Who are your customers?

The central part of any business is the “customer” and all activities are directed for the customers’ satisfaction in an organization. You can see the companies competing on prime time space on television to showcase their product and seek attention of the audiences. Big companies and research institutes spend a huge sum for customers’ profiling, buying behavior, marketing and advertising to influence customers’ buying decision, selling product to him/her, assessing feedback and retain him/her for life time.

However, you have to have a clear understanding about the product which you have to sell first. Further you also need to know about the target audience or crowd and their buying behavior, sales pitch and customization etc. In this post, I have identified few questions and taking energy drinks as an example to understand your customers better:

  1. What is your product or service? Answer this question with another question….What gap your product will fill? E.g. if your product is an energy drink, it will re-energize an exhausted marathoner. It is also served in party for energizing party lovers and by youngsters to simply satisfy their thirst during their activities.
  2. Whom you are targeting to sell your product/service? A survey result of students says that 68% students use it while studying, 49% while partying and 51% occasionally. This information will lead you to the target customers.
  3. What is the USP of your Product/service? The energy drink is used as rehydrating and re-energizing drinks for sports persons. It fits with all themes of the party. It goes along with almost all the ages.
  4. Where your customer stay, work and buy? Based on our product, demographical profile and USP, now we are closer to our customer. We can find out more about their location geographically, Place of work or residence and nearby market or mode of purchase (e.g. online).
  5. How your customers buy your product/ service? Determining buying behavior i.e. pattern, frequency of your customers will be helpful to understand whether the purchase is made yearly, seasonally, monthly or weekly. It is important to know the pattern/frequency of the purchase of your customer so that you get to know him/her better. Social media play a vital role here like what an individual follows on facebook gives lot of information about his/her personality.
  6. Why your customers buy your product/ service? It is important to understand what made your customer buy your product or service and compare it with similar purchases made in the past? Sometimes endorsing celebrities as per the profile of customers’ likes and dislikes is very helpful for the business houses because many people follow the product which is used by their favorite actors.

 

It is possible to influence your customers’ buying decisions, if you know him/her better. Steve Jobs said “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. This is a great saying because if you know your customers, it is helpful in designing your product/services accordingly and also very helpful to create value proposition over your competitors.

 

Angel Investors: Angels for Early Stage Investing

There is a reason angel investors are called just that because they are angels indeed, who see benefit in your untested products or idea and invest in your venture. They are the early-age risk-takers who bring more companies in the marketplace. It is because they want high return on their investments that they become angel investors plus, they get to work with bright individuals who are brimming with ideas and innovation.

Let us just say that it is not just a great idea or your conviction that will draw the angels to invest in your business. They are looking for some emotional connection whether it is in the form of what is to offer or how you present the overall idea. It is also a lot to do about how your business would have a sustainable growth, how it leverages technology and how it proposes to create quick landmarks. But that is not all. An entrepreneur may need to prepare themselves long and hard to be able to have an investor offer the start-up money. Having said that, not only is finding an ideal investor a fabulous breakthrough but you can ace the criteria simply auctioning on some of the basics of your business. So, the next time you pitch, these are a few things you might want to consider:

Your Team

Angels often invest in people rather than products. Having an A-team with the most credible and likeable approach to the business tends to attract the angels. You may have a great idea on hand, but if you do not have people who have the necessary expertise or skills to execute that idea then it would never work with the investors. Angel investors want to be a part of your success story and so they look for the resourcefulness and entrepreneurship that you and your team bring in tough times. They would also be interested if one of the founders has been in a startup before and has had some experience in establishment and advisory.

Rakesh Malik (Managing Director & Founder- Combine Ways) adds, “If you are not thorough with the financial terms or taxation or creating the bottom-line,in what way your venture will be profitable, how can you optimize whatever little funds you have put, it’s quite challenging. You need someone to support it, to understand. That is what team building is. It’s good to get that person on board.”

