Five Essential Skills Any Startup Owner Must Develop

Startup FounderThis guest column is by Jayesh Purohit, Founder & writer, Indabaa

After working with two startups (a successful and a….), I came to know about two facts: this business we call startup stems from passion and grows with perseverance. At the beginning, you need to show tremendous level of passion to create a team of professionals, who can share your vision. And then, you need perseverance to make it successful.

Today, every IT professional (and non-IT dudes too) dreams to be a CEO of successful business venture. It is good to see a dream, but to realize your dream, you need to wake up and put up a good show. While books can certainly show you some direction to follow, practical experience has its own merits. Remember that your passion drives you to create a perfect environment, but during your efforts, you may have to compromise with a lot of situations only to make your venture a successful entity.

Where you want to see your startup after 3 years?

I am talking about your Vision. Before you launch your website and office, it should be crystal clear in your mind. A three-year period is enough to show everybody what you wanted to do from the very first day. Moreover, management gurus also suggest if your startup survives 999 days, you can take it to a higher level.

Don’t just keep your vision to yourself. Make sure that your team, your venture capitalists and the agencies (marketing, advertising) you are working with are on the same page. Share your vision with people involved in your startup. This move will make you a team member and your employees would trust you more than ever.

Most importantly, your vision will help you set short-term and long-term goals for your team.

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Where is the Money?

Money is of paramount importance. Whether you are pumping in your own bucks or somebody else is investing in your idea, presence of money should be there in your company from the day one. A well-planned budget will tell you how much money you need for a year, two years and three years. This will help you decide the burn rate of your company. If you fail to recognize this burn rate, be prepared for the churn rate (number of people, who leave the company they work for and go to another).

Your Work Force

If yours is a technology startup, you need to draw a clear line between the technology and work force. And give the latter some prominence over the former. You read it right; technology doesn’t run your company, it is people who help you achieve your dream. Being a startup, you might be running on a frugal budget, and therefore, you should not hire a person who may turn out to be a white elephant for your company. A less-experienced but an enthusiastic candidate would always ready to fit himself into a challenging environment.

Create a competitive environment at office, where employees like to learn and grow. Remember that frequent parties and outings would never help you retain your work force. They want intellectual and financial growth. Period.

Customer’s Experience

It is rightly said that the CEO should be the Chief Experience Officer. A good experience with your company would always attract customers again and again. This message should be conveyed to all: sales people, MARCOM professionals, customer care team, product team and the office boys too. A strong brand is nurtured only when every person associated with the company carries a single message 24 x 7. Gone are the days when companies used to satisfy their customers; now they delight their customers. Remember that you are not selling products or services; what you are giving is benefits and experience to your customers.

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Effective Leadership

A leader has to enter the office first. A leader cannot sit idle in his chair. A leader has to weigh his every word before he speaks. Speak the three sentences to yourself in the morning and start your day. You need to infuse enthusiasm in yourself first and then impart the same passion to your employees. Stay energetic, wear smile always, and take the challenges head on! This is the mantra of effective leadership. Never pass a message to your people that you are tired of your work and work place. This can dampen their spirit.

Points to Ponder

Apart from above mentioned skills, a startup owner has to take care of many things.

Keep your professional and personal life separate. If you are committed to anybody, make sure that your relationship doesn’t become unmanageable for you.

Even after joining your company, some employees may feel uncomfortable or apprehensive about their decision – whether or not they have made the right choice.

As a startup owner, you need to adjust to new lifestyle challenges like odd working hours, living without perks, striking balance between health and wealth, and earning the label of ‘anti-social creature’.

Disclaimer: This is a guest column. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire and the editor(s).

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