Coworking Space the Right Choice for Entrepreneurs!

The value of coworking space can only be well understood by freelancers and small business owners. Reaching its maximum profit is what the aim should be for every business. Choosing to use an office space for rent in order to maximize the potential of their own business is definitely one of the reasons why this is opted by a lot of people and companies. Cubickle coworking space Mohali is one of such companies who provides office spaces for rent.

This type of office space or a coworking space can also be referred to the serviced office. Every business can opt for this as indeed it is a flexible solution. More and more companies rent an office space due to various advantages. You can choose an office for rent over the traditional type no matter what type of business you have.

Setting up an office may take several months, for entrepreneurs and companies that are still in the process of starting up. Setting up the needed facilities and purchasing office furniture is another thing which they have to do.

You do not have to worry about all these things with the help of a coworking space for rent. To operate daily such as telephone, internet, furniture and other technology, a coworking space is equipped with the needed equipment and facilities. Minding your business and relocating to the office is all which you need to do.

In order to provide ease and convenience to the customers and employees, in most cases, this type of office is conveniently located at the heart of the city. You can choose to stay for as short as three months without worrying about the fee when you opt for coworking space. You only pay for the months in which you are staying in office in other terms.

As you do not have to spend a lot of money to purchase furniture sets and other facilities in the office, this is probably one of the best advantages of choosing a coworking space. Here you also get to experience the best customer service ever.

Specifically, if you have lots of options to choose from, you might think that it is such a daunting task if you want to look for an office for rent.

The best thing which you can do is visit the company by yourself. You should see them for yourself whatever services they provide or include in their packages. In order to avoid future problems always check the companies’ background and history. Speak to the receptionists is what the other thing you can do.

To decide what type of services your business needs is one of the important things you should do. While others don’t but some co-working space providers offer an extensive package to their clients. You can search online and look for reliable serviced office providers if you do not have ample time to do enough research.

In the corporate world and also for those who prefer to work from home, the coworking space is a part of a very popular trend. It turns into a better option than anything else which the market has to offer as it comes with multiple advantages.

You will have to take into consideration several important factors if you are considering the rental of coworking workspace. It is going to make you extremely satisfied with the final decision which you take knowing what to look for and what to avoid.

Although many people believe that they are all the same, coworking space comes in many shapes and sizes. You should get a specific idea of the things that you want and you need before you begin searching for your next office.

There is the number of essential services that are provided by these coworking workplaces. The option is turned in a very convenient and practical one as all of these are available after the rental. For proper functioning think of the services which you are going to need to start your work with. Receptionist service, security, cleaning, administrative assistance and even IT support are among the benefits which are included.

For the price of the office is the number and diversity of services which will be determined. About your needs and requirements in order to limit the number of offers, you need a clear and a very specific idea.

To choose a popular location without spending too much on the rent, these coworking workplaces are less expensive than purchasing an own office space.

For the image of the company, the location will be the determining factor. In terms of corporate operations, meetings with clients and the delivery of products and services, it should also be convenient. It will be a perfect solution for the coworking office spaces.

As the location and the additional benefits which you will be getting, the rent that you will have to pay for the office is very important. Sometimes you may face hidden charges that will bring up the price and this is important to understand.

How the rent is calculated will be known after you speak to the providers and figure it out. By quoting a very attractive rent, some providers will lure you into renting. For the services and the equipment that you use in everyday business functioning, this will be a base price and you will be charged additionally.

Whether the sum is affordable enough for you or not, you need to understand the manner in which the rent is calculated. The cost-effectiveness of the rent is the biggest advantage of coworking workspaces. The success of your business operations can be determined by the space in which you are working in. about the availability of coworking space, you can search the internet.

You will discover significant differences after you compare the offers. Speak to the coworking space provider after you visit the location of all the things. In advance try to come up with questions. Of drawing the comparison, inquire about everything of interest. For the startup of a business or for freelancers a coworking space is great and cost-effective.

Must – Have Communication Skills for an Entrepreneur

What is the first word that pops into your head when you hear the word – entrepreneur? Start-up? Rebel? Money? Struggle? Or all of these?

The most commonly thought of word is – struggle. An entrepreneur does not inherit a pot of gold, they are not generally born with a silver spoon in their mouths. That is the basic reason why they are entrepreneurs – trying to get what they weren’t born with, right?

To make their way to the top, there are a few very necessary skills that an entrepreneur must have. One of them is a set of very effective communication skills.

As an entrepreneur, interaction is something you have to do in abundance. The clients, the partners, the employees, the funding tanks, the customers, and the list doesn’t end. You cannot afford to make even one of these fraternities unhappy, right? In a shortage of resources, you have to hang on to what you got. To keep everyone happy, you need to be very good with your interaction or communication skills.

That is what we have here, a list of some essential communication skills that you must have as an entrepreneur.

