Startup founders have differing views about enlisting the help of mentors. While some entrepreneurs regard mentoring as a vital protective business tool, another group of them pride themselves on not needing external advice and encouragement.

Rob Kramer, co-founder and CEO at eParkio, is one of those individuals that believe consulting experts who provide technical and non-technical inputs can steer startups away from the rocks of dysfunction.

In an interview with Via News, he said recruiting great mentors can increase a company’s odds of success, especially in high-stakes situations like the one the world is experiencing as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“If you didn’t have a mentor, now is a good time to get one. I guess more mentors are available now since everything is moving online so people have more free time and many people are trying to help others,” said the co-founder of eParkio, Europe’s 1st continent-wide parking marketplace connecting drivers with parking spaces in real-time.

Rob Kramer, co-founder and CEO at eParkio (Photo credit: eParkio)
Rob Kramer, co-founder and CEO at eParkio (Photo credit: eParkio)

In his opinion, experienced mentors who have been through the dot-com bubble or the global financial crisis in the late 2000s can prove invaluable in helping startups survive this pandemic, which has shaken the world to its core.

“So talk to mentors. If you don’t have a mentor, get one,” Rob told fellow entrepreneurs who want to succeed.

Transparency Is Key

He also says business leaders should highly value “transparency” and “honesty”.

“Be transparent with your team because that helps a lot. The main thing is to keep your team in the loop so that everybody knows what’s happening. Just be clear and very direct with everyone on the team. Whoever is the most transparent and truthful with his team, employees, and colleagues will come stronger and better out of this.”

The co-founder of eParkio added that entrepreneurs should rebalance their finances, manage their expenses skillfully, and consider two scenarios.

“Let’s say we go back to normal or start going back to normal from next month… But assume that it doesn’t really happen so you should have a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario.”

Rob said he is a “big optimist” but thinks it is a good idea to have a “pessimist” on the team or talk to someone who is a “realist” as they can counterbalance the views of the optimists or stop them from being carried away.

“Whoever is the most transparent and truthful with his team, employees, and colleagues will come stronger and better out of this.”

Rob Kramer, co-founder and CEO at eParkio

‘There is Always a Tomorrow’

Despite the challenges that startups are grappling with at the moment, the CEO of eParkio wants entrepreneurs to bear in mind that “there is always a tomorrow”.

“If your current startup didn’t work out, maybe it’s time to look at why it didn’t work out and how you can do better next time,” he said, adding that founders should learn from their experiences.

In Rob’s opinion, startups should prepare themselves for situations where they might lose their revenues and adopt the “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” attitude.

“This is just business and business for me is like sports and should be also seen that way. If you lose a game, you lose a game and you prepare for the next one. If people try to see it this way, it can potentially help them not take it that seriously,” the co-founder of eParkio concluded.