Earlier this month we participated in Boulder Startup Week. From the basics of financing and marketing to personal topics related to relationships and family planning, the week featured ideal information for any entrepreneur.
With a plentitude of information from the week, we wanted to share a few nuggets of advice that were reiterated to us throughout many sessions:
MISSION & VISION
When it comes starting your business, it's important to be cognizant of the company you keep. From co-founders to investors, you want everyone on your team to resonate your values and understand your company's culture. Remember, culture and values are intertwined; your culture is a manifestation of your values. According to Julia Lee from Gusto, you want to "make sure [each person] is not only a culture fit but a culture add"; so, you'll want everyone, from your employees to your stakeholders to your community and business partners, to be aligned. Keep this in mind, particularly, when you're hiring upper management; these leaders tend to set the tone for the sub-culture of each team or department and should be spearheading these endeavors. If properly executed, the transparency and authenticity of your values can be a great recruitment tool.
MISSION & VISION
Essentially anything you're selling for your business is reflective of your beliefs, so it's important to make that clear with your mission and vision. Many companies can lose sight of this during a growth period, especially when growing quickly. Create mission and vision statements that: 1.) adhere to your values; 2.) reflect futuristic opportunities and thoughts to remain sustainable; 3.) remain intact regardless of the growth of your company. You'll be surprised how many companies experience issues and downfalls because they merged with a company unreflective of their mission.
Once you've been established and have experienced growth, it can be easy to start seeking bigger and bigger fish. Unfortunately, this could mean you're losing out on some great business right under your nose. One of the greatest untapped resources is your existing customers. They've already shown their loyalty by working with you, dining/staying at your establishment, or purchasing your products; so, build on that relationship. Follow-up with them and maintain a rapport. Not only will this help you with attaining more business, but it can, also, open doors to new customers from their circle.
Boulder Startup Week was May 14-18, 2018, in Boulder, CO, and featured more than 200 free events for anyone in the community. Established in 2010, this five-day free conference allows entrepreneurs and startups from all industries to come together and share ideas.