Almost everyone has a dream to be a quick billionaire and that is how most people recognize start-ups as – ‘the unicorns’, unlike the popular concept that they need to change the world. A certain other section of people find it difficult to work under someone, and end up being their own boss. There are other reasons that lure people into building a start up, including bringing in a change to the way people live, for a better tomorrow and so on.
We, before starting as RegalDream Technologies, had fallen into different of these categories at different instances, and have learnt lessons, mostly the hard way. So, when we started this venture, we mustered up all the categories, to add up our motives, and prioritize them to build a sustainable business model.
For the above mentioned aims of building a startup, there are pros and cons involved with every model.
To begin with, we started with a small venture to create entertainment videos including short films. We were a team of about 5-10. It all started with a person’s dream to be a director, and then we all decided to support it with our small parts to play. We did a written pitch application even without starting out our first project, and were obviously rejected. None of us had a pretty descent idea of how to get this done, but then we took the leap. We shot a small movie, with Galaxy S Series cameras, and did a few editing works as well. But the short film didn’t even make it to a release. No one was much serious when it came to the end, and everyone had their priorities. We were students back then, and then no one was interested in giving a nearly equal priority to the venture.
The moral, being, have a team who has the same enthusiasm and dream as you do, so that people don’t drop off during the tough times.
The same fate happened to our next venture, Clubbits(dot)com (abandoned) Here, the reason being, the amount of efforts required. The website was a content platform with app reviews, movie reviews, a portal related to studies and so on. In the initial phase, everyone was enthusiastic enough to post and pump in contents, and eventually it dried up. The notion of constant effort was tiring for some. Or perhaps we expanded our fields of interests, too much that we found the resources short for content creation. We learnt and built the site for educational purposes only, and then it eventually died when no one cared for.
The mistakes that we did were
1. We were not focused on specific field of interest, or had no specific customer segment to start with. We just took on the entire thing altogether. We managed to run like this though, as customers were broadly distributed, one odd day for a new article in one segment would be compensated by another in a different segment. We have a 50-50 view on this, but we would suggest considering expansion after starting with a small segment, and then capitalizing on it. Expanding with a strong segment in your hand would help you even if you step into the wrong segment or face a tough competition. It would also help you stay alive in case of a sudden threat in your prime segment as you have your legs in other segments as well.
2. Not everyone is enthusiastic as you are and might not stay for the dry time of start-up venture. Most ventures have dry times where things seem tough, and if you can make it through it, you win. Most people leave during this time, as they don’t have the same passion as you do. Try keeping people with similar passion.
There are a few pros that we took as well
1. Social media marketing. Our major source of traffic was from social media than from search engines. We learnt that consistent social interaction with customers would fetch you loyal customers, and they love being treated well and to stay posted. Tweet, post, interact, message, send emails – and don’t over do so much that they feel suffocated. Just, stay in touch and keep them posted.
2. Launch, then find the market. Most people might not agree to this, but then, in case a startup is not so specific about the segment they want to enter into, but has a vague idea and are sure to sell the product, they may happily launch to the mass segment. Analyzing the performance and interactions, the market can be customized on the go. Do this if you have a fairly descent chance of succeeding.
3. You can win without being a leader. You don’t necessarily have to be the leader to run profitable. You just have to minimize your expenses and keep up your customers. Even with the smallest market share, you can still be the most profitable business. Keep your expenses low.
These posts will be continued. Keep reading !