Entrepreneur Christie Whitehill’s 5 Tips On Making Your Start Up A Success

Entrepreneur Christie Whitehill's 5 Tips On Making Your Start Up A Success

The tech industry is ripe for female intervention. Here are five ways to get your ideas off the ground and keep them succeeding.

Australia is a hot bed for startups, particularly the eastern seaboard hubs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The technology industry here is world class, providing amazing opportunities for entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to reality. In fact, the Australian Government is reporting that startups created 1.44 million jobs in our economy between 2006 and 2011. That was before the true boom.

only 4.8% of startups are scaling successfully, According to deloitte report

Despite this, Deloitte reports that only 4.8% of startups are scaling successfully. So, what gives? It could have a lot to do with the mentality of entrepreneurs. As a founder of multiple businesses, some which have been highly successful, others which have failed, there are a number of lessons I have learned along the way. One of the biggest was that starting up a business is as much a mental game as it is about business planning.

With an environment that is truly starting to encourage women to turn their ideas into reality, it’s important that these opportunities are backed up by the right support. Support that acknowledges it will take more than ample funding and deep technology expertise to make sure more than 4.8% of startups are scaling.

These five tips are the most important I have from my various startup journeys. Hopefully they are tips which will not just help entrepreneurs scale, but encourage those on the fence to step off and startup. 

Christie Whitehill gives her entrepreneur advice

Do what you love

This may sound so basic, but it is absolutely fundamental to running a successful startup. There are too many entrepreneurs that believe they have a great idea. They may well, but that idea is not what they love. It has been born from desperation to be an entrepreneur first. This just won’t work. Fall in love with your idea first, then become an entrepreneur to make it happen. You will be working long days and nights to get your idea off the ground. That is only possible if you love what you do. 

Invest in yourself

You never stop learning—that lesson is even more important when you are starting up your own business. It is easy to say that you are busy and there are not enough hours in the day. That may be true, but you will also find that as an entrepreneur you will quickly discover weaknesses you didn’t know about. These will need to be resolved as quickly as possible to make sure you are delivering to your business idea what it needs to succeed. Sure, you can outsource a lot of what you don’t know, but there is a fine line between outsourcing and losing control. When you outsource, you must know exactly what you want and what is possible. You can only do that by learning. 

Cultivate a growth mindset

Starting up is only a tiny part of the challenge. The bigger challenge is growing. Switching from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is essential to thinking like a founder. Having a growth mindset means focusing on solutions and seeing opportunities with each new challenge you are faced with. Developing a growth mindset helps you to learn from situations both internally and externally, and lets you bring new ideas into your organisation. It is deadly to standstill for too long, and clearly Australian startups are doing just that. Keep moving and always look forward.

Christie Whitehill is a member of Poppy Renegade's community.
Christie Whitehill is a co-founder of Poppy Renegade‘s community.

Embrace uncertainty

Change is the only constant when it comes to starting up. Be the catalyst for change within your organisation and change the market and industry you play in. It is a pretty safe bet that if your startup is able to get off the ground, you have been a catalyst of change in some way. Keep hold of this idea and continue to look for change opportunities. With change comes uncertainty, there is no getting around this, but if you’re continually changing and running head first into the uncertain aspects of your business, you’re doing something right.

Validate Ideas

Investing the time to validate ideas and interview your users prior to launching a product is a way to take a calculated risk and sets you up for success. But it’s also important to continually do this as your startup grows. It is easy to get your idea off the ground and think you know it all, but your product or service should continually evolve. Your market will change and new opportunities will arise. You may also want to launch additional products or services. Never believe they are a sure thing until you market test them. But balance this with action as well. Like I said, nothing is a sure thing, so don’t use additional market testing as an excuse not to launch your idea and potentially let competitors beat you to the punch.

Christie Whitehill

Christie Whitehill is an entrepreneur and mentor in the Australian tech space. She is CEO of Hatching Lab—an innovation and tech partner to startups and corporates, co-founder of Poppy Renegade—a movement to empower women to stand tall in all facets of life, and creator of the Tech Ready® program for women—an 8-week accelerator course specifically designed for non-tech female founders who want to step confidently into the tech space. Christie is dedicated to empowering and educating women in startups, tech and innovation. In 2016 she was recognised as one of the Top 50 Women in Tech by Startup Daily.

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