Startup Founder: Where to Focus your Time

As a Founder of a Startup, what should your number one focus be in your first few months?

Startup Founder: Where to Focus your Time

Building the right tech stack is key

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How to choose the right tech stack for your company?

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What to consider when choosing the right tech stack?

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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What tech stack do we use at Techly X?

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11 Focus Areas for Startups

As a Founder of a Startup, what should your number one focus be in your first few months?

To help Founders plan out their priorities for the first few months in business, we asked Founders and experienced entrepreneurs this question for their best ideas. From validating your product to preparing for an economic slowdown to learning as much as you can, there are several areas that should remain top of mind for fresh entrepreneurs.

Here are 11 areas of focus these leaders recommend you prioritize in the first few months of business:

  • Validate Your Product
  • Know Your Core Values
  • Build Sustainable Systems
  • Get to Know the Real Pains
  • Re-invest the Proceeds
  • Understand Your Ideal Client Problem and Solve It
  • Develop Faith in Your Own Abilities
  • Establish the Product Market Fit
  • Focus On One Thing at a Time
  • Build a Strong Network
  • Learn as Much as You Can

Validate Your Product

Your first focus should be on validating your idea and finding out if people are actually interested in your product or service. You can do this by conducting market research and customer surveys. You can also set up a landing page and start selling your product or service (if you’re selling a digital product) to see if there’s any interest in it.

If you have a physical product, you can also go to trade shows and see if people are interested in your product/service. Once you’ve validated your idea and know that people are interested in what you have to offer, you can then start focusing on things like growing your audience, building your team, and creating a long-term marketing plan.

Matthew Ramirez, Founder, Rephrasely

Know Your Core Values

I've started and stopped several businesses where I focused entirely on profitability, instead of what mattered to me on a personal level. These companies didn't give me that sense of purpose and mission that is so important to sustain an organization for the long term. Because I didn't have a good sense of my values at the time, I didn't have focus, in terms of the kinds of clients I wanted to attract.

If you know your core values, you can shape all of your decisions around them. These values will determine which customers you want to serve, with what products and services. You can then focus your marketing on those things, and everything you do will feel purposeful. Most startups fail. Starting with a focus on your core values during the first few months will increase your likelihood of success.

Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing & Leadership Consultant for Startups, Snackable Solutions

Build Sustainable Systems

Systems can simplify the way you work by making your work more predictable and repeatable. Having a system for client onboarding, invoicing, posting on social media, conducting cold outreach, handling quarterly taxes -- no task is too big or too small to consider.

You don't want to wait to build systems, because then you'll be too busy to think them through, optimize them, and stick with them. Your systems may change over time, and that's okay. But at least by starting early, you'll have processes you can follow and not have to think about as hard. This can help you keep moving forward and focus more on what you do best.

Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance

Get to Know the Real Pains

An entrepreneur's number one focus for the first few months of a new company should be getting to know the pain points in the market on a deep level. This comes from having interviews with a lot of people who may become prospects, to understand what they do in their jobs and where things could be better.

Pay attention to what they say in response to your questions, but pay even more attention to what they offer up without you prompting at all. When this happens multiple times, you know you are on to something and what specifically to solve.

Then go build that.

John Doherty, CEO & Founder, Credo

Re-invest The Proceeds

Starting a business is not as easy as it sounds, and maintaining it requires sacrificing the small early proceeds made. Re-investing in the business is an excellent move since it injects more resources. The invested profits make the business more capable of diversifying its operations and wither any early challenges experienced as it strives to grow. The best part is that by reinvesting the proceeds, an entrepreneur stands to gain even more proceeds as the business continues to gain more traction and become established.

Charlie Song, CEO, Live Poll for Slides

Understand Your Ideal Client Problem and Solve It

Understanding your ideal client problem means figuring out what type of company you can help get results for them.

It could be a new SaaS company looking for growth, a solo entrepreneur looking for traction, or an established brand looking for a new way to reach their customers.

When you know who you want to help and their problem, you can start researching the market to see if it’s already being solved or if your idea could be the first one out of the gate.

This could entail researching your competitors, asking potential customers what they’re using to solve their problem, and doing customer interviews to understand how they use current solutions (or don’t) to get the results they need.

Luciano Colos, Founder & CEO, PitchGrade

Develop Faith in Your Own Abilities

One of the first lessons that every entrepreneur must learn is to have faith in oneself. A successful entrepreneur is someone who has mastered the art of making wise decisions by tuning into their intuition.

People will be more inclined to follow and trust you if you have the confidence to trust and believe in yourself. Keep in mind your wealth of knowledge and experience whenever you feel uncertain. Have confidence in the abilities and experiences you have acquired to reach this position. After years of experience working for someone else, the majority of entrepreneurs launch their own businesses. You can start down the road to success by learning to believe in yourself.

Guy Sharp, Relocation Advisor, Andorra Guides

Establish the Product Market Fit

The first few months are the most crucial for any business. It is the time to establish the product market fit (PMF) for your business idea. Establishing the PMF early on tells you whether you should start scaling and whether or not your business idea will be a breakout success. So you need to go back to your customers to understand their needs and figure out how you could effectively solve their problems.

Over time, you will see that even if there are 3-4 customers whose problems your solution can solve, that itself is a big win! Entrepreneurs need to go back to their customers, the people they are serving, who will be using the respective solutions, and understand their requirements. As soon as you see repeatability in your customers, you know there is a fit.

Adit Jain, CEO, CoFounder, Leena AI

Focus One One Thing at a Time

Having your own business is exciting, but the excitement can quickly lead to a loss of focus and blurring your goals and what type of results you want. Sometimes, the excitement will result in taking on too many projects than you and your employees can handle. Having too many things going on at once unfortunately will mean that the quality of those projects will worsen. It's better to have one or two projects at the very beginning, make sure they are top quality and will bring in results, rather than ten that are okay-ishly done, or not done at all.

Ideas are good, but keep yourself organized and focus on minimal amount of work to make sure it's done well. But also don't tunnel vision on only a couple of tasks, if something is truly worth taking a look at, do so. It's about learning what is worth your time and what isn't, without getting distracted with your main goal.

Derek Sall, Founder and Financial Expert, Life and My Finances

Build a Strong Network

Being in a silo is the worst thing for an entrepreneur. When starting a business, ask lots of questions, schedule coffee meet-ups, and attend various seminars. Building your network is critical to the success of your company.

During those initial months, seek wise counsel from people who are further along in the journey than you. Your network will be the counsel you need.

One additional piece of advice. Expand your network beyond the industry. Create a network of people with experience in marketing, sales, supply chain, and other divisions of company management. Their experience in your industry is less important than understanding how these areas of business work. 

Jason Vaught, Director, SmashBrand

Learn as Much as You Can

Before actually starting your company, there are several things that should be done. First, you should have a thorough understanding of what makes your business stand out from the rest of the crowd. This can be done by doing some research and looking at other companies similar to yours in size or scope. You can also find out what makes their products successful by reading customer reviews and visiting their websites.

Ayush Singhvi, CEO, Byldd