First Lesson for Entrepreneurs
“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” — Mark Cuban
Who are Entrepreneurs?
In simple terms, they are the people who set out to solve real life problems of the people through frugal and efficient innovations there by turning those solutions into a profitable businesses and adding values to customers by investing your resources like time, money.
Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond your resources controlled.
Entrepreneurs are the people who satisfies the need by creating something important and valuable for oneself and the community. Being able to identify and act on the needs and wants of customers is important to produce a quality and viable product or service.
What it takes for these entrepreneurs to bring their innovations into actions?
Becoming a founder of a Startup and standing up for those visions takes up a lot of strength & willpower. But what it matters for them is always the end results of those visions they saw when they began this journey. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifices. But what they stood for remains unaltered.
What is the brief process for running a successful startup?
The keyword for successful startup is to:
Get Hold on to your Passion & Never Give Up
Talking about success points that you need to focus. You need to have :
- Great Idea
- Great Product
- Great Execution
First, you have to understand the fact that, ‘one out of every four men you meet in a day desires to be an Entrepreneur some day and will have an idea to execute’. So what it takes to build a Great Idea? I have already answered that question above. Look around you and find the problems that people are facing and bring out solutions. Once you have come up with the solution. Validate the idea for yourself. Discuss it with your friends and relatives. Ask if they are as curious as you are in solving that same problem. If its a strong “Yes”, then go forward & Do it! If it is a “No”. Don’t worry, think again and bring out another solution that you can execute with less friction. Always remember, mind is a palace, explore it well enough, you will eventually get the right shot.
Also keep note of these points:
1. The idea must be a clear and simple one. Don’t make quirky ideas. Literally it will fail.
2. Think! Who desperately needs a solution for this problem? Who is your customer?
3. Plan about the revenue generation stream for the particular idea.
4. Ask yourself whether you will be ready to pay when this idea turns into a product.
How should the product be designed? What should it include? Make your product as a “Unique Brag-worthy Preposition(UBP)”. That is to make the product in such a way that the users/customers brag about the product to their friends. Unless this happens, your product might not achieve a great traction. Understand the user and give them what they need. If you are a product company, before developing it, ask if the customer will give a letter of intent stating ‘I will buy what you are building!’ Another success point is to understand the market and its size. Do a proper market validation & research before execution phase. Take qualitative inputs from users and quantitative analysis from their behaviors regarding the product. This might help in your product growth. Understand the product before & after user acquisition. Always recycle the process of product improvement by taking cyclic user feedbacks. Keep the product and company that you built as simple as possible.
Execution phase is the most important and most difficult of the lot. Making up an idea is very simple. But bringing it to life is the difficult part. All startup failures eventually occur due to the failure in proper execution. Take right decisions at the right time. If there is a disagreement in between the team members during the discussion, take the word of advice from your users.
There are so many challenges that will involve in a fluid execution of a Startup.
- The Growth
- The Hiring Plan
- User Acquisition & Retention
- Business Development
A note on Growth
Growth is an essential part of startup success. And growth must always be focused on users/customers. For growth, always check the user retention rate. Keep an eye on the growth statistics. Its the prime aim of the CEO to check the growth 24*7 & 365 days. For analysing growth, find the right growth metrics. If you care about growth, set the execution bar for the product, the rest of the company will focus on it.
Stay Focused. Fail Fast. Move Forward
Here are a couple of examples.
The founders of Airbnb drew a forward-looking graph of the growth they wanted to hit. They posted this everywhere — on their fridge, above their desks, on their bathroom mirror. If they hit the number that week, great. If not, it was all they talked about.
Mark Zuckerberg once said that one of the most important innovations at Facebook was their establishment of a growth group when growth slowed. This group was (and perhaps still is) one of the most prestigious groups in the company — everyone knew how important it was.
Keep a list of what’s blocking growth. Talk as a company about how you could grow faster. If you know what the limiters are, you’ll naturally think about how to address them.
What is your company’s growth bar?
Setting up growth targets for your company/product will make you achieve rapid growth. If the proposed growth is not achieved in a particular week, discuss it with your team. Make a list for what is hindering the growth. Do a SWOT analysis to find the weak spot. Address those issues as soon as you find it. For each action, you take in your institution, measure it with your growth metrics. Keep the growth chart transparent to the company employees. Celebrate the wins & discuss out the failures. Your employees might come up with more effective solutions. In terms of growth, do more of the model which is working & reduce the scale of failure strategies.
Always execute your works one at a time. Ask your employees to do the same. Also prioritise your work. It will increase your’s as well as team’s productivity. Be persistent & optimistic, when it comes to your product and your team.
A note on Hiring
Hire none at the initial stage. Divide the work among the founding team until your founding team can manage. Take up interns. Hire only for the areas you lack. Always hire people who are one step better than you. Try to maintain your team as small as possible, because it will be easier for you to manage & for your team to adapt to changes swiftly. Understand that the best people have a lot of opportunities. They want to join rocketships. If you have nothing, it’s hard to hire them. Once you’re obviously winning, they’ll want to come and join you. Hire only the people who are best in their field. Don’t compromise on the quality of people you hire. Everyone knows this, and yet everyone compromises on this at some point during a desperate need. Everyone goes on to regret it, and it sometimes almost kills the company. Good and bad people are both infectious, and if you start with mediocre people, the average does not usually trend up. Companies that start off with mediocre early employees almost never recover. Trust your gut on people. If you have doubt, then the answer is no. Also keep in mind regarding the employee retention rate, because too low retention rate might duly effect the face of the company. This might in turn affect the future investments & profit rates. The keyword for hiring is:
Hire only when required! Fire fast when required!
Now remember that at least a thousand people have great ideas. Few of them actually becomes successful. The difference comes down to execution. It’s a grind, and everyone wishes there was some other way to transform “idea” into “success”, but no one has figured it out yet.
So all you need is a great idea, a great product, and great execution. So easy! And Now, don’t waste time:
PS: Check your growth & hiring too!! :P