Business criticism: how to manage it when starting a new venture?

Coming up with a unique business proposition is hard on its own, and it becomes even more stressful when you have people close to you critiquing your every move. “An idea like this already exists” or “how will you ever make enough money” are phrases and critiques entrepreneurs face all the time. Overcoming your business criticism, although difficult, is something necessary if you are going to become a successful entrepreneur, and here are the ways to do so.

Realize that business criticism is bound to come

In a perfect world, everyone would agree with everything. There would be no backlash or opposing viewpoints to any of your ideas, and you would be able to accomplish anything with ease. However, as I am sure you know, we don’t live in a perfect world. The best way to go about the business critiques you receive is to not let it surprise you. You should know that there will always be that one person who opposes you or doesn’t want to see you succeed. Acknowledge their presence and simply move on. It is important, as I’ll mention later, to sometimes ask what the purpose for the critique was, but you should realize that there will always be criticism. Not being taken aback by it is very important if you are to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Ask them what the purpose of the business criticism was

Once you have realized that for everything you do there will be a critic, the next step is to dive deeper into the criticism and look for the importance in the critiques. Sometimes people criticize because they are jealous of your success and your ideas. However, sometimes people criticize for a purpose. They see something flawed that perhaps you have not picked up on yet. Working on a project for so long can make you oblivious to things that are in fact easy to see from another perspective.

This is where good criticism comes into play. Having your ideas and propositions looked at and judged by someone new and someone who has no idea what you are creating can be a good thing. This allows you to see how the general public would view your ideas free from any bias. This is an important skill to have for any entrepreneur. Identifying good business criticism and factoring that into your entrepreneurial venture will help you be much more successful than if you just ignored the critiques.

Don’t jump on the first praise you receive

Just like how you shouldn’t ignore all the criticism you receive, you shouldn’t let the first bit of praise you get impact you any more. It is important to realize that what you are doing is right and that other people see it the same way, but it is more important to keep a middle ground. Value praise and criticism the same, and you will be on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

See business criticism as a compliment

Finally, take the business criticism you receive as a compliment. Receiving criticism means you are making significant progress towards your goal, and people are willing to give you feedback along the way. Acknowledging this criticism as a compliment will help you move forward and allow you to collaborate with others who may know how to do something better than you and are willing to help you out.

Questions about handling criticism to discuss:

  1. How have you dealt with criticism in your lifetime?
  2. What did you feel when you started getting criticism about your business?
  3. Are there other factors you deem to be more important to deal with business criticism?

Entrepreneurs: top tips on how to scale your business

It’s fail or scale

Scaling your business means to ensure your business has a “life of its own.” Obviously, everyone wants to scale their business, but you need a safety net to prevent failure. When starting out, you need to put the majority of your effort into creating a predictable source of income. Think about scalability, but not too much at this point. In other words, have the basics down before you graduate to the bigger leagues.

Understand systems

When it comes to scalability, we consider three important components of your business: the product, your personality, and your systems. It’s hard to scale when your business primarily thrives on product or your personality. For example, if your personality goes away, so does the business. To prevent such a disaster and to scale up, base your business upon a good system. This means to work on creating an excellent platform to propel your business or having a multistep structure that draws attention to your content and product(s). Because systems are the most sturdy, they provide the most support in scaling up.

Start scaling your business

So far, we’ve given you a crash course in staying grounded, but it is also important to think big when you try to scale up. Not thinking big will stifle your vision. Make sure to stick to your vision and be consistently on the move, not celebrating after every incremental victory. You need to realize your weaknesses and leverage your strengths. For instance, if someone else handles logistics better than you, have them handle it! Also, don’t be afraid to spend extra time brainstorming ways to attain the highest returns even if it feels difficult at times. It will pay off.

Follow these pointers and you’ll be on your way to scaling up your business. With grit and determination, you’ll soon be “working on your business instead of working in it.“

Here are some questions for you to think about:

  • Do you want to scale up your business? Why?
  • What type of systems does your business use?
  • Do you enjoy working in your business or on your business?
  • When do you plan to scale up if you haven’t already?
  • What’s your big idea?

When is the right time to start a business

In 2020 approximately five thousand recruitment firms were formed; however, the sad truth is that by 2022 as many as 80% of those will no longer be trading. Setting up a new venture can be a great opportunity, but the difference between success and failure can come down to the smallest things. For example, a banking recruiter who set up in the summer of 2020 would have struggled to succeed, given the market conditions that unfolded. Whilst few people could have forecasted that, there are a lot of things one can do to ensure one’s business is set up to succeed from the outset. Things to consider include the following.

