The lean startup
Nelson Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. We sure never thought it was possible to have 480,000+ followers & a reach of 450 Million+ on Social Media without spending a single rupee on advertisement.
This article is to share with you the story of a small, bootstrapped Indian startup called Daily Suvichar.
Daily Suvichar is a eleven-month-old Spiritual Social Media Platform that enables users to Discover Thought Leaders & interest based Spiritual Content.
Beginning of October 2016, both Harsh Binani (Co-founder) & I agreed that we won’t send out messages to our friends asking them to “Like” our New Facebook Page- Daily Suvichar. We both agreed that doing that would not give us a true reflection of our Traction as the “Likes” & “Follows” would not come from our real consumers.
Both Harsh & I had zero experience with Social Media Marketing & Content Creation. It took us almost two months to realise that Distribution of Content was as important as the Quality of Content. Let me give you a quick example of what I mean.
Let's compare two scenarios -
Scenario 1- you hire Shah Rukh Khan and create a brilliant action packed advertisement using the best possible graphics but you don’t publish the advertisement to the targeted audience.
Scenario 2- you don’t hire any celebrity. You don’t hire a graphic designer. You design a sub-standard post with information about the product. You publish this in the front page of a leading newspaper, say, The Times of India.
Which scenario should give you better results? I’m sure you guessed Scenario 2 because of the sheer number of people your post reached!. If you take two hours to create a piece of content, make sure you spend at least four hours on distributing it!
We have invested a total of $5000 in the first eleven months of our operations. This cost includes everything from Designing the Logo, Company Registration, Buying Domain, Hosting Services, Website Creation, Social Media Content Creation, Social Media Content Distribution, Business Development (Signing up Thought Leaders) & making the Android App (MVP). Interestingly, Harsh & I both don’t have a Tech background. With limited resources, we are doing all this with the help of two permanent members and few interns.
A lot of credit in the success of Daily Suvichar so far goes to “YouTube” & “Canva”. YouTube has taught us right from “How to create a website?” to “Search Engine Optimisation” to “Creating a Video” in a matter of hours. It is our first stop to finding a solution to any problem that we come across. YouTube offers unending opportunities to learn and grow one’s skills provided one has the intent & patience to do so.
“Canva” is a Drag & drop Graphic designing website for dummies. Canva has saved us an immense amount of money and time that would have gone in getting a Graphic Designer.
The key statement we keep telling ourselves is to make sure we are always moving forward. Even with very limited bandwidth, we make sure we try & implement some major additions every two weeks. One such addition was Whatsapp Subscriptions. We send out Whatsapp messages to 10,000+ Subscribers every day. We have manually fed these 10,000+ phone numbers on our phone.
Over the span of last few months, I have met a large number of Entrepreneurs at different Startup events. Having met them, I feel that a majority of Startups can reach greater heights than they have even with limited resources. Yes, funding is important for startups. Funding can help in a lot of functions where going lean can be difficult and gives some room for the Entrepreneurs to breathe. We too are now looking to raise our Seed Capital! However, with a plethora of things on our plate, it is easy to lose sight of many other important things that we as entrepreneurs must accomplish. First, let us persevere and make sure we have done our best.
Going the lean way will make you realise the true potential of your venture.
CEO & Co-founder
Also Read My Article "Monitoring Your Brand's Social Media Team & Performance"