Business Plan

A convincing and completed plan is an absolute must before you pitch to an investor. This means it should have had 360 degrees view of all the aspects that involve the business model, market evaluation, financial projections, competition study, problem-solving, edge over competition and how the investor will make money from your business. Of course, it is not always true that if you have a business plan your success is guaranteed. It simply indicates that you have a clear understanding of your business standing in the market and that there is opportunity for solid return. Since the investors involve themselves in a high degree of risk, so they expect not just getting their money back but a higher return on their investment, sometimes even seven times more!

Scalability

Angel investors are always looking for businesses that need a minimum viable product to reach the market space that can quickly scale and raise enough money for the operations. Businesses that have a large workforce or long sales-cycle often tend to scale slowly. Not only that, such businesses take far longer to establish their name in the market, thereby not creating the necessary escalation upwards. Let us take the example of companies like Facebook, Uber, AirBnB and Alibaba who have had minimum input from the company itself but has could implement a structure that allows the public to use their own assets, for profit. Not only are these exciting startups but they also held a promise to deliver great returns.

Smriti Chandra (Founding Partner at First League Ventures) shares, “When you’re raising a seed fund, at that point of time angel networks will want to look at some bit of traction that has happened in your business; either the product has got ready , there is some kind of alpha/beta launch that has happened , some level of progress in the project.

Integrity

The investors are looking for smarts, passion and drive in an entrepreneur. But more than that, it is your integrity that will hold the collaboration between you and them. During the liaison, there could be a whole lot that can go wrong, but if the entrepreneur can build that trust with the investor, in most likelihood the bond will bear fruition. There are personal qualities like determination, resilience and passion that will make the investors trust that you are note just good at leading the team, setting goals, and managing finances but also great at rising to the occasion when the going gets tough.

Exit Strategy

Even though angel investors patiently and willingly make long-term investments, yet they need to have a clear understanding of how they are going to reap the return on their investment. Therefore, having a clear and viable exit strategy is an essential element that you may want to prepare while preparing your pitch. Of course, while forecasting the entrepreneurs must be realistic and not come up with outlandish claims that do not match the reality, because that would certainly put the investors off.

Getting the investor have eyeballs for your business, be sure to keep your business investor-ready. This simply means being ready with your business plan, restructuring your business strategy, keeping your finances clean and having a killer team to seal the deal. Once you have done this, simply tailor out a pitch by incorporating what we have discussed here. Investors are always on a look out for a pitch where their inputs are not required at all!

Good luck!!

Expert Advice

Advice to Entrepreneurs seeking funding

“Answer to yourself first, how convinced you are that you can make this project a completely scalable model and take it to the next level. Because if you are not convinced then you cannot convince anybody else.

Be convinced that these are the skill sets, which I can use for my project, and these are the skill sets I can find from others. Therefore don’t hesitate to find the right co-founders for your project. It is very important to have a balanced team at the management level so that you can always have crossing of ideas. Single promoter driven companies are always not the best choice for the investors.”

About Smriti

Smriti is an investment banking professional, with extensive experience in advising clients on fund raising, mergers and acquisitions, growth strategy etc. She runs a boutique Investment Banking Firm – First League Ventures, based out of NCR, to support early stage businesses in their strategy and fund raising process. A Chartered Accountant by profession, she has worked on multiple statutory and internal audits, tax engagements and due diligence engagements for both large enterprises as well as SMEs. She has over 12 years of Investment Banking experience from a Big 4 firm in India, focused on private equity / venture fund raising and strategic acquisitions. Her expertise is financial modeling, deal structuring, valuation, due diligence and deal negotiation in the Telecom, Media and Technology sectors, including Education and Professional services.

Experiential Bootcamp; To Become Investor Ready

Not Just Mentoring BUT Real ACTION to get Early Start -Ups Investor Ready 

LeaderinU launched the “L.I.F.E. Bootcamp & Investor Day” in collaboration with leading organizations in the Startup ecosystem. The L.I.F.E. Bootcamp & Investor Day is dedicated to drive early stage start-ups to be investor ready through action based training and experience sharing discussions with industry experts and serial entrepreneurs. It brings together industry experts, investors and entrepreneurs to share the best practices, address challenges and to facilitate a great platform to invest in scalable early startups to boost their growth and nurture them.The Program included the following: 

1. L.I.F.E. program screened and selected a group of 15 entrepreneurs to join the L.I.F.E. Bootcamp & Investor Day held on 18-20 April, 2017 in New Delhi. 

