Starting a business is not the same as working on a school project. Often times, when you’re starting a company, it’s a battle not with your potential competitors but within yourself. In other words, you have to fight the battle with yourself. Every day, you’re given a new challenge and you have to resolve it somehow and then move on. Whenever you’re angry or frustrated, you just have to get over it. It requires mind control, optimism, and tenacity. I’d like to give you a list of things you need to know before starting your own company. Whatever you plan to build, you have to know what you’re getting into. I hope my startup advice will help prospective entrepreneurs, especially if you’re under age 30.
1. Your work experience won’t matter.
Your work experience can help you in the following cases: 1) you’re looking to hire someone and you can tap into your network to help you out. 2) you’ve made some connections at work and may know a lot of people who can introduce you to a journalist, target customer, investor, etc. Other than these two cases, I don’t see how your work experience can make you a better entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship requires a very different skill-set because you have to work with scarce resources like a small team, a small office, and a small amount of money. Patience and persistence will be more important than anything. So, if you’re thinking of working for someone before starting your business, I suggest you work for a start-up company less than 2 years old. Otherwise, you won’t be able to learn how entrepreneurs work.
2. Don’t create a product just because you need it.
It’s typically a silly move to create a product or service that “you” want to have because you may be the only one who wants it. Your friends and family might say it’s a good product, but they might actually not use it themselves. Instead, observe people carefully and find out what they need. Of course, you need to be passionate about what you’re building, but don’t build something just because you want to use it. Build something a lot of people would want or need so that you can make an actual business out of it. Without money flowing in, it’s not a business.
3. Have a clear revenue model in mind
Even if you plan to offer your product for free, you still need to have a clear revenue plan set up. For instance, if you’re building a social game like me, there can be many ways to monetize the product: virtual currency, virtual gifts, subscription, advertising, and so on. You have to have at least 3 options for monetization so that you can pick one that’s best for your business in the future.
Do you have any other tips you want to suggest? Please let me know by leaving your comments here! 🙂
(Image caption: Flickr.com (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ter-burg/5807930178/))