Let’s get the fact straight: launching a tech startup is definitely not easy. Let alone starting one in a developing country like Indonesia. There are various factors that one need to consider before putting 100 percent commitments into your startup. First thing that comes to mind is how and where do you start off. Here are the 5 things you should do to start a tech startup in Indonesia:
- Keep Asking “WHY?”
Why are people still doing that when they could do this? Why is it happening in Indonesia? Why…?
It is way much easier to start working on a product that you know people would need. There are countless problems in this world that require innovative ideas to make things work better and faster. Indonesia as a whole has different kind of problems on its own.
The primary goal to keep asking “Why?” is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem. However, not all problems have a single root cause. The key is to encourage you to avoid assumptions and logic traps, and instead trace the chain of problems.
Think of it as being a child again, where you used to annoy your parents and teachers by asking a question, them giving you an answer and you proceed to repeatedly ask why to every consecutive answer.
So to start off, just keep asking “Why?” until you get to the true cause of a particular situation or problem.
- Test It, Validate it!
Even though your family and friends think your product is a killer product, the general public might not be as effusive. When it comes to starting a business that is hopefully profitable and sustainable, do customer surveys and market research. Test your product or service first and find out if people need what you have to offer before you invest your life savings.
We often launch a business with several viable and marketable options, one of which might be your favourite. When the business has been operational for a few months, and the dust has settled, identify the one thing that is working for you and that the public is supporting, and focus on that. It might not be your favourite, but if the tribe has spoken, go with the tribe.
- Make Mistakes
In corporate, it’s all about not screwing up. In most corporate offices, everything is highly-regulated and highly vetted. You don’t want to make a mistake. Even the growth rates are different between a startup and a big corporation. At a corporate environment, you might be trying to raise your revenue 10 percent from last year. However, in a startup, you want to double your numbers every month.
Jakarta is a city full of uncertainties, and you are bound to make mistakes while trying to aim high. You took some shots and made mistakes. Sure, one would certainly be discouraged by unwanted results. But as an entrepreneur, it is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes simply mean you are working hard and trying new things. It’s good. Learn from them and move on.
- Manage cash flow and legalities
Most start-ups think they can wait until they are a large corporation or PT before they need to get their legal and financial planning in order. Not a wise move!
Do not wait. Get a financial and legal expert involved from the get go to ensure there are no loopholes or blind spots that could bite you in the butt down the road. Partnership discussions and potential agreements are another area where you definitely should seek legal advice, especially when a friend or relative is involved. Or anyone, for that matter.
- Connect With People
To get your brand and product out there you need to get out of the office and start meeting real people. The best way to do this is to attend networking events, conferences, or even start to work from a coworking space to get closer to like-minded people. Connect yourself and meet regularly with a business coach or mentor. This is one of the best ways to save your business from yourself. Learn from those who have gone before, and conquered.
Basing yourself in a coworking space gives the best benefit. Not only you connect with new people, but over the time you will start to develop a deeper and meaningful relationship that will help you to grow your business by sharing experience and knowledge. This is definitely the place you want to be when you are starting up!
Make sure you are ready before you trade your relatively secure and stable career for something that is high-risk, but high-reward as well. Ask yourself if you’re okay with going two years without an income to see your vision come through. As optimistic as you may seem, you’ll face challenges and setbacks, so be ready to deal with them.
Written by Danny Widodo (KONSAATO)
Freeware Spaces is one of the first and pioneer CoWorking Space in Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia. Founded in 2012 and managed under GRUPARA INC (a technology startup investment institution/venture capital) to gather and help promising entrepreneurs to work and socialize together in order to reach their peak potential by sharing experiences and knowledge.
Started as a free working space for entrepreneurs and now have more commercial value because of the community that we have established.
FREEWARE has helped and facilitated more than 200 entrepreneurs throughout the years. 70% of the companies have raised investments from $15,000 to $6 Million from Venture Capitals throughout Asia.
Held sharing sessions by speakers & mentors from all over the world and other entrepreneurial events as well.