Tag Archives: business

Bootstrapped: Building A Remote Company

by admin

If you ask me, working remotely rocks. I’m currently writing from a small beach bar located on a remote island in southern Thailand. Looking up from my laptop, I see nothing but the endless ocean and its crystal clear blue waters. I’ll be enjoying this morning undisturbed and focused on my work because the rest of the team hasn’t even gotten up yet. Time zones work out really well for distributed teams.

My colleague Thomas recently talked to 11 thought leaders in project management about the impact of remote work on a company; some scrum experts argued that distributed teams could work together effectively while others came out strongly against it.

I understand the concerns; you can’t just open up the office doors and release everyone into the wild. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll end up with a thriving business. Marissa Mayer at Yahoo famously axed remote work in 2013 after feeling that some employees abused it.

So how does a tech company get this working remote thing right? Read on. The following is based on our story at Planio and how we made it work.

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Enter Planio, my remote company

There are a number of things which motivated me to start my current company. Breaking away from client work while retaining all the benefits of being a location independent freelancer was one of them.

In 2009, I was sitting in the shadow of a cypress grove situated in a beautiful Mediterranean-style garden overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany, working hard on a new side project of mine: Planio.

It’s a project management tool for people like me: developers. Planio helps make client projects more organized and transparent all while reducing the number of tools and platforms needed to do the job. Planio is based on open-source Redmine (an open source Ruby on Rails-based software project), which I’ve used remotely with my own clients since its very beginnings. So, in a way, remote work is already in Planio’s DNA.

Fast forward to today, and my small side project has grown into a real company. We’re a team of 10 now, serving more than 1,500 businesses worldwide. We have an office in Berlin, but many of us work remotely.

In this article, I’ll dig into the principles, tools and lessons that have helped us along the way. After reading it, I hope you’ll be able to architect your software company so it’s remote-friendly right from the start.

“Talk is cheap. Show me the code.” – Linus Torvalds

Every Thursday we have an all-hands conference call where we discuss what we did the previous week and what’s coming up next.

At the beginning, we spent a lot of time discussing ideas before deciding on what to do, but we found that it’s a lot harder when some team members are on a poor quality telephone line and you can’t see them.

Now, we often just “build the thing” and then discuss it – we create a working prototype with a few core ideas and then discuss that. For instance, we recently hit some performance issues with our hosted Git repositories. Instead of discussing and analyzing all the possible ways in which we could potentially save a few milliseconds here and there with every request, my colleague, Holger, just built out his suggested improvements in a proof-of-concept on a staging server to which we directed some of our traffic. It turned out well and these ideas are going into production.

This method focuses everyone’s minds on action rather than talk. The time invested in writing code is paid back by less time spent talking in circles.

Use Text Communication

Real-time communication punishes clarity. Instinctively calling a colleague when you need something is very easy, but it’s not always your best course of action. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve started writing an email or a Planio ticket for a problem only to solve it myself just while writing it down.

Zach Holman, one of the first engineering hires at GitHub, agrees: “Text is explicit. By forcing communication through a textual medium, you’re forcing people to better formulate their ideas.”

Text communication also makes you more respectful of each other’s time, especially when you’re living multiple time zones away. Immediate communication can be disruptive; the person might be in the middle of figuring out why the last deployment went wrong. With an email, s/he should be able to consider your write-up at a more convenient time.

Be as Transparent as Possible

Time spent worrying about office politics isn’t conducive to shipping working software, and transparency promotes trust. It’s no coincidence that many remote-by-design companies, such as Buffer, have radical transparency. In the case of Buffer, it shares revenue information and the salaries of all its employees.

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, also emphasizes transparency. In his book, The Year Without Pants, Scott Berkun shares his experience working remotely for Automattic, and that all decisions and discussions are internally available to employees in its P2 discussion platform as part of its emphasis on transparency.

The chat feature in Planio works in a similar way. Discussions are open for everyone to see and chat logs are linked automatically from the issues discussed so nobody is left out; even new hires can read up on what previous decisions were made and why. When I started building the chat feature, I considered adding a feature for chatting privately with others, but when we discussed it as a team, we ended up leaving it out because we wanted to keep team communication as transparent as possible.

I think transparency is critical for remote teams. For example, imagine you’ve just joined a team of remote developers. Perhaps you’ve never met your new colleagues. You don’t know the unspoken rules of behavior. You might be worried about whether you’re doing a good job. Are your teammates actually being sarcastic or do they really mean their compliments? Is everyone privately discussing how good of an engineer you are?

Digitalize Your Systems

We choose our services based on what they offer by way of online platforms, from telephone providers to banks (many of them will even offer a small financial incentive for going paperless, plus it’s great for the environment, too). I’m lucky to have a lawyer and an accountant for Planio who are comfortable sending emails or messages with Google Hangouts instead of summoning me to their offices. (I strongly recommend you ask about this at the first meeting.) Bonus points for getting them to sign up with your project management tool and become a part of your team!

We’ve even digitized our postal mail; at Planio, we use a service called Dropscan that receives our letters, scans them and forwards the important ones to the appropriate person. You don’t want to your friend to pick up and read them out over Skype. If you cannot find a mail-scanning provider for your city or country, some coworking spaces offer virtual memberships to maintain a physical mailing address while you’re away.

For those companies sending out mail, there are services available so that you never have to visit a post office again. We use a German printing company with an API that automatically sends a letter along with stickers to each new paying Planio customer. It’s something people love, and we don’t have to print and mail a thing. International alternatives include Lob and Try Paper.

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Original article in Toptal: Click here https://www.toptal.com/business-intelligence/a-bootstrapped-remote-company

The New Wave of Entrepreneurship

by admin

There is a multi-trillion dollar economy opening up to technology faster than ever. It has been driven by trends that have changed the nature of how entrepreneurs will be characterized going forward; specifically, industry executives will be the next wave of in-demand startup CEOs.

