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Startup Tips and Challenges

Charise Flynn, former COO at Dwolla and Founder of c.Results, shares tips and thoughts for startups and small businesses in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Charise’s Tips for Startup Success

Check your ego at the door.

No company is built by one person. There’s a team behind the leaders who make things happen.

Confidence is half the battle.

People lack the confidence to try. If you can get past that, you’ll be one step ahead of those who don’t even try.

Google what you don’t know.

You’re not going to know everything. If you have questions, Google it!

Don’t be afraid to fail.

Manage risk and go for it. If you fail, try again and keep going until you get it right.

Lighten up.

It’s good to take yourself seriously but have some fun while you’re building your business.

Give investors the full story.

Honesty at all times, as well as over-communication, is the way to ensure a symbiotic relationship.

Maintain a cohesive brand.

Internally, focus on establishing the vision, the mission and values and then teach that to everyone who comes into your organization. Charise discusses trusting your employees to do their jobs in order to create that brand.

Startup Challenges

Number of Projects

The amount of incoming ideas, opportunities, partnerships and managing the noise is a challenge for most startups.


Charise explains how learning how to let go of the details when working as a leader in an organization is important. Delegation is essential as the business grow.

Challenges in Hiring

When hiring, finding a candidate pool to get the right hire is difficult. On the other hand, sometimes you’ll find the right person at the wrong time. Figuring out how to find who will match your team culture is essential and if someone doesn’t end up being a good fit, you’ve got to get rid of them or it will pull your organization down.

Hear the stories of other small business and startup business owners in the community in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the NAME TBD newsletter to stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in DSM.