"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
Dreams are the key to building anything new in life. If you have a dream and the desire for it, nobody can stop you from realizing it. Undoubtedly, there will be hurdles in the way, but following a few tips can come a long way in keeping you on the right path and help guide your decisions. So, here are a few pointers to assist you on your entrepreneurial journey:
- Be Passionate - Be passionate about what you want to do and have a burning desire to solve a problem. It’s definitely not easy to establish a startup and there will be numerous challenges along the way. But your passion is what will keep you driving towards your goals.
- Believe in yourself - Don’t lose hope when things don’t go your way. If you believe in your product/service, then you will find a way to make it work. You may not know everything from the start but you can always learn.
- Be prepared for failures - You should be willing and learn to accept failures. It is a part of this journey and rejections are there at every step, so you need to be a little crazy and keep on smiling. Remember that your attitude and positivity impacts your entire team.
- Have a strong support system - Surround yourself with good company and supportive people, cause trust me, you will need it. A good support system is one that keeps you grounded and pushes you forward towards your goal. And I’m not talking about financial support here (you can find investors for that), but mental and emotional support, which is most important to keep you sane during these testing times.
- Build the right team - Invest time and energy in finding the right people for your team, cause that will certainly go a long way in establishing your company and culture. A few good people at the beginning will help you move much faster than many average people. Stay lean and be quick.
- Risk and experiment - Always keep experimenting and trying out new things best suitable for your customers. Taking risks goes hand in hand with running a business and the journey would be incomplete without that.
- Network, network, network - Being a part of a startup community like HeadStart or Facebook Startup Circles is very helpful to build connections and being in the know-how of the startup industry. So stay-up-to date about startup events and meetups and start forming a network.
- Talk to your customers - This is very crucial. As startup founders, we have a view of our product which may not always align with what the customer wants. So, talk to them, understand their needs and the market needs and cater to it. Also, be open to feedback and criticism as your most dissatisfied customers are your greatest source of learning.
Speaking of the lockdown or any downtime period in general, don’t let any difficult situation deter you from your path. In fact, use such time to your advantage by re-evaluating your goals and strategies. Such phases will only make you stronger.
Here are a few mantras to help you stay afloat during tough times:
- Reflect on goals - Reflect on your progress so far and realign your short and long term goals. A lot of the companies have had to pivot during these times and that is okay!
- Reevaluate costs - Go through your financials again and cut down on any additional costs. Make use of the readily available free resources like AWS Free Tier, G-Suite, free marketing tools like Canva etc.
- Focus on brand awareness - This is the way forward to create your presence in the users’ minds. So use this low-key time to create that visibility and position yourself correctly. Being visible is utmost important, so that when the customer actually needs you, you are right there in their mindspace and they needn’t look anywhere else.
- Care for your employees - This is a specially hard time for all of us and the people who have chosen to be with you in your journey deserve your care and support. We know it will be hard on you as a founder but do as much as you can and be open and truthful with your team.
To summarize, entrepreneurship is truly a roller-coaster of a journey as they all say. But you only get the thrill of it when you ride it yourself. So take that plunge and don’t be scared. Just follow these small pieces of advice above and take it one challenge at a time. No matter the result, the journey will surely be worth it, as you would have gained some valuable life-lessons and priceless experiences to apply to all walks of life in the future. So go for it, and wish you the very best for all your endeavors!