If you’ve always wanted to run your own company and you’ve finally found that idea you think might be your angle, it may be time to take the next steps to building your company around it. Mike Baur, the founder and chairman of Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF) has been showing new business owners how to do that, and SSUF is the place where they can learn the basics of taking ideas to the building stage. But to really build a strong business in an industry that’s highly competitive, you need to be mentally prepared for the hurdles you will face. Baur has a few pointers he believes entrepreneurs should follow.
Starting up your own business means you need to have a network of connections, and you need to build that network. You’ll usually need startup capital whether that’s in the form of venture investing or a bank loan, and Mike Baur says you need to know how to pitch your business to those who you need financing from. You also need to be willing to make changes to your business whenever times change. You never should change in terms of customer service or ethical values, but sometimes you have to adapt the way you so business. But most importantly, Baur says you need to know which risks you’re willing to take and never be afraid of failing when you take them.
Before he decided to start a business incubator, Mike Baur was an impressive bank manager both for UBS and Clariden Leu. Back in 1991 when Baur first entered banking, it was a job you would start out in as an apprentice. He was only 16 when he first started learning basic account management, credit and loans. He got his bachelor’s degree at the University of Bern and his master’s at the University of Rochester. He was an advisor to some of Switzerland’s top investors, and made it to a rarely achieved executive status when he joined Clariden Leu.
The reason Mike Baur left his position in the big bank was that the 2008 recession and its aftermath left many unpleasant changes in how banking was run. He wanted to get out of the office and take chances on something more exciting that business investing offered. It was certainly a big pay cut Baur took to get the SSUF up and running, but he certainly wouldn’t trade it for the world. The SSUF has seeded businesses from just about every industry, but the internet of things has become a growing field that’s been invested in.