START-UP MESS TO BE AVOIDED
by Jude Donpaul
My thought-pod frizzles out anytime I try engaging it due to the correction mode I tried adjusting to.
I have a passion for entrepreneurship and over the years I have engaged, admired and given advice to young start-ups. In my consultative period, I have seen so many challenges faced by young start-up starting from birthing the ideas, grooming the idea, finance, human resource, administration, marketing and sustainability of clients. There are entrepreneurs who have proficient knowledge in handling most of the challenges and some are outsourced.
I will be addressing the usual functions that drive business to its sustainability peak which so many start-ups don’t look into both in service and product business. Having a customer-base is key, building a brand with reputation is essential and delivering a quality product is king. Customers don’t just become king but the satisfaction that comes with quality makes them feel like a king and this definitely drive sales into the business.
Product quality is one vital tool that keeps the business at the peak but many a time entrepreneurs have literally killed the business with greed in a bid to make more money and deliver sub-standard products which makes them lose customer-base.
Being a facilitator for a program I run called Business Ideametric™, I had the opportunity to ask entrepreneurs who have been in business for like a year or two, what drives? Some say it’s passion, the vision of the business and so many business-related answers but only a few told me, the more sales the business experience, the more propelling they become to produce more. No entrepreneur is ready to lose because their main aim is to maximize profit but some neglect quality at the expense of making a profit.
As a start-up, greediness shouldn’t be found in your business-thinking pod because it destroys business beyond measures. Sometimes finance may not be the real challenge of starting a business this is based on the type of business you’re starting. Some businesses need referrals to start and grow which is based on the potential seen in you and your product by the referee. Some referrals help you build a customer-base in conjunction with quality delivery and building the business reputation.
Branding your business doesn’t come easy, it cost you time, energy and reputation because for you to attract that customers it comes with quality. A customer can fall victim of your sub-standard or less quality product but the wrong message sent to such customer will lead to negative communication to other customers because you’ve just created a tunnel to spread information about your business going into extinction.
As a start-up, let me shock you, most of your sales if not 90% will come via recommendation from someone and this is applicable to businesses with tangible product but being in a service or tech business it comes 100% through recommendation even if you engage in different marketing medium you will still need someone who has used such service or product before to recommend it to another potential customer.
I once had this experience twice by three different entrepreneurs who are into product manufacturing and both of them were recommended and referred to me by friends. In the course of transacting business with them I paid in full in order not to short-change them of making profit but what really amazes me was being fooled by the advert posted by one of the entrepreneurs on her social media platform and I fell for it only to discover that she doesn’t have enough skill to produce such product.
Out of the four product that was ordered only three was delivered with so many corrections made and the fourth item wasn’t delivered and money wasn’t refunded. I manage to use the product once in a while because I am really not satisfied and it means I can’t patronize her any longer.
The other guy is a clothing designer whom I sent different designs of cloth to be made for me and my family and I simply asked him, can you make such design? He answered in affirmation, yes, so I went all out to pay for seven designs but to my amazement on delivery the designs were wrong and fabric material are sub-standard.
I love patronizing young start-ups most especially skilled and services entrepreneurs who know their onions but greedy entrepreneur I can’t put up with.
As a young start-up, you need to be confident about your product most especially with quality in mind. Don’t advertise a product you’re not competent of producing all in the bid to build patronage, you will only be killing the business that took time to be birthed.
It shouldn’t be a crime to say NO to your incompetency because it helps you to stay on your line of expertise until knowledge is gained to produce better with quality in place.
Greed doesn’t sustain a business, it only put a business into extinction. Greediness can kill so many functions of the business all in the bid to make surplus income without putting quality to mind. Don’t advertise what you can’t produce or service you can’t render even if it comes to a point that you can’t render such service or produce such product then outsourcing is an answer and this won’t make you go out of business in as much the right product and quality are delivered.
A customer is a vital element that sustains business and in business, it is a herculean task to get patronage and still keep patronage. What keeps the patronage is quality that gives satisfaction to the customer.
A Greek philosopher once said “Character is destiny” which implies you don’t build your product reputation by what you’re going to do but you build it by what quality you’ve delivered.