In this new-age India, startups are slowly taking center stage.
At Voxytalksy (also a startup), we would like to give impetus to all individuals out there reading this piece to launch their startup with gusto and make our country better in whichever way they can!
However, there’s a catch, you know you want to launch a startup and you are gung-ho about it, but have you prepared a strategic action plan to circumvent all kinds of external factors that may hamper your startup’s success?
Here’s a checklist you should meticulously follow in order to make sure your startup is ready for the market and is bound to shine brightly:
Your Idea has to be worthwhile – not just great
- Your startup idea has to be long-lasting, useful to the customer and profitable. Think deeply before going forward with anything.
- Your light bulb moment needs to be thought upon before it is ‘switched on’.
A startup without a core business plan is a dud!
- A legitimate, professionally written business plan outlining the what, who, when, where, how and why of your venture are a must! It should probably be the second step after the inception of an idea.
- It simply enlists your core mission and vision for the first 3-5 years of business; something that is key to your startup’s success upon launch.
- Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors won’t even hear you out without a detailed business plan! Forget scaling up the startup without funding!
- Also, the core benefit of a business plan? It is a roadmap to where you are headed. It keeps you grounded, and on track.
- Without a business plan, you are a sinking boat grappling to stay afloat and thinking of an island to pop up…
Funding is key…
- Don’t ever into a business with a proper capital allocation plan to keep the business running. Your industry and local market decides your running costs, but eventually, the money will run out at some point in
- That is when you seek investors. Investors are always neck deep with funding proposals from all kinds of startups.
- You need to be trustworthy and confident in your strategy to make them believe that their money is safe and will grow in your hands.
- On an average, Indian startups generally raise anywhere between ₹ 10-15 lakhs if they approach very generous investors. However, since almost 1007 startups are taking birth every day in India, you have got stiff competition to beat while impressing investors!
Always have an if and but your mind… always
- Technically, no business is perfect. People who think, succeed.
- I am not telling you to overthink your business plans, that will definitely screw things for sure. However, having a contingency plan ready is always helpful. Even superheroes shift to plan B in times of need!
Hire the right team
- If you collaborate with the right people, you go miles ahead. However, if there are conflicts of interest even before the startup becomes public, you need to sit and think about the criticism.
- If the criticism feels right, make those changes happen. Feedback should always be taken positively; no one wants you to fail. If someone is giving you advice about your startup by taking out time from their busy life – listen to the advice!
Build a business website!
- Even before you hunt for an office, build a website or get it made from a professional.
- In today’s world, everyone looks for an online presence of your brand before contacting you for any kind of business deal. Websites are the business cards of today!
- A website also helps in promoting your business early. Google helps you get an audience for free and this is how brands scale up their global presence.
- You may be running a business in India, but that shouldn’t stop someone in Somalia from seeking interest in what you do especially if they are looking for some product/service in your industry!
Always decide the managerial hierarchy and business type
- Which way do you think the business runs better? Sole proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, Limited liability company or simply a work from home thing.
- In all such cases, the bigger you think, the more it costs. It is always advised to tread according to your pocket.
Customer service is not just mere ‘words’
- You need to honor the feedback and complaints of your customers. They are what indirectly pay you to run your business, don’t they?
- Though I don’t agree that customer is always the king, but they should be treated like that to gain their confidence. A trustworthy customer base builds steadily only upon how you cross-sell and upsell your services to them.
- Maintaining a customer base is what startups struggle to do – this is where you simply cannot fail.
Be regardful of the law
- You are entering into a legitimate business under the aegis of the law of a country or group of countries (continents even) if you plan to go really big.
- Always pay and honor taxes levied on you; subverting the law will land you in trouble. NEVER break the law!
Prepare for failure – Just in case…
- Part of being an entrepreneur is learning from your mistakes. Research suggests that almost 71% of businesses (especially startups) tend to fail within 10 years.
- Until and unless you have faced a failed decision, your startup isn’t market ready yet. Failures are what teach you what’s wrong with your business plan. Minor tweaks always make an engine run smoother and longer! Failure is part of the recipe, always remember that!
All I can say is entrepreneurship is as difficult as the word seems to pronounce. Your local general store owner is a dealer not entrepreneur; his market has limited potential and he is definitely not a startup.
If you really plan on going big and evolve from a dealer to an entrepreneur, you have to inculcate the above-mentioned values in your business. This way, your chances of failure are minimal and if God permits – zero!
If you follow what I said, your startup will become a global stock in no time. All you need to do is to ‘follow the advice’. Godspeed!
All the best for your startup from a fellow entrepreneur!