How to Start your Business? and get to the top!

Before you embark on your career as an entrepreneur (and quit your job) – what should you put into place personally? Food for thought.

Definitely there’s no easy  formula for this. As each person has a different risk profile, outcome, and budget. What can be said is that when you find that thing you feel so compelled to do, then there’s no better time than now. Life won’t get any easier, responsibilities won’t get any lighter.

Make a decision to follow your dream and then put in place a practical plan that gets you to your goal. The first step is to emotionally and psychologically commit to the investment. Remember, to do that, you must have done your homework – without that – you’re gambling.

The following MUST be embarked on in the following order:

– Market research on what already exists in the market you wish to enter.
– Understanding of the weaknesses and strengths of existing offerings.
– Understanding of the weaknesses and strengths of your offering.
– Research into your target audience – what they need versus what they currently have and what the gap is that your offering will fill.
– A business plan outlining goals and milestones for the next year.
– In the context of technology – your development team. Who they are, what the retainer basis will look like versus return and their background and availability for the first year.
– An overheads budget versus income (runway) – what can you afford to spend against limited income and for how long?

What is essential to get right in terms of technology?

You need to keep focusing on minimum viable product. That is making sure you do not add features just for the sake of it. This is especially important when introducing a new service or product. Your product/service will evolve over time and customers will help shape that evolution – so be open to change and spend a lot of time speaking to customers. – Remember that what you may find appealing, may not be the same for the other person, Business is not about you, but pleasing your customer and  Business profit is about you.

Should you self-finance, take out a loan, explore the Venture Capital option or take on shareholders? What are the questions you should ask?

You can explore all these options – the key question you need to ask yourself if you approach investors is to make sure they do not just bring funds to the table,but also additional value in terms of relevant background (give advice) or strong network (opening doors). Investors must be to the advantage of the business, not just a financial entity – but full value.

Investors who can bring relevant skills (value) in addition to money, is that they will also likely understand the value in your business, and be more willing to invest.

Plan for expansion?

In a start-up there is a danger to try to plan and analyse too much before you make decisions.  Instead, focus on being nimble and making smart decisions on limited information. But, to do that you must be informed/educated, which is a continuous process of learning and reading. Never stop learning, and keep yourself informed  on all aspects of your business, from supply chain to budgets, finance, manufacturing and customers service.

What do you need to put into place personally to ensure that you are prepared for the first year?  – the Danger time, as most businesses fail in the first year.

The first thing you need is to be prepared to dedicate your life to this business. You must be willing to endure massive amounts of pain, sacrifice and rejection. You must let go of your ego and your social life. Changing customer behaviour, introducing a new way of doing things and changing the status quo is not for the fainthearted. This is a tough live, that’s why so few are successful.

And while you’re on that journey, you’re going to need a support system in place – be it family, friends or colleagues – who will support you through the ups and downs of start-up life. If you’re  in a relationship discuss the sacrifices, involve others, do not try to get to the top alone, as the view could be great, it can also be very lonely.

What do you need to put into place professionally to ensure that you are prepared for the first year?

You need to be an expert in your industry before day one. There is no excuse for not knowing everything that is happening in your industry, globally. Starting the business will give you operational insight and experience that you can’t read or learn. But everything else you need to be armed with. Try to gain experience , speak to others in the same type of business, ask questions and learn hands on.

What are the characteristics that are required for entrepreneurs?

Tenacity, confidence, resilience, the ability to sell your idea, the ability to convince people, the ability to motivate and get the best out of your team. And humility. Tonnes and tonnes of humility.

Never give up attitude. ( a true story)

The live story of this man of courage and perseverance is a great example.

  • He failed at business                                                  age 22
  • He ran for state legislature  and was defeated           age 23
  • Again he failed in business                                        age 24
  • He was  elected to the  state legislature                     age 25
  • His  sweetheart died                                                   age 26
  • He had a nervous  breakdown                                    age 27
  • He was defeated for pos. of house speaker                age 29
  • He was defeated for pos. of elector                            age 31
  • He was defeated  for  Congress                                  age 34
  • He was elected to  Congress                                      age 37
  • He was defeated  for  Congress                                  age 39
  • He was defeated  for  the Senate                                 age 46
  • He was defeated  for  the Vice Presidency                  age 47
  • He was again defeated  for  the Senate                      age 49
  • He was elected  President of the USA                       age 51

this man was Abraham Lincoln.





Active Member Asked on November 24, 2016 in Management.
Add Comment
1 Answer(s)

Brilliant points shared by you! Inspiring example of Abraham Lincoln who happened to be one of the greatest American president ever.

New Member Answered on July 27, 2017.
Add Comment

Your Answer

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.