There are a lot of things you are not aware of when you are about to kickoff a startup. It is basic knowledge that building a startup is hard and slow, and you have to deal a lot with customer development. But there a few things I wish I knew when I began running a startup.
1. Almost all the work is email
When I was asked about how a typical workday goes for me, I realized that I do a lot of emailing. Actually, this is the first thing I do in the morning. I use mailing for almost everything. First of all, I handle the customer support here at Entreprenoria, which means dealing with questions from users. Afterwards I follow bug reports registered on our servers. Moreover, I even answer questions about things related to our services.
I am also using emails to communicate with my coworkers. It’s fast, simple, and easy to keep it appropriately archived.
Emailing is also very good for setting up meetings, for branding your products, and for organizing events for your company.
As you can see, emailing is a big part of running a startup. Especially nowadays when emailing has become such a powerful webtool.
2. How does networking work
Networking is a challenge! At first, I thought it would be easier, but then I realized how fast it becomes a game. You have to monopolize all social media channels related to your startup. I had to use LinkedIn. But everybody uses it differently, so I got to interact with people that I didn’t know. Afterwards, through connections, I finally reached the right people, the ones with whom I wanted to network in the first place.
But then I realized why it is all just a game: to get to the right people, I had to use others as stepping stones. And I quickly started feeling bad about the way I was networking. Soon after, I became more motivated about my work and started doing things a lot different.
3. Where’s the feedback?
Talking to your customers is mandatory! And customer feedback is essential to your business. But nobody tells you how hard it is to get that feedback. I used to ask a lot of specific questions, and I never got the answers I needed. You have to gain some experience in customer service to really know what the “right” questions are. Every customer is different, and that means every strategy should be different too. This is why you need to focus mainly on networking.
I hope these three aspects of running a startup will not catch you by surprise the next time you hop on this ride. Running it is a challenge, and if you do it right, you won’t be surprised by the always-changing process that is a startup.