4 min 🕐
We know, it is not easy to start your own enterprise. Keeping in mind fundraising and marketing, while simultaneously figuring out product development, staff management and business strategy and many other things can drive even the most prepared up the wall!
This is why We Share has decided to extend a helping hand to young and future entrepreneurs. We will compile tips for success from entrepreneurs in our network who have or are in the process of making their mark on their industries. We interviewed George Brandenburg and Sander Peltenburg, Founders of De Krekerij, and asked them for 10 tips they would give to those who consider turning entrepreneur. These pals have participated in numerous acceleration programs, pitching sessions and challenges and learnt valuable lessons along the way. Now they are glad to share what they have gained, with you. So what are you waiting for? Dive in!
De Krekerij is a Rotterdam-based startup seeking to substitute the customary source of protein with crickets and grasshoppers’ meat. They process crickets into tasty food products, like burgers. They have served their burgers to over 20.000 customers at over 100 events and grew their team from 6 to 11 employees in the last three months. They were recently featured in Trouw newspaper (in Dutch).
1. Be Patient
In short, entrepreneurship never goes as planned. Every process such as product development or fundraising takes approximately three times more time and money than you expect. So, accept this fact and be ready for it.
2. Be Stubborn and Follow Your Dream
There will always be people who don’t believe in your idea. Those who don’t see any potential in your dreams and doubt any word you utter. However, what counts most is that you believe in your vision and in the efficiency of your solution.
3. Be Modest
Meanwhile, don’t be overconfident about the newness and uniqueness of your product or service. The worst thing you can do is to declare that your product is one-of-a-kind and has absolutely no competitors on the market. Trust us, there is nothing new in this world. Therefore, do your homework beforehand and study the market well. Due diligence is the key.
4. Get Depth in Your Business Plan
Make sure to document all aspects of your business. Define your marketing strategy, financial projections, company profile and all other necessary things. If needed, involve an expert or a mentor to assist you with it. A well-thought business plan will help you avoid many unnecessary mistakes from the beginning.
5. Learn by Doing More Than Listening or Reading
You will never be 100% ready or know it all about the industry you are working in. But no worries, you will get knowledge in the process. Just start doing it and you will quickly observe the expertise you lack — whether it is about processing crickets into tasty meat substitutes or the perfecting the recipe for your vegetable-made pasta.
6. Always Be Open to Learning
You can never know too much. Study online and offline, ask questions to your colleagues and peers, attend networking events. Try to surround yourself with industry experts, with people who motivate you and make you strive to be better at what you do.
7. Soft Skills are Important
You might have a great idea but if you don’t know how to communicate it, how to network or learn from criticism, you will most likely have a hard time. For that reason, pay attention to your soft skills development, it will do wonders for your professional growth.
8. Start a Business with Someone You Know and Trust
If possible, start a business with a friend(s). Like so, the chances to possess the same attitude, goals and mentality are relatively higher. You may differ in your internal motivation for starting the company but if you share the same long-term goals, the sky is the limit!
9. Be Thankful
Be grateful to people giving you help and feedback. In many cases, mentorship costs a lot of money (or equity). Also, find time to share your knowledge and expertise with others — students or other startups at an earlier stage. It will help you grow, stay motivated and get recognition.
10. Be Ready to Fail
There is a chance that you will fail. But what is a failure? If you challenge yourself in the process, achieve your goals, make mistakes and learn from them, gain and share expertise, then your “failure” starts to look quite a bit like a victory!
Why are we sharing these tips with you? Because We Share supports Impact Startups in their aspiration for a better future. We connect them with a wide range of Funding Members and experts. Moreover, we offer them patient capital: i.e. long-term loans with low-interest rates. More information about us and the support you can get from us can be found here.