Most aspiring entrepreneurs toy with the idea of launching their startup. They don’t know how to fill the gap between having a business idea and implementing it. One needs to understand that the first step is to overcome one’s doubts, fears, and apprehensions and just go ahead! It doesn’t seem easy but it isn’t difficult either. Also, in addition to a proper business plan, to experience either success or failure, you need to first make a head start. Here are a few points to keep in mind to launch your start dream startup faster.
Need for speed
Too many entrepreneurs take too long to implement the idea in their minds and waste too much time thinking about how to get everything right. In the process, they lose time as well as money. Launching your startup fast does not mean that you need to be the first in the market. It means that to turn your idea into reality, you need to start getting your hands on the necessary resources first and focus on entering the market as soon as possible. Planning is the key, but planning alone is not enough. Turn your plans into actions now!
Make a head-start
As elaborated in the previous point, just start! Period! In order to be successful or fail, you need to start first. In short, if you do nothing, nothing will happen! So go ahead and register your domain, design your product & prototype, etc. The only person holding you back is yourself. Push aside your fears and anything else holding you back and just go ahead! You can handle issues as and when they arise along the way.
Whatever you sell need not be new in the market
All entrepreneurs are not innovators. It is perfectly alright to not have an original product to sell. You can sell something made by someone else. The idea is to sell absolutely anything. The greatest entrepreneurs in the world aren’t selling anything new. However, they are selling it differently. For instance, Howard Schultz of Starbucks sold coffee, Sam Walton of Wal-Mart sold everything that was available at any other supermarket, and Warren Buffet purchased and sold stocks. You will find several examples such as those around you.
Build your business along the way
It is never too late to be innovative. Your product or service need not be perfect from day one. Build your business and implement new ideas as you go along. Continue to learn and evolve. Ask for suggestions from customers and work on developing new versions of your product to meet their expectations. No matter how old your business is, there will always be scope for growth and development.
Have a cofounder
A co-founder can bring a new set of skills to your business. He/she can also provide the inspiration you lack. Also, a company founded by a team rather than an individual is more likely to gain funding from venture capitalists. As long as you have a clear hierarchy, you are good to go! Most importantly, find a co-founder who is as passionate & motivated as you if not more, is a taskmaster, and can push you to the extreme and force you to do better than you normally would. Though he/she might appear ruthless, a person of this kind can really bring out the best in you as well as your business.
Do not worry about money
This is a common mistake that most new entrepreneurs fall prey to. Your focus should be on delivering a quality product or service because that will always make money. Focusing on money can throw your business off track. Let things such as capital, funding, pricing models, business loans, and the like evolve over time. Funding will not boost your business, but improving quality, delivering quality products, marketing, and any other activity that does not involve money will help your business grow.
Spend money and time on marketing your products/services
Marketing is one of the best investments you can make in your business. The earlier you make this investment the better. By marketing, you are increasing your visibility for people who are likely to purchase your product. Hence, money and time invested in marketing will pay high dividends all along.
Get to know your potential customers
Try and learn as much as you can from people who are likely to buy your products. This way, you can ensure that your product is received better and ensure the sustainability of your business. The best people to tell you about the expectation of your customers are your customers. With their suggestions and ideas, you develop newer versions of your product or probably come up with an entirely new one. Make efforts to try and get to know them better to stay ahead in the game.
Mistakes are your best teachers
Do not equate mistakes with failure. All of us are human and bound to make mistakes. However, learning from those mistakes is important. One wrong decision does not mean the end of your business. Overthinking and worrying about each step you take will only slow down your business. Thus, delays caused because of the fear of making mistakes are likely to actually cause failure. Give not only yourself but also your team room for making mistakes as long as they make the effort to turn them into learning experiences. Also, it may be a good idea to test small aspects of the product you offer to determine whether everything is working as per your expectations. It is better to delay the launch of your product and work on a problematic feature for a week now rather than six months later.
Read the experiences of other successful businessmen for motivation
Reading the success stories of people who have walked your path can provide much-needed motivation. There is also lots to learn from other people’s experiences as well as mistakes. In her article “The 9 Best Books Every Startup Founder Should Read,” author Liat Behr has elaborated upon nine must-read books to inspire aspiring startup founders. Another article worth reading is Top 25 “Must Read Books for Indian Entrepreneurs” by Aruj Budhraja.
To conclude, a startup is a race. The faster you start, the faster you are likely to win!