What Distinguishes a Startup from a Traditional Business

September 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

What does it to take to make or call a startup a successful one? Is it only the financial goals, if met, will be instrumental in making a startup successful or are there any other measures or parameters that should be considered?

If finance is the only thing, then why it is anyway different from a traditional business? Why give it a fancy name and worry about analyzing it?

If finance is not the only thing, then what else could be considered worthy enough to be considered?

On a simple but a bit deeper analysis, we will find few things that distinguish a startup from a traditional business:

  1. One of the broader definitions of a ‘startup’ includes the impact that it should have on the world rather than simply making money. You check out any founder or co-founder of a successful startup across the world, they will aver that their first ambition was to do something that could change the world.
  2. The startup works on the motive and objective of keeping their customers happy—the customer always is the priority, while for a traditional business this may not be true.
  3. For a lot of the entrepreneurs, a successful startup means that they get to spend time with their family members and friends. The ability to have the ‘me-time’ or ‘we-time’ is all they count as currency.
  4. Freedom of time, freedom of location, financial freedom, and even creative freedom often counts as a success for a lot of entrepreneurs when they plan to build a startup.

Now, if you look at a traditional business unit, you will notice that all the above things may be lacking or ignored for the sake of making money alone. In a traditional business unit, money, profits, financial gains are everything and there hardly any room for innovation and creativity.

How To Set Your Start-Up To Rolling Without Quitting Your Job

July 16, 2019 in Startups

The early days of starting, stabilizing and running a start-up can be intimidating. You are prone to experience a lot of sleepless nights, financial difficulties and self-doubt. However, this hectic responsibility does not mean you can straight away quit your job and plunge into your dream venture.

Shifting from an employed to the self-employed phase of life is a high-risk decision which you must do with great care. Here is a way to get started with your start-up without quitting your job.

It is not yet time to quit your day job

Day jobs help develop some amazing skills which you can apply in your start-up. Further, you also learn to be more communicative and productive too. Your mentors at the day job can be your role models to teach you how to accomplish your goals. Know that even a negative experience helps to mold yourself. You learn teamwork and how to be flexible, which are great skills for an entrepreneur.

Venture into a side project

Whenever you take up a new project, you learn something related to marketing, product development, usability, customer support, and sales. They let you test your ideas and check where they go. Sometimes, the side projects can help you make some good extra income too.

Share with the crowd

Sharing helps in creating an audience base for you. Share some useful content on social media channels. Valuable content will attract visitors and later, you can leverage your followers to buy your products and services.

Learn from experts

Today we have access to expert resources. You can immensely benefit from videos, blogs, online courses and learn anything and everything you want. The Internet is today your prime educator. Many people learn how to stabilize their business while being on job only with the help of successful online resources.

Stay abreast of emerging technologies

To be successful, you must always stay in line with the emerging technologies. Invest in new technologies and take advantage of their potentials for your success.

How Are Start Up Ideas Formed

April 21, 2018 in Startups

For a lot of people, championing a start-up is a dream career. Just graduating from an entrepreneurship program cannot put you right on track to found a start-up. Start-ups stem from an idea gradually maturing to perfection to ensure its profitability and sustainability. Here is the process of how start-ups are created.

Startup ideas

Steps to founding a start-up

Detect the shortfalls in the customer experience

This is perhaps the most important starting point of landing on a solid idea for a start-up. When people have complaints and inadequacies about a particular product, the points they lack in them becomes the reason to coin a new product that addresses their difficulties and help generate more sales and profits by assuring a superior customer experience. Frustration is an indication that the industry is getting ready for disruption and new ideas are highly welcome.

Identify the cause

When you come across a negative customer experience, look into the problem. Identify what cause is at the root of dissatisfaction and why the industry is not able to guarantee a satisfying consumer experience. Even failing to update to the new technology can be the cause of lingering disappointment in the customers. Once you identify the problem, decide if your startup can help fix it and bring about a better customer satisfaction.