Business Objectives

What is your vision for your business? Is your intention to have a lifestyle business for you personally or is your ambition to grow something bigger? Whatever you decide, it is critical you think this through at the beginning, as the choice you make will determine several of your subsequent decisions. If you are effectively happy as a sole practitioner, you may not need an office; for example, a home office may suffice. Similarly, you only need to worry about securing terms with the clients you personally plan to service, meaning you can operate more aggressively when headhunting. In essence, clarity over your objectives will enable you to have a consistent strategy which will guide subsequent decisions; without that you can easily waste time and resources on areas you don’t need to. As part of this factor in your restrictive covenants and don’t accidentally breach them: your former employers will likely notice and act accordingly.

Incorporation Structure

Whilst the majority of new businesses that form will be limited companies, that is not the only incorporation structure. Once again, it comes down to how you perceive what it is that you will be doing. For example, if you plan on operating a boutique firm providing expert consulting with retained fees, ask yourself which business model do you have most in common with? Why is it that nearly all law & business consulting firms typically are partnerships? What are the differences and could being an LLP be a better model? For example, now that the Government has changed the tax on dividends on limited companies, it could even be more tax efficient to be an LLP.

Capital Account

One of the biggest challenges when setting up your own business is the immediate income drop. Have you planned for no business income for six months? Whilst that is a pretty negative outlook, anything is possible and if your business is relying on generating fees in Q2, factor in the fact that a lot of organisations have payment terms of more than 60 days, and you may have notice periods that need to be served, with invoicing only possible once they are over. A boutique contingent business could easily have a situation where the core requirements would be one placement per quarter, where the fee would be £20k+; but at that level, with three months’ notice, it may not be paid until month seven. Cash-flow is the oil that drives your business. Whilst you can control your costs, to start with you can’t predict your income, so make sure you have a sensible buffer when getting started.

Team Composition

If your new venture involves working with other people from the outset, make sure your areas of expertise don’t overlap too much. The most successful start-up recruitment firm I have seen (which has consistently been on the Recruiter’s Hot 100 list, placing second one year) started with one person in Germany and the other in the UK. They had overlapping clients but operated their markets independently under a common brand. Now, fifteen years on, they have offices in 15 countries and more than 100 consultants. All that from just two people. Make sure all directors have billing responsibilities and you may even consider a US law firm technique known as ‘eat what you kill’. Costs are shared equally, but income is based on individual billings. If a business partner doesn’t perform, whilst that will be a stresser in itself, it need not create personal financial concerns for you. Finally, avoid junior staff in year one, the support they will need will be crippling on your time.

Market Conditions

Keep on top of market trends. Studies have shown that whilst incumbent businesses will be dislodged with difficulty from core markets, well implemented innovation will disrupt the existing order and create a new paradigm. As an example, consider the mobile phone industry: Nokia and Blackberry between them had a monopoly on phones, to the point where all business users would use Blackberry, while Nokia dominated the personal-use market. Apple introduced the iPhone, with its big screen, apps and stylish design: the incumbents were displaced and Apple became the number one provider of phones and the most profitable company to boot.

Applying this metaphor to recruitment, if you can identify a niche that is emerging and no one else has spotted, you can invest your time in cultivating relationships with people working in the space so they consider you to be the foremost consultant on their career opportunities. Then, as the market grows, clients will naturally start working with you, as your network gives them access to what they need, where you don’t have to compromise on terms.

Therefore, to maximise your chance of success, map out your target market to understand what the new emerging niches are. For example, if you are a banking recruiter, given the way that FCPA enforcement led to a surge in hiring for compliance, could MiFID II have a similar impact on regulatory? If you are in technology, what are the new languages or skills which are going to be in demand in the coming year? If you can only afford to service ten clients, why not identify which are the fastest growing and focus on those? As they grow you can grow with them.

Put simply, at best, being small gives you the freedom to be nimble and focus on where the market is going, as opposed to what is there already. Doing that gives you the opportunity to capture an emerging market and monetise it accordingly.

