Want to own a startup? Read this first!
This Article is about a brief experience that I have had with my 7 month old Startup and would help Entrepreneurs or even people who are thinking of starting up read about it!
There have been so many young people who have left their reputed jobs and have started working on their own for the idea they have truly believed will fetch them millions of dollars and funding from some of the most reputed VC's in the world.
So should you go with the flow of this Startup Buzz?
Startups are really good as you have the whole sky to work on your idea and with self motivated people, its very easy to find the talent in this open source market. But before you enter the startup world, here are some points of advice from my 7 months of experience in my own Startup - Quest For Tech
1. You are alone in the journey when you start. Its a Hell Walk! All the cool feeling of the startup goes down the drain here.
2. You will lose a lot of money and you will have tonnes of Debt, which you will have to pay ASAP!
3. The friends with whom you are working leave you as there is no motivation left because the money you have saved by working late hours is draining at drastic rate.
4. The zeal to work towards a conman goal goes down after repeated Failures.
At this point you are on the verge of breaking and probably feel that the best option is to stop working on your stupid dream project and start working in corporate again. But there is one thing that has already taken over you unconsciously. It is the freedom to work on your own.
So Why do Startups Fail?
All start with a wrong notion. As I said in the first Paragraph, they start with the notion of making money as the primary goal! Making money is a result for anything that you do but what is more important is what your product or service offers the world that is different or is solving an issue for an individual or an organization.
Startups are about creating something that solves problems. They can even be like Elon Musk's Tesla plan to generate revenue from supercar, use that money to make a luxury car and use that money to make a mass market car and change the future. The primary goal is to change the future here and not making money. They could have just kept building sports or luxury vehicles but they didn't as the macro goal was much larger.
Understand the following points before going in a Startup:
1. In Startups, you have to have actionable points of profit in organization with a steady growth.
2. Success CANNOT be achieved overnight and Entrepreneurs should understand that. Success is a slow process and takes its own time.
3. Don't run after funding until you are sorted and your organization is seeing at least 10 - 20% YOY (Year On Year) growth for 5 Years. This also depends on the type of Product and Services you are in. If you have a Product in development, make sure the prototype is ready and has been tested thoroughly. If it is a Service, make sure that all the USP of the Services are in place.
4. Do not spend on unnecessary expenses like hiring employees with very heavy salary structure just so they can keep the organization in place. That will make your company's Financial Structure completely unstable.
5. Funding at an early level creates an extra level of responsibility that you might not be ready for in an infant stage as your plans for expansion or profits are only theoretical. You are not even sure if the Product or Services might work or not. It is just the Gut feeling that it should work! You have to keep giving yourself a reality check by the bank statement every month.
6. Keep the Organization Lean. Do not hire herds of people to do a single task. Design processes in Japanese Style where the Organizations are Process oriented and not People oriented. Million Dollar earning companies have a total staff strength of 10 - 15 people while I have seen these numbers in some Startups which is completely crazy.
7. There are always ample problems in Startups. Solve them by finding the issues and start using Data to your Advantage. You can master the art of Problem Solving by reading this amazing book of one of my mentors Dr. G - Chronicles of a Quality Detective.
8. Work Together with your team as Startups are not meant to assign tasks but to complete tasks together.
9. Keep Supreme Quality in Product or Service that you are providing no matter the prices because the people who are there to Bargain are not you Loyal Customer! They will move on to another company if they get cheaper prices but if you are giving quality those customers are meant for a lifetime.
10. Kaizen is the most crucial part of Startup. In Japanese, Kaizen means - Continuous Improvement. The day you stop improving, there will be someone next to you who will move ahead.
11. The last but not the least is NETWORKING! When you are starting up, meet as many new people as possible. There is nothing better than spreading a word like this rather than spending thousands on Digital Marketing.
These are some of the learning's that I was able to understand during the short run of my own startup. I am sure every individual would have tonnes of rich experiences and would love to read those in the comment section.