10 MISTAKES TO AVOID BEFORE KICKSTARTING YOUR STARTUP
Starting your own venture is always a daunting task. There are lists of factors that need to be considered before venturing into the startup world, with funding being a top priority. Despite this fact, according to recent research, 75% of startups fail to fulfill their potential even after receiving funding from a Venture Capitalist. Although it may seem as if the odds are stacked up against you, it is imperative for any entrepreneur to believe in their Big Idea and be certain that their product or service adheres to necessity or growing demand in the market. Laying the foundation for your big idea is indispensable. An idea without a core value will always fail. It can turn fruitful only if it complies with a specific demand in the market.This is the same foundation on which 3 Minds Digital was established. Being a two and a half-year-old design and digital marketing consultancy, we have a success story to tell. Since our inception, we have witnessed a rapid growth in terms of employee personnel as well as clients and have been generating profits right from the first month! From bagging big fishes like Tata, JSW, DMart, CNBC, Mitashi, we have catered to a wide range of clients to achieve our targets through services like Branding, UI/UX Design, Packaging Design, Social Media Marketing to name a few.
Harnish and I, have definitely faced it all when it comes to starting our own business. We have put down our experiences and thoughts together by listing down 10 mistakes a start-up must avoid.
- More the merrier: True, If you’re planning a trip. But, if you’re looking to create a team for your startup, you need a specific group of people with a proficient skill set to get the job efficiently. Hiring the wrong person for a job could be a grave mistake for your startup. ‘Quantity over Quality’ is never the right notion to have when it comes to employing a team full of specialists. A small team of individuals with the right skill set can be far more beneficial than a large team of individuals with a limited skill set.
- “It’s not my job”: Well if it is your startup, then it is YOUR job. Initially, entrepreneurs of a startup find themselves in a situation where they carry out the roles of the admin, HR, and sales executive of the company. While you may not be adept to these roles, it is important for you to hone your skills as a multi-tasker. Even for us, there have been times when we’ve had to do client servicing, fetch new clients, manage the office, look after recruitment and finances, sometimes run around for print outs, and much more. But it is with this experience in our early stage, that we understood the importance of these nitty-gritty’s, which as a result helped us empathize with our crew. Every entrepreneur should be capable of accomplishing everything by him. It’s better to be a role model than a typical boss.
- Working 24×7: That is the biggest misconception that people have about startups. No, we do not work 24×7. Sure, it is important to work hard, but it is equally crucial to create a balance between working and resting. Working hard as an entrepreneur is a given, but finding time to rest adequately and recharge yourself to be ready for a new day is just as important. To put things into perspective, we follow a routine like Bill Gates or Elon Musk to make sure that we don’t train ourselves out. Setting oneself in a routine has helped me, personally, to be aware of my surroundings. It keeps me charged with energy that also motivates my team to work and play hard.
- Unlike others, my startup doesn’t need HR: Trust me, you do! Hiring specialists in a particular field can make a fundamental difference, especially in the long run. An HR representative can help you acquire the right mix of people. They have played an anchoring role in keeping 3 Minds Digital’s business ship steady. Along with handling the payroll process and hiring specialists in each field, our HR is also responsible for maintaining work culture, organizing community activities and establishing the right work balance.
- It’s A One Man Show: Starting your own business isn’t like a game of squash, where it’s only one person taking all the shots. It’s more like a game of football where players, in different positions, work together to score goals for the team! While most entrepreneurs understand that building teams are a prerequisite for business growth, it is creating a sense of unity among the members of the team that becomes the backbone of your startup. This can be established by adopting an open work culture along with constant communication with your team that may not necessarily be related to work.
- Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the stars: That’s a pretty good motto to live by if you’re an optimist. But, if you aspire to have ‘Co-founder’ on your tax forms, I suggest you develop a more realistic approach to life. Achieving realistic targets rather than the improbable ones is the basic crux of any business. Set out targets that are not only achievable but also work in tandem with the client’s expectations. Thereby, helping you achieve your targets well within the specified timeline.
- Nah, let’s not risk it: Taking calculated risks are part and parcel of any business. And that’s exactly what we as founders of 3 Minds Digital did when we started a new venture called Design Pitch Deck, in order to generate a new stream of revenue. What seemed like a risk at the time, turned out to be a great business idea as the new company pandered to a niche market with a specific demand for creating pitch decks.
- My employees aren’t my friends: In my experience, encouraging a friendly and cohesive work environment is something that has really helped build team spirit and generate a ‘feel good’ vibe within your office. For every entrepreneur, a team is a family. In order to promote a close-knit work environment, we adopted an Open Work Culture which allows every employee to be true to their own identity without the fear of being judged. Enhancing your interaction with your team will surely enhance the team spirit alongside building trust.
- Not investing in your team: Investing time and money in your team enhances employee productivity and business growth. We experienced this when our HR suggested an outing with the entire team. This encouraged us to plan smaller activities every month within the office by setting up a community team for such activities, which in the end helped make work a fun place.
- More money is good: Receiving more money for the sake of it is not good advice. It’s always better to get the right funding from the right sources. For example, if you source your funding from venture capitalists (VC) or even Angel investor, you will be more attuned to your vision with your business profitability being a priority for both parties. Here’s what we live by Getting funds is a medium, not the solution. Creating your own business and being a master of your trade is always a fun experience accompanied by its fair share of ups and downs. But in order to move in the right direction with business growth being your utmost priority, it’s important to keep the above-mentioned factors in mind to become a successful startup.
By Mr. Moulik Jain – Co-Founder, 3 Minds Digital