Date:Nov 2, 2014
START UP – 10 COMMANDMENTS TO SUCCEED
The other day, I met a friend of mine who claimed to be an Entrepreneur and now wanted to quit his dream run after an unsuccessful attempt. During my consulting years, I have seen many with different reasons to be an Entrepreneur.
The first few with guts and passion, the other few jump on the bandwagon because of fat fund availability and the rest forced to be "engaged in" something and worn the hat of Entrepreneur. Always the third category remains a mystery. Whatever the reason(s), it's always a discussion point - on how to sustain and chase your dreams. I believe the 10 commandments should be strictly looked into before commencing your journey
I keep "Passion" away from the list as it’s an unavoidable ingredient!!1. GUTS
Yes, you can call this as 'Risk Taking ability'. But one should be strong enough to weather the bitter side of start up. You can’t find the same support once you step in rather they may tell you the bitter side of the story that pulls down your vigor. Always ensure it’s your guts rather the inspiration from different corners drive you.
I feel, to many guts bring funds. Strange? The one who has guts will add confidence and by default will have convincing ability. Since many aspirants depend fund masters, your guts or confidence ensure enough funds pouring in. If you invest own funds, beware – you need to be a ‘master’ in managing it. A well calculated spending will help you to avoid unforeseen cash crunch on the way.
‘Know how’ of your products is important. Avoid getting trapped of hiring experts to run the show and dream of becoming ‘Corporate’ in the next day of your start up. It's suicidal to engage in a start up if you are ignorant of the products or services you plan to offer. Always try to make your products unique, let your potential clients find it ‘special’.
Does the market recover from slump or is it dying? Better to analyze before stepping in. If someone woos you to invest by offering multifold income, think twice, do a quick market study, speak to your contacts. Beware - It's not share market index, oil price or currency fluctuations alone decide market behavior.
Nothing works without collaboration. Find out partners who contribute qualitatively and quantitatively. Always ensure they are not "king Size” but someone who goes shoulder to shoulder.
Well, bit tricky as I would not ask to focus your competitors often. I have seen it makes our plans shaky and push you away from your goals. Rather you could assess their offerings during ‘free time’ (let me say so) only to ensure your product and services are in line with your objectives.
7. HUMAN RESOURCES
The most important asset. To some extent, you need to be lucky to have right people on board. Otherwise you never know when they will replicate your business model in the next street. There is no formula on keeping them on your sleeves forever; motivate them with profit share or whopping incentives. Promote the best working culture as best as you can.
8. CASH FLOW MANAGEMENT
Unless you know this, better you keep yourselves away from Entrepreneurship. Many of my clients are victim of poor cash flow management. In the initial stage, perhaps you will be sitting on a filthy bank balance, but cautious spending in par with receivables will help to overcome this jittery.
9. BUSINESS PLAN
Never start your business without a well thought Business Plan. Make 3 years plan, if not 5. You need to know where you want to shoot at each point of your journey. It should be well set and documented. Your line managers must keep that as a bible. Business risks, forecasts, budgets, resource plan and anything and everything to make your business successful should be elaborated in it.
10. LIFE MANAGEMENT
How you gonna manage your professional life vs personal life? Bit hard for an Entrepreneur. Probably you will end up with stress in abundance. You need to be a good organizer meeting both ends. Avoid complaining that you spend 24 hours for your start up and it's heading south! You don't need a life coach here. You are the best judge to manage your time. Aren’t You?
Date:Jul 20, 2014
Why not closing 2014 with a winning note?
Organizations look forward with immense hope to fulfill their business goals in the remaining months in the year ahead. It is imperative for every organization to review their existing business practices that inclusive of Strategies, Process effectiveness, Resources and Budgets. Otherwise you will end up with another frustrating year.
Interactions with my elite clients have led to share my thoughts, if it helps to ring a wake up call, predictably a successful year closure.
You would be thinking what strategy we can adopt in 5 months to make a quick turnaround. Indeed, focus on key clients, fast moving products, vibrant market, new partnerships and an eye on competitors will make the difference. An ambitious management can suggest its team for reviewing strategies or a game changing equation that includes Partnerships, Promotions within the timescale remaining, Market segmentation and Products Reach (including New Products) among its key customers. It’s important to review your Business Plan and prepare a ‘check list’ on gains and losses. Rather than overdoing to achieve your targets, make smart move by increasing profits not volume.
Many organizations fail to focus this area since they only target SALES!! The more you align your processes, better the result. Perhaps, you would not be seeing quick results, but it’s an important element or backbone accelerating revenue. Effectiveness can be ensured by delegating responsibilities and frequent reviews of Customer Complaints, Process Non Conformity. Ideally every organization may have a Management Systems in place but a lenient approach will jeopardize the targets.
Managing Resources in terms of Human and Plant & Machinery is vital to reach destination. Keep Retention and Motivation as the BUZZ word for next 5 months. Ignite team spirit and offer special incentives (why not??) for performers. Ensure your Maintenance Team (Manufacturing) keep an eye on Production plan and Routine Maintenance activities. Reduce ‘idle’ hours / avoid loosing key human assets. You win half the battle.
Nothing works without this!! Highly recommended to review your budgets before hitting bottlenecks. It’s hard to convince Top Management for a revision in the second half of the year. You may need an addendum to the Yearly Business Plan to support anticipated business result. If your business hitting right track at the moment, Management will open up the locker, otherwise your convincing ability plays a major role here.
- New Partnerships
- Business Plan and Reviews
- Fast Moving Products
- Competitors Offering
- Process Approach
- Retention and Motivation
- Key Clients