SayCheerz is my first startup to go live in the market. We started development by mid-2015 and were bootstrapped till now. Since all of our founders were involved in our startup full time it was one tough journey to manage cash while developing and marketing the product. I have compiled all my learnings from the past few months of launching my startup.
What really matters?
As Steve Jobs said, “Customers don’t measure you on how hard you tried. They measure you on what you delivered.”
Nobody cares what you say; what you do is all that matters. Focus on it and measure your success only with the output delivered. It doesn’t matter how many sales calls you make or how many customers you meet in a day; all that matters is how many you have convinced to use your product.
Identify the right metrics to measure and measure only that.
Learn something new
Always try to learn something new everyday. It can be anything. You never know what would prove to be helpful.
Get out of your comfort zone, that’s where the real magic happens. And have courage to unlearn and relearn things.
Don’t just simply take risks without planning. Always take calculated risks. But have courage to take risks, trust your instinct. Most of the time they will not let you down.
Funding is a myth
Many entrepreneurs’ only focus is to get funding. Funding is not the end goal of business. Your first priority should be to create a profitable business. Once that is set up, funding flows in automatically.
Accelerators or bootstrapping?
Accelerators would sure help you reach out to investors and getting friends. But is that all your five to 10 per cent of equity worth? Think about it. Choose wisely.
Always push for more
Your employees will always find some reason for not working. Push them to go beyond their boundaries.
If your tech guy says it’s going to take more than three months to build a feature, he is lying. If your sales guy says he can’t sell until you build an X feature, then he’s making excuses for not working. Never let it happen and cut ties immediately.
Sales is everything:
Sales is your only department which generates revenue. Spend more effort in setting up a strong sales team.
Always remember: no matter how good your product is, if you don’t have a strong sales guy you can never sell it.
Work smart, not hard
Working all day and night is unnecessary; and it doesn’t mean that you are working hard. It simply means that you couldn’t plan your work timings properly. Plan your work and work smartly. Have a work-life balance as it is the most important thing.
Failing is part of game
Do not be afraid to fail; only persons who have the will to fail can be successful entrepreneurs. Failing is part of the game. In fact, you learn more things from failure stories than success stories.
Remember, very little of what you do is actually going to work. Embrace it.
Never miss opportunities
Never miss any opportunities that come along your way. Sell your product to everybody you can. Pitch at every occasion possible. Help every entrepreneur you can.
My only advice to youngsters who want to start up is that there is no better day than today to start and work on your idea. Whether you succeed or fail, you learn something from it, and that’s the most important thing.
Stay hungry. Stay competitive.
About the Author:
Arunraj R is the co-founder at SayCheerz. He's a full time entrepreneur who loves to blog, photography, read books and travel. Connect me in Twitter at @iArunraj