Startups are like labyrinths, there are no rules, and everything is continuously changing. You have to be ready always for what comes next. But hey I can teach a few things which I learned by failing a few times in my previous ventures.
Lesson 1: Appreciate the effort
We all have various strengths that go with our personalities. As Einstein said ‘It is not wise to judge the fish by his ability to climb a tree.’ We are on the verge of creating miracles. When my first venture went down I was devastated and in that devastated, I blamed my team for my failure.
I labeled the venture as a complete failure. But soon after the launch of my second venture, I realized that the effort that took me and my team to build the first brand, it took half the effort. Why? Because we did make quite many mistakes in my first venture. So, we learned from the mistakes and moved on.
Lesson 2: Identify the need and target market for your product
When I started my second venture. It was a random idea from a friend and I jumped into the application without doing proper research. I was so excited about the idea itself that I didn’t bother to put the effort to look for my target market.
I was hit by an unfortunate blow when the target market rejected my idea. Actually, the idea was pretty good, but the bad part was it was launched in the wrong market.
If I use that idea and launch in the USA that would be an instant hit, but unfortunately, in UAE, there was no market. The mistake I did was I didn’t validate and test the product. I spend millions of hours of building a product that was not desirable by any of the people in UAE.
All the time spend on endless coding and scheming of world domination went into a vein. Just because I didn’t take the liberty to test my product in my market.
How to prevent from falling into this trap. Very simple. Follow the lean startup formula to align your product with the audience.
Or the second best thing you can do is to iterate while you are finishing up your product. Yes, it is okay to launch a half-baked product. But it is even more important to launch and test your product to make it better every single day.
Oh, and by the way, if you do not have full confidence in your product do not expect others to feel the same about your product. The first and foremost step towards the success of any product is to believe in your product.
Lesson 3: Take your piece of the pie and leave the rest
Obviously, you cannot eat the whole pie. You will either die or you will get serious health issues for doing it. Keep in mind that your target market is not the whole world. There will be competitors, and there will be seasonal players in the market. Your job is to deliver the product to maximum people possible.
Not everyone is your customer and you also do not need to serve every customer. There are those customers which I use to call energy drainers. These were the few customers who used to do business with us and then put a bad review for us. After some time they used to repeat the process and so I did this one thing of firing those customers right away.
You have this wonderful website design setup for you, you have traffic on your website, but at first, you might not get orders. Thing is, be consistent with your business and never lose hope based on the opinion of others.
Good things take time, so will your new business. Take baby steps every day and soon you will be generating leads, serving customers, and having fun while putting some money into your wallet.
Lesson 4: Be Passionate about your work
I cannot focus on this point long enough. This one point is the driving force of all the above points. If you are not passionate about something you will not take the necessary steps for making it successful.
The long hours, the hard work, attention to detail, all is driven by your passion towards your work. Starting something is the easiest part, but sustaining it, is the hard work.
You might not realize this fact, as it took me 3 startup failures to realize what I was doing it wrong. I was pretty excited about the idea but all three ventures were not my passion. However, my fourth venture went successful just because I loved what I was working on.
To conclude it all. Starting a business is easy but keep it running is the hard part. Whether it is a logo design agency, a graphic design agency. As humans, we are bound to make mistakes, but smart humans are those who learn from their mistakes and get ready to do some new mistakes. Above were some mistakes which lead me to start my fifth venture which was then successful.