Warnings and Tips from Successful Startup Teams
We engage with new and experienced business owners on a regular basis, and we often contract with brand new startup teams and maintain those relationships years after the new business launches, struggles, finds its feet and ultimately becomes established and successful. When we ask successful teams, years later, what warnings they would offer to new startups rising behind them, we tend to hear the same responses over and over. Here are a few of the areas these thriving teams suggest newer businesses focus on.
Ethics and integrity
These things may not seem like a top priority to new CEOs and founder teams, especially as they scramble to please investors and impress new clients. But as the old saying goes, “If you always tell the truth, you don’t have remember everything.” A regular pattern of honesty simplifies your life and streamlines the path to business success, even if corner cutting seems like an easier option in the moment. Build a culture of integrity from day one and you’ll thank yourself later.
Cash flow and resource management
Profits are important, but for newer companies who have yet to establish firm footing and a host of enterprise clients, a steady cash flow can make or break the business. Work to shore up cash reserves so you can meet obligations and deal with downturns and emergencies.
No matter how well positioned or unique your business offerings may be, you’re not alone in the race…ever. In the internet era, it’s easier to start a new business then ever before (in terms of registering your company, making your services available, and finding backers through crowdsourcing.) But that means it’s easier for everyone, not just you. Competition abounds, and it should be taken seriously. Never stop looking for ways to differentiate yourself.
When it comes to shareholder reports, tax management, and data security, there’s no way to overemphasize the importance of regulatory compliance. Stay in control of the rules and regulations that apply to your enterprise, and stay ahead of gaps and weaknesses by conducting regular internal audits and examinations. HIPAA, the GDPR and SOC 2 requirements may (and probably do) apply to your internal data controls, even if you aren’t directly involved in the healthcare industry. If you haven’t yet reviewed the standards and requirements for each of these three, or locked down your customer data in a secure platform, now is the time to start.