Tag Archives: Succession Planning

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.

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

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