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Pakistani Startups – Potential Risks involved

Written by Fatima Muhammed ·  4 min read >

Starting up your own business is a dream hundreds of people see everyday. But there are really just a few who pull up the courage to break new ground. It is a thrilling journey no doubt. The excitement to put forth your idea, introducing it to thousands and gradually millions out there is something that could intoxicate you with triumph and joy but nevertheless a little wobbly too.

Start-ups are a ‘B.I.G D.E.A.L’ everywhere around the globe. Entrepreneurs need to have a list of everything they’ll be dealing with because conditions vary from place to place and business to business. For instance if you want to open a restaurant, you need to see find yourself a perfect location, have an idea about the customers you’re dealing with, consider the price of all the kitchen utensils, the price of food products you need in bulk, the climatic variations and so much more. Similarly if you are thinking of a start-up in Pakistan then not only do you need to dream and work big, you also need to have a ‘TOUGH’ and a very ‘RESILIENT’ soul. Here are a few things you need to watch out for before starting up!

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1- Money doesn’t exactly grow on Trees


Yes, you probably heard your parents or elders say this more often than you actually wanted to hear, but then again that doesn’t lessen the truth and importance this statement carries.

For any start up you need to invest and have a stable cash flow, but it’s not that you can pick money like apples from a tree. Hence, a sturdy investment initially is actually very important. Your business venture could fall apart from nothing more than a poorly planned financial scheme. So, prepare beforehand. How? Use your savings i.e. if you seriously thought of a successful business you’d be saving from day one! If not (yes you were the spendthrift kind that is now ready to make some money themselves) you should be smart enough to look for some investors. Be persuasive. Do not fool them around with a few childish ideas.Here in Pakistan money is not something people joke about. It is only if they see genuine and true potential that investors are willing to contribute. Show them your hard work and then go on towards the next step. Once you have their confidence life could get a little simpler.

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2- Time is Money


If you feel money is only thing you’re risking in a maiden business then think again. You are investing a lot of your time that is not going to come back again. 

Oh yes! Before anything even the ‘cash flow’ becomes a problem it is time you are putting in to set up ideas and plans. You could be a student or an employee or even a housewife who comes by the idea of a start up. You already have a life and every life has got some strings attached to it. A student got enough on his/her plate. They have reports, projects and well a good grade point average to take care of. The life of no employee is easy. With a boss to please and a hundred issues to be dealt in every few hours life can be pretty upsetting. Same is the case of a housewife; her duties may not be from a strict 9 to 5 schedule but definitely is more time and energy consuming round the clock!

Alas, no matter from which walk of life you maybe, a start up will ask you to invest time, interest and attention. Question is, are you willing to make a change? Or are you firmly gripped into the general happenings of life? Time consuming it maybe, but once successful it guarantees you both monetary stability and freedom. You should be capable enough to take on both. Discuss the idea with friends and family; get their support, because it counts a lot.

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3- Spreading like wildfire


The charm of a start-up is hard to resist. I mean come on, put forth all the possibilities of success and name, you’d hardly be the one to keep quiet once you have an idea in your mind. You are willing to go out there and conquer it all. With financial instabilities and improper management to overcome you must never blurt out the idea in front of the world. That is the biggest risk of all. You might have financial supporters and partners in the business venture but yet again, you can not trust them all. Keep them few, and make sure you put your faith in the right ones. Because while you may be suffering from insecurities, your marvelous and well thought of plan maybe in the hands of someone else who has got a better position and better means to put it forth. Once the idea is out it’s going to ‘spread like a fire out of control’. Make sure you got the right extinguishers!

Keep it confidential. As the wise say ‘a closed fist is worth a million bucks!’

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4- Go on a thought diet


The buzz of a startup can be very engulfing. One person has to play a lot of roles at a time, which is why your mind works too much. Once you are overcome by a trillion thoughts you lose focus of what truly matters. Think one step after the other. The biggest risk you encounter would be to lose the true essence of what you had in mind. Keep the idea real and stop thinking about instantaneous business expansion. You are like a little child in the business world that needs to learn a lot. Complete the elementary stages first. Make a well constructed plan and follow it through, not to forget there must also be a plan B. Risks are eliminated mostly if we take baby steps and not try and lunge to distances way too far. A firm base would give you less to worry about. Think about the next step and only the next step. Don’t burden yourself with a million worries.

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5- The ever changing circumstances


Pakistan itself is a developing country and with all that goes around us, working on a startup is not a piece of cake. The inflation, uncertain and surprising taxes put onto things every other second and not to forget the power crises too. An entrepreneur definitely needs to have a spine. You are risking literally everything on the line. So here’s the thing. Learn to be calm, in every possible sense of it.  If you believe in your idea, and are truly in favor of making a dream come true, then let the sky come down you shouldn’t give up.  People have worked in even condition worse than what are here in Pakistan. We should be thankful if we access to the basic resources if not all. Slow and steady you could win all battles. Don’t let things get to you. Every problem comes with a solution in hand. You only have to think through.

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Here The AppJuice is wishing all you young and budding Pakistani entrepreneurs all the very best in life! It’s time you rock the world with your amazing skills! 


Written by Fatima Muhammed
is a writer at the TechJuice. She writes about Technology, Startups and Entrepreneurship. Profile