Smiling bearded African man using laptop at home while sitting the wooden table.Male hands typing on the notebook keyboard.Concept of young people work mobile devices.Blurred window background,wideRunning a startup business can be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. And the riskiest. Most new companies fail within the first five years of operation. Here are some ways in the formative weeks and months of starting a new business to increase your odds of success over the long term:

Assemble a skilled and diverse team. Innovation isn’t easy. You’ll need a wide range of opinions and talents to keep you on the cutting edge. As you build your core team, avoid ‘yes’ men or women and instead choose a mix of personalities who will do as much challenging as they do reinforcing. Resist the temptation to hire people who think exactly as you do and instead go for people with a lot of innovative ideas. When hiring key employees from large companies, make sure they have an entrepreneurial mindset. And don’t forget to encourage your employees to come up with new ideas and allow them to take risks.

Obtain legal advice/counsel when needed. Sound legal advice is critical in every stage of a company’s development, from choosing the right business entity to drafting and reviewing important contracts, agreements and other documents. You can’t afford not to have it. Our office provides a wide range of legal services designed to protect businesses of all sizes and stages.

Become a storyteller. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your business, you’re missing out on an important marketing and investment opportunity. Sell your company in a way that resonates both intellectually and emotionally by telling your story in a compelling way. It isn’t easy, we know. The good news is that we’re here to help. We’ll help you find and pitch investors that are right for you with fundraising materials and a story that excites them.

Stay focused. Have you ever heard of ‘paralysis by analysis?’ Research shows that many entrepreneurs take too much time to analyze every possible scenario before acting. Others go after every customer they can get instead of narrowing their focus. Don’t let the chaotic nature of running a successful start-up cause you to lose focus. It’s one of the most important qualities of successful entrepreneurs.