By Gaurav Agarwal
Starting your own business and cultivating an idea from scratch can be a very exciting proposition. However, if entrepreneurs are impatient they can tamper with the process of business development and strategic decision making. The long hours, high-stress situations, people management and high-pressure decision making often yields the darker side of being an entrepreneur which often ends up burning out aspirations, dreams and will.
The solution to the problem of being burnt out as an entrepreneur is to adopt a disciplined lifestyle along with better time and energy management. It takes a great amount of passion and sheer love for the job to be able to deliver 24 hours a day, every day. It is important when building an empire and creating a brand to surround yourself with the right talent. Individuals you induct in your team should share your passion and acumen for tasks at hand build on ideas.
However, along with work, it is important to have a balanced personal life with friends and family. Entrepreneurs should take time to rest and relax as well as indulge in sports and other activities that bring you joy. Lastly, as an entrepreneur, take risks. Risk-taking is almost synonymous with entrepreneurship and startups. Apprehension curbs innovation and creativity. Constantly innovating with the right attitude and perseverance will only lead to progressive results meeting your set goals.
Reasons for failure
In the recent past, there have been a lot of discussions about startups due to their high valuations. Often times, startups fail due to some key reasons, starting with a lack of clear idea and vision and a strong foundation. The absence of a clear vision yields a weak business model and any startup should be based on the optimum balance of customer need, business economics and competitive advantage. Having a strong foundation allows for a faster scale up along with an environment ideal to foster creativity.
Furthermore, often an idea is not scalable and fails to grow beyond a certain level, leading to poor customer acquisition, monetisation and inability to gain market share. Entrepreneurs also often fail due to high rates of cash burn and poor customer acquisition and revenue rates. Similarly, the failure to raise funds in a timely manner along with an inexperienced team can result in failure. Inadequate funds are a major reason why most businesses fail in their first year.
In order to avoid failure, you need to adopt a business plan with systematic and strategic planning, along with consistent effort. Ensure that your business plan takes into account the following factors:
- The nature of the business, your objectives and how you envision success
- An analysis of the market
- Your workforce requirements
- The potential complications (as well as the solutions)
- Your financial requirements
- A comprehensive analysis of competitors
To avoid running out of cash and ensure your expectations are in line with reality, determine how much money you will need – this figure should include not just startup costs but the costs involved in making sure your business stays in the market for the long haul.
Gaurav Agarwal is Chief Executive Officer of One Life India.