10 golden points to remember while you are starting your own startup.
1. Don't start with technology, start with customers. Technology is meant to make life simpler. However, entrepreneurs often mistake it to be the life. They focus more on building the technology than whom they are building it for. It's good to start with identifying what customers want and then build/ select a suitable technology for that!
2. Never Say "No Competition". There may be someone somewhere doing what you do, or thinking what you are thinking. Go, search for it. Couldn't find anything? - Remember, if no one is doing what you are doing, there may be a good reason for it. Go, search again! Search till you find it!
3. You don't sell; customer buys. Entrepreneurs often believe that "selling tricks" would sell their product. Undoubtedly, "selling trick" does wonders, but only when the customer feels the need to buy it. As it's said "customer buys a solution for 1/4" hole, and not 1/4" drill (that you sell)"!
4. Am I doing what I want to? While building a startup, pivoting is inevitable. An entrepreneur may take different routes but the goal must be firmly stationed. Being an entrepreneur, ask yourself every morning "Am I doing what I want?" - If you get a "NO" as an answer, it's time for you to stop and think!
5. Make Sales Pitch yourself. A good salesman can sell the product but an entrepreneur sells his efforts. A good sales pitch comes bundled with an entrepreneur's emotions that goes in the making of that product. In initial days, try to keep charge of the selling part with yourself. Never start a company with outsourcing selling!
6. Build traction; Money will follow! Entrepreneurs often try to make profits from their first ever customer. In the initial phase of selling, you should focus more on penetrating through the market and getting valuable insights about your product. If the product is accepted by initial customers, money will eventually follow.
7. Don't do it Alone! Giving away a portion of the company is undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions that an entrepreneur has to make. Trust me, doing it all alone is harder. It's a blessing to have a partner when your startup is going through a rough patch.
8. Do I actually need an investor? Ask yourself this question whenever you feel the financial crunch or hear/ read about any startup getting funded. Funding must only come when needed and not when available.
9. Try to raise funding when an investor comes to you; not otherwise. You lose the power to negotiate when you go to an investor seeking funds. Bootstrap till you build your brand significant enough to attract investors. If an investor comes to you, you get the power to lead the deal and negotiate well.
10. You don't fail until you quit. Keep working on your idea till you are shattered. If possible, work even after that. You don't fail until you quit! Even if you quit, but after considerable learning, it'll be easier for you to be employed in company of repute.
Don't forget, it's never too late to start! Dream big, achieve bigger!