How to Start a Startup?

You have a million dollar in your bank account. The type of money any startup business would love to have.

Is this enough to start your start-up?

I am sent a lot of A2A on quora (my Quora profile) where I am asked “I have 100K USD which business can I start or

The amount varies but the question remains the same.Can I start a startup with 1 million USD?

The inquisitive startup enthusiasts, make it sound like money is the only prerequisite to starting a venture.

No offense intended to them.

They are right when they link money as the important prerequisite for starting a startup. I understand money is important.

Without money, you will not be able to pay your bills, salaries, and other expenses. You will end up starting a suicidal startup.

But money is not the only ingredient you need to prepare this dish called as A startup.

So how do you start a startup business?

Here are, what I consider as important parts to start a startup:

  • Idea:

An Idea is important. As they say “An idea can change your life”. Why I mention idea at the top of my list is because without a concrete or a vague idea, you are an aimless chicken.

You will end up relying on ideas of others to start your business.

Like how you would want to build the next AirBnb, Fiverr or Yelp.

It sucks. None of the xerox copies succeed.

Even if you have a huge bank balance, you will end up burning a hole in your pocket.

The money will go with the wind in a jiffy before you even realize how startups turn into black holes.

  • Money:

You can smile now. I get everyone’s favorite “Money” on the list.

You have the idea. You have the money. All you need is a vehicle (read: brain) to vroom you past the hardships of starting and running a startup.

Money is important. You can live with money but you cannot live with an idea. I have met wonderful brains in life with ideas to beat the next big ideas in the market.

They could not start because they lacked the money to start a startup.

  • A plan:

Planning is overrated if you spend years contemplating the whats and hows of your idea.

But plans are a savior when you start your startup with parameters to gauge your performance on.

Keep it simple. Make a plan which speaks clearly to where you need to stand after say 3 months, 1 year.

Use it to judge your progress.

Even if you fall in the lazy bracket of entrepreneurs like me. Move your lazy ass and  scribble something on a paper with targets and how you plan to meet them.

A plan acts as a base to where you want your business to be.

This is better than running a business without any targets to speak off.

Evolve your plan as you move along. Trust me. 80% of your plan will change when you are a little down the road.

Don’t get disheartened when things change.

It’s all a part of a plan coming face to face with reality.

You might not be able to reach the magical number in sales. But with a plan, at least you will know why you failed.

It will give you simple, yet concrete points to analyze your failure.

Have a plan for marketing, finance, sales, HR. In a startup, every small thing is important.

  • Desire and passion:

Can you sell ice to an Eskimo?

Can you write 1000 lines of code, despite hating coding?

Can you stand up to your employees and ask them to get their shit in order, if they are screwing you?

Are you open to criticism?

Do you believe in your idea?

Can you survive without any revenue for months?

Can you face your vendors if you fail to make their payments on time?

Can you face adversity like a brave man who has nothing or everything to lose?

Are you a hustler?

In short. Do you have balls of steel?

You better have them. Because when you get down to running a startup, the passion and wish to succeed is what can help you sail through the “unforeseen” challenges.

This, my friends, are the most important factor in running a startup.

For the love of running a startup, you will succeed if you believe in your startup.

Even if you don’t succeed, you will at least go down with your head led high.

Startups are a result of passion, ideas, etc, etc. I see no reason, why they should not succeed if you are willing to slug it out till the end.

Don’t start a startup for the sake of starting a startup (read: why not to start a startup?).

Start a startup because you are passionate about starting a business.

I lost a lot of time and money moving aimlessly in our initial years of business. We started with limited funds. Our business startup idea was abstract.

And we did not have the Internet to guide us.

The only weapon in our arsenal was “passion”. Not an ideal weapon to start. Especially, when you are foraying in an unknown territory.

You do. So start smartly.

Cover your bases before you take the plunge.


Author: startupbusinesslessons

I am an entrepreneur.

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