I started my first business which was a gifting portal back in the year 2008.
Reason behind. I was fed up with my job. It sucked big time. Although I was about to get promoted, because of my performance, the voice inside me was on singing a different tale.
I wanted more power, more authority to do the things that were close to my heart. I wanted to prove my parents that I too, can do business like everyone else.
For the first 4 months, everything was going A-Okay. We were getting orders. Customers were happy. And most importantly I was satisfied with what we were doing for our customers.
Then it happened. One day, I was sitting in my office, late at night, with customers, and I started checking out the monthly report.
We were sustaining, but not growing. What was the reason? I was exhausted, so I went home. Next day, I forget it all.
It was around 2 weeks later that I realized something was not right. Sales started dropping. Customers were not happy anymore. I tried my best to catch up, but it was too late.
Fast forward 7 years. I am now running 2 simultaneous ventures. How was it possible? Obviously, I failed a lot. Lessons were learned. The experience was gained. And I am here to teach you X lessons I wish I knew when I started my first startup.
Start with something you love
I know. I know. You might be saying, how typical. But I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of doing something with love.
Sure, I was eager to start a business that delivers happiness. But was I ready to deal with all the other stuff that was coming along? No, I got frustrated in the end. And my business was shut down.
Ensure you do not make the same mistake.
Start with something that takes you away from earth and puts you somewhere on the moon. Where time is still, where you are so involved in the process that you don’t worry about what other people are thinking.
Where you will be fueled by your work. Where you would love to go to work on Mondays.
Insane, right? Not at all.
“If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion.” Mia Hamm
Cash is the ultimate King
I realize it later. But you have the chance to make up for it. When you are starting a business, you need to be very clear on how you will be making the cash?
You need to understand the money-in, money-out cycle. Ignorance is not bliss. If you know how your business is going, you will get time to celebrate the small wins of your business.
Plan the cash-flows. Hire someone who loves numbers and how to increase them. Pay him well. And keep yourself in the loop.
Hire Slow, Fire Fast
Hiring is a thrilling process. Just like writing a novel. You never know. How will the audience respond, but you can surely predict it with time?
Take your time in hiring people. And never waste time in firing them. You need to place the right people at the right place.
Don’t go for people who are there just for the money. Hire people who can adjust to your company culture and nourish it forward.
Seek people who are more passionate than you, or equally passionate. See their failures and ask them what they have learned from it.
Attitude matters big time. The right attitude will drive the right people to your company.
Expect good but prepare for worst
They say if you have an exit plan, you haven’t thought out of your business well.
Thoughts become things; they say. While it is good to expect good, it is better to keep things in check if they go south. How will you respond to that?
You cannot control the natural disasters of course, but you can always keep a backup plan.
I realized this when my website got hacked and I didn’t have a backup in place.
It was an eye-opening moment for me. Although I managed to get a one-week-old backup, I learned an important lesson that day. Always keep a backup plan.Brand yourself well
Most of the owners don’t realize the power of self-promotion.
But I realized it is important to do so. After the launch of my 3rd venture, people started pointing fingers on my team. Because of some allegations made by my competitors. But right at that moment. My vendors and even the customers stood for me and my people.
Why? I spend a year creating my reputation which relates to my brand personality.
My brand persona was huge enough that the competitors were not able to do anything about it.
Running a business is no doubt one of the most exciting a fun thing to do. But to find something you love and do it with the right team is rare.
Use a professional New York web design agency that can get you spread your message across.
A research showed that 64% of the businesses close right after 5 years of inception. But if you do the basics right, you might win big time.
And oh yeah, I am already doing cheers for you. Hip hurray!