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6 Lessons from an Unsuccessful Start-up

Building a product from scratch isn’t easy, but it can be a very rewarding process. When you are about to make your first move make sure you equip yourself with all the tools. Read what went right, read what went wrong. For now I am here to share learnings from my first startup which lead me very generous lessons. I started small and made a lot of stuff up along the way, but I learned many lessons which I will reflect on in this article.

  • Just Launch

Running a startup is an easy task but launching it in the first place is the most arduous task. As per the research, a human mind gets 30,000 ideas a day but what’s more interesting is that only 4% of these people go forward and execute those ideas. Look around you, and you will find dozens of devices that were designed first in mind, followed by proper execution.

The most regretful mistake I did was launching my first venture too late. I had the finance, I had the resources, but the only thing I didn’t have was the motivation to start the product. Until it was too late to launch a product, so I launched a test product, which apparently didn’t work out that well. No matter how awesome your product is if you don’t get it in the market how you will know the depth of the ocean.

  • Keeping your ears open is not a bad idea

When I started my venture, for first few weeks, I was quite happy about not getting any negative feedback. After some time I realized, I wasn’t getting any feedback at all. Upon some analysis, it occurred to me that feedback form on our website was not working. I looked into Google Analytics and came to know that users were signing up but were not moving forward.

I installed ZenDesk, and instantly my first customer pointed out the problem. The issue was, the customer got confused what to do next. There was no notification which created a confusing atmosphere.

  • Apply the 80/20 rule to everything

Whether be it website development, the budget for marketing or ignoring energy draining customers, make sure you use 80/20 rule for everything. The Internet comprises of the overwhelming amount of data, but how you use that data impacts whether you will succeed or fail.

It took me two years to finally get this, not all your customer’s matter. Some clients are energy drainers, keep communication at a minimum with them. And use your time to develop new customers. Same goes for everything that is important for your startup. Make wise decisions to ignore the things that add the least of value in your startup.

 

  • Work hard on your numbers

Devil is not in the details, but your returning customers are. Numbers might not seem that important at first, but in the long run, they matter a lot.  In the end, the main reason you start something is to make sales. So, if you are trying things and numbers are not adding up, it’s a good time to take a break and rethink your strategies.

Make a chart to note down every number that made an impact. Every customer that you delight, every sale that you close, every analytic user that left your website. Find the reason behind why numbers didn’t add up. Find what worked and did more of it.

This one habit when done right, will do wonders for your startup. Best is to manage the numbers from the outset. The budget, the analytics, the sales, analyze every detail of your business and make it work.

  • Usability triumphs everything

Gone are the times when customers search their need and make a purchase. With so much of completion, the new idea is ‘find your customers’ and pitch them their need.

Make your websites as clutter free as possible. Recent survey depicts that mobile phone usage in US is around 4 billion with penetration ratio of 66%. The data clearly shows that your customers are on smartphones already. So, if you’re still figuring out what to do, go for a mobile app development company that gets things done and put your services in an app.

  • Get out of your comfort zone

A ship in harbor is safe, but it is not what ships are built for. ~William G.T. Shedd

Always be moving the envelope. Your life is limited in this world, so make sure you try all the things that fear you the most. As a startup, there are dozens of decisions every day which will shape the future of your venture. But the best approach is to take calculated risks. Listen to what everyone is saying, but don’t take things personally. Always do what makes you grow as a person.

Commit to 5 things every day that is impossible to do and then goes and does them anyway. Winning or failing is not the purpose, the goal here is to move away from your comfort zone a little bit every day. Take baby steps, and soon you’ll be achieving things that are impossible to achieve.

Concluding it all. It’s not about how many times you fall; it’s about how many times you stood back up after falling apart. Falling, again and again, is part of the journey. But make sure you learn which steps stumbled you to fall on the ground. Read stories of failure, know what went right for people who are already successful. And most importantly write down your journey so people can learn from it.

Computer Graduate by profession, Entrepreneur by choice, tech blogger by passion. Writes mostly about Startup, technology, web analytics and shares his geeky adventures keeping process that empowers fellow techy geek to stay inspired and living an adventurous online life.

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