If you are an MBA, someone, somewhere, at least once, must have asked you,
So what’s your startup idea?
With the words like ‘entrepreneurship’, ‘venture capital’, ‘seed funding’ and, of course, ‘startup’ appearing almost everywhere from TV to Newspapers and from Facebook feeds to YouTube videos, it is almost a moral obligation for an MBA to have a startup idea! After all, what else do they teach you in MBA? 😃
Personally, my answer has always been a food joint. But I am pretty sure that there are much more soon-to-be-restaurateurs out there than the number of existing restaurants! I have never really taken a step further in planning a food joint which in itself is a proof enough that it is not my cup of green tea. I also tend to believe that this entrepreneurship buzz around has developed a notion that owning a startup is too damn cool! But this buzz doesn’t address the fact that RUNNING a startup is where the dirty work lies.
Now while we are at it, and I being an MBA, let me jot down some of my thoughts on business,
The purpose is important. A usual food joint in a mall that sells the same stuff available everywhere else is not really serving a purpose. Profit, after all, is a short term purpose. In the conservative words of Nick Wheeler,
“If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business – it’s that simple.”
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
USP is the real deal. Every product or service out there claims to be different and better than the competition but at the heart of it, all toothpastes are just the different versions of the same commodity. The differentiating factor needs to be thought of well beforehand. Marketing the USP will come later. Don’t be just another toothpaste selling startup!
A small town named Ambur (my blog on it here) is famous for its biryani and shoes from the top brands at rock bottom prices. Open the India’s biggest Bata outlet (or your own startup shoes brand) there and you can expect to sell not more than one pair everyday! Customer focus drives business. You may love your shoes startup all you want but Ambur is happy with their low priced branded shoes.
Business isn’t easy. After all, it isn’t meant to be easy and it isn’t meant for every MBA either. A successful entrepreneur doesn’t have to be an MBA then why must a successful MBA be an entrepreneur?
Startup ideas, anyone? 😉