Thanks to the recent media hype that spotlit the field of entrepreneurship, almost everyone now seems to know about starting up a company of their own. And so, it wouldn’t come as a big surprise to know most of these startups end up in failure. With the help of all the recent researches we can put a number to the failure rate at 75%.
So, the question that an aspirant entrepreneur should be asking himself is, How to start a SUCCESSFUL company?
Long term success, despite every fairytale you’ve heard,isn’t due to luck or circumstances or omens. It is the product of hard work and dedication by the entrepreneur. Hard work and dedication in the right direction.
Not every tree can be used to build a boat, no matter how hard you try, right? So, let’s look at what it takes to ensure your company succeeds above all odds.
THE PRELUDE: Before you start.
Before there was Rome, there was a dream, that was Rome. It all started with a dream. This ‘Dream’ is the soul of your company. While this dream is the vision of what your company’s gonna be like, it also determines another important factor which is going to influence the growth of your company throughout it’s life- Passion.
Don’t start because you want to get rich, or to become your own boss, but because you have an idea that you believe in, that you love, like your own child. One that you are so passionate about, that you’re willing to go any distance to make it a reality. Running a business is tiresome work. But, if it’s something you love to do, Then it won’t seem like hard work.
Another important thing is, never let your thirst for knowledge be quenched- NEVER! Remember the old saying- A wise man realizes that there are more things that he knows he doesn’t know, than the things he knows he doesn’t know. Cultivate yourself a network of peers that you can bounce ideas off of. Read, keep yourself updated, keep learning every second.
Most importantly, be tenacious. Don’t give up.When you’re backed against the wall, break the thing down. When stars seems shy to come out, light a torch. When things fail, analyze what went wrong, instead of agonizing.
Entrepreneurship comes with few guarantees. In fact, only 50% of all businesses survive the first five years. Above mentioned are the traits that can stack the odds in your favor. These obvious but valuable traits are the ones that allow you to find success over and over again. Learn to develop them, and then, you’re ready to start up.
Now, you have a dream. But a dream as such isn’t productive. Anyone can curl down on a comfy surface and dream. What you need to do is to act on it. Shred it into a set of short term and long term goals. Create actionable tasks to help you achieve these milestones along the way. These short term goals you set up should be the stair steps to reaching your long term goals. most importantly, don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that since you’re planning you’re being productive. Planning must make way for doing. carry on with your schedules.
The team is the next big part of your company. Be it co-founders or hired employees, they are the ones who you rely on to achieve your dream. It’s said that choosing your team members and co founders is like choosing your life partner. Wrong choice can screw things over like nothing else.
Most of the investors look at the strength of the team when they decide whether to invest or not. The ability of the team to tackle new problems and face challenges are valued as much as the business idea itself. A good team should not only share the passion towards the goal, but also be able to cover the other members’ weaknesses too. They should be able to support and appreciate each other, along the journey. They should be ready for anything that’s thrown at them, quick thinking on their feet.
Don’t kid yourself, running a business isn’t a fairy tale, where everything would just fall into place, towards a happy ending. You’re gonna stumble, face dead ends, screw up royally, at any turn. Be vigilant. You’re a damn fool if you don’t expect problems and mistakes. And when they happen, don’t fall on to your knees and start agonizing over it. They are your best friends, your best textbooks. See them, analyze them, learn from them. Those lessons, you’ll never forget till your last breath. Be flexible, be open minded. It’s a lot better than being right.
Naming the company
While the name is not the most important step in staring a business, it must be noted that the name should be creative and catchy, at the same time reflecting the mission of the company. The name is how your company is identified, and hence it is an important step. While choosing a name, check for its URL availability too.
Once you’ve got a name in your mind, stew on it a bit. When you introduce yourself as the head of this business, does it sound right? can you see yourself working for that name, fighting for, protecting it, possibly living with that for the rest of your life? if not, choose another one.
While you are the one who’s built up the company and own it, remember, your customers are your Gods. They decide whether you succeed or not, whether to use your product or service. customer satisfaction should be your top priority. Keep it in mind with every decision you make. And always be updated on your customer’s needs.
Capital is an important factor in every business. raising money is essential in launching and running a company. While you need enough money to give your startup every chance of success, bear in mind having too much can make you lazy and all too willing to part with it. Hence, how much to raise is as important a question as when to raise money.
Now that you have the money, next issue is spending it. Don’t use up all your resources, all at once. Managing the funds properly is an important process in a successful business. the amount of capital required for each process is to be determined cautiously. And, don’t forget to build up an emergency pool of funds.
AFTER STARTING UP
In business, it’s important to hang out with the right crowd. There are many thousands of people like you, who are working on starting their own company. There are also people who were once in your shoes, who’ve gone to grow some wildly successful companies. Networking with such people can help you in your growth.
Choosing the right crowd is also important. As much fun as it is having people agree with you on everything, it’s counter productive to perfecting your product or service. foster an environment of open feedback is important, especially for the long term health of a product. Though you might not always like what you hear, you and your company will be better off with it.
“In a world that’s changing so rapidly, the only risk is not taking any risk.” The best quote ever spoken by Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. In order to define limits, you need to keep pushing yourself.
But do remember, there’s a big difference between taking a blind risk and taking a calculated risk. But there are times when you need to bet big, in order to achieve big goals. The real game is in recognizing those instances, and acting on them.