Learning by doing is a way to go in many cases. However, startups face challenges in being agile and having limited resources. As the startup development process is full of tests and prototyping, teams having extremely limited resources want to minimize wrong decisions. How to do it properly? Well, here come the superpowers of great mentoring! Scale-up Champions mentors say that this experience is enriching both agents - a mentor and mentee and it fast-forwards your first steps in new markets. Let us find out how it works!
Helps to stay focused
One of our mentors, Inga Uus is a business consultant with expertise in business management, strategic management, and strategic marketing. She thrives to help startups eager to enter Scandinavian, Danish markets and is motivated by the ability to learn, apply her knowledge and experiences, as well as revisiting them.
“I help by questioning the core strategic decisions, namely what are the main components of my value proposition. Who is the audience of the product/service and who will be the most receptive to the proposal? Secondly, startups should ask themselves: am I unique/ attractive in my values proposition? By tackling these questions, I make startups focused because if you are focused, you are stronger” says Inga.
Supports on improvised decisions
Inga Uus has worked with businesses for more than 30 years and joined the Scale-up Champions community in 2020. The mentor describes two of the most popular yet opposing success criteria to enter the market. “One of the most popular strategies is based on knowledge. The more I know about the market, the better ways to enter I can develop. On the contrary, the second strategy is based on ignorance. You choose the market, you follow your instincts, and you solve the problems as they appear,” says Inga.
It is quite usual that startups and young companies usually become paralyzed by the amount of information they should collect about the new markets. By collecting all that data, by analyzing it, they fall into paralysis by analysis. In this case, the controversial way of experiencing new markets without incredibly detailed preparation can be as good as the first one. Yet, the teams should consider that they will need support from market guides, export consultants and usually choose to improvise on their entrepreneurship journey with the help of mentors who already established the desired positions on the destination market.
Provides a shortcut to a consistent growth path
Even though it is said that that there are no effortless ways to achieve your business goals, a great mentor makes it easier in the daily entrepreneurship routine. Another Scale-up Champions mentor, Miguel Ángel L. Trujillo, is a "documented warrior" who confronts complexity to turn difficult into reality and organizations achieve greatness. Miguel is a senior professional in business development, sales, management, entrepreneurship, and venture capital.
“Usually, I have been where the entrepreneur is now or is going to be in the future, so I can warn them about pitfalls, traps, and problems they will encounter. I play the role of the "future self" of the entrepreneur. Who does not want to know a little bit about their future so that issues can be avoided?,” notes the mentor.
Provides a reality-check
The trendy boost of tech startups culture develops an opportunistic point of view. No doubt - positivity is always a great drive towards success. Yet, there is a strong temptation to become overwhelmed by future glory and it may distract the team from common goals and diminish the power of challenging work. Innovation in the deep-tech sector requires much more resources and it takes more time to be shaped in investment-ready form.
In this case, mentors help startups to provide the broad complexity of reality. “For example, in my case I usually help startups with fundraising, and ask questions such as "How much is the investor going to earn from investing in you, in money terms?" faces entrepreneurs with the brutal reality that investors don't bet money on them because they like their products but just because they want the startups to make them rich”, says Miguel Ángel L. Trujillo.
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