Startups

The start-ups are for those smart, risk-taking and talented persons who want to be their own masters rather than sell their skills for a pittance to others.

Geniuses like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs built their empires from scratch by tinkering with computers at shaggy garages. But most start-ups begin in less dramatic settings. A start-up is an activity attempting to deliver a new product or service under extremely uncertain conditions. Also, most of the start-up businesses fall in shambles by the wayside because of unrealistic approach and lack of inherent entrepreneurial skills.

Starting a new business can be exciting, exhilarating but at the same time can be very exhausting. Consider how some successful ventures really made it:

• If you have a dream idea, follow it up with great passion.

• Do not get lost into debating into too much of the pros and cons. Start by jumping straight into action.

• Business ventures always involve a series of setbacks, but then perseverance through toughest adversities finally pays.

• Start with a good business plan and a financial model. Choose your investors and partners wisely; avoid venture capitalists waiting to make a kill.

• Understand the customers’ mentality and let them drive your basic strategy.

• Keep innovating constantly in order to provide increasing benefits to the customers.

• It requires a lot of work based on trust, candour and good communication in order to develop and to sustain good business relationships, especially in a partnership business. It is important at the outset to agree on the ways to handle disagreements.

• Be open to new ideas. Very often you can integrate new ventures into an existing one depending on the opportunity.

The first year of business is the toughest and most prone to mistakes relating to founding team members, intellectual property, product development and marketing strategy.

A good entrepreneur recognizes the mistakes promptly, corrects them in the nick of time and stays on-guard not repeat the same mistakes again.

Start with a good legal and accounting base at the very outset by consulting or hiring the right professionals. Hire your teammates who can compensate your weaknesses. You may not need heavyweights and wizards to push your business at the start-up stage.

Build a mature and sustainable relationship with partners, employees, customers and suppliers. Trying to create too much of hype with the help of the press, journalists, family and friends may not professionally help, although you do not have to toss away their goodwill.

Remember that good judgement comes from experience, whereas experience comes from bad judgement. You may research a lot, read a lot of books and blogs on start-ups, but the truth is that you start learning when you actually start doing it.

In spite of all this there are growing pains and moments of self doubt for start-up companies, especially when you read your competitors’ press releases every morning. Never allow your confidence in yourself to be shattered by any of these, although it does not mean you should shy away from standing naked in front of the mirror and shun self-examination.

Target limited customer segments until you gain confidence. Learn to take in failures by analyzing and looking beyond to find out the hidden reasons, why you lost and channel the lessons to your next competitive tasks. Do not sleep after you have won a deal until the cheque is in the bank, because the competition can get ugly in between.

Familiarize yourself with the basics of the operations before outsourcing the tasks like sales, customer service and technology. Retain the star performers by giving adequate incentives. Generally a small bunch of key personnel are responsible for the success of a start-up venture.

In the matter of sales, understand why a customer should buy anything and that too particularly your product, and why the customer should boy it now. The last point has the key to driving faster sales.

You do not need to be an MBA to start up a business. In fact, too much theory might keep you hanging too long in the limbo. Do not hesitate to trim the deadwood in time; a thousand cuts are better than a painful death.

Working late, travelling too much and eating junk food at untimely hours may be manageable when you are in you twenties. But when you grow older allocate enough time for relaxation, family, health and fitness.

Article Written by Dolphi D'Silva [771 Words]
Posted on Oct 13, 2013 with Views.

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