Here's Why Startups Should Start Small
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Unlike the popular phrase start with a bang, start-ups have to be subtle.To be a big entity in the future, start-ups have to start small and we have evidence to prove this that all the successful business houses never had an opening with a bang. We can still find pictures of Sir Richard Branson sitting alone and peeping out from his small Virgin Store and same goes with Reliance. These are the people those who have always made money for their investors and are the real role models for a startup.
Entrepreneur India spoke to start-up founders about why the road to a big venture has a small beginning and why it's important for it to be so.
Leave the Room for Error
By starting small, you have the bandwidth to make mistakes. Deepanshu Manchanda, co-founder & CEO, ZappFresh believes that when you start small you have the ability to understand the probable leakages of your product. "You won't get carried away and will be able to see manage the on-ground implementation of your brand. If you start small, you won't fall flat," he said.
Test-marketing a product or a service on a small audience always makes the process of initial course-correction easier and manageable, believes Nivesh Khandelwal, Founder and CEO, LetsMD. It also helps you perfect your offerings, develop the ideal pitch based on the quality of the products or services and scale the market outreach further." Scaling the reach, resources and operations in the beginning and fixing the issues later reflect poor strategizing and inefficient management of a company," said Khandelwal.
Manage Your Business Better
Starting small in the initial stages has its own distinct benefits. For any startup entity, maintaining a nimble operational base offers the basic advantage of keeping operational expenditure low, said Chander Verma, Founder and CEO, Plunes.com. "Business growth can be undertaken in an incremental manner without having the need to expend large funds, an extremely necessary step for a fledgling business operating on tight budgets," he said.
When you start simple, you have the opportunity to thrive. If you manage to bag investments early, it spoils you believes Manchanda. "You won't really appreciate the value of scaling your business then. Frugality in the beginning helps bring in investor money later," he said.
Big Teams Can Be a Menace
A startup team should not be too big but should comprise of core professionals having the experience and qualifications to understand market complexities and steer the business on a higher growth curve. "The team should be multifaceted and have the capacity to multitask and carry business goals to their logical conclusions. A small team can also help the startup business owner to gain keen insights into how to nurture, encourage and groom future crucial human resource assets and grow the business in due course of time," said Verma.
But it's also about dependency. When you are starting up, a founder has to be the jack of all trades believes Manchanda. The founder cannot be dependent on people right from the beginning. "By depending on people from the beginning, you won't get to know how to resolve difficult issues. Moreover, you won't get to know the pulse of the market," he said.
What to Avoid
To make a start-up a roaring success, there are three thumb rules to follow according to Khandelwal. First of all, do what is best for your business, not for your investors. Secondly, get your offerings right before you decide to scale. Thirdly, and the most important aspect, one needs to test his/her offerings on the right target audience to extract the accurate feedbacks. "Correct consumer feedback is the ultimate guiding force of a start-up," he said.
Meanwhile, Verma added that a founder should never make the mistake of misinterpreting the targeted market for his product or service. Misinterpreting one's market can be a grave financial mistake. "Every startup founder aims for product exclusivity, looking to develop and market a product which has the potential to create a niche customer base. However, a startup founder should avoid launching any product or service in the market without undertaking due analysis of customer preferences and market sensibilities," he said.
The importance of product branding should never be underestimated. A brand is not merely the visual logo representing the company. "On a broader level differentiates your offering from the market competition and has the power to ensure customer loyalty and product connect," said Verma.