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In April of 2007, Apple changed everything with the launch of the iPhone. It is hard to imagine that it has only been 8 years since the release of the first truly pervasive smartphone, but there is no denying its impact has been world-changing. Beyond the creation of a new dimension of industry-driven, by location-based, services (and with it, a myriad of billion dollar companies), an equally significant phenomenon emerged. By creating technology that was intuitive to the consumer masses, every person around the world started to embrace technology as more than just a work tool. Lawyers, doctors, car mechanics and people from every sector of the economy not only had a tool for productivity, but a piece of technology in their pocket they embraced as an intimate part of their lives.

 

Furthermore, these new consumers could now point to a standard for usable technology. Cumbersome, enterprise legal software that won’t allow a lawyer to search cases from outside the office is no longer acceptable. For those outside of the Silicon Valley silo, conversations can be heard from construction workers sitting on a lunch break saying “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an app to …”. Unfortunately, these conversations are often too far away from Silicon Valley’s ears, which are still dominated by the talk of what will be the next WhatsApp or Instagram. Even so, a new breed of entrepreneur is emerging who see firsthand the challenges in their industry, and with that the opportunity to make a world-changing impact, and these entrepreneurs do not fit the founder archetype that many Silicon Valley investors look for.

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Photos from http://www.ablogtowatch.com, http://securityaffairs.co, http://geniusapp.com, and http://www.rakenapp.com

Previous decades saw similar shifts in entrepreneur characterizations. The late 90s were about Harvard MBAs applying traditional management techniques to leverage brand new Internet technologies. The “aughts” brought on the “22 year-old Stanford Computer Science” graduate applying technology to a low hanging industry. Now, in this decade, we are seeing a new wave of entrepreneurship driven by industry executives with deep product backgrounds leveraging technology to disrupt a traditionally non-tech industry.

For the past 2 years I’ve had the opportunity to see this shift firsthand as the managing partner of Silicon Valley Software Group (SVSG), a firm of CTOs focused on helping companies with their technology strategy. SVSG has seen entrepreneurs ranging from movie producers, lead singers of platinum album rock bands, travel executives, and hedge fund managers all trying to figure out how to leverage their domain expertise through technology. After a number of similar engagements, a few observations have emerged:

In each venture, a product-focused entrepreneur saw the adoption of technology among their peers in a particular industry and, with that, the opportunity to create a product focused on that industry.

  • Noneof these entrepreneurs had notable tech experience.
  • Hardly ANY of these high profile individuals had relevant connections with the Silicon Valley community.

This last observation is of particular importance!

As tunnel-visioned as Silicon Valley might be, there is a reason that it has produced so many world-changing companies.

The combination of growth capital, multidisciplinary talent, and mentors sharing best practices around how to create hyper-growth businesses are often taken for granted by those who are part of the ecosystem.

However, the disconnect between Silicon Valley natives and outsiders is shocking. Many of the companies SVSG has come across have no ability to raise strategic capital at first because their businesses are too risky when considering common pitfalls they are more likely to fall into compared with their Valley peers. Concepts as commonplace as the lean startup methodology are welcomed as sage insight to these new entrepreneurs.

What is missing for these new founders is a bridge into Silicon Valley. To date, this has been stymied by a narrow mindset from the Silicon Valley community. However, the forces of capitalism will eventually prevail and these new entrepreneurs will find their own community to center around. Keen investors will lead the herd and take advantage of existing markets ripe for change. Incubators and accelerators will emerge with afocus on entrepreneurs with deep industry experience. We are in a tech boom right now and there are countless ways to apply technology to industries that haven’t changed in decades. For those sitting in the corner office, the time has come to venture out, there are markets to disrupt.

The original article was written by MATT SWANSONand can be read on the Toptal Blog.

 

Must Read: All You Need To Know About Digital Marketing

by admin

We live in the civilization of E commerce; people prefer to be tagged as ‘Netizens’. Today, people are so savvy with their smartphones, every fraction of second people access Facebook accounts, there are infinite downloads and updates, more than 65% of emails are accessed through mobile devices. Hence Internet has really become an important tool of communication for marketers. Increasing mobile and internet penetration, m-commerce sales, advanced shipping and payment options and exciting discount promotions and coupons and push into new International markets by e-business are the major drivers of unprecedented growth. As per statistics, online shopping and online travel are two of the progressing E-commerce categories in India.

The shift from mom & pop stores to E commerce is believed to be a cult.  Getting into the ocean of E commerce is a great way to start your business especially if you don’t have enough pennies in your pockets. However, E commerce throws so many choices to do online business, including selling your own products, having an affiliate website with a store, drop shipping for a merchant or publishing content online.   Before deciding the choice of business model, it is important to understand the trade-offs between such choices.

Before going for those five easy ways or cheat codes to look for, I have something interesting to narrate; I recently found the secret behind the glamour and fashion of most celebrities and fashionistas, don’t get astonished their secret destination is nothing but The Clothing Rental which was established long back with an offline store in 2005. The Clothing Rental has dressed the best names in the country. Shilpa Bhatia began the journey ten years ago with a physical store in Bandra; it has recently started with its online channel in late 2015. The Clothing Rental has been using the Facebook Carousel ads to advertise their products. But lately Shilpa has even ventured advertising with Google ads as well. In order to outreach to more and more people she has also tied up with many fashion bloggers and industry specific people. The Clothing Rental is a new concept altogether and hence in order to gain popularity; SEO has significantly increased traction to its site via backlinks.

