I’m sure most of us have had this thought at least once in our life be it jokingly or not; “I want to become a boss one day”. There are many ways to get to that point. One of those ways is by creating your very own company but we are well aware it is not an easy endeavour. If you have the idea and the drive to persevere, you are ready for the next step to being your own boss and owning your own company.
What is a start-up?
The Lorry, Runcloud, Arleta and Serv have one thing in common: they are all startups.
But what is a start-up?
In the words of Arleta’c CEO, “Start-up is a business idea that can grow up to 10 times, even 50 times in size. It must be an idea that can benefit not only locally but globally.”
Start-up is the very first step to creating a company. It is a term to describe a business that is at its beginning stage. Every company begins with a start-up be it a company like Google or Apple all the way to Sony. It starts with an idea and is followed up with an investment into that idea.
Why are start-ups important? Well, every company has to start somewhere. However, that is not the only significance of start-ups. No company can jump straight to the top, everything has a starting point, hence the name ‘start’ up.
Not only that, start-ups are also important to the economy. As a company, start-ups generate income for the economy as well as create more job opportunities which is always a need. After start-ups are scale-ups where the company expands; but that is a story for another day.
Start-ups are the endeavours of individuals who are innovators. They dream big and have a vision of where they want to be and where they want their company to be. One has to be steadfast and determined to start their business.
Did you know? Grab started in Malaysia but they relocated to Singapore where they were able to grow globally. They did not give up, they just changed their strategy. That is what it means to be a CEO of a startup company.
The first step
So, you have an idea and a plan for your very own company. You’ve read up on the topic and you are determined to see your plan to succession. What’s the next step?
There are quite a few organizations that want to support aspiring business owners in Malaysia. It is important to encourage the creation of companies as they are a big contributor to the country’s economy. One of those organizations is Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, also known as MaGIC. Arleta too, found its footing with the help of MaGIC.
What is MaGIC?
MaGIC is an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) that “facilitates, navigates and enables the ecosystem with the mission of strengthening Malaysia’s position as an emerging innovation nation” as stated on their website.
How does MaGIC help?
MaGIC has helped start-ups by providing an office for a certain period, providing mentorship and guidance, and creating opportunities for them to get feedback from investors and the public. MaGIC will help companies find their footing and load them with the right knowledge to have a company. Keep your eyes open for their programs!
When there is a will, there is a way. Starting a company is as scary as it sounds, but remember that you will never achieve your dreams if you don’t take the first step. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and even Mark Zuckerberg have proven to you that it is possible. But you have to make that decision.
Who knows, your company may become the next ‘Unicorn’.
What is a Unicorn?
Although it is not the main mission, every start-up dream of becoming a Unicorn. The definition of a unicorn is a privately held start-up company with a current valuation of US$1 billion. Some examples of Unicorns that are familiar to us are ByteDance, Canva, Epic Games, and J&T Express.
5 tips for start-ups
Just with a click, you can find a number of tips given by all kinds of people on creating your own start-up and it is usually quite a long list which is understandable. For beginners, the 5 tips we follow are:
- Be focused.
Before you even start your company, get to know what you want to do. Do you have the passion for it? Will your start-up be of help to others? If you don’t like what you do, how can you convince others to want what you have to offer? That is why it is important the big ‘Why’. Why did I choose to create my own start-up? To benefit people in what way? Does the public need it? How do you convince them they need your services? When you can answer that ‘why’, it means you know your purpose and you will not lose sight of where you want the company to go.
Never stop learning. Learning does not mean hard facts alone. Learning can also come from experience. When you fail to reach the goal you set up for yourself, find out why. Learn from those mistakes. In fact, you can learn from other people’s mistakes.
Another important thing to learn from is criticism. Sure, in the beginning criticism hurts, that is a fact. However, if you don’t look at them, you don’t know why people are criticising your product. Even the harshest criticism has its value. If it’s something you can’t control, find ways around it. If it’s pure spite, leave it. Don’t dwell on the negative but remember to keep your feet on the ground.
Your company exists to sell products or services that will help your clients. That is the main purpose of a company. Always, always remember that what you are doing is for the people. Make sure your company is doing its best for the people, your clients. When you want to introduce a new service or product, always remember what the client wants. Do they want style over functionality? Or do they prefer functionality over appearance? Listen to your clients and make sure you tick their boxes as much as possible.
Failure to plan is a plan to fail. Reaching from point A to point B is not a difficult task most of the time. However, it is to reach point B efficiently that can be quite a challenge. Two companies can aim to reach 100 sales but if one has a decent plan while the other doesn’t, chances are the one with a plan may reach those numbers first. From brainstorming to preparation to execution all the way to post-mortem, one must have a good idea of where and when to do certain tasks.
Friendly reminder that even if you have a plan does not guarantee you success. It brings you closer but it won’t be the reason you reach the numbers you want. Adapting is also important. Do not stress over small things that interrupt your plan. Work around it, be flexible. Have backup plans. Do not just stop when things aren’t going your way. Remember that you have a purpose for doing this and that is to help people. You love what you do and you don’t want to see it fall to pieces.
That brings us to the most important tip of all which is to never give up. Nothing is easy in life but that doesn’t mean you have to quit. Persevere, stay determined! There is light at the end of the tunnel.