by Dan Radak, Negosentro.com |
There is something truly unique in how people always learn best from their own mistakes instead of learning through mishaps of others. Every situation is different, to start with, and the reasons contributing to someone’s success or failure are different for everyone. In addition, every person reacts differently to both punishment and reward, meaning that we are all uniquely conditioned by our own choices. Some people call it experience, and others a gut-feeling. When talking about experiences of other people, we always tend to include a healthy dose of scepticism. On the other hand, we perceive our own experiences as genuine. Having said that, these are five business lessons I learned from starting a company.
Two kinds of people
Most people you know will be highly supportive in the beginning. However, once the initial enthusiasm fades away, a part of them won’t be able to understand you. Your long working hours will look insane to them, the sacrifice you make too costly and the success you achieve not justified. You will soon realize that the only ones who fully understand what you are going through are those who once stood where you stand. You can do two things to persuade people from your group that your sacrifice has a purpose. You can try to include them in the process of running a company, which is limiting in its own ways. Alternatively, you could just focus on your work and work in silence. Let your success speak for itself.
Nothing matters more than customer opinion
Unfortunately, most young entrepreneurs learn the hard way that nothing matters more than the opinion of your customers. No matter how brilliant and ingenious you think your product is, and even if your partners and financiers share your opinion, combined, you are a fairly small pool. More importantly, you do not represent your product’s target social group. Never ever launch a product without first validating the idea with the potential customers.
Technology saves both money and time
A start-up company often has no luxury of hiring new people at least for a while. More likely than not, you are stuck with a skeleton crew, which means you need to find ways to increase the productivity of your current manpower. Still, when you remember that the year is 2017, you’ll realize that this isn’t as difficult as it seems. More and more processes are automatized with built-in data analysis. By investing in solutions like reliable business analytics software, a single professional can accomplish more than an entire department in a competitor’s company.
Jungle holds both beauty and terror
The freedom that comes with running your own business is likely the main reason why people decide to leave their nine-to-five jobs and become their own bosses. While there is something definitely dazzling about being in charge of both your success and failure, such a prospect can be frightening, as well. People who can’t handle the idea that now they are responsible for fates of their employees, investors and partners should consider either following or getting out of the way, instead of leading.
Differentiate between interest and vision
If you are considering starting a business with someone, make sure that both of you have the same idea where the company will go and what will it look like when it gets there. Sharing the same interest is not the same as sharing the common vision. The situation in which two people pull a company in different directions can be disastrous even for large organizations, let alone small startups.
In some cases, a slice of bread just doesn’t fall on the right side, and there is little you can do about it. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should give up. In business, every failure is a unique experience that can turn out to be rewarding the next time you decide to try your luck.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.