The coolest new thing on the block seems to be a startup. I get a lot of questions on startup life, startup challenges, culture and ofcourse funding. I can not address them all in one go but I can help you start with where to Start a StartUp ! Unlike what you’d expect, my answer is simple – Nowhere. A startup is not started, it is born! Yes! On your most mundane day, an idea that sparks excitement, a problem that needs a bright solution or that thing you were good at gives you a knock and you realize that it could get bigger than a hobby… That, my friend, is the birth of your startup !
A lot of kids out of college, school or even people working cushy jobs ask me how to start a startup and I am always amazed at how people don’t realize a difference between a business and a startup. There is a reason we don’t simply refer to a StartUp as a Business and that is the simple fact that a startup is a brand new idea, a brand new approach, something not done before. Every startup is a business but every business may not be a startup. The same goes for the terms Entrepreneur and Businessman. An Entrepreneur is mostly refered to a person who sets up a business whereas a businessman can be one simply carrying it forward too. An Entrepreneur is a businessman but every businessman may not be an entrepreneur. Here are a few steps you may want to follow in order to start a successful StartUp!
Step 1 You need an idea to begin with, something you strongly believe in.
If you leave everything you’re doing to start a startup without having an idea in the world then what does that say about your business acumen!? You need to think hard about what you care for from the bottom of your heart then look for a probable issue/ problem you would like to address in that field. You will be closest to getting your idea there!
Step 2 Research and dig as deep into the topic as you impossibly can.
You may have an idea now but someone might have done it before you or worse, noone could have done it before you. Like in the case of my startup, we had to start from scratch and learn from our own mistakes. Researching about your idea will help you strategize. A good way to build your business strategy is to create surveys and reach out to potential customers. Tread with patience and keep a note of all you discover.
Step 3 Weigh Pros and Cons. Put your idea forth and collect doubt.
You may think that it is better not to tell anyone about your idea and We did that initially too. But a very established entrepreneur once mentioned in his speech about sharing your idea and the multitudes of benefits of that. In my experience, the best benefits are – You find your pitch and that you know what doubts to expect. These further help you in your entire strategy so yes, share your researched idea as a next step of your research!
Step 4 Start building your StartUp Step by Step. First step : Business Plan.
First Stop – Business Plan. When it is in your head why would you need a business plan written down? Well, a number of reasons. Starting with giving you a path to walk on. When it is your own idea, it is like having a baby. You want to give everything to it. You must not let that parent emotion get the best of you and sway you around. Write about everything from your logo to your operations to your expansion plans. Putting your plan in writing will help you stay focused and also benefits if an investor asks you to send it!
Step 5 Don’t depend on investments.
I don’t mean steer clear of investments. You will need a good fund to make your business big but do not a solely depend on a miracle angel investment. Think of Investors like God. They help those who help themselves! Don’t start out by looking for investments. Try to use your salesmanship to rope in family and friends. You can also look at working a job till you have funds to get the Business running. Remember an investment is a debt in one way and the investor will want a percentage of a your company. A self sufficient business is most attractive an investment for any investor!
Step 6 Run it like you Own it! Build a good team!
Being an entrepreneur, you will be your own marketing, public relations, finance, human resource and other departments for a while. Brush up on some basics and don’t be shy in asking for advice from anyone. Once you have enough to start hiring, start hiring smart. Build a team of driven multi-taskers who have a similar vision and yet have something new to bring to the table.
Step 7 Enjoy it while you’re at it! :
This step is the most important. You must enjoy what you’re doing. Take pride in yourself. Appreciate yourself. Starting something is very difficult and running it is a Herculean task. There will be times of stress, money will be short at times and hours will always be long. It is very similar to having a baby and losing your night sleep and rest. So remember to keep your spirits high and lend that to your team. Take breaks, enjoy and cherish each moment of this struggle. This will change you as a person and a change you will never regret!
All the best for your startup and I hope this helps you. Comment below if you have a specific area you need me to write about! .SS.