Startup Mistakes to Avoid & Learning from SleepyCat's Founder Kabir Siddiq

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Oct 1, 2021 3 min read
Startup Mistakes to Avoid & Learning from SleepyCat's Founder Kabir Siddiq
This article is contributed by Kabir Siddiq (Founder & CEO of SleepyCat). SleepyCat is India's Premium D2C sleep solutions brand.

Right after college, I (Kabir Siddiq) was looking to pursue a career in Finance and Banking. I found myself following the crowd. During the initial phase, I worked with Deutsche Bank in the Investment Banking division. Though I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I always had the desire to do something more. I was keen on pursuing the Entrepreneurial route and building something meaningful. I didn’t want to stick to a traditional job role throughout my life. I really wanted to create, Innovate and develop something of my own. The idea always excited me.

The Journey of SleepyCat began when I entered the old and unchanged mattress Industry. I realized a big gap existed in the market between manufacturing a mattress and eventually delivering it to a consumer. This long chain; mostly distribution, logistics, warehousing, and retail, severely inflated the price of a mattress without reason. In addition, the quality and structure of a mattress being sold at a price like that were nowhere close to being comparable or justified! To top it all, mattress shopping was troublesome with so many unnecessary choices. We wanted to simplify this and make the process of mattress shopping fun and easy while delivering a world-class product through just four simple clicks! Four years later, we have achieved a great product that can be seen with our mattress being the highest rated in the country.

The journey from then to now has been riddled with a path of making mistakes and learning. It’s all about constantly improving yourself, the product, and the team.

Here are some of the things I learned during my Startup journey.

Always have a plan

While this may seem like one of the most basic pieces of advice, it is the most important to heed. Map out a business plan that outlines your objectives, costs, anticipate the results, and always work towards a goal you have to achieve. Goals help you align your focus towards success. Stay organized towards your goals.

Here's an Ultimate Guide to Writing a Business Plan.

Don’t do everything yourself

It’s great to be independent, but never at the cost of your business. Surround yourself with the right people who can consult and steer you in the right direction. This is highly important for aspects that require technical expertise which help scale your business operations.

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Choose the right investors

Once your product or service has seen steady growth in the market, select the right investors who will boost your business. Your first set of investors will make it or break it. Investors are more than financial support, they place their confidence in your business potential.

Listen to your customer

The customer may not always be right, but they’re ultimately the ones with the purchasing power. Always listen to their complaints, suggestions, and feedback. This leads to building credibility and trust among your customers, it also helps you understand the iterations required to create a product fit for your target market.

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Never undervalue your products

Today’s internet-savvy audience is well-read and researched. They’re looking for good quality, durable products. Create and price your products according to their needs. Choose the best quality raw materials, select the right pricing & value your products at a cost that is affordable.

Also Read: Top 9 most common pricing strategies employed by business

A successful startup is not built within a week, it takes months, sometimes years, of learning to reach the pinnacle. Hire the right set of people who help your startup grow, consult mentors you can lean on, and most of all accept your mistakes! Mistakes are inevitable, learn to adjust your expectations and move on from them. Never be afraid of failure, keep trying, and always innovate.

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