Newly established businesses or startups are sometimes faced with some challenges and critical decision making at the initial stage of the business development. Doing too much, too late or not doing the right things can be highly detrimental to the growth of the business. Hence, some things need to be considered and worked on when starting up a business/company.
1. Idea & Market: This refers to the concept behind your business. Does your business relieve a pain point?
Suggestion: Don’t enter a market which is already too crowded, this leads to Marginal Niche. See what difference you offer from the current market leader. If you enter a market which has not been established, study carefully to see if your idea, location and needs of the people are in line.
2. Founders: These are people who share a common vision with each one bringing something extra to the table.
Suggestion: No number is the right number of founders. Having a number too small is strenuous and can wear you out and having a number too large could really hamper the decision making process; founder fights are a common problem.
3. Team & Technology: Team is a great asset tech businesses have as teams that are experienced in their domains can be of great help.
Suggestion: Don’t hire too many or too little; both ways can be trouble for business. Don’t shy away from sharing the right value with the team. Similarly, take time in choosing the technology and pick technology based on scope of project.
4. Time to Market: Launch is critical as that’s the first interaction with the customers.
Suggestion: Launching too early or too late can both be very harmful. Be aware of the market. Don’t share details about your business before launch. Beta Launch is not a stunt; it is the best form of reality check. Know what to expect in the Beta launch.
5. Targeting the right audience: The right audience are those who are in need of the solution and are willing to part with something valuable for it.
Suggestion: If the target audience is too large, you are probably not focused enough and still need to do some streamlining; if the audience is too small, it may not be the right market.
6. Raising Funds: This is an essential part of the business and it should be treated as a key strategic input.
Suggestion: Raise what is required for the business at this point to get right returns. Raising too little will hamper the growth of the business and raising too much will not have things running in an optimised way.
7. Investors: Investors are strategic partners who help with their funds.
Suggestion: Having few investors with lots of Equity is risky as they end up running the show; and having too many investors with equal stake could result in conflicts at the board level. Try to have investors who can be your bouncing boards and not your boss.
8. Monetization: This aspect is critical if you are not with an NGO. Monetization is a balance between users and revenue.
Suggestion: Would you sacrifice users to profit or profits to users? You have to choose your answers but my suggestion at different phases of business is that you have to opt for different approaches and find the one that works best for the business.
9. Involvement: Your startup is your baby. So you can’t afford to have a half-hearted approach. It’s not going to work.
Suggestion: You have to be fully involved in every aspect but try and have the right balance between family and start-up.