Often people, who are planning to extend their business online or trying to maintain one, are always muddled up with a question i.e. How to find people to buy their products? Leading to tons of other questions like how to make online sales? How to connect with people without touch and feel concept? How to convert offline mechanism to online one? But nothing to worry about it is not something rocket science. Here are few ways what I found out that can lead to have a good online visibility:

  1. Always stay connected using social media

Today we don’t have a choice on whether to do social media; the question is how well you do it? Doing business today requires to be working on more personal grounds. People who buy from you expect not only want to end with a transaction but in order to evangelize your brand you need to talk to them. Customers are very informed and live in a digital age where they want to know what and how you do it? In order to harness the power for your E-commerce business you can lend to other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and moreover Pinterest. In order to make it more loud and visible one can use a digital poster with a quote and theme. This is one thing people love, they love sharing pictures and tagging near and dear ones, one observable trend growing on social media. Questions are also a good way to initiate a conversation. But before you ask the target group a question, ask the question to yourself. One can also provide discount coupons –If you offer something only then they will come back to your page. Anything that is offered for free catches one’s interest. You can also provide a sneak peek into your products; this can be done by creating photo albums and sharing such photos. To create something interesting one can share featured fans, reward people for their activity on your page this reminds me of E cell IIT Bombay running a twitter contest during E –Summit where we engaged on their twitter page, one can hold live streaming events, collaborate with blogs or client pages and one can even make interesting content through funny pictures and videos, not just to sound professional in approach.

Rank higher on Google with Search Engine Optimization

College life is where I learned to explore so many things whether it was learning about Mumbai or the life of people in Mumbai. It’s very obvious we tend to do lot of things just because our friends involve us though it can be good or bad , But the experience I’m bringing here is one such good one , I got to participate in Google Online Marketing Challenge which certainly a fruitful investment of my time. It was my last semester and I always deemed to learn online marketing but couldn’t devote enough time. GOMC was really a good dose in terms of understanding How to make your website recognized on Google where we are amazoned with so many sites for a product. No wonder today even products like lockets and accessories for boys have so many websites that one needs to take enough effort to make themselves visible on website. Now people hire SEO specialist but a lot can be done to improve at one’s own end. Here are some secrets that I’m going to share; one can register the site with webmaster tools, once registered and verified, one can generate &submit XML sitemap. More than that that the web designers can look for good title tags for the website. Google not only looks for title tags but helps user in terms of relevant words in the description for example If I ‘m searching customized T shirts online in order to ease for customers it makes sense to include unique keywords such as printed T shirts , personalized gifts , Design your Own, jerseys etc. One can actually make the About Us section beautiful with descriptions and product or service photos. Another key area that people tend to forget is social media and blogs Having a brand page and blog is really helpful. Adding a link to your store or website on your brands Facebook page & vice versa increases the chances of users linking back to either your store or your FB page. Recently my friend opened his stationery store at Ghatkopar but didn’t get customers but recently he registered his store on Google maps and now drastically he has a good crowd of students from nearby areas.  You need to be a bit of that Googley.

Increase your Facebook reach using Paid Ads

Everyone is accustomed with the brand “Chumbak”, It will be one of your favourite brands when it comes to trendy Indian accessories. They started as a store long back in 2010 and used Facebook targeting ads to reach their target group that is youth. They used Facebook as a medium to display the products and interact with their buyers. In fact 25% of their revenue comes from Facebook, Isn’t it amazing, This is the power of Facebook paid marketing. There can be domain ads, promoted post ( one that seems to be recommended by friends)  and  even can be remarketing ads ( work well because you know about the products before in hand). Once you made your ad , Whom do you want to see it? Facebook has really been helpful by choosing on parameters such as location, gender or interest, connections or custom lookalike audiences.

Once you have created   an ad campaign running, one can monitor through Face book statistics which helps to understand with number of clicks, impressions, cost per clicks etc.

Engage and Sell to Window Shoppers using website interactions

When you enter a showroom you expect that the shopkeeper greet and interact in order to know our preferences and help us better. But the question lies how will you entice and engage a customer with an online store. Well with the advent of technology this has been simplified. There is plethora of choices with us very first one could be integrating a live chat feature that is help building a rapport with your visitor’s online, one can use targeted pop ups to flash in visitor’s mind share that could be time based pop up or it could be feedback pop ups but while using popups don’t pester and oversell. I have worked in a publishing house and now print is also drifting towards digital medium. Now digital medium has amazing branding options one can go for fixed banners, overlay ads and even skinning ads. Customers are aware and informed, before making a choice he does research or comparison, so if a customer finds a good rating he might make an immediate purchase. This is the magic of customer review and ratings. Book My Show has used both customer and critic reviews on their site which can elicit somebody to buy tickets. The most important is website interface and environment just like a person shopping in an overcrowded store, overloaded with products and inappropriate lighting would not like to shop because his shopping experience is spoiled. Similarly if the site is slow and overloaded with product the shopping experience gets ruined. One should make sure various products are sorted and available by relevance, not only that it should be sorted but the products can have well written descriptions and relevant pictures.

Sell to people on the go with mobile marketing

I remember reading some facts in news post that read that Snapdeal mobile sales have incremented from a pace of 5% to 65%. Even Kunal Bahl, CEO of Snapdeal believes that for next two years 80% of sales will be derived from mobile devices.  Mobile is increasingly becoming the go to device for online purchase. Today many E commerce sites aren’t optimized for mobile and tablets. What I have seen commonly, mobile shoppers are impatient & demanding hence the system needs to respond as quickly as possible. It should load fast and have seamless check out flow. The mobile site should have some bare essentials such as a universal floating menu that can be accessed from anywhere in the site. In order to enhance product discovery one can have filter and sort by category option. There should be clear CTA and pricing below product image (with swipe based display).

