Ray Beharry
Ray Beharry
Lessons I Learned from Working with Startups
Ray Beharry > Lessons I Learned from Working with Startups

There are a number of areas that you need to focus on as a startup. Here are the 4 most crucial.


You can’t overlook the need to get extremely talented people on board. In today’s economy, employees have more options for work, and employers less to attract, motivate, and retain them.

Today’s society is one of “free-agents” – and both your direct and indirect competitors are finding all sorts of new ways to provide benefits (other than compensation) and create environments where employees are happy about coming to work – and want to stay!

The most critical task for leadership is to find the right people, put them in the right roles, and with the right goals. It’s crucial for a startup to get the right people on board, who are going to be committed, productive, and empowered. Otherwise, precious time and resources are wasted when a recruit doesn’t work out.


A Brand is the reason why a customer buys from you, Culture is the reason why they want to work for you.

People want to come to work for more than a paycheck. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves – and have a sense of purpose. They also want to know that have the right skills, tools, and team members to do their job – better than anyone else. And finally, they want to be empowered to do their jobs well – not micromanaged or lead by fear.

The most successful companies create environments that focus on employees first, knowing that a happy, motivated, and committed employee is the key to getting great customers. Simply put,

Great People go to Great Companies to do Great Things


Now that you’ve got the right people on board, created an environment for them to succeed, you need to have an intense focus on customers.

Once you figure out what the core problem is you can solve for a customer – and then give them a solution that delights them in a way that they never want to go back to the old way of doing things, you will have a loyal customer who will become your advocate.

In the beginning, focus on your first customers – solve their problems better than anyone else – and they will become your best sales people.


Now that you have great people, you have provided them with an environment where they can do their best work, and you are crystal clear about the problem you are going to solve for a specific set of customers – go Execute!

While a fair amount of time needs to be spent on analysis of your product/solution (am I solving the problem?) and everyone’s favorite repeatable phrase nowadays is “failing fast” or “failing forward” – what they really mean is that “failing isn’t really ok – but failing and learning lessons from it, is ok.”

However, the worst failure of them all – the one you can’t afford – is a failure to execute. You’re never going to be perfect in your execution. But if you’ve found a core group of customers that believes in your vision, your mission, your purpose – they will be ok with a few mistakes, especially in the beginning.

There are countless examples in the annals of business analysis where companies who failed at one venture, ended up excelling at another.

But you never read about a successful company who failed to do anything at all.

Ray Beharry is a Marketing & Sales Leader based out of the Greater New York City area. He can be reached via LinkedIn, email – ray.beharry@gmail.com, and is also on Twitter @RayBeharry. www.raybeharry.com