Nature of every startup is different. There is so much effort that goes into starting something on your own. Even a simple retail shop in one’s locality might need a lot of preparations to be rolled so that smooth flow of sales can be started. One needs to manage stock and make sure that one time customer becomes a regular one. When we start it’s usually about the success stories we listen to and when we work on our own it’s all failures here and there. A big failure can bring a startup to a complete collapse. However, small mistakes exist here and there and we learn from it everyday.
In this blog, I want to express my own efforts of running a tech startup and how I am managing to bring all work together in place. The most precious thing when I look at my startup is the time. As I have successfully created a promising product and am in the process of gathering additional co-founders to take it forward, I will list points that mark high importance to bring it to where it is today.
1) Time is the most valuable asset
The time you put into your startup is the most important thing that you can invest. Work each second you are awake and put minimum time for sleep or other activities that are not relevant to your product or the company. There will be a lot of things associated when you start as you might need to look at various aspects like finances, office, networking, staff/employees etc.
Even when you are not working directly, thinking about the product/service/problems/solutions is important as it can save a lot of time which is like pre-planning the whole idea.If I talk about my own time investment, I have consistently put 12+ hours daily on current startup ever since its inception.
2) Resources are key to drive/create your product/services
For making anything happen you will need strong resources like finances and people. Resources will help to complete your tasks faster and also quality of work depends on the type of resources you’re using. I would like to mention a small example here: If you are working on advanced design, a computer with a performance graphics card would be a jewel to your startup.
Also, you need to pre-architect everything before creating the actual product. As I am on cloud infrastructure, I purchased one real server so that I could model real servers that would be a requirement for the future. As time to work on things gets shrinked with time, such future plannings will help to smartly be ready for minimizing workloads later.
3) Think ahead of time but not too ahead
When you think of a product, you can quickly move towards complexity that the market is not ready for. I have personally faced this problem. I kept the future ideas in place but determined what is most important to the current market. Balancing the ideas can quickly push products and generate revenues.
4) Manage finances wisely
Finance is the most critical resource in any startup. You might end up spending your money in every place where your heart desires resulting in bad financial management. Most of the time, it’s like investing in little things and in experimentation. However, I have learned that one needs to be critical when managing finances and the spending requirements varies across industries. Annual Budgeting is a must to evaluate how much income will be generated and how expenses should be covered within the framework.
5) Be ready to face everything
Most things or problems that arise in a startup are situational. You will face small problems here and there and you need to take responsibility for almost everything and patience is key to everything. No human is perfect and thinking everything thoroughly will continuously push us forward. There are always times when you are judged/evaluated by family members/relatives/friends/peers but consistently do things that feel most important to your company that can make a startup successful. Since my startup began, I faced a lot of doubts and questions from my associations but with time and understanding people started to support me.
6) Challenges and Actions
As most startups started within the last year or two have been heavily impacted with COVID-19, challenge is how to lead during these times. In addition to direct impact on sales and revenues, our market target segment is Small and Medium business (SMEs)which is at the highest hit during this pandemic. Even after successful completion of the product, I am not able to launch it as expected as most organizations are in survival mode during this time.
However, I believe that in startups we tend to shift to areas where situations can be turned to opportunity. With my team, I am also trying to take steps that can yield some market traction by supporting impacted businesses and growing back stronger together.
At the end every startup is different and things that work in one startup may not work for others. So, it’s mostly based on thorough evaluations and somewhere the strong intuitions of the startup envisioner.