I’m the co-founder of The Kint Story, an online platform dedicated to rebranding second-hand clothing so that they’re no longer seen as second best.
Currently, we are in a pre-accelerator programme, The Start, run by the organizers behind Startup Weekend. This 12-week long programme commenced in January this year.
Here’s what I learnt so far.
Being in The Start has rapidly accelerated our learning and progress. Even though both my co-founder Elisa, and I have worked in several startups and were also part of National University of Singapore’s Overseas Colleges (New York), this is the first time we are running a business of our own. From this programme, we’ve managed to get help in many areas.
For one, The Start provides us with mentors that are relevant to our business, and are able to give us valuable advice. Many times we commit mistakes that these successful entrepreneurs have made earlier on in their own journeys and being able to get advice from them helps to steer us back to the right path.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People want to help you.
There is no need to shy away from asking for help because you’re afraid that you might appear inadequate. The journey of every entrepreneur is never smooth sailing. There are so many entrepreneurs out there who have been through your struggles and are more than willing to advise you because they fully understand the situation that you are in.
2. Your product does not have to be perfect when you launch.
Aiming to launch into the market with a “perfect” version of your product is a waste of your time.
When we first joined The Start, we had set a goal of launching with this ideal version of our website. It was only after our consultation with the mentors that made us realise that what we already had was good enough. After all, the first version of your product will rarely hit the nail on the head.
Your product will always have to go through several rounds of reiteration based on the feedback you get from your consumers because what they want will often be vastly different from what you had hypothesized. Instead, launch your product with the core features that you want to test out and work things out from there.
3. Listen to advice, but always remember what you stand for.
Everyone that you speak to will perceive your business differently because they come from different industries and are shaped by their own experiences. Being in The Start has given us the opportunity to speak to so many outstanding mentors, and each of them had varying views on our business.
What we’ve learnt is to take all these advice with an open mind, but to also always remember what we started The Kint Story for and the vision that we have, which is to reduce textile wastage.
4. All the resources you need are already out there waiting for you.
It is very easy to feel like the problem you are facing in your business has no solution. That is absolutely not the case. Being exposed to entrepreneurs working on different businesses has taught us to creatively implement solutions from other fields to our business.
Therefore, do not limit yourself to the industry you are working in, instead, speak to the people around you because you never know what you might discover. If you are in need of money, there are many grants out there that you can apply for, you just have to be proactive in searching for them. This also ties back to our first point- do not be afraid to ask for help.
5. Always remember to have fun.
We received this valuable piece of advice from one of our mentors at The Start. He said, “Always remember to have fun because when you enjoy what you’re doing, your customers will be able to tell.” This really resonated with us.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to stick to only one way of doing things when what you did manage to strike a chord with your consumers. But doing things repetitively will not make your business mundane for you, but for your customers as well.
I think — especially when you’re still a young startup — it is a great time to be experimenting and introducing features that you yourself are excited about because you never know what might be the next big thing for your business.
About The Start’s Pre-Accelerator Demo Day
15 April 2019, at Developer Space @ Google Singapore. This is the day when we will be showing potential investors and partners what we have worked on over the past 12 weeks in this programme.
RSVP now here.
About the Kint
We devote a lot of effort to changing the negative perception towards preloved clothing, by recreating the first-hand experience you get when you shop for brand new clothing. Each piece of clothing you see on our website has been carefully curated, washed, modelled for, and will be delivered to your doorstep after you make a purchase.
Image by samuraitop
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