By: Malini Agarwal - Founder and Creative Director MissMalini Entertainment and Girl Tribe
Starting your own business is often a learn-as-you-go process. But, the more smart decisions you make early on, the better chance your company has for success.
The first and the most crucial aspect is that instead of ideating about what to sell, think about what it will solve. It’s a lot easier to gain a solid customer base when your business is fixing a problem. Your startup should fill a hole in a certain market or niche. If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you have a business idea and you’re ready to run with it. Be careful not to let your concept snowball into something overcomplicated. You could end up with an expensive, elaborate end-product that nobody wants to buy.
So before setting on an entrepreneurial journey, here are a few important things to focus on.
1. Find your ikigai - your true passion lies at the center of four things i.e. what you love to do, what you're good at, what you can get paid to do, and what the world needs. If your business idea and your passion are aligned, every hurdle or obstacle will stand as a thrilling challenge and not a demotivating problem.
2. Secure your elevator pitch. Certainly, you will be clear about basic things such as what you sell and who you sell it to, it isn’t enough to know this on your own. You should be able to clearly and easily describe your business to others as well. You should be able to describe what your business does in one succinct sentence. Remember, it's all about filling a gap and doing it well. Businesses that work are ones that serve a need.
3. Find your dream team. Investors invest in people not just in companies. Your core management will be crucial to building your business. If your company’s foundation is robust, the business can withstand all hail and storms.
4. Plan to be frugal! Use your money wisely and invest in the right things. People, technology, research, and marketing top the list of the right things.
5. Know your audience., Deep dive, into your consumer and get to know them. That will help you frame your entire business strategy, brand communication and positioning. Never make assumptions about people. Do the research and understand every existing and potential customer inside out.
6. Learn from your mistakes, there will be many. Failure is inherent in business and entrepreneurship. In fact, many entrepreneurs consider failure to be a natural stepping stone to success. They celebrate failure because they've learned firsthand that their mistakes are their greatest sources of learning.
7. Set your company goals and values and ensure that everyone in your company is aware of and on board with them. Also, ensure that you work towards aligning the goals of your employees with the company’s goals. This will not only motivate the team to perform better but will also help the company grow alongside the growth of the employees.
Lastly, pay absolute heed to any advice you receive- from friends, family, experts, even yourself. When it comes to things pertaining to your entrepreneurial goals, be a sponge. As you learn, start to work out the idea in your mind. Write things down. Keep notes from all the resources you come across to develop a detailed plan. Don’t ignore the power of advice from experts and veteran business owners. These folks know first-hand what does and doesn’t work. Smart entrepreneurs learn from the mistakes other business owners have made. If you program yourself in accordance with all of this, you’ll be prepared to set on your journey of successful entrepreneurship.