The startup journey is fraught with risks and it is inevitable to commit mistakes when you run your own business. Along the way, some people may repeat the mantra “No pain, no gain” to you. Don’t listen to them!
We’re telling you that your journey need not be so painful all the time. However, if you commit these costly errors in judgement, then you can say goodbye to your sanity (momentarily) and some precious time and money.
Keep Networking to a Minimum
It doesn’t matter how talented you are if nobody knows about you and your great ideas. You can’t not network, especially in Singapore.
As important as capital is to a budding business, your network will determine the net worth of your business. The wider your network is, and the deeper your engagement with them, the more ammunition you have to succeed in your business.
According to Li Ka Shing, Hong Kong business magnate, an aspiring entrepreneur should be prepared to dedicate one-fifth of their time to network. This includes forging relationships and establishing contacts at conferences, fairs and events. With proper follow-up and sincerity in friendship, it is highly likely that you can taste success in your business. After all, people are more inclined to do business with people they can count on.
Focusing Solely on a Niche Market
One of the most important questions to ask is, how big is your market? If you target a niche and small segment of the market in our tiny red dot, you may incur the grave inherent risk of your business not taking off because it failed to connect with the limited pool of consumers.
A sizeable market allows room to be flexible with ideas and experimentation. A good example to demonstrate the significance of market size is the success of Instagram. It had initially failed because it was pitched as a way to ‘check-in’ at various locations and only appealed to a small market. Only after restructuring itself as a photo-sharing app, has Instagram landed itself a huge market demand. The rest, as we all know, is history.
Employing Just Anybody as your First Employees
The significance of finding new employees who share your passion for success cannot be understated. Hiring top graduates from the Big 3 universities with stellar CAP score is irrelevant if they lack the hunger to success as you do. Your first hires will set the culture and the tempo of your company – and that can make or break your business. So, hire your first employees right if you want to succeed in your business.
Coming in Unprepared to a Pitch
The secret to raising the necessary capital for your business is to show prospective investors what they want to see – the potential for growth. No investor will want to invest in a business with dull prospects of growth, or worse, has come to a pitch totally unprepared.
Don’t waste their time and that opportunity. Put together a solid business proposal which details your prospective growth targets before you pitch to potential investors. This will consume some of your precious time, but it will be well worth the effort when the investor likes your pitch and makes an offer.
Think You Can Do it All (or for Cheap)
When you’re ready to incorporate your business, you will realize that you need help in many areas of legal, compliance and accounting matters. It is absolutely important to ensure you obtain the assistance you require from the most reliable expertise available in these areas.
Being myopic on such issues and settling for friends who can perform such services for you at a discounted rate may bite you in the end with severe losses, legal suits and burned bridges. A prolific CEO once mentioned that “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”
Stay friends with your friends. Visit our Switch to Rikvin page for more details.