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33 - 35 : The Complete 35-Step Guide For Entrepreneurs Starting A Business


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33. Focus on Offering Exceptional Customer Service

Companies such as Zappos and Virgin America became hugely successful because they focused on providing excellent customer service and support. You want your early customers to give referrals and sing your praises to their friends and colleagues. Thank your customers personally by email. Go the extra mile to show your appreciation.

34. Hire an Experienced Startup Attorney

You need a savvy business lawyer for your company, one who has regularly formed and advised many other entrepreneurs and who specializes in startups. An experienced startup lawyer can help you:

  • Incorporate
  • Draw up contracts with any co-founders
  • Prepare key agreements for the business
  • Set up a stock option plan for employees
  • Guide you through potential HR landmines
  • Prepare protective offer letters to prospective employees
  • Help you negotiate terms with prospective investors
  • Limit your potential legal liabilities
  • Protect your ideas and inventions (through copyrights, patents, and non-disclosure agreements)

In a misguided effort to save on expenses, startup businesses often hire inexperienced legal counsel. Rather than spending the money necessary to hire competent legal counsel, founders will often hire lawyers who are friends, relatives, or others who offer large fee discounts. In doing so, the founders deny themselves the advice of experienced legal counsel who could potentially help them avoid many serious legal problems.

Get recommendations for lawyers from other entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Make sure you have a good rapport with the attorney. Meet with several potential attorneys before you make a final decision (those first meetings should be free). And check out 10 Big Legal Mistakes Made by Startups.

35. Get Comfortable With Public Speaking

The ability to communicate effectively can be critical to landing customers, inspiring employees, and pitching to investors to raise capital. Most people are not very good at public speaking and many are even afraid of it. You must strive to overcome this fear. Consider working with a public speaking or business coach to improve your public speaking skills. Some of the most recognized entrepreneurs, such as Apple founder Steve Jobs, were known for being great public speakers.

forbes.com

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