What is a start-up?
A start-up is a young company that is just beginning to develop. Start-ups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or an individual. These companies identify problem and solve it with a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market, or is being offered in an inferior manner.
Factors that would make a start-up stand better:
1. Identify the pain point
Any start-up to launch, its prime motive is to identify a problem and understand the bits and pieces of it. It is important to understand the demographics of target customers and further analyse the pain points accordingly. Ideally, finding the right problem takes relatively more weight than the solution you provide.
A start-up demands a lot of hard work and persistence. Therefore, if you are not excited and not having fun at work, you might end up lacking motivation. Many start-ups begin with something else and end up building something else, and funnily, still survive. I could say it is a mere coincidence. Therefore, building a vision and mission statement and promising an abiding commitment is a perfect start.
2. Solution has to be Innovate or simple?
Analysing the problem gives you the details of available solutions in the market, considering the problem identified is an existing one. For such problems, the solution has to be innovative enough to grab the customers that are already taken by your competitors. The usability of product or service decides the re-purchase.
Identifying a new problem is not easy because if it is not real it won’t live longer to serve. A new problem certainly goes with a simple solution. Uber and Ola are two good living examples of this. They have identified the gap between ride seekers and drivers, then created an interface that connects both of them.
3. Proper team leading
Starting solo is akin to committing suicide. It is always preferable to have co-founders right from the beginning. It is best to have 2-3 founding team members, because teams with big numbers often split and end-up 2-3. To build a right team, priority has to be given to character and attitude rather than the skill sets. Because skill sets are something that can be trained. Always stand four feet ahead of your team because going further will make your team’s voice unreachable and staying along will let you hear only one’s voice.
4. Initial Priorities
Fancy office doesn t really hold a significant value but building and selling do. It is better to start at your own place. It is not very wise to take an office, buy furniture, form company, etc. Initially these elements are not important.
Companies with multiple co-founders are basically suggested to opt for private limited companies. This registration would cost around INR 20,000. It is very important to have a clear partnership agreement.
5. Right Technology
It is important for at least one of the founders to have the knowledge of updates in technology. Keep it open to learn, as it takes a minimum of 3 months to learn something which will be more profitable. Technology is not to be used for reason being it is cool, it has to be the cause of its existence. Meaning the most appropriate one.
6. Recruitment path
As mentioned earlier, always prefer character and attitude over skill, as the latter can be acquired in a few months. It is rare to see start-ups hiring through Naukri and Monster. Hasjobs, Start-up Facebook Groups, LinkedIn and company career page yield better profiles. Rather than screening the resume, it is better to talk to applicants and gauge what they can bring now and persist in future. It is safe to have a 3-6 months of screening period.
As the plans certainty keep fluctuating, at this stage we don t have a fixed amount to ask for. Chasing VC and angel investors of India won t really help you. Because there is another way which would practically provide a better solution. That is to reach out the plenty of associates who are hanging out on LinkedIn and would read your story and next big thing. If in case you are doing well, they will contact you. Don t raise funds in excess of your requirement. Such an activity in the initial period can cause a huge pain and consume time and energy.
8. Sales and Marketing
It is imperative to grow organically in the initial period. Word of mouth is one best organic way to grow. This will give a validation from the customers’ end and will add a great value to the company. Premature hiring of sales and marketing people will burn your cash very quickly. The recruitment process has to be checked thoroughly. Applications of sales and marketing differs from company to company and the best way to find the appropriate one is by experiencing the selling procedure. Therefore, there is not perfect sales and distribution plan. The purchasing price points are demographically inclined and not following them will hit your enterprise negatively.
9. Work life balance
A start-up is a dream that begins with a lot of commitment and enthusiasm. It is not a wise decision to work for 14 hours a day, making your start-up the only purpose of your life. Because the same can t be done for years. We all have learnt to be committed because of our families and the bond we share with each of them in it. So, they should never be ignored. Having fun at work will help us work longer and better. If the cost of your start-up’s growth is your health, take a pause. Because it is better than to stop it later.
Checking the interest levels of target audience in the solution you are providing.
Identify if people’s interest lies in exchange of money or attention?
Improve business model for customer acquisition.
Business model has to be improved when product or service enters the growth
stage, and that is the time for customer acquisition.
Scaling is finding out an aggressive growth model to increase the customer base. It could be franchising or e-commerce.
A report by IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics found that 90 percent of Indian start-ups fail within the first five years. Therefore, these factors were drawn to lay a strong basement for start-ups in India to sustain. This is a little token of contribution to MAKE IN INDIA. Let us make India proud. Jai Hind.