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First Few Months Of A Self-Funded Startup – Hiccups And Learnings

first few months self funded startup

Entrepreneurship is tough, and it comes with a lot of challenges. Leaving an easy 9-5 Job and coming into this entrepreneurial world feels exciting (especially when YouTube is filled with so many startups related serious glamorizing the startup world and exemplifying its coolness) but trust me its excruciatingly difficult.

Also, people resonate a startup with funding, but I beg to differ. Yes without money you cannot start any business, but not everyone gets the funding or has investors running after your ideas. I read hundreds of business books to help me become more knowledgeable and more equipped to handle the hardships of starting a business, yes they do give amazing insights, but the real learnings come when you take the first step towards your own business.

I am Ankur Aggarwal, and currently, I am working on a couple of startups (already failed at one in 2016). One of my startups is funded (that startup is in lending space) and the other one is running on my hard earned money (the second startup is in the digital marketing space).

Before anyone starts questioning or giving me advice on following one passion or focusing on one thing at a time, let me mention that I am 90% working on my self-funded startup and the for the other one I just help my brother in their Digital marketing needs.

Here are few insights (challenges, tips, hacks that we are using to remain stable and save time and money at the same time)

1. How I am saving more than Rs 50,000 on various software that are the backbone of our business

Saving money and then saving more money is what makes me happy. I don’t cut corners or save money by not using something that is vital for our business but rather being smart and getting the same benefit free of cost is what I love

We use the various software in our business, the way we are saving money are:

  1. Using a free alternative to software that is as good as paid one – For example, we have started using Slack and Asana for our team communication and project allotment.

  1. Asking for extended trial version of the key software – Instead of buying the software we are using the extended trial version (which last for 60 to 90 days) depending on the company. Yes I know I am being a miser, but when you accumulate the per month cost, you end up saving a lot of money. I even emailed a few of the companies and asked them for an extended trial, and to my surprise, few of them happily said yes. (Also, I have huge targeted audience on my other websites so I gave these software companies free promotion and they gave me an extended trial in return) You will never know what the answer is until you ask. (for people judging me, I will be purchasing these software’s once the trial expires)

Challenges:

1. Loneliness might shake you down

Not many wantrepreneurs realize this but being an entrepreneur is lonely.

You have multiple roles, you cannot rely on anyone to finish the job properly, you will be working a lot and I mean for a lot of hours (my average working hours are 13, and this remains same on weekends as well), so you won’t be able to spend time with your family, girlfriend or friends.

2. Baniya behavior in Self-funded startup

I am a proud baniya and yes when an unnecessary expense occurs it hurts my feelings :D. When it is a self-funded startup, you will be able to feel the money for each expense going out of your pocket.

There will be unforeseen expenses that you did not account for in your initial research and business plans. There will be time delays, money wastage in areas that you just cannot have calculated earlier. But this is part and parcel of this game.

3. Time wastage will drive your Blood Pressure up

When you are the one who is spending all the cash, you know your each day cost.

You know about an average expense that takes each day and whenever you feel a day was wasted or some result was not achieved in the timeline that you created (trust me it will happen all the time, no plan is perfect) you will get angry, but you won’t be able to do anything to solve that.

4. You have to be the Jack of All trades

In a startup, you are the managers of all departments. You are the one who is responsible for HR, Finances, Operations, and what not. You will be surprised by how much time you spend in these extra activities which you could have spent in actually growing the business.

Sooner or later you will devise a strategy to strike a balance, but that will take some time

Managing people is not that easy, allowing work, reviewing work and then explaining them takes a lot of time. This will be even harder for you if you have never run or managed a team before.

Overall I am enjoying this phase of my life. Each day I am pushed to my limits of work I can handle, the pressure that I can take and I believe all this is subconsciously making me a much better person. My startup started on 1st March 2017 (planning, hiring, and other activities started in January 2017) and I have enjoyed each day.

I have never complied of the workload, the difficulties that come each day, and each day I enter my office with a smiling face and leave with a smiling face. All this is happening because I love my work.

I know the statement “do what you love” has been exploited a lot but this will always remain a fact, do what you love will never make you look at the clock and see what time it is because you are so engrossed in your work.

The only time I find out about 6:00 PM is one of my interns stands up and leave for home and everyday I give him a shocked look and say “6 baj Bhi gaye 😀.”

Also Read: Bootstrapping To Our First Profit – Cutshort’s Journey

(Disclaimer: This is a guest post submitted on Techstory by the mentioned authors. All the contents and images in the article have been provided to Techstory by the authors of the article. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)

Image Source: fiveprime

About The Author:

Ankur Aggarwal is a Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Blogger, Foodie. Have been blogging since 2010. In 2016 he scored 99.2 percentile in XAT Exam for MBA, left that to pursue his Online business. He wants to create multiple passive income sources so that he can travel the world. He has multiple websites but incomeboy.com is his new venture. The purpose of Incomeboy is to pass on 100% accurate and genuine information on making and saving more money either online or offline in India. Write to him at contact@incomeboy.com or Follow him on Twitter

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