Getting your product or service to market is one of the biggest obstacles an entrepreneur can face. Sara Gragnolati M’10, a participant from the Summer Venture Program, came to share her experiences with the 2013 cohort this past summer.

 sara

Gragnolati shared some of her lessons learned from getting her company’s product to market. Cocomama provides all natural, gluten-free cereal. Although the company has been doing well, the beginning was not easy. Here are the tips she shared with entrepreneurs that are starting a new venture.

  1. There is no “perfect” start. Getting the product out there is important to any startup, and sometimes the launch does not go as planned. Fixing the problem is part of the process of evolving a business.
  2. There will be sacrifices.  Once an entrepreneur devotes their time to do his or her venture, they need to be prepared. Personal sacrifices are an inevitable factor in starting an entrepreneurial venture.
  3. Seek experienced advice. There are many days when entrepreneurs may feel alone, but remember that there are always people who want to help. Do not hesitate to approach them.
  4. Find a value exchange. As an entrepreneur, money can be tight. To overcome that, find people to work with that share interest in creating value. Find the common interest and start a conversation in a meaningful way.
  5. Be flexible. Obstacles are bound to happen in any startup. Being flexible will help overcome anything that gets in the way.
  6. Expect criticism. It is hard not to take criticism personally, but an entrepreneur has to remember that they are creating something for other people. There will always be people who are never satisfied, but listen to what customers have to say. Sometimes the criticism can help further develop the product or service.

In the beginning stages of a startup, entrepreneurs may wonder whether they have made the right decision or not. It is inevitable for problems to emerge, expenses to increase, and for unexpected obstacles to occur. However, every successful entrepreneur has faced similar problems throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Remember this advice, and keep your sights forward.