You will be told that it is going to be hard work, long days and a lot less time for family and friends when starting your own company.
You also will be told that you have to pivot your business model about 28 times, that you have to make sure you have the right business partner, that you select the right investors and that in 2016 you definitely need some kick ass developers.
Probably people will advise you to read The Lean Startup. They will warn you that “cash” is something different than “results”. That you have to be scalable but flexible at the same time.
Once every while research is published about why companies (or startups) don’t make it to the next phase or don’t make it at all. Dutch entrepreneurs medium “Sprout” published this article recently, where it is referring to this research.
The main 3 reasons according to this study for not making it: Business model not viable, Ran out of cash and Not enough traction.
Here is what I believe is one of the underlying facts of why the business model is not viable, companies ran out of cash or didn’t make enough traction, and the one reason nobody tells you when you start your own company: the founders didn’t know how to sell.
Yes. They didn’t know how to sell and they didn’t have the commercial insight that is necessary. Building a company without knowing how to sell and how to persuade people is like competing in an Ironman contest without knowing how to swim. It is like trying to win the yellow jersey in the Tour de France without a decent time trial.
Because how on earth do you think you can get customers in if you don’t know how to explain what is really beneficial to them? How do you seduce the right investors? You need to know more than a thing or two about sales.
‘But what if I hire someone? Or outsource it?’ How on earth are you going to hire the right A-player or the right agency if you are totally clueless about selling? I am totally clueless regarding cars. So in one of my brightest moments I decided to buy a second hand car.
I now have a special shelf in my cabinet where I store all the bills from the repairs that had to be made. Besides that I am the laughing stock among my friends, which I totally deserve. Because what was I thinking?
Business model not viable? Ran out of cash? Not enough traction? I don’t know, but If you know how to sell and you understand the principles that are underneath, chances are pretty big you can get around it.
So learn how to sell, or go do something different.
Terry van den Bemt, Founder Saleslift