So, 8 out of 10 people nowadays want to start their own business. I am not surprised. Every individual has his/her vision and some set of explicit skills. It is always a wise choice to showcase your talent and skills in your way. No harm in it. Think in this way, your company, your ideas, your vision, your product, your faith. If you blend your vision with hard work & determination, no one can stop you in making your idea a reality. But, always ask yourself “Am I going to add any tangible value to other’s life or business with my vision/product?” If the answer is “Yes”, go for it.
Entrepreneurship is not a fancy journey. You have to wear multiple hats at the beginning. A founder, a sales guy, a brand builder, a smart recruiter, an accounts expert as well as at times a failure. There is a difference between a failure and a quitter. This is a point which makes the difference. But indeed, the most important skill every successful entrepreneur carry is belief. Self-belief, belief in your product, believe in your team. At the end, believing in the fact that, you are here to triumph.
Anyone, before starting a business, does a ton of research. Research on the market, customers, trends, competitors, strategies, business models etc. There are many who read a lot. It’s always recommended to read articles, case studies, success stories as well as failure stories. You must know what to do and what not to do. People experiment things initially. You have to try things to know what works for you better. But, to be honest, 80% of the start-ups fail in the first year. They quit. But, the rest 20% makes it to the top. Why? Because they know what they should do & how to do. When you understand & decode the trick to reach your customers with a magical product, You have arrived. In this article, I am going to discuss few things, which every early-stage founder should keep in his/her mind before starting the ride of entrepreneurship or within the first 6 months of incorporation.
A trusted brand, not just another product
There are basically two sorts of entrepreneurs. One who wants to make a name for himself/herself, another who wants to make a name for his/her brand. Relatively, it is easy to build a product and sell it. But, if you really want to be a long-running horse, you have to build a brand, which others can rely on. You can make money anytime. But, it is important to make your customers come back for another purchase and refer it to their friends. This is the best marketing trick. Many successful businesses admitted that they make at least 70% of their business from repeat customers. Let your customers know how can your product add value, how can it change the way they do things, how can it save their time & cost. Be a good story-teller. Build an audience who will admire your product.
Never back out from taking bold decisions
This is one of the most important points. When you start a business, you invest a lot of money & time. It is obvious that you would like to keep a track on every penny spent. But, don’t pay more time for thinking, rather than implementing. If you are not going to execute plans, someone else will do his. And you will be one day behind of your competition. Never afraid to fail. Even if it won’t work, you will learn & can add one point to your “not to do” list. In today’s’ fast-shifting business environment, you can never get another chance to react. Be bold, take a risk. Who knows it might be your day. It takes one smart move to click & lead. It is always better to make decisions, rather than waiting for something to happen.
Continuous learning is something which will make you a pro. And how can you learn? By, interacting with people. Whether it’s a personal interaction or social interaction. The best quality of a successful entrepreneur is observing the surrounding. We learn from our surrounding, from the people around us. Even a college grad or a customer can give you the best teaching of your life. But, the real challenge comes at the time of execution. Try to put all your experiences and learnings from life, while building your product. Talk to your customers, investors, partners, employees. Ask them how they feel about your product. Take suggestions, analyze things and implement whichever you can.
It is all about experience
The business world is paid in two coins – cash & experience. If you take the experience first, cash will follow. The best source which can make you a strong leader is an experience. Nothing can replace experience when it comes to starting a business. So, always value experience. If you don’t have much, then consult someone who has. Take inputs. If your budget permits, hire few experienced people for your team. Build future leaders in their guidance.
Even if you have a great idea, not necessarily you are going to have a great business. You have to work towards achieving it. How? Plan it. A business without a plan is just like a ship without a radar. A business plan consists of deliverables. For you & for your team. Set your plans, discuss them with your team, explain KPIs. Grow as a team, not as an individual. Your plan must be flexible. It must depend on market trends, your customers, competitor moves, technological shifts and social trends. You must research your business plan to make it successful.
A culture of collaboration
You can’t win a race alone. If you want to go fast, run alone. But, if you want to go far, run with a team. Collaboration is extremely important. It is difficult to balance for any start-up to adequately reward individual performance by not affecting the team spirit and trust. Binding individual deals and clutching out a few extra dollars as the reward is never as important as the cohesiveness of the team as a whole. Sadly, not all start-ups can award stock options or other perks to each employee. In this case, setting up an incentive or reward structure for your employees can be a thriving option. Empowering your team while giving competitive compensation will boost their confidence.