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

Elevate your Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a quick synopsis of a business idea or project plan that you would convey to a person of influence in an attempt to gain their support. It’s called an elevator pitch because ideally you should be able to go through your entire speech in the time it takes to travel from the top floor to the ground floor in an elevator.

An elevator pitch can achieve a lot more if you use it as a tool in your networking toolbox. It can work for you at generating new leads, developing business relationships and advancing your career.

Why bother with an elevator pitch?

With a perfect elevator pitch, you will never miss an opportunity to tell a potential client, customer or business partner about your business. When done properly, elevator pitch is a commanding tool that highlights the exclusive aspects of your business while opening the door for further communiqué.

It is a very common saying, “You only get one single chance to make a good first impression.” That’s true, and equally true is that we often don’t mull over getting the first impression right until it becomes too late. An elevator pitch can help you make the most of every first impression, also making networking scenarios easier and more productive. 

What’s the best way to prepare an elevator pitch? 

When getting ready with an elevator pitch, you should consider the following points:

  • Keep it Short. Keep the pitch concise and clear, with as few words as possible.
  • Keep it Simple and Clear. The pitch should be easily understood by a layman, rather than filled with some WOW words and industry acronyms
  • Make it Compelling. What problem does your business solve, and what do you do for your target audience?
  • Sound it Credible. Say it out loud what makes you qualified to do what you do. Try not to use buzzwords like “outside the box” or “synergy.” You should rather use credibility-driven words like “certified”
  • Get it Customized. Each target audience is different. The pitch should be tailored to the listeners.
  • Make it Consistent. No matter how many versions of your pitch you have, they should all convey the same basic message.
  • Get Going. Start the conversation, and hook your target. Keep it casual, and don’t try to close a deal in the pitch.

3 Important elements in an Elevator speech

  • The Benefit – It’s the reason why customer would hire your services.

Don’t assume that the ‘benefit’ is the product that you’re selling. The benefits are the upbeat result or effect or impact that your product can have on the customer’s business.

Bad Example: “We make customized training modules.” (That’s not product, not the benefit)

Better Example: “Entrepreneurs use our customized training modules to increase self awareness and thereby saving their costs and increase revenues by up to 5oo%”

 

  • The Differentiator – This is where you in a brief explain as to what makes you or your firm different from everyone else.

Bad Example: “We’re best in the industry and best-in-class.”

Better Example: “In a recent study we have been ranked amongst top 25 Promising L&D
Consulting Firms”

 

  • The Ask – The ask is not closing the sale or landing the job. Rather, it is setting up a meeting.

Bad Example: “I can send you a quote, now..”

Better Example: “Maybe we could run some numbers on the benefit to you. When are you available?”

We at Leaderinu conduct executive coaching programs, open workshops and leadership development programs to help start-up entrepreneurship throughout their business life-cycle. For more information please logon to www.leaderinu.in/life.php or mail us at info@leaderinu.in

Business Plan? Do you really need it?

You should take running a business like taking up a journey. You have a great vision for where you want to take your organization (your destination). To reach there, you have to find the way through a field of land mines.

Here’s a thing, hundreds and thousands of people have navigated through this field of land mines before. Some reached their destinations, while others failed. The great news is that many have shared their experience of the journey, which helps tremendously to find the right way. Your business plan allows you to chalk out where the huge land mines are that claim most lives and helps you navigate your way around them. The simple act of putting down your idea on paper and detailing how the business will operate can be very helpful to ensure that you communicate your vision and that everyone is on the same page. A business plan is also crucial to get support for your vision because it conveys that you have thought through an idea clearly and you aren’t just casual about it.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while building your business plan:

Know your audience

The starting point for any business plan should be the outlook of the audience. You should be clear about the purpose of making this plan? Is it to get funding or is it to communicate the future plans for the company? The writer should customize the plan for different audiences, as each of them has very specific requirements. For example, a potential investor will seek clear explanations detailing the ROI and time frames for getting their money back.

Know your competition

It is ok to name your competition in your plan. Be focussed to bring out what makes you different from (and better than) each of them. However do not ever criticize/condemn your competition.

Get rid of the flowery decks

You should always try and be as much to the point as possible and remove any flowery filler language. Even if it sounds nice, it gets you nowhere and wastes space and time. No investors want to read a 20 page business plan. Get to the point quickly.

