Unlike a favorite family recipe, which is handed down through generations, successful entrepreneurship is an inimitable formula, with no definite rulebook.
In a country where success is lauded and failure ridiculed, budding entrepreneurs still find it difficult to convince people of their uniqueness and credibility. However, a foolproof business plan and a sustained effort can surely yield good results.
A business plan remains a plan till it is not executed. In the entrepreneurial game, implementation is as important as a seamless idea.
Although there is no perfect formula, any business starts with understanding the entrepreneurial process. Following a thorough sector analysis, an entrepreneur should access if he is equipped enough to live up to the market expectations. A SWOT analysis can be of great help and a meticulously chalked out plan can help determine priorities. Getting in touch with other entrepreneurs who have made it big can also enlighten you with unthought-of practical problems. Ideas might originate from anywhere. However, a real entrepreneur should have guts to follow his heart and do something out-of-the-ordinary that awes and inspires others.
Experts always believe in the first mover advantage. However, if you are a me-too startup, you got to have a superior offering on your platter. For instance, Google outshined the already existing Yahoo in the search engine space only because of their page rank algorithm, which gave them a clear technical edge.
Rake-in the moolah
Finance is the backbone of any entrepreneurial venture and managing cash flow tops the priority list of any entrepreneur, as he alone runs the risk of losing money if the business is not managed well.
“Raising funds and pitching for investments can be frustrating, as convincing people of novel ideas is always difficult,” say Bejoy Suri and Gunjan Agarwal, alumni of ISB, who started Avsarr– a services training company. However, the presence of venture capitalists, bankers and angel investors, who continuously hunt for the next big idea, has to an extent simplified the things for first-generation entrepreneurs.
Birds of a feather should flock together
Entrepreneurs generally use a team approach to solve problems and complete tasks, as a competitive team combines a variety of skills, ideas, knowledge bases and perspectives. Divya Ramachandran, a second-generation entrepreneur, shares, “Entrepreneurship can bring many moments of dejection, which can be better shouldered if you have a good partner or team.”
In a team of like-minded people who share common aspirations, it is the individual productivity and workplace satisfaction that receives an automatic boost. Anuradha Agarwal, a social entrepreneur, explains, “For any new venture to be successful, it is very essential that the core team consists of like-minded people. The team has to be chosen exercising great caution, so that there is no clash of opinions at a later stage.”
The much awaited – First Client
In the presence of professional players in the market, getting the first client can be a nerve-wrecking experience. The clients approached get paranoid at times, as it is difficult to break away from a preferred brand and switch to a new one, especially if there are no switching benefits.
In a market that gauges everybody on a yardstick of past credentials, first-generation entrepreneurs usually find it difficult to convince clients of the plunge, as most don’t find a company in nascent stages that is worth banking on. Ritesh Tripathi, who heads TransBit Technologies – an IT product company, adds, “Despite a decent pitch, my first client was very apprehensive about my ideas and approach, as I lacked proven success records. However, once I got my first break, it was all about performing better than our competition.”
Climbing the entrepreneurial ladder
You ventured out of the corporate cocoon, started your business and won your first client. What next? As an entrepreneur, you might be headed towards tough days in which apart from projects, managing salaries and expenses can get difficult. Cash flow in many cases becomes a serious problem because of the uncertainty that comes as a part of any entrepreneurial package.
Despite putting your heart into the business and business into heart, success never comes guaranteed for an entrepreneur. “Entrepreneurship can surely give anybody a high and with perseverance and determination, the obstacles en route can surely turn into stepping stones to success,” sums up Bejoy Suri.