Sell by listing on online marketplace

Today Flipkart, Snapdeal or Yep Me are like common household names just like any other market where we get whatever we want from a gym stringer to a smart watch. For a person who is trying to establish themselves online, they can leverage the power of these marketplaces. These marketplaces are good testing grounds and help to establish brand in the minds of the people.

Listing your products on Price Comparison sites

My dad is a tech savvy person and loves to compare gadgets and then make a buying decision. In a world where everyone is impatient, people prefer visiting comparison websites. As an online retailer you should ensure that the you are visible and discoverable online. It just requires uploading the pictures of product and listing your products for free.  Now as an online seller you don’t need to worry much one is charged on the pay per performance. One thing to be really clear is that these websites are not a point of sale but are the point where everyone flocks to know about your brand and then are re directed to product’s website. There are plenty of websites from Junglee, Naaptol, Price dekho, TolMol, Shop mania, Compare the bazaar to Price Raja

Last but not the least

Be Friends with your customers to win their interest

The birthdays and anniversaries of our relatives and friends are so special that we try to make as interesting by doing late night wishes or conference calls or video collage. Then why not personalize a bit for your customers. This can be done as follows

  • Personalized emails (Make it funny and very engaging)
  • Stay in touch via phone
  • Thank you notes
  • Special offers on birthdays or anniversaries

Found the article interesting? Don’t forget to like and share.

 Author:

Gautam Chadha

 

Why so serious? The art of using HUMOUR to get things done

by admin

Humour is magical.

Oftentimes, the idea of humour is taken rather jokingly. A joke or a smart phrase or a witty repartee can do wonders, if used at right time and right person.

In a professional set up, the ambience is usually made to look very serious and business like. But with changing trends and rise of millennial influence in setting up cultural framework, if you get too serious, people might not take you seriously.

Hence ask yourself, “Why so serious?”

Let me share an anecdote. A fellow colleague of mine, let’s use the alias Mr Serious, often had the habit of being overtly reactive to any given challenging situation. Meet any stumbling block and he used anger and flexed up vocal cords to deal with it, only to increase his troubles.

Day by day, vexed and fumed, he led his life, only to get caught in the quagmire of negative emotions.

Once, looking all worried and confused, he shared his sad story with me. I am not some guru or life coach to have given him some secret mantra to wriggle out of the condition.

However, I did share with him some very important gyaan which was once given to me by one renowned television producer and a very dear friend of mine.

I asked the producer friend, “What’s according to you is the key to success?” He smiled and replied, “There are many answers yet not a definite one. But for me, I feel keeping calm, maintain nerves at crux scenario is key. Being confrontational and edgy never helps. I will tell you a secret.”

He continued: “Suppose you are dealing a tough boss or a situation, use subtle humour. It helps in defusing tension and you take charge of the scenario. Be mirthful and all will be fine.”

True words of wisdom!!!

I shared this with my colleague Mr Serious and thankfully, he took note of it. How much he applied in his day to day functioning is something I wouldn’t know. But he certainly looks happier and more at ease these days.

Personally, I feel, humour is the essence of life. In this fast paced world, a little smile can enliven lives of many, be at work or at home.

But be cautious, too much of it can get cocky and end up irritating people. Know the person and moment, before using the ploy.

Humour is one of the best ways to get things done. Try it. When you can achieve with smiles, why get serious?

-Siddhartha Laik

Start-Up India, 2016- A Review

by admin

img source: www.awesomeindia.in

I catch a metro everyday to reach my college and that day was just another day…I plugged in to my headphones listening to the song, “Socha Hai”- from the movie Rock On. The lyrical beauty of the song brings so many dispersing thoughts on a beat of drum and a rhythm. Like he mentions – “Badal neele kyon , Ped hogaye hain kum kyon……Socha Hai ”- A subtle pointer to the existing environmental problems, that need a solution…but we remain ignorant or try to neglect them. Unless we are a victim, we do not react! Umm, it sounds too much of a value education lecture but these proverbs and small moments in life have their own significance that could teach us a life changing lesson.

Another anecdote that reminds me of opportunities in life was while leading the contingency to IIT Bombay, E summit in the month of January.  There I got to know a lot about what is the stage for entrepreneurs in India. We were presented with huge amount of information that elevated us on subjects like technology, finance, innovation, talent, creativity in India and global level. The amazing fact about E summit was open to copious chances to listen from Kunal Shah, Ashish Hemrajani, Sachin Bansal and Rahul Yadav… apart from these chat sessions there were also a fair for students to seek internships and jobs at emerging and well to do enterprises. Finally the two day carnival had its closing seminar from Rana Kapoor, CEO Yes Bank where he clearly said, “For him entrepreneurship in India comes from the concept of DICE – Design Innovation Creativity and very spirit of Entrepreneurship that he will be promoting at his CEO level and also bring that culture through his children”—–Who says India doesn’t have scope?

But after returning from IIT Bombay, I was pondering over the opportunities that will be soon flooded in Indian Start-up ecosystem. This is what I came across while researching over the Internet.

After going through a lot of facts, stats in the newspaper about the start-up buzz, I personally an entrepreneur who is at a very nascent stage believe that the year of 2016 has brought revitalization into the start-up ecosystem. Some facts that throw light to the fortunes of 2016 are as follows:

A great kick-start to the year with the most awaited start-up stand-up India plan which has given a sunrise to the Indian start-up ecosystem.  Our honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has created his objective as Start-up Stand-up India boosting the budding entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists. I remember few words from his speech addressing us, In the address during Start-up India launch, Modiji expressed, “Everyone has a idea, if Government stops working the youth has that potential to drive the nation, there are dreams deep embedded but due to risk and our insecurities we Inhibit ourselves”. He inspires that people who have started haven’t thought of bank balance but how are they imparting to society in a good way!….So what is required is a long term approach.

