Photograph by Gary Burchell via Getty Images
By Feris Rifai
April 19, 2016

The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “What are some tips for maintaining a successful startup?” is written by Feris Rifai, CEO and cofounder of Bay Dynamics.

As a startup founder, you are continuously under fire. You face ups, downs, setbacks, and achievements. All of those experiences are part of the journey of growing your company. To weather those seasons, it is critical that you first and foremost establish your core. Your core is what drives your decisions moving forward. Ask yourself, “What is the personality of my company? What is the mindset? What are our core beliefs?” You then build your ecosystem based on those beliefs.

For example, when my cofounder and I started Bay Dynamics, we knew we wanted to be a people company. That mindset is at the center of everything we do. We want people—whether they are our employees, partners, or customers—to be happy and thrive. We want to create an environment that enables them to achieve success and be the best version of themselves. That’s why when we hire someone for a certain position, we trust that person is the subject matter expert and doesn’t need to be micromanaged. We depend on our subject matter experts to develop their own strategies that will help all of us achieve our end goal. That’s why we strive to put the best people in each part of our company. We have been under pressure in difficult situations a countless number of times, and with each one, we used our core purpose—a people company—as the driver of our decisions.

See also: Why It’s Time to Start Welcoming Competition

Once your core is in place, establish the right team. Make sure the people you are bringing on board are excited about joining your company. During the interview process, ask behavioral-based questions that reveal their priorities, values, and beliefs, and then determine if the person fits into your company’s culture. The people are the anchor of your company. If you bring aboard the right people, together you can build something that creates value for others—something you take pride in as a team.

During that creation process, narrow in on the thing you do best. Identify the pain points of others and how your expertise can help solve them. Interact with the people who are feeling the pain and learn from them. Listen to what they want, determine if your expertise can provide it, and then solve their pain. It is also critical that you are able to articulate who you are as a company so that your intended audience understands what you do. Speak in plain English. Make sure that the people who matter to you are aware of what you can do for them.

 

Another rule that’s always key to keep in mind is to never give up. As Winston Churchill said, “Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” If you refuse to give up, you will find a way to make whatever you want happen. That mindset opens you up to thinking in new, creative ways that will lead you in a direction you may not have expected.

Finally, be fiscally responsible but also be willing to take risks. No one has ever grown a company without taking risks.

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