The startup ecosystem is definitely growing up in Bangladesh. More and more people are interested in starting their own business. With the availability of internet connection, smart phones, and continuous support from government and different private organization- young people can now pursue their dream of having their own startup. But starting a startup is not that easy. As an entrepreneur, you need to think of all the different aspects of the business at the same time.
Mustafizur Rahman Khan, CEO of SD ASIA, took a session on 14th February on “How to Startup” at the EMK Center. Over 100 enthusiasts came to attend the session. Quite a few of them have started or planning to start their own business.
He started the session by saying- “There is a science behind every business. All you need to do is understand and do the right things.” Before starting a startup, the first question you need to ask as an entrepreneur is “WHY”. There could be so many reasons, but you need to know your aims strongly. There are basically four things you need to take care before you start your startup- Idea, Product, Team, and Execution.
You might have so many amazing ideas (or so you might think!). But if you are really committed to starting your startup, you need to focus on ONE BEST IDEA. You should be able to explain your idea so simply and probably in just one sentence. If you can’t, it means you don’t understand your business clearly. You also need to understand your market size. If there’s no audience for your product or service, it wouldn’t matter how amazing your idea is. Many startups start without knowing their market size. This is usually a very costly mistake.
Next, you need to think about your product. Build a product that you actually understand the pain point. Solve a problem that you faced. You need to build a product with a singular purpose. As an entrepreneur, you need to have you MVP soon. Your mock up should show the essence of your product. When you have the product, then comes the reality check- customer feedback. Most entrepreneurs do not talk to customers. Before you don’t understand your customers, how will you solve their problem? It’s very important to get various feedbacks from customers in the initial stage. Mustafiz said, “As an entrepreneur, you should make direct contact with your customers at least the first 6 months. Do not depend on 3rd party or interns in the initial period.” Your goal is to make a small segment of customer fall in love with your product or service. They will eventually recommend your product and get you organic reach.
When you have a great idea and a product ready, you need an amazing team. Investors usually invest in people rather than ideas. Mustafiz suggested startups to have 2-3 co-founders and never to have more than 5. Co-founders should have a good bonding and understanding. So many startups fall of, in spite of having a great product, because of internal problems between co-founders. He also suggested keeping the team small in the beginning. It helps to simply the communication between the teams and keeps the cost low. HIRE the right people and SLOW, and if thing goes wrong FIRE FAST. The team should be well-balanced and compatible. The CEO should give regular and clear feedback to the team.
Lastly, for execution, you should set clear goals and never lose focus. It’s very important to set regular KPI and follow them. You need to focus on your profit margin and work to increase that. Also, you need to work to reduce your customer acquisition cost.
After the session, audience shared their positive feedback. Orion, currently studying at a university, said she learned a lot from the session. She got clear ideas about the dos and don’ts of startups. Mahin, an A’level student who wants to start his startup soon was glad to attend the session. He said, “The presentation was very professional. I realized how important team work is and that the idea needs to be unique in order to be successful. I wish to start my own startup soon and I will definitely keep all these in mind.”