I didn’t always know what I wanted to do but I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do!
I didn’t want to be just another extension number in a big fancy office, didn’t want to sign a muster at 8:59am, or carry an Id card around my neck to go to work every single day.
Don’t get me wrong, I have loved all my jobs considering that most of my career I have worked for wine companies that were very cool to be a part of and through working for them I realized that wine for me is where home is!
I fell in love with wine.
The idea that the reason that someone out there is drinking and enjoying wine is because I played some part in getting that wine to them or introducing that wine or wine style to them gives me a big high. I always wondered how many people across India were drinking wine on a Saturday night that I helped push down the supply chain.
The more I got involved in wine the more I more wanted to learn about wine. I also developed a serious passion for talking about wine and I derived tremendous joy from turning people onto wine. I soon realized that this was my mission in life – to take consumption of wine in India to world class standards. I wasn’t about to go save the world but I definitely wanted to make it more pleasurable via what we drink and what we eat. Sounds corny, it is but who cares.
But this is all a dream that is far from reality and let me tell you the process of getting people onto wine isn’t easy.
Starting your own business can be one of life’s most fulfilling experiences but it’s also a motherf^%f*%^ker. Be prepared for one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
I have worked for other people for over 12 years but always dreamt of starting something that was my own. Most people dream, you just have to get serious about what you want to do and go about doing it. Leave aside fears, your business may not succeed but at least you gave it a shot. You wont go through life thinking ‘what if’ ? And if you give it all that you have plus more you will succeed.
Success comes in a simple formula – hard work x time = Ferrari or Louis Vuitton ,whatever tickles your fancy !
Each and every one of us in our own way is qualified to be an entrepreneur; you just need to have an idea and an excellent execution plan.
Most people already know what they want to do but for some reason, social, financial, spousal etc they don’t take the plunge; they don’t give in to doing what their heart desires.
So I guess my first piece of advice is to listen to that voice inside you that keeps telling you maybe I want to be starting a photography business instead on this job that does not interest me.
Make a document, your venture bible of sorts of all the people who can help you, clients you know off, clients people you know may know off, your assets, costs and an estimation for when you think you will break even.
Think think think , network network network, get your brand name ready, logo designed and your website up and running and your brochures printed for each and every meeting. Depending on the type of business your in and sales projected get your sales tax number/ service tax number etc.
Take a business loan if required but before you go to a bank for a loan have a clear strategy in mind. You must convince them that not only is your plan fantastic and your product saleable but you yourself need to inspire confidence, you need to sell your concept to a banks loan manager who will not have as much knowledge as you do about your product and its market neither the passion you have.
Find out everything about market dynamics, who the major buyers are, what are the buying, what influences their buying decisions. Who they currently are buying from, who your competitors and at what price or what quality are their products or services.
In a nutshell research and then top it off with some more research. You must know everything there is to know about your market place.
For me it’s wine. For you it may be medicine, banking, fashion, sports, advertising, movie making, jewelry designing, hospitality, web design, or diversifying the family business… whatever it may be…! The world is your oyster !
You gotta do your own thing, love what you do, and wake up wanting to get to work every morning!
Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier and Director at All Things Nice – www.allthingnice.in