EXPERIENCE BASED TIPS AND ADVICE FOR NEW ENTREPRENEURS!

While I was doing a corporate job, I was uncomfortable and my job became monotonous for me. Needless to say it took me more than 20 years coupled with three masters degrees and a Ph.D., to reach the apex of my career. But, I was looking for something thrilling and inspiring. And, it instills a new spirit in me and my family thus leading us to work for the the vertical and horizontal growth of us and our future generations.

As a young boy, I worked with my father in many of his businesses. Though my father struggled throughout his life with different businesses he started, like transport, retail, hotel & restaurants etc., yet he taught me lot of lessons by involving me as a school going boy into his businesses. Although, I started my career as a teenager jobseeker, the spirit of being an entrepreneur always remained alive inside me. At a ripe age of 40+ I decided to quit my dream job with UNDP and begin a new journey as an entrepreneur.

The past six years of my life have been full of ideas, excitement, risks, worries, success, failure, deceptions and so on. This trend is still continuing. COVID-19 has shown a new dimension and unfolder new realities that otherwise would have been hidden.

In this piece of writing, I want to share a few tips or advice whatever the worthy readers may call it based on my experience as an entrepreneur, to make the new entrepreneurs aware of the pitfalls which would surely cause tremendous trouble if they are not careful.

Few important tips are discussed in the following paragraphs.

  1. Choose your partners carefully

I had read somewhere that if you want to go fast then move alone but if you want to go far then have a bunch of people who could help you make your journey successful. Nevertheless, at any stage if you are left alone, you should have the courage to keep moving.

My advice to the young entrepreneurs is to choose your partners wisely, know them well, have their background checked through different ways like talking to his/her friends, previous business partners, family members if possible. This will make your decision easier and will keep you safe from impending risks or problems in future.

2. Keep your business model structured

Regardless, the size of your business is small, medium or big, you should create a formal structure of the business. Ensure proper documentation and agreements of the investments and shareholding. Maintain proper accounting of inflows and outflows, have periodic reporting and analysis to ensure thoughtful decision-making. Keep your regulatory matters firm and updated to avoid any legal issues. Anything done purely based on understanding will have a fallout so it is advisable to avoid any big or significant decision based on mere understanding.

3. Trust is the key but be cautious

No doubt, trust is the key in business. You cannot move ahead and scale your business without trusting your partners, team and vendors. But, you should be careful and cautious when you trust anyone in business especially your partners. Any decision made or transaction executed, proper documentation is very much needed. Blind trust will have implications for you as well as the business per se.

4. Team will make a difference

Teamwork will lead to greater results in business. A team should comprise of the individuals who have diverse experience and everyone contributes towards growth of the business. Raising the learning curve of the team is important. It will help the business scale more rapidly. Importantly, have a team of people who are trusted and reliable. How to choose or develop such a team needs an elaborate and threadbare discussion which I will leave for any other time in future.

5. Maintain cool and calm behavior

Being cool and calm especially in difficult situations will produce better results. Keep your eyes and ears open, listen to ideas and thoughts of all those in the team, but make a collective decision which is good for the business not an individual.

You should have the insight and understanding to figure out what the people meant when they speak or share their ideas.

6. Be a people’s leader

Leading the team from the front will give an edge to you and the business. But, keep your attitude positive and be inclusive to keep your team together. Make the people around you understand and own your vision so as to make your journey easier and meaningful.

Practically, a business leader should have comprehensive understanding of the business to manage it effectively.

7. Be a problem solver

Problems and issues will appear in business every day. Because when many people and their interests are involved in a business venture, there will be conflicts. You should have the ability to solve any problem through engaging others, discussing with them, taking risks and making decisions in the interest of all.

Diluting or pushing a problem under the carpet is not the right approach. Better it is to confront the problem and bring about a solution.

8. Be brave and confident when alone

It is likely that you are left alone at any time during the course of doing the business. There are people especially partners who will benefit, exploit you and leave you in lurch. Rather they will create more problems for you by using inside business information to blackmail you and they will not even hesitate to target your family to fulfil their nefarious designs.

Be careful and watchful in such situations. Protect yourself and the business legally. Do not get exploited. Lastly, be brave and confident. Your patience and persistence will ultimately make a difference.

9. Your spouse is your best business partner

It is proven that your spouse will be your most sincere, trusted and reliable partner in difficult circumstances. You will be left alone by all your partners but the only person that will stand beside you in any situation is your life partner. Make it sure that your spouse is fully involved in your business. He or she should have maximum understanding of the business and its intricacies so that in any situation you find an unshakable support of your life partner.

If I keep writing there are many factors which can still be touched upon but I do not want to bore you by writing a long article.

In nutshell, to be an entrepreneur is not easier as not everyone will muster the courage to be into this challenging arena that makes you start from scratch to build a sustainable business in future. But, you should be the one to take bold stride and have courage and passion to become an entrepreneur. Because it is how you can make difference into the lives of people around you and you carve out a path for your future generations too. I wish the very best to all the future and budding entrepreneurs.

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