Starting a business is a journey of successes and failures. The figures speak for themselves: more than one in three would-be entrepreneurs think about starting a business every day, but 78% say they are afraid they’ll fail.
So, there are following must-do tasks for a start-up to give itself the best chance of success.
- Find your passion
Those hesitating to chase their passion due to the fear of the unknown is to first try it as a part time job. If it inspires and excites you, then you probably are ready for the switch. If not, rethink what aspects of the job appeal to you. The process of working should bring you joy. If it is fame, popularity, glamour, money or other such aspects that appeal to you, then it might not be the right fit for you.
- Belief in oneself, and one’s work
Never underestimate your work and most importantly, value your work and time. If you don’t believe in yourself and your vision then how would others believe in you !
- Know your strengths and turn it into value creation
Keep challenging yourself until you know your true capacity. After you come to know about your strengths and weaknesses,whatever talent/strength you have, utilise it into creating awareness of your brand. As I did it in the beginning of my entrepeneurial journey by writing a blog in terms of spreading knowledge about fashion and lifestyle. Another example would like in in terms of better and timely service provision such as by keeping the promise made to the customers earlier.
- Take calculated risks
It’s important to devote time to choose the right legal entity you want to operate your business through. Get the necessary registrations in place and understand the personal legal liability aspects and the filing and tax requirements of your company vehicle. It’s important not to miss registration or filing deadlines and payment dates. Penalties can quickly mount up into unexpected and damaging cash outflows.
- Research & Learn
Research is important in any business and is your best friend to gain knowledge about the competition, establishing your unique selling proposition and defining your target audience and target market.
However, when it comes to business, don’t try to be good at everything. Keep yourself abreast of other industry practices and skills aligned with your focus and push to develop your skill, product or service to be the best in area that’s needed and sought after. Then build out from there.
- Have digital presence & do networking
By creating a digital identity, you can enable easier discoverability, which helps in generating more revenue. The more effort you put into developing marketing campaigns, using social media and networking, the more successful you will eventually be.
Look for the opportunities to assist people and serve, as more businesses and people are drawn to you when you help them. Here your focus should be on value creation and not valuation. If the former happens, the latter will follow suit.
- Build reliable team
The best way to scale your business is to surround yourself with the best people. This concept can be applied to potential new staff, customers and business partners. Even if you are a one-man-band now, the minute you start becoming successful you will need to find a finance person, a marketing person, an admin assistant … the list goes on. Factor this into your business planning, especially if you are looking to pitch for funding.
- Finding funding
Payments for marketing materials and simple infrastructure costs, you need funds because having no money and running a business does not work.
Generally, investors invest in people first and then ideas. They want to know about the credentials of the person that is going to be the custodian of their money. So, the pitch should be a careful blend of product information, business research and including a personal CV
Here, structure your pitch to have product/service related information, the credentials of the key individuals, market research, market positioning and financial breakdown.
- Do short term planning & adapt
How can you plan for long term when the landscape changes so rapidly? Make plans, but stick to the short-term and near future. Say to plan for six months or a year ahead, depending on the venture. And donot waste valuable time in drafting plans that could be overwritten as circumstances change.
In the end, I would say, being an entrepreneur is all about drive and determination to make it happen. Taking the business seriously and giving the required push, networking, reading, understanding the market and jotting down plans are a must. Plan well and have schedules to make the most of available time.
Article By: Dr. Manika Singla
Academician, Researcher, Fashion Designer, Blogger, & Entrepeneur