Tag Archives: Business Skills Training Program

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

What Does it Take to Become a Successful Entrepreneur?

Being a successful entrepreneur means much more than starting new projects every other day. It means having the right attitude towards an idea and the will and perseverance to achieve success. You don’t need to have heavy qualifications, exorbitant money, an over-sized-brain or even a good idea.

While there are numerous skills one must acquire to be successful, there is no “one size, fits all” theory for entrepreneurship. Some of the following insights can help you become a successful one:

The Idea

You definitely need an idea to get started, and if you have a great idea it is already half a battle won. What you need to also consider is that even the most successful companies were not started on some extra-ordinary ideas. Original ideas are hyped. What isn’t hyped is timing. You want to get to a product or service that can go places –now whether it is original or not, it doesn’t really matter. Think of it – It’s generally easier to polish an existing idea that isn’t fully appreciated than to create a wholly original one.

 Stay Flexible & Adapt

Starting a company is a bit like child raising; everyone around assumes that you know what you’re doing, but kids and companies don’t come with instruction manuals. You will stumble through it, learning as you go.

It’s at the beginning where you’re most likely to fail. Your aim is to build that awesome money-making machine, but you perhaps don’t have all the parts and the ones that you need do cost more than you have. Your idea is probably at least half wrong too, but you won’t know which half yet. Trust Us – All of this is normal.

You can make a great business plan, however a great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling. Sometimes entrepreneurs waste too much time writing business plans and preparing power points. Mostly, things never turn out the way it is envisioned. No matter how much time you spend working on the plan, you will still have to adjust according to the ground realities. Remember—stay flexible and adapt as new information becomes available.

 Removing yourself

This is a most common thingmost small businesses never accomplish and hence remain small only.

Think of it – Up until today, your magical business machine almost certainly has one unique part: YOU. You are the one who has been working the hardest in your business and you feel overworked but happy about doing what you are doing.

Here’s the difficult part: you need to make yourself redundant. If you move out tomorrow, your business should carry on working the same way. Your time needs to be spent working on your business, not for your business.  In our experience almost 99% of businesses can’t escape this trap. It’s because what makes your company a great company is you, and unless you can repress you into a business model, your business can’t grow.

 Adaptability & Flexibility

It’s good to be obsessive or even persevering about what you do. But being stubborn about client or market needs will mostly lead to failure. You have to remember, an entrepreneurial venture is not simply about doing what you think is good, but also making a successful business out of it. Market needs are ever changing and changes are a frequent phenomenon. Most successful entrepreneurs welcome all proposals that enhance their offering and fulfil client and market needs. A product you develop for yourself alone may qualify as a sideline interest, but a product for the market should satisfy market needs.

And finally

It is not as difficult as it sounds. I will take entrepreneurship as a form of educated gambling.  Skills and Persistence are big factors which plays a very important role in deciding the ultimate fate of the organization. You should develop a resolve to keep getting back up whenever you get knocked down, stay flexible and adapt as per the situation, keep learning from your mistakes and try different things, you will be successful.

For all of above mentioned elements, some people are naturals at some of them; others may need to be developed.  At Leaderinu, we conduct leadership development program, as we focus on getting entrepreneurs to understand and recognize their own leadership styles, as well as giving tools and techniques they can use to hold themselves and their teams accountable to their own execution.   For more information please logon to our website http://www.leaderinu.in/life.php or contact us at info@leaderinu.in.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Entrepreneurship is not just for startups. It’s a lens which all organizations should use to view their strategy and leadership in today’s world to address organizational issues.

Startup leaders are often great visionaries and have brilliant ideas. While some of these leaders have been excellent people managers in their previous roles, there are a few of them who have also been great strategists. Skills required for being an entrepreneur leader are a quite a bit of mix and match of all of these and an entrepreneur needs to keep on juggling with these very frequently.

Let’s look at few essential skills/qualities which every entrepreneur leader should have:

A Vision for Future

You have to be dissatisfied with the present state of things; state of things at your home, may be in your life, or it could be state of things in the society. This should be followed by having a clear vision for future state – how do you want it be shaped up.

 Set Goals

To build a thriving company, leaders need to move out of the well-being zone and move into the learning zone. It is there that they will reach their potential. Entrepreneurs need to set new goals for their own self and their teams. Goals force people to move out of the comfort zone.

Follow up with Persistence & Execution

Once the goals are set, entrepreneur would then need to focus relentlessly on the activities that will get them closer to vision. Without execution, all goals are meaningless.

Be a People Manager:

Managing people is as much an art as it is a set of ideologies and tactics. It’s a lesson that is difficult for a lot of entrepreneurs, who are sometimes so enthralled in their brilliant idea that they believe people will automatically follow. Well, It doesn’t happen that way. To turn vision into a company—an abstraction into a tangible—entrepreneurs must be leaders of people as it is these people who will help you build what you dream for.

