It’s hard to believe it’s been five years already. We all know that time flies by fast, but you don’t realize how fast it can move unless you’re an entrepreneur. Five years, 30 people, and over 125 startups – did it really happen? The day when Aakriti and I first decided to start a marketing company devoted to startups, feels like a distant dream now.
Well, enough of reminiscing! The important thing is, what are the key lessons I’ve learned? Here’s my side of the story:
- Faith: Surprise, surprise! If you were to ask me the secret ingredient that kept me going, it’s the good old word “faith”. When you start out, you think that you’d able to stay afloat using your brains, training, or experience. But actually when it is down to the wire, these turn out to be nothing more than embellishments. What actually matters most is that you weather the storm even if you are not fully confident.
- Secret sauce (Hiring): Hiring has been the secret sauce of our growth. But we’ve avoided hiring in desperation; there were times when Aakriti and I felt that the addition of a certain person would do wonders to the company, but if he/she was not culturally fit, we restrained ourselves. As a result, we are 30 people today functioning as a well-oiled machine – criticism is given openly and taken with humility, which is our biggest asset.
- Present AND Future: Which is more important, the present or the future? For us, both! We manage that by living in today but working for tomorrow. Because we work with startups, we need to look beyond what has worked in the past and ensure that unique ideas are backed by unique strategies. A crucial part of this is our strategy of adding a new skill-set every six months. The last six months saw us foray into video commercials—we did a three-part series for CashKaro.com—and it’s now a matter of pride that we’re able to handle concept, script, shoot, everything!
- Relationships above all: That one should put relationships above all else has become a cliché, but we still like to repeat this time-tested advice. Boring Brands would have been nothing were it not for the clients, employees, friends, and family who’ve helped us at critical junctures. In fact, over 90% our business has come from word of mouth, and most of our clients have been with us for over 3 years, which we’re really proud of. A big shout-out to all the well-wishers out there!
- Honesty: Ready for another cliché? Here it comes: Honesty is the best policy! Yes, everyone is tired of hearing it, but for us this has been a pillar of strength. We like to say that we work transparently and stick to deadlines. And if we are not able to do it on time, we let clients know well in advance. At the end of the day, I think that’s more important than how many awards you have won.
What am I happiest about? Well, there are a lot of things, but the decision that stands out in my mind is our ambition of becoming the “World’s largest startup marketing company”. Today we are into the most essential services a company needs— content marketing, public relations, videos, advertising, branding, design, strategy and thought leadership —and aim to expand as quickly as possible.
I look forward to the ride ahead!