You have a million dollar in your bank account. The type of money any startup business would die to have.
The million dollar question is “Is this money the only prerequisite to starting your business?”.
I am sent a lot of A2A on quora (my Quora profile) where I am asked “I have 100K USD which business can I start or
Can I start a business with 1 million USD?. The ones asking the question at least have some money to base their question on.
The others are too generic with questions like “I want to start my business. What can I do to start my business?” “How can I start my business?”
The amount varies but the question remains the same.
The inquisitive startup enthusiasts, make it sound like money is the only prerequisite to starting a venture.
No offense intended.
They are right when they link money as the important prerequisite for starting a startup or a business (grrrrr….The line dividing startup and businesses has become so prominent that I have to write two words “startup” and “business” with each sentence).
In fact, money is one of the most important things while starting a business.
Without money, you will not be able to pay your bills, salaries, and other expenses. You will end up starting a suicidal business where you will not have money to pay salaries after some time.
When i started my business, i was totaly lost with what does it take to run a business. Starting was a little easy. We had an idea. Money (limited) was there but was there and we had an office rented to us by my dad.
So how do you start a startup business?
Here are, what I consider as important steps you can take when you are ready to start a startup or business (I repeat. My lord! The words startup and business need to find a common ground. It’s a pain to write an article pointing to the two cousins). :
An Idea is important. As they say “An idea can change your life”. Why I mention idea at the top of my list is because, without an idea, you are a headless chicken.
You will end up relying on ideas of others to start your business.
For ex, your dad is a rich guy and he wants to splurge on his son’s hobbies. You will for sure try and replicate the success of other successful businesses by building the next AirBnb, Fiverr or Yelp.
It sucks. None of the xerox copies succeed.
Even if you have a huge bank balance, you will end up burning a hole in your pocket.
The money will go with the wind in a jiffy before you even realize how startups turn into black holes.
Spend some time and think of good ideas and then validate them.
You can smile now. I get everyone’s favorite “Money” on the list.
You have the idea. You have the money. All you need is a vehicle (read: brain) to vroom you past the hardships of starting and running a business (cough-2! I mean startup. Sorry business. Whatever!).
Money is important. You can live with money but you cannot live with an idea. I have met wonderful brains in life with ideas to beat the next big ideas in the market.
They could not start because they lacked the money to start a startup.
Ultimately, they turned into frustrated souls cursing every damn successful person on the road. For them, the guilt of not being able to raise money was a big let down.
It eventually turned them into sour losers.
- A plan:
Planning is overrated if you spend years contemplating the whats and hows of your idea.
But plans are a savior when you start your startup with parameters to gauge your performance on. How you write a business plan is another topic dedicated to another blog written by me. I won’t dwell into what it takes to write a business plan.
The idea is to keep the plan simple. Make a plan which speaks clearly to where you need to stand after say 3 months, 1 year.
Use it to judge your progress.
Even if you fall in the lazy bracket of entrepreneurs like me. Move your lazy ass and scribble something on a paper with targets and how you plan to meet them.
A plan acts as a base to where you want your business to be.
This is better than running a business without any targets to speak off.
Evolve your plan as you move along. Trust me. 80% of your plan will change when you are a little down the road.
Don’t get disheartened when things change.
It’s all a part of a plan coming face to face with reality.
You might not be able to reach the magical number in sales. But with a plan, at least you will know why you failed.
It will give you simple, yet concrete points to analyze your failure.
Have a plan for marketing, finance, sales, HR. In a startup, every small thing is important.
- Desire and passion:
Can you sell ice to an Eskimo?
Can you write 1000 lines of code, despite hating coding?
Can you stand up to your employees and ask them to get their shit in order, if they are screwing you?
Are you open to criticism?
Do you believe in your idea?
Can you survive without any revenue for months?
Can you face your vendors if you fail to make their payments on time?
Can you face adversity like a brave man who has nothing or everything to lose?
Are you a hustler?
In short. Do you have balls of steel?
You better have them. Because when you get down to running a startup, the passion and wish to succeed is what can help you sail through the “unforeseen” challenges.
This, my friends, are the important factors in running a startup.
For the love of running a startup, you will succeed if you believe in your startup.
Even if you don’t succeed, you will at least go down with your head held high.
Startups are a result of passion, ideas, etc, etc. I see no reason, why they should not succeed if you are willing to slug it out till the end.
Don’t start a startup for the sake of starting a startup (read: why not to start a startup?).
Start a startup because you are passionate about starting a business.
I lost a lot of time and money moving aimlessly in our initial years of business. We started with limited funds. Our business startup idea was abstract.
And we did not have the Internet to guide us. (Damn)
The only weapon in our arsenal was “passion”. Not an ideal weapon to start. Especially, when you are sailing in an unknown territory.
So start smartly.
Cover your bases before you take the plunge.