Everyone knows the statistic: 50% of startups fail within the first four years. Startup success or failure depends on the industry, product, financing and, of course, the talent behind the idea. With more than 540,000 new businesses opening each month, according to the Kauffman Index, the competition for attention, customers, and investors has never been fiercer.

For startups, failure comes in many forms. Some companies start at the wrong time, either much earlier than the market is ready for a specific offering, or too late, once the market has already been saturated. Some don’t have compelling products, or they faulty business models, or they’re unable to find investors before the money dries up. Sometimes the hardest task is simply gaining recognition.

Unfortunately, a Clutch entrepreneur survey found that only 42% of startups have a mobile app, and 49% of startup owners are doing their own marketing, rather than hiring someone to do it for them. Finding the right balance between spending money to attract customers and investors, and making sure the business never goes into the red can be a minute-by-minute endeavor.

We spoke with some of the world’s leading experts on running a small business, securing funding, marketing new products, and how technology can be a startup’s best friend. Our conversations included deep dives into startup best practices based on the experiences of executives from SBA, Nautilus Ventures, Okta, Storm Ventures and more.