Starting or building a business is exciting, though comes with challenges and roadblocks that can even scare veteran entrepreneurs. You're not alone. It is rare that the difficult challenges that an entrepreneur may face have not been previously encountered by others. That’s where the Bootstrappers Breakfasts step in - to facilitate entrepreneurs working together to exchange learning and information that grow the skills and confidence it takes to build a successful business.
The Philly Bootstrappers typically meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month, gathering entrepreneurs and business owners for a mastermind-like session, feeding off of each other and answering even the toughest questions.
This week's breakfast was no different. Our guests had a wide variety of backgrounds from biomedical engineers to app developers to mascot storytellers. Our bootstrappers helped each other overcome specific challenges while giving each other outside-in perspectives. Here are some of the lessons and takeaways:
Get to market as quickly as possible. Understand customer behavior and try to achieve some traction before focusing on a full-blown business plan.
How do you quickly share your idea? The elevator pitch, or course. Be able to introduce your business or idea to someone new in five sentences or thirty seconds. If you can’t, then simplify. Then practice, practice, practice. The right words need to be second nature.
An early stage entrepreneur can’t only keep their head in the clouds. Take a step back from looking at the business from 30,000 feet and work on it from ground level, too.
The value of focus has a high return. There are a lot of opportunities and you simply cannot capture them all.
Two people can pitch similar ideas and be nothing alike in implementation. Forget about competition. Winners win because of execution. When you get execution right, competition matters less.
Start your business as niche as practical, but surround yourself with as much diversity as possible. Exposure to different entrepreneurs and businesses, markets and models, and at various stages gives you the advantage of many perspectives. If you fill a room with ten people and they all agree, then nine of them are unnecessary.