On one fine day, I decided to ‘quit!’…only to start something I can call ‘my own’.
Yes like many entrepreneurs, I had a dream – a dream of running my own company, using my potential to full extent, build, create, collaborate, all in my pace and my space. And one fine day I did. I gathered all my courage to take this decision. To venture out on my own, to give wings to my dreams, and definitely quit the job I was at!
It may sound a bit fancy, but a lot of research, planning, ideation and good lot of learning have shown me the right way. I definitely would give credits to the agency I worked with.
I have worked with, invested in, and received advice from a lot of different founders, co-workers, associates during my working years. I have also worked for dozens of entrepreneurs in promoting their brands and services. I knew this is what I want to do, while I work for myself. And besides, the clarity, there are a bunch of things that I could figure out before I could make a foolproof of my plan – of starting a start-up.
The deciding factor
I always knew from the beginning that I am going to start my start-up someday. I had a whole list of ideas over the years as to what may work and what may not! But where was the proof it? Well that came handy when I worked with a brand agency. Being part of the brand agency, building content for a certain product, promoting it in various platforms, creating campaign lines and other processes involved in placing a brand gave me the confidence that I can run an agency of my own. When I decided that I wanted to try building some of my own ideas to get on with my start-up, I was already working on side projects to proof-check my potential as a single entity. And with little hurdle, I think I crossed the first barrier pretty easily.
The power of good investment
Now when you build something of your own or on the verge of starting something, your natural instinct might be to save aggressively in preparation for the time when you are full-time on your start-up and you have a much lower income. But working in a full time agency, my take was certainly different. I have learnt it from my boss who would say, “You got to water your plant regularly and sufficient, so it can grow”. And that kind of stayed with me. I used to see him putting extra money whenever required. As my own start-up, I spent money on Google Adwords and started building Email list, got professional business cards, attended networking events, etc. Small investments get your business moving faster—generating more revenue, building your network, getting good legal counsel or patent protection, setting the stage for this business to be viable and support you and your dreams. These are good investments. You need to check with a brand consultant or a strategist as to what suits best for your business venture and your business intent.
The power of Networking
Working as a full timer in an agency has taught me the power of networking. Interacting with employees, customers, vendors, even competitors regularly has helped me gain perspectives, ideas and business then and the formula works for me even now. I used to network inside the company as well as outside. When I started my start-up, I started meeting people who can be potential employees, potential customers, potential advisors and mentors, potential investors as well as partners. These connections are all potentially valuable. The primary advantage of networking is “spread of words”. You meet someone who knows someone who is looking for a solution that your start-up can solve. And there you have yourself a customer!
The company of good (who know their job well) men
Running a company is tough, be it established organisation or start-ups. But it gets tougher wh are to you don’t find the right kind of people. In fact employees, associates, colleagues, are the backbone of any organisation. I have learnt this formula so well in the agency I used to work in. Hire the right squad and value them the right way! Especially for a start-up, having a great working squad increases your chances of success. They add to your company’s skills, they share the workload and improve company productivity. (there can never be a ‘one-man’ army in start-ups). You need support and guidance of all form. And thanks to my work place, I established a certain kind of equation with people who willingly helped me out later (in supporting my dream foundation). A tip is – Try and collaborate with people whose thoughts and passion matches with yours. If that’s not possible, think about a “try before you hire” arrangement where you both can “test things out”.
If you’re also planning to have your start-ups, foremost gain experience in the line of business you see yourself in. Willingly learn and learn a lot more – that will pave the path for you to take things forward. Your experience and the time you dedicate are the most valuable resources right now, so use it wisely. You can also reach the brand experts who have the experience of hand-holding start-up businesses and have been working as the virtual CMOs for ventures who are not keen on having in-house teams.