The start-up plan also brought a lot of conditions and policies that enhance and leverage the status of start-up hub in India.People believed that even though it is difficult to start a company in India, it is almost impossible to shut one down. However, he said, “an unencumbered easy exit option will be provided under the bankruptcy Act so that start-ups can exit within 90 days. The master of quotes as he is, Narendra Modi futher added, “Those who run from water will never learn to swim. You have to drown once to be able to learn to swim.” He also made the tax regime better in terms of profit and capital gains. Now the patent registration has become fluid & easy. It also allows self-compliance via mobile platforms. The plan also proposes investments in education, innovation centres, incubation centres and research &Infotech parks.  Isn’t it great!

Another event that catches my eye is Global Investor meet Karnataka in the early February of this leap year ( 2016) . Karnataka being the hub having a confluence of culture , technology and knowledge  sets an exemplar. The meet brought proposal of investor penetration into following sectors including : manufacturing , IT services, IT parks, Infrastructure, tourism, Agra infrastructure , technology clusters ,healthcare and education. It paved way for ease of conducting business via online portals and computerised planning implementation. The online portal provides all information with respect to setting up a business including policies, Whom to concern, entry modes and where to seek information. Every sector has also defined its policies uploaded on the portal of investor Karnataka to attract potential investors or foreign traders on board.

The Mid –  February  saw a carnival at Mumbai BKC—Make in India Week  which  created avenues for showcasing, connecting and collaborating for manufacturing in India. A platform where global CEOs, think tanks, policy makers, Diplomats and Political leaders converged. There were a lot of B2B and B2G deals that happened like Government of Jharkhand and Adani group and Vedanta limited. For youth and startups there was on spot 2 crore prize by Qualcomm , hackathon  for entrepreneurs to contest and even showcased stories of sculptors of India through their startups, products and platforms. The Australian government has given a nod for their co-operation and confidence for the same agenda.

The recent announcement of Budget brings a basket full of opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow, a ticket to tax holiday till March 2019 with a criterion of eligibility saying it should be innovative in its nature. The budget promises to elevate woman entrepreneurship by investing 500 crore for the same. It also brings a special patent regime. Though many our disappointed because the budget is not start-ups centric.

I personally believe that there are many opportunities only one has to realize sometimes it can be from one’s own learning curve for example  somewhere in Maharashtra there is no electricity , to drive a water pump a boy connected to batteries of his motor bike acting as a power source for the pump.  It is rightly said when it comes on you, you will realize. Rasi seeds since 1973, coming up with hybrid cotton, maize , vegetables —-so what is the requirement? People like Kiran Mujumdar Shaw, Biocon believes that India is a transforming economy  from agrarian to urban  hence it brings a load on farmers , leading to suicides , quality of food and health issues but bio manufacturing and high valued bio- services (like biometrics ) have made it so easy.  The current environment is so lucrative with development in communication and information system our age is the most informed one. So it’s the time to master around whether a process, product, management, channel. The world now calls for creativity that is human centred (figuring issues around us, just locate), capturing all human senses , multidisciplinary (involving from production to Launch and even extended to end receiver).

Be the next Marco Polo , Be the next  Albert Einstein, Be the next Larry Page …Be the next You. The time is yours, just use it as a powerful instrument and it will fetch fortunes to you.

Souce of review: Some of the facts have been adopted from leading newspapers like economictimes.com and news portals like firstpost.com

By

Gautam Chada

Author- SuccessYeti

5 Risks Every Entrepreneur Must Be Prepared To Take

by admin

img source: contentgroup.com.au

Does anyone remember the story of this dare devil- the founder of Virgin airways? Yes, I’m talking about none other than Mr. Richard Branson. We always get to listen so much about him in social media posts, even motivational stories, etc. etc.  But do you know the guy who is a source of inspiration for billion has seen a lot and has overcome a lot. Today he is the 4th richest man in the U.S. but contradictory to this, people are hardly aware that he is a major risk taker in his business. It is clearly evident from his business records that when he grew his brand by signing the most controversial acts of the time. He took these risks to gather some attention in this trafficked industry…But what has he made Virgin today? You know the answer…And Sir Branson is the man behind this successful venture.

I certainly feel that there a lot of obstacles in the world but if one has the locus of control and passion, then one can move mountains. Certainly, not as easy as we perceive; but not impossible.

Today the risk taking scenario has changed, and almost everyone undertakes some kind of risk to raise the bar. Be it Bollywood producer investing in difficult plots like Masan or The Lunch Box, or a bunch of friends going to a trek to Mt. Everest or launching of a new product, risk is involved everywhere. But risk taking has to be smarter rather than being reckless because it’s one of the key essential of an entrepreneurial process. And more than 60% believe that taking smart, calculated and planned risk is a good option to bring dynamics to business. There are a few examples of risk taking abilities which I can quote from what I read and discussed:

Ready to part with personal finances

It is very important that initial source of capital comes from the personal financing i.e. via savings, life insurance or fixed deposits. The personal finance. There are two types of risks involved: one is a pure risk and the other is a speculative risk. A pure one is the loss incurred owing to some event or calamity (i.e. money is lost) while in a speculative risk the money can be lost or gained money. In either way, one should be very clear that he or she should be able to part with his money.

Trust in the newly hired

Indeed a big risk! An entrepreneur is dependent on his man force for the success of his business and an organisation is not only a single man’s work but also a product of collaboration with others. This may require hiring people for various functions. The newly hired may be un-trained as seen in many start up requires. And moreover affording training may be beyond budget and time. Thus, allowing the responsibility in hands of newly recruited bunch and aligning them to the company’s vision requires some margin and risks.

Read more about –  9 Strategies to sustain your startup

Market risk – the consumer scenario!   

