Probably, Having faced one too many surprises in the 8 years of entrepreneurship ( 4 years with Reach Tax ), I’ve got so very used to living with “surprises” and “uncertainties”, I actually had to think for a good 15 minutes to find what I can refer to as “surprises” I’ve just listed below few of my learning which surprised me when I started up! .
1. I could find happiness everywhere, but success only in my domain.
I”™ve tried my hand on selling too many things. Although I graduated as a Chartered Accountant, I quickly discovered that practicing accountancy was not my cup of tea. ”œ I liked to sell ”. I gave up my Tax Practice and started selling. I started my career selling Merchant Acquisition Terminals, then Credit Cards, then Banking Liabilities, then Pappads, then Ice creams and finally Tax Preparation Services. Though I derived happiness from all the careers, I hit success only when I started selling a product of my domain ( Taxes ). When I tried to make a business out of a product/service out of my domain, I remained unsuccessful.
2. People who appreciate your freeware, do not necessarily buy from you when you start business.
When I came up with flavoured pappads ( appalams ), I liked it. I distributed free samples. 70 out of 100 people whom I gave samples to liked it. But the ones who liked it did not necessarily buy. ”œ Buying ”œ is not directly proportionate to ”œ Liking ”. Many of us would like orkut/FB. But if you have to pay for it, Im sure many would back out. I had one friend of mine who worked with Visa. He was essentially all praise for the Online Tax Preparation Product which I asked him to test, He kept mentioning that I should get this patented and also praised its User Interface. Ironically, Last tax season he did not file using the application. Reason? He had to spend 250 bucks on it? Never Know.
3. Customers may not essentially like what you like.
Ive come out with products which I felt was fantabulous. But when I went to the market, customers felt otherwise. I personally felt my SMS accounting product was irresistible, because we had a transaction based pricing. However the market felt otherwise.
4. It’s easier to sell your business, than what your business sells.
When I wanted to franchise, I had many thoughts in mind. We did not have a strong brand to franchise. Our Commercials on T.V hardly brought us any customers. But surprisingly, I found quite a handful of takers for the franchisee ( inspite of the initial cost of Rs. 5 Lakhs ). I had the privilege of choosing my partners. When I was fighting hard to sell my product, selling my business ( as franchisee ) was much easier.
5. Customer is always right, but not always.
Customer is not always right. I have seen some strange customers complain with a mere objective of delaying payments. Being a service company, we have found it extremely hard to match the Customer Expectations to our Service Delivery Standards, I have been surprised by the fact that some customers react strangely when being billed.
6. The ”œGod” factor.
Thanks to the ”œGod Factor” Many times, we lose a ring, but we seldom get knocked out! Ive seen that many decisions which are taken quickly based on our intuition works much better than decisions taken out of logic and intelligence. My decision to partner with MVP was one such thing. Surprisingly its the God Factor which guides us.