In the world of business, a lot of people will line up to offer you advice on how to launch a successful company. Some of those people believe their own hype a little too much. There are countless consultants out there promising to help your company thrive with crucial advice. The best advice available comes from those who have walked the same path themselves. In this post, you’ll hear some of the best business advice available as Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley shares his thoughts on successful entrepreneurship.
Don’t Listen to Naysayers
There will be those in the industry, from advisors and consultants to potential investors, telling you that your idea simply won’t work. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by the opinions of others. In the end, their opinions are their own and do not represent hard-and-fast rules for success. As Crowley puts it, “I realized I probably just saw the world differently than the people who said the stuff I was excited about wouldn’t work.” If you’re passionate about your idea, stick with it.
Hire the Best People You Can Find
Depending upon the group of people helping you with your idea, hiring the best staff is easy. If your concept was developed with a group of like-minded professionals, hire those people. They undoubtedly share your passion and knowledge. Strong resumes are important, but so is passion, willingness to tinker with ideas to find success, and the passion to keep fighting for success through numerous setbacks.
Stay Focused on the Task
If your company succeeds in the early weeks and months of existence, it is easy to get distracted by all the hoopla surrounding your brand and company. Your company succeeded because you had a strong idea, stayed focused on it, and ignored the comments of those who sought to put you down. There’s no reason to slow down, pick your head up, and suddenly start paying attention to those distractions now that you’re successful. Keep plugging away and you’ll find further success.
Be Honest with Investors
When you attract investors to your business, you are selling them on the ideas and visions you have in your head. By agreeing to fund those ideas, they are expressing interest and support for your product. As such, it is important that you tell your investors what your company will do and what it will not do. Don’t make promises about the product or service that you cannot deliver on. You want these investors to make an initial investment, and believe enough in the future of your program to invest again in the future. If you lie about the focus of the business, you will likely lose those investors in the future.
Establish Clear Priorities
Last but not least, be clear about what is and is not a priority for your business. Developing new products, apps, or services should be more important for most businesses than worrying about how well they work initially. If your company’s priority lies in innovation, don’t be afraid to state that clearly and make sure everyone (employees to investors) knows that fact. Speaking for Foursquare, Crowley said “I’m still a really s****y programmer, but I know enough to hack a prototype together to get investors on board.”
Following the advice of great entrepreneurs is not necessary, but when you hear someone who has succeeded in launching a startup speak about their experience, it is a good idea to sit down and listen carefully.
Photo by Malone & Company Photography.