If one is running an E-commerce business, one may need to identify whether the business is relevant to the market, if it is incompatible then it is difficult. One should know what competitors are doing. Like if Naptol plans its positioning they need to see what are Snap deal and Home Shop 18.

So you need to check these points- Do you have customers for proposed e- business planned already existing online? What does it require them to get online? Does it extend a cost? What is your plan for digital growth and presence?

Technology and operational risk

It broadly deals with the implementation and ease of doing activities & business. This risk throws innumerable questions such as – is it possible to select the product design with a limited allocation to R&D? Will the product work as intended? Can you provide with a proper support framework for product design and distribution? How will you firewall your start–up against cyber crime elements and hackers? Is there a Plan B to run the company if some major equipment goes due to calamity and accident?

When operation comes into picture there is no standardization or benchmarks, this creates a lot of variability in delivery so in order to prevent that one can gauge experience effectively and use it as a benchmark. One can learn from past experiences and the mistakes committed.

Legal and regulatory risks

Last but not the least, it is very important to pay attention to the legal and regulatory environment of the business. If you are planning to expand the business then you need to consider certain things compiled under Company’s act 2013. You might have to face numerous processes when it comes to a company as a legal entity, like tax complications, law suits filed by competitors, copyrights and patent issues, disputes arising from poorly agreement structure etc. Thus, you need to have the right attorney or law consultancy involved in the firm practices to provide effective guidance.

More insights on: 5 things you must do to build a successful startup

So did I scare you? No don’t be!

What I learned during my MBA is paying attention to a seven element matrix that includes risk factor (judgemental), type (Categories of risk), Likelihood of risk , consequence, mitigation tactics, mitigation cost and status of risk after first six elements are adopted this is nothing but risk management plan.

Be a smart player, take calculated risk and nullify them with your resources. There you start your entrepreneurial journey!

By

Gautam Chadha

Author-SuccessYeti

9 Strategies To Sustain Your Start-up 

by admin

img source: www.europeanbusinessreview.com

I was in 12th then, I can relate to one particular lesson from Biology even today, which is the “Survival of the Fittest” from Darwin’s theory of evolution. I am sure you all have read it and remember very well. Still I would love to recall- the theory entailed that nature selects the one who is sustainable and competes in surroundings. In fact today just owning a start-up is not remarkable enough but the most important is how one faces fierce competition, unpredictable market condition and volatile economy. In order to sustain in this business growth, here are 9 strategies that can be utilized:

Use new capabilities of marketing and branding (of course i.e. low budget)

If one goes to see traditional marketing, we had a range of things in the promotional mix whether it’s advertising, direct mail or packaging but today marketers believe that there is a prominence of sponsorship, public relations, and digital and live brand experiences. This is something even I learnt during my time of Internship and the term is Experiential Marketing.

This kind of marketing is purely based on the focus that is to form a memorable and emotional connection between customer and brand so that it may generate customer loyalty and influence their purchase decision.The activities are usually designed to add value to target audiences in their own environments, during their natural existence. After the worldwide launch of Samsung S5 in Barcelona it was launched in India in order to create the buzz. A campaign was planned to run customized demo locations, mall activations and corporate activations. Even recently Airtel had set up 40 brand activation stalls at multiple locations to bring the essence of 4G.

Read more on : 5 things you must do to build a successful start-up

Other kinds of marketing available at hand are Internet and mobile marketing

With the growth in the smartphone, development of 4G segments, Reliance Jio and programs like digital India, marketers have lucrative advantage of connecting digitally with the target audience and there is a plethora of options, whether it is video content, interactive polls, blogs, and enhanced versions of whitepapers. The most important of all is Social media which is an astounding innovation of this century allowing building virtual relationship and allows a great amount of visibility and penetration in comparison to other forms of marketing.

Turn customer inputs into innovation

As I already mentioned keeping customer involved with the brand, A firm can actually has a feedback approach in order to improve the company image like having a complain portal , interactive polls, campaigns. It is very important to solder that gap between customer and market. Many of the service oriented companies like technology providers, packaging, event management firms have taken up this thought and worked upon.

Using social responsibilities such as attaching to National objective

Today start-up social responsibility is an emerging concept which stresses on what we take from environment we need to pay back to it since it is an important stakeholder. It’s all about sustainable development. Many entrepreneurs have diverted their attention towards national goal or approaches like, Make in India, Swaach Bharat Abhiyan or Digital India.

Having a sound research and market update

 In order to sustain in this market one needs to scan and screen the triggers and barriers. One needs to have a good research about the current affairs and activities, industry or sector trends, growth potential in the segment targeted. There are many start-ups that fail to realize the market game and miserably are cleared off from the picture. Yet many realized and have changed the strategies, I remember reading about Talent Pad, a hiring platform which was not able to use its analytic abilities to track the best tech talent for recruiters and understanding its shortfall it is now more of a training platform rather. It is very important to have the right kind of knack to understand the market game. If one is able to fill those gaps, he is a winner of this game.

Investing in right talent

To get the best people, a start-up needs to identify them and compete with other start-ups to hire them. It’s not only one looks for technical qualification but also what the person’s orientation towards the start-up. In fact in one of the recent studies conclude that many start-ups fail due to lack of cohesive work force or differences with co-founders. To my knowledge there are numerous early stage start-ups that miserably failed in 2014, to name a few: Pirate’s kitchen, SASLAB Technologies, blogtard.com and Academic ventures. All of the above have one thing common improper team and inefficient to deliver results to customer segments.

