How to be a successful entrepreneur

5 things to consider if you want to stay Competitive: Best Advice for Entrepreneurs 2018

 

Competition and Childhood

We have been conditioned to compete

Competition is embedded like a chip inside us right from childhood. We have been compared with our peers for almost everything and have been pressurized to perform better, usually coupled with an incentive or reward.

Competition is inspiration

Use competition to positively inspire you

As mentioned in the previous post, a detailed research is a pre-requisite before starting any business. One important aspect of this research is to STUDY COMPETITION. Drawing inspiration from competition and adding value has been prevalent for centuries. Many entrepreneurs build upon an existing idea and tweak the product or service offering either altering the people, process and technology.

Competition and Benchmarking

It is important to benchmark vis-a-vis competition

 

Despite the business concept being similar, it is important to have a clear differentiation between your offering and that of your competition. This making competition research imperative.

Jugaad and Tukka in business

Jugaad and Tukka are crude business concepts.

Jugaad and Tukka are our crude versions of design thinking and innovation. Indian entrepreneurs whether formally trained, self-taught or professionally qualified have always depended on a few basic factors to cut competition.

These tactics circle around OFFERING:

  1. More value at existing cost
  2. Discounts
  3. Better quality by adding features

At the same time, they work on increasing their profit margins by reducing operating costs & finding loopholes in tax and legal framework.

Indian Business

Thankfully, archaic business practices have now changed.

 

However, times have changed. Today, the competitive scenario offers more choices & information to the customer to make their decision to buy. Today’s customer is an INFORMED customer, thanks to the plethora of information available to them.

FIVE things to consider if you want to stay Competitive:

How to be a successful entrepreneur

Follow this as a formula for business success

 

Today, customers arrives at a buying decision based on COST, QUALITY & DELIVERY. However, an INDIAN CUSTOMER consider two more parameters in their decision making process i.e. After sales service and resale value.

Competition Formula

Follow these 5 to remain competitive

 

Being a first-mover will offer a temporary edge. If no one else if offering what you have to offer, then you have the first mover advantage to capitalise but sooner or later, competition will catch up. In such a scenario, how are you ensuring that your next version will still be ahead of competition and you will have an edge above them.

First mover advantage

First-move advantage is temporary. Keep moving!!

 

So, to conclude, an entrepreneur has benchmark his/her product or service offering vis-à-vis competition on the above mentioned parameters and the following questions need to be answered:

  1. Who else is offering the same / similar product or service ?
  2. How is our offering benchmark on Cost, Quality & Delivery vis-à-vis competition ?
  3. In case, no one else is offering it, How fast can competition catch us ?
Best checklist for entrepreneurs to track competition

Checklist for Entrepreneurs

 

This is the second post in the ten part series on 10 Cs of Entrepreneurship. #StayTuned for the rest. 

Do let me know what you think of the above post? Are you planning to embark on the entrepreneurial journey? Let me know in the comment section? I am happy to answer any queries as well.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.

Questions Entrepreneurs must ask themselves

Concept: Are you ready for Entrepreneurship? Answer these 4 questions to discover the truth.

Concept must be the starting point and motive for entering Business

I once read a poster at a large Indian conglomerate “Idea is nobody’s monopoly”. This really scared the daylights out of me. But at the same time, it also enlightened me that if I fall in love with my idea, I will cease to be creative, my mind is an idea factory and I will come up with many more.

Idea Factory Entrepreneurship

My mind is an Idea Factory

Entrepreneurs come up with a concept or idea which they believe in and are confident that it will make a difference to mankind. I have come across so many entrepreneur clients and friends, who have at some point in time or other, mentioned that, this was my concept and I had come up with this idea long time back.

Claiming credit in Entrepreneurship

Claim credit only if you deserve it.

My question to them is, what stopped you from execution of the same and that you have no right to claim credit of it. Ideas and concepts will remain ideas and concepts unless they see the light of the day.

Idea and concept

Ideate, plan and plan to execute your concept.

A popular author once said, “Everything is in this world is created twice…once in the mind and second in reality”. Every business is based on one concept or another. The passion and commitment along with courage and conviction to convert this concept / idea into reality is what creates an entrepreneur.

Extensive research and entrepreneurship

Extensive research before embarking into Entrepreneurship is the key to success.

