Entrepreneur Diaries: From crib to playground
Muhammad Chbib talks about expanding an e-commerce start-up...
May 2, 2013 11:16 by kippreport
Kipp asks new entrepreneurs to write about their experiences with launching, managing and growing their start-up companies in the region. This column will be the start of many to come in a series of ‘the entrepreneur diaries’. We invite you, as fresh entrepreneurs, to share your experiences with us and our readers. If you’d like to spread your wisdom, or simply tell us about your worst failures, contact us at [email protected]
The last couple of weeks have been hectic. With Desado still in its infant age, we have already received an overwhelmingly positive response from our customer base in the UAE.
In terms of the designs we are offering our members, the increase in sales and staff, we are overall growing exponentially. Like with an actual child though, mishaps occur (lots of tiny ones), but with a bit of training and education (and lots and lots of internal meetings), processes improve on a daily basis.
As if perfecting the site, our offerings, marketing efforts etc. were not enough; we have set ourselves an even bigger task to accomplish. We are finalising the last necessary steps to launch across the entire GCC, while simultaneously creating an Arabic version of the site to cater to the language preference of the majority of our new target audience.
Under the microscope that means improving and adjusting the base version, while at the same time translating all the required content, setting up the IT and logistics, as well as sourcing products relevant to each of the markets we are targeting. As we are very much aware, KSA is not Kuwait and Kuwait is not Qatar and, well you get the point.
Different people, different product preferences, finding the right mix is the real challenge here.
If you zoom in even further, it means even more internal meetings and last, but definitely not least, just the right amount of boost and drive, for everyone to be motivated and on track.
It is amazing to see your own venture expand, same as seeing your child grow up. There is a high level of stress involved, but the rewards are worth every effort.
Being a successful entrepreneur revolves around a certain mindset. Apart from having a very clear idea about the business model and a strong analytical & strategic thinking; you have to be a people’s person at the same time. Start-ups are crazy, stressful and time-intensive. Sometimes, you need to take a step back from looking at the business as your brainchild and acknowledge the bigger picture; a start-up only works with a great team of people involved and managing these people with a social intelligence is of the essence.
You have to get over the challenges that you come across on a daily basis and make decisions or find solutions that sometimes seem out of the ordinary. Being a rather relaxed personality definitely helps, because the worst thing that can happen, is when the head of the game in fact loses his head in the process.
What have I learned in the last few weeks? Well for one, that children grow up fast and become more and more independent, with the right amount of positive parenting. Also, the step from crib to playground might seem hard at first, but let’s face it, the playground is the much more fun place to romp around.
By Muhammad Chbib, Founder of ecommerce site Desado.com and ex-CEO of Sukar.