#7 Best Tips for First-time Entrepreneurs

Validate your idea, in a speedy fashion and test it in stormy waters through real-time trials with end-users

learn more about Shantanu Singh Chauhan

By Shantanu Singh Chauhan


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Being an entrepreneur is a humbling journey, especially for a first-timer. Society and business work under a structure that provides long-term security and brand value. By being an entrepreneur you are asking partners, customers, and employees to get out of their comfort zone and entrust their faith in you. Trust on self, being nimble and making the right connection will be your key to the long-term success. Yet before jumping headfirst into the choppy markets, keep the following pieces of advice in mind:

Fail Fast

Validate your idea, in a speedy fashion. Test it in stormy waters through real-time trials with end-users. Find out people, who are willing to pay and what steps you should take to convert them into customers. Remember, it is good to work in a limited time frame, so do this fast. Also, it is ok to fail in some grounds, in order to garner major success. You need to view the journey as a war-one is required to lose some battle to win a war. Always be receptive to change. Tweak your product or strategy using live feedback from customers.

Manage Your Monies

Cost-cutting is not a strategy; it is a necessary step that you have to undertake, all the time. While making profit is the aim, it shouldn't be based on an obliterating capital. While starting up, your business will only grow and for at least 1.5 years, you will have to handle growth using your own money. Watch every expense and always try to find partner who works for less, yet don't compromise on the result. Lease instead of buying and refrain from making major capital expenditures. Today from computer to printer, office-space to employee, IT Services to infra services, all are available on rental. While being frugal, always keep an eye on ROI.

Hire Passionate People

Passion is the key to success and a passionate team can make a huge difference. The effort of the human resource department is generally focused on two goals -- to get a passion-driven output and increase feeling of ownership. Why so? Because when a person put his heart on something, he is most effective is executing the task. You as an entrepreneur need to look people who are passionate. Hire brilliant, driven minds and instil feeling of belonging by giving them ownership. Remember you are not hiring people, you are finding co-writers to draft your success story.

Don't be a Lonely at Top

Entrepreneurship is a rocky road, deterring people from Day One. Yet if the zeal is found, it is a journey of a life time. Remember, one cannot cross this role alone so have the support of your family or at least a co-founder with you. Find a partner, a CTO/CMO whatever you want to call him and bounce off your ideas on him. Create a successful confluence of exciting ideas. Meet people from various walks of life and maintain the hunger to learn from them. Between the daily grind of the customer, product, people make space for a mentor. Entrepreneurship doesn't only test the limits of your performance and execution capabilities, but it also tests your patience and stress level so an extra hand is always welcoming.

Execution Eats Strategy in Breakfast

Strategy is important but it holds zero relevance without an impactful execution. If one thing that can help you succeeds, it is that bias towards action. Strategize well but execute like a pro. Always be wired in an action oriented mindset. Remember you lose 100% of games which didn't. Be the person who executes and while executing, delegate often.

Be the Core Sales Guy

If you are coming from the non-sales background, you will always have a bias towards what you have been doing before - whether it was finance, operations, or technology. Yet, it's time to break free of the old shackles and try something new. Be the Core Sales Guy! Remember who else can sell your idea better than you? It's you who needs to be aligned to customers, and that only happens when you connect with them on one-on-one basis. Converse with your customers on a regular basis and learn about their preferences. Be the star sales guy and think the people who you met as either investors or customers.

Shantanu Singh Chauhan

Co- Founder, Startup Arena

Mr. Shantanu Singh Chauhan is the Co-Founder of Startup Arena, who aims at building Startup Arena as growing up to become India’s most preferred way for searching, connecting and managing customer and supplier. He holds a Masters degree in SMU and Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IMT, Mr. Chauhan has been a Fellow Member of The Open Group’s Association of Enterprise Architects for over 6 years (2010-2016). Apart from the above, Mr. Chauhan has studied Strategic Management from IIMC and Organizational Leadership from Insead. He is a Technopreneur with over 2 decades of experience in creating next-generation products and services that helped business scale and has brought immense delight to customers & investors. 

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