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How To Be A Better Startup Founder In 2016 In the ecosystem that is gradually maturing, start-ups need somewhat different qualities and approach in their businesses.

By Ashish Mittal

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The year 2016 holds a lot of promise for the start-up community in the country. In the ecosystem that is gradually maturing, start-ups need somewhat different qualities and approach in their businesses.

Traits

Focus on Idea, Not on Funding: Early last year was a dream period when it came to funding. Suddenly, every start-up seemed to be raising nothing short of million dollars in seed funding. This enthusiasm, however, was short lived as investors pulled back and lofty valuations came crashing down. The scenario today is different, not so much for the seed stage, but certainly for Series A and B. It will be a difficult year to raise money so concentrate on your idea, polish it, make it work and ensure you have a solid revenue stream. At the same time, check your expenses and conserve cash.

Have Patience: There is so much happening around start-ups, and there is so much buzz that it is easy to get carried away. Start-ups may be all about speed and execution, remember it is important to do it right. Have patience to do things right and understand that there is a difference between swift execution of a plan and having the patience to first come up with one.

Understand the Term "Out of the Box': The word is used so often that it tends to get jarring, but is often not completely understood. Out of the box is not limited to the idea of a business alone. A level of innovative thinking will be needed in 2016 to the execution of the business, marketing it, tackling expenses, approaching investors and probably every facet of a business.

Tactics

Align With Emerging Trends: There will always be sectors that are hot and others that are past their prime. For example, a start-up in the e-commerce space will find the going tough when considered to current favorites like IoT, M2M, cloud and SaaS. If your start-up is in sync with what is popular and hot, your chances of doing well are that much stronger. This, however, does not mean you forsake the core beliefs for your business to merely exist in a sector that is doing well.

Think Global, Stay Local: The world economy is not doing well and while it is vital you think globally, it may make more sense to stay local. Operating on a global scale also calls for money, resources and bandwidth, but by staying local, you would not spread yourself too thin. Focus on your home market, gather the experience of operating in a tough market and expanding to other countries will be a lot easier.

Year of consolidation: In 2016, look to consolidate your business by making sure you have a compelling story for your consumers, investors and employees. If you have been operating in the "garage" or incubator mode, start consolidating and building your systems, processes and human resource.

Consolidating your workflow will streamline your business so tha tyou can provide the best service or product. It can also mean identifying and collaborating with your peers (competitors) for a stronger holistic story about the sector you operate in. A strong narrative around your sector will help build a good investor interest.

Ashish Mittal

Founder, TurningIdeas Ventures

Ashish Mittal is the Founder of TurningIdeas Ventures. 
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