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5 Mantras to Keep in Mind Before you Take the PLUNGE! Be fair, even generous and build a relationship with your customers rather than just completing a transaction

By Chirag Shah

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The decision to launch your own startup is a big one! There might be several questions that cross your mind - Is the idea good enough? Is it scalable? Is this the right time? Well you won't know the answer to most of these questions unless you step out and try. There is no textbook approach and the only way to know is to take the plunge and test your idea. Here are 5 mantras that may come handy and help you take early steps while building your startup.

1. Identify the Opportunity

If you're just starting to think about entrepreneurship, start by digging deep and listing down the size of the market, the gap you are filling, roadblocks that you may encounter. Ensure your idea and product fall in the 'must have' category and not 'nice to have'. Deconstruct all your findings and work on creating the best solution, do not compromise or cut corners. But, before you start, just make sure you want it real BAD! Prepare your family! #startuplife

2. Build an Awesome Team

Identify a group of people who believe in your vision and who are ready to take ownership of their tasks. You may think it's too early, but don't forget your business is going to grow soon. Be on the lookout for people who might fit into your startup, its okay if you can't afford to pay them yet. Put yourself out there, meet interesting people and stay in touch with them. You never know how your paths will connect.

3. Keep your CUSTOMER in the CENTER

Keep your customer at the core of your business offering, especially if you are a consumer play. Work towards creating value for them, create products / solutions that have a high repeatability. Ensure every engagement that they have with you, delivers delight. Once you win their trust, your customers become your biggest marketing assets. Put VALUE before PRICE. Think about how you will create long-term value and keep innovating. Remember you may not have competition now, but they will eventually come! Engage with them to understand their needs and build your product with and outside in approach. So instead of reacting, keep raising the bar.

4. Seek & Share

Share information: speak to your friends and colleagues, mentors and network with founders of other startups. Sharing and seeking knowledge and exchanging ideas will enrich you. Use friends and family as your bouncing board. They are your first line of customer validation / feedback. Run the beta version of your startup by them, their feedback will help you get an idea of what's working.

5. Be Fair and Stay True

Jugaad sounds cool, but its passé? Ensure you keep yourself and your organization above board and fair when it comes to dealing with vendors, partners and stakeholders. Be fair, even generous and build a relationship with your customers rather than just completing a transaction. Fix what doesn't feel good. Prioritize transparency and corporate governance, they go a long way! Stay the righteous course!

Chirag Shah

Founder & CEO Refreshed Car Care

Chirag Shah, is a serial entrepreneur and has been in the industry for over a decade. An alumnus of the University of Denver, he is a passionate innovator and started his career in the business of wireless infrastructure products and then moved to Mobile Value Added Services. A couple of years ago when Chirag took up running, he couldn’t help but notice, buckets of mucky water and a rag that were being used to ‘clean’ cars. Being an auto enthusiast and a stickler for cleanliness, he wanted to get past this issue and came up with an alternative to the traditional car wash. And that’s how Refreshed started in 2016.
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