Contributor Alex Iskold discusses why it is crucial for startups to have a strong core in the article, “5 Elements That Shape the Core of a Strong Startup,” featured on Entrepreneur’s website.

“[A] strong core is needed for overall body strength and resilience. It makes sense because, by definition, the core is at the center,” explains Iskold in the article. “Same is true about startups. The core defines what you [are] made of and how you are going to grow. The core defines how your startup will withstand extreme pressure and competition — and survive and win.”

In the article, Iskold offers five factors that help shape the core of a new venture:

  • Vision. Just like how a strong body begins by having a strong mind, a strong core for a startup will start with having a strong vision. What is your startup’s purpose? Why should it exist? Why do you get up every day? “Having clarity around your vision is the foundation of having clarity around execution, hiring, fundraising and every other aspect of your company,” asserts Iskold in the article. “Vision is the very foundation of the company’s core.”
  • Values. After vision is established, a business needs values, which can be exceptional customer service, speed, innovation, etc. Having strong values helps shape your business’ culture and help to provide a blueprint for the people you want, or don’t want, to hire.
  • Product and engineering. Companies typically are about sales and marketing, however in the future, Iskold explains in the article that more businesses will become great because of their products and engineering. “A great product is necessary to win in today’s market,” says Iskold in the article. “To build a great product, you need to have engineering excellence and focus.”
  • Interactions. The relationships among employees, partners and customers influence a business’ core. Each interaction is a feedback loop, states Iskold in the article, adding, “The sum of all interactions over time becomes a force that helps shape and evolve the core of your company.”
  • Resilience. To have a strong core means being resilient. Do you get back up after being knocked down? Is your business resilient through all the ups and the downs? “You get knocked down a lot — when the product isn’t working right, when the sale wouldn’t close, when competition is breathing down your neck [and] when the funding doesn’t come through,” notes Iskold in the article. “When you get knocked down, does your core help you get up? Is your core truly resilient?”

Read the entire article on the importance of a startup’s core here.