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8 tips for successfully leading startups

Every day, young, motivated people spring up hundreds of startups worldwide. Startups that bring great ideas to market that make our future easier, more interesting and better. I think that's awesome! As a passionate startup investor, this thought naturally opens my heart. But just as quickly as startups emerge, countless numbers sink back into oblivion.
 
Every day, young, motivated people spring up hundreds of startups worldwide. Startups that bring great ideas to market that make our future easier, more interesting and better. I think that's awesome! As a passionate startup investor, this thought naturally opens my heart. But just as quickly as startups emerge, countless numbers sink back into oblivion. Why? Because a good founder is not necessarily a good manager at the same time.

Founder? Yes !, manager? Not necessarily!

8 tips for successfully leading startups

But I have good news for all founders who do not see their strengths in leadership: There are ten tips for successfully leading startups.

1. A tour should be well thought out - right from the start

Founders have certainly done a fantastic job. You had a brilliant idea, founded a company and are well on the way to navigating your company to success. But that only works if founders make the right decisions at this point in the start-up phase of their start-up. This includes, for example, thinking intensively about the legal form or consciously deciding on the company headquarters. 
 
Is the place of foundation also a good permanent company headquarters? And what does that mean for other aspects - for growth potential, patent rights and domain registrations? And there are countless more of such small decisions. Therefore, my first tip is: Founders have to think far ahead and ask themselves the important questions and make conscious decisions right from the start.

2. A founder doesn't have to be able to do everything

When I invest in startups, I often see this picture: ambitious founders who are excellent in the creative field, top in product development, first-class in generating ideas. But when it comes to numbers, legal forms and business models, the muse and passion stop. Often because the necessary know-how is missing. How should the right decisions be made? My Opinion: That's perfectly okay. After all, even founders cannot do everything. Instead, they should bring their strengths to where they can help with their abilities.

3. A good manager brings the right people to their side

In the areas in which there are gaps in start-ups, the right experts are needed. Those who are the right specialists in their field and can thus raise the startup to a whole new level. If founders notice that they do not know which criteria to use when making certain decisions, then they have to create a highly professional environment of the right consultants. Good founders get people on board who want to help the company, think of everything that is important and thus achieve maximum success.

4. Successful executives know the status quo of their startup

If the startup is still in its infancy, this is much easier than if the company already has several hundred employees. When more employees join in, more transparency is required. A founder should therefore clarify some elementary questions at the beginning of the startup and also write them down - for all previous and future employees. This is how founders create a corporate culture that everyone can identify with.

5. Why is the startup doing what it is actually doing?

Asking this question is essential for successful leadership in startups. A company can only be successful with a vision, with the clarity of the purpose to whom the product or service should provide added value. The founder is therefore obliged to clarify the question of why. This creates a completely new mentality in the founder AND the employees and sets the direction for the future.

6. How does the company do what it does?

In addition to the why question, the how question is also of paramount importance for a startup. How is the startup implementing its vision? How is it implemented strategically? It takes principles as to how an employee can implement the vision in certain situations. By answering this question, founders can establish a strategic guideline. Strong leadership skills are required.

7. What is the startup actually doing?

Of course, founders know what their startup is doing. But as the number of employees increases, the knowledge and clarity usually become blurred. It is therefore essential to professionalize the value creation processes and procedures. And that only works if the previous processes are carefully examined and the transparency of this knowledge is increased. Ultimately, only those activities are carried out that add value to the customer and the company.

8. Who does it best?

If founders have taken these tips to heart, then by this point they have answered the why, how and what questions. The only thing missing is the who question: Who does the specified tasks best, which roles have to be defined and established, in which teams does it work best and who leads the whole thing? A good manager sees himself as a moderator in this process when answering the individual questions. 
 
He brings everyone on board - every employee, every investor, every founder - and together they answer the four questions so that everyone can find optimal guidelines for the company together. This is how founders turn a startup into a company. One that will last.
 
Of course I can understand that this step is very difficult. After all, a startup is about your own idea, a lot of work and commitment on the part of the founder. That will not change either, just because he gets helpers and advisers by his side. On the contrary: Founders can finally concentrate fully on the things that they enjoy and that are close to their hearts - while their startup continues to grow and be successful.