The hustling energy to create an impact in the universe is something that every entrepreneur carries while starting up. It is highly possible to lose focus and get your mind confused with a lot of things that a startup journey has to offer. The first-time entrepreneurs should consider these 5 important things before starting up but regardless of experience, there are a few things that no one talks about startup.
And since I have been through the startup process myself, I can clearly express that there is no shortcut to success. From an idea of a startup to registering a company and all the way to getting your first share of profit is a sure-shot roller coaster ride. And when on the ride, there are things that you MUST know about starting up. Have alook at it.
1. A lone journey towards breaking the silos
Loneliness and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand during the early stages. This is because you work tirelessly out of your passion with (sometimes) no acknowledgement of time. And this is why startups require you to break the silos and move things faster and smoother taking others to your stride.
Share work. Get the right resources. Partner wherever you can. Try associating yourself with other people who could contribute to your business on symbiotic terms. Having a network of entrepreneurs work as a fuel and that goes a long way.
Be the smart startup founder and don’t try to do everything on by your own as that leads to a faster burnout. Partner with established companies and people to lend you support and break that loneliness myth.
2. Raising funds is not an end goal. It’s a milestone
Most of the startups find bootstrapping as an ideal way to go minimal on finances while starting a new business. The bootstrap philosophy works best not only when you pull finances from your own pockets and your closed ones, but also when you raise funds. Getting funds is tempting and keeping a certain belief to raise funds from the initial period is natural enough. But raising funds should not remain as an end goal. Startups must consider funding as a milestone from where the business pace up the growth game.
The habit of bootstrapping goes a long way because even funds burn out. And, having a mechanism to make the most out of available resources pays off well in a startup. Efficient fund management is an art that every startup need to cultivate for a better growth.
3. Time and Timing can define the success
Time and timing are two different things where the first stands for the productive hours that you put up in your startup while timing relates to the market scenario and competition. Both are crucial to the success of your startup.
- Time: The number of productive hours vs. non-productive (research, learning, meetings, discussions, etc.) should be tracked well enough. Most of the startups during the early stage get carried away by the ideas and discussions to get the ball rolling pretty fast. Measure your productive time that can directly create the impact. Put efforts that drive results with the philosophy of ‘minimum efforts, maximum impact’.
- Timing: Idea is important, but timing is something that can have the icing on the cake. What matters is when the idea is timed. Consider Uber when it came out. An implausible company, fresh business model, and that blended with tremendous execution. But then it was timing that it perfected for their need to get drivers into the system. From an employment perspective too, taxi drivers were finding issues to grab passengers and they were always in need of some extra money. Drivers were looking for extra money; it was very, very important.
Another case is of YouTube. The codec problem to view online videos existed till 2004-2005. Adobe Flash offered a solution to that problem and coincidentally during the same time, the broadband penetration jumped over 50% in America. Here’s where the timing did wonders for YouTube’s launch.
4. Networking is the key
Time and again, entrepreneurs have confessed or at least mentioned the importance of networking within the startup community. For sure it plays a vital role in the success during the initial days. A recent study also suggests that informal professional networks and communities can greatly contribute for the entrepreneurial success. This means, it positively contributes more than the formal structures like accelerators, incubators and others.
The entrepreneurial ride is something that can have you go through all the ups and downs. This includes problems related to complex regulations, lack of financing, non-supportive government, or even the fear of failing. One can have their aspiration crushed all over when there is no one around to mentor, look up to, or even to share things about business life. And therefore, relying on someone’s guidance who have been through the process is a great feeling. This also opens up new opportunities, especially for the partnership and collaborations.
5. Seeking help won’t hurt your business
When getting help from others does well to your business, then personal egos and differences should step aside. There is always some inspiration around you, be it other startup founders, fellow co-founder, social circle, or even the employees and consultants. Getting employees’ and team views before taking some crucial decisions will help you win the team’s faith and may also add to your perspective.
It’s a totally different thing to have the information over the blogs, articles, YouTube videos, and even get inspired by other entrepreneurs. But then, having people who could help you with your efforts, resources, or even guidance is nothing less than a boon. To have someone from your own team to guide you through the thick and thin matters the most. No one will come and approach you since it is implied that you know a lot better than the rest. But, that’s clearly not the case.
Having an organized approach helps the most when you need inputs from your own people. So after a certain point in time, I did the following to seek help from my key people;
- Getting out on a team lunch to break an ice. Such informal environment got my key employees involved and they would open up to me.
- Organizing a day out with games and outdoor activities. This is where I got friendly with my consultants and they would share their genuine inputs from where I learned so much.
Taking the right steps in the right direction can sail your startup farther. It is best to know a few things about startups before venturing out in new avenues. Everyone will have their unique share in the journey and experience with starting up. The key is to know as much as you can and certainly do more than you know. Because hey, that’s how you start.