by Mark Carter
Posted 2/3/2014 12:00 am
Updated 6 months ago
VisuaLogistic Technologies founder and CEO Brett Schaefer shares his five tips for startup success:
- I’ll start by giving my favorite quote: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson. For an entrepreneur, this mindset is very important and puts things into true perspective. Simply put, do not be afraid of taking risks, being different and creating and marketing a product or tool nobody’s ever seen before. Be a leader and doer, not a follower and settler.
- As clichéd as it may sound, it’s still the most relevant when it comes to startup companies all around: Never, ever give up. All things come to fruition in time, but only if you endure through all the nos and over the hurdles.
- You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. This simply means having a great team of leaders is key to running a successful company. Ensure these are people you can trust, and they trust you. Ensure each partner has a clearly defined role or responsibilities and timeline of execution. Ensure that expectations are defined on the front end, not the back.
- Believe in your product or service. Be willing to do what you have to do financially to put your money where your mouth is (refer back to No. 3 in believing in your team as well and its capabilities). Investors want to see you have “skin in the game” by taking financial risks yourself. Be willing to prove to them that you and your team are all in and have what it takes to make the company produce results.
- Network, network, network, network. By far, the biggest reason personally for my company’s success is because of the God-given ability for me to network with others. Believe it or not, I’ve networked over the past two years with several university professors, multiple startup industry professionals and numerous grad students to get this project completed and ready to sell today. I can’t begin to stress the importance of this. In fact, this would be up there with my No. 1.