Entrepreneurs need to be thoughtful and watchful enough to do extensive research on their concept before they bring it to life.

Questions Entrepreneurs must ask themselves

Answers will lend you direction…

Four basic questions every entrepreneur needs to ask himself / herself :

  • Why have they chosen to be an entrepreneur ?
  • What is the problem this concept will solve and how ?
  • Is this a new concept / business idea or an adaptation of an existing concept that caters to the concerns which existing business models aren’t able to solve?
  • Will this concept create a new need and fulfill it ?
Ask the right questions - Entrepreneurship

Introspect before you begin your journey.

Many entrepreneurs struggle to define or describe in one line, what their business concept is. They are far away from reality as many of them haven’t done enough research about their concept and the problem they intend to resolve. Their perception and understanding of the problem is personal and not generalized to the business ecosystem in which they are operating.

Are you suffering from the ‘Ivory-Tower Syndrome’?

One of the main reasons of this blind spot is that most entrepreneurs have been excellent students in their under-graduation, graduation and post-graduation and have stayed aloof due to competitive and societal pressure to out-score fellow students. Post which, they have got a plush job from campus placements and have enjoyed the luxury of fat salary and associated perks. In the bargain, they have lost touch with ground reality for over a decade and feel sitting in their AC office cabin (ivory tower) that their concept is the next big revolution.

Entrepreneurs must be aware of the environment

Always have your ears to the ground and eyes to the sky.

Are you suffering from the ‘Eureka Syndrome’?

Many entrepreneurs feel that they have had a eureka moment to an existing issue or problem which one of their existing client is facing. While they have built a standard solution, the client wants them to customise it to suit their business challenges and that too at no-extra cost. This sends the entrepreneur in to a trance as he is usually an engineer and is attracted to problem solving like a magnet. This high of creating a customised solution eats away a lot of time, resources and money for the entrepreneur and leaves him high and dry as this new solution cannot be replicated and scaled to any other client as they have mutually exclusive challenges and with no money coming in.

Entrepreneurs must be careful

Being right for a few clients doesn’t mean you will ace in Entrepreneurship

Are you suffering from the “Boon-to-Mankind Syndrome”?

Many entrepreneurs feel that their concept is going to be a boon to mankind. Their objective of becoming an entrepreneur is to make money real fast and believe that VCs are waiting to fund their BIG idea and they could make a fast buck and exit. Their nexus with investment bankers to fraudulently siphon off investors’ money and purposely fail in their venture is the dark reality of the start-up bubble. We did witness this same phenomenon during the dot com bust way back in 2000.

Mistakes Entrepreneurs make

Someone, somewhere has already thought of your idea.

To conclude, entrepreneurs must have a simple checklist :

  1. Money is not the only reason for you to become an entrepreneur
  2. You have chosen to be an entrepreneur by choice and not by default or pressure
  3. You are passionate and committed to this concept and have the conviction and perseverance to deliver it
  4. You have done a detailed research about this concept
Checklist for entrepreneurs
If all the answers are YES, then CONGRATULATIONS and ALL the BEST for your entrepreneurial journey.

This is the first post in the ten part series on 10 Cs of Entrepreneurship. #StayTuned for the rest. 

Do let me know what you think of the above post? Are you planning to embark on the entrepreneurial journey? Let me know in the comment section? I am happy to answer any queries as well.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain 

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.

7 Wisdom Lessons for Entrepreneurs from the FIFA World Cup 2014

In July 2014, another world cup drew  to an end with Germany taking home the coveted Gold trophy, it leaves behind glorious memories, ideas, reflections as well as lessons for all those passionately involved in the game and also for those busy chasing their entrepreneurial dream. While the world gears up for the next season, here are 7 Wisdom Lessons for Entrepreneurs drawn from FIFA World Cup 2014.

Leadership is the key

2

Most West European teams are now a mixture of Africans, East Europeans, Middle-Easterners, – it is important to create diverse, multi-cultural teams and the Captains play a very key role in games. Christiano Ronaldo, arguably the world’s costliest footballer and captain of Portugal, could not lead from front and inspire his team this world cup also. He would wait for his team to pass the ball to him and only play on the opponent’s half. Lionel Messi, the Argentine captain did the reverse and whenever he did, his team won. The latter would come back to the half line, take the ball and be the play maker as he knew very well that the opponents would not let him dribble and score and he would be heavily marked. This approach of Messi as a world class footballer and an inspiring leader almost won Argentina the world cup.

