For those who have heard of startups only in magazines and success stories, it is a black box. It is a mystery word, with no definite path, no entrance exam to gauze success, no thumb rule to triumph. The more you read and hear about startups, the more confused you would be. Unless you get your hands dirty, you will have as little idea about startups as your son or a corporate bitch next door. Here we would strive to demystify some of the popular myths that people have-
#1. Wanting to make money is not a bad reason to startup
I have often heard experts saying “ If you are starting or joining a startup to earn a good wage; you are at a wrong place.” This statement is often misinterpreted and is the greatest myth I have ever come across. What it means is, single eyed devotion to money is not good for startup and thats very true. What it definitely doesn’t mean is wanting to make money is bad reason to startup. In the end, success of your startup is gauzed by your company’s turnover and cash-flow, so unless you are money oriented, you will never make it big. So in nutshell, wanting to make money is not bad but expecting a windfall just in the starting is too Utopian.
#2. Profit is not the only driver to decision making
Having said that wanting money from startup is not bad, I must reiterate that money or profit should not be the key driver of your startup. These two myths are often taken to be contradicting and hence we follow one and throw the other out of doors leading to downfall. Profit is one of the many parameters that must be evaluated before making any decisions but is not the only parameter. Brand value, customer loyalty are as important a parameter if not more.
#3. Its not just about idea or product, but about how you deliver
Not every unique idea or super-awesome product would convert into grand startup. There is a huge difference and one doesn’t guarantee the other. Idea or product is most pivotal, but how you present it makes all the difference. How approachable you are, how good is your customer relations, how well is your on-line presence, how efficiently you tackle generic problems so as to ensure quick service without taxing the team are some of the vital questions that constitute the complete package that you present to your consumer. Most of the times, startups are so busy polishing their product, that they ignore the complete package and hence are not popular among customer.
#4. Its not about how many lives you affect, its about how deeply you affect few lives
One common myth around entrepreneurs is that more are the people affected by a startup, the better it is. In fact I have seen many startups flashing the number of potential customers, their idea can spread to. But these are those which fizz out like a flash in the pan. If I have an idea that improves a million lives by an iota and another idea that helps a thousand people but in significant way, I will surely opt for the later. Because:
- In todays competitive market, if there can be a product touching million lives, it already exists. Someone must have come up with it, may be you are unaware. So ensure that your idea is unique before taking a step forward.
- If you product is not creating significant difference, chances are fare that you might be forgotten. Because you are not creating a dependency, hence your penetration to market is less and chances of saturation are higher. Any product with a better offer can displace you in a jiffy.
- If your product creates significant dependency, you create a loyal customer base, which comes back to you. Moreover they become your flag bearers, promoting your product.
#5. Give more reasons to remember
Today, marketing is all about being in your customers sub-conscious mind. If product, is the only reason why your customers know you, you might be forgotten soon. The trick is to give as many reasons to your customers to remember you as possible. The more the better. So that even if they forget one, they remember the other. Hence you obtain a perpetual space is market. The reason can be diverse as- a story, a cause that you endorse, a contest, a campaign etc.
#6. There is nothing called failure in startup
I have seen person with great entrepreneurial streaks, dreading startup for the fear of failure. But as a matter of fact, there is nothing called failure in startup. Either your venture is successful or you grow in your experience. So called failed startup can teach what successful startups would never touch. Hence you can start afresh, bigger and better every time
#7. Just because you hate your job, don’t startup
Having been in corporate life for a while, I have seen 99% of people loathing what they do and the rest don’t care. But just because you hate your job, don’t start up. Chances are very bleak that this dissatisfaction can ever lead you to venture out. And if you ever do, you shall fail miserably. Passion for an idea, for a product, for a change is what drives great startups and successful companies alike.
#8. Most people leave bosses, not the job
Its true that as a startup retaining employees is difficult. They tend to jump on to bigger players as they get experienced. But attributing this to your company’s age or brand name solely would be unjustified. Most employees leave their bosses, not the job. What it means is, the manager matters more to an employee than the employer itself. So be a good boss. Rather than taking all the decisions yourself, involve others, take their opinion. After-all, its better not be in drivers seat for a while.