In a technology company, the founder has to be not only comfortable, but proficient with the technology itself. These are basic requirements and they fit with the picture most people have of a start-up entrepreneur. But there are six other traits which, in the long run, will make the difference between success and failure.
You will have to present your idea to investors in order to raise money and persuade partners and support staff to join you. It takes confidence to sell your vision, and yourself, for as long as it may take to succeed.
If your budget doesn't yet have room for a secretary, publicist, writer, driver, receptionist, or janitor, you will have to type, text, tweet, post, drive, compose, phone, greet people, and pick up after yourself. The energy to put in long hours and hard work are essential to founding a start-up.
Not everything you do, not everyone you hire, will work out. You will have to fire people, change directions, abandon bad ideas and implement better ones. And if the business is less successful than you hoped, you will need to know when to sell for what you can, or scrap the project and move on relatively unscathed, ready to try something new.
As the founder, you must build relationships with others. When others can't communicate or work together, that's your problem too, so you have to be able to mediate disputes and facilitate cooperation.
It is essential that you initiate difficult conversations about money, percentages and expectations. Shying away from these discussions now will only come back to haunt you later. It will also take courage to seek out, not just tolerate, criticism.
The most important criticism is from potential, as well as current, customers. Searching far and wide to find out what your customers need, and what they think, is the key to creating something they will buy. Your customers will tell you what you need to do. Make sure you're listening.
Vision and talent will get you started. Confidence, energy, flexibility, leadership, courage and inquisitiveness will keep you going. At The Accountancy Cloud we specialise in helping start-ups manage their money so they can concentrate on what they do best.