A to Z of Entrepreneurship – Part 4 ( Series of 6)

A to Z Of Entrepreneurship” is the series of blogs in which I have been explaining various aspects of Entrepreneurship, Opportunities and Challenges of Entrepreneurs, Characteristics of an entrepreneurs, Future of entrepreneurship etc. I have already shared 3 blogs of this series and this is the fourth one. In my previous blogs I have covered below alphabets :

A- Attitude B- Business Plan C- Capital D- Discipline

E- Energy / Enthusiasm F- Failures G- Goals H- Honesty

I – Idea to Execution J- Judicious Decisions K- Knowledge

L- Leadership Matters

In this blog I will be covering alphabets M, N, O , P and Q.

Video on YouTube Channel ( In Hindi )

M- Mentors

As an entrepreneur, you can get steady flow of information and industry updates from your friends, acquaintances, online platforms , business publications and other media. Despite of this the bigger question is , Why an entrepreneur needs a business mentor ? A business mentor is someone with more entrepreneurial business experience than you and who serves as a trusted confidante over an extended period of time usually free of charge. He is the person who can guide you, support you , motivate you, coach you and can also give direction to your business with his expertise and experience. The most obvious benefit of finding a business mentor is that you can learn from their previous mistakes and successes. Your mentor doesn’t need to have experience in your particular industry. Your mentor’s role is to share with you lessons from their experience in the hopes that you can learn them quickly and easily. The rewards of having a business mentor can be great and the risk is non-existent. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by finding a good mentor. Every entrepreneur should look for a great mentor.

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”  Bob Proctor

Source : foundr.com

N – Networking Works

As an entrepreneur you need to development great relationship with future customers, potential investors, mentors, Industry experts, business leaders and prominent personalities of society. Without help and support of these people, your business may not thrive. Networking is something every entrepreneur should practise on daily basis. Although many people associate networking with asking for favors, successful net workers know that networking is not all about them. Networking in business is about creating trusting relationships and friendships with other business people and professionals . A key part of effective networking is helping other business people with their needs. That’s why you’ll find that the best net workers are often connectors who help others by referring customers, providing testimonials, or helping to promote events and other businesses in some way.

Some of the networking techniques which you can use to expand your connections :

Take every opportunity to meet new people

“The most important lesson  in networking is to take every opportunity possible to meet new people.” Don’t dismiss a single soul—you never know who you’re talking to, who they might know, or how they might be able to contribute. As  the saying goes ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’

Don’t expect immediate gratification

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t meet people who can immediately help you. Many of the most valuable network leads will come from people who remember you and will introduce you to people they know who would be beneficial for your business.

Effective use of Social Media

Social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter have become powerful tools for networking. You can connect with right people of your industry or profession on these platforms and explore the possibility of having meaningful discussions for mutual benefits. The reach and power of these media is simply outstanding and one effective use can pay you rich dividends.

Focus on building long term relationships

Networking should not be a one side affair, one has to focus on building long term relationships and adding value to those relationships. Whether you’re just meeting someone or following up with an existing contact, ask yourself the magic question: ‘How can I help you?’ By making it about them and not you, you’re more likely to build the trust needed to sustain a working relationship and add value to those relationships. Ultimately, you’ll get as much as you give.

O- Out of the box thinking

In above picture, you can see unique and deprecatory name of this sweet shop ” Thaggu ke Ladoo “. The word, ‘Thaggu’ in Hindi comes from the word ‘Thug’ which means to cheat or a person who cheats you. Now, one wouldn’t dare to promote their venture claiming that their intention is to cheat their customers but surprisingly, the gimmick seemed to have worked for Thaggu Ke Ladoo! Over the years, their business has flourished and crossed turnover of Rs. 4 Crore , despite the strange name and their tag line which says – Aisa Koi Saga Nahi, Jisko Hamne Thaga Nahi that literally translates to “There is No Relative or Person Who We Have Not Cheated!” Interestingly ,this shop was also featured in super hit Hindi movie “Bunty and Bubbly “

As an entrepreneur, you need to look for different, unique ,out of the box and quirky ideas to promote your products and business.

Here is a very interesting story of Narsiram, a cobbler based in Jind district of Haryana. Anand Mahindra , Chairman of M&M saw this interesting banner ” Zakhmi Juto ka Hastapal ” (Hospital for torn shoes ) on this cobbler’s shop and twitted ” This person should be teaching Marketing at Indian Institute of Management “. In another twit, he wrote “Got it on whatsapp. No clue who or where he is or how old this pic is. If anyone can find him and he’s still doing this work I’d like to make a small investment in his ‘startup’.” Anand Mahindra kept his promise and got a new designed kiosk for Narsiram .

P- Profits

An entrepreneur without a profitable business will have a hard time creating jobs, being a great role model for others, or doing any of the things that successful owners of money-making enterprises can afford to do. In the current era, when economy is in doldrums, customers are not spending much, competition is too fierce, and making profit for any enterprise is herculean task. So called Indian unicorns ( Start-ups having valuations more than $ 1 Billion ) like Flipkart, Oyo Hotels, Paytm, Ola, Grofers etc. have been struggling in making profits. Since these companies have got better funding from VC’s , they are able to run the show. In last decade or show many promising startups and ventures had to wind up their businesses as they could not generate required profits. To achieve sustained entrepreneurial success, profitability should be prime objective for any entrepreneur and it cannot be compromised under any circumstances.

Profit is not something to add on at the end it is something to plan for in the beginning- Megan Auman

Q- Quality

With so many options available to customers, you may be wondering whether or not quality still matters. The answer is a resounding “yes,” and quality isn’t just about offering a product or service that exceeds the standard, but it’s also about the reputation you gain for consistently delivering a customer experience that is “above and beyond.” Managing quality is crucial for all the businesses.

If you fail to meet customers’ expectation, they will quickly look for alternatives. Quality is critical for satisfying your customers and retaining their loyalty so they continue to buy from you in the future. Quality products or services make an important contribution to long-term revenue and profitability. They also enable you to charge and maintain premium prices.

Quality is a key differentiator in a crowded market. It’s the reason that Apple can price its iPhone higher than any other mobile phone in the industry – because the company has established a long history of delivering superior products.

Customer’s expectations have increased in recent years, they would like to delightful experience of any product or service.Customer delight is defined as going above or beyond meeting customer expectations and providing a positive experience with your brand, products, or services. Delighting your customers is all about establishing an emotional bond between brand and buyer.

Source- Atul Raja

This was the forth blog in the “A to Z Entrepreneurship” Series. Hope you might have found it useful and relevant. Please share the link of this blog in your network.

About Author : Nitesh Kataria is Pune based Marketing professional, having 23 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, New business development, Digital Marketing, Advertising and branding. He can be reached at 9822918211or at niteshk3@yahoo.com