2. The Program was designed specifically for early stage startups striving to achieve solid, sustainable levels of growth with the right kind of investments. 

3. The bootcamp comprised of first 2 days dedicated to action based learning where they were refining and enchanting their business model and preparing to pitch in front of the investors.

4. The bootcamp’s approach offered an action-based process where participants were continuously learning and acting throughout the entire 3 days. It helped participants to refine important strategic aspects of their business model and tactical actions to create powerful pitch decks for the investors.  

5. With 2 interactive, experience sharing round table sessions with the industry experts, serial entrepreneurs and investors. 

Niraj (Participant – Co-founder at Elderly Camp) adds, “I have been to a lot of workshops but there is more of story telling about what you have to do but how you have to do, how you really can get it done is not explained. That was the aspect, which came here, and I loved it. This workshop is perfect for startups and budding entrepreneurs.”

6. Roundtable sessions held were covering real important matters for entrepreneurs such as: from market entry to customer segmentation, roadmap from fundraising to exit, from idea to execution challenge and how entrepreneurs can lead their companies from idea to series B. In addition to a session on experience sharing with serial entrepreneurs and how & what should early stage startups look at. 

7. On the 3-day, they pitched in front of the panel of investors – Indian Angel Network, Kae Capital, NASSCOM 10000 Startups, and Ah Ventures. Digvijay Singh (Investor Panel – VP, IndianAngelNetwork) stated, “Bootcamp was good, indeed! We shortlisted 4 deals to get into deeper due diligence at IAN.

 The objective of the bootcamp is to extend the reach of leading investment firms by providing access to high-growth early startup with growth potential. 

The event has attracted 100+ early stage entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and business leaders. 15 startups were shortlisted for the bootcamp and 12 startups were selected to pitch their business on stage in front of the investors and 4 Startups were selected for the next round of discussions for investments.

Interview with Juhee Sachdev

Q. Tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur.

A. After 15 years of experience in Leadership & Learning domain working with Accenture, I left the corporate world to start my own venture. I started LeaderinU around 3 years back with the vision to harness the uniqueness in every individual and work on his or her strengths.

Its when I started out and formed my company, did I realise that women entrepreneurs in India are still struggling to make their mark. They are faced with challenges like culture bias, public safety or balancing work, life and home.

And I started with the new program called L.I.F.E. – Leader in Female Entrepreneurs. It’s a program for Female Entrepreneurs; dedicated to encourage their progress and help them grow their business. It arms them with tools to build their entrepreneur skills, networking skills and stay inspired to venture into new business opportunities or enter the next phase to grow existing business. It’s all about – Harness your power to your passion.

Q. What keeps you up at night?

A. Financial Management is critical for success of any business – especially a start-up. You need to do so much with very limited resources – money, time, and people. It gives me sleepless nights.

Q. What keeps you going?

A. The whole journey towards achieving my goal is a rewarding experience. It gives me the motivation to keep moving ahead inspite of any challenges.

Q. What are 2 most essential skills any entrepreneur must have to succeed?

A. The most essential skills will be

  • Confidence in your abilities, in your own strengths, to help you grow your business.
  • Determination to overcome any challenges that stop you from achieving your goals.

Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

A. Keep yourself focused and determined and don’t let anyone or anything pull you down.

45 Amazing Business Tools for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, I have realised that a team’s productivity lies in the utilisation of its time and resources most effectively. Especially, if you are commencing a small business, it becomes highly important that time management and team management remains top of the chart for us to perform optimally and meritoriously. When I started off as an entrepreneur, I realised that a lot of responsibilities from hiring employees, managing teams, marketing the brand and dealing with finances fell on my platter to handle immediately. Having to juggle with all these responsibilities was not only daunting but stressful as well.

Working together on a schedule with the help of some useful tools, helped me manage my business better and brought the team together working on similar timelines and schedules thereby improving the productivity and saving time to deliver more.

