Christina Wallace knows a thing or two about starting up a business. The former co-founder of Quincy, a management consulting group, is now the director of Startup Institute NY, which connects people who are looking to work for startups in New York.
While there are a number of critical aspects to recognize before trying to open a successful business, Wallace said that understanding the hierarchy of startups is especially important if you hope to achieve favorable results with your company.
"Think of the startup community as high school: You've got your freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and then teachers and staff," Wallace told Forbes. "When you first enter the community, whether as a founder or an employee, you're a freshman. By all means, develop relationships with mentors and more senior, experienced people, but also foster relationships with people just one or two steps ahead of you."
Wallace implored startup founders to not be afraid to ask questions they think might be silly or inconsequential. No question is a stupid question when it pertains to your business and livelihood. And the more you ask, the more you'll know, which will allow you to climb the ladder and become a sophomore or junior in the startup hierarchy before graduating. Soon enough, you'll be the professor answering questions from the meek freshman startup.
Don't grip too tight, you're bound to slip
Pavia Rosati, founder of Fathom, which is billed as a "travel website reinvented," told Forbes that many business owners often struggle to gain the proper frame of mind when reviewing their business.
"As a founder - or anyone who feels proud of and close to the product he or she creates - you struggle to have the right perspective about your business," Rosati said. "It's easy to get too close, and that can be distracting. Here's the good and bad news: No one is looking at your work as closely as you are. So, remember that when you're on hour four debating which shade of navy blue works best for your logo."
Rosati tells unique stories about different places, often combining work and pleasure. She said details are important, but not so much where small aspects should be slowing the growth of your big-picture scheme.
Getting your small-business finances in order
Is there a term that sends a shiver down the spine of startup founders more than small business finances?
With the conclusion of 2013, the new year marks a new set of financial records and evaluations for small businesses, which particularly can be a problem for startups without much banking experience, according to Fox News.
"The biggest financial issue facing small business owners today is capitalization, specifically, difficulty getting loans," Ken LaRoe, CEO of a Florida-based bank, told Fox News. "Even though lack of capital can affect any business, it is particularly prevalent and tricky for small businesses. This also acts to limit the development of many small businesses, because without sufficient capital they cannot afford to make key investments necessary for growth and expansion."
LaRoe said that a few steps can greatly enhance a startup's chance for success. He noted that keeping tabs on your accounts and taking advantage of professional services are two great ways to stay ahead of the curve.
Business owners should stay up-to-date with all their accounts, both personal and commercial, as to keep realistic assessments of expenses and financial necessities. LaRoe also said hiring a certified public accountant can make matters easy, with the person you hire managing your monthly financial statements and keeping everything up to standard.