Start-Ups: A Multi-Investment Venture

Start-Ups: A Multi-Investment Venture

A start-up is a venture of multiple investments that demands a significant amount of time, patience and energy.

Start-up founders and entrepreneurs are fancy titles these days, but the journey to build a start-up into an established business requires many investments, not only of monetary capital but also in non-monetary terms. While starting a business may appear appealing, it demands a lot of time, patience and energy. An important question to ask yourself is: Am I extremely passionate about my start-up? Passion drives an entrepreneur to persevere in the face of adversity when most people would give up.


In start-ups, you need to sell your concepts, not products or services. Once you sell the concept, your products or services will be in high demand, which will directly impact the growth of your business.


Start-ups, as the name implies, are entities that are in the first phase of business operations. They are founded by one or more entrepreneurs who develop the business and offer their products or services, which are in demand but less in supply. Start-ups require high investment but have limited revenue in the early stages of business operations.


A start-up is a venture of multiple investments, and I will cover some of them here.


Invest in Human Capital


Human capital is the backbone of any organisation. Deploying the right talent at the right place is key to start-up success. Putting together a solid team is critical for start-ups. The challenge lies not in finding talent but in finding the right initial hires with the right skills. Start-ups are ideal for people who want to make a significant contribution to a company, which they may not be able to do at a more well-established company because of bureaucracy. Compared to working for a large company, these kinds of benefits that a start-up provides can be alluring to many talented folks.


However, is placing the right talent at the right place sufficient? Retaining the right talent is a much bigger task than hiring them.


Employees are like plants: the more you care, the more productive they will be. Giving employees a sense of empowerment and engagement, setting clear expectations, fostering a feedback culture, effectively communicating progress and challenges, and recognising their efforts and rewarding them can help you retain talent and differentiate your company from others.


Other areas where you can invest in people include employee learning, wellbeing, sense of belonging, morale, providing work-life balance, and creating an inspiring work environment. It is also important to develop an agile operational mechanism to avoid wastage of resources and time.


Invest in Technology


The pandemic has scaled up the demand and use of technology. Many business models are booming because of the effective use of technology, making jobs easy for customers.


Identify ways to integrate technology into your business and make it accessible to customers. While harnessing technology, keep in mind the potential implications. For example, your platform should be light and easy to use on portable devices like mobile phones and tablets. Payment gateways should be reliable, and providing UPI-based payment options will give your business an edge.


Invest in Effective Management


In the early days, start-ups require a significant time investment in understanding the team’s thought process, aspirations, and potential. Effective management strategies should be developed continuously and implemented. This must be done on a continuous basis because it is difficult to create a single strategy that works every time in a growing company. So, based on the need of the hour, strategies need to be modified.


Invest in Innovation


“Need is the mother of innovation”. The need here is for your business to grow, which can be accomplished through continuous product and service innovation. Innovation gives you the opportunity to experiment and make your product/services better, and, most importantly, it allows you to reach out to your customers with an improved version of your product/services. If you are not aligning your product/services with time, you’ll be out of business in no time.


Invest in Culture


The culture of a company sets it apart from others. Investing time in developing your start-up’s culture is always a good idea, and it will help you stand out from the competition.


A company’s culture is a mixed bag of values, expectations, aspirations and practices created through consistent and authentic behaviours. It reflects in actions, like the way management/CEO responds during tough times, the way new initiatives are implemented, the way the team adapts to changes, the way the team reacts when customers demand new things, and the way managers react and overcome the mistakes made by the team.


When creating a start-up, it is necessary to build a culture that is collaborative, productive and free from bias and autocracy. We can create culture through empathy, belonging, aspiration, trust, resilience, integrity, teamwork, innovation, and the right attitude towards employees and customers.


Culture is never built overnight; it is a continuous process and requires a lot of time and effort. So, start investing in culture from the very beginning.


Invest in Market Research


As an entrepreneur, it is always advisable to analyse your positioning among your competitors. Market research on your business model, strategy and products/services is key for business growth. It gives you insight into the business cycle, geographical areas in which your product/services would be in demand and even the areas in which you are lacking and not positioned well. Don’t hesitate to consult with market research companies, as they can give you better insight.


Research says around 90% of start-ups fail within the first five years of inception (Source: Money Control). If we analyse the causes of failure, we will find a lack of innovation, capital, market research, competent talent, incorrect market selection, product misalignment, leadership gaps, etc. So, if you want to be the owner of a successful start-up, invest in a multidimensional way!



Praveen Ratna is an SHRM and HRCI certified HR professional with over 20 years of experience in the BFSI and NBFC industries. His expertise is in Analytics, Performance Management and Reward & Recognition. He has extensive experience in transforming processes through technology. Praveen is also a speaker, having appeared on platforms such as HR SUCCESS TALK, Protouch, and business schools like Amity Business School.


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