As exhilarating and exciting as it may sound to build your own start-up, there’s always a little self-doubting involved when setting out. And let’s just say it’s natural to feel those jitters, to probably leave behind a well-paying job or starting from scratch entirely. The stakes can be high, but how do you ensure or at least try to safe-guard yourself from running into something risky?
First, by believing in yourself (sounds like a cliché, but is imperative) and second by running your eye over these handy tips. They come from first hand experience —
1. START SMALL- Take baby steps and start things on a small scale – be it the office set-up or the amount you invest in your venture. Try and test waters first and take it from there.
2. KNOW YOUR PRODUCT – Research, research and do more research. Understand the pulse of your product, your target audience, your brand positioning. Only if you know your product well, will you be able to get investors to fund you.
3. HIRE THE RIGHT SKILL-SET – While you may want to be prudent about your spends initially, hiring the right kind of people is key. Make sure you take on people with the right skill-set to help you grow. You don’t want to be compromising on putting together the right team, since it will lay the foundation for your business.
4. GET OUT AND NETWORK – Yes, while you may be drowning with work, micro-managing every detail at work, please get out and meet new people – network. You might stand a chance of coming across different people who could be potential customers, vendors, suppliers, creative minds, and the list is endless. So don’t shy away from socializing, no matter how much you may despise it.
5. LEARN AND ABSORB – Listen to your friends, family and people around you. Speaking to them, asking them for feedback will give you an insight into where you’re going wrong, what you’ve nailed and what needs some polishing. Learn from their experiences, and absorb what you think could be helpful for your business.
6. SORT YOUR MONIES- Make sure you don’t end up investing all your (or your family’s) hard-earned money into the start-up, set aside some savings. Seek the right kind of investors to fund your business. Avoid taking too many loans.
7. BE PENNY-WISE- Reduce your overheads. Evaluate how much you will be spending on getting or renting an office and see if a co-working space turns out to be more economical. You don’t want to be paying extra bucks for no reason.
8. DELEGATE WORK- Remind yourself that you don’t have to be doing everything under the sun and burning out. Do what you’re best at and delegate the rest of your work to the right people. Be open to the idea of getting a freelancer on board if you think something needs special attention and you don’t have an extra set of hands in your team to handle the task.
9. GO WITH YOUR GUT – While it’s good to take opinion and feedback from people, it may not always be in line with with your goal. In such cases, trust your intuition. Naysayers will always be naysayers, and haters will always hate. So don’t get too bogged down by the noise, just go with what you deem is fit for your business.
10. LEAVE A LASTING IMPRESSION – Go, wow your customers with what you make. Make sure you give them the kind of quality and service that makes them want to return back to you. Stretch yourself a little to keep them happy and go that extra mile. It will bring a smile to their face and yours as well.
Don’t be daunted by starting your own venture. Take that leap of faith, do what you are passionate about and keep these 10 things in mind. They’ll help you go a long way.