As the founder of a relatively new business, My Eco Souk, I’ve firsthand learned the realities of kickstarting a start-up. This past year has been surreal; starting a business from scratch and running it seamlessly is no child’s play. One must run a tight ship and ensure the smooth functioning of all matters. No matter what business you’re in, you will always have competition. At first, it can seem intimidating to face a saturated market.
That’s why it’s more important than ever in today’s business world to stand out from the crowd. With so many businesses vying for attention, making yours stand out from the rest can be difficult. However, if you’re committed and informed, no obstacle is big enough to put you off your path. Some key factors can help you run a business smoothly, and I am here to impart some important lessons to those who want to take the entrepreneurial leap. In my personal experience, here are the ones I treasure the most.
Tip 1: A Strong Team Is Your Backbone
A dedicated team of like-minded and appropriately skilled individuals is pivotal to the functioning of any organisation. This could be your core team, a council, or even volunteers/interns/regular employees. A team that will back you up no matter what and work to turn your vision into reality is necessary. It is not a battle to be fought alone, but a team effort.
Having a solid team of trusted individuals also allows various mindsets and ideas to flow and enter the discourse. It also increases chances of accountability as well as a division of workload. Moreover, having people to rely on can be significant while running a business, which may very well take a toll on a person’s emotional and mental well-being.
There are countless benefits of having an excellent team to fall back on. Your team’s combined skill set and knowledge can help you to overcome obstacles that you might feel insurmountable on your own. They can guide you to see things from a different perspective, which is invaluable. Most importantly, they remind you that the world is not on your shoulders and that all the burden is shared till the aspiration is realised.
Tip 2: Execution Is Key
Businesses need to be unique and ready to adapt to the ever-changing market. Ideas are constantly circulating among those involved in running a relevant business. However, it takes more than just ideas to be successful. It is essential to have a concrete plan that is executed promptly and effectively.
A group of people who are good at generating ideas is excellent, but if those ideas are not turned into actionable plans, they will not amount to anything. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to have great ideas and the ability to execute them properly. Execution brings a result – and the result, good or bad, can only add to your learning and experience.
As a leader, it is essential that you take charge and pick which ideas you want to bring to life. Discussing with your team is a key part of this process; make sure everyone knows your vision and considers their opinions. It’s also crucial that you don’t spend too much time mulling things over without taking action – every execution has value, even if the outcome isn’t what you initially hoped for.
Tip 3: Be Adaptive to Changes
While working through an idea, you might often realise that it is not exactly going as you envisioned. This is very common when it comes to implementing ideas. Reality is far removed from one’s ideals, and many adjustments must be made.
In cases like these, it is important to learn early on to take things in your stride. Not every plan is rigid, and not every process is set in stone. There are bound to be changes and last-minute decisions that might throw you off. What matters is to be flexible and grow around those changes instead of shrinking below their weight.
Accepting changes and working flexibly helps in the long run compared to being stubborn and sticking to a redundant way of doing things. Being ready and not letting inevitable bumps hamper your spirit will work out in your favour more than anything else.
Tip 4: Networking Is Necessary
Networking is an essential component of any business endeavour. It allows for exchanging information, building relationships, and acquiring new skills and knowledge. Networking is not simply a process of acquiring new customers or clients; it is also an opportunity to learn about new platforms, resources, and strategies that can be used to grow your business.
By engaging in networking activities, you will gain a better understanding of your industry and the competition, and you will be able to build strong relationships with other professionals who can help you grow your business. In short, networking is an essential part of any successful business venture. The more you expand your network and interact with individuals across the spectrum, the more perspective and the more ideas it brings you.
It is also an excellent way to invite collaborations and build long-lasting partnerships that are enormously important to getting ahead in this field. Networking does not have to be delegated to employees or interns. Actively participating in it as a leader can convey that you are an involved and eager individual, willing to take the reins into your own hands when necessary.
Tip 5: Be Ready to Invest and Persist
Investing will be an integral part of your start-up. Ideas and execution require resources, and resources require money. Money and time will be key investments that you will have to gear up for while trying to make a business work – being patient is also necessary. Persistence is vital when it comes to investing. You cannot sow and expect to reap the next day. It will take time and understanding and, most importantly, faith.
People often invest large amounts of time and money in a particular idea, hoping for instant success and profit. My time in the field has taught me otherwise. The marketplace is often unpredictable, and being consistent is the only thing that will get you far enough to secure any sort of achievement or recognition.
In the one year I have spent as the founder of My Eco Souk, things have certainly not been a piece of cake. I have a long way to go before I can see myself as an established business owner. I will strive to learn and step out of my comfort zone. These were some of the treasured tips I gathered in the months that have gone by. Sharing it with fellow newbies in the start-up arena brings me immense joy because I also would have wanted someone to share these with me!
Garima Gupta is the owner and CEO of My Eco Souk, an online marketplace for sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Visit www.myecosouk.com or follow @myecosouk on Instagram for more information.