Ferruh Mavituna
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The First Step, is Starting Your Business

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Ferruh Mavituna is the Founder and Product Manager of Netsparker. He developed the first and only proof-based web security scanner with vulnerability detection and exploitation features. Ferruh also worked for the Turkish Army and Police from 2002-2006.

The first step in business is understanding how to start it. If you don’t have a graduate degree and you live in an underdeveloped country with no savings or a network to start a business, but you only have an idea then how do you start?

I’m certain you won’t go ask for financial support when you don’t know in particular what you want to do. You must have a vision of what you want to build and accomplish in the business, you have to know how to start and how to make it bigger and eventually where you see your
business in a couple of years and how will you achieve that.

The first thing in starting a business is building a network, if you want a network of your own then you have to make your own connections, and to do that you need to build something. But networks are two-sided coin because if you can build something then you can have a network,
whereas if you build something great a network will come to you. For you can’t build a network unless you have something useful to show, and unless you have proven yourself.

When talking to people who want to set new companies, they usually have this misconception, they think if they read new articles or look at all of the startup world, they can start a business. It is not like
that at all, actually, this only applies for minority and that hardly happens. Only the people solving a world’s problem can do it. Take WhatsApp for instance, its biggest success is the world turned to use it instead of expensive SMS and charging message applications.

What about practice? Well, even though it does make perfect you shall ignore it. You shall not practice in an enterprise’s way, because since you are small and agile, you can do things they cannot. Practicing at your own pace is better for when you first start a business.

A piece of advice, seeing some company doing something crazy yet still successful, does not mean their success comes from doing crazy stuff. It only states they are successful despite doing crazy things, it proves their core product, core business proposition is so good, and it still
works.
Starting a business is about knowing what you aim for, what you want to do. Do you want a lifestyle business? Do you want to make 50 million a year? Billion a year? Making more money is not wrong but it never meant it’s not ok to NOT have more.

One of the tiresome problems going into the market, which is a massive challenge, is the competition. It is tough when you are new, you will find your competitions dominating the market and it is fine. You are still small, so think of ways to convince a client why should he switch from this company to you? And telling them “I’m slightly better!” is not enough, you have got to show them something great. Once in a competition, don’t play the competitors game; they have been doing it for years, they have more experience and more resources while you are still at the beginning. Be patient and make some noise to attract clients, you will get bigger in due time.

Moreover, because you don’t have the money to survive years in the market, you need to focus on whatever your unique selling point, your core offer is.it was you who built this idea, so focus on it, and execute it. Allocate your resources in what matters and ignore anything else.

“Be so good they cannot forget you” is an effective piece of advice and it might save you in the business world, but it is not enough! You have to reach that point where you make a differentiation in your market, after that, any other thing about your product will be addressed
later on.

Go ahead and build your first great product and focus on it, do it, use what you know in your life, start your company and keep that momentum to build something great and it will happen.

─ March 23, 2019