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What would be your advice for start-ups?

What would be your advice for start-ups?

Posted by PanamericanWorld on September 06, 2016

Being an entrepreneur is an extreme sport — similar in many ways to leading a large company. You have to be on your toes at all times, manage a number of issues and challenges, and you have to motivate and engage both investors and partners. When recruiting for leadership positions, I always look for some entrepreneurship experience because it shows initiative, a desire to pursue goals and passion. Entrepreneurs know everything that is happening in their company: Their sales performance, their technical bugs and fixes, and the successful ones are deeply aware of their customers’ needs. 

My advice to start-ups is to be aware of the value you bring in terms of new perspectives and mindset. Use that to get advice, support and help from larger companies. Engaging with the ecosystem is not and should not be just about raising money. Smart money, in terms of investments that come with experience and good advice, will take you much further. 

Starting up in Singapore means you are already in the thick of it. Use that for all its worth.

Ethan Pierse. Managing partner, Nest Venture Capital

Singapore is experiencing a start-up boom. Start-ups embarking on fintech projects should leverage the support programmes the Republic has to offer. From an internal perspective, there are policy frameworks and initiatives by the Government to drive fintech innovation. Entrepreneurs should familiarise themselves with the government support available and apply for related grants to kickstart and scale their businesses. 

External support can be by way of banks and accelerator programmes to help start-ups shorten their time to commercialisation and create new development opportunities. It is through access to business mentorship, guidance from experts, and data sandboxing that allow start-ups to experiment with real-life customer data and generate proof of concepts. Once there is market validation, start-ups can consider the next steps of raising capital and scaling the company. 

James Galvin. Founder and CEO, TalentDash

All start-ups face a certain amount of risk, and a good leader finds effective ways to mitigate those risks. By far, the biggest risk small businesses take are with finding and recruiting people. 

Most start-ups are just keen to get (inexpensive) people in the door, sidestepping crucial elements of talent acquisition and hiring strategy to do so. Hiring the right talent can make or break your start-up, so be clear about who you want, the job they are hired to do, and where you can find them. 

Your first non-founder employees will not only set the tone for how quickly you burn through cash, but also how your company culture evolves. 

Hire some for aptitude, but the rest for attitude — and do not make hasty decisions. Reducing time-to-hire is important, but getting the right people on board will be your lifeline. 

Roger Graham. Director, Hootsuite

Three key pieces of advice for start-ups. First, leverage Singapore’s start-up-friendly environment to gain feedback on your business model and other resources such as developers or mentors. In the initial stages, look to your existing network and theirs to find people open to testing your product. Often, a simple introduction and a coffee unlocks doors and ideas you have not even considered. 

Second, right after the idea stage, start-ups should nail down their value proposition and commit that into a watertight pitch deck. This ensures you can articulate a consistent message and know your place in the market. Your value proposition is critical to drive the company’s vision and ensure everyone is clear on the market’s need for your solution or product. Lastly, pay close attention to the user experience. A satisfied customer is not only a returning customer, but an invaluable advocate on social media.

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