You have a great idea for a startup but you are afraid to take the leap of faith. Starting anything from scratch is not easy if you’ve thought about opening your own business, you may be receiving advice’s and opinions from all quarters of your life. There are so many tips for starting a new business out there that choosing which ones to follow can get confusing. Being your own boss is a “work in progress” and the journey itself is a training ground. So, there will be storms and you have to face them all. So, it may not be a smooth one, but definitely a more satisfying and rewarding journey. You will be your own BOSS soon. Here are few tips to get you started.
a) Face your fears and address excuses:
Burden of excuses and fears often is a block that one needs to overcome. This is more mental than physical. From money to responsibilities of time, the excuses can pile up. Worrying about the risks of business ownership is normal but not doing anything about it is worse. If you are unsure about moving forward then have a partner who can be another set of eyes and ears for your company.
b) Choose a co-founder:
Just like Yin and Yang theory, you and your co-founder can balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The advantages of having someone else to share the journey with are many. Suppose you have no knowledge of marketing, then a partner with a marketing background can make up for your lack in use of social media; or someone who is fantastic with numbers but struggles with writing will appreciate your ability to take care of documentation and paperwork. There is more commitment and higher accountability with the presence of two engaged and committed founders.
c) Make financial goals
You need to break financial goals down into reachable and measurable ones. Monthly, weekly or even daily revenue goals allow you to stay on track and make the adjustments necessary for constant growth. In a new startup, there are going to be expenses coming at you from every direction. Hiring a full-time staffer to handle the books in the beginning isn’t very budget-friendly, so use accounting software to remain organized. It doesn’t matter how good your idea may be, If you run out of money you hit a road block. Establish a budget and stick to it.
d) Customer is the king.
Without customers, business doesn’t exist. The sooner you work towards acquiring customers and scale up, better are the chances of your company starting off. Once you identify different acquisition channels, you can move on to work on optimization to lower your costs. Acquisition requires time and dedication but once your customers are roped in, your idea is ready to roll.
e) Employees are your internal customers.
Your true leadership skills is tested when you can show patience and resilience with your internal customers. Your employees. There is a chaos all around, your website is crashing, deadlines haven’t been met, and there is a PR crisis. This is the exact time when your team is looking at you for support. You have to be calm, empathetic, show interest and resolve each issue. Constant communication and maintaining a healthy working environment will win you your employees.
f) Get creative
Some of the examples of famous pivots are Twitter, PayPal, YouTube, Starbucks, Groupon, Nintendo and Instagram. This does not mean that your idea lacked in anything and will fail. Continue to focus on the seed that sparked your passion in the first place. Can you make changes by doing something innovative to your existing product or service? Does it require a different marketing campaign or target audience? You can work well around these clues instead of reinventing the wheel again.
g) Be prepared for crisis.
There will be crisis situations and you have to keep your team involved and secure their trust and wellbeing. Disasters are bound to happen. Setbacks are always there. It could be out of your control, like a natural disaster, or it could be an internal problem that escalates your control, such as a customer service mismatch that goes unnoticed. That’s why you need to be well-versed in crisis management. Make a plan to identify a spokesperson whose role is to remain transparent and be your voice. He/she will be responsible for making sure that your customers, suppliers and stakeholders are not panicking.
Finally, Never give up. Just like a home, a startup too needs strong foundation roots. So make the base strongest and pillars high. The rest will grow on its own. Take that chance to be your own boss!!!
You may also want to read other articles written by the same author ‘Decoding Stress‘, ‘Communication made easy…‘, , ‘Personal Finance Planning’, ‘Are you financially fit?’, ‘3 M’s… Mantra for Morale‘ , ‘Tips for effective interaction with management’, ‘Adapting to global work culture – locally‘, ‘8 Advantages of Online tutoring as a work from home career‘, ‘6 Tips for health management at workplace‘, ‘Marriage and Finance‘, ‘Passion with a Purpose‘.
About the author:
Padmaja Acharya – From the ancient language of Sanskrit comes my name ‘Padmaja’, derived from Padma (meaning lotus) and Ja (meaning to take birth from). A woman as created by the divine. An Engineer and MBA by virtue of education. A dance choreographer, teacher by virtue of passion. A soft skill trainer and educator by profession. An author and speaker as guided by my calling. This is what encompasses me.
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