Hidden Treasures for Successful Business
Blog Series | Part Four | Hidden Treasures for Successful Business
The path to becoming a successful entrepreneur looks less like a road and more like a rollercoaster. The market landscape is constantly changing; sometimes bringing challenges, other times opportunities, and most times- these are two sides of the same coin. Throughout my tenure in both the VC and tech worlds, I have noticed several best practices of entrepreneurs that have contributed to their successes in both building and scaling successful businesses.
Darwin said it first – The most important characteristic that an entrepreneur should have is the ability to adapt. Everything is constantly changing, the unexpected often happens (2020 most definitely showed us that), and you should leverage the change to your own advantage. It is imperative to be attuned to signals, lean in to added flexibility and not be afraid to mobilize quickly. Those who not only survive volatility but also rise to the top, are those who succeed.
This is just as true for investors as it is for entrepreneurs. Since joining Glilot three years ago, I was fortunate to take part in the firm’s continuous growth and changes that helped us adapt ourselves to the existing needs of the market.
Like our portfolio companies, we at Glilot have made smart shifts to not only be at the forefront of industries but also to support our companies where needed. The proof: my partners Kobi Samboursky and Arik Kleinstein were one of the first VCs to invest in cybersecurity, and I was honored to be one of the first in Israel to establish a Value Creation team that supports Glilot’s portfolio companies to this day. In fact, having a Value Creation process in place helps our portfolio companies in adapting their products and technologies based on feedback from industry leaders. Such feedback enables necessary pivots or further validates ideas, but the bottom line is knowing when and where to make changes.
Don’t Build a Network, Build Relationships
At the end of the day, people and the relationships you build with them are the most foundational element to building successful ventures (and a happy life, but that’s for a different blog post :)). Whether it be the team, the investor, the co-founder or the customers – you can’t scale alone. After all, it is the people that will buy into a product or develop a strategic partnership or invest – strong relationships will carry you to the top.
It Takes a Village
Building a community of peers and mentors is essential; no one person holds all the answers. Construct your “village” with professional advisors, on whom you can depend when conducting business with customers, partners and investors or startups. We don’t operate alone, but with our extended family – this is a big part of what drives success for our portfolio companies as well. It is on this principle that we established our Value Creation team, which serves as the go-to for creating and maintaining relationships with our village that aids our companies to sharpen their competitive edge and stand out in the market.
Product Market Fit is the Key to Success
One of the biggest challenges of an early stage startup is achieving Product Market Fit (PMF). It’s not the amount of money you raise or your initial revenues you’ve earned that guarantees your success. It is your ability to build a product that answers a real market need in the most accurate way. To obtain product market fit and avoid an endless loop of pivots, startups need to gain access to their potential customers as soon as possible – even during the ideation stage. Once access is gained it’s the entrepreneur’s job to ask questions and listen carefully, rather than focus too much on her pitch.
Another winning PMF tip is to get feedback from as many people within your target audience as possible to make sure you make data-driven decisions.
It’s been over 3 years since I joined Glilot to help the firm in developing its strategy, investing in new ventures and establishing its Value Creation platform. We’ve built a process to support our companies throughout their PMF journey, and we are all constantly making sure that we and our companies adapt to rapid changes, making lemonade out of every lemon, but for true long-term success, we can’t forget the more abstract elements: our foundation is built on the strong relationships created over time, rooted in trust. These principles will continue to be my backbone in forging new ventures and supporting new entrepreneurs that join our extended family.