5 startup lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur

Building a startup is not simply building an execution plan for a business model that the entrepreneur thinks will work, but rather, a search for the actual business model itself. Bebuzzd, a startup that I work for is digital loyalty program that currently offers offers over 90,000 users, easy loyalty access to a UAE retail partner network of over 600 outlets, across restaurants, salons, spas, medical clinics, perfume, laundry, and pet shops. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs to be at this point.

Startups as you know are clearly different from established companies, yet there are some key similarities. For any startup to be flourishing and to have a place among others, it must keep constantly innovating, to make sure the target audience are excited about the brand. As they say, business mistakes are an important part of an entrepreneurial journey; the pain points from which better ways of doing things can be learned, but only if the founder is able to recognize those early slip ups as the route to business success.

Don’t be afraid to break the stereotype

Success of a startup depends upon the goals and beliefs the brand has. A brand will be measured by the impactful communication they are said to bring to the audience. It is not always necessary to follow the format everyone has been following. It is important to stand out from the rest and accept the challenge. Creativeness and innovation leads to the success of the brand, which can only be achieved by setting apart from the rest. Having said that, it’s a real concern given that startups have extremely limited resources. Doing less and penetrating to that narrow scope is key. It requires real discipline to master this principle in a startup environment when little is known, and resources are scarce.

Embrace change

A startup is a journey of questions. However finding answers to these questions is not very easy. Job of a founder or the team behind any startup is to find answers to as many questions as possible, by utilizing the limited resources available. The pace of change and revolution in such an environment can be dizzying. It’s hard to build a foundation for something great when the ground is moving, hence flexibility must be the crust of the startup. It’s crucial to embrace changes in order to appeal the very changing industry scenario and client demands. Change must be considered as an advantage to build a brand that’s effective. Thanks to the progress of technology, it’s more possible now than ever before. Embrace the change.

Learning from mistakes

‘Failure is a Key to Success’. If you want to succeed then never stop yourself of learning from failures. Mistakes are part of the whole package. It’s the story of every startup. Make sure you learn and improve from each one of these mistakes. Many startups fail, because they do not accept the mistakes. The greatest success of any startup is in the acceptance of failure and converting them into a success story.

Listen to your customers

It is rightly said ‘Customer is the King’! One of the principles of success of any startup is, knowing who your customers are and what they want. For the success of any business it is important to listen carefully to your customers as they are the ones who bring the products or services to life at any given point. There is nothing better than a customer suggesting a product feature or opportunity that you may have not thought of. By being open-minded to consumer feedback, one can build better products / services to serve them better. Customers know what they want. However, they may not be able to tell you in black and white what they need. It’s up to you to determine what they want but based on feedback.

Enjoy the ride

The startup journey is always filled with exhilarating highs and numbing lows. Strap in and enjoy the ride. The rewards are worth it! Some move through the process fast, stumbling into success in a matter of weeks after executing a brilliant idea, while the others move slowly, spending decades of their lives perfecting the art.

Someone rightly said, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”

Mujeeb Rahman
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