With the diversity in the business world presently, there is an increasing change in the way that we conduct business and communicate with our teams. With the dynamic work environment, setting up an agile work and time management solution becomes necessary. By taking advantage of some the new and innovative tools, one can become a more efficient, productive and successful entrepreneur. Even though some of the tools mentioned here may have been used sparingly by me for my business, but I know for a fact that if they can work for me, they can for sure work for you as well. 

Personal Learning

  1. Startup Launch List is a simple yet resourceful tool wherein you can select what you want to learn about launching a startup and it will curate resources for you like articles and reading material written by founders, designers, investors and thought leaders.
  2. Code Academy lets you learn simple and complex coding like HTML, Javascript, PHP and more for free. For Business, it is an effective and fun way to learn the digital skills necessary for more creative and constructive work.
  3. Google Primer is a fast and easy way to learn new marketing skills. You can easily take small-sized lessons that help you either brush up on the basics or help you explore more. Each lesson at the end throws in some personalised next steps that are customised for your requirement.
  4. Howww.to is a unique website that teaches you coding, designing, and marketing by using GIF courses that are merely 5 seconds and helps you learn the basic skills faster than any online course can offer.
  5. Coursera offers you courses on marketing, machine learning, entrepreneurship, etc. that has been curated by top instructors from some of the best universities. The certified courses include recorded video lectures, assignments and community discussed forums. From specialisations to online degrees, the website offers it all.

(LIFE Entrepreneur Assessment: Do you have what it takes to be an Entrepreneur?) 

Time Management

  1. Wunderlist is an excellent tool to plan for tasks to-do and assigns them to your peers. It sets reminders so you don’t miss out on an event. You can also share your lists with colleagues on the work that you are collaborating on. It can be accessed from any device and makes it easy to use for everyone. Works great for personal use too!
  2. Toggl is a time-tracking tool that is built for speed and is easy to use. It allows you to check the amount of time an individual team member spends on different projects that categorises and creates reports by project, client, week and/or day. It lets you identify sources of workplace distraction and unprofitable projects thereby offering you to focus on utilising your time better on the more profitable ones.
  3. Freedom.to disables internet, social media and other applications that gobble up your valuable working time by distracting. This solution allows you to schedule your time in advance so that you can produce more in the time you allot.
  4. Nutcache is an all-inclusive, collaborative project-management tool that integrates time tracking, expense management and invoicing. It helps you and your team to organise, track and deliver in a timely fashion and within the budgets allocated.
  5. Launchy is a free utility that allows you to launch your files, folders, documents and bookmarks with just a few clicks effortlessly. It indexes the programs in your start menu and launches your documents easily.
  6. Remember the Milk is an online task-management tool that helps you work effectively with the help of a to-do list. It also allows you to share tasks with your teams and assign them tasks accordingly. Evernote and Google Calendar can also be linked to this tool for better results.

Team collaboration

  1. Slack makes your communications with your teams very effective and right on time. No need to send lengthy e-mails and wait for a response. You can use slack live and chat/message without any waste of time. Everything that is work related is organized in one place for team members to access through the search option It is integrated with other useful tools like twitter and mailchimp to ensure you can swiftly toggle from one platform to another.
  2. Evernote creates a project to-do list or notes that saves all your notes on the cloud and syncs them across your devices. You can also record pictures and sketches to share with teams. It’s a great tool for teams because it lets you easily share work notes with your team.
  3. Freedcamp is a digital version of staying organized by writing up to-do lists or creating sticky notes. You can also create milestones or events on your calendar so you don’t miss out on a thing. Also, use this for issuing trackers, sending estimates & creating invoices, creating feature rich documents with multiple versions and turning projects into templates for future reference.
  4. Github offers a fast, flexible and collaborative software development process that allows you to work efficiently with your team and other developers. It offers secure development for small and large companies and you can easily work on code or track bugs on a single integrated platform.
  5. Dropbox is a secure file sharing and storage platform while maintaining complete control over the shared information and the activities involved. Your teams can download the required information or share it on the platform with complete ease.
  6. Streak is a simple CRM plugin for Gmail to manage and share your sales leads thereby making it simple for everyday processes to be managed in the smartest of ways.
  7. Basecamp is a simple and organised way to manage projects and communicate the same with your teams by organising it all in one place so you have a central source for all your data and details.
  8. Stormboard is a collaborating platform where ideas and discussions can be changed into digital sticky notes for remote brainstorming and workshops. Since it is real-time therefore everyone can see what is on the stormboard and easily add ideas and comments.
  9. Meldium is a team password sharing and management platform that makes it easy for everyone to access applications from one home screen.

