Wednesday, 27 October 2010
We can segregate marketing into different stages. Very first is just about letting others know about your product or services. This can be achieved by various forms of advertising. If your prospective customers are internet users consider ads on websites. Marketing one step ahead is making presentations at conference or to one party at a time. If it goes good you can follow it up with telephonic calls and further appointments.
Marketing is a magic stick which can lure clients to the extent of selling comb to a bald! If your marketing strategy is not impressive enough it is equally difficult (and next to impossible) to get the client back once you’ve lost them. But just because marketing is a magic stick you cannot afford to spend enormously on it. To mark a ceiling to spending on it you need to consider cost of acquiring a customer (CAC) against lifetime value of that customer (LTV). If LTV exceeds CAC by a good margin you can make profit and call your expenditure on marketing worth it.
A step ahead of marketing is sales, which is the real transaction and outcome of marketing! Let’s take deep dive into it sometimes later.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
No individual or company will invest a huge amount when a company is just started. So funding is looked at in steps, it changes with time and revenue. At the very initial stage when a product is to be developed or research to be done seed funding comes at help. Investment companies will not be interested in investing in this phase of your company as it won’t have promising returns. You’ve to convince people from your network about their safe and timely returns. You are bound to encounter surprises and shocks because of denials! You can even look for programs or companies like Y Combinator which are keen to train and fund start-ups. But again the key is you should have good idea or plan with you and should be able to convince!
Looking at general graph of revenue against time of a start-up seed funding gets the company going through the initial stage, till break even is achieved. Once that is achieved you can look at further rounds of funding with bigger capital involved!
Saturday, 16 October 2010
First and foremost is to always keep on affirming positive things. Mind is the ultimate controller of you. You need to make conscious efforts of keeping it in optimistic state until it becomes a habit. Kill the frustration in your conscious mind itself so that it does not even enter your subconscious mind!
Frustration is a side-effect of facing an unexpected unpleasant/difficult situation or problem. In fact no situation in itself is good or bad. It is our mind’s perception that makes it good or bad. So eradicate the thought that whatever you are facing is unpleasant. The solution to our problem might be quiet simple. But the state of frustration stops us from thinking rationally. Take a break from your thoughts trying hard to get solution. This break can be as small as looking at something that you like and cherish a lot or bigger one like taking a round in garden! Just that the continuous lopsided thought process needs be cut off totally. At times when despite all this you don’t find solution consider getting help. This does not raise a question on your ability, but that someone’s experience or suggestion might prove to be valuable!
Another cause of frustration is imbalance of time/efforts versus its results. You expected results in proportion to the efforts that you’d put in, but results are apparently smaller. In such situations you can take it as learning as to what task to undertake and what to refuse. But as an entrepreneur you cannot start with refusals. So better do no repeatedly equate outcome against efforts and do not regret about your decision.
While in state of frustration you are most likely to forget that you’ve to repeat affirmations, take a break or recollect your success moments. So till it becomes a habit jot down what all helps you getting rid of frustration. Keep the points in a place that is visible to you and preferably to no one else (someone looking at it might poke fun at you due to which you would likely throw it off!). Be totally firm that you would not allow frustrations to stop you from setting further tasks or goals!
First and most important is there needs to an unwritten and unsigned bond of trust between partners! Without trust most of your energy and mind will get involved in being skeptic and keeping an eye on your partner. Ultimately your mind needs to be aloof from all this to take appropriate decisions.
It is better to find someone who is on similar ethical lines about business as you are. If you are firm to do a clean business while your partner is of kind who plays business as politics then it is the most horrible mismatch! It is very difficult to digest such things and equally difficult to mould yourself so opposite to what you are. So better don’t go for such partnering, better opt for partner with similar business goal and vision as you have.
Your partner should be a self-motivated person (so should you!). Rather than doing every activity as an assigned task he should be a person who takes initiative in doing tasks. Also your partner should be an optimistic person and who doesn’t get upset with every single bad experience. You cannot always keep on doing the job of motivating your partner and showing him a silver lining ahead.
It is also important that partner should be open to ideas and changes and not be sticking to his own point. Being adamant closes all the doors of healthy discussions and proper decision making. Ideas you might be working on might need shift of focus or modifications due to change in market trend or similar sudden successful product in market. See to it that the person you are partnering with is flexible enough, thinks out of the box and just does not just go with a set standard of thought process.
You and your partner as package should make a whole business go-getter entity. Some of the qualities will be found in one while some in other. Analyzing what is whose forte, you should divide activities. Partnering is ultimately a compromise as well as a mutual need. It remains healthy as long as trust sustains!
Friday, 15 October 2010
In between this blog will also showcase some of the ideas like this:
1. Targeted to help recruitment professionals in segregating profiles from LinkedIn.
2. Bookmark public profiles (you do not have to request for a connection).
3. Assign categories to profiles. This is helpful in order to review/keep track of filtered profiles.
4. Add notes to profiles (e.g. number of years of experience).
5. Ease of maintaining candidates' info by saving their email and contact numbers.
6. Delete profiles from your list if you don't need them.
7. Offline access to your saved data. You can access your saved data without internet connection.
8. Remember Search button is not the ultimate solution when you have better tools available like this!
Click on the extension icon after you have browsed a LinkedIn public profile.
It will take you to the options page where you can enter the data you want to save.
Once you are done with your changes click on the save button(Close this new tab and continue with LinkedIn for more candidates).
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Executive Summary should contain a gist of all the points mentioned below.
Overview of business should contain info like its type, on-paper stuff, location.
Clearly mention the kind of products of services your business will offer. If multiple, categorize them as per their domains or prospective clients.
Market analysis should highlight on how and where your business play a role and why customers will go for it. While doing this activity you will get acknowledged with what all similar or linked products or business already exists in current market (even those which you may not have heard till now but do manage to survive!)
In sales section include your marketing strategy. You can also specify whether you’ll go for paid advertisements or rely on mouth publicity.
Risk assessment needs to contain what all are the possible threats to your business and actions to mitigate them.
Funding is a very crucial part of any business. You should have estimate of money required to have all the resources required for your business. And as always here also goes the rule of thumb, actual costing always goes to the higher end of the estimate! Finance part of your business plan should also what is expected revenue in coming few years.
Monday, 11 October 2010
Friday, 8 October 2010
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
How often do you make first impression about any person or company looking at the website? I’m damn sure very often. So make your company website really good!
What all is required to say that a website is good? Here are certain brief points:
- It should contain all due information about company’s expertise, domain, founders, where is it located.
- If the bounce rate is high then it is high time to consider revising your website. Thanks to Google Analytics for letting us know the statistics of page visits! A good website makes you stay on it.
- Pages should be updated regularly. Update the site timely to provide latest info about the company.
- It will be an add-on if the website is made with attractive graphics. Folks do believe in ‘What you see is what you get’.
So get cracking on making your startup website nicer.