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02 Founders Share Their Incredibly Powerful Lessons On Building A Business From Scratch

We regularly speak to founders, entrepreneurs, professionals, and experts from different walks of life about a wide variety of topics. One of the common themes we explore is how they approach their work, build things they are building and what are the key lessons they have learned from their journey so far, that leads to interesting conversation often resulting in magnificent thoughts on building companies, getting good at one’s job and most importantly keeping one’s center solid while managing ever changing ride of the life.

This article puts together thoughts from two founders, Masud Al Hasan, Founder of Proshiddho and Tausif Ahmad, COO of HungryNaki, on why business is all about trust and how to build trust, the hard working of building a company from scratch, the importance of doing real work instead of pursuing attention and fame. Enjoy the reading.

Masud Al Hasan
Masud Al Hasan

Masud Al Hasan is the Founder and CEO of Proshiddho.com, an ecommerce startup building a one-stop destination for famous and heritage products in Bangladesh. We recently spoke to Masud to know more about his business as well as to learn from his journey. Here are the 02 key lessons he shared with us. You may read the full interview here.

Business is about trust.

Business, any kind of it, is all about trust and trust comes from delivering on your promise. Naturally, when you make a commitment, make sure that you fulfill it. If you can’t, give a good reason and explain. Our common tendency when we fail to deliver is to hide or avoid our responsibility but it never helps. Communicate with your customers when you fail to deliver and be honest and compensate where necessary.

Building a business is hard.

There is a rather romantic idea about startup and entrepreneurship among most young people. When people start a business, they often expect to become an overnight success but it does not happen that way. There is no set working hour in business. It is a 24 hours job.

Things often take longer than usual and there is no lack of challenges in business. Business is hard. It is incredibly challenging to build a business from scratch whereas doing a job is way easier. If you are starting a business, expect a lot of hard work and disappointments.

Tausif Ahmad
Tausif Ahmad

Tausif Ahmad is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of HungryNaki– a fast growing food delivery startup based in Dhaka. Launched in 2013, the company has grown significantly over the past few years. In an interview with Future Startup, Tausif shares his lessons from 4 years of building a business from scratch.

Action triumphs everything.

Planning is the easiest part of any endeavor. Anyone can prepare a good plan. However, a great plan makes little difference if we don’t put it into action. I sometimes attend these startup events and meet people who want to start companies. My only suggestion is that stop planning and start doing. The only thing that matters is starting somewhere and figuring it out as you go. Start small but start anyway.

Do the real work and embrace the daily suffering.

At HungryNaki, we did nothing during our first one year apart from building the business. Our goal was simple, first build the business. Most people spend a disproportionately high amount of time in doing work that does not matter. While building a company, you can do a lot of fake works that are easy to do but that would not bring you any result. Instead of running after popularity and likes, focus on difficult but real work. Embrace the daily sufferings, grind through the invisible wall of building a company, avoid fake work at any cost for the sake of real work that matters, get some traction and then only go out and talk to people.

Have a solid business model in place.

On a more practical side, make sure that you have a solid business model in place. No matter how much passion and talent we have got because it counts for nothing at the end of the day if we don’t generate revenue. It is not about making money rather if you are incapable of generating revenue it will not survive long.

You can’t fool the system all the time.

The idea that you can talk through life is a dangerous one and delusional at the same time. Our social media-centric cultural construct, however, attempts to convince us that talking and personal branding- these things matter regardless of our work. But life does not work like that. It is easier to choose ‘talking’ over ‘doing’ because it is easy but what moves us forward is not decisions or works that are easy rather the opposite. Use difficulty as a guide in doing almost everything in life and actively resist the temptation of joining the rat race of popularity.

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