Why your startup may fail before you begin…

I like to go on interviews for fun especially if I’m sought out. I don’t see it as wasting anyone’s time, valuable information gets shared in these meetings behind closed doors. Market strategy and ideas are very valuable. I recently decided to meet with a startup, and politely declined moving forward in the process before they could even think about moving forward with me. Let me tell you what I learned:

  • Have a strategy: ANY strategy and if your strategy is “warm bodies in seats” this is not a very well thought out strategy. I always ask what the company’s strategy is for whatever year it is and their five-year plan. It’s only fair, I am expected to answer the same question, and it shows you’re interested. When the answer is “We’ll do any thing to fill seats”… STOP! RUNAWAY!
    • First of all that raises flags for me on ethics.
    • You do not have a market strategy? Do you want to be successful?
    • This is also usually a flag for “We’re hoping we get purchased by a larger company.”
  • To truly grow your company you will need top management and sales department recruits. Unless someone is personally invested in your business they probably aren’t going to take the job for less than they make. No matter how much “unlimited commission” you offer. If a person doesn’t negotiate or takes what you are offering:
    • They hate their current job.
    • They lied.
    • They are about to be fired.
    • They are not nearly as good as their resume says.
  • Speaking of pay, your management and sales team is where you need to invest. You already have the product or service now it’s time to convince others they do too. If you expect to offer an entry level salary, you are going to get entry level people.

I salute your endeavors to begin your own company and move out into the world. There are many consulting firms that assist with these projects, I suggest you hire one. You may not have a strategy at first or how you want to introduce your sales cycle but their are people out there, veterans of the marketplace, who are for hire to assist your goals.

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