Jeff Bezos once said, “life’s too short to hang out with people who aren’t resourceful.” Resourcefulness is often called the ultimate resource, and the best indicator of success. Successful entrepreneurs come from all backgrounds, but one thing they share is the ability to come up with the resources they need. In this guest post, Megan Mahoney of Flume Health talks about why resourcefulness is almost a superpower for startup founders.
Guest Author: Megan Mahoney, Flume Health
Building relationships, raising money and growing an initial customer base are some of the most difficult hurdles for a startup. Here’s how successful founders think about these big milestones.
Successful founders don’t wait around for people to come to them. They make an effort to reach out to the people they need to help start a business. This could be potential mentors, investors or other valuable relationships that will help them grow. It means making connections, either by being courageous and making a cold phone call, or linking people they know from different spheres or industries to collaborate and share.
Relationships are a two way street. If you are reaching out to someone that is well above your current level, think of how you can still help that person. Doing some initial research about them and their industry will give you clues to their pain and values. Think of someone in your network that they may benefit from knowing, or a bit of information that only you can give them, and bring that with you when you make the call.
If you are a first time founder or don’t have a product built yet, raising that initial round of capital can be challenging. Having a game plan from the get-go is imperative to getting things off the ground.
A number of successful entrepreneurs will choose not to raise money at the beginning, and focus on growing organically. If the product is right, some choose to do presales. Others will raise money first through friends, family, or grants they apply for. The most successful entrepreneurs also take advantage of getting one investor on board and then request them to make connections to others in their network. The key is to know full-well the value of the product or service you’re offering, and get very good at demonstrating that value as often as you can.
Growing The Initial Customer Base
The rate at which you grow can also have a huge impact on the success of your startup. If you grow too slowly your revenue will dry up and you’ll go out of business. If you grow too quickly, you won’t have the bandwidth to support all the customers, and the business will implode.
A resourceful entrepreneur understands their limitations and reach, and takes full advantage of their initial customer base. Do whatever you can to incentivize them to spread the word, and always make sure they’re well taken care of. Nothing is more powerful than word-of-mouth, and a customer that feels like you care will certainly tell their friends.
When it Gets Tough
Through it all, a resourceful entrepreneur will not operate in a vacuum. Great entrepreneurs surround themselves with friends and mentors who have achieved the kind of success they are looking to achieve themselves.
When you ask for advice - listen. Maybe you do have a great idea but it’s just not the right time. Maybe no one sees the value but you. Always stay open and honest about the problem your business is trying to fix. And if you’re not able to fix it, or the problem doesn’t turn out to need fixing in the first place - be ready to dig your heels, or pivot.
Becoming More Resourceful
Resourcefulness is something that takes practice. It won’t happen overnight, but it will have a long term impact on your business. During a startup, part of learning to be more resourceful is figuring out how to accept challenges as they come. Finding a way to see each obstacle as an opportunity to improve is the most resourceful thing of all.
The opinions of our guest bloggers are their own and not those of 1871.