How to Survive and Thrive Now

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 25, 2009

Many people ask me how we’ve managed to survive and grow in the worst recession our economy has seen in nearly a century. While I can’t purport to have cracked the code for success, I do have a few tips.

Fund-raising. While many startups flock to Sand Hill road, entrepreneurs need to consider the investor’s specific experience before they head down the 280. Is the VC heavily invested in tech companies and, therefore, may be looking for an expedient exit strategy, when your industry often requires a long-term bet? Will their investment bolster or significantly dilute your company’s valuation? How strategic will the partnership be? Finding the right investors is tantamount to success. Also, it is a lot easier to raise money when you already have money.

Competition. You may have a great idea but, if the leaders in your industry haven’t tackled it, what makes you think you’ll succeed? Is it due to major barriers to entry in your marketplace or have they just not thought of it yet? If you think you’ve got a gem of an idea, then scale with all you’ve got.

Growth. How do small businesses control national growth, especially when they’re under pressure to sell a lot of product…and fast? Startups need to walk a fine line here, combining smart research with intuition. You’ve got to budget meticulously and make sure even during times of growth, you are hunkering down to weather any storm. Remember, growth takes capital. Combine the right partners with a smart strategy, and season with a heavy dose of gumption and intuition, and you just may see you, too, have a winning recipe.

Sean O’Connor
Co-founder and CEO
Batter Blaster
San Francisco

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