In the past few years there has been an increase in number of entrepreneurs who want to make their own product and set-up their own startup business. Though, quite a few of these entrepreneurs grow quickly in their business and make millions; there are a significant number of people who fail as well.
As per statistics, only handful entrepreneurs under 30 are running their own business. However, more than 60% of the people wish to start their own startup business. But, what’s keeping them from doing so? Certainly, it is not the lack of information; since there is no dearth to free, reliable and inexpensive information when the Internet being so easy to access. There are innumerable sites that provide the necessary information and educate them. It is very easy to learn new concepts and pick up new skills, master them and be innovative. Rather, it is only possible if you are motivated enough. Some of the most common reasons that entrepreneurs fail are lack of confidence, motivation and resources. Starting a business and succeeding in it is difficult; whether you are employed or not.
It requires tremendous energy and a lot of perseverance to make a business successful. If you have a full-time job, then you are hard-pressed for time. And, if you do not have a full-time job and are trying to set a business of your own, then you are hard-pressed for income. Either way, establishing your own venture is a difficult task. If you consider the pros and cons, then establishing a business while you’re still working full-time is a sensible thing to do. Firstly, you do not have to compromise on the luxuries you are enjoying currently; which you might have to do so when you quit your day-time job. Secondly, your income can provide you a steady fund for your new venture. This significantly reduces the performance pressure. Here are ten steps to setting up your own business while keeping the full-time job.
What is your level of desperation?
How badly do you want to set your own business? You have to put up with host of things like starting troubles, strain in your relations, compromising on the family time and making tough decisions. Are you ready to do so? Here is how you can decide. Make a note of all your daily activities, commitments, goals and targets. See how and where you can compromise so as to make time for your business. If you cannot compromise or let go any of your activities and yet make time for your business, it is a good thing. However, if you are unable to compromise then you must wait for some more time before starting your business.
Time management is an art that can be mastered solely by practice. It is obvious that when you start a business you have to devote time, which you shall be hard-pressed for if you have a full-time job at hand. Managing both, your business and job, would be difficult as you may not have any time for socializing. Your time with family, with friends and even on Facebook may have to be compromised on so that you can have enough time for your business. It is an unspoken rule that you will have to compromise on family time, entertainment and even your hobby if you want to set your own business. The weekend, especially Sundays, must be devoted towards building a schedule for the week. Make a list of activities and targets that need to be achieved in that week and break them down to daily goals. Make a timetable for every day of the week to achieve the targets so that there is a lesser amount of pressure on you. Set reminders on your Google calendar and phone so that you do not forget any targets of the day.
Business cannot thrive on just a skill; rather it requires a set of skills. Do you possess all of them? Make a note of the skills your business requires; those that you possess and those you do not. You can either learn new skills or simply outsource them. Learning a new skill is a good option, if you have the time to do so.
Most startups fail because there is a lack of market for the product. This simply means your idea for business or the product you plan to make must be relevant to the current market needs. One way to establish the market need is to approach the consumers, ask for their feedback and validate your idea. This will help you build your product systematically and save a lot of time and money. What is necessary here is that you must be open to criticisms and suggestions.
What is the USP?
For instance, let us say you are planning to make an educational CD for competitive exams. There are hundreds of such CDs in the market. What makes your CD unique? Why should people buy your product? This is the unique selling point (USP) of your product. Every product has a USP that could either be features, cost or even distribution. It is necessary to align USP and market strategy in the right way.
Entrepreneurs generally get carried away with their business idea and set unrealistic goals. Some do not set any deadlines for their work and ultimately spend an extremely long time creating a product. Setting a weekly target and then daily goal is a systematic way of approach. It helps you stick to your goals and objectives and achieve them in an organized manner.
Outsource Whatever You Can
As discussed previously, you can either spend time learning a new skill or simply outsource it. Outsourcing is better option, though. This is especially because you must focus on developing your product and not on other aspects of the business. You may dislike somebody else planning your targets and advising you on the product, but this is one way to focus on what you are best at in your business. However, learning a new aspect and using the newly acquired knowledge for your business can be fun too.
Don’t Go For Perfection
Being perfect is a continuous process and frankly, nobody can be 100% perfect. Go ahead and launch your product once it is ready. It can be updated as per consumer feedback. You can always keep improving the product and introduce newer versions of the same.
Seek Feedback Continually
You are making a product to add value to the life of people around you. Nobody would buy something that is of no use for them in their daily lives. Therefore, you must keep asking for feedback. Ensure that you build and validate your product to a marketable level. This must be done right from the day you start building the product.
Learn From Your Full-Time Job
This is perhaps the most important of all steps. You have a full-time job not only to ensure your income but also to acquire skills from the same. You can acquire a new set of skills and observe people around you in the office working in various designations. Study how they deal with various situations in the office and run the business or office. You can surely pick a few skills simply by observing your colleagues.
These ten steps may seem easy to stick to. However, it is difficult task, especially, if you have a problem at your business. Keep your ‘office’ mode and ‘entrepreneurial’ mode away from each other. The two modes must switch on only when needed and not otherwise. Else you would end up stepping on two boats at the same time!
At 111Startups, we provide assistance to aspirant entrepreneurs by helping them build their product by providing consultation, connecting them with mentors, funding and lot more.
Vikrant Bhujbalrao, an Evangelist in 111 Startups, a life coach and motivational speaker in How’s Life! An MBA, worked with FMCG, IT, Business Consulting, Training and Education since 7 years.