Ever heard of reverse psychology? You’ve been told a gazillion ways of how to start and run a startup. In this article, I adopt a sardonic tone to tell you everything that you should do in order to ruin your business quickly. Follow the opposite of what I share and you’ll run your business effectively.
Early stage entrepreneurs who’ve been following these steps are going to shut off their business sooner or later.
Borrow loans quickly
Right from the start, borrow as much from the bank as it’s willing to lend. This implies that you have the ability to repay it. Do this early in the startup when the cash flow is unpredictable and irregular.
Hire as many people as you can
You need higher overheads to make more sales. Start this when there is no proven or established business model. Make sure to pay fixed salaries (a lot) with unpredictable sales from the start.
Focus on making a business plan, forget execution
You should think global, that’s what businesses are all about! Start in an MBA way – make a perfect business plan; execution, customers and monetisation can wait for an eternity. Plan heavily, for months and years if needed. The success of your business depends on planning, not execution. Assume that a good business plan leads to sales. Have the best website and the nicest work space from day 1.
Form a managerial board
Have a team with a CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and CTO from the first day. To succeed, you need to have a managerial team right from the time you build a business. Concentrate on building an outstanding about us page none of your competitors can match. As an add-on, employ elite “Executives” to keep your overheads high.
Focus on ambience
Splurge on ping pong tables and make your office as quirky as you can. Apple and Google offices are benchmarks. Tangible assets are important, not metrics such as sales, customers or revenue. Follow “to make money you should spend money”. Make sure that the perceived symbols of success are right, everything else including profits and customers can wait.
Spend most of your time seeking funding
Once you get funding, the quality of the product will take care of itself. Pitch your product to the VC’s, since they fund 0.5 – 1% of the deals pitched, the risk Vs return ratio is favourable for you. Ensure that the quality of the service takes a back seat while you expand the company. Spend a LOT of time on meetings, planning and brainstorming. More capital and a substandard product are directly proportional to increased sales.
Launch only after you have a perfect product
Spend your time and resources on building a perfect product. Launch only after you’ve built all the features you think the audience wants. MVP and prototypes are myths. Spend as much money as you can on building a million dollar product, revenues and VC money will come chasing once the ideal product is ready. Iterations and customer feedback come at the later stage.
Pour thousands of $$$ into building a perfect website/app
Spend a LOT on making an out of box website and a feature rich app. That’s where your non-existent users will end up. In case of a pivot, the funding will take care of it. Hire the best coders and developers by paying them a fortune! Amid the 1 billion+ websites, yours has to be memorable, the loans or VC money will fund this. Validation and keeping check on the cash outflow should be least of your concern.
Spend as much as you can on advertising and marketing
Hope you’ve got a fan following of thousands on your Facebook page. Doesn’t matter if it’s paid or organic or if you really need it, the need of the hour is to join the social media fan building bandwagon. Place links to all social media profiles on your website, even if you’re inactive on most of them. Hire a PR firm who keeps you in the media limelight all the time, with a substandard product. And don’t forget to spend on advertising online and offline.
Travel and team outings are a must
Throw more lavish parties than you can’t afford to keep your employees happy and contempt. Go to the best resorts for brain-a-thons. Personally go to meet and pitch to each VC, after all entrepreneurs and CEO’s are globe trotters. Avoid Skype meetings. Attend every conference for networking even if it means spending a bomb on the air or event tickets.