How to Survive as a Bay Area Startup (And Succeed)

California’s Silicon Valley is not only home to giant tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. It is also home to numerous small businesses trying to make it as a Bay Area startup.

Most of these entrepreneurs don’t make it. The average failure rate of a Bay Area startup is up to 90%.

If you’re going to succeed in the competitive world of tech startups, you’ll need a plan. Here are four tips for making the most of your new startup.

1. Have a Pitch Ready at All Times

The Valley is teeming with angel investors. They can be found not only in the boardroom but in coffee shops, co-working spaces, and restaurants.

You never know when you might have the opportunity to impress one of them, so have an “elevator pitch” ready at all times. A seemingly random encounter might be the thing that secures new startup companies the funding they need.

And even if this encounter doesn’t work out in your favor, it’s important to meet as many people as possible. You never know who might remember you later on.

2. Seek Out Help

You can’t do everything yourself. Successful entrepreneurs know that asking for help is the best strategy for new tech startups. Find someone experienced with startups in the Bay Area, such as an older business mentor, and ask.

In addition, seek out help publicizing your new startup. Perhaps you know a tech reporter who can write a sympathetic article on your ideas. Or, you can hire a professional marketer such as this search engine optimization agency to place your company higher in search engine rankings.

3. Save Money Where You Can

Not only are apartment rents in San Francisco stratospheric, but office space rents are also. It costs an average of $13,000 per employee per year to rent office space in the Bay Area.

In this new era of working over Zoom and from co-working spaces, there is often no reason to have a dedicated office space. Working from home can save your company thousands of dollars. And that way, when you sign a lease on your first office space, you will know your company has arrived.

You should also take advantage of the tax deductions offered to first-year businesses.

4. Be Ready to Fail

You may have heard the mantra “fail early, fail often”. Companies such as SpaceX, Instagram, and Google know that the key to success as a startup is learning from your mistakes. Identifying key points of failure in your early years will save you from running into trouble later on.

Even if your entire business fails, don’t let it stop you. Silicon Valley is filled with people whose first, second, and even third startups failed before they found success. Keep at it and don’t get discouraged.

Surviving as a Bay Area Startup

To become the head of a successful Bay Area startup you’ll need luck, grit, and determination. Networking widely, being thrifty, and being open to failure can help you survive. And if you’re willing to put everything on the line and fully commit to your idea, you just might find success.

See our technology section for more on the world of startups.