Some Serious Lessons I learnt in 2016 as a Co-Founder of My Start Up
Well it has been 1 and half year since we started our startup. I am Co-founder of this startup and I would like to share some serious lesions I have learnt over this time.
A brief about how I started up before going to the hard core lessons : -
So I was working as a senior executive in a MNC and I always had this question in my mind about how do websites track how many people visits their site , who are they bla bla bla.. These questions paved a way to learn web analytics ( I am google analytics certified ) which in turn gave me a spark to start my own internet based startup as the startup buzz was very big in 2015 in India due to big names like Flipkart , Snapdeal , Old ,
So here are my lessons : -
Don’t Say Yes To Everything -
Seems strange and confusing right ? You might have read that as a early stage startup co-founder you should do everything to save cost etc..but my lesson is don’t say yes to everything. Why I say so ?
For my startup , as any founder would do it , I said yes to everything which I was offered as task. From building product , market research , vendor tie ups , business development , marketing , vendor sourcing , product purchasing , hiring team etc etc etc..since my co-founder had too much trust on my abilities & skills and confidence on my due to my hard working nature and enthusiasm and he being busy in running some more businesses
After few months of doing everything , I ( actually we )started realizing that each founder should focus on his/her core skills. For example – My core skills are market research via various online tools , digital marketing , hiring team , motivating and executing , setting sytems and processes etc however I started doing vendor tie ups which I did fairly ok but it at the end of the day my focus on other tasks started getting out and they suffered huge. So while doing vendor tie ups n business development , my research, client feedback , tech development etc started failing as we did not had much staff. So I would say you have to be very clear on which task to say yes and which to say no based on critical evaluation of each of your team strengths and weakness
Have set of goals to achieve at the end of each day
Startup is unending phenomena. You have to be very clear on what exactly you want to achieve end of each day. It can adding 5 more users or paying customers , adding 5 more vendors on boars , closing team hiring , finalizing on outsourcing vendors etc . It can be anything but has to be fix . It will help you to analyze and monitor your day to day progress . This exercise must be done with each team members in your startup
Be Open to Negative Feedback from customers :-
Many a times I have seen fellow entrepreneurs not accepting negative feedback about their product/service. We all need to remember Bill Gates – “ your most unhappy customers are your greatest source “. As startup founder you have to be open to listen to your customers , friends and well wishers about their negative feedback. It can improve your product as well. If you think the feedback is not worthy , you may want to ignore but you must listen to it or rather I would say make a journal and keep adding and deleting suggestions . It will help you track them and in future you can always say our product got improved because of one of our customers suggestions. It creates huge goodwill in the eyes of customers . Also it is very important to have feature / way where customers can share their feedback with you about your product/service
Have a open culture :-
By open culture I mean founders and employees should be talking , exchanging ideas, feedback openly. If there is good news share it will all. If there is bad news , share it with all. Party together , share improvements feedback in team meetings. The open culture concept will drive more accountability in your startup . In the early stages , you will have less people to work for you hence you need to make sure they all are on top of their work. You can make them accountable by open feedback and open appreciation . Except very few critical things keep open culture with all employees
Bad news must travel fast but with plan of action : -
Yes contrary to what normally people think, bad news in your startup has to run fast and must be informed to all asap. For example You may have to fire someone , or you have lost one paying customer or system failure etc. When you will declare it openly , you will earn trust from your team . While you announce bad news , always accompany the reason of the news and share what is the mitigation plan of action for the same
Good News must accompany with Party :-
Yes good news is not good news unless there is party. Startup is tiring for anyone hence whenever there is good news , have a party. Its not necessary to throw big party though it is good to have party as small as having a cup of tea/coffee or some cold drink with whole team
Have some Laugh : -
Happiness is contagious. Have some laugh with your founders , team members , vendors etc. It will release some stress and help you focus more on solving critical issues. As it is said – laughter is the best medicine
There are much more learning in these 1 and half years of my startup but I will keep it for sometime later. If you like what I shared , please share your love by liking this article and sharing it . Your comments, suggestions are more then welcome
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