Read more on: For budding entrepreneurs: Here are 7 funding options for your start-up

 Respond to environmental changes

In order to survive in increasingly competitive market, one needs to monitor and track the market. Today all businesses operate in an environment continuously changing. It is very important to respond or proactively think about such changes since they create opportunities, threats and uncertainties for an Entrepreneur. If one can understand the situation of recent floods in Chennai or Hurricane Katrina hitting the Middle East or the recent switch to smartphones present a bunch of opportunities and threats associated. In a competitive economic system, the success, survival and growth of enterprise warrants market assessment. This includes market condition, competitive situation and trade practices.

Focus not only on employees but also external stakeholders

A start-up is not limited to internal employees but also external stakeholders like suppliers, dealers or sponsors who are an integral part of the business model. It is very important to stay connected with all external stakeholders because they also have some equity so they need to be managed well. They equally can participate in the start-up activities and build relationships with them to make them important partners.

Understand your customer well

The value offered by the start-up to its customer is the fulcrum of any business. To give good customer care you must deliver what you promise. In order to understand this- put yourself in the shoes of customers to know what they want and what they expect.

And above all, you need to have immense leadership qualities to sustain your start up in both low and high tides.

By

Gautam Chadha

Author – SuccessYeti

Learn From The Best: 5 Tips From MissMalini To Become A Successful Internet Entrepreneur

by admin

img credit: MissMalini.com

My name is Malini Agarwal, but of course now I go by my digital avatar MissMalini! Looking back I’ve (literally) danced around a career in media starting as a professional backup dancer for Indie pop artists like Sukhbir, Shibani Kashyap, Channel [V] and MTV. I moved to Mumbai in the year 2000 and joined the first Internet boom running digital content for MTV, and Midday, then kicked of a 9 year career in radio as a drive time host and gossip columnist for Radio One/Midday and became the digital content head for Channel [V] while I started my blog as a hobby in 2008. Things ramped up pretty quickly from there as social media took off and I focused on my blog full time from 2011. Now I’m proud to say MissMalini is a serious social media influencer for all things Bollywood, Fashion and Lifestyle and a leader in digital content. So what does it take to become a successful Internet Entrepreneur? Keeping your finger on the pulse of digital India, evolving with the times and a fair amount of FOMO! (*Fear Of Missing Out!). Check out more pointers:

1. Know your niche

There are a million websites, content creators and social media creators on the web today, what will make you stand out is finding the gap in digital content and owning everything about it. For instance MissMalini aspired to fill the void of entertainment content with a voice and personality and has become the one stop curated shop for everything you need to know about anything that’s relevant, engaging, sharable and cool for the young global Indian today with a bent towards Bollywood, Fashion and Lifestyle!

2. Use social media effectively

Today Social Media is your brand’s best friend. It’s your digital avatar and virtual voice, a way to communicate with the people you want to reach. It’s very important to identify the social media platforms that best suit your digital presence and use them to their full potential. Treat social media as you would any social network. Be yourself, be active and have a personality. Nobody wants to communicate with a robot. Be engaging, interesting and fun!

3. Interact

We no longer live in a world where you can exist in a bubble of your own enterprise. Find brands, communities and other Internet Entrepreneurs that complement what you do and create interesting collaborations. This allows you to share and grow your networks together. Today’s digital audience loves when they see their favourite virtual brands talk to each other. Besides it’s always more fun to play with the other geeks in the neighbourhood!

4. Perfect your user experience

No matter how good your social media skills are or how fabulous your personality is, if your product experience isn’t up to scratch you’re going to lose your audience. Whether you’re running an e-retail shop or launching a clever app beta test, focus on user experience aggressively. You get one golden chance to make an impression. If your interface is clunky or riddled with bugs people will “check out” only too quickly and are unlikely to come back. Also unhappy feedback and negative reviews spread like wildfire. Be quick to address gripes and feedback, people are for more likely to give you a second chance if you’re reachable and open to constructive criticism.

5. Have fun with it!

We live in incredible times where anything we imagine is possible! Let your imagination soar and enjoy the experience. Like Walt Disney said, “dream it, wish it, do it!” Never underestimate the power of passion and you’re more likely to approach your digital endeavour with creativity and passion when you’re enjoying what you do. So give your digital enterprise a good think before you launch. Ask yourself, “what would I be doing for the rest of my life if nobody paid me to do it?” And that’s what you need to do!

Good luck and to the moon!

-MissMalini

These are indeed some great tips from ‘the’ MissMalini. Jot down, start acting and tread on the path of success.  Don’t forget to like, share and comment.

Keep reading SuccessYeti

The mystery is you. Discover and succeed.

5 Things You Must Do To Build A Successful Start-Up

by admin

“The strategy is to first know what you don’t know, the tactic is to grind, and the value is to remember: there are plenty of places to innovate.” These were the words David Friedberg, founder of Weather bill.

People generally become very inquisitive with the subject of entrepreneurship. They have questions like, If I want to become an Entrepreneur, Where do I start from? Do I learn how to program to make the next Dropbox or SAS? Do I start selling products? How does one create a successful start- up venture?

An example I came across, is a very famous start-up Academia.edu, whose ideas around choosing & developing a business idea were both thought provoking and filled with wisdom.

Academia.edu’s mission is certainly a noble one i.e. Mr. Richard Price wants to get every single PDF on science ever written on internet for free. The initiative has also managed to raise a substantial amount of money.

The methodology of building a social networking platform for academics is really commendable and is a source of inspiration for other budding entrepreneurs. There are many such success stories in the space of start ups.

Here are some tips that will be beneficial to make your start-up a successful one.

Get Your Ideas Validated

In this generation of ours we are budding and shooting with ideas, but we don’t realise before starting on a particular idea that is there a market demand for it. Don’t work on the business until you’ve validated the idea. Make sure there’s a market. Make sure it’s what the customer wants. Sometimes the entrepreneur’s vision doesn’t align properly with what customer’s want.

Coming to the point, why is Validating Idea of importance? Since it helps to answer a quest of what is the potential market or is there a lack of it.