Website Resources

  1. FreePik offers a whole range of pictures that you do not have to purchase for personal or commercial use. The designs are prepared and created by a team of designers and you can edit the vectors as per your requirement. This is simply the best thing for designing your own pictures.
  2. FlatIcon is an extension tool of Freepik where you can find thousands of free modern flat icons for your website here. Its free and easy to use. You can also go premium if designing is one of the essentials of your business.
  3. Canva is an easy-to-use online graphic designing tool. It is easy to design a logo, poster, or social media post quickly and you can even add your team to use it. With various ready templates, it is easy to create a personalized combination as well. You can create flyers, brochures, social media images and infographics all for free!
  4. Pablo. With over 15000+ images at Pablo, you can design engaging images for social media posts with design images and inspiring quotes on it. With this tool, it is easy to share it on various other social media platforms as well.
  5. Start Bootstrap has some free themes and templates for quickly building a website for your blog or your company. All the templates are responsive and free and if you are getting to experimental, they have premium templates as well.
  6. Crate lets you create a group of influencers or competitors and uses that list to compare it to the social graph so that it is easy for you to know the best links that these people use and share. You can add Twitter or Buffer account to Crate and share the best articles which are of relevance to your business and other stakeholders.

Increase Website Traffic

  1. SumoMe gives you free tools like Sharing, Heat Maps, Listbuilder, Content Analytics, and Free traffic for your website to enable you to grow more traffic, build a following and track your success. Hop on to their website and you would understand how easy it is to associate with it and get quick results.
  2. Elevio is a 24×7 concierge support for your website that promises to reduce your support tickets by educating your visitor on how to use your website. Additionally, you can integrate and connect to your existing support services as well.
  3. MailChimp is probably the most popular e-mail marketing tool that allows you to send newsletters and build your email list. It enables you to send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free. Building a newsletter is easy with their existing templates.
  4. Survey Monkey is another very popular tool to create surveys. It is an online survey development cloud-based software as a service company with over 200 survey templates you can choose from. From simple polls to extensive market surveys, it helps you cover almost everything that you need for your business. Also, you can analyze the results in the backend.
  5. UserVoice helps track and manage the feedback of users and customers thereby leveraging the best suggestions directly from the consumer of your products. This makes it easy for you to focus on what are the areas that need to be stepped up and which areas to improve on.

Online Business

  1. Virtual Assistant is a remote worker who helps you with your admin tasks that you can source either through industry referrals or through an agency called Virtual Staff Finder or Zirtual. It is an affordable way to free up time to focus on strategising and growth, along with ensuring that the main operations are getting actioned consistently.
  2. Google Docs/Google Drive is an online word processor that lets you smartly edit your documents with stylish tools and collaborate with your team on a real-time basis. Google Drive allows you to store all your Google Docs (and any other files) in the one place and syncs all devices with the cloud. It also assists in creating and storing presentations, spreadsheets, design specs and planning and procedural documents.
  3. Trello is a collaboration tool that works great if you are designing a workflow for a project. It organises your projects into tasks on boards, much like a board with post it notes, which makes tracking your progress easy. Trello informs what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process by assigning action items and inserting automated tasks. With its versatility to move tasks and items around with a minimum of fuss, it allows me to assign color coding to tasks to keep up to speed on how things are progressing.
  4. Drip is an email management tool that lets you send out marketing emails to targeted groups automatically on a schedule. Even today, it is observed that email is still highly effective in getting people to buy, so the importance of creating and building email lists cannot be underestimated and therefore Drip allows you to customise automated email sequences for specific target markets.

