. Support of such customers can ruin your business.
Universal advice for nearly any type of business. If you are feeling that your pricing is too high, then raise the value of your product to make it worth it. There’s essentially no ceiling on raising prices, but you can't compete on pricing without lowering margin and that may kill you if you won't stop.
Almost any business problem you’re having is solved by selling more of your product. Not by making product improvements or getting company t-shirts and stickers, but by going out and making sales happen. So pay your attention to the sales and again - focus on what is truly important.
To be continued...
That is not the complete list of Josh Pigford peaces of advice, so keep in touch to read them all.