All startups have different goals but one they all share is the desire to grow in order to succeed. This may sound like a natural process but only 1 in 10 startup companies actually achieve it. The main reasons for this are: the team, the money or the idea itself is just not good enough. Nicholas Morgan, co-founder of Startup Focus, has experienced these hurdles with many startups. He helps companies to focus and grow by introducing the entrepreneurial accountability framework. With their experience in building companies’ Finance, Innovation Accounting, Governance and Stakeholder Management, they are able to help early-stage start-ups through 4 phases: get started, get ready, get worthy, keep going. The most important lesson he taught us is to make sure that your company is investment worthy. Not all companies are financially attractive, certainly not from the start. But by being able to show the right traction and validation of their proposition in the earlier stages, think of the early Uber or Facebook days, they still find the right funding path.
The next speaker at our Startup Boot event was Marc Jellema of Tom Kabinet. Tom Kabinet is a highly disruptive startup and so Marc has taught us how to survive such a company. Tom Kabinet is a company which enables consumers to buy or sell eBooks second hand. As you can imagine, a lot of writers and publishers did not agree with the idea and the second day after the company went live they received their first subpoena. The subject became very popular and the next day multiple lawyers knocked on their door offering to represent the case. In short, when you have a highly disruptive startup, the following lessons will help you survive:
– Make sure you generate positive press. Make sure that when people google your company you have enough positive press to outweigh any negative press you may have received.
– Operate with as few staff as possible. You cannot afford to have a lot of people on your payroll especially when your company is battling a legal case.
– Be prepared for anything. The future is always uncertain. Make sure you prepare for at least two possible courses the future may take.
A disruptive start up company can survive by adapting and never giving up. A true testament to Marc’s passion and commitment is that despite all the difficulties the company has faced, when asked, Marc said that he would do it all again.