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10 tips for start-up founders

12 Oct 2020


Anyone who founds a start-up company goes on a journey full of adventures. - © Koelnmesse

Anyone who founds a start-up company goes on a journey full of adventures. More often than not, there are a few challenges to overcome before this endeavor turns profitable. We have compiled a list with 10 tips to ensure that everything is on the road to success right from the start.

  • Nothing works without a good idea ...
    Do you have a great idea for an innovative product or service? Review your opportunities: Is the idea feasible? Is there a real need for it?
  • ... and a solid business plan
    In order to convince banks and other financial sponsors, your business plan must be conclusive: there has to be a detailed description of your business idea including market analysis, capital requirements, liquidity planning as well as opportunity and risk assessment.
  • No money, no business: proper financing
    Founders can receive seed capital from banks and investors. Favourable conditions are offered by development banks such as the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW ). Also look for state subsidies and consider crowdfunding as an option.
  • How to find the right legal form
    What legal form should your start-up have? A sole proprietorship will save you a lot of formalities, but will also make you liable with your private assets. If you start your business with a partner, a partnership under civil law (GbR) could be useful. The bureaucratic effort is small and you can benefit from tax advantages.
  • Do not forget the tax authorities
    Keep an eye on your liquidity and don't forget the tax prepayments. More than a few start-ups have had to hit the brakes because of high additional claims.
  • Professional appearance
    Use all channels and advertising options to make your start-up known. Leave a positive impression and give more information about your company and yourself with an appealing, clear website. It’s important to let customers know who the people behind the offer are.
  • The best way to the customer
    You know exactly who your customers are and what they want? Think about the channels you can use to reach potential customers and how best to address them.
  • Good contacts, good business
    The business world is based on cooperation. Good contacts are essential, especially for founders. Take advantage of all opportunities to share experiences, make business contacts and expand your network - for example at industry meetings such as the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR.
  • Don't get bogged down
    As a founder, you are faced with many obligations at the same time. You can keep an overview with a clear time and resource management: prioritize and delegate to dos and automate regular administrative tasks.
  • Learn from setbacks
    Your business is not going to be smooth sailing at all times. Setbacks in particular open up opportunities to gain new insights and further develop your business. Learn from them - and don't get discouraged.

What do you think?

What experiences have you made with setting up a business? What do you advise start-up founders? Share your findings at the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR from February 21 to 24, 2021 in Cologne.