The great French aviator and author Antoine de Saint Exupéry is said to have written the words “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. Regardless of the authorship, these words are apt wisdom for those who set upon the entrepreneurial path.
Here are a few markers to help you along the path you have chosen-
Know the goal, and the reason
Do you know where you want to take your dream? Do you also know why? Knowing the honest answer to both these questions will keep you on the straight and narrow. And when the going gets tough, you will find the resolve and gumption to stick to that same straight and narrow.
One step at a time
Its all very well to aim for the starts. You need to set specific business goals and timelines. Once this is done, plan to achieve the goals, identify the actions and tasks. “When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time” says former Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Creighton Abrams in his book “Achieving your dream”.
Learn how to sell
Congratulations, you have the best product since the wheel! But if you don’t sell it, someone else will, and get rich off of you, or it might never see the light of the day. You are not really a business till you have customers. That means you should know how to sell your product.
Know what your customers want to buy
That product which was the best thing since the wheel? What if no one wanted to buy it? Leonardo Da Vinci may have invented the parachute in the 15th century, but it took another 500 years for it to be taken seriously. In other words, had he developed and produced his parachute, Da Vinci would have a 100% share of a market worth zilch in any currency. Try to search for a niche by introducing an improvement – incremental or disruptive – in a widely accepted product. Market surveys and feedback are very important, it will help you design and redesign your offering, and constantly keep it relevant.
You need to get in the revenue, you also need to document how you earned it, and how you spent it. Not only is it being regulatory-ly smart, it also will help you when you encounter the decisions related to investors
Know to say “No”
As a startup, you will have limited resources. Be kind on yourself and your team, and focus on things that form your core competency. Distractions come along every now and then, and they are tempting too, but spending time and resources on them will soften or even dull your focus.