Here are a few things you need to know before you take the leap into entrepreneurship
The craze of entrepreneurship has taken the country by storm, and now everyone wants to be a part of a startup or start one on their own. Entrepreneurship comes with many challenges. The success or failure of your venture depends on how you or your team manages it. Here are a few things you should brace yourself for before you plunge into entrepreneurship. After all no one likes unpleasant surprises.
Your time won’t be yours anymore
Let’s just say your pre-entrepreneurship job was the honeymoon period of your career. The initial stage of starting up will demand all your time. Last moment glitches, late night calls and sudden client meetings will soon become your way of life. Be prepared to spend long hours at the office trying to figure out solutions to problems or working with others to serve an overseas customer. Tight deadlines might force you to work on weekends, and your next vacation or the usual Friday night pub session might have to wait.
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If you head a small team or you’re starting out on your own, you might be investing your own money. Bootstrapped startups are self-made, but you must be ready to crunch your expenses. Save money whenever, and wherever, you can. This may also mean paying your employees and taking home no salary yourself. You will face the insecurity of instability, so be mentally prepared to fight it.
VCs are not easy to please
Seldom have startups raised capital at their ideation or initial stage. This has only happened for startups with game-changing ideas and products which were identified by investors at the right time. So unless your startup falls under this category, you may get funded only at a later stage. But don’t start up on your own just to save yourself from expenses. Create a brilliant product and everything else will come to you naturally.
Everything needs to be done yourself
You will have to do everything yourself. If you know the famous household FMCG brand Nirma, you know Karsan Patel. Karsan Bhai would set out every morning on his bicycle, going door-to-door to deliver his brand of detergent. Sachin and Binny Bansal of Flipkart went through the churn of getting new vendors on board to delivering COD shipment at their customer’s door. Be ready to put your ego down, learn everything and work your way up.
Execution is not a cakewalk
Startups like Tinyowl, with brilliant ideas, VC-backed funding, efficient technology and great teams have failed miserably. One of the things that stops most startups from growing is that they sit too long procrastinating over an idea rather than building it. On the other hand, the ones who start building it scale it up to the limit of stretching the bandwidth of the entire business, like PepperTap. Execution is no cakewalk. It has to be planned meticulously, and you must be prepared to work hard to pull it off. So, before you dive into that idea of yours, see if it’s even practical to execute. Determine how well it can be accomplished within the shortest given period such that it does not shake the foundation of what you intend to achieve.
Entrepreneurship is no picnic. But don’t be intimidated by the efforts you need to put to make your plans work. Mentally prepare yourself for these efforts and sacrifices and stay focussed on your goals, and you’ll eventually make things happen.