You will agree on the fact that as soon as you start thinking about starting your company, advices as well as criticisms start pouring in and most of them are useless! Advices are helpful as long as you get it from people who have been there and have faced the struggles in real. For an entrepreneur, the biggest blessing can be a mentor who guides him through the right path, doesn’t believe in demeaning his efforts and skills or spoon feeding him. But if you are a budding entrepreneur, it may often be difficult to find the right mentor in the initial days. So, if you are a budding entrepreneur and have not found a mentor, here are 15 essential tips to get you started.
1. You have only one option
If you are starting up with a backup in your mind, there are high chances of failure, the reason being absolute lack of focus. Whenever you will encounter small failures, you will start thinking about your back ups.
Have a crystal clear picture of what you are doing and why you are doing. If you fail in your venture, what will you do? The answer should be, “I don’t know!” Unless you are in a do or die situation, you are most likely not to do justice to your idea.
2. Test the concept
You cannot start on your own whims just because you think there is a need. You must not! Test your concept, do your research, validate it. However great your idea may be, if there’s no need, it is not going to work. And you cannot ignore this by saying that you will ‘create’ a need. That is a rare and special case which may not work for you! So build for the market and your beloved customers!
3. Don’t waste time thinking. Just take the leap
“It’s better to regret failure than regret trying!” – Jeff Bezos
There are great ideas taking birth every single day but most of them don’t see the light of the day. And it is confusion and insecurity that’s sopping these people.
If you are confused if you should start up or not, better not to start. Unless you have the inner drive, you will keep getting distracted by external forces. If you believe in your idea, stop thinking and take the leap. You will see things automatically falling in place.
4. Go the lean way
The most common trend while starting up is to keep thinking and trying to perfect the model. You must know that you can never make the final model in the first go. It will be subjected to market demands and you may need to change your model as you understand the market segment more and more.
5. It will not come easy
Building a startup from scratch is a hard work. Really hard work! It will test you in every possible way; physically, mentally, emotionally! You will have uncountable sleepless nights and numerable tough decisions. Sticking to it will be the toughest challenge.
6. Time to build a team
Admit it. You can’t be perfect in every possible thing. Be a master in one thing and hire for rest. As it is said, “Interdependence, rather than independence, is incredibly freeing.” All you need is proper management!
7. Hire passion, not people
If your team starts working for you and not with you, I can sense trouble. Make sure that even if you have a small team, you hire the passionate ones who hold the same vision as you and are not working for a monthly salary. If they are passionate enough, learning and acquiring skills will be the easiest thing in the world.
8. Network, network, network
Business, today, is all about networking. You need to network in all directions upwards with people who have achieved success; downwards with the green horns and horizontally with your peers.
9. You will have a really hard time finding money
Richard Harroch, a venture capitalist, has this advice for upcoming entrepreneurs: “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” So, be prepared.
10. Don’t lose your vision
Not losing vision seems very obvious, isn’t it? But let me tell you, it’s not! When you will try to focus on one single thing, your test will begin and you will be pulled by a million different things. You may start doing other things and get better results. Don’t get trapped and don’t get distracted from the bigger picture!
11. Don’t get intimidated
No matter how great your idea is, you are bound to make mistakes and you are bound to see small failures. Believe in the power of belief. As Steve Jobs said, “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
12. Learn from mistakes
Even the greatest entrepreneurs have made numerous mistakes and they say that mistakes are their best teachers. Keep doing new mistakes until one day you won’t be left with anymore!
13. Listen to your customers really really well
As it is always said, “customer comes first”. Whether you are opening a small shop or building the greatest business ever, your efforts are worth peanuts until you have customers. But there is something more than having customers and it is having ‘satisfied customers’ who will keep coming back. For this, you need to listen and act on their feedback and suggestions really well. Treating every customer like there are the only one customer you have must be at the top of your priority list.
14. Spend wisely
As already mentioned, getting funding is not an easy task and when you get it, you should stick to the ground. Remember the days when you were struggling and spend wisely. Because if you don’t do so, you may not get a second chance!
15. Deliver more than expected
Larry Page always encourages entrepreneurs to deliver more than customers expect. This is the right most way to get noticed even in the most competitive market segments and you will soon have a loyal customer base who will not just be willing to use your product/service but will unknowingly promote them.
See you in comments!
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