Expert Panel: Recommended resources before starting a business

Starting up a business is challenging! You understand the struggle if this applies to you. Any experience counts and can make or break a successful start-up and one that fails due to lack of expertise. Thus, no matter how great the small business idea is with no expertise, it will be challenging but not impossible to start running a business. That expertise can come from multiple sources such as a business advisor, books, webinars, podcasts, the Web in general, etc. There is a lot of excellent learning content on starting a business, business plan template, and writing a business plan, including here on Expert Circle. We have reached our network of experts and here is what they suggest. 

“A big business starts small.” -Richard Branson

“A big business starts small.” -Richard Branson

Susan Ward

Co-head of Cypress Technologies, an IT consulting business

The good news is that anyone can start a business. The bad news is that starting a business that succeeds and continues to flourish isn’t so easy. Here are 5 resources I have identified that an entrepreneur needs before starting a business.

First – Be Fully Committed

You must put your heart and soul into what you’re doing, believe in your product or service, and be willing to put in long hours to complete all of the duties necessary to build and sustain a firm. When you start a business, you must be willing to make sacrifices such as forgoing vacations or even a paycheck for what may appear to be an indefinite time.

Second – Be a “Type D”

“Type D” person—someone who has a desire for success coupled with drive, discipline, and determination. You need discipline and determination as these traits are what give successful business people the fuel to follow through on their business ideas and endure the ups and downs of the economic climate.

Third – Get Smarter

Many people have tried to start a business without acquiring the business knowledge they need to make their business a success and, as a result, their businesses have failed.

To start a business, you have to be knowledgeable about many different aspects of business and have a variety of skills, or hire people who have the skills you lack.

If you aren’t knowledgeable enough about accounting to keep your own books, for instance, you’ll need to hire an expert

Fourth – Find Adequate Startup Money

Finding adequate business start-up money is especially critical because there’s no guarantee that your business is going to make money right away, and often initial income is too low to live on. In fact, the lack of adequate funds is a top reason most small businesses fail.

Fifth – The Business Support You Need

You may be in business by yourself, but no business succeeds without a good support system. As an entrepreneur, you need interpersonal skills, team-building skills, and leadership skills, as you’ll need to work with others including vendors, employees or freelancers, customers, and other support resources to have business success.

When you’re thinking of business support, look first to the home front. Your family should be your number one cheerleader when it comes to your success. A supportive spouse can be there to listen to your ideas or problems and provide the encouragement or advice that keeps you going.

Ivan Asem

Strategic Marketing Specialist at EPS Software Engineering AG

Starting a new business can be daunting, especially if your resources are limited. Luckily if you have the right mindset, patience and energy you can grow your new business from the ground up. Since my area of expertise is marketing, much of this article will focus on marketing tools. Launching a business online is the most cost-effective way to get started but there are a few things to consider first.

Some general advice is always to see if you can get something done for free before paying for it. Once you find what you need, test, test and test again. Invest in a working solution and scale after consistent success.

The first thing you need to establish is how to stay organized. Being organized shouldn’t be an expensive experience, for that reason, I suggest using Google Docs to manage all of your documents online. This cloud-based service is free and allows you to collaborate with your team if they have Gmail addresses. The downside is that it’s not the most secure service so if you’re willing to pay a little more, you can use a service like Monday.com or Confluence by Atlassian to manage your team’s documentation.

The next thing to consider is your planning tools. Timelines and deadlines can be managed with Trello. It’s easy to use and free to set up. Trello utilizes boards to manage the flow of projects and it’s easy to customize your project flow according to your business needs. You can also assign specific tasks to people, attach files and align goals. Furthermore, you have access to loads of project templates to give you a head start.

Marketing is arguably one of the most important facets of a new business. Always start with social media since this is an easy place to grow an audience and get meaningful insights. Set up profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and Reddit. This depends on the services you are offering but having profiles on each of these platforms increases your visibility.

You will also need a tool to manage all of your social media. Later.com offers a very good solution for managing your social profiles. With the free plan, you can get automated posting and scheduling across all social media platforms. However, for the most value, you’ll want to take a paid plan since it gives you access to analytics across your social media.

In the sphere of marketing, you’ll want a system to manage communications with your customers. GetResponse offers a great customer relationship management solution (CRM). It integrates easily with social media platforms, websites and eCommerce platforms. Additionally, you can send emails that are triggered by specific events like a sign-up or a follow up to a purchase. Like most of the tools on this list, GetResponse comes with analytics to improve marketing activities.

Advertising is also important. The most cost-effective way to get started is through Facebook ads and Google ads. Facebook ads allow you to run interest-based advertisements on a small budget and Google ads are directed at more intent-driven keyword advertising. Using them together can be powerful once you collect enough data to build remarketing audiences. It’s also worth noting that LinkedIn offers powerful advertising for business-to-business advertising.

