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October 30, 2017

How To Launch A Successful Startup (6 Tips From A Pro)

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How To Launch A Successful Startup

MeiMei Fox, New York Times Bestselling Author, Blogger, and Life Coach

Kathy Larchian is the co-founder of Pensa, a Brooklyn-based design and invention firm she started with her husband, Marco Perry, a mechanical engineer and industrial designer.

A few of their innovations include the first-ever public solar phone chargers, which were adopted by New York City parks, and the ultimate urban bike. Larchian runs the business side of the agency, managing everything from marketing and business development to the creative team.

Recently, Larchian and Perry have founded and begun leading mentoring meet-ups for local entrepreneurs called Pancakes* with Pensa, as a way to help other people realize their life purpose. "We structure the meetings so that the group immerses itself in conversation, advising each other on everything from manufacturing and scaling to user-testing, fundraising and beyond. Through Pancakes*, we help entrepreneurs take their new businesses and product ideas to the next level. Already we've helped over 50 startups."

The top entrepreneurs that Larchian and Perry have seen succeed follow these crucial tips, she said:

1. Stay laser focused. You will be flooded with many different aspects of moving your business forward. Do not lose focus on your goal.

2. Be hard-core honest. And willing to make changes when something isn't working. There's a lot to the adage: "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Expect that circumstances will change and you will have to adapt your plans. In design, one of the first hard lessons is learning how to give and accept constructive feedback.

3. When fundraising, only take what you need. Hard goods are expensive to produce. They take an average of 18 months after conceptualization to launch, and usually require inventory. But the larger the ask on fundraising, the higher the investor expectation of a fast - and potentially unrealistic - return. The process for hard-good development and production takes time by necessity.

4. Get out there and get talking. Sure, reading and listening to podcasts are great to learn about other business ventures, but to really apply these stories to yourself, you need to be able to ask questions and learn more. What worked for one startup will not necessarily work for another. That's why meeting other entrepreneurs and sharing experiences is a must.

5. Channel your inner chops. Beyond the startup idea itself, successful entrepreneurs must have solid attributes to push their businesses forward, whether it's technical brilliance, marketing chops, sourcing relationships, or deep knowledge and experience in their industry.

6. Own your decisions. Surround yourself with knowledgeable and capable people, but remember that even when someone has advised you, you still are responsible for your decisions.

MeiMei Fox is a New York Times bestselling author, coauthor and ghostwriter of over a dozen non-fiction books and hundreds of articles and blogs for publications including the Huffington Post, Self magazine, and MindBodyGreen. To learn more about MeiMei follower her on twitter @MeiMeiFox.

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