Going Entrepreneur : How to Start a Startup
Should I go Entrepreneur?
Yes you should. An all affirmative answer to a very crucial question. Yes you should go an entrepreneur’s way but subject to a few conditions, as I will elaborate in this article. But as a general answer to this question I think anyone and every one who has a passion for something should go an entrepreneurs’ way.
These are really exciting times. Internet has evolved so much and there is yet more to come. Mobility has opened a whole new horizon of products and services. And there are vast unexplored areas and opportunities and markets waiting to be explored by passionate and enthusiastic explorers like you. So these are the best times to follow the entrepreneurial suite and start something of your own.
But having said that, it is not everyone’s cup of tea either. You need to have some sort of expertise or experience or extremely deep felt passion about something to be able to convert it into a business opportunity. Entrepreneurship comes with it’s own share of risks and their tenacity varies for people of different age groups and economic backgrounds. If you are young and have nothing to loose then time and energy are on your side all you need is an idea and the vigor to convert it into a viable business. If you are old with enough experience in a particular field and good amount of capital at hand then you can also easily afford to be an entrepreneur. I say afford because any venture has as much possibility to fail as it has to succeed. And at risk is your precious capital. It may all be lost if things don’t work out as you had expected to. So if you cant take risks and handle too much pressure entrepreneurship is definitely not for you.
Others can continue to read…
What do I need to start a venture?
Well some people go on to build huge empires with virtually nothing at hand. But everyone is not so lucky. So for you to start something of your own you will need to pick an idea of what you want to do-a new tech venture, some service provider, opening a shop or a restaurant, any idea for that fact will do. Provided you have the financial backing to execute it, will power and determination to hold on to it in tough times, work 24*7*365 till you make it a success and be ready to fail.
Where do I start?
Start by analyzing the feasibility and market reach of your idea. Is it a viable idea? Will it attract enough customers? Will it be profitable for me? If you have an idea that is financially and practically viable, has enough puff to attract a lot of customers and will be profitable for you, you are good to go. Next is you have to think what value does it give to your customer? What is it that you are offering which the competition is not offering or in simpler words how is your product or service better that others? And what are your plans to handle competition.
Next comes writing a detailed business plan. After asking the above questions to yourself and other interested stakeholders now is the time to pen down everything. Every single detail should be included in your business plan including answers to all the questions above. Apart from that you should also mention the manpower and resource requirements their costs and the revenue options and estimates for at least 3-5 years.
You should be able to chalk down every single detail about your prospective business including even the most insignificant details. All this will come really handy in measuring your progress against your pre decided goals over time. And the second most important factor is that it will help attract investors and satisfy their queries regarding your business.
So shall we start?
Go ahead with the implementation of your idea. Patiently wait till the execution is complete and keep working hard. Rewards will be coming soon. There will be many hurdles initially. Almost every planned or unplanned things will start as hurdles at first. You have to stay calm and look for a way to cross the hurdle, resolve the issue and move on to next. And yes it will consume your nights, days, lunch times dinner times and all the time you have, but then that’s the beauty of this job- the entrepreneurs job.
You have a great idea, but how to sell it in the market? How to make people believe that using your solution will really help them, make their lives easier, add value to their lives. Well you have to toil really hard to tackle this bit (not that you have to toil any lesser tackling other bits). But this is one of the toughest jobs- to find takers for your idea in the market.
Use marketing effectively, if you are tight on funds use the word of mouth publicity. Request your existing customers to bring you more customers and ensure quality service so as to retain every single customer you get. Remember every single rupee earned is important for the success of your business.
Convincing People 2 (Read as convincing investors)
Well did I somewhere say that hey man this is the toughest job? Oh forget it, the toughest is yet to come and that is convincing investors to invest in your business. You have started your idea fuelled by customer interests and want to take it to the next level for which you need more capital. So what are the things to take care of when going to investors?
Do a detailed research around your budding business, analyze all the aspects of it and have ready answers for all the possible answers of the would be investors of your business. Prepare some nice PPTs involving concrete facts figures and numbers, remember numbers speak the loudest when it comes to finances, so make sure you get them right and they are convincing. If for some reason they are not so convincing then you have to be there with an explanation about how the idea is slow to kick off but will give great returns in future.
The investors be it angel investors, venture capitalists or investment firms they all are looking for only one thing wherever they go and that is PROFITS. So make sure they see profits when you are talking to them. Getting someone to part with their money is not a very easy task to do. Take yourself for an example. Will you invest your hard earned money in someone’s business just because they are so convinced about it success? No you won’t. First of all you will want to get convinced. So think the same way for your investors as well. Convince them about the profitability of your business in the best way you can.
If you did everything right and things went your way, well then what’s more to do. Enjoy your success, reap the windfall gains and keep up the good work.
And what if it did not work out? Do not get discouraged. If you feel done with it and you can’t take anymore then forget it as an adventure and take up some safer alternative available to you. But if you are gritty and determined enough to make it work then rise from the ashes like a phoenix and let’s start over. Learn from our previous mistakes, do not repeat them in your next venture and go on to build something big under your name.