Editor's Note: Entrepreneur's Ask the Expert column seeks to answer questions about everything from starting a business to growing one. To follow the column on Twitter -- and ask a question -- use hashtag #ENTexpert, or leave a comment below. Your query may be the inspiration for a future column.
Q: I’m at the edge of taking the leap and launching my business, but I’m worried I’m not ready. How can I make sure I’m prepared?
- Moolah-Lea Ramasamy
A: While preparation is very important, it is no substitute for experience.
When feasible, I encourage young entrepreneurs to create a minimum-viable product and expose it to potential users as quickly as possible. Your first users will provide feedback -- both good and bad -- that you can learn from and incorporate into your next iteration. It is critical that you remain open to customer feedback and pivot quickly to keep improving. Often times, your earliest users will uncover things that you would have never thought of in a business plan.
Related: 3 Tips to a Speedy Launch
Then, I'd also suggest making sure your team is ready for action. This is one of the biggest pitfalls I see. So, I cannot stress enough how important it is to choose the right partners and employees. The team is always the most important asset a startup has and one bad apple can derail an organization.
It’s critical to consider these questions when choosing a partner or new hire:
1. What kind of culture do I want for my company? How does that culture fit with the company’s goals?
2. What kind of personalities do I work with best? How do those personalities fit with the culture I want to create?
3. How do I find and retain the types of employees that excel within this vision?
Related: Failure to Launch: Why New Products Don't Make It
As an entrepreneur, you ultimately have to create a vision for a product or service and inspire your team to execute on that vision. Early employees are vital to a company’s success and they need to be selected thoughtfully.
Have a question for YoungEntrepreneur’s experts? Leave a comment below and tune in next week to hear from our new Ask the Expert contributor.
Jason Green has more than 15 years of venture-capital experience under his belt. As the founder of San Mateo, Calif-based Emergence Capital, he invests exclusively in early- and growth-stage tech companies, manages $575 million across three funds and is actively seeking new investment opportunities. Green has led early investments that became market-leading public companies like SuccessFactors, DoubleClick and Ask Jeeves.