Marketing

  1. Buffer is a social media management tool that helps you to share your content as per a schedule for you to increase your followers, engage with your audience and build your brand. You can easily identify which are the social platforms you would want your content to be shared and then add customised content accordingly.
  2. Hootsuite is a platform for managing social media marketing, all in one place, that enables you to respond and post across all your social profiles in one easy-to-use dashboard quickly. You can also use the analytics function to view how well your social media marketing is doing.
  3. Spaces is a free logo maker website where a 4-step process lets you create a logo for your company easily. Though it is not a substitute for any other editing software but a basic use logo maker
  4. Sniply is a powerful tool that allows you to attach an inbound button or call to action into a frame that the article sits inside. Thus, giving you some control of the platform and perpetuating traffic from the non-affiliated content that you share.
  5. Scraper lets you easily pull content from a web page and export it into an Excel spreadsheet. It’s a perfect way to extract contact information or competitor’s data. Once you have this data, you can use it to create cold-email lists, content topics, and other data-driven marketing tactics.
  6. Sprout Social is another social media marketing platform which allows you to establish different user roles and delegate tasks to them. It also furnishes social listening functionality that allows you to perform better content topic research and market research by plugging into your key users’ social media interactions.
  7. Zapier is an online application that allows you to share content easily and quickly across apps that do not have any inbuilt integration. You can get your automated tasks into Trello for further action. It is also easier to share your content/files with you teams for their action on Trello.

(Improve customer engagement on your website using our Social Media Guides for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Analytics

  1. Google Analytics is a free platform that suits well to any of your analytics needs. It simply gathers which sites to monitor and imply through a tracking code you can get details of all the parameters you would want your site to be analysed on.
  2. Google Keyword Planner allows you to see how many people are searching relevant terms that you are sharing or are relevant to your business. This can be a very effective tool in increasing online sales and planning for your future marketing endeavours.
  3. Facebook Ads lets you use the targeting options to compare the approximate size and location of various interests and demographics and helps you drive online sales, increase local sales, promotes your website/application and raises your brand awareness.

Using all these tools together would be tedious, but I can share from my experience that some of them work wonderfully well with my business and has been able to give a boost to my and my team’s productivity. You may want to choose what works best with the kind of startup that you are involved with and then take it forward from there. Nevertheless, it may not be wrong to mention that each of these amazing tools are bound to streamline many of your processes and that surely is a great start.

Good luck!

L.I.F.E.’s Business Women Next Door Campaign brings 100 Women Entrepreneurs of 2016

According to Sixth Economic Census by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), it has been observed that there is sudden spike in women entrepreneurs, though presently they hold about 14% of business establishments. With the progress of the society, the number of women-owned firms is increasing. One might think that women are mostly active in areas, which they are naturally expert in like baking, catering, tailoring, boutiques, beauty parlors, and handicrafts, but today women have now made way into innovative and groundbreaking arenas thereby making a niche for themselves. Today, owning and running a business by a woman is no longer a hobby or to keep her occupied, but a way to express them and to contribute to a larger good.

There has never been a better time for a woman to become an entrepreneur.

On this International Women Day, L.I.F.E – Leader in Female Entrepreneur program presents to you the role models and confident women entrepreneurs who have broken the barriers or overcome any challenges on their success expressways and made their niche – “100 Women Entrepreneurs of 2016”. Through the “Business Women Next Door” campaign, L.I.F.E – Leader in Female Entrepreneur program wants to commend all the women entrepreneurs for their initiative and contribution to the various fields that their businesses hail from.

From consulting to food & nutrition, from financial counselling to clothing & accessories, women have ventured into various fields.

All the above examples clearly present to us how the demographics are altering and more women entrepreneurs are coming up with ventures that are capable of altering the social fabric of the society along with contributing to the overall economy. It is pertinent now to encourage and create avenues for more women to bring innovative ideas in the market and accelerate the overall development.

