- Chapters from Starting & Sustaining
- Discounts from Starting & Sustaining
- Resources & Links
- Products, Services, & Tools
- Related Topics
Chapters from Starting & Sustaining
Get paperwork out of the way
Paperwork is never any fun, but there’ll be a handful of things you need to set up and keep handy. The critical part is keeping the information to hand and documenting this so it’s not a chore when you need it.
Focus and execute
On the one hand, you need to explore multiple ideas to gain the knowledge of what will and won’t work; but at some point, you’ll need to focus exclusively on the one idea you really believe in.
Defend your productivity
You’re running a small business and juggling dozens of aspects. You can’t afford time lost to non-critical tasks. Take the time to make a plan, be disciplined, and hold yourself accountable for focused work.
Plan for icebergs
As you get started, you’re going to run into problems and challenges you either didn’t anticipate or severely underestimated. With SaaS, there’s a handful of seemingly simple things that might catch you off guard.
It can be intimidating to see large companies that seemingly have more bandwidth and can eat your lunch without trying, but it’s important to remember that being small gives you strengths those other businesses wish they had again.
Ignore the competition
When you get started, there are only two things that matter: your customers and your productivity. While it might be helpful to evaluate competitors when getting started, once you start, it’s best to ignore them and do your thing.
Remember it's a business
As a founder juggling multiple tasks, it’s easy to forget about the business in the face of all of the other product decisions, but you have to factor business and operations into your decisions now.
Develop empathy for customers
As a new founder, you’re in a position to design your business and life the way you want to. If the standard way of doing something feels wrong, use it as an opportunity to do the right thing rather than the corporate thing.
Be honest and graceful when things go wrong
When you eventually make a mistake that affects customers, you’ll be tempted to sugarcoat the problem. This is a terrible idea. Honesty and transparency are best, combined with a clear and well-documented explanation of your path forward to prevent it from ever happening again.
Outsource your weaknesses
Outsourcing can be expensive, but once you have the resources it’s more cost-effective to hire specialists than try to learn everything yourself. If it’s not a core competency, get help with it.
Strategically maximize automation
Automation will be your friend, but only if it’s deployed strategically. Automating everything as soon as it’s annoying will be a distraction and prevent you from doing the work that matters. Make a plan for progressive automation and improve iteratively.
Understand the process of selling
Selling a business isn’t easy, and you’ll learn a lot your first time around. Knowing a little bit in advance can really help you prepare and build your business in a way that makes life easier whether you sell or not.
Understand deal structures
Deals for buying business can be incredibly complex, encompassing holdbacks, escrow, seller financing, non-compete agreements, consulting agreements, and more. Acquire a basic understanding of how these can affect you if you ever sell your business.
Discounts from Starting & Sustaining
These products and services include discounts when you purchase the full package of Starting & Sustaining.
Pulse: 40% off for 12 months
Cashflow management software for your business.
RightMessage: 20% off for life
RightMessage integrates your existing website with your email marketing database.
Sidecar: 20% off your entire order
Incredible digital assets like stock photgraphy, icons, and more for design.
Resources & Links
Paul Graham explains the benefits of having a low cost of living when creating a business.
Stripe Atlas - Starting a Real Business
Patrick McKenzie has pulled together a great summary of some of the more tedious aspects of building and running a business internationally. This is an absolute must-read if you’ve never started a business before.
Play by your own rules.
Josh Williams, cofounder of Gowalla, talks about competing against Foursquare and how it affected their long-term vision.
Products, Services, & Tools
A tool to handle everything involved in establishing an internet business.
How can you optimize for rapid iteration? How does monitoring fit into your day-to-day tasks?
Should you build or buy certain tools? How do you choose the best vendors?
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