Support Your Business Plan with Industry Stats

When a new or young company presents financial projections, Investors will want to look at data which supports the financial assumptions.  If the company is using industry benchmarks, it will gain more reliability in the eyes of investors than just saying that the company made reasonable estimates.

 List your assumptions

You will always have a lot of assumptions in your plan (e.g. marketing mediums, how many visitors will convert to customers, how quickly you will be able to hire, etc). You will be very sure about them and if possible gather as much data as available to back these assumptions.

Make smart projections

Try and not make top-down projections i.e. there are x number of customers in the world, if we get 1% of them, we will make so much money. Instead, you should find out how many potential customers there are that are relevant to you. Put some figures as to how comparable businesses to yours are doing and then incorporate build-up into your plan (i.e. add customers in a step process vs. getting them all at once)

Well by now, you would have started thinking that making a business plan is a hundred day affair already. Trust Us, it is a very simple process and the basic components of the same are very simple. And finally about time – Please be rest assured, the time spent on making a business plan is time well spent and an early investment in the same would save you enough effort and money at a later stage in your business.

We at Leaderinu conduct executive coaching programs, open workshops and leadership development programs to help startup entrepreneurships throughout their business life-cycle. For more information please logon to www.leaderinu.in/life.php or mail us at info@leaderinu.in

Choose the Right Name For Your Company

Now that you have decided on getting started with your business idea, it is time to give it a worthy name. Getting your business a killer name is harder than it might seem at the onset.  One of the considerations to think about when choosing a name could be how it will look in the subject line of an email or even how it will sound when it’s said aloud.

You will have to understand and start believing in the fact that the name of your business has a tremendous impact on how your customers and potential investors view you, and in today’s small digitally revolutionized world, it is a world-wide decision.

And off course if you are looking for some investor funding, you wouldn’t want to send a business plans with “TBD” or “NewCo” in the title position. Whether it is right or wrong, the name you choose, or for that matter don’t choose, speaks volumes about your business and the understanding which you have of the world you are about to enter. After all it is the foundation of your business and must reinforce the elements of your business.

Here are some key things I will recommend considering while looking for in the name,

1) First off, conduct a business name search.

Before deciding on any name you must check out the market and competition names. All this is easily available on internet these days. If you decide to go ahead and use a name without research and it turns out similar names are out there like it, you might end up battling a trademark infringement case. For example if your name is Deepak and you are starting a clothing firm, the finding a business name as “Deepak Clothing” might turn out to be a herculean task, therefore you must conduct a business name check first and then reserve the name online if it’s available before you start the incorporation process

2) Name needs to be meaningful and memorable.

Try and find a name which explains what your business offers and tie that in as specifically as possible whenever you can. Although it can get complex sometimes, however it you get it right, it can be a killer.

3)  Short is Sweet

Keep the name of your business short and easy to spell. Shorter names definitely make it easier to claim a website address or URL that way too. Carrying on with the same example as above, getting a domain name of www.deepakClothing .com V/s www.dclothing.com would be far more difficult on world wide web.

4) Factor in search engine optimization.

In today’s digital world getting your company easy to find in search engines is an important consideration when picking a name. For Example, if you’re going to use a proper noun for your name, you should think about how that decision will impact Search Engine Optimization for your website. Choosing a common term like “Bell,” for example, would only make your website visible on the search pages of “Bell” which might not be what you are looking for.

5) Make the name visually distinctive. 

After you are done picking up your name, next thing you should consider is to add a custom feature that makes your brand more than just the word or words in the title. Some examples include avant-garde capitalization, combining two words into one, or giving it a unique design touch, like word “you” converted to “u” in the name & logo of Leaderinu. It is about developing a fully fleshed out visual identity.

What to Avoid:

  1. Asking too many people – It is only going to confuse you. It is your business, so the decision should be yours
  2. Using too plain words – Think of something unique, something unheard of. Its catches attention
  3. Adding Your City to your Business Name – Why do you want to limit yourself to a particular city. You never know how far you reach tomorrow.

 

We at Leaderinu run executive coaching programs & open workshops to help entrepreneurs find their niche.  For more information please logon to our website www.leaderinu.in or email us at info@leaderinu.in