Lessons Learned While Navigating a Startup: 11 Things Every Business Owner Should Know

For many, becoming a business owner is the ultimate dream. Startups can be risky, but if you have a solid vision and are willing to put in the time to build the right team, it can be the best thing you ever did. There are many things you will face that you will have to navigate, so learning to embrace change is a good first step.

As an entrepreneur, it’s essential to understand how your business works and how you want your business leadership to look. Are you the leader who makes decisions on your own, or do you prefer to collaborate with others? Either way, delegating and letting the cream rise to the top is vital. 

From one business owner to the next: 11 tips I learned as I started this startup

As everyone knows, continuous learning is essential for a business owner, so Ramon Ray is sharing 11 tips he learned while navigating the BWC Startup:

1 Real-time meeting versus email: 

Email is often faster and more convenient than phone calls, as you can avoid getting sidetracked in conversation. There is a time and a place for utilizing email communication. 

However, as a business owner in a startup, things will inevitably get stressful; phone calls can allow people to hear your tone and gauge your reaction to things. A side tip: if you get a lot of emails, try using a filter to automatically sort emails with words like “subscribe” or “unsubscribe” into another inbox.

2 Regular team meetings: 

Virtual team meetings aren’t just for large businesses. They can be highly beneficial for smaller companies and remote employees. Checking in with team members helps to improve morale and promote creativity and productivity; this is a key component of effective business leadership. Having weekly team meetings is a great way to ensure that everyone feels like they are part of the team and invested in its success.

3 Assigning a point person, even for small teams: 

As a business owner and the leader of a startup, you can’t do everything yourself. You need someone who can take charge of projects and day-to-day tasks so you can focus on the big picture and continue to grow the business. Having a reliable point person is crucial to the success of any startup. Keep in mind the number of project leaders depends on the size of your team and the number of projects you launch simultaneously. 

4 Automation: 

When running a startup, you usually do not have a large team. This is why automation is critical in startups. You can’t do everything in business leadership, and even when you delegate, you will have more tasks than people. If you can automate it, do it. When you automate your communications, it’s crucial to maintain a human touch. Use people’s names and informal copy to create a friendly tone. Respond to those who talk to you. Stop relying on free tools. You want to build a business on profits, so embrace change and automate as much as possible to scale.

5 Continuous learning: 

One of the most important things for entrepreneurs is to never stop learning. You should always be looking for ways to improve your skills and knowledge. You can attend many events, either in person or online, to learn new things. Get insights from other people’s perspectives to help you grow as a business owner. Understand that continuous learning is non-negotiable. The day you think you know everything is the day your business will fail.

6 Make serendipity happen: 

Don’t wait around for luck to make you successful. Create your own luck. Be proactive and take every opportunity that comes your way. Even if it’s something you don’t think you need, embrace change and go for it. Get out into the world and meet people. You never know who you might meet or what connections you might make. Life is not random, so don’t leave things up to chance. You are just as good as anyone else, and no one is better than you. It’s all about taking advantage of opportunities and taking action.

7 Experimentation: 

As a new business owner, you don’t always know what will work. You have to experiment with processes and projects. When it comes to experimentation, the risk is relatively low. You can test out new apps, take advantage of free subscriptions, and so on. The important thing is to try things and see if they’re successful. If people want what you’re offering, you’ve found a winner. Keep experimenting until you find a formula that works.

8 Data is essential: 

As a business owner, you have to use data to your advantage. Data can pinpoint your audience and consumer and tell you what platforms work. It can provide ideas for new products or verticals to set up. All this data is essential for any business owner that wants to stay ahead of the competition.

9 Understanding people: 

It’s important to remember that the people who work for you are just that: people. Everyone has a personal life outside of work; in business leadership, it’s your job to be understanding and supportive. You don’t need to share your entire life story, but you should be open to listening to your team members and giving them the grace and support they need. Being professional is important, but showing empathy goes a long way.

10 Investing in your startup: 

There are always expenses associated with starting up a new business. But remember to reach out to people in your community and express your vision. See if anyone is interested in helping you invest in the startup. Don’t be afraid to give other things besides money to pay for your company’s growth. You have to be willing to invest first, but when you’ve reached your limit, reach out and see if anyone is interested in helping and investing with you.

11 Know what people want: 

It’s crucial to ask questions and understand people’s motivations. See why they want to join your startup or be customers. What do they hope to gain from it? What are their goals, both professional and personal? This is effective business leadership and will help you create a better product and build a stronger team.

Conclusion: Get out there, launch your startup, and become the business owner you know you can be

Launching a startup and becoming a business owner can require a lot of work, time, continuous learning, and money. But if you have a solid vision, are willing to put in the work, learn to embrace change, and follow these tips, you will be well on your way to a successful startup and making your dream come true.

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