#5 Mistakes I did While Starting Up
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Starting-up can arguably be one of the most exciting and challenging phases of a person’s life. As a (serial) entrepreneur with some startup experience, I have learned extensively from the experiences life has brought me. While not all startups are alike and need to be recognized individually, there are several tips that will benefit every startup irrespective of the nature of business or stage of starting-up they are in:
- Don’t Hire Till You’re Ready
Building a company requires more execution than it does planning. But don’t have the notion that planning isn’t required. If you’re not fully clear on what you’re going to do, best wait and think. Then start hiring towards a half-baked idea. Yes, one may think, getting that sales head will help me design the strategy for the target audience - but what you really need to ask yourself is - have I figured out what that sales head is going to do 10 hours a day?
- Wait Too Long and You’ve Missed the Train
Here comes the opposite side of the coin. If you’re taking too long to think and plan out your roadmap, strategy and blah blah blah.. you’ve already lost the time on one of your competitors. Whether its a product you’re building or a service you’re offering, be sure that there are many like-minded people working to better what you’re about to do. So do not wait too long to execute your plan. Design a 6-month strategy which includes your resource planning, technology goals and market strategy and then, its time to put the meddle on the peddle!
- Think Ten Steps Ahead, Discuss Five and Execute One
It’s always good to be ahead of the curve. Not only does it prepare your brain to think about the future, it also creates a goal in your mind which you can chase. At the same time, it’s more important to execute the steps one by one. When you’re learning and executing side by side - it’s imperative that you take the next step once the previous one is sure to be stabilized. How else would you do rock climbing?
- Create Stories, Not Solutions
When we are working towards building a product (like I did), the goal is always to create a solution which we can offer to thousands in a single instance. The world, unfortunately, doesn’t work that way. The world works on repute, testimonials and most importantly word of mouth. And what is that, which spreads via word of mouth? Stories.
There is nothing better than creating a story of your product. A story would entail how you came up with the idea, what the idea means to you and how it fits into the life of every target customer you could have. This will not only act as a catalyst for your product growth but the story will propel the entrepreneur in you beyond the solution that you’ve plunged to deliver.
- Do Not Underestimate the Value of One Happy Customer
Product development is hard. It feels like eons away take your sleep away and kill your social life. Yet, building something you know can help thousands is something worth losing all of that over and over. So we come under the notion, “Now we’re going to make a truckload of cash.” The reality, once again, doesn’t look the same. Initial customers need to be pushed into using the product, free signups, trials and more are something you must always have on your list. It’s only going to ache you till you have the first customer and after that, it’ll all seem worth it. Things will automatically start falling into place.
Go out there, keep your eyes open and do not underestimate these words - like I did, when someone like me (today) told me (yesterday).