10 Lessons Learnt Setting Up A Startup
1. Business is a cranky Baby:
The only people who have kids (I am not against kids, but it can be taxing having them around), would be able to get it when I say running a business is like nurturing a cranky baby which is so demanding and needy that there are days when it may suck the life out of you. It wants all the attention, paperwork, manpower, investment and everything else that you had in your life before you ever even thought of starting a business.
2. Healthy Support System is Essential:
Coming from an Indian perspective, it's not easy to convince family and even friends on why one is going for a Startup. Gone are the days when people would moonlight along with a stable job since every job that one can think of now days expect so much of work from you that one gets heavily exhausted enough to even get time for some leisure. And to make things even worse many companies even have a no moonlighting clause in their employment contract making it even more impossible. Thus its wholly and solely working on a startup which requires all the support that one can ever get.
3. Strategies Strategy to Strategy:
If you have worked in corporate you would have witnessed or being pulled into one of those all day meetings which takes a huge toll on everybody. I used to assume 'What a waste of time'. But ever since I have been working on a startup I now found out the value of a meeting. Ever since its inception the business format, model, strategy, vision, core values, goal, targets etc. have radically evolved in a span of a year and we had to pivot. But none of this would have happened had we taken extra concern on building a present and future compatible business strategy. Strategy comprises of every aspect of the business right from business operation to resource acquisition to getting funding and marketing & PR.
4. There is Always Another Way:
A start-up will come across many decision making related scenarios and one can even brainstorm to do a particular task in about hundred ways. But what's crucial is to actually come up with a decision which is manageable, workable and there is no going back to the board. More than coming up with the many ways of performing a task one should focus on the available resources and how cost effective is the decision. More than the right decision, the decision should be quick and fast rather than keeping it on hold for days or so.
5. Patience is the Key:
A startup has ended a number of tasks and works to do from product acquisition to business development, financing, marketing, resource management etc. The list is endless, but there are other forms of variables which are not in our control such as work outsourced or response from the client side or legal processes or even days when no work is happening etc. which would surely take its toll on every partner. While all of this is happening, one must not lose patience and never be restless, just accept it and move on to do something else.
6. Learn to do Multiple Task Completion:
Instead of multitasking one must try to complete each individual tasks one at a time. But do multiple amounts of tasks within a day, try doing small tasks and then gradually make the endeavour do even bigger tasks. Tasks can be anything from operational to strategic to even marketing related in the form of the meeting with clients etc. But each task must be completed within a stipulated deadline, don't come up with a vague or stringent deadline but a time gap within which one must try to accomplish the task. Doing a bunch of tasks in a day or two also builds up the confidence to continue and one feels like he/she has accomplished something today.
7. Learn to take Risk:
Business as a term comes with risk in its every aspect if you can't take the risk then business is not for you. But again when taking a risk in a business doesn't mean some vague and unambiguous risk, but risks which are preconceived and well calculated. Theoretically, there are many equations and formula to sum an ideal risk but in general, when the profit against the loss is almost 1.5:1 is the ideal risk. Also, any risk must be thoroughly investigated and researched around than going blindly on gut and faith.
8. It’s just Business:
When starting up a business you may come across fellow friends and acquaintance willing to either work as a vendor for you or investor or even as a client. The first rule of business is that it's just business. There is no point conducting business with friends and people whom you know when there aren't any results. Don't pursue to give the discount to your friends instead provide the best quality or first in priority, cause if you end up giving the discount to yourself there no value to yourself and to your business.
9. Passion metaphors work:
When you starting up a business, never get into a business which isn't your passion calling. If it's not something you don't believe in you won't have the urge to work on it. But if you are passionate about what you are doing then you would put all your effort and vigour to work on it. Otherwise, you may end up doing another mundane job which isn't going to give you any internal satisfaction.
10. Spot your Source of Income:
Any business takes a time to become a money generating mechanism. Thus, it's important that you find ways to keep the business running either through finding new sales channel or getting investors to invest more funds on business etc. The key to any business is the money making money along with an exceptionally well-structured strategy to work the same.