Are you still thinking of starting your own business or do you have an idea you’re passionate about, but still questioning “What if ?“

But it’s the right time to start out…You have all the support than ever before.

Mr. Entrepreneur – Which hat are you wearing today?

As an entrepreneur, you need to manage wide variety of tasks, starting from making your business plan, marketing strategy, getting your clients, or managing teams etc. Its not just having technology skills or expertise in a specific area, as an entrepreneur ones needs to wear multiple hats. You will not only exercise ultimate power but will also be responsible for taking the most critical decisions for your business. But in my experience, many entrepreneurs misunderstand their role and limit themselves, which becomes the cause for many entrepreneur failures.

So what is the role of an entrepreneur? What makes him effective?

Be it a startup founder or an entrepreneur of large enterprise, few things remain unaltered. Following are most critical hats, which you need to wear as an entrepreneur:

  1. Connector – A successful entrepreneur has the ability to connect the dots and see the larger picture. A great example of a connector is Mr. Ratan Tata, ex CEO of Tata Group. The way he drove Tata group during all ups and downs and consistently evolved the organization as per the changing market dynamics for last few decades is an outstanding story. As an entrepreneur, it is required that they understand the strengths & weaknesses of the business, recognize the right opportunity and potential clients. A successful entrepreneur knows how the key drivers relate to each other for the business to grow.
  2. Collaborator – A successful entrepreneur can build effective relationships with their teams, clients, customers, vendors, investors and other stakeholders. They can leverage abilities to build their venture. They know that they need to build a strong team around him/her as he/she cannot manage all the tasks on his/her own. They are able to develop the art of tailoring the communication style that is open, honest, fair and appropriate to connect to all stakeholders.
  3. Core Mind setter– A successful entrepreneur is motivated enough to focus their energy to achieve and accomplish their goals. They have a core need for success and excellence that keeps them motived to compete and strive for success in spite of any challenges. Their confidence in their ability makes them bounce them from any set-backs.
  4. Conductor – An entrepreneur has the ability to analyze the world that helps them to implement the business plan to take their idea into action. An entrepreneur essentially needs to make right choices from the available set of alternatives. Ultimately, the success of the venture is dependent on his decisions. He needs to be the artist of business world.

A successful entrepreneur of a startup will be able to transform the venture from good to great, if he believes in himself and knows his strengths. All of these roles may be challenging to keep, but these are the ones, which sets an entrepreneur apart from other.

Do you know if you have what it takes to grow your business?
Take L.I.F.E Entrepreneur Assessment and know your strengths!

Creating a Vision for Your Business – It is a Visionary Process!

It is a reality – Most of small business owners are the same, they focus so much on the day-to-day tasks that they are not able to see more than a just a few feet ahead, and everything beyond becomes just a blur. This leaves them unsure of the future ahead, and makes them vulnerable to ‘bumping into obstacles’ which can be best avoided. On top of it, the feeling of being confused about what your business should be doing is inevitably both painful and expensive!

On the other hand when you have clarity of vision, you clearly understand where do you need to drive your business to deliver to your own short and long-term aspirations & ambitions, and then you can opt for the shortest distance between where your business is now and where you want it to be in the future.

It’s time to create your businesses vision statement.  You really don’t have to worry about trying to make it perfect. What’s more important at this point is to begin the dialogue with yourself about the business you’re trying to create.

Begin with a clean slate. Imagine your business three to five years in the future, and answer the following questions

What service do you provide and what products do you sell?

  • What types of clients do you have – Retail, Corporate, etc?
  • Where is your location of work? Do you work at home or in an office? Describe everything.
  • Are you an owner or a hands-on employee? Are you involved in day to day activities or you manager people who deliver it for you?
  • Do you have employees? If so, how many? What do they do? Be as specific as possible.
  • What does this business do better than any other? What are you famous for? What makes you unique or different from your competition?
  • How do you feel about this business? What motivates you about running this business?
  • What are the three or four keywords you often use when you describe your business to others? Alternatively what are the keywords your clients use when describing what you do for them to others?

