Etiquette for startup founders - Start-Up Hyderabad
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Etiquette for startup founders

 8 years ago    

The best part of running a startup is that you will get to meet a lot of interesting people – from investors  to customers, competitors to collaborators and more!  Now that you are meeting so many people, all from various prospects, don’t you think you will need to master the right skills, or say the right business etiquette while you are on an interaction spree with all stake holders of your business?

It is very important to be aware of the conducts that you are supposed to behold as a founder of a firm. As much as we speak about the informal and ‘everything-goes’ culture at startups, as founders we need to take extra care of our conduct and display proper business etiquette as we will be representing the company and not just one individual!


Here are few suggestions that you can keep in mind in order to exhibit high amount of business decorum –

  • Meetings – Whether it is a meeting in a formal setting at an office or a casual coffee meeting, make sure you research a bit about the person and their background before you go for the meeting. You will amazed at how much just 2 minutes of googling will reveal. It is always good to be prepared.
  • Listen as much as you wish to be heard – One way communication is never going to fetch the desired results. You need to be open to have conversations irrespective of the conversation being feedback from customers, suggestions from investors and complaints from competitors. It is very important for you to lend your ear to all stake holders and listen to them. Follow the rule – “listen more than you talk”. This will help you improve on your business much faster.
  • Ask before introducing – There is no dearth of requests for introductions in the startup scene. But remember everyone is busy. By introducing someone  to a connection out of the blue, you are putting that person in a tight spot. Ask if it is ok to introduce and then shoot off that email requesting to help/mentor/colloborate etc.
  • Draw the line between confidence and over confidence – Yes, we know that you are the one who launched the most happening product or service in the market. We know that you have had an excellent idea, and today you are a successful entrepreneur. This deficiently brings in some amount of pride and confidence, but you will have to know when it is confidence and when it is arrogance. So, mark the borders clearly and do not cross them. Nobody will accept you beyond the borders.
  • Always create a win – win atmosphere – While negotiations, be it with a customer, supplier or investor, usually there are just two options – either take it or leave it. But it is always better to walk towards the middle of it. You walk a few miles and the other party will walk a few. This will help you create a win situation for both of you thus winning over the heart of the patron.
  • Cellphones – Always in SILENT mode  while you are in a meeting.  It is not good to excuse yourself during the meeting to just do this. Although, if you think it is an important call, excuse yourself, go out of the room and keep the conversation short. No audience would like to wait for a long time
  • Choosing the location for the meeting – When you are asking someone for a meeting, allow them to decide on the venue. This will give both of you a fair chance to have some say in the decision of the meeting it also gives a positive impact that you are open to options.
  • Advice – Advice is the only thing that is available for free in this world. Don’t give any advice unless you are asked to.

These are just a few suggestions. Some people/startups chose to be quite formal and follow the right rules and conducts, while lot of startups chose the informal front and tend to be casual. Both are good as long as you treat everybody equal and don’t go overboard with the casual nature. Some code of conducts is expected out of founders and you can’t chose to avoid them.





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