This post was originally published by Startup Grind.
In my work at an entrepreneurial service non-profit in the Kansas City startup community, I get to meet many passionate, community-minded people each day. Often, those people have no connection to our startup community, other than a desire to help and support those “grinding it out “ as entrepreneurs. In that situation, many people find their way to organization like mine to seek advice on how to best support entrepreneurs. Others, while equally well-intentioned, strike out to provide resources to startups on their own.
It is been said by Robert Burns, John Steinbeck and many others that, “the best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.” The best-laid schemes of those engaged in the entrepreneurial world often go awry, too. That is why entrepreneurs spend hours reading The Lean Startup and Steve Blank’s blog, testing their assumptions, interviewing customers and sometimes “pivoting” at the last possible minute. Understanding your customer is paramount to success in the minds of many entrepreneurs.
However, those most vested in helping entrepreneurs succeed sometimes have the poorest understanding of their customers—entrepreneurs themselves. This lack of understanding of their customers’ needs and motivations can prompt the richest and most powerful of people to misallocate resources intended to support startups. Think about it—I know I have seen failed co-working spaces, events attended by sparse crowds and under-utilized mentoring programs, all created in the name of helping entrepreneurs.
How can we better ensure that the resources intended to help an early-stage business community succeed are used effectively? Before starting your next initiative intended to help entrepreneurs, follow these six steps to ensure your resources help companies succeed…Read More
By Melissa Roberts