Now, you have to pull out the strongest words in your descriptions. Lookout for those words that sets off an emotional current in you. What words generate hope, passion and obsession in yourself when you read them on the paper? Well ALL of these words inspire you, and they have to be a part of your vision statement. Your words should depict the type of clients you serve, the service you provide, and the geographic coverage of your service. That’s it – you are now all set to write your own vision statement

What stage of entrepreneurship are you dealing with today? Do take a moment to recognize where you are in your business and what skills you need to steer successfully through the stage. To get answers to all these questions and to establish your leadership style, join our Leadership Development Program and please visit us at www.leaderinu.in/life.php. Based on the lifecycle of an enterprise, we have developed a framework to understand the skills required in order to be a successful entrepreneur. It is outlined based on some business must at each of these stages and skills required by an entrepreneur to meet those must or overcome those challenges.

Women Entrepreneurship – Common Mistakes and How to Avoid them

Getting started with a business is electrifying, challenging, and exciting. Women entrepreneurs are generally faced with a multitude of obstacles along the way, but understanding the possible mistakes before you make them could make a vital difference between business success and business failure.

When I first started my business few years back, I was just a start up, both in business and in my entrepreneurial skills also. It took me almost 3 years to book any profits and in the journey while I made awesome amount of mistakes, I also learned a lot of things about myself and the business.

I have today tried to list out a few mistakes which I made and I believe that all women entrepreneurs commonly make, probably it will make your journey little smoother:

I will do It all by myself

Most women entrepreneurs have a native belief that they have to do it all by themselves. It doesn’t really matter if this conviction comes from family history, their surroundings, or psychology, what matters is that they have to recognize they cannot do it all. They need to learn to identify when help is required. Along with this they will have to believe and understand that it’s not a sign of failure to ask for help. It’s a sign that their business is growing, hence it needs to be viewed as a positive and not a negative. “You can’t do it all,” advises Pallavi (one of my close pals). “When I first started my gifting solutions business, my clients only wanted to work with me and no one else in my team. I learned to tell them that I was handing off things to staff members who were much more qualified than I to do certain tasks”

Financial Statements are scary

It’s great to have gut, intuition and creativity. But those don’t necessarily lead to profit and money growth. If you’re scared to deal with numbers, think of your profit and loss statement as a gardening job. Your money needs care, watering, weeding, fertilizing and pruning. Don’t avoid looking at your sales numbers or how much you’ve spent. Money is the life force of your business. Look after it.

The Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt—it’s a feeling that no one will be able to understand unless they’re a mother. It is feeling which comes to most working mothers that they are not spending enough time with their children. Rather than feeling bad about this fact, you need to realize that this feeling is here to stay. As mothers, we will never feel like we’re doing enough for our children. Rather than lamenting the time you can’t spend with your kids as you build your business, make the time you do have with them the best it can be. If your kids are happy, you’re doing just fine.” Some time I miss spending enough time with my daughter”. I have spent last three years nurturing my business just as a mother would do to new born kid.  But at the same time, I firmly believe that “This Business is also like my kid. I need to give it time as well and it deserves equal attention as my 3 years old daughter”  

Avoiding sales and selling

Women entrepreneurs mostly hesitate going out for a sales job as think it is a man’s job to go out and sell. Here’s something many female owners don’t know: Women are born salespeople. Women inherently possess many a traits which are required to be a successful salesperson, such as great communication skills, strong will power, and a desire to serve. You will have to think about selling, because you can’t run a successful company if you don’t completely understand how sales are done. 

Self Doubt

It’s ok to have times of self-doubt, but you don’t give into them. Think about it, if you, yourself don’t believe in your capabilities, why would customers, vendors, investors, or anyone else? You have to get into a habit of building up your network of fellow business women and entrepreneurs that you can communicate with, learn from, and ask for help. Find a mentor who can help harness your ‘youness’ in you. You can do it.

It is important to know what traps you can fall in early in the business life cycle. Get to learn the tools and techniques to avoid succumbing to these mistakes by enrolling on our custom developed training programs. For details, please visit www.leaderinu.com/life.php or contact us at info@leaderinu.in