In this day and age, a business does not exist without a website. Depending on your budget and skill level, there are a variety of tools you can use to get a website. The best approach is to get a web designer to make your website. Have a look at their portfolio and ask about how easy it would be for you to make changes to the website they create.

If you decide to build it yourself, there are plenty of places to start. If you are new to website building, I suggest starting with Wix or Squarespace. They offer plenty of website templates that are easy to set up and manage. If you are slightly more advanced, you can use WordPress. WordPress is highly customizable giving you more control. The downside is that WordPress websites can incur very high expenses from plugins, themes, security and more.

If you are selling a product or service, Shopify is a great solution because it offers a balance of customization and pricing. It’s built for eCommerce and integrates beautifully with some of the best marketing services.

Customer support can make or break your business. Whatsapp business makes it easy to chat with customers in real-time. This is a great solution for a smaller customer base. In terms of a useful tool for meeting clients for a consultation, use Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is stable and easy to use with a very good presentation mode. It also logs the lengths of each call so that you can easily manage hours for invoicing.

Legal is an overlooked part of most businesses. Failing to make sure that you are conducting business legally can result in expensive lawsuits and the loss of your business. You don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for a lawyer, you can start with making sure that your business is handling customer information and data responsibly. Fiverr is the best place to find a lawyer who can look at your business practices, policies and presence to make sure that you are compliant with the laws of the countries you operate in.

Lastly, managing finances is extremely important. Sage, is a great tool for invoicing and accounting in general. This is especially true for startups.

These are the tools that are great for new business owners, especially for business owners who want an established online presence. If you have the capacity, you can easily scale your business with the tools mentioned above. Additionally, an agency can assist you with getting your business off the ground. You can also use services like Fiverr to find the professionals you need for a remote team.

Alexandra Riemann

Founder & Director at TravelSisters.co

Mentors. Mentors are by far the best and most important resource for any new business.

Even if you have a groundbreaking new idea, there will always be aspects that others have already done. Successfully or not, it is tremendously helpful to learn from them.

You will already be making enough mistakes, why not avoid some by having a good mentor by your side?

Also, there is nothing wrong with having several mentors. Different people, different points of view, different specialities.

Natalya Spicker

President at SheWorks! 

A clear idea and message of the mission and vision of your business is key. Developing a bullet-proof go to market strategy is essential. Can a 5-year-old understand what your company does? If not, go back to the drawing board until it is that simply understand. Consider what Apple has done. Do that.

Beyond this, having a community of relevant prospect clients, and evangelists of your idea/product/service is probably the most powerful resource I can think of. This serves as a focus group, a soft launch, and more importantly a group of people who will give you honest feedback on your product and go-to-market strategy.

Bas Kousemaker

Leader & Manager Customer Success at OutSystems

Customer Net ARR, growth, retention, and advocacy are elements often overlooked when starting a subscription-based business but are instrumental and vital elements for survival and business valuation.

Having a solid and scalable Customer Success strategy ensures hyper-engaged customers and profitability.

Artemiy Ustimenko

Managing Partner at Venuelab

We were developing a business based on the emerging technology we were using as customers. Turning a passion into a very specialized consultancy required bridging the technical expertise with the understanding of potential customers’ needs. The first thing that helped us a lot were symbiotic partnerships with technology vendors who turned out pragmatic and greatly supportive. The second one was events and conferences for startups that gave insights on how other entrepreneurs think and learn from their mistakes with an opportunity to bounce our value proposition against them.

Staying on top of the industry trends and a series of pivots to keep the offering relevant was another story, and we never stop finding ways to improve.

Dave Sengupta

Marketing Specialist at BORO SAWMILL

It’s always helpful to start a business with some years of “real-world experience” in the same, closest possible or related industry and market. Experience will help to plan and set up a “practical” layout of the business model. The word practical plays an important role here as it helps the entrepreneur to deploy the scarce startup human and financial resources in the best possible way. The practical approach will also help answer some of the difficult questions like – Whom to sell? Where to buy it? Whom to hire to play the role of influencing? How much credit shall we offer to X or Y companies and possibly many more such questions?

