5 Tips All Entrepreneurs Need Before Starting A Startup, According To Five Bangladeshi Entrepreneurs

An increasing number of people are starting companies in Bangladesh. Internet has driven down the cost of starting a startup in recent years. Today, it is quite simple and easy to build a website and start your own company. You can open a Facebook page or create a hosted store on Storrea, find customers online, outsource your marketing to a digital media company, get free press from places like FS, and raise venture money if your business is growing.

Despite all these opportunities, building a sustainable business remains a formidable challenge. In the past years, many of the startups we named as the most potential went out of business in less than a year time frame. The list of failed startups is a growing one while the list of successful ones seldom grows that fast.

For the first time entrepreneurs, it is often hard to figure things out which creates all kinds of problems. It is helpful to seek advice to and learn from people who have experience of building and running businesses successfully. Below are five pieces of advice from five entrepreneurs for anyone planning on launching a startup.

Think about things that might be available in the West that can be adapted in the lower-income countries. Iqbal Quadir, Founder of Grameenphone

My own example itself could be followed. I am not trying to sell myself, but what I am trying to say is that I have more authority on myself. I got an education in the West, therefore, I was informed.

I tried to think clearly of what is necessary, but nowadays that is easier than when I tried to educate myself. There was no Internet, for example. Now you can even sit in Pakistan and learn some of these things.

The other point is, remember, I was saying you need one thing to get to the other thing. The fact that cellphones now exist through my work or other people’s work, then that should make their lives a little bit easier in getting the information. You can get a lot of things that did not exist before, but it is always important to get an education, to think clearly.

iqbal-quadir

Iqbal Quadir

Think about things that might be available in the West that can be adapted in the lower-income countries. There may be other ways of solving these problems, but this is the one that I found to be profoundly transformative, and things can hang together around that kind of economic interest dovetailing.

The viability of the operational model and the passion behind the concept that I look for when someone comes to me to pitch an idea. –Shama-e-Zaheer, Mir Group

Actually, I look at the person. I try to understand how passionate s/he is and how truly s/he believes what is being pitched.

Passion is although not the only thing I look for. I also assess the logic in the idea–both business and operational, because, in my opinion, if you have a sound operational logic, business will eventually follow.

Business models and revenue models have become relatively easier in the recent times. Traffic now translates into revenue; data translates into revenue; proprietary technology translates into revenue.

Shama-e-Zaheer

Shama-e-Zaheer

So, it’s not the revenue I am too concerned about; it’s the viability of the operational approach to and the passion behind the concept that I look for when someone comes to me to pitch an idea.

If you want to build a business from scratch, the most important thing you need to do is to stick to the idea. Anisul Islam, CloudWell

If you want to build a business from scratch, the most important thing you need to do is to stick to the idea. You have to love it like you love a real human being. Boredom might strike once in awhile but you must carry on without being distracted. Distraction is a killer.

You have to believe that your efforts will pay off in future. So, you need to keep pushing yourself and be patient. One also needs to remember that here in the world of business every man is for himself. No one would most probably lend you a shoulder when you’re down and broke. You are your only driver. So, be motivated and patient, and believe in yourself.

Anisul Islam

Anisul Islam

A good team is also a very crucial element for a startup to grow. You got to believe in your team. At PayWell, we sometimes employed authoritarian rule because it is needed. But, at the end of the day, my team matters a lot to me and I believe in them.

Be honest with yourself . Samantha Morshed, Hathay Bunano

Hathay Bunano grew with private label and this enabled us to establish a reputation for high and consistent quality handmade products over volume. We were then able to take this reputation with us when we started Pebble. This helped us a lot with market access.

Samantha Morshed

Samantha Morshed

Generally, if you are selling a good quality, well-designed product at the right price then you can access global markets. You just need to be honest with yourself about your product. If your product isn’t selling then ask yourself why and make changes.

It’s important to know what you are up to before embarking on a journey. Bibi Russell, Bibi Productions

For anyone, it’s important to know what you are up to before embarking on a journey. I know Bangladesh very well. Before I went to Europe I knew about our culture, our heritage-credit goes to my parents, and every other thing. And later on, I learned a lot from people. It has made my working a lot easier.

If you want to work in Bangladesh, you have to know Bangladesh politically, geographically, and you have to know religious binding and all other things. I can’t do a show in Bangladesh with bikini because I’m a Bengali Girl and I know what my culture is. So, you have to know your country, culture, people; you have to look into the eyes of people and see what’s in inside

Bibi Russell

Bibi Russell

Stay focused. Money is not everything. There are many ways to make money. Choose one that also does some good for society. You also have to learn how to revolve money. I worked and learned how to make a 10 taka to 12. So, you have to know how to make it revolving.

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