Entrepreneur Tool Kit
By Chris Jordan

Being a startup is a formidable challenge. Statistics show that 3 out of 4 fail even if provided funding. Limited resources, endless days and nights – including weekends. All decisions fall on your shoulders and the never ending to-do list. Even with the best ideas, it may not reach fruition and there is no instruction manual to follow. Here are a few tools to help along the way.

  1. Never stop learning: No matter what you are creating, educate yourself on what it takes to make it. If it’s a manufactured component, go and see the shop of your choosing produce it. How do they do it? What did they need to fabricate it? Maybe take a class on the latest design software. That may allow you to assist with any questions they have. Always continue to gain knowledge, not so you will have all the answers but so you will have the ability to find them.
Remember your contacts…
  1. Remember your contacts: Always remember, you can’t know the answer to every question. Utilize the people and groups you have worked with in the past. Who do they know? Who have they worked with that can assist you in your endeavor? Never be afraid to reach out and ask. You will be amazed that these people are more than willing to help you grow.

 

  1. Take advantage: It is remarkable how many free products and resources are available to startups like yourself. Kickstarter provides potential project funding, Amazon Web Services offers cloud computing platforms, MailChimp has professional marketing tools and Startup Stash promotes creative resources and tools. Utilize these available devices before paying out of pocket.
Ask questions…
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask: Talk about what you are doing, with anyone and everyone. You will be surprised as to who you meet and what they are able to do to help. Getting coffee? Startup a conversation with a person in line. At a party? Talk about your project. Investors, manufacturers and designers are looking for opportunities to grow their markets as well. Take advantage and let them know what you need.
Lead by example…
  1. Be the leader: There will be ups and downs with any project. Lead by example with your team. Be organized, meet deadlines and communicate well. Allow your employees and vendors to make decisions based on improving the product. Show genuine interest in their development and designs. Aim to have all that positive energy flow through your teams.

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