Advice for entrepreneurs



The most successful entrepreneurs are driven by their passion which keeps them going, gives them strength and inspires them throughout their personal journeys. Find your passion.


Sometimes a great idea may fail when presented to the market at the wrong time. Market needs and requirements as well as the feasibility and attractiveness of solutions are dependent on timing. Develop a feel for the right timing.


It is difficult for an entrepreneur to be successful alone, no matter how talented he is. A good entrepreneur is someone who can build the right team. Most investors’ preference is at least one technical co-founder. As the business grows, new team members should be hired with great care. If it subsequently transpires that a new team member is unsuitable, you should let go of them without undue delay. Key team members should have vesting stock or options for long term motivation.


There are lots of good ideas in the business world. If no one works on them nothing will happen. As Walt Disney said, “The easiest way to start a job is to stop talking and start working.” A good entrepreneur doesn’t waste time. They make a move and make things happen. How an idea is put to work is important. Great ideas often fail as a result of poor execution.


Understanding customers needs and finding the right solution is imperative. However it is not sufficient for the entrepreneur and the investor to believe in that solution. Ask questions to understand what the customers really want. Gather feedback about your solution as early as possible and maintain that communication for continuous re-eavaluation.


An entrepreneur must think about how to take their business a step further forward every day. An entrepreneur who believes in himself, acts with the belief that he will find a solution to any problem or challenge. Failure is a part of entrepreneurship. A very important part. Entrepreneurial failures that push boundaries should be used as learning opportunities. If an individual or venture has never failed, they did not push themselves enough. Push your limits, believe in yourself and don’t be afraid of failure.


All startups face challenging and stressful periods which represent golden opportunities for mentors to have the greatest impact. Entrepreneurs should find the right help for the challenge at hand and make the best use of it. Choose your mentors wisely and do not hesitate to ask for help.


There is a saying that you can only manage what you measure. It is important to identify and monitor the leading indicators that must be measured at each step. Make sure to “de-average”. For example, the total “churn”, i.e. the percentage of customers you lose each period, may be at a reasonable level. However there is a serious problem if you’re losing your most valuable customers, while the least valuable ones remain. Segment your customers by value, channel of acquisition, reason for churn, etc. and measure churn for each segment and determine actions required to address each. Don’t focus on averages, try to look at the sub-components where relevant.


The right investor plays a critical role in growing the value of a company with the support that he extends beyond a passive financial investor. Find out what sort of reputation your potential investors have, speak to other startups that they have invested in. It is imperative to partner with “smart money” investors, which may require some flexibility and consessions in relation to valuation expectations.


A good entrepreneur should not be spending his days dreaming of when, to whom and for how much to sell his company. A passionate entrepreneur is motivated to change the world and will not focus on how much money he might make. He creates long-term value while successfully growing the business. The rest will come, at the right time. Successful companies are not sold. They are bought.