If being your own boss is your ultimate career goal, entrepreneurship is just right for you. Here’s what you need to launch a startup.
An entrepreneur’s journey is an exciting rollercoaster with a ton of learning, failures, personal growth, and fun along the way. There’s a unique thrill in seeing your business idea come to life, adding value to the world, providing employment to people, and pursuing your passion every single day.
It’s a life successful entrepreneurs wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. And the best part is that anyone can become an entrepreneur – no special degree or qualification is required to start your own company. However, you do need a few basics in place before you take the entrepreneurial plunge. Here are the essentials of how to startup:
1) Have the right mindset and skills
Beyond the glamour of being a startup founder lies a whole lot of hardship and hard work. Are you ready for late nights, failed fundraising efforts, rejections from investors, and going through various iterations of your business idea? The entrepreneurial journey certainly isn’t easy and it’s important to think about whether you can handle the stress and the uncertainty. A high degree of passion, tenacity, can-do attitude and a growth mindset is essential.
2) Develop a solid business idea
If you have an entrepreneurial personality, you probably have a few ideas of how to start a business. Evaluate them all and zero in on the most promising one. You’ll need to do ample research, talk to target audiences, consider commercial viability, check out the competition and perhaps undertake an entrepreneurship course to hone your business ideas.
Entrepreneurship education can give wings to a great business idea and accelerate the journey to start a company by helping to fill a real market gap, solve a problem, and add value to the customer experience.
3) Hash out a business plan
Take the business idea and convert it into a profitable business model with a unique value proposition (USP), a target market, a competitive advantage, production costs and other expenses, resources. This is essential for the next steps of developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and market testing with sample customers.
4) Build a network
A successful startup founder needs to surround himself with a network of advisors, mentors, lawyers, investors, other founders, etc. Networking is extremely crucial as the right connections can accelerate your entrepreneurial journey and do wonders for your business. Look up events, talks and workshops in the startup ecosystem and try and attend as many as possible.
5) Raise capital
Finalize a pitch deck and sharpen your presentation skills because the next step is raising money to get your startup going. Not just investors or banks, your initial capital can even come from friends or family. However, be prepared for a number of rejections and don’t let them deter you. This is key to creating a successful startup.
6) Keep a safety net ready
Be sure to save up a certain amount of money by way of a part-time job, freelancing, or even working at a full-time day job until your startup fully takes off. Despite your best efforts, there’s a chance your business idea may work out the way you envisioned it to. So before you go all out, create a safety net you can fall back on.
If you are a young professional or a college student who dreams of turning an entrepreneur, Wadhwani Foundation’s National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) can help you to put together the basics and launch practice ventures through its experiential and immersive entrepreneurship courses, which are free of cost. The courses entail practical knowledge, projects and assignments, access to mentors, pitch simulators and pitch days, and a lot more.
(For those in later years of the graduate program/ PG students/ working professionals/ pre-incubatees having a validated idea to launch a venture)