In my three decades of leadership of a software company, I have seen umpteenth number of start-ups popping up in marketplace and very few, really a handful, surviving to a reasonable plateau of growth and success. In Silicon Valley, the rule of thumb is that out of ten start-ups, one will succeed.
Entrepreneurs are mostly dreamers and dreams form a very cogent, vibrant, interesting space in human dynamics. However, to turn the dream into reality, the entrepreneur must have the attributes that encapsulates what an influential leader should be. Some of the qualities I believe a great leader should have consist of the following:
- Vision – A leader should have a sight of the destination of where he or she wants to get to (whether it’s a short term or long term goal) and a clear roadmap on how to get there.
- Positivity – I believe this is an incredibly important trait. We all face trials and tribulations, and highs and lows. With a positive attitude, a strong leader has the mindset, willpower, and the discipline to navigate through the harsh times.
- Commitment – This goes hand-in-hand with positivity, I believe. A leader is committed to the goal, its organization, and its people, through thick and thin – no matter what.
- Passion – It is important for a leader to love what they do and to inspire others to find their respective passion and dreams.
An entrepreneur must address the following at the outset of his journey:
- Roadmap – Entrepreneurs need a business plan, which will be flexible in order to align to the needs of the changing market dynamics and over all business ecology.
- Funding and Expense Management– Lots of start up fail because they run out of money, and unable to get additional funds. One must know how to minimize their expenses and survive on their funding they have received and try to become profitable as soon as possible.
- Team – Whatever business or enterprise you may venture into, at the end of the day, you are working with other human beings. You should assemble a team, who are hungry, passionate, positive and team player in addition to their technical brilliance.
- Demands of the marketplace –If you have a great business plan in place, adequate funds and a great team, and in spite of all this, a poor sense of the market, it is going to kill you very soon. You must find out who are your clients and what do they expect from you in terms of products, services or other support?
- Technology – It is not enough to work hard to succeed but to work smart too. You cannot think of setting up a business without being informed and empowered about the latest technology, both in general and in particular context of the business vertical or domain you think of.
- Never say die – Attitude, an attitude of bold, bull terrier like commitment is needed to succeed in the world of business. You cannot necessarily survive let alone succeed with belief in yourself or your offerings. What is required for success is your determination to never let go, never leave the battlefield.
I suppose this is at once the biggest help as well as if turned round, the biggest challenge to a budding entrepreneur. Hiccups and failures are bound to happen on the way as a child falls on his or her knees so many times while tottering, before he or she learns to walk on his or her own feet.
- Opportunity – Last but not least, the entrepreneur needs to look out for opportunity twenty four by seven and seize it as soon as it appears. The great Indian patriarch R P Goenka once said in an interview to the Business Today when asked what was his key to success that he was open to opportunity and that is the only key to his success.
I hope the entrepreneurs beginning their wars in marketplace find my article interesting and gainful.