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From Promotions to Probiotics: Before You do The Transition What you need to know when kicking off the corporate shoes and putting on the start-up socks

By Aakanksha Patel

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In the world of slash generations and mid-night business booms, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of excitement to pursue your own ambitions. Who doesn't want to be the whizz-kid behind the next Facebook or Apple? However, we all know that a whopping 75per cent of start-ups fail due to a series of problems, which our friendly internet is only too happy to provide. We are here to take a more positive spin on things and highlight. Some tips you may need to keep in mind when you decide to put on your start-up socks.

  1. Socks Come Before Shoes – A kindergarten fact we are all too quick to forget. Remember to prep before you even begin. Ask yourself if there is a market for what you are going to change your life for, understand the quality and quantity expectations in output, have a business plan and road map, and most importantly, chart out your financial ambitions. That is only part one of pre-business prep. Once you are sure of the venture you are about to deploy, invest time in really building your brand and product identity. It takes time to experiment with flavours, testing with a qual audience and building the brand identity – that was before we even began approaching distributors. Putting your socks on before your shoes are the most important step in making sure you avoid a sticky situation.

  2. Listen, React, Repeat – When getting into your own business, it is easy to assume that you know more than the average Joe about your product. According to CB News – "Not Listening to Customers' is amongst the top 20 reasons that start-ups fail. It's easy to get tunnel vision when you're in the midst of building your dream, but the key to success is to really listen to advice, even when you are not looking for any and be quick to react basis what you've heard. My brand's entire pricing strategy was based on a casual conversation of consumer cost conservation at a co-working space. My raw material source changed over feedback at an Organic Farmer's Market. You will be surprised with the intel you receive by just speaking and listening to prospects, and the actual difference it makes to revenue when you act on that intel.

  3. The Theory of Symbiosis – The Harvard Business Review roughly defines Symbiosis as a partnership between organisms — that has helped living creatures innovate and expand into new niches for billions of years. The theory, therefore, is simple. Find the right symbiotic partnership – one that complements you and your personality, one that challenges you and pushes you to give it your best, one that you can depend on in good times and bad, one that you can use as a sounding board and as a venting force. Starting out with a serendipitous partnership with my co-founder and close college friend. Every tough decision, failure and success, is sweeter and easier when you have someone to ride the storm with.

  4. Help is Needed, Don't be Afraid to Ask for it – Pride can often paralyse us from seeking out help. Remember, most people who can help have often been where you are now – have faced the same challenges – have made the same mistakes, and therefore, are more than willing to help you succeed. From fathers to former bosses – tap into their wisdom and experience, because pride will only get you to stand still, not taller.

  5. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish – Nearly 10per cent of all start-ups that fail, is due to the loss of motivation and passion over time, according to CB Insights. Keep fuelling your creative mind to achieve the impossible, to learn from failures and push your business further, because the reality of the situation is that most start-ups were not an overnight success. Look for inspiration in every day and fuel your business to reflect that inspiration.

Long story short; keep reminding yourself about why you began this journey – get your hands dirty in building your business and do not get hasty in your race to succeed. The best businesses took years to build, so make sure you take it one step at a time, build a strong foundation and keep learning along the way.

Aakanksha Patel

Cofounder, Kefir Culture

Digital evangelist turned probiotic entrepreneur. Co-Founder of Kefir Culture.

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