By Ashok Vashist, Founder & CEO, Aaveg
Headquartered in Delhi, this ISO certified company for managing transport operations on principle model proffers end-to-end transportation management solutions.
A typical business turns itself into a brand when it is able to successfully connect with consumers, either emotionally or intellectually. A brand should stand for character more than anything else under the sun. For a business to make its place in the hearts and minds of customers, they need to personify the products that they are selling. When brands are created thoughtfully and with a purpose, they become strong global brands.
Though the Indian startup ecosystem is relatively new, if compared to its western counterparts, a number of startups have become successful brands to reckon with, in less than a decade’s time. A need is fulfilled by a product or a service but an aspirational value is always fulfilled by a brand.
It is a fact that different types of entrepreneurs come up with different startup ideas in a myriad different ways. Some are those who want to become entrepreneurs and they are looking for an idea- they are the problem solvers looking for a problem. Some others become entrepreneurs out of necessity, as they say ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions’. They have a serious problem at hand and no one else is solving it. The best startups amongst the lot seem obvious as by the time we find out about them as users, they have already reached critical mass. It is commonly believed by many in the business that a good startup is born out of a good idea but great startups are born from ideas that seems to be quite ridiculous for many.
Saul Klein, Founder, Kano Computing rightfully said, “The perfect start-up has all three founders: - Someone who understands how to build technologies and systems to solve problems - Someone who understands the human factors behind those problems, why they exist, what it takes to fix them and how to shape the experience. Someone who understands how to reach, talk to and sell to the people whose problems are being solved and keep finding more of them The ideal start-up has two of the three founders, but all three skills are present between them.”
Successful startups do several unique things and do them right to become successful. They retain clients, retain quality resources and recruit new ones, keep their employees and stakeholders happy, adopt many industry-first technologies and innovate continuously, amongst doing a lot of other things right. There is something common among all successful startups. Firstly, the product or service that they build is perfect for the market and are made keeping in mind the target audience. Secondly, the enterpreneur doesn’t ignore anything remotely related to his busines, the company grows fast and the team knows how to recover, even if a downfall happens.
Let us now look at certain things that all startups should follow in order to succeed:
Know your competition and how much space in the market have you got: You have developed a product to serve the people but you have to make sure who are your competitors who have similar product or services out in the market. You may think that your product is unique but do a thorough search to be sure.
Know from your mentors: Know about the veterans in the industry and their story. Think about ways in which you can improve your organisation, better than your industry leading competitors. Check their market value and how much of the market share did they capture. Know the space available in the market. There will always be a place which no one else other than you, can fullfill. Bring in innovation and enter this place. Check for the remaining space in the market. There will always be a space which no one else can fulfill. This is your chance, and you can get it.
Believe in your product or service: If you do not believe in it yourself, no one else will. You should strive to be a solution provider and not just a seller. A problem solver is always better than a seller when it comes to running a stupendous business. Have conviction on whatever you are selling in the market and for that, you have to be the best. Put your best foot forward and craft a product or a service that solves a real problem or something which is aspirational at its very core.
Build up a strong team who share the same vision and commitment as you: You need to have a talented team which is ambitious. Individual goals must tie-in with the overall organisational goal. You need to have dreamers in the team who share the same vision and each one of them think like an entrepreneur. Without a motivated team, success is impossible to achieve.
Course-correction is the key: Flexibility is the key to success. Follow a set plan and path but be flexible to course correct if it is not bringing in the desired results. While setting up a startup, one need to be prepared to start again and again and do and re do, do one small thing everyday with an eye on the goal. Make small goals and achieve them before moving on to the next one. Successful businesses are not built overnight.
Managing cash flow: When you are starting up, cash flow becomes very crucuial. Cash management is paramount as you have limited resources. The biggest challenge that many startups face today is cash management. It is necessary to monitor each penny that you spend when you are starting out and look at the broader picture and long term goals. If the investment seems redundant at the start, don’t do it.
Don’t commit by assuming things: One should be impeccable with our words, believe in what one can do, rather than making assumption based on others commitment. Reviewing and analyzing data is critical for any decision-making purpose. It’s better to analyze and plan than assume and fail.
Never overdo: Don’t overdo things, as it might have negative repercussions. Do that much which you can do and do that to perfection.
Celebrate every milestone and give the due credit to the team: Small achievements are the stepping stones towards big achievements and each new achievement must be celebrated with the team members. This helps in keeping employees motivated by acknowledging their efforts.
Commit, concentrate and continue: Consistent and constant efforts would ensure success. The idea is to stick around.