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Startup Success In Times Of Uncertainty

The harsh reality is that there are so many new entrepreneurs and startups entering the market daily. This article will highlight strategies for new startups to be successful during uncertain times.

The first thing any entrepreneur needs to do before pitching is to figure out what it is that makes them stand out. It is not enough to have a good idea and a good team. You’ve got to figure out what your WOW factor is because you don’t have any other data to go off of.

You can attempt to cold email but it is not the best strategy when reaching out to VC’s. Having a warm introduction from someone who is credible will increase the odds of an opportunity to pitch.

What Is The Right Strategy When it Comes to Pitching?

You want the investors to be excited about your company before you even start your pitch. You don’t want to come off as desperate or entitled. From the initial conversations, you want to show strength, professionalism, and high confidence which all make up your WOW factor.

It is important for entrepreneurs to understand that investors will make their decisions based on questions more than a pitch. Because we are observing the way you answer. It is not about gathering data on the business. It’s data collection about them as an entrepreneur.

A Startup is Only as Successful as it’s Team

If you want investors then you have to understand it’s about a team effort. Developing a great team is crucial for your success.

What are the critical success factors for the company, and what will it take for them to win? They must develop a sequence of milestones to achieve and key challenges they must address especially in today’s world of uncertainty. There is no universal metric that applies.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a plan for conflict resolution. When you have high-performance teams it is inevitable that they will have different perspectives that could lead to disagreements.

What is a VC’s perspective in a post COVID-19 world?

We’re living through a period of economic and business uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has caused economic downturns and financial losses on a global scale.

Companies that are surviving know the levers that drive their business. From day one they must be very KPI driven. When crises hit, it’s time to review your budget, focus on cash flow and scenario planning.

Next, look for creative ways to cut costs by temporarily lowering salaries including your own, deferring salaries, or in some cases trading for equity options.

Maneuvering through this challenging time in history requires the right mindset. A mindset that is ready for swift change, to pivot, and to take the right actions. Despite these challenges, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the actions taken now will impact future success.

Founders Must Step Up As Leaders

You must be able to hire a team of leaders and be a leader who can set agendas, have a vision and a framework to set objectives, strategies and tactics.

You must be humble and know how to delegate to your team with an open mindset and strong communication skills. You must also have a deep understanding of the economics of your business and how to be profitable.

The number one thing that makes the difference is the characteristic of resilience - the ability to take a hit and bounce back. Because you will take lots of hits as a CEO.

It’s hard to test resilience when you’re in the happy stage of growth. It shows up in the way you respond to pushback and questioning. The founders that successfully manage, organize and inspire their teams throughout the COVID crisis will be tomorrow’s industry leaders.

Derek Distenfield

Known for bringing revolutionary new ideas to organizations that deliver explosive growth and for being efficient with limited resources, I have a high tolerance for ambiguity and complexity. For over 15 years, I have blazed high impact careers in startups, corporations, governments and nonprofit organizations.

Currently, I serve as the COO and Co-founder of GSD Venture Studios.

GSD Venture Studios travels the world inviting resilient teams to establish partnerships that ensure organizations grow the right way, without games or gimmicks. Unlike traditional investors, GSD executives take senior operational (often co-founder) roles in these companies, capitalizing on their trusted reputation, experiences and network to drive explosive growth.

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