8 ways to support yourself and help your startup succeed

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A selection of advice and resources to make you and your business more resilient.

  • Find different ways to support yourself
  • Take a breath before acting when things get tough
  • Keep an eye out for burnout that creeps up on you
  • Build diversity to increase business insight and resilience

Utilise your network correctly

Best practice for good networking is to always give as much as you get. You should also make sure to thank people properly and keep them updated if they're helping you. Be very specific about what your request is.

If you're asking for an introduction: who is it you need to be introduced to and help draft that introduction. If people have a particular way that they like to work, make sure you follow it. Make it easy as possible for people to help you.

Watch this video for more tips from Sarah Turner, CEO of Angel Academe, on how to get the most from your network if you are a female founder.

A more diverse team will drive better outcomes

Diversity should not be an add-on or secondary thinking to your business. It is essential if you plan to be competitive in an increasingly complex and diverse world. Where possible have underrepresented people around the table and involved in the most critical parts of the business. It is the best way to remain effective and relevant.

Impact X Capital is a black-owned London-based venture capital company that focuses on investing in unrepresented entrepreneurs across Europe.

Read this interview with its chief executive Eric Collins on why underrepresentation is preventable – and what he needs to see in an entrepreneur before investing.

Change the conversation around female founders and risk

There has been a great deal of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of female founders and attitudes to risk. The stereotype is that they are risk averse but that is not the case and in fact women have proved to be excellent risk managers. As long as the market opportunity is right and they have the right people in their team, they are happy to make decisions.

For more on what support female founders need to succeed watch this video with Jackie Waring, CEO of Investing Women.

Learn from your co-founder

One of the major perks of having a co-founder is that each person brings a unique set of skills to the table. Remember to play to each other’s strengths. But also remember to learn from one another. That way, if one of you is out of the office, the other can step in and provide effective leadership.

Read this interview with Scott Wiley, co-founder of payments startup PayHere, to find out how to best work with your co-founder in six key areas.

Keep asking yourself questions

When founders are faced with challenges it pays to take a step back and assess the situation before acting. Ask yourself what is occurring, what assumptions are being made and what outcomes are most important. You can then go on to assemble your resources, address the issue, then reflect on the experience. By asking questions at each stage you can keep perspective and ensure you have the right support to meet your goals.

As Co-founder of property startup Stepladder, Lucy Mullins is no stranger to the many demands of being an entrepreneur. She is also a qualified professional coach and Co-founder of Ride the Wave Professional Coach Training.

In this video she shares the WAVES approach to analysing and addressing the problems and challenges that are inevitable in a founder’s life.

Support other women and be supported

Learn from other women’s experience and support one another to succeed by joining a female networking group. From advice and inspiration to encouragement and introductions, there is likely to be a group that can help.

We’ve pulled together brief descriptions and links to nine networks aimed at female founders and women in business.

Recognise the different types of burnout

Burnout is a risk for startup founders and can feel like hitting a brick wall. It can also manifest itself in a more insidious way, says John Peebles, a founder of several tech startups and the current CEO of Administrate. The first step to tackling burnout is recognising that it is happening – only then can you start to address the causes.

Peebles shares his first hand experience of burnout and explains why it led him to overlook a great business opportunity.

Reflect on the tough times to build a stronger team

Dee Caffari MBE knows about managing teams through intensely stressful and changeable times. As a sailor she has raced around the world six times, including becoming the first woman to sail solo and non-stop around the world against the prevailing winds and currents.

In this short video Caffari shares her unique insight on how to manage teams through massive stress and disruption.

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