We are in the ‘Golden Era of Indian Startups’, a statement that comes straight from the Prime Minister of our country. Since the election of the BJP government, there has been a concerted effort to mould an atmosphere conducive to the flourishing of new businesses. According to Modi, there are over fifty thousand new startups vying for attention in India, and the government is intent on making their functioning easier. A startup app has been launched through which new IPs may be registered and taxes may be filed. With the business friendly outlook of the government, labour regulations and investment taxation has already been eased over the years.
In short, if you were looking to start a business, this is the time to do it.
But is a conducive atmosphere all that is necessary to have a successful business? Clearly not. Otherwise every second person would be the owner of one.
So what does it take to be a successful business owner? Given below are a few tips to prepare yourself for that inevitable journey you have ahead:
Have a Clear Vision.
What is it that you are looking to sell? Is it a service or a product? Who is the target customer for it? Who are your competitors in the market? What sets you apart from them? How are you going to market your business? Is it simply profit motivated, or do you have a philanthropic instinct egging you on?
These are few of the points that you should be clear on, as you move to start a business. That doesn’t mean you need to know exact answers to all these queries, with a power-point presentation at hand. However, you do need to be clear about the aims and vision yourself, such that you are able to communicate it clearly to your associates as well as customers.
Manage Finances Well.
The mistake many new business owners make is mixing of personal and institutional funds. Make separate accounts for your business finances, and set aside sufficient amount of capital to tide you through difficult times. Keep close track of your liquid assets, and update accounts as regularly as possible.
Remember, although a business is much more than the financial details, it will fall apart without a close supervision of the same.
Automate the Business.
Invest in technology wisely. In the current age of digitised mechanism, technology comes affordable and varied. It is important to know what you want from your machines, in order to invest in them.
This is especially true in case your business is peddling a product instead of a service. It is easy to get enthralled by the variety of tech, and buy the most cutting edge items. Or go the other route and choose the cheapest alternative. You have to remember that along with mechanising your work, you are also investing in assets for your business. Decide how much you want to spend on every aspect of your business, and try to stick to the budget as closely as possible.
Be it for financial advice, technical knowledge, public relations, or business management, when you feel out of depth, seek out experienced people and consult them about your queries. It is better to swallow your pride and accept that you can’t do everything alone, than stubbornly progressing in the wrong direction. However, make sure to trust your gut when applying the advice you have accumulated.
Be it with your customers or your workers, communication is key. Both of them need to know what you are aiming for. Otherwise, your workers would lack motivation to work, and your customers would lack instigation to purchase.
Also remember that communication is a two way process. You have to listen to the feedback that your associates and consumers offer as well. Try to incorporate changes as and when possible to keep the business fresh and mobile. In a rapidly changing world, stagnation is akin to failure.
Business is often considered a game for crooked people, where double entendres and falsifications rule the roost. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Be aware of the realities of the world, and act according to it. It is not necessary to be a saint. But keep yourself honest through the process. A clean conscience goes a long way.
And that’s it. While this is in no way a comprehensive guide to starting a business, it will help you understand where to you focus your energies while doing so. Keep your head up, be resilient, expect failure, but aim for success.
Best of luck!