Perfect the ideas

Spend the necessary time and effort to discover what is happening in the industry. In fact, a lot of other competitors could already be working on the issues and trying to discover some way out. Nevertheless, you can get to know if your idea can have enough value to bring about a start-up.

Learn from the mistakes

Often there are chances that you get discouraged spotting that a major player had not been able to implement something similar to your idea. However, this can as well be an encouraging sign. Large companies are great at what they do and hence they might lack innovation. They also often lag behind in investing in newer technology. Sparing the necessary efforts and learning from others’ mistakes can provide a clear path for you to move forward.

Find Pain to Build a Successful Business

March 30, 2018 in Startups

Why pain?

Well, if you could find pain, and then find a solution to alleviate that pain, you have a business opportunity. Whatever solution or service you will provide to lower or remove that pain will sell. It may have to do with a delivery, security, commuting, saving time, or whatever—if you could find a pain-point of people’s lives and can build a solution around it, you are up for a nice business experience.

Too many professionals want to leave their jobs and start doing something on their own; however, sustaining on a business is not easy if you don’t have an already-flourishing business in place. Establishing a new one takes time and money both—if you don’t have either or any of them, you can’t think of leaving your job.

However, if you have thought and are seriously making plans to start something on your own, think what troubles others or maybe yourself. Find a pain-point in the day-to-day life of the family members, friend-circle or the colleagues.

Figure out if there is a solution for that pain. If yes, figure out can you build something more efficient, cheaper or better? If no, figure out the solution—everything else can be done later on.

Once you have built a new or a better solution, start promoting your solution through your close-ones before you could take the initiative of leaving your job. Remember, your product or service may fail and may face problems that you might not have foreseen—it is always better to test it with actual users before betting your future on it.

If you feel there is a demand or want of your product and you can scale the market for the same, you can go to launch yourself fully as an entrepreneur and even look for funding etc. to scale your product or service. Before that, it is always better to stick to your job and continue evolving into a better strategist.

Are You Looking for a Co-Working Space for your Startup

March 22, 2018 in Startups

In the last couple of years, the buzz around co-working spaces has increased a lot. There is a definite upside when it comes to cutting costs, and in the environment of startups having lean teams and just looking to find a place with bare minimum facilities, having a co-working space proves like a boon. Later on, as the team and the business grow, the startup could be moved to a bigger place and maybe exclusive office can be leased.

The first thing to consider as an entrepreneur looking for a co-working space obviously would be cost. However, there are other related things that you can think of before making your decision solely on the basis of budget.

How are the basic facilities like the furniture, coffee machine, rest rooms and the internet facility? If these things are checked, there is hardly anything else that you would consider.

Though commuting, availability of parking, nearness to public transportation services etc. are few other features that you would love to have.

Further, if you have a product and you are looking to launch it soon, it is also good to know what kind of team or companies are already in that space. More often than not, those co-workers could become your first customers or provide you with a lot of interesting feedback about your service or product. They are not directly related to you and therefore their observation about your service or product would be totally unbiased, which is pure gold when it comes to launching your product based on user reviews.

As mentioned earlier, co-working spaces are great for cost reduction but they could also help you in making your business streamlines. You just have to research a bit before you opt for any facility that may look interesting or inviting in its visual appeal.

Are you really a startup? Introspect!

February 6, 2018 in Startups

If you have been working in the modern world that is abuzz with words like ‘disruption,’ ‘unicorn,’ ‘marketing strategy,’ and obviously ‘startup,’ you must have some confusion about the real meaning of these terms.

Almost all the youngsters graduating from various professional courses are excited about starting a ‘startup’ and calling themselves ‘entrepreneurs’ instead of engineers, doctor, advocates, or even financial analysts. I see a lot of people who even take up their father’s place in a grocery shop and start editing their social media profiles and declaring their occupation as ‘running a startup’. There is nothing wrong in that, but it often becomes misleading, because the industry wants to focus on businesses or ideas that could bring change and actual disruption. You could become a successful small business or a company, but till you do something impactful that could bring change to the lives of the people, you are not a ‘startup.’

