Nowadays, being an entrepreneur has become a fad. Every other IT geek wants to try his hand on being a founder of some start up. One of the main reasons for this is exposure to the world media and rags to riches stories going viral on every other platform.
But are we ready to adopt and adapt?
Is this startup bubble too illusionist?
You might say this is getting inspiration to do something of your own. To make a mark and to earn better than exploitative jobs and bosses. But do you think India is ready for such evolution? Is our Indian market potent enough to accept newer technologies? Answer is sadly NO.
Something which is accepted in the west will not necessarily yield same results in India. The resources and the ease of establishing a business is drastically different here.
So does that mean we should be disappointed or we should just ape something which we see on TV or Youtube?
Ironically, India lacks the will to be different due to our closely knit society. No matter what passion you chose, your profession will kill that! Indian youth is torn between what he actually wants to do and what his family wants.
Then the problem is of forming a team of like-minded people. You may not be having enough finances to hire or outsource professionals and depend on someone who is equally passionate about the startup venture.
Consider yourself lucky if you have overcome these factors, now the obstacle is funding. Your investor should also believe in your project rather than just try to make more money out of investment.
Good, if you managed this far, now the real test is market. No matter how much you did research and SWOT analysis, the real test is not on paper but real world. Is the market volatile enough for your product or service? Is the time right for your start up?
Be prepared to spend considerable time to create awareness of your concept. Indians are very cautious of new concepts. They look at things which we might have not thought of earlier with suspicion and sarcasm.
Brand building thus take unusually longer time to sustain than projected. And this is where the pressure builds up. Your investor will pester you for returns, your partner might start losing interest, your family might snicker at your helpness with ‘I told you so’ looks..and this is what starts to break you inside.
Next part will tell you how to overcome all this and emerge a winner.
One thing which always pays off is your persistent.
Never ever lose your will power and each day should be exactly like the day you ventured.
Follow a strict regime and discipline your mind, soul and act accordingly. Chose your demographic limitation. Make a small but sure effort. Understand by researching on ground level and alter whatever is best suited for super efficient execution.
Read a lot on your subject. Sit in front of computer properly dressed up and with clear vision. Never ever lose your focus on what and why you are staring at the screen. Take print outs of something which enhances your thought process.
Instead of getting inspired by Shark Tank, borrow money from family on simple terms. That way you would not worry about ROI or pressure.
On the whole, sanitise yourself from external pressures. Do not depend on anyone, I repeat anyone, to understand what you want to achieve. Every individual has its own parameters and issues and you certainly should not rely on them to get into your skin for the project which is yours.
But that does not mean you do it all alone, rather take help from well wishers and friends to help you with certain problem but remember, they might solve it but how you steer your project depends entirely on you. Do not expect anyone to do that on your behalf.
Check out local resources before building a team. Do your researches yourself. Meet your vendors and clients on one to one basis. There should be no hesitation on being an all rounder. From good cleaning of your office to striking a deal, you are on your own. No work is below dignity or ego when you believe strongly in your concept.
Share your passion as much as you can. This will give you direct reactions to mould for the better. Remember its India, people are always sceptic when they PAY.
But being an entrepreneur, you can always ask for some advance to help you start the cycle of business. Never ever give anything for free unless you believe it is for a good cause or might help you on the long run, try to think of your free lunches as investments, this will help build the foundation.
Write to local media, use your resources to get your startup covered. Do not dream big, cover pictures on major publications come with a price. A small mention somewhere is enough to give you boost and tap a limited customer base rather than investing on mass scale coverage.
Unless you eat, sleep, think only about your concept you will find it is not following the expected pace. When you follow this principle, the first thing you will notice is you are perpetually exhausted. Just about thinking and planning takes a toll on your energy level.
Indulge in some recreational activity to steer of your mind. Well. Steering off might not be the right word here but different activity will refresh your subconscious mind to think more of your concept from different and fresh angle..
Gradually, build your way in the market. Your penetration could be small but make it sure sighted. Remember bullseye is just a fraction of the entire bull. Be precise and handle only what you can do without any help, in the gestation period.
Set deadlines on smaller levels, you cannot achieve any major milestones within a year or two. You will come across many obstacles in your journey but cherish whatever you achieve as small or insignificant as it may seem few years down the road.
You can always dream big. No one is there to stop you but yourself. Try to write about your concept, contribute on local publications explaining why a certain concept is required build an indirect promotion of your startup. Readers should be able to relate and believe what you are talking about. This will help you build a place under the sun.
Social media could be used to the hilt. You could promote your concept without spending too much on promotions. Make separate accounts for your business, keep on posting whatever your thoughts you think would promote your venture. Learn tricks of staying active and reaching maximum people. Your blog/Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram accounts should only display what your venture is all about. Its free and gives out fairly good results.
One of the most under rated factor is health. Do not burn yourself and sit on your chair with a tired mind. World should evaporate when you sit behind your office table, to be able to achieve that your health should be at its prime.
Eat right and sleep tight to achieve this. Never ever rely on excuses about taking rest or taking a break from what you started. These are all western concepts of partying on weekends, (but we are in India, remember).
Always keep your eyes open for any event which might enhance your startup’s existence. Discussions and clearing people’s perception will always help you come up with right answers and correct approach.
You can start forming a team once you have given it all yourself. Start from helps. Employ staff to help you with tasks you think are NOW consuming more of your productive energy. Gradually, build up channels to stream line the work.
You should be free from mundane tasks and should be able to devote more time on being efficient. Hold weekly meetings and include even a housekeeper. Everyone should be clear of your visualization of the project. Your staff should know and fully understand the passion, the grit and grind you went through in the initial period.
Indians are more cynical than the West. They easily ape and adapt to fancifully packed products and services, if you have money to spare, do that to be commercially successful. But for most of the time except for some gala events, you should not be worried about how you dress to impress.
Your product or service should be of highest and purest quality, which should exceed your vision in times to come! A client might not be convinced about your objective when he sees you in branded fancy clothes or driving expensive cars. The Indian who is paying you for the product or service should always know that the money is well spent on the product and not your Guccis.
You can sit back and relax only after you have achieved all the above by now. Give it a cooling time and then think about expanding your vision to next level.
By this time you will also be clearer how to steer clear of obstacles you faced in the initial run. But never lose focus on your primary objective. Any expansion or adding anything which enhances your product/service bouquet should be an extension of your primary objective. Once you get into the routine it is time for you to add on.
In the initial years if you ran to make money you will never reach this far. Your persistency, your consistency and your creativity, all will bear fruit. It just needs more time in India.
No matter what, stick to your guns. One day you will shine and bear the fruits of your efforts. Do not think about earnings but focus on what you believe, Your faith in your business will automatically transform into a profit yielding venture.
Hope this gives you insight to an entrepreneur’s mind who has penned down his own experiences.
Woof Yums started when there was no market for it. Nobody thought of something as feeding the right food for their pets. People either bought off the shelf which their vets recommended or fed table scrap to their dogs.
Woof Yums within three years changed that outlook. Initial years were invested just to create awareness and educated pet parents about the benefits of fresh and natural diets based on certain individual factors. The nutritional need of a poodle is different from a Labrador. Even two dogs of the same breed require different food according to their lifestyles!
We did that. We educated and customized diets as per individual needs. And now send close to 250 tiffins a day of freshly cooked food based on individual requirement. What started as just a tiffin, Woof Yums journey to 250 a day is loosely based on above principles.
Best of luck for your venture!
Woof yums (Founder)