EXCLUSIVE: Saygin Yalcin’s top tips for a successful startup

Saygin Yalcin’s

Saygin Yalcin is a German entrepreneur of Turkish descent. He is the founder and CEO of SellAnyCar.com, and a partner at one of the region’s leading e-commerce company Souq.com Group, which was recently acquired by Amazon for $650 million. But that’s not all. Yalcin made headlines after he gifted a $250,000 Rolls Royce to Kendall Jenner last year on her birthday.

Yalcin exclusively shared his tops tips with Newsweek Middle East for running and growing a successful startup.


Entrepreneurship is like a marathon with a lot of sprints in between. First, you have to see if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, and if you are the type of person who wants to build a business. I believe that for entrepreneurs to start their own business ventures, they need to think of the below six points:

  • Are you solving a problem?
  • Are you passionate about your idea?
  • Is it the right timing? Is it too early to launch the business? Or, is it too late? In that sense, make sure the market is ready for your business.
  • Are there any regulatory showstoppers? Make sure there are no laws that can hinder or prohibit you from launching your business. And check if there are any licenses you need to obtain prior to launching.
  • Is it profitably scalable? In other terms, Business Planning would be the step following an idea generation. One aspect of the business plan includes preparing well your financial plans.
  • Do you have a strong monetization plan (do you have the financial strength to support the plan)? On the long term –how much would you have to spend until you start making money (generating revenue and profit). The ratio of the cost to revenue should be 1:1. Note that it usually starts like this but should drop over time.

When it comes to growing your business, you need to hire the right team members keeping in mind the following points:

  • Don’t hire family or friends, as it becomes difficult to distinguish between professional and personal lives,
  • Hire a T-shaped team members who, not only have a general understating of everything related to the business, but also have a deep understanding of one area which they will specialize in/be focused on.
  • Don’t outsource key roles.
  • Don’t hire big cats first: Big cats are managers who have experience in the market for over 20 years. Instead, hire young professionals who are smart and will get things done themselves.
  • Hire A-players who are self-starters.
  • Hold daily or weekly meetings with your managers.
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