So you had a bite at this uber trendy, industrial looking, hipster bar where drinks cost a small fortune and the lamps are recycled soup cans, and you decided you had to start your own trendy startup too? Cool!
Successful entrepreneurs say there are a few rules every similar business should follow – familiar ones to anyone in almost any industry. In a nut-shell: know your market, keep a lean staff, sign short leases, network like crazy, and always be ready for problems and change.
Want some more advice? Read on.
Believe in yourself. If you can recognize an opportunity, but you have to wait until the time is just right because the risk seems too high now, better give way to someone else. Success isn’t for those who play safe; it is for those who dare.
You’re late, you’re out. If the mainstream media is already talking about eTurtles, and you want to sell eTurtles, you’re already a little too late, pal. Once the mainstream media talks about a new product or service, it has likely reached its peak, or nearly. Hey, but you live in Jaipur, not in Mumbai, eTurtles aren’t a thing in Gujarat just yet. Then you may be right on time. Even if something is blowing up on social media, and everyone in Delhi and Mumbai is sick of hearing about it, there are still places where a business can be right on time. There’s no guarantee for how long it takes for a trend to go from big markets to small ones, but anecdotally, at least, small-city entrepreneurs have plenty of lead time.
When the world keeps changing, you need to change too. Starting a trendy business requires constant vigilance and persistence to keep learning new skills. Successful entrepreneurs are active readers, listeners, and learners who work to understand all facets of their business. Don’t limit your education to formal sources, listen to those around you too. That sixteen-year-old full of pimples you hired to help in inventory? See what he can do with his phone. You may learn a thing or two.
Cash Flow is King. If you don’t have cash coming in to cover your expenses, you don’t have a business; you have a hobby, pal. While a lot of new companies covet venture financing for building their company, many need to focus on bringing in revenue as well for long-term viability. If you can just avoid dying, you get rich. There are plenty of money making tips for trending businesses. Choose wisely what is likely work in your market and sustainable for the future of the business.
Understand Your Market. So you created this AMAZING cheese grater with time travel capabilities that took you a lifetime to design and millions to mass produce, and you’ve sold zero because your audience wanted it pink? Those ungrateful @#$%&! There’s a lesson to learn there: get to know your audience first. What do they want? What do they need? What’s important to them? Do not create a product just because it’s cool. Make sure it covers a specific need. Make sure it can be used. Make sure your audience loves it.
Groom around. Ever wonder why Deepti’s dumb bagel breakfast got 879 hearts on Instagram while the blog entry that took you a week to write got just two likes? Media psychologists call it social grooming: “I like you. Can you like me back?” That’s what most of those hearts to Deepti mean. It’s like plucking each other’s lice. Social grooming is cheap. It takes a fraction of a second to notice that Deepti should have chosen a more flattering light to take that picture and just one click to let her know that she’s important to you. Ask yourself then: How much time and attention am I asking my readers to invest on my post? How can I pay them back for their attention? Which takes us to our next advice.
Be relevant. Every time someone likes, shares or comments on a post you share in social media, their extended network gets notified and get access to your content too. To go viral, then, all you need is to engage your customers and make them interact with your post. Easy, right? WRONG. The sad true is that unless your audience gets something back from interacting from your post, they won’t click on those blessed Like or Share icons. If the secret for real estate is location, the secret for online content is relevance, relevance, relevance. Is your post relevant enough? Will it earn your audience good points with their friends if they share it? Is it funny? Are they learning something useful they’d love to share or just some dark fact nobody cares about? Unless your readers can gain social acceptance by sharing your post, or the matter is relevant enough for them to write a comment, they won’t.
Don’t marry Johnny, when you could marry Salman Khan. Yeah, Johnny’s your best bud, but starting a business can be challenging, and you need someone who can weather the storms with you, as well as fill in your weak spots in business. Is Johnny that man? The best business partners are those who complement each other’s skills, not the best pals.