At FrontFundr, we work with many founders who are looking to raise capital for their startups. These founders are working day and night to bring their entrepreneurial ambitious to life, and their days are full of trial and error. In our conversations with these founders, we’ve heard many lessons from startup life—some of which seem to be universally true for every founder, and some of which are completely unique perspectives.
We asked a few startup founders to share lessons they’ve learned since launching their companies that they wish they had known before starting. Read on to learn from their experiences.
Dana Stephenson, Riipen
If you're going to start a business, you have to go all in! It's impossible to be juggling multiple gigs and become as successful as you'd like to be. You really end up just being not that great at either and stressing yourself out. Make sure you've got someway to support yourself, but don't be afraid to quit your job and go all in. I wish I had quit my day job and gone all in earlier. It's also amazing how little you can live off if you learn to cut out all the extras you don't actually need—great life lesson and practice for anyone.
Thijs Mathot, Brighter Investment
Actual business building is really hard on the side of a full time job, but two things I wished I had done while still earning an income are: find a business partner and don't compromise, this takes time. Talk to as many people as possible who are active your business’s space, like specialists, possible customers, scientists, other entrepreneurs, investors, etc. This will save you time later on.
Kerry Costello, HeadCheck Health
Customer traction truly trumps all. By that I mean, customers have a huge influence on how your business pivots and grows. It isn't enough to have sign ups. You need true engagement from customers to build a better product, to target the right purchasers, and to reduce risk for investors. With that trifecta, you've got a good base to grow from.
Jonathan Hill, Mode
Make sure you have enough capital to start your business before you start going into debt. Had I known how lengthy and draining the process of building could be, I probably would have worked a bit more before going into “business” (but then it probably never would have happened…strange).
Max Rivest, Wize Monkey
Everything always takes longer than you expect. As an entrepreneur, you're always operating at 100% and going fast, executing constantly and running at full sprint. The rest of the employed world doesn't tend to move as fast, so add 25-50% time on everything in order to properly plan timelines.
FrontFundr is passionate about helping founders achieve their entrepreneurial goals and grow their business to the next stage. If you’re looking to raise funds for your early stage private business, check out our How it Works page, check the Eligibility Criteria to learn what it takes to participate in equity crowdfunding, or reach out to our team.