Nowadays, you may have heard that company A has been funded by VC for X million dollars and company B also funded by a VC for X million dollars. For young generations, this is tempting. You’re given tons of money to start your own company. Who wouldn’t want that?
But, some medias tend to forget and leave bits and pieces out from the news. That’s why lots of startup crashed and burn on their first years, or maybe even months. Well, not just because of that. There are lots of factors on why startup fails and one of them is the lack of introductory information and we intend to cover you on that one.
One of the reason startups does not survive its early years is that the founders focuses too much on money. Sure, cash is king. But what would you do without your product, client and customers? Raising money is necessary, but creating and improving your products and services comes first.
Create a product that will solve a significant everyday problems, that will help a lot of people to simplify a process that they thought its hard to do until your product came along. Give a satisfying service that will make them come back to use your service again and again. Be sure to give your customers the best you can give because without your customer, your company will not make any money.
Start with the right mindset
At first, start up is a small business. Founders tend to make the mistake that they made plans by positioning their company as a contender for the big guys. That is not quite effective. Founders have to position their company as what it is at its early years, a small business. Start small, plan small, build your loyal customer base, slowly improve your products and services. When your reach is big enough and traction starts to kick in, that’s when you start to plan by positioning yourself as one of the big guys.
VC money is not the only way
Just because a lot of companies getting funded by VCs doesn’t mean that without VC money you can’t compete or even survive. You can fund it yourself, get a loan from bank or family, or there’s this thing called bootstraping that you may have heard and that requires patience, lots of it. Bootstraping is not for the faint-hearted. There will be times when your company’s cashflow is dangerously low and you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, just hang in there. With the right team and a right business plan, bootstraping can be a good option.
People is bored by products and services that similar to each other. Uber for X, AirBnB for X and so on, and so on. Find something new, venture to unexplored market. Do intensive research on what solutions that you can do uniquely. Ask for opinions. Focus on the problem and how to solve it.
Look for the High Ground
Do something that will differentiate your company and others, in a good way. Create a competitive advantage that will catch your competitors off guard, turn their customers into your customers!
Media tend to brand startup that have minimal publication and then suddenly got funded as an overnight success. Nothing is an overnight success. They spend a long time behind the scene. Planning, making connections, validating their ideas. Some journey are smooth, others not so much. Be patient as you prepare and put everything in its own place.
There will be times when you have to make difficult choices as your company grows. When that time comes, be responsible of the choices you make. Take note of what is the impact of your choice to your team, investors and also your customers. When things go south, you have to own it and be a responsible businessmen.
This is the most crucial thing. Give facts, don’t give lies. Be a trustworthy company that your customers will feel proud of because they use your services/products. If you were asked about figures and numbers and you’re not ready to share it, get around it later. Do not make up numbers and lie through to your teeth. Sure you can “fake it ‘til you make it”, but when things go south and your lies exposed, that is the end of your entrepreneurial career.
Take note that the journey of starting a company is not an easy one. Filled with stress, anguish, but also happiness. I should warn you it’s not for the faint-hearted. You’ll take lots of beating but eventually, you’ll rise stronger than ever.
That is some of the introductory information we want to share on this post. We hope these points can help you if you want to start your own company. If you have something to add, be sure to do that on the comment section.
To all of you who want to start your own company, we wish you good luck!