Creating a “guardrail” can be another useful resource. Well, the management strategists from B Schools will define as a “competitive advantage” I would prefer to call as a guardrail that will protect the entrepreneurs from possible derailments. My way of creating a guardrail will be to focus on the “niche” factor. To run a business successfully and for a longer period of time, a company needs to offer some sort of a niche product or service. The word niche doesn’t mean that the product or service will be the first of its kind in all possible ways or en route to the patent application but offering some form of exclusivity which the customers would value as a convenience.

Before starting a new business, the owner(s) and possible employee-partners go through some tough brainstorming sessions and obviously words like Break-Even Analysis, Sustainable Profits and Revenue per User etc. are discussed. These are important words and relates to pricing. I would consider skills to devise the best possible “pricing methodology” as another good resource tool. One has to be careful here, offering niche and exclusivity doesn’t guarantee higher prices. A smart entrepreneur needs to fall back on her/his practical experience and then devise a “customer willingness to pay” pricing strategy. This kind of pricing strategy will not only help to win prospective customers but also keep the possible competitors or new entrants guessing

I would also consider “hanging in there” as another useful resource to remain focused and not get distracted by hurdles that are natural to the business environment.

Romain Dekeyser

General Manager at Lime

Building a strong business starts with, according to my experience, three things:

1) Strong & reliable partners

2) A mentor or a network to help define, produce & sell the first MVPs

3) A communication strategy (website, social media, word of mouth, etc)

Lorenz Muck

Managing Director Operations

One of the most important things, in fact probably the most frequent reason for startups to never even come into existence, is to find the right cofounders. Without the right expertise, many startups don’t get off the ground, far from succeed.

For pitch decks, business plans, pilot projects, product-market fit and pivoting, templates and how-tos are essential. However, most startups fail due to not receiving or not knowing how to process feedback from the market, investors and experts right.

Many arguably proclaim this is an art. Chances are low. But those chances can be at the very least increased by the most important resource for startups:

Matchmakers who help you find the right experts who fit the innovation.

Battuya Gankhuyag

Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at Petra Diamonds

The most crucial recourses that one need to secure a start-up business was to create a great business plan to focus on and of course secure appropriate funding for your plan.

I was lucky enough to have a great network of individuals who have helped me along the way and my mentor/career coach who has expanded my vision broader. So meaning you have to surround yourself with appropriate people.

Also, any business comes with risks, challenges and unplanned delays therefore you have to be mentally prepared for those.

 

Working remotely with disabilities

We started to work remotely long before COVID. I am a deep introvert, and I love remote work. So I organized the Inclusive IT company from scratch with the help of IUS NGO. But there work people with disabilities. Some of them are blind. How to work that way – remotely and with blind people. Shortly – If they are motivated – then easier than you have thought.

People with Visual Impairments Working at Home

Blind people can use a computer with the help of screen readers. Screen readers use technology text-to-speech. So all the text information could be pronounced. Smartphones too. But every application could be accessible for blind people or not. This means correct code, labelling non-text elements and some other things. So there are accessible applications and not accessible. Accessible websites according to standard WCAG and not accessible. Accessible project management tools and corporate chat and not. Accessible mail services or not. And so on.

So my task was to find those applications for remote work that is most accessible. Spoiler: Redmine, Facebook Workplace, Google Suite are the most used by us. Also, we used Teamtalk, Skype, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts. If the application is accessible, the team declares it and gets some help chapters.

Flexible hours

Yes, we work fully flexible. Mostly we are on connection even when we are not busy with work. Just type what you need. If we need rest – we say I`m on holiday today. If you have a disability – your health is less strong than usual, and we understand it.

COVID was a shock to the world. Going to the remote is the chance to take part in hackathons, have new clients, even register companies abroad in Ukraine. Even we can travel again. We could work remotely. It is about possibilities.

I a not happy about COVID. But I think that is a chance to make the more healthy, more diverse and equal world. So we could work with people that are living in villages, that are in hard to move places, that have children home. It is the third wave. Hello, Elvin Toffler. It is a global village. Shortly we will come to mass augmented reality. Shortly our assistive technologies could include into the global process more and more different people.

I am happy inclusion, and web accessibility grows worldwide. I am happy we have offers and jobs. I am happy we could slowly grow and employ new IT specialists with disabilities. When the physical world is still dangerous, we could make the digital world the way to keep our society and planet longer.

Content Marketing Bundle

How to make your team believe in your startup – a short guide to help you win them over!

