Lessons from Startups

Many times, when we talk about “startups”, there is an assumption we’re talking about “tech startups”. Discussion about “startup news” centers around the assumed hubs of innovation, like Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley, and global tech hotspots like Israel or Nigeria. But as noted in a Forbes Contribution for David S. Rose, it’s wise to remember all startups aren’t tech startups. Even though small business and startups may have different end goals (profitability vs acquisition/returns) there are several lessons that can be learned from the tech startup world.

Rose emphasizes early care and investment. Just like many other ventures, a small business will be much easier to run if the proper habits and practices are installed early on. His first piece of advice is also his best: read voraciously. It’s a bit harmful to dive into the entrepreneurial lifestyle with an expectation to read every book ever written, but having a varied literary background of authoritative sources can carry you a long way. Find yourself a solid reading list, and don’t look back.

There’s also the importance of getting feedback every step of the way. Rose suggests seeking outside opinion at two crucial points in your small business journey. The first round of feedback should come after you’ve figured out your business model, have a firm grasp on what exactly you’ll be doing, and have the skills (or at least know where to cultivate them) in order to execute it successfully. This feedback comes when all you’ve invested is time, and is a great way to pull you back down to earth before you begin taking on more tangible risk. Your second round of feedback should come back after you’ve labored over a real business plan. The particulars of your plan are quantifiable, and the advice could be acted upon if you were to go live that day. Whereas early feedback determines whether or not your idea is worth pursuing, the second round seeks to determine if your worthy idea will be executed efficiently.

Rose’s piece has plenty of great feedback, so give it a read! But remember, keep your team tight and don’t rush in blindly.

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