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So you have a great idea and decided to put your plans  into action by forming a startup. Starting a new business can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. Few startups make it through their first few years unscathed, and it’s often claimed that 9 out of 10 startups will eventually fail. To avoid falling victim to such a statistic, we’ve outlined the essential skills you need to survive as a startup founder:

Planning Ahead

A successful startup founder is always thinking about the future. You should be setting milestones and other goals for your business to reach toward in order to keep your business on the right path. You should also know which risks you are willing to take and have plans in place in case anything goes wrong. Startups are all about pushing forward and taking risks, but you shouldn’t be acting out of impulse. Being prepared to take on the hurdles of business, and knowing exactly what you want to get out of your work, is the first step to any successful business– especially a startup.

Staying Focused

When you set goals for yourself, make sure you don’t stray away from them. Don’t be afraid to get rid of aspects of your business that don’t align with your goals. Getting rid of non-core offerings doesn’t equate to failure. In reality, creating these cuts can save costs, reduce complexity, free up resources, and ultimately allow you to focus on your primary offerings and conduct business more effectively.


Budgeting is one of the most essential skills to have when managing a new business. To create a good budget, you must first have a good understanding of what your startup needs in order to function properly. Does your startup need specific manufacturing products? Do you have a physical store or a work space that needs to be paid for? How many employees can you afford to be paying? How much can your business realistically make in the year? These are the kinds of questions you need to be asking yourself when dividing up your income to create a stable budget.


You need to be prepared for your startup to grow if you want it to be successful. However, you also need to be able to expand responsibly. Having financial support behind your great ideas can provide  you with the foundation you need to reach your goals. Investors that share your passion can help support you towards those next steps. Need help connecting with investors? Each startup founder utilizing Grasshopper’s Accelerator Checking receives exclusive access  to a curated list of venture and private equity firms in the bank’s network, allowing them to connect to investors for additional funding.

To get firms to invest in your startup, you should first perform research on the firms you will be pitching to and tailor your deck accordingly in order to effectively  sell your ideas. Be prepared to answer questions such as: Why would a customer buy your product over a competitor? How is it worth your price? Why is your product worth talking about? Being able to win over investors is the best way to drive the expansion of your startup.


Running a startup is no small feat. It can take months of hard work and discipline to even start seeing profitability. But if you’re willing to persevere and march on towards your goals, you’ll have the opportunity to not only survive, but succeed.

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