When starting out as a young tech-entrepreneur in Nepal, one goes through the compulsive need to do the following things and I’ve listed out what you can do instead.
1. Get An Office At Pulchowk Or On A Trade Tower (If You Come From Money)
Instead: Setup a makeshift office by renting a room in one of your co-founder’s homes. The core team operates from here while the other team members are managed to work remotely.
This will usually cost the team around NPR 5k/month if the co-founder lives in Kathmandu which is significantly less in comparison to paying NPR 15k/month at Pulchowk or NPR 50k/month at a Trade Tower.
Also, the co-founder’s mom will usually be supportive enough to provide free amenities like water, internet, etc. so you don’t have to worry about any additional costs. Just make sure to include her in your milestone celebrations so that she feels like a part of the team (which she is at this point and onwards).
And, if you’re doing things solo, find a cheap cafe to work from if you do not like staying at home for work.
2. Hire Employees Through Verbal Agreement On Sweat Equity
Instead: Let them know that this is your first time doing business and you do not have the money to pay them upfront. Come to an agreement where if the business starts generating profit, everyone will get an equal split of 30-80% of the profits in the first year till a set salary can be comfortably defined.
This is your business and you have the right to run it in a guilt-free manner. Do not onboard people with conventional strategies used by other Nepalese founders if it does not feel okay to you. Be honest with yourself first.
3. Post ‘Happy Ghode Jatra’ Photos On The Company’s Facebook Page
Instead: Share your marketing strategies with an experienced entrepreneur first and get their feedback.
Your time with an experienced entrepreneur should be spent on digging out actionable insights on marketing/sales/etc. rather than to talk fluff.
If they cannot advise you with actionable items, it is better to stop shadowing them and find a different dai/didi to ask about the flaws in your way of work.
4. Update Every Relative On The Progress Of Your Business
Instead: Just say ‘thikai chaldai cha’ at both good and bad times. Your business is your business and you don’t have to share all your details just because you’re new to the game.
Also, for them, the conversation usually feels like talking about the weather unless they are genuinely interested in meteorology.
5. Find It Necessary To Have Friends Care About What You Do
Instead: Ask what they are doing in their life for a change. Nobody has to give you any care for just being an entrepreneur.
Pop that bubble in your head as soon as you can.