Aamir Qutub

Startup Guide - Everything You Need To Know To Start And Grow



In the fifth episode of the podcast, Aamir Qutub answers some common startup questions and explains the elements that are required to kickstart your entrepreneurship career.

Watch the video or keep reading below to find out how you can start your own venture and what key elements are needed to boost your startup and make it successful.

Here's the video

Startup Guide- Everything You Need To Know To Start And Grow

What's the difference between Small Business And Startup? (1:06)

A small business is a self-sustaining entity that generates revenue from the first day of its opening. They don’t need substantial investment and time to build a working company.

Typically, a small business brings a comparatively small amount of sales, enters a local or regional sector and has a small number of employees. For example- a cafe, a restaurant, and other types of hospitality businesses come under Small Business.

While there are no stringent rules to determine what startup is, the general definition of a startup is any company that is in the early stages of operations but expects significant growth in the near future.

"No one is going to hire you without experience, but to gain it you need to work"

Best startup resources for entrepreneurs (13:28)


Before you move on, download your copy of the Career Booster Toolkit.

Use this Toolkit to assess yourself and open up new opportunities, which you may not have noticed.


Statistics claim that most startups are faced with a grim fate. You may have learned that 8 out of 10 companies crashed. Nevertheless, this is not entirely correct; according to a survey by Statistic Brain, more than 50 per cent of U.S. businesses fail after five years, and more than 70 per cent fail after 10 years.

Why does this happen? Steve Blank suggests that traditional approaches to business growth will not apply to startups.

Unlike businesses, start-ups conduct innovations; they are sponsored and scaled differently and have different goals. The aim of startups is to bring change to the masses rather than follow the trodden track of very well-known business schemes.

(Get the business plan canvas here: Business Model Canvas | Aamir Qutub Academy)

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? (15:27)

The fact is you don’t know what it takes to be an entrepreneur unless you try. To be an entrepreneur, you have to be persistent or resilient enough. Many people can become successful entrepreneurs – it takes the will and the willingness to learn. There are specific skills that increase the chances of entrepreneurial success, such as management, sales and product design.

These skills can be taught and mastered. Also, to become an entrepreneur, you need more than charisma. Successful entrepreneurs exhibit vision, systematic thinking, strong analytic skills, and a blend of humility and ambition.

Why should you follow the Lean Startup Methodology? (19:33)

The Lean Startup Methodology offers a systematic approach to the development and management of startups and accelerates consumer production of the desired product. The Lean Startup approach shows you how to drive a startup:

  • how-to guide, when to turn, and when to persevere,
  •  and how to grow a company with full acceleration.

This is a principled approach to the production of new goods.

What is a Minimum Viable Product? (21:05)

  • The minimum viable product (MVP) is a Lean Startup term that stresses the effect of learning on the production of new goods.

  • Eric Ries described the MVP as the version of a new product that allows the team to obtain the maximum amount of validated customer learning with the least effort. This validated learning takes the form of whether your consumers can actually buy your product.

How to find a good idea for my startup? (23:08)

If you’re looking for a startup idea, don’t look outside for people to tell you what they’re looking for. Choose a personal problem, reaffirm it, and if you see people actually inclined to use or pay for a solution like that, then and only then start a business around it.

Why is the business model canvas important before venturing out? (26:05)

Business Model Canvas is strategic management and business tool. It helps you to define, plan, challenge, innovate and rotate your business model.

Business Model Canvas breaks down your business model into easily understood segments:

  1. Key Partners,
  2. Key Activities,
  3. Key Resources,
  4. Value Propositions,
  5. Customer Relationships,
  6. Channels,
  7. Customer Segments,
  8. Cost Structure, 
  9. Revenue Streams.

Innovation is disruptive. But, not every business is prepared for disruption. Without a strategy, pivoting is almost impossible.

For a company to evolve, it must have a fine-tuned plan to lead it towards a sustainable potential business model.

Using a method like Business Model Canvas, it will help to put your company together in a simple vision of where your organization is now and where it will be tomorrow (and how it’s going to be there).

What questions does an investor ask before investing in your company? (36:08)

Investors usually ask five questions before they decide to invest in your startup.

  1. What problem are you solving? What is it exactly you’re solving?
  2. Whose problems are you solving? Who are your customers/target audiences?
  3. Who are your competitors?
  4. How are you better than your competitors? 
  5. How are you faster than them? How are you better than them and cheaper than them?

Exit Strategy is a crucial part while mapping a business strategy (38:27)

Your exit strategy is crucial because it helps you define the success of your company. When entrepreneurs have not formulated an exit plan, it could be an indication that they are not focused on the potential transformation of the company. There’s a saying among venture capitalists, “It’s easy to make an investment, but how do we get out of it?”

And investors don’t want the exit plan to be complicated or messy. Essentially, having a harvest goal and a plan to achieve it is what distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from the rest of the group.

Wrapping it up

Since the turn of the century, small startup ideas—Uber, Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb, to name a few—have been scaled into technology giants. Could you imagine a day without scrolling social media? Or jumping in an Uber to the airport? Startups have disrupted industries by focusing on cutting-edge technology, the sharing economy, and social media. Startups also have the potential to influence and transform industries of the future. So, leap into the start-up world with fresh ideas and a desire to change the world.


"People who get lucky are those who work harder than others. Don't crib at your failures, get inspired by them."

Sacrifices are not in vain. At the end, everything will pay off.

We are regularly coming up with new episodes. But, we certainly understand that you may need further guidance. Please feel free to enroll in the Job Ready Certification Course, join the community or view all the downloadable resources about jobs and careers by clicking on the below links.
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