Thinking of boarding the start-up rollercoaster? Here are some of the most important things to remember at all times.
1. Have a powerful Message, Vision and Mission.
A “Value Proposition” through which you solve a specific customer problem that they would want to pay for. Marketing content must include the reasons for your company being in business and the challenges that it helps overcome. This is where the collective consciousness of the company will be focused on.
2. Be thorough in understanding your industry.
Never start a business without knowing the landscape and viability of your product. Your imperatives are to know customers, competition, trends, growth and innovations in the industry. Post that, ask yourself questions like –
∙ Will this product still be in demand 10 years down?
∙ If yes, how are the industry and ecosystem likely to change?
∙ What significant impact will this bring in the industry?
3. Second, guess yourself and refine your ideas.
The mere presence of an idea or a business plan doesn’t guarantee the success of your start-up. There’s a lot more like developing more features and capabilities, improvising existing strategies as per the outcomes of market studies.
4. Start small and then scale up.
Know where to focus first, have a well-thought execution plan. Break your business plan into “Short-Term, Mid-Term and Long-Term” goals. Identify the minimal requirements to get the business started and then progress one step at a time.
5. Think about funding and how to go about it.
Every aspect of a start-up business is meticulous planning. As far as funding goes, here are some of the usual approaches –
∙ Bootstrapping your company.
∙A business loan.
∙ VC or Angel Investor.
It is wise NOT to take a loan or a VC route until absolutely necessary. Manage “Seed Capital” yourself, this way you eliminate accountability towards a lender and foster passion to succeed due to self-funding. Also, VC’s and lenders give a lot more credit to entrepreneurs making those initial efforts in getting the business afloat.
6. The “Name” says a lot.
There are many Android phones but only one “iPhone”! Don’t get me wrong! It’s not just the name that carries the business through but it has a significant impact. Pick the kind of name that is short and relevant to your value proposition. Think for a moment, will my customers relate to it? And, this exercise is futile without knowing how to market and building an impactful story.
7. Surround yourself with the right people.
Most new entrepreneurs fail to understand that they can’t do it all by themselves. They drive their businesses into the ground due to lack of trust and the right people. Remember, this is a team effort, trusting people and delegating responsibilities builds loyalty. Establishing “Core Values” of your company early is a great way to provide an operational and ethical framework for everyone.
Solve a problem, due diligence, optimize, trust your people, grow leaders. A successful start-up is an outcome of many things done right.