The business ecosystem of Bangladesh may not be ideal, but that has not deterred the steady surge of entrepreneurs in recent years. Self-employment and the idea of being one's own boss has been growing in popularity for good reasons. However, setting up an enterprise and ensuring its success is no easy task. Vision, consistent effort, working smart and avoiding certain mistakes are critical. Mistakes are recognised after making them. So in order to ensure that new entrepreneurs avoid critical mistakes this article outlines major errors identified by successful business owners.
Pathao has been a paradigm shifting business for Bangladesh. The landscape of transportation in our country changed with the advent of this motorbike ride sharing venture. Pathao is now a house name in Bangladesh, boasting ride sharing, food/parcel delivery and other services. Ahmed Fahad, member of the founding team and vice president of Product of Pathao said, "I used to think a founder's most important quality is intelligence. It is not. You are going to hit a lot of obstacles. You cannot be the sort of person who gets demoralised easily. Determination is key." Even though this may sound simple, it is innate human nature to get demoralised if something does not go according to plan. However, it is beyond important for an entrepreneur to look beyond a set back and continue working through it. Getting demoralised and giving up is the same as digging the grave of one's business.
Reaz Fiem, an instructor for O and A level students and partner of the institution 'Flying colours', now teaches multiple batches of more than 100 students each. This was not built in a day as this man only started out with two students. He says, 'Entrepreneurs are not simple traders. They need vision. They should be very clear about what they want, rather than taking things as they come. In my opinion, the biggest mistake is not having a clear vision, what, the entrepreneur actually wants from the business he or she wishes to develop. Another thing I would like to add is not having the mindset to work hard. As an entrepreneur, a person has to work a lot harder than an employee. So the entrepreneur must be ready for the necessary sacrifices.'
HandyMama, one of the rising enterprises of Bangladesh, is a one-stop solution for all handyman services. Rezaur Rahman Robin, the CSO of this ascending business shares, "One of the most common but critical mistakes that entrepreneurs make is hiring the wrong people for the wrong positions, and most of the time for the wrong reasons. The consequence of onboarding the wrong people is that it directly impacts the venture's core ability to create value or effectively design and deliver a product in the market. It goes without saying, without having a winning product that wins over the market, a venture will fail miserably to generate profits."
Aadi is the first ever cross border marketplace from Bangladesh through which consumers outside of Bangladesh can purchase products from manufacturers of the country. Mehedi Hassan, head of Business of Aadi BD Limited, states, "Lack of focus or getting into too many things are very common among our entrepreneurs. As one launches a new venture, along with all the hurdles comes new opportunities too. Often many entrepreneurs find themselves in a spot where they lose track of their original goal while pursuing new opportunities. Without a razor-sharp focus, we're very unlikely to be successful in making our dream a success."
There may be room for several errors in a new enterprise. Avoiding the ones outlined here will definitely help a new startup initially survive and slowly thrive.
The writer is a third year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. He can be reached at email@example.com
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