The team is one of the top ten reasons why startups fail, according to research done by CBInsights; eighter because of disharmony among stakeholders or just the wrong team. Team members must not only be able to perform, adjust, and innovate, but they must also be connected, dedicated, and striving for the same vision to thrive.

Members phycological behaviour may contribute to a startup’s failure for a variety of reasons. One of them is the fear of defeat in themselves and in the business idea itself. Making the importance of leadership in startup essential to reduce some of these problems within a team, especially when establishing or re-establishing belief in the business’s success.

That can be done by first believing in the venture yourself as the entrepreneur, founder and leader, telling the right story about the venture, and involving the team in the venture strategy through a shared vision.  

Believe in Your Startup Vision

Before anyone can believe in your startup, you have to believe in your business first. It often so happens that entrepreneurs seek advice from others before executing them. This process is generally recommended to do however this can lead to two doubts on the idea.

Thus, before validating your business idea, do your research to boost your business venture’s confidence. Do adequate market research with your niche target audience; you can find out early finances. Calculate the predicted profits based on the price range applicable to your target audience.

Lastly, how passionate are you about this venture? It takes much effort to be a successful entrepreneur and to motivate team members for your business venture. You need to be motivated first!  Lead by example; you have to be passionate about your venture and what you do; this enthusiasm is contagious.

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision

John Maxwell

The Power of Storytelling in Startup

However, even if you believe in your startup idea, it is still difficult to persuade others. Storytelling has been identified as a beneficial tool to gain stakeholders support throughout the startups’ development stage. Storytelling has the capability to get to the core of human nature to strengthen the relationship or create a relationship with stakeholders. Stories can gain support from stakeholders by setting future expectations, in the case of team members, employees or customers that could be in the form of the return of investment, career prospect, stock options for employees or valuable products or services for customers.

However, setting these expectations for stakeholders is challenging since they might not see the same vision for the business as you. By telling the right story, you can set future expectations that are legitimate to stakeholders and, in turn, provides you with a stronger community that believes and supports your business.

Nonetheless, be warned if those expectations are not meet, legitimacy can be compromised by adding different social and material elements that encourage stakeholders to imagine the future of the venture. The story you tell can also be linked to other growth success stories, which helps guide the startup’s stakeholders’ outlook. Though, do not alien the company too much to the success stories since stakeholders might alienate the industry downturn too closely with business performance.

A general outline for telling your story is to demonstrate the current problem and how bad it is in the market, and how you can solve it. Show that you are the right person or team to solve this problem based on past performances. After telling your story and getting the support needed by aware that stakeholders might expect you to follow the path you created with your story, be careful to construct a story that accurately fits your venture and the path you envision.

Shared Vision in Startups

After telling the story of your venture to your stakeholders, they have a general idea of where your startup is going and how it will get there. However, especially with employees, they might have different visions and ideas on how to get to the company’s objective.

A group of workers can build a common vision with a shared vision that achieves the company’s objective. This creates a sense of purpose and direction for each stakeholder involved in creating the shared vision, since now they are part of the company’s future, and it’s no longer just the founder’s objective but “our” objective. Now the team is not just joining the venture, but they are part of the venture.

This idea of the shared vision can overcome individual self-interest, personalities and work style differences. Now, they are committed to the shared vision and are more likely to overcome struggles. 

Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.

Simon Sinek

Building a shared vision can be quite difficult; however, reverse leadership and the bottom-up approach or the ideals methods and structures to build a sustainable shared vision for all stakeholders.

Since now the team is not just joining the venture, but they are part of the venture, they as the team promote your startup. People want to promote what they are part of, and they want to promote what they’re proud of. That’s why having a good story alongside the founder’s venture is central to build a stronger and more wholesome community.

By first believing in your startup idea and then persuading others of the idea and then improving the idea with the shared vision, you have created a community of people who believe and your business idea. Having a community to believe in you is essential for an entrepreneur because being a company founder is difficult and brings many hardships does having a community alleviates the work. Especially when working with a team of people, it might be beneficial to use strategies such as reverse leadership to look further ahead than your own eyes on where the venture is going to find out more about reverse leadership: click here.

Reading suggestions:

Michael H. Cohen, J. M. (2015). The Power of Shared Vision : How to Cultivate Staff Commitment & Accountability. Creative Health Care Management.

Garud, R., Schildt, H. A., & Lant, T. K. (2014). Entrepreneurial Storytelling, Future Expectations, and the Paradox of Legitimacy. Organization Science, 25(5), 1479–1492.

Elisabeth Klingler