Entrepreneurship is a lot like kite-flying. The tactics used to win a kite flying competition can be applied to running a business too. Kite-flying requires the same values and skills an entrepreneur must have too. Patience, dexterity and focus are just some of them. Starting business requires keeping an eye out for the competition, focus on the core product/service, using tactics, and deploying innovative and cutting edge technology.
Learn from the pros. Would you have ever guessed that the age-old practice of kite-flying, the mark of festivities in India, would also help you to start and run a business? Well, there is! On the joyous occasion of Sankranti, we have a few kite-flying entrepreneurial tips for you.
Use the right tactics to soar.
In Kite-flying, you need to know your manoeuvres. If you have meticulously planned your move, that’s good news! However, more often than not, you will need to make quick decisions, learn to manage contradictions, and ease confusion by bringing in clarity and context. How do you stay dynamic yet consistent, be a ninja and make the right leaps, but also rely on good old experience? When you start a company, free advice pours in from all quarters – friends, well-wishers, relatives, opponents. Choose who you would like to listen to. For example: who would you rather have taught you to fly a kite? Tactics in business are the same as the ones you use to fly a kite.
One simple rule: Go with the flow of the wind, and throw a little caution to it as well.
Guidelines to the rescue
Every startup environment is unique. However, certain guiding principles form an integral part of the long-term success mantra of any new enterprise. A simple analogy with kite-flying can provide you with immediate actionable plans. Have you been to a kite-flying festival? This friendly battlefield is full of meaningful insights that can easily be extrapolated into formulating best practices for your startup! Here are a few strategies to apply:
You just registered your startup. Super! But here’s something to be aware of right from the beginning. Launching a business is like entering a kite-flying competition. Ever tried enrolling in one? Go to the grounds and look up. Do you see only your kite up there? No. There would be a few thousands of them bobbing up and down, all with the same zeal and enthusiasm as yours.
Lesson 1: Remember that yours is not the only kite/business out there. It’s a little trap every new entrepreneur falls into from time to time. Ground realities do not hurt, but prepare and be fortified. Keep your eyes and ears wide open. Do not panic, but be aware.
Catch the pros!
Weeks before a kite-flying festival, there is a flurry of activity to get the best kite made. Everyone makes a beeline for expert kite makers in the market. Your kite must possess the ability to fight other kites; it must be the most manoeuvrable one and the strongest.
Lesson 2: Knowledge and expertise are great tools to have. Before you begin your startup, talk to the experts. Hire a couple of them to give you insights into your business.
‘Rise’ above the ordinary
Technically speaking, a kite requires a length of twine, some paper, two bamboo sticks, glue, and scissors. You can make a basic kite with these materials. But is it sufficient to win against all the other kites in the competition? Do you know a professional kite flier may have his kite string coated with ground glass so that it can easily bring down rival kites? Do you know how to adjust the bridle?
Lesson 3: Are you a futurist? Are you equipped with the latest technology? What secret armour does your company possess to stay one-up against the rest? Now that you consulted the experts invest in specialisation. Your product is your weapon!
Kite it out!
Your kite is now up in the sky, and its gentle dalliance enthrals you with the wind. The kite next to yours does not seem threatening; it’s all perfect! Bravo! Suddenly that other kite veers in and cuts yours, and within seconds your beautiful kite falls to the ground. Careless feet trample it into the dirt while you’re still trying to come to terms with the mishap. There are laughter and congratulations going around, and you realise with much anguish that you’re vanquished. If only you had been more vigilant!
Lesson 4: It is quite natural that your attention gets diverted substantially into one activity. It could be a personal matter that took precedence over professional goals. A small slip may have a large impact. Whatever the case, do not lose track of your goal. Your competitors are waiting to grab your clients. Don’t give them a chance. Stay focused!
Not so gone with the wind.
You’re steering your kite in a certain way, and you’re sure you can keep it safe and aloft for a long time. However, did you know that if you manoeuvre using the wind dynamics to your favour, your kite will be even safer? Staying alert and adapting your kite to the blowing winds of change will make it superior to others.
Lesson 5: Encountering challenges is part of the game. Journeying from the invisible to the invincible requires a regular assessment of today’s fast-paced, dynamic environment. It’s entirely possible that your well-thought-out strategy may fail to work midway. It’s important to take note, rethink the strategy, and make a sudden switch. Adapt, innovate, and step out of your bubble from time to time. Remember to stay flexible!
Hanging by a thread isn’t too bad.
The ground glass encasing the kite string is a powerful tool. It adds to the kite flyer’s confidence as it can cut down the competition when necessary and allows yours to fly high in complete abandon, for as long as you choose to.
Lesson 6: If you choose to rise from mediocrity, maximise your talent pool. Establishing a strong team is akin to having a strong backbone. Invest in the core team and employ a team with diverse skills.
Is it a bird, a plane or your business?
Some may be exceptionally skilled in flying kites, and may not have lost any kite-flying competition. You admire them from a distance; they are your heroes. However, by merely praising them you’re keeping them at arm’s length. Instead, you need to step up and be your own hero.
Lesson 7: It requires honesty and self-examination to rise to the top. Test many beliefs. Discard all fears. Keep trying to get better, and do not stop! Relieve stress, get relentless, pursue with passion. Be the hero that employees look up to.
Embrace, proceed and win.
Remember that a kite is meant to soar. Do all it takes to keep it flying high!
Kite-flying teaches you to be flexible, focused and tethered. Just like Instamojo does with your payments. Instamojo allows you to collect payments with all modes including Debit/Credit cards, NEFT and mobile wallets. If you are starting a business, then we are your payment gateway.
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