Finding a way in the darkness

A man is sat at his desk, with his head in his hands. On the desk there is a computer, a telephone and some papers showing a budget sheet.

writer icon Tormod Birch     Caio Triana   |   Startups     🕐 05. Nov. 2018

Taking the leap and launching a startup can be very exciting, even scary. A lot of time and effort goes into getting everything ready for the moment of the launch. Business plans are drawn up, prototypes are created, and ideas are planted like seeds.

Finally, the moment arrives to launch the business. Up to this point, lights have shone on the process. The focus is clear, and the aim is simple. Yet, after launch, some entrepreneurs find out that the path is no longer clear.

When trouble strikes
As challenges arise and difficulties present themselves, it can be easy to lose sight of one’s goals. Struggles cast clouds over progress, and the darkness can sit heavily over a startup.

It is at this point that the true work begins. While it can feel like progress is slow, this is an important hurdle to get across. In many ways, it is more important than the launch and everything that led up to it.

It is the continuance of the startup, and it demands an amount of defiance that can be hard for people to produce within themselves.

Too much to do
Anyone who has worked in the startup environment knows that there is a never-ending list of things that have to be done. At times it can feel like everything on that list demands immediate attention.

In order to stop the pressure from becoming overwhelming, one must develop the skills to prioritise. Some tasks can be delegated, while others must be seen to immediately.

Communicate needs
Be open with the team. Always let people know when they will be needed to pitch in and help with things that fall outside their standard job description. The startup environment often requires people to stretch their skills across several job roles, and everyone involved should be on board with that.

One way to stay on track when the wheels hit the mud, is to find a structure and a routine. For everyone involved, whether a startup is one person or several, structure is key. It gives a clear path to follow, and keeps the motor running.

Look after morale
Keep the morale high. Setting smaller goals and celebrating them is one way of doing this, by taking the time to recognise that things are happening and progress is being made.

Higher morale is proven to increase productivity. This will bring light both for employees and the startup itself, as benefits are felt across the board. 

Keeping spirits high is not just important for one’s employees. It is a vital tool for a leader too. It is important to take a moment to recognise positive progress. Just as it is important to see where things are not working, and deal with them quickly.

When things slow down within a startup, and doubts flood in, that is a chance to take stock of the situation so far. Put down revised structures, build a routine and follow through, so that the startup can find its way back to the light.

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