If you have an idea that is great and you want to turn it into a successful product, one should keep the following in mind, don’t keep to yourself and tell it to as many people as possible and seek their opinion.Talk with people you trust and whose opinion you value. Do test your idea like premier, pre-surveys etc.

If you’re aiming to become a billion-dollar business, take steps to ensure that the market can satisfy your aspirations.

Define a Goal or Mission 

Most business start-ups fail within three years. They fail for three reasons. The first is that the business has insufficient capital to operate until cash flow can pay expenses and generate an operating profit. The second is due to poor management. The third is most significant one i.e. Lack of common motive or goal.

As an Entrepreneur articulate your mission, what you aim to do and why it is important. It is simple, easy and more comprehensive than any business plan one writes. In fact such kind of a post will not only be good for internal motivation but also allows connecting with the external world like engineers, investors or future employees.Even if you haven’t built your idea yet, simply writing it down will have a transformative effect on how you think about what you’re doing.

Estimate your Start-up Cost

Launching a new start up is a big decision; it is an opportunity cost for one’s own family for years ahead. It is very important that the Entrepreneurs should build business budgets very carefully. Most of the start- ups are dealing with less number of resources so it is really important to allocate your start- up capital very carefully. A good budget helps you stay prudent in the way you spend your money while ensuring you don’t skip on essentials your business needs to survive.

The budget is really an organised way one can precede further. It allows a scope of constructing the future ahead. This document will chart out a target specifying, revenue goals. In facts once you have a sound budget in your hand; it will be easy for banks and other financial institutions.

It should consist of following i.e. start- up expense which may vary with business types but it generally includes a licensing fee or some fee on incorporation, insurance payments, rent utilities and the cost of supplies and last but not the least website holding and its maintenance. Sometimes it is difficult to gauge but one can research by assessing other firms in one’s region and other data. Apart from initial capital there is something which the start-up requires on month on month basis i.e. operating cost which can be further broken into fixed and variable one. Better be prepared to handle, maintain trackers and alerts to tell you ow to deal in escalation.

Start-up founders must also estimate their business’ projected revenue for a given period. Your revenue sources can include the sale of goods or services, income generated through selling a portion of your business, or other income from company-owned investments. The revenue will provide our goals a direction to move ahead.

Another big challenge is managing the personal expenses at the same time. There should be some contingencies assigned to personal and family expenses.

Build the Right team

Hiring the right talent can make or break any young start-up.

When investors evaluate startup proposals, much of their final decision is based on the team. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to fix problems with the product than to fix the team.

Finding the right team: Attracting and hiring people from one ground is difficult. The very first baby steps require you to know whom you need to hire, when you need them and why you need them.

The hiring person should write out a list of how each new employee will specifically contribute to the organization in the short term. Long-term goals can be more broad.

Finding the people with the right skill sets for a position is very difficult. A company rarely hires their ideal candidate. The work needs to be done, and start -ups don’t have the luxury of waiting.

Start-ups should search for experienced hires who have not only the technical skill but have worked in start-ups before and love the start-up lifestyle.

Respond to Feedback and Refine your Model

It is very important to accept the criticism in a very healthy manner. For start-up entrepreneurs, the need to constantly tinker with the business never ends. You have always got to be thinking about how you can tweak whatever you have to make it even better.

The process of building or refining your business model is a matter of carefully working through and answering these four important questions:

How does the business generate income?

How to fine tune the business model to increase revenue?

What are the major costs incurred in generating revenue?

How to reduce cost on your business model?

These are some of the tests. If you want to add, do hit the comment box below.

Written By

Gautam Chadha

Author-SuccessYeti

5 Lessons To Learn From Dale Carnegie

by admin

img source: inspirations.in

Dale Carnegie, the pioneer who introduced outstanding training and coaching lessons on leadership, human behaviour, interpersonal skills, sales, and public speaking also shared bucket loads of wisdom with us through his wonderfully written books. The globally acclaimed book, “How To Win Friends And Influence People”, is something that we all must read if we really have the burning desire within us to achieve something.

Dale Carnegie, better call him a guru of leaders, salesmen and general employees alike has doled out some interesting lessons that we would find immensely beneficial in every walk of life.

Do what you love

Everything begins with your desire, with your passion. When you have found out that one thing you love, just go for it. This is the first step towards success.

Remember what Carnegie said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

So are you enjoying your work? If your answer is yes, then you are successful.

Be brave, take chance  

Refer to his words of wisdom whenever you have doubts in your mind,

“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”

Whenever you feel like stepping back due to the fear of failure, remember you are making a mistake. You have to be brave. Fear is born in the mind, nowhere else. Only you can overcome fear. So take a chance, that leap of faith will be your biggest stepping stone to success.

Show genuine interest in people

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Be it in business, sales, marketing or personal relationship, you need to show people that you are genuinely interested in them through your communication techniques.

Or else how would your client trust you, how would your spouse trust you? Relationship fosters when you listen more, when you truly value your partner or clients and you take their opinion into consideration. This is the backbone of a good, progressive and prospective business.

Never condemn, criticize and complain

Dale Carnegie believed that these there Cs are represent characters of foolish people. Honestly, it’s difficult to practice, but certainly not impossible if we develop the habit of not condemning, criticizing and complaining ruthlessly over tiny and insignificant matters…This is how we can grow as an individual…Instead we can opt for a polite, subtle and dignified manner to show disapproval of something in our day to day life.

Make the most of your Today

What are you doing today? Are you living the moment maximum? Are you giving your best today? If not, then stop worrying for tomorrow…Make your today the best and the coming days will be automatically bright.

And that’s why the guru said, “Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” 

Cheers to life!

Motivation, Communication, Leadership, Success, Inspiration, Start Up, Business