Amidst the startup buzz around, there are founders who are starting up, some who are ramping up, and then a few who are in the middle.
Being in the middle is a phase that can be scary and full of uncertainties for most. That’s the phase when you are advised by your well wishers to hang on, push a little bit harder and try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But, does everyone get to see that light? Unfortunately, No.
There’s a thin line between giving up too early and understanding the signals too late as to how your startup is performing. As entrepreneurs, we are naturally (most of us) high on confidence, self-belief, grit and sense of independence (even when it comes to decision making). All of these traits make it harder for founders to figure out whether the startup is actually not going anywhere or (s)he needs to really push the boundaries a bit more.
From my experience, the below mentioned points serve as biggest clues to understand if your startup is not going anywhere:
- Resistance: When your customers resist paying for your services. Resistance can occur for a variety of reasons. Your customers may not see value in your product/service, aren’t convinced of the value, perceive the value to be less etc.
- No dying need: Your customers don’t get severely impacted if they don’t use your product/service. Your product is like a cherry on the cake for them; lack of cherry is synonymous with just an “added benefit” to them with real benefit coming from somewhere else.
This is not to say that the above points don’t have corrective measures. However, after taking all the corrective measures, if things stand where they are, alarm bells should definitely ring.
And sometimes, responding to the ringing alarm bells is the best decision in that situation. Here are a few tips that could help a founder take charge of the rocking boat.
- Acceptance: Accepting the fact that the startup is actually not going anywhere opens your doors to several other opportunities. As Sir Richard Branson says, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming…”. Although accepting the fact that your idea didn’t work the way you wanted it to be can be hard, accepting that it did not might be the best possible solution for you to move on.
- No hard feelings: Don’t harbor any negative feelings towards your experience. If you become negative or remorseful, you are unlikely to spot other opportunities coming towards you. Instead, learn quickly as to what worked and what did not and just move on. There’s much to do in life!
- Open yourself: Most importantly – Keep an open mind! If you still wish to continue to be your own boss, keep yourself open to opportunities floating around you and definitely you will spot something.
And finally, don’t worry too much – Our world has a lot of evidence of people who got lucky, had serendipitous encounters and reached places they thought they could never reach. So, yes….Destiny has its role to play somewhere!
If you would like to share your thoughts and/or experiences, kindly do so in the comments section below.
*The opinions and views expressed herein are that of the author and should be applied with individual situation analysis and discretion*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RankHigher.in is a fast-growing Digital Marketing Company based in Bangalore. It helps businesses strengthen their online presence, makes them more visible to their target customers and helps them generate more interest from their leads.
Nidhi holds an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London. Her work experience includes Technology Consulting at Accenture and Techno-Business roles at a few startups in London.
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