Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a job seeker, you must understand the need of the people and how to cater that need with your product or services. Even during these tough times, some companies are hiring and entrepreneurs are initiating startups.
In the current circumstances, we need startups that can support our economy.
How can a startup succeed amid the current circumstances?
Let’s look at the five factors that play a role in the success of the startups.
Idea: Everything starts with an idea and a burning desire to turn that idea into a reality.
Plan: A business plan, a model according to which you’ll proceed to work on your idea. This includes industry analysis, market research, marketing plan, product/service designing, and development plan, and operations plan.
Team: People who’ll work as a team on the business plan. Their skills, knowledge, education, experience, and contribution to the business.
Funds: Getting investments to manage the finances of your plan.
Time: The right time to start the business.
According to an analysis conducted by Bill Gross, ‘Time’ is the factor that accounts most in the success of a startup. A business plan and teambuilding come next and the idea stands at the third position in determining the success of a business. Funds are the least important among all.
What does it mean by the right ‘Time’?
The right timing refers to the facts whether your idea is too early to work on and the world’s not ready for it? Will you need to educate the people to use your product/services? Or is it too late, and there are already too many competitors?
For instance, Z.com was an entertainment company that was started in the year 1999-2000. It had an amazing business model, a unique idea, and received an excellent amount of funding but the company failed because internet penetration was very low during that era. It was hard to watch online content without any interrupts. The company collapsed in 2003 and after that when the internet penetration rose, YouTube started in 2005 as one of the most successful firms with the same idea but at the right timing.
Airbnb started at the time during the recession when people were so in need of money that they started renting their homes to strangers.
Food Connection Pakistan started in 2011 as the first platform that connected restaurants or food vendors to their customers. The company reached 200k visitors within a year. When Foodpanda, a Germany based company, started gaining popularity in Pakistan, Food Connection merged with it and became one of the best e-commerce companies in the country. Food is one of the most worth-spending industries in Pakistan and the idea of a food delivery app was sure to gain momentum. But merging the company with one of the leading international brands at the right time was the decision worth making.
How to begin with successful startups?
In order to begin with startups during the pandemic, it’s important to analyze the need of the consumers in these times. As Tim Ferris says, ‘creating demand is hard. Filling demand is much easier’.
Therefore, as a first step to initiate a startup, pick a reachable niche market. This should be a market that is affordable and has a demand in your area. Visit the market summary section on Pakistan Stock Exchange’s website. Analyze the industries that are increasing in profits.
After deciding a niche market, identify your customers, and study what groups of people will purchase from that market. Study the demographic and behavioral patterns of those customers. What product do they like to buy the most from that industry? Which age group will most like to buy that product? Which social websites do the people of that age visit the most? Which magazines do they read the most?
The last two questions of the analysis are to decide where you can place the ads to market your product or services.
After gathering all this information, brainstorm the ideas for the products or services in that market. Shortlist two to three ideas and create advertisements for them to test the responses from the real customers before actually investing in the product.
While creating advertisements, define your product in one phrase that explains What your product is and why someone should buy it? For instance, what comes in your mind when you hear the word ‘Servis’? Shoes? Right? That’s what they did with their tagline: Servis, shoes for everyone.
Once you get the responses, finalize a product, and set the pricing.
Tip: Don’t set the prices too low.
The last step is to manufacture the product and sell it. When you’ll reach this step, you’ll already have customers and know what a customer need.
If you’re still not sure whether you should create a product or not, try the option of reselling. Purchase an existing product at wholesale and resell it. This is what most of the people are currently doing in our country. This is the easiest route, but it is less profitable.
Another thing that can be done is to license a product. Select a well-known brand and start its branch. In this case, you have the right to manufacture, use, or sell the product under the name of that famous brand. There are restrictions to it, but this is another model for a startup that can be adopted. This is a little complicated way but is more profitable than reselling.
The least complicated and most profitable is your own product creation.
Also, you don’t need to be an expert on the first day of your startup. It is not necessary to be the best- just be better than with every passing day and cross your own targets.
But, the hardest part of doing anything is to get started. Your first blog, first video, first podcast, first startup, or first business plan may not be the best, but you won’t reach your best until you start your first.
Walt Disney said, ‘the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing’.
So, begin doing today. Don’t leave it for tomorrow as tomorrow is never going to come; it’s today and just today.