#8 Tips For Aspiring Student Entrepreneurs
"Do not spend too much time thinking about your idea, just start with any idea you have as it will keep evolving"
The hullabaloo about start-ups in India for the past few years has thrust students in the biggest dilemma of their lives — whether to get a job or be an entrepreneur.
Just in case if you too belong to the confused section, we’ll give you one reason on why you should take up an entrepreneurship by quoting Playboy Magazine’s Late Editor Hugh Hefner, who once said, “Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.”
Niromod Klayman works with the University of Queensland, Australia on a programme called UQ Idea Hub, which is a startup pre-incubator initiative. He helps students with an opportunity to form and test their early-stage ideas for the potential commercial opportunity. During his recent trip to Mumbai, in a discussion with Entrepreneur India, Klayman, a serial entrepreneur, shared eight tips for aspiring student’s entrepreneurs:
Idea < Execution
“Do not spend too much time thinking about your idea, just start with any idea you have as it will keep evolving or will change,” was his first tip. There is no start-up that has its core product close to its first product.
As the experts say, its five per cent about the idea and 90 per cent about the execution.
Klayman urged students to be confident when they pitch their ideas, products or start-ups. “The more your practice, the better you are going to be,” he added.
Customers are the King
Stay as close as you can to the customer as they decide whether the product will work or no, was Klayman’s third most important advice.
“A number of students like their products more than the customers and that is a big mistake,” he warned, adding that at the end, “if customers do not like your product then you have a problem.”
So, it is really important for one to explain one’s product and ask for feedback from consumers on their liking, pricing and whether they need it.
Klayman said, personally, he would try to avoid as much as possible to get funding from any investor. “Try to run a start-up with your own capital or in a lean way as this can lead to complications and the investors are likely to divert the company in a direction where you don’t want to be,” he added.
“Students think raising capital is a milestone. But, it is not! So raise capital only when you need not just for the sake of it,” he said.
Don’t just ask for feedback from your customers, he said. “Network with the industry, other entrepreneurs and people who are not related, so that you can take their opinions too,” he opined.
There are opportunities out there to do something different but for that people won’t come to entrepreneurs, the latter will have to go to them.
Klayman advised students to enjoy whatever they are doing as entrepreneurship requires dedication and it is much more than working.
“You will be spending 14-16 hours working, and you can stretch it, if you do not enjoy it,” he said.
Put a Break
If you realize, your start-up is falling then stop working on it as early as possible, advised the serial entrepreneur, who has co-founded more than 15-16 start-ups, of which some have failed.
Sharing his own example he said, “I worked on an idea for three years to create Wizzyboard, one of my start-ups. But it didn’t take off the way I wanted. I should have read the signs and left it earlier.”
Wizzyboard developed a technology for augmenting online games and toys for touchscreen devices.
Failure is a Step Forward
A number of students take failure personally. They starting thinking they haven’t done something right but, instead, they should understand there are other circumstances too. Klayman said every time one fails, it is an opportunity to do something different.
“If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and it should not matter. Just stop and start something else,” he urged.
I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.