“One of the toughest things about starting up isn’t the idea — they are a dime a dozen — execution, or even the financing; the toughest thing about a startup is building a team and finding the right partners, who are like-minded,” said Karnvir Singh, the Founder and director of Lifesciences Consulting Pvt. Ltd, at IIM-B’s 2016 entrepreneurial fest, Eximius.
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These words highlight the single most important aspect of building a business – the people. If business can be compared to a game of Chess, then your business idea is merely the board, whereas people are its pieces of varying importance – even the pawns are essential.
The way different pieces have different roles to play, different kinds of people will have different things to offer to your business.While some can be good resources for building your network, others can impart wisdom and knowledge. The people you meet will essentially direct you to windows of opportunities that you would have otherwise missed. Here are five such types of people with the help of whom any business can expect a great initial pickup.
Finding someone who has not only walked the path but has at one point made that path for themselves is essential because as an entrepreneuryou will be doing the same. Be it for the knowledge of the ecosystem, mistakes to avoid, or finding your way around dead ends, mentors are the people to fall back on. Their years of experience and accumulated wisdom can spearhead your business into success by giving you an edge over your rivals.
‘Influencer marketing’ is a trend that is now well-established, but an influencer in the most generic sense is someone who has a well-standing reputation in the ecosystem and whose push your business could benefit from. Increasing your visibility is a slow process because no one wants the risk of investing in a business that is unheard of.But if you know someone that can vouch for the authenticity of your services, and more importantly, someone whose opinions are respected, the process of building your reputation can almost triple in speed.
In some ways the perspective of a peer can be more valuable than that of a mentor. How? A mentor sees the situation from a bird’s eye view whereas a peer does so on the level ofyour standing. Their experiences and inputs will be relevant to your situation as they, too, are constantly adapting to changing markets. Constantly associating with peers also has the benefit of better networking opportunities.
This person does not have to be business-savvy; they simply need to know the business-minded pawns of the game. Just knowing one person that has their well-tuned radar branched into various strata of the business world can be a powerful tool. Networking is an essential skill, but one way to play smart is to ‘hire’ someone who is exceptional at it. Not only does this save you time in finding important contacts, it also serves as free networking lessons that you can pick up from these adept networkers.
Taking business decisions without legal advice can be risky even if, and especially if, you’re only starting out. Whether you’re registering your company, meeting investors, finding partners, or hiring talent, a lawyer can help define these relationships legally. Every business decision or relationship needs boundaries so you can keep it safe from disputes. Having a reliable lawyer who takes care of the legalities of your business will definitely help you sleep better – and God knows, entrepreneurs need more of that!
While we’re talking about people that are important for your business, let’s not forget the fairest of them all – your customers. With this final icing on the cake, your business can become a stronghold to watch out for.