We worked for a startup, iKnowledge Academy, for more than 2.5 years. Where we ended up in financial losses and following are the lessons which can be outlined from our journey. Hope those would be helpful in your endeavor.
Lesson 1: Market Survey and Need Analysis is must.
Dont ever take your customer for granted. Especially Bharatiy consumers very aware and demanding. You must be able to get your first paying customer at very early stage.
Lesson 2: Must have clear vision and mission.
Do not jump-start because you feel time is ripe with few months or years target. Have larger picture ready in your mind.
Lesson 3: Start small.
Means do not overspend on premises, infrastructure. Do not lease bigger space than needed rather don’t hire till you desperately need one. Adjust in available resources until your revenue surpasses expenses.
Lesson 4: Your focus must be inline to the vision. And your action should be inline to mission.
Don’t accept any business/work because it will ease your current financial pressure. Rather act according to your mission and vision which in turn will become the brand for your venture. Do not ever cheat on your mission.
Lesson 5: Divide your goal into shorter targets with deadlines of e.g. 1 month, 3 month timeline.
Having smaller incremental targets is always very helpful. Do not be over enthusiastic about figures because they are dreams. So concentrate on achievements in smaller targets while having larger aims.
Lesson 6: Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Always do a SWOT analysis. Don’t get stuck in the jugglery of internet while doing SWOT. Simply put across what needs to be done to run your business successfully and what you know/don’t know. What challenges are there and what may appear in future. This shall give you brief idea for action plan.
Lesson 7: Dont waste time in improving weakness rather get external help as soon as you realize.
Do not try to do all things by yourself. Entrepreneurship is all about getting things done with most efficient and effective way.
Lesson 8: No internal pressure.
Make sure there is no personal/family/relatives/friends pressure on you, else that would eat all your energy and leave you dried when you will need it most.
Lesson 9: Survival and sustenance comes first.
Consider having at least six month savings for your survival and sustenance which will help you concentrate on work than personal finances.
Lesson 10: Dont wait for someone to approach you.
Talk to as many people as possible when you are in confusion. But don’t follow everyone use your conscience.
[Above thoughts are not copied from anywhere. It's wholly my experience.]
We committed all possible mistakes and finally ended up losing a lot of revenue. We are not at all hurt due to this failure as we always trusted in:
[I can do my duty but I don't have any control over the results. I'm not the cause of the results and I won't be attached to inaction.]
We are more resolute to another journey now and that shall lead us to yet another milestone. This one was one such milestone where we realized this isn’t what we can do best.