So, you decided to take the plunge! Congratulations!
Since every other person has already told you about the importance of a great product or a path-breaking idea, I want to highlight the intangibles that will put your startup on the roadmap to success.
As we worked on building our start-up, I and my immensely talented team found these seven roles of tremendous importance. An absence of even one of these creates a void that is hard to fill.
Contrary to popular belief and conventional wisdom, the leader in an organization, especially in a start-up business is taking a lot more responsibility than authority. He/ she guides the entire project. Typically, right from the product idea to sales strategy, working with initial customers and initial investors to employees and other stakeholders.
It’s important to know that the leader should be someone who is not afraid of hard decisions in the interest of progress. A true leader is not emotionally tied to initial ideas and is looking out for everyone, from co-founders and employees to customers and early investors.
The leader binds the whole team. There will be times in your start-up building process when people in your team will have various positive and/ or negative disagreements. The leader will be the person who will listen to everyone and then make appropriate decisions (hopefully right).
The internal motivation comes from a leader, there will be times when the team will be discouraged or demotivated, at that time it will be up to the leader to keep the team motivated.
A mentor is a person who introduces you to the business world. You may have no or less knowledge about the business world. As a beginner, you’ll need a person who has some experiential knowledge. You may have all the skills for running a business, but experience matters a lot. Your mentor will help you with requisite skills and knowledge that you cannot gain from books or articles.
A mentor from the same profession may have a strong network base. Role of a mentor cannot be played down in starting and running a successful business.
Don’t be shy to take advice on how to correct and reduce mistakes in the course of running a business.
Every business requires a lawyer, and for a start-up, it is very important to hire one.
A lawyer will help you from the day you think of incorporating your business. A lawyer helps you in setting up an entity and ensuring compliance with the applicable rules and regulations. You may be an excellent businessman, but a lawyer will handle things that you cannot.
Watch out for the ones who may try to take undue advantage of you. A lawyer can be your superhero in such situations.
In this highly competitive world, beginners constantly face the threat of being driven out of the market by more established players or risk their idea being copied or stolen by the unscrupulous opponents. You need a good legal adviser to get you through such times.
A successful business needs skillful people to run it. You may have one or more area/s of expertise but you cannot possibly master all the skills you need to run a business. For a successful venture, you’ll need to build a team. A team can make or break your business. It is absolutely essential to hire a diverse and highly versatile team. Team building involves efficient allocation of responsibilities, effective delegation and setting up processes for a smooth workflow. An individual can get disheartened and give up however your team can help you stay motivated to overcome challenges.
Your family members may not be supporting you directly in running your business, but they can offer tremendous support indirectly.
Unfortunately, your social obligations and certain family responsibilities might have to take a backseat for a while. Starting something on your own requires hard work, patience and a great deal of sacrifice. Your family members can bear responsibilities which you cannot at the moment. You can count on your family for emotional support, motivation and sometimes just to de-stress and unwind.
Accelerators are the people or business, which help in boosting your startup. They support new businesses and help them achieve success. They create a platform for you, where you can network, get support on infrastructure and get access to mentors.
Look out for professionally organized events which provide an extremely valuable opportunity to build your own network. Accelerators will keep you updated about the business world. They may also provide you training or mentorship.
Original Influencers You Personally Know
Human beings draw inspiration and motivation from various things in their environment. It could be a wise grandparent or a successful businessman or a famous celebrity. However, there are certain unsung heroes who may inspire you with their hard work and work ethic. Hold on to them for guidance and support. Look around and introspect, is there someone who is accessible and give you direction. Your favorite entrepreneur might have inspired you initially but there is a next to none chance of someone like that being available.
You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from the humblest of the people around you. They may not be super successful but maybe passionate or honest. Emulate such qualities and approach them for help.
I wish you all the best in your venture. To sum up; Lead, delegate, network and recognize the help and technical support you may need. Keep your loved ones close and never hesitate to ask for help and guidance.
Written By: Nilesh Sudrania, the Founder & CEO of a fin-tech startup, Sudrania LLC that has developed a SAAS solution for Buy-side Investment Managers for post-trade accounting, reporting & analytics. It’s revolutionary for the industry that heavily relies on keeping records and accounting on spreadsheets.