The first two decades of this millennium will probably be best known as an era of Entrepreneurs. Small businesses and hobby ideas evolved into profit churning ventures. Some of them in fact are at the cusp of transforming the redundant ethos of our ecosystem with far reaching impact on the global economy.
While technology, allied infrastructure and conducive eco-social scenario might have played a crucial role for entrepreneurs, it must be agreed that the spirit of entrepreneurship is in many ways a personal attitude and very rarely a quality that can be inculcated. Most of the successful startups have realized a pertinent issue in the ecosystem and offered innovative solutions – want to know best places to dine, want to know feedback of the place before you book a table, Zomato made it possible! Cant wait for long hours to book tickets or want to check on movie options on the go! Bookmyshow is a solution. Want to enjoy shopping and also save money the smart way – CouponDunia is one of the options.
The new millennium spawned a new middle class and modeled a new generation of confident Indians for whom entrepreneurship was a popular choice. According to industry sleuths, India currently has more than 48 million small businesses which is nearly double the number of small companies in the U.S (23 million). But interestingly, while we have seen a lot of budding entrepreneurs getting on the start-up bandwagon, many of them fall off the wagon too soon, fact remains that 80% of startups fail in the first three years. To go by the saying, ‘Becoming successful is one thing, maintaining the success is another.’ There are various reasons as to why the start-up businesses don’t survive – could be lack of planning, lack of marketing, lack of market understanding or lack of funds etc.
As a startup, there are two possibilities, either you are toying with an idea which is extension of an existing market practice or your idea is a new category creation of sorts. The approach for each scenario is quite different; it is easier to toy with an idea from an existing practice because you know the market response and can gauge the perils of the business while investors also back you up. However, when you are trying to create a new category, you are unaware of the on-ground realities of running the venture and are more prone to fall prey to the dubious market scenario.
Hence it takes a lot of conviction and clarity of thought and business acumen to source a cash flow for innovative business ventures. While the nuances of the business may vary as per the respective industry vertical, broadly some aspects for survival of your start ups remain universal:
Refine the business; not the idea: Scaling up does not always mean getting into new business portfolio. One needs to stay close to the entrepreneurial idea and look for new avenues to expand the business within the same ecosystem. It is very crucial to have a close tab on the pulse of the market and anticipate the organic changes, to stay relevant to the audience
Planning: A well-prepared plan helps to steer the business all along its growth curve. Determine the revenue model, anticipate the challenges and budget judicially for the business. Understand the profitability cycle of your business and ensure you are well covered during your lean periods.
Market Research: Constantly evaluate the changing dynamics of the market and gauge evolving preference for the target audience. Understand how new technology can enhance your offering and also tap new areas, new markets to expand your business audience
Invest in resources; they will drive the business: Startups that focus only on their balance sheet are shortsighted. Invest in hiring good talent and ensure timely training and orientation program for them. All business face tough times, and during the lean period, more often than not, potential leaders emerge out of these good talents that steer the ship through the rough waters.
Pay heed to advice: Small business often get a shot in the arm through credible client reference and positive consumer feedback. Try to be part of conversations among your audience, monitor it and evaluate your brand value among the target audience. Often you will be able to catch minor glitches before they snowball into major crisis
Business agility: The market scenario will never stay the same. Today, the fast paced lifestyle demands innovation to be at the snap of a finger and hence the business should be able to adapt to change and look to add new features and offering rather than being a closed model
Lastly, your entrepreneur journey was seeded through an idea you strongly believed in, that it will bring a positive change to the society at large. Never lose this focus and the enthusiasm of driving your own business. Crisis, failures, cash crunch and losses will always challenge you, but you need to hold on to your idea, find a way around the mountain or make a way right through it.
According to a report, India is among the top 3 growing economies of the world. Investors see India speeding up pace toward becoming one of the world’s top destinations for manufacturing, as well as a regional hub for operations. They are keen on investing in the ideas that are scalable and companies that are to stay in the ecosystem and bring about a positive change. If you can be the change, then get up and scale your start up! The mantra is to be active today but stay relevant for tomorrow.
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