Why Support System is Important for Startup Founder

What is a Support System?

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

A support system is a group of people who will help you when you are stuck. Support System is people who can tell you:

  • I’ve been there, and here’s what I learned.
  • This is the problem we ran into, and here’s how we solved it.
  • You should consider this path instead of that one.
  • I think this person could help us solve this problem — let me introduce you.

To have an introduction like this means they really trust you. And then they can introduce you to others they trust as well. It builds up a network effect very quickly.

The more people they introduce you to, the more valuable they become to your business. As an entrepreneur, this is a very important thing. It creates a positive feedback loop that helps your business and ventures grow faster.

And if any of those introductions turn out to be negative or useless for some reason, then it just stops right there; it doesn’t harm the rest of your startups’ network.

Why Startup Founders Need A Support System

Here are the main reasons why the founders of startups need a support system:

You will have lots of people telling you that you’re wrong. If you’re going to listen to anyone, then it should be people who are familiar with the startup environment.

They can tell you what problems they ran into and how they solved them.

This is very valuable because your problems might be similar. For example, if you’re a founder who is hiring their first employees, then other founders with small teams can tell you how they solved the problem of hiring their first employee.

Or if you’re a founder who is about to go on stage for the first time, then other founders who have already done that can tell you what mistakes they made and how they fixed them.

It all depends on what kind of help you need right now — but these stories are very valuable because when things get tough, it’s easy to forget that other people have been there before and survived.

You will probably have at least one really bad day when everything goes wrong and you feel like quitting. Having a support system will help you get through those days.

How to Define a Good Support System

The best support system is a group of people who can:

  • Help you solve your toughest problems.
  • Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes they made.
  • Give you a place to talk about your problems and get advice from other people.
  • Give you the confidence to move forward even when it seems like there’s no way out.
  • Give you access to their strong network so that they can introduce you to another business partner who might be able to help.
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash.

To do this, here are some of the things that they should be doing:

  • Have one-on-one lunches with you where they can ask for help, but also give advice and share information about what has worked for them in the past and what hasn’t worked for them in the past.
  • Make introductions on your behalf so that they can connect you with other people. For example, if someone asks them for a referral, then they should refer that person to you if it makes sense.
  • Investing in your company by becoming an advisor or a board member. For example, if they think your company is a good investment, then they might invest in it. Or if they know someone who is a good fit for your company, then they might introduce you to that person.

Here are some of the things that they shouldn’t be doing:

  • Going on stage at events with you to show off their status or to make their role look important. It’s fine for them to talk about their company in public or on the internet because it helps other people learn from their experience. But they shouldn’t talk about your company.
  • Going on TV with you or doing any other publicity stunts with you. It’s fine for them to be in the background of TV interviews, but only if it helps other people learn from their experience — not if it gives them status or makes them look important.
  • Giving away all their referrals without regard for whether it will hurt your business in the long run.

Who Should Be In Your Support System?

The best people to have in your support system are fellow founders who have done what you’re doing or at least have done a similar business type. They know the mistakes you’re going to make before you make them, and they can help you get around them.

For example, if you’re a startup founder who is about to hire their first employees, then it’s best to have other startup founders who are running small teams on board as part of your support system.

That way, when you run into issues with the first employee or the second employee or the third employee, they can tell you how they solved that problem before and give you tips on how to solve it now.

Other entrepreneurs with small teams are good for hiring advice.

Other entrepreneurs with big teams are good for scaling advice, and other entrepreneurs who have succeeded at growing large companies are good for business advice on taking a company public or selling it to another company.

It makes sense to work hard at building up relationships with those people because there will be times when their advice can be extremely valuable.

How Do You Find Your Support System

There are two good ways to find those people:

  • Look for the companies that are already successful and talk to the founders about what they’ve learned.

This is a very good way to find people who are good at hiring and scaling teams because you can get their help without investing in them directly by buying their product or hiring them as employees.

  • Join organizations like Y Combinator or TechStars, or go to events like Demo Day at YC, where you can meet other founders who are running companies in your industry or building products that will compete with yours.

You might also join an organization like Startup Grind, which connects startup founders all over the world with each other and hold events where you can meet those people.

You can also find them online through LinkedIn or AngelList or Quora.

Conclusion

So, in a nutshell: If you want to build a successful startup ecosystem, it’s very important to build up a network of people who are willing to help you with advice when you need it.

About the Author

I hope that my post has helped you know more about Startups. Feel free to leave a comment and tag me and I will answer them. Follow my profile to get the latest content I post to stay ahead of the curve.

I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies, a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces, and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.

Connect with me on LinkedIn if you have further questions. Let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.

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