Being a ‘startup,’ you will need guidance, mentorship, and financial support so that VCs, Angels, and even the whole community could offer their expertise, lend their help, and also support you in your journey. If any ‘startup’ becomes successful, more often than not, it will help many people and eventually changes the way the world works or even bring a new habit that is adopted by many people. Consider the way we connect with each other, and how social media startups have changed our way of sharing our moments with each other. Consider how we are now less prone to buy cars and to think of hiring on-call taxis. Consider how home-stays are becoming popular instead of luxurious hotels.

Entrepreneurship involves a lot of hustle and taking the world head-on because eventually, you want to change the way the world works, but it has to be meaningful and impactful—simply calling yourself a ‘startup’ would not mean anything, and you won’t gain anything by declaring your occupation as ‘running a startup’.

Don’t Let Your Passion Cloud Your Entrepreneurial Judgment

January 10, 2018 in Startups

“Do what you love!”

A general and easily dispensed advice nowadays floats on every social media and mobile chatting app—no? Everybody is passing on this line like a New Year greeting and does not care to stop and think for a moment what does it constitute. What does it entail to do what one loves, and how it is going to be helpful to build a career or an occupation?

Well, if you have been bombarded with this advice in the recent past, you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with it, but if you are going to start your entrepreneurial journey on something you love, you need to stop and think before you spend your time and money.

Consider before you do it:

  1. Is there a target market for ‘what you love’?
  2. Are you solving a problem in that target market?
  3. Are you passionate about pursuing ‘what you love’?

Before you start your entrepreneurial journey, make sure there is a target market of what you are going to do—whether you love it or not is a secondary consideration. If there is no target market, your business idea is doomed to fail.

Then, you need to figure out the problem or the issue that target market is facing, and is your venture going to solve that problem or not. All further business considerations are also needed to be made, but this one is primary—if it is offering nothing new to the customers of that market, the journey is going to be very tough. It would not be entrepreneurial but entirely another shop in the market who may or may not get any share of that market.

Lastly, if you see there is a viable opportunity, and you can offer something, are you passionate about pursuing ‘what you love’ as a career or an occupation. It is a long-term commitment, and you should be aware that you will need to give in all of ‘you’ to make sure your idea succeeds.

5 Tips for Building a Profitable Business

December 15, 2017 in Startups

A profitable business is not built in a day—in fact, turning any startup into a profitable business is one of the main challenges that majority of entrepreneurs across the globe are facing. Launching an idea; running it for few years without any meaningful income is another thing, but what takes to convert a great idea to profit so that the business could sustain the changes and demands of operations.

Here are 5 tips that will come handy:

  1. Your business plan is not the final roadmap

A business plan is built on assumptions, projections, and ideas that haven’t been tested in the real market. There is a healthy chance that many of these will be proven incorrect; fall short of expectations; and will miss the target. However, as an entrepreneur, you should be ready for such moments.

  1. Team in indispensable

Yes, there are successful solopreneurs but as you grow, you will need a great team that could complement the skills that you have to run your business. Doing everything all the time is simply not possible, and is a huge hindrance to scaling.

  1. Be ready to hustle

When you start a business, you have lots of energy and enthusiasm. Never let it wane away because it will help you to be ready for challenges and setbacks. Keep learning new things that could support your business. Innovate and apply.

  1. Focus on repeat customers

Don’t focus exclusively on acquiring new customers. A business having a pool of repeat customers is always a profitable business. Further, if you keep your present clients happy, they will always be your voice of marketing in their own networks.

  1. Keep improving

Right from the first day of your business, you should have ears and eyes for feedback and suggestions. Get to know the main pain-points of your customers and whether your product or service addresses these concerns comprehensively. If not, build add-ons and integrate them into your offering. Always keep improving because your customers are your best mentors.