Remember, Captain runs as much as all the other 10 players- no special privilege of work less and gain glory.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

3

Planning is very important in a game / business. One needs to strategise the before, during and after the game in order to be successful. Understanding playing styles of opponents, adapting to the climate, playing to your strengths and taking timely decisions as planned will deliver success. A classic case in point is the Argentina-Germany match, where it was almost thought to be a repeat of the Brazil-Germany semi final, the Argentines proved otherwise. They played to their strengths and learned from the mistakes which Brazil made, had studied the Germans pretty well and gave them a run for their money.

Remember: Old habits don’t give you new results

4

What got you here may not take you there. One needs to continuously innovate and adapt fast to the ever changing scenarios. Spain, the reigning world champion and also home to the best and biggest soccer clubs and Spanish footballers, did not change at all. What they were four years ago they were still the same this year as the manager, most players, the playing style everything was still the same. They were so predictable in their approach that every opponent could easily outplay them. In business, the dependence on a few clients can be risky and cause heavy losses, if these clients suddenly stop dealing with you for whatever reasons or if you don’t add value to your existing services/ products, your opponents can easily take the business away from you.

Your bench has to be strong

5

Games as well as businesses are full of uncertainties and surprises, which are beyond ones control. Over dependence on a player can be fatal and it was evident from the much talked about Brazil-Germany match, where star striker of Brazil Neymar was injured and their captain Thiago Silva lost out on account of suspension. The Brazilian bench was very feeble and their over-dependence of these key players cost them their aura. One should have a balanced team and not rely on a few key personnel, because if they quit they might take the business along or the business could simply be taken away from you.

Team goal always before individual goal

6

Football is a team game and winning is what matters. While individual performances do matter, the team has to perform and win. Neymar, Messi, Robben, Muller, Ozil all world class goal scorers made the game look so easy when they passed the ball to their respective team mates for the team’s success and morale. Similarly, in business, if targets are shared, it helps the business to succeed at a faster and easier manner than it would with individual targets. The team should use each other’s potential and succeed.

Blend of youth and experience, it works!

7

Football is a full contact sport and a fast paced game. It requires great deal of speed, skill and stamina in order to outperform your opponent in 90 minutes (regular game) and another 30 minutes (extra time). Age does slow you down, but your experience counters the speed with sharpened skill set and stamina to consistently perform. Germany,a classic team that had a perfect blend of youth and experience with Klose, who played his 4th world cup (16 years) along with Mario Goetze (the goal scorer in the final) who at 22 was playing his first world cup and together they brought glory to the country. Even Holland and Argentina displayed this killer combination of youth and experience. In business too, this combination of youth and experience helps you build a sustainable model and also in succession planning.

Coach and mentor play a major role in success

8

A coach/mentor takes a team to a place where the team cannot take themselves. This world cup personified this statement very clearly. The timely decision making skills of coaches from the sidelines coupled with the understanding of the game and situation led many a players/team to impossible wins. Joaquim Leow (Germany), Van Gaal (Holland) , Jurgen Klinsman (USA) are unarguably the most noticeable coaches who took their respective teams to great wins by their sheer understanding and vision. Klinsman the former German captain and coach, who also mentored Jocqaim Leow in the last world cup has won many accolades for USA’s performance and obviously inspired Leow’s performance as a coach of the world champions Germany. The player handling skills of Leow for a team, which has so many celebrated players like Muller, Ozil, Klose, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Podolski, Goetze, Khedira, Boateng and Schurrle, was a classic example of how a coach can take a team to great heights. Entrepreneurs need to wear the hat of a coach/mentor to take train their team and take the business to greater heights by using their timely decision making skills and steering the direction of business.

Do let me know what you think of the above lessons. Are there any more that you wish to add? Do like, share and leave a comment. I would love to know your views.

Authored by:
Amarkant Jain 

Disclaimer: This series is an original piece of writing. All copyrights remain with the author, any content re-purpose, copying or lifting is not allowed. The author is an award-winning Sports Person, Business Coach & Digital Maverick. He has written this post based out of his own personal experiences while handling large brands. Incase you need to discuss business, please email: amarkant.jain@sarvashreshtha.com.