Here is a guest post written by Marina Negriy, an experienced project manager from Ukraine. I hope your expertise will help you succeed with your startups. English is not Marina’s mother tongue; please excuse any errors on her part.
After working with many startups, analyzing their needs, understanding the issues they face and trying to find the right approach for every client working on the MVP, she shares with us some priceless tips for those looking to enter a startup business. I’ve prepared an outline of the key challenges of startups and how those could be tackled. Here is the list of top 5 points to keep in mind.
Choose the right line of business that fits with both your capabilities and the demand of the market – it’s the old formula and it always works. But still, many startups make the grave mistake of selecting a business idea out of the blue just because they assume people would probably buy their products or avail of their services. You should be absolutely sure about what you offer and the value it will bring to the market. Yes, your business should be something you believe in and you will love doing, but. it’s also very important to understand the problem you’re solving with your startup. In short, the market and customers need troubleshooters. Research the market and potential customers to minimize your risk of loss. First of all, you will make sure it is the right way to help people and create something valuable. Secondly, you will find out the right market to target and sell to.
Your team is at the core of your business. There is a sort of misconception nowadays that businesses are created only for making money. In reality, entrepreneurship is for people and about people. Build the team of dedicated specialists who really love what they do and you will take over the world. In this way, people in your team can bring the enthusiasm that your business needs to succeed. People shape companies and markets regardless of their nationality or where they work. Based on my experience as a Project Manager working for a startup and as a Resource and Project Manager for a dedicated development teams provider – it doesn’t matter where your developers or partners are located. Nowadays, in the Digital Age, not a lot of people care about your office address and it’s not a problem to lead your dedicated team somewhere in the East Europe while your office is located in the USA or Germany. So, as far as I can tell, more and more startups have co-founders from different countries and even from other continents.
#3: Plan Your Investments Wisely
A penny saved is a penny earned. Today, it’s not hip to be a startup founder and live in the Bay Area. Moreover, you might be thinking that you would have to rent an office in the city and hire local developers. That’s not always very reasonable. For instance, if you really want to avoid a headache with the office placement and other recruiting things, just hire dedicated developers. In this way, you reduce the personnel and office cost by up to 60%, because you don’t need to pay for software, vacation, office rental, equipment, and so on. Furthermore, you get really experienced developers from a good IT provider.
#4: Never Stop Learning and Be Flexible
Identify your priorities but always stay nimble. Everybody is talking about it, but you should take a step forward and actually do it. Rent, don’t buy. Don’t be scared to change your business model if you see that something goes wrong.
#5: Working Smarter Instead of Working Harder
We know Japan is famous for its work ethic, namely, a culture of workaholism. It seems that it’s the atmosphere in the startup world that cultivates a system of overworked employees. Note, however, that overworking is one of the main factors of a startup’s low productivity. It has been proven that working fewer hours makes employees more productive. If you see that you can’t deal with a big scope of work, I suggest you get some rest and reload or extend your team.
P.S. Many thanks to Marina Negriy for providing this valuable material. Marina is a certified scrum master and project manager at Mobilunity, an IT company that provides dedicated developer teams based in Kyiv.
Since 2014, Marina has been managing diverse IT projects for clients from different industries. She has helped startups across Europe implement and execute projects that flow smoothly and has provided guidance in establishing reliable communication within remote teams in Kyiv, Ukraine. Through the years, she has learned a lot of valuable lessons from her experience working with startups around the world.