What would you do if want to run a start up in a country where start ups practically don't exist, Investment funds, VC's and Angel Investors are zero to none and nobody is brave enough to take a risk? Myself and my co-founders started our company G6 Solutions six months ago, taking the leap to run a start up and so far we've been through think and thick and I feel that the spirit is slowly dying by the month. We won some cash from Samsung last year and we invested all of it in the company but when everything is trying to take away what you have instead of helping you out it's really hard to keep any of it. I believe we have a good idea for a known problem concerning e-mail, but it seems like the world is pretty much against us every time we try to focus on it. We've boldly rebelled against becoming another outsource company (which every other IT company here is) to ironically having to outsource to survive. So yea I'd love to hear your opinion or advice.
First of all, keep going.
There will always be dark days, no matter how well funded you are. In fact, once you accept growth capital for equity, you bring on a whole new set of expectations and challenges.
Running a startup, as you know, is never easy and it's never as smooth as people make it seem.
Trust me. Some days are really brutal. The number of times I wanted to just throw in the towel is more than I care to share.
But I don't. And that's why persistence in the face of adversity is crucial for entrepreneurs.
Those are also the days when it's so valuable to have a co-founder, so you have someone to pick you up and help you remember your vision of how you're going to make the world a better place.
This brings me to the most important question.
Do you really believe in what you're doing? And above all, are you and your co-founder a great team?
Ideas come and go, but if you and your co-founder work well together, you're hungry, tenacious and bold, you'll make something happen.
I know it's harder in communities where there isn't as much local support. This is why resources like Clarity are changing the face of entrepreneurship across the globe - giving teams like yourself access to the the support you need and otherwise might not be able to find.
The best thing you can do is surround yourself with great people. In this case, it sounds like you'd benefit from a great mentor.
I can't help in the email marketing space, but I know someone who's pioneering a successful startup in the space and I'd be happy to put you in touch.
Here's my VIP url: https://clarity.fm/alexandraskey/onbeingremarkable
Please call me for a free 15 minute chat, anytime.
I'd also encourage you to analyze the runway of your company. How much time do you have before you need to generate an income for at least you and your business partner?
There is nothing wrong with taking contract work on the side to keep the lights on. In fact, if you're worried about paying the bills, it will be hard to fully invest your energy in your startup, making it even harder for you to realize your goal and fulfill your potential.
One more thing to think about.
How you get your first 5, 10 or 100 customers doesn't need to be scalable. So if you're not keen on doing a sideproject to increase short-term cashflow, look at ways to bring on new customers faster, even if they're not something you will do in 3 months time.
Day by day my friend, day by day.
Have courage, and be bold.
p.s. I'd also actively check your local community, as there might be more happening than you realize. You can start by researching online, reaching out on Twitter or visiting a community center.
For example, I found some organizations by doing a simple Google search, so I'd encourage you do to your homework.
Jim Lovell once said, “There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.” Do not quit. Hold tight, this may take some time but one day it will be your day. Sit with your co-founder and ponder upon the following points given below:
1. Dream big and start small: If you are dreaming about starting your own company, but you don’t know exactly what it is you want to do or if it’s even the right time, use your time to study. Starting a fast-growing tech business is incredibly challenging and requires a variety of skills. The time you take to study allows you to explore your talents and find the one thing you really excel at. If you have a passion for design, programming, or business — try to become incredibly skilled in one of those. The skillset of a founder often defines the focus and the culture of a company.
2. Work to learn, not to earn: Now that you have studied hard and really gotten deep into a particular discipline, it is time to broaden your skill set. While it is critical to become deeply skilled in one area of the business, the required skill set to start and run a company is much more varied. Starting a tech business requires a strong sense for products, timing, trends, and markets, which you can only acquire through experience. To be successful in life, it helps to understand the basics of successful leaders and successful companies.
3. Join the community and meet founders: Spending time with ambitious and like-minded people shaped my own path. Most of my friends are developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and work for different kinds of start-ups. When you move to a new city, it can take some time to connect with other founders. If you start an international tech business, you will be competing with intelligent, ambitious, and highly skilled people from all around the globe. It is a huge challenge and having a great community of entrepreneurs, developers and designers for support is key.
4. Find the right location: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, San Francisco is most likely not the best city for you to start your company. Luckily, San Francisco is not the only city in the world, there are other great places nowadays to start a business. New York, Tel Aviv, London, and Berlin are vibrant tech hubs too. Depending on your new business, location does matter. If you are an internet/software business, take care you pick a location that helps you to start.
5. Identify good and bad ideas, early: As founders we all have a ton of new product ideas, every day. Some of them sound promising, but only a few have the real potential to become a successful, fast-growing, and highly profitable business. Most of the project management tools we have used were highly profitable products, but equally hard-to-use, ugly and poorly integrated. Those were problems we thought we can fix, but there was an even bigger opportunity in this market many did not see. Most project management systems are powerful solutions to organize projects of any kind, but they lack intuitive design, and what is more complicated pricing and poor integration prevented people using them in their private lives. No one really used a project management solution at home, but there sure was a need. That is where we saw our opportunity of inventing a utility that is as simple as a to-do app, but as powerful as a project management tool.
6. Understand trends and markets: As an entrepreneur you start a company with long-term goals. You want to create something that stays and adds value to people’s lives, both your customers and your employees. The challenge is to balance the awareness for trends and momentum without making yourself or your product a slave of those. It is like surfing. You cannot change the ocean, so you need to observe and read the water and get on your feet in the exact right moment to ride the wave.
7. Define your mission: It is not just the money that defines the success of your business, but also your very own approach of doing things. If you define your style of how you want to build up a team, you can boost the quality of your team without money, and you can build a self-motivating environment for ambitious people. Define how you want to motivate your employees every day to produce high-quality and industry-leading results. It is one of the main reasons why companies like Google, Facebook or Apple attract world-class talent and can keep it. Or if you like the football analogy, it is the reason why clubs like Barcelona, Manchester or Bayern Munich are consistently successful. Yes, money play a role, but it is also their unique and strong culture that holds everything together. Ignore the naysayers, stay true to yourself, build the company you want. Finding the right mission often is a long process that requires a lot of thinking and learning. If you want to attract great talent, your mission is key. People want to understand why they should join your company, and it is often an emotional decision. Try to be the next Steve Jobs, the next Elon Musk, the next Bill Gates. Dream of building a huge company, a billion-dollar business that can last for many years. A company that can employ thousands of engineers and designers, acquire companies, and support a creative working environment.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath