Creating a start-up is not easy. Successful start-up entrepreneurs might make it look easy, but it really is not. There is no definite formula on how to make your start-up successful, which is why entrepreneurship is so challenging. However, one can learn from either their own or others’ experience.
Here are the confessions of young entrepreneurs on developing their start-up:
“I developed the idea together with some of my friends. Up until now, we have been doing things together, including the production and selling process. If I had known better, I would have been more detailed in terms of ownership rights. For instance, in profit-sharing. It’s also important to discuss the what if-s. For example, what if one of us quits. It’s important to make sure everyone knows what’s to come. I personally didn’t expect that at the end of the day, our motivation and attitude towards the business process are strongly tied to what we earn. The higher our return, the more motivated we get.” – Fiona, 22
“I didn’t know that digital marketing would be so vital to the success of my company. To be honest, I didn’t care so much about it at the earlier stage. My restaurant has been running for 2 years now, and I still haven’t explored digital marketing to promote my business. I observe how the majority of my competitors have good social media management. If I had actively worked on the whole digital marketing thing, probably I would have gained more from online media. Now, I have come to realize that digital marketing has such high impact with almost zero budget – they offer almost everything for free!” – Andrew, 24
“I wish I hadn’t impulsively set a promotion strategy for my product. I once put a big discount for my product, which was a waffle with different sets of toppings. I lost almost half of the daily customers when I set the price back to normal. I didn’t account for how sensitive my customers were to the changing price. I learn that the effectiveness of promotion tactics really depend on what you sell and what industry you are in. Just because it works in other brands, doesn’t mean it would work for yours.” – Ivan, 23
“I thought I could juggle everything at the same time. So, I interned in one company while developing my start-up in apparel industry. I was wrong. I was exhausted all the time. There were a lot of things to do. I didn’t have enough time to do everything. As predicted, the start-up didn’t bring as much growth because I simply didn’t have the energy to make it happen. I think, when you want to do something extraordinary, you just have to focus on one thing.” –Nick, 22
“Being flexible is not my strength. One little change can stress me out. I used to decide everything from my point of view, not the customer’s. I wish I could be more flexible and not so stressed about change. For example, I had to reduce the price of my products, because it wasn’t reasonable charging higher price after considering our location. It was such a devastating moment for me because I have planned to set a higher price. I took a long time for me to decide what to do. If I could do things differently, I would have just shut up and reduced the price. That way, I would have scored more customers and saved more time.” –Kate, 22
So, dear fellow entrepreneurs, what’s the one thing you wish you had done differently?