8 Things Event Managers Can Learn From Silicon Valley Startups
Some of the biggest businesses in the world have grown up after struggling in Silicon Valley. From the outside it may seem like just an idea. It looks like a bit of luck and some funding. But successful startups are the result of hard work and making the right moves. It’s not easy, and startup owners don’t sleep much. These aren’t regular jobs, and it’s tough to make a go out of it. Here are a few of the best tips from some of the best on how to make your business work.
If You Think You Can Work Fewer Hours, You’re Wrong
“My work days are usually split into two shifts – 11 am-5 pm, then 9 pm-3 am. In between those shifts, I like to hit the Crossfit gym.” – Justin Zhu, Iterable
Startup founders don’t get into the business because they want an easy ride. There might be a great pay day down the road, but you need dedication to get there. You need to work hard and be passionate about what you’re doing. Consider Justin’s approach and break up your day or night into two shifts. This will help you keep you sanity, and get everything done. The only way a business works is by putting in serious hours.
Network, Network, Network
“For almost the first year of The Muse’s life, I would do 5 to 8 networking events a week. And I don’t necessarily think that’s the right path for everyone, but I realized that as an entrepreneur, one of my strengths was finding the right people who could help us. I didn’t come into startups with any network.” – Kathryn Minshew, The Muse.
Don’t Rush the Hiring Process
“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” – Marc Benioff, Salesforce
In the Valley, what you will see time and again is a close-knit team. They are all dedicated to making the world a better place. And they want to do it with the product or service that they’re working on. You can train people to do jobs, but attitude and belief can’t be taught. Belief in what you’re selling should be your number one trait to look for in a potential hire.
Don’t Take the Customer for Granted
“We never thought of it as customer service. We just treat people how we would want to be treated.” – Sally Strebel, Pagely
Your customers are what keeps your business going. So that means they must be treated with the utmost respect. You are here because of them, so make sure you treat them well. Always respond calmly to any complaints and listen to their requests. Most of all, acknowledge them at all times.
You Don’t Need to do Things by the Book
“Just fix things that seem broken, regardless of whether it seems likes the problem is important enough to build a company on.” – Paul Graham, Y Combinator
You don’t need to follow in the footsteps of anyone else or how they work their business model. The key to success is to fix what’s wrong in the events scape. Look at what is poor in the current market and make steps to change it within your own business.
No Man is an Island
“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” – Reid Hoffman, Linked In
Startups are often founded by two members, business partners. One CEO, one CTO. Wozniak and Jobs. Page and Brin. A business partner that complements you and brings out the best in you makes for a healthy business. Having two heads is always better than one for big decision making too.
Don’t be Afraid of Failure
“Don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston, DropBox
Being afraid of failure will hold you back from achieving great things. Taking risks in business is not only healthy but is favorable. You will learn from your mistakes and tweak following experiences appropriately. The only thing that is worse than failing is never even trying in the first place.
Have a Market
“The best marketing trick: make an awesome product that does something people really care about.” – Ryan Singer, BaseCamp
You might think your idea is brilliant, but if there’s no market you are going to fall on your face mighty fast. Make sure that you are tailoring your events to an audience that cares enough about your acts. They need to care about your brand to come along and get involved. Create something that people want to see.