Online Business Startups: Tips from the Pros
Facebook was once deemed a startup, along with Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Clearly, the internet has helped boost and encourage innovations. If you’ve spent any time researching social media then you may be familiar with the term “startup”. This generally describes a new business launched in a particular market.
For many “born-on-the-internet” companies, slow growth isn’t an option. These are companies that started on the web with a global marketplace in mind. Many are finding that you’d either scale or be considered irrelevant. They work hard to achieve market leadership, to realize economies of scale and economies of scope, and to be recognized as the brand leader. These types of business startups often start fast and never stay up; leaving the company financially drained. To maintain advantage, they need to have the proper building blocks in place and go full speed ahead with the best chances for success.
Standing out in the crowd is key since thousands of start ups go online every day. Mostly, these entrepreneurial dreams get crushed in the flood of new start ups and lose their audience. Today at iGyaan, our editor Bharat Nagpal and Harsh Agarwal, founder of The Asylum- A refuge for authors, tell us how to stay on top:
From the Editor’s Desk
Founder and Chief Editor of iGyaan. Bharat likes to keep on top of technology and loves to help people around him get through the day to day trouble they face with technology. So that, they can love technology as much as he does.
I have learnt a lot of things while running my own company the past few years, but the most crucial lesson that I have learnt is to never underestimate the power of an idea! In the most simplest form; everything begins with an idea, and while we grow from one stage to another in our lives, our mind and our experiences throw ideas at us. In our day to day process, we often tend to ignore our “far fetched ideas” and soon forget them. The lifespan of the idea is only as long as you chose to build on it. While iGyaan was not the first idea that ever struck me, and not every idea is perfect, I did experiment with a lot of ideas prior to that, and failure only led me to be that much more adamant in believing in the power of my ideas. With each failure, I was that much closer to achieving what I wanted from each idea. Running a business is tough, particularly in India. Most of the things we take for granted are usually the most difficult things that we need done. Finding help for your business is the toughest part, and if you are afraid to go hands on with the dirtiest bits of the job, don’t expect someone else to do them for you. Whatever is beneath you is the most essential piece of the puzzle you forget to pick up, and hence the easiest way to break a structure. So if you have an idea, run with it, but run harder than you imagined. Pick up pieces as you go if you don’t have a plan, and don’t be afraid to be at the bottom, especially if you wish to reach the top.
Chat with the Pro
An artist by soul, entrepreneur by profession and engineering student by education, Harsh has three books in his credit. Apart from that, he has himself worked as an editor, freelance editor, mentor and speaker at the same time.
iGyaan: What inspired you to start an initiative like Asylum?
HA: I wanted to start with something I am passionate about and Asylum is the outcome of the same passion. Asylum means a refuge and that was the basic reason to start Asylum; creating a refuge for debutante authors. It wasn’t an impulsive decision. It’s hard to come up with an idea, but it’s harder to execute the same.
iGyaan: Tell us about some challenges that you face as young entrepreneur.
HA: One of the challenge – people fail to take me seriously and put their ego before everything. However that’s not always true; other than that, one of the major challenge is to survive, being from a middle class family and having parents who see a secured job as the definition of success. Choosing the road not taken is not a cake walk.
iGyaan: What is your take on internet being a tool for business?
HA: Internet is a saviour, I didn’t have good internet for first two years in college and I just wonder how much I would have progressed if I had it. Internet has a solution for every possible thing. There are all sorts of people, all sorts of services and products available on the internet. Being a budding entrepreneur, you need to do a hell lot of stuff yourself, which includes stuff that you don’t even have a clue about but now, there is nothing that can’t be learnt! There is nothing that can’t be found online. You just need to know how to look for it and the internet teaches you that as well.
iGyaan: And Finally, specifically for Asylum,what major steps you took to make it what it is?
HA: First of all, I checked what resources I have and what I don’t, that included both monetary and non monetary resources. Since I was from an engineering college, I got a friend to design the website for free and hired students to work for me. Facebook helped as a platform to hire more writers. More than money, interest mattered for people who were working for me and I had to make sure that the work they were doing was not monotonous for them; I had to give them a good variety. Thankfully, I built myself an amazing team. All in all, I had to know my team, clients and their expectations; and then to stabilize the demand and supply.