Right Time In 2013, I had just come home from a tiring day at work. I got notified that my monthly salary has been credited, with my three-month salary lying unspent. I was trying to justify mundaneness of my job with my salary. Suddenly, I remembered a wise maxim of my senior, who used to say “There are only 12 happy days in my calendar year, the days when I receive my salary.”
That was the moment that I decided to put down my papers. I joined what I actually wanted to do in life: “A Tech Start-up”. But it was a premature call, which I later realized. I had to take home tuitions to fund my venture. At times, I had almost zero cash with me. This was frustrating and more importantly, it slowed me down, but I somehow survived and eventually grew to current stature. Now, as I look back I can see a lot of time wasted, which could have been saved if someone had guided me at that point in time.
Setting up a startup is not an easy task, you will find 24 hours in a day inadequate to achieve your targets.
So, before you take the leap of faith in this unexplored world, try to cover the following bases:
1. Timing: The timing of the venture is important from a competitive perspective, and it’s led many startups to prominence despite a crowded and busy market at their time of entry. According to different sectors you should be taking the call, if you are launching a product based startup-like snapchat you can actually wait for some active users before dropping in the papers but if you are looking to do a business like zomato, which is operation intensive then you need to leave at the earliest. Setting it up would require full-time attention.
2. The Current Job: If you are doing a job that will help you in your start-up then stick to it until your start-up becomes big enough to afford a team full-time but if your current job sucks and is not adding any value to your skill-set, not giving you enough cash for your startup then it would be perhaps better to leave it. As the most important thing you need at this point in time is your core skill-set around which you can build your A-team.
3. The A-team: For me as an angel investor, the team is the most important asset that I look for before investing. An experienced and balanced team is a prerequisite as everything else can be changed, even the sector, but not the team. So, make sure that you have the best people in your team.
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4. Active Network: When you start a venture you realize that you cannot pay for every other service. You need to get things like initial hires, office space, devices, college students as interns and others on a low budget. This is where a good network comes into the picture, the network will help you build your startup fast and at a relatively lower cost than simply outsourcing.
5. Runaway Period: There is this industry wisdom that says nine out of 10 start-ups fail, I have seen this harsh reality through my own eyes. I have seen Start-ups going down around me one by one. So my advice for you is to prepare a plan for the worst-case scenarios. Consequently, keep runaway cash of 6 months for yourself before you start a startup. This will give you some space to breathe and will allow to hang on for a little longer. If things don’t go that well you can always join the workforce and keep the hope to do another venture in the future alive.
6. Everything is Well at Home: Your mind needs to be at peace before you start a venture, as doing a startup is a rollercoaster ride emotionally. It grinds you psychologically, tests your grit and perseverance. So make sure that your startup is your only concern while you are in it and other bases are covered.
In the end, all I want to say is that it is rarely possible to cover all the above-mentioned bases and there is no perfect time to do a startup. Try to do as many touch bases as possible and hit a home run whenever you make the move. My best wishes.