 Flexibility in attitude & An Ear for the feedback

Success is something all entrepreneurs desire, yet it eludes many — at least at the levels desired. It has everything to do with habits, principles, craving, flexibility and attitude. Often there’s nothing really different between one entrepreneur and another in terms of ability, as each person can do whatever he or she wants. What it all comes down to is having the frame of mind to set real-world habits and keep a balance between attachment and commitment and letting things happen.

Be open to new ideas, find ways to get consistent feedback on your work – You never know; you might get a better/shorter way to success.

Self Reflection and Continuous Learning

Quite a few of entrepreneurs view their companies and their own capabilities through a set of rose-colored goggles. But unfortunately, if you fall into this strata of entrepreneurs who think that they’re god’s gift to entrepreneurship, you’re going to fail.  Not only will you be unable to see how your company can and should be improved, you also won’t be able to effectively direct your team if you can’t see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Successful entrepreneurs on the other hand, spend time carefully evaluating the fortes and flaws of their leadership styles, the organizations they manage and the teams they lead.  By knowing where the company and its resources are strongest, they’re able to plan tactical moves that capitalize on their assessment of advantages

 For all of above mentioned elements, some people are naturals at some; others may need to be developed. At Leaderinu, through our business skill training and executive leadership training programs, we focus on getting entrepreneurs to understand and recognize their own leadership styles, as well as giving tools and techniques they can use to hold themselves and their teams accountable to their own execution.   For more information please logon to our website http://www.leaderinu.in/life.php or contact us at info@leaderinu.in

Entrepreneurship – A Visionary Process

History has been witness, great changes have been led by individuals who had a vision, and were able to communicate that vision to others. They were able to perceive changes, such as technological advances, with a view to the future, and the new skills that needed to be developed to deal with it.

Entrepreneurship by the way it is structured is a process of envisioning something for future, sticking by it and going all out to achieve what was sought in the beginning. We can also call the entrepreneur as a visionary, someone who envisions an idea; who envisions challenges which might come enroute to achievement of his goals and also the changes which will happen to external environment in the future and will directly impact his ability to meet his goals.

A Visionary leadership style is most effective when an organization needs a new and clear direction to follow.  The visionary leader is able to share their view of the future, allowing followers to understand how they play an important role in that future state. By doing so, the followers become committed to making that vision come true.

Let’s go a step deeper and understand a few of the key characteristics of visionary leadership:-

Visionary leaders know how to communicate

A visionary leader has excellent communication skills. They know how to verbalize their dreams and goals and can explain them to their team. For them communication isn’t just one-sided. As more people “catch the vision,” leaders listen to their ideas and thoughts, incorporating them into the larger goal.

Visionary leaders are ‘chief in command’

Visionary leaders can be called as chief organizers. While many leaders have managers that manage the processes, these leaders often set up the organization by establishing key departments or functions. As the organizer-in-chief, the visionary directs, develops and conducts meetings until reliable help is found. During the initial organization, a leader will take the time build a solid foundation through establishing boards, councils or a company hierarchy.

Visionary leaders possess extraordinary gut

Visionaries often possess the ability to see things with their mind’s eye often long before others. This might include certain observations that unlock the secret to understanding the natural world, trends that are still in their infancy stage (or that haven’t even begun yet), or the possibilities of new inventions, discoveries, products, or even new social or historical movements.

Visionary Leaders are Strategic Planner

Visionary leaders are strategic planners. Like a chess player, these leaders plan ahead to make the best business moves. Strategic planning involves creating an action plan with a particular strategy in mind. The leader’s vision defines what the organization will look like in the future and how it will function.

Visionary leaders have the quality of persistence

Visionary leaders have dreams that are larger and more difficult than average persons, and thus an extraordinary degree of persistence is required.

Visionary leaders must possess the quality or attribute of resolution. A consistent push allows the visionary to push through all difficulties, including the opposition of others, bad fortune, insufficient resources, or dead-ends.

Visionary leaders are receptive to new information

While someone who starts with an entrepreneurial journey has very strong conviction about his product and ways and means to achieve his goals, a visionary leader would have unusually large degree of openness to new information. They are constantly searching for new avenues, models, etc as they understand that each new piece of information might get them an answer to questions they have been pondering over for ages.

Leadership development programs and executive leadership training programs are really helpful in making you start your entrepreneurial journey and become a visionary leader.

Summary

Visionary leaders are hard to find, but they share many common characteristics.  It is important for each of the entrepreneurs to develop a vision, it’s even more important that their leadership is visionary. It helps provide direction to the organization, it is believed by one and all, and most importantly it motivates everyone around.


‘It’s not work to follow a vision — it’s joy.’