What should new entrepreneurs be wary of when it comes to launching a new business?

Well, there are some lessons that I have learnt in my journey…. and as an entrepreneurship evangelist, have had the opportunity to observe many startups start up, and fail. Here are some observations:

  • Don’t underestimate the costs and time that you will require to meet your milestones – often entrepreneurs, enthused by their deep passion and conviction in the concept, expect things to happen sooner than it would, and they usually expect to achieve it in lower resources and costs than it would. Running out of cash is the single biggest horror that a startup or early stage company can face.
  • Plan for the worst-case situation… not the best case. Most entrepreneurs prepare business plan, which look at the most glorious of outcomes. While that is a possibility, it is prudent to think hard about what aspects could go wrong, and think of plan to mitigate those disasters. If the venture does well, enjoy the ride, be sharp and steer it towards success. However, if you have planned well for disasters, you will be able to manage the startup even during times of significant challenges.
  • Ensure that co-founders are aligned on the vision, the pain in the journey and each other’s views on key decision points in the journey (e.g. how would you react if you were to get an offer to sell of for $ 10ms… what will be your decision if the offer was $2mn?)
  • Talk to customers. Don’t plan on the basis of your enthusiasm and conviction. Test the concept with customers/consumers. Even before the product is ready, have conversations with potential customers/consumers to get their feedback and thoughts on what they would like to see in such a product.
  • Be very, very careful about whom you hire as your first employees. Make sure that they are in it with some level of conviction and passion for the concept. Pure commercially inclined employees will not have it in them to pull through the ups and downs, the course correction, and the challenges of the early stages of your journey.
  • Keep your costs low. Be frugal. Plan your cash flow and fund flow requirements well. Make sure you are well funded. Dont assume that you will be able to raise the balance amount as you proceed along in your journey.
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Author: Prajakt Raut

Prajakt Raut is the founder of Applyifi.com, and author of the book for startups - ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’ Prajakt personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs. _____________ Prajakt is the founder of Applyifi - an online platform that provides startups a 36-point scorecard and assessment report on the venture's investment readiness [www.applyifi.com], and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. Prajakt is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs, a platform where growth-stage companies get sharp, incisive advice from senior professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. [www.thegrowthlabs.in] Before starting Applyifi, Prajakt was the head of operations at IAN, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE (2004 - 2007). Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies. Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.

1 thought on “What should new entrepreneurs be wary of when it comes to launching a new business?”

  1. Running out of the cash is the biggest problem. Before commencing the business we feel we can manage but when we are on the job we realize the heat.

    At some time we were running out of the cash but we managed the show successfully.

    Real Nice article..

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