  1. Talking: As an entrepreneur, this is really a no-brainer that you should know how to talk to people. To be more specific, you should know how to talk to every kind of people. There will be all kinds and classes of people that you will have to interact with – a local craftsman or a daily wage labourer, your customers who will actually make your business happen, agencies that you might have to collaborate with in order to run your start-up, and high-end corporate big shots as well. Every one of the most successful entrepreneurs had great oratorical skills.
  2. Writing: Maybe you do not need to be able to write odes, but you should have a decent vocabulary suited to the corporate culture and a flawless command over the grammar. You will have to write official emails and letters to your associates, partners, employees, and customers. You need to have good sentence framing ability to conjure catchy sentences. This will make you popular with all your corporate relations. Also, having a neat and precise manner of writing will be a factor in avoiding misinterpretations.
  3. Presenting Skills: Presenting is the most sought-after skill in the corporate world. This involves a mixture of a few more basic skills such as speaking and writing. A good presentation includes making the presentation, refining it, looking presentable, and finally the presentation. It involves you being able to make good and interesting slides, talk well, dress well, and behave well. Mastering the skill of presentation takes a lot of practice, but if you’re an entrepreneur, endurance and perseverance should be your limbs.
  4. Leading: Yes, leading is a skill that you must master if you dream of making it big not just in entrepreneurship, but anything. An entrepreneur is a position where being a good leader is an unspoken condition. No points for guessing that you need to have skills to lead a project. Everything related to the project will be on you – the profit, the losses, the success, the failures – you will be answerable for everything. You will need to convince people, motivate people, persuade people, and even plead people. People under you will look up to you for an example. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll need to learn from them, and move on. Accepting mistakes is the first step to success.
  5. Listening: Apart from being able to express better, you must have the ability of be able to listen even better. When asked why is black his favourite colour, a great entrepreneur said – ‘black is black because it absorbs every colour in it’. You need to learn to absorb things that you listen. There’s a huge difference between hearing and listening; you need to- listen, not hear. Move in good circles and listen to the conversations, suggestions, and pieces of advice. Learn good things and incorporate them into your business and the entrepreneurial endeavours.

Finally

Communication skills are more than essential in order to get the most of your endeavours as an entrepreneur. The smoother you are with your communication skills, the further you will make it as an entrepreneur.

Benefits of Entrepreneurship Development Program

What is Entrepreneurship Development Program?

Most people believe that the entrepreneurship is the fastest way to become rich but this can end up being just an illusion. The truth of the matter is that you can only succeed in business when you have the right entrepreneurial skills, attitude, and behavior. Therefore, current and aspiring entrepreneurs have a chance to enhance their entrepreneurial skills through the Entrepreneurial Development Program (EDP).  The program is meant to help people develop their entrepreneurial abilities and, in the process, establish or run successful enterprises.

The program involves development, inculculation, and polishing of business skills. The acquired knowledge and skills are very critical in running an existing business or establishment of a new enterprise. In other words, the EDP concept involves structural training in order to turn a person into an entrepreneur. There are many people with basic entrepreneurial skills but need incubation and polishing in order to become effective entrepreneurs.

It is not easy to effectively play the role of an entrepreneur and the only way to convert a person into an effective entrepreneur is by equipping them will all the necessary skills. There are some basic skills required for running all types of businesses but there are some unique skills that are certain types of business requirements. As a result, the program tries to pass down the unique skills in different types of businesses.

Individuals are trained on how to start a business and how to sustain an already established enterprise to guarantee success. In fact, EDP is normally considered as a transformational program and not just your usual training program. This is because individuals that go through the program learn how to behave and act like entrepreneurs.

Objectives of EDP Program:

There are many business opportunities out there but very few people know how to take advantage of them. The main objective of an EDP program is to help individuals to successfully exploit the existing market opportunities and even choose entrepreneurship as a full-time career. It is interesting to learn that most people do not take entrepreneurship as a serious career but a program like these are meant to change that mentality and motivate people to venture into the business world.

The short-term objective of Entrepreneurship Development Program is to enable individuals to acquire the basic competencies of becoming a successful entrepreneur by learning the existing regulations and rules. On the other hand, the long-term objective of EDP is to enable the trained individuals to establish and sustain successful enterprises using the acquired skills.

The program aims to supply skilled entrepreneurs that will help underdeveloped countries achieve rapid industrialization. Most underdeveloped areas can only become industrialized when there is an adequate supply of skilled entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is the major source of employment for young people finding it hard to enter into formal employment.

EDP Roles

An EDP program plays a stimulatory role by transforming ordinary individuals into successful entrepreneurs through;

  • Inculculating personality traits
  • Development of financial, technical, managerial and marketing skills
  • Promotion of entrepreneurial values and behavior
  • Application of scientific methods in identification of entrepreneurs
  • Motivational training
  • Giving recognition
  • Preparation of project reports
  • Strengthening of a person’s motive
  • Providing useful  insights on local products and processes

Apart from the stimulative role, the program also plays a supportive role through;

  • Management consultancy
  • Providing guidance in product marketing
  • Providing subsidy and tax relief
  • Supply of common facilities and raw materials
  • Support in purchase of equipment and machinery
  • An arrangement of shed, water, and land
  • Procurement of fund
  • Registration of the business

In addition, EDP plays a sustaining role by helping you deal with market competition by providing an effective safeguard through;

  • Helping individuals access better facility centers and services
  • Helping one create new marketing processes
  • Differing interest payment
  • Providing access to additional financing for expansion
  • Providing help in diversification, expansion, and modernization

Finally, the program offers socio-economic role through;

  • Practical identification of entrepreneurial qualities
  • Helping in channelizing of latent enterprise resources
  • Equal distribution of resources in the society
  • Supporting balanced regional development
  • Immediate creation of employment opportunities

Benefits of Entrepreneurship Development Program:

One can easily derive the benefits of EDP from the program’s roles that have already been highlighted. In summary, some of the key benefits of EDP include;

1. Business Guidance

Participants in this program receive important entrepreneurship guides that are very critical in running a successful business. The guides act as your “mentors” or “consultants” when it comes to personal development, sales, marketing, finance and strategy. EDP can enable you take your enterprise to the next level through insightful and interactive guides.

 2. Access to Funding

In order to grow a business, you need finances and accessing funds can be a serious challenge for most entrepreneurs. The program can give you access to finance institutions that that can provide you with funds to grow your business. However, it is important to point out that the program does not provide funds but gives you access to its network financing partners.

 3. Access to Infrastructure

It is sometimes very expensive to get an ideal business infrastructure on your own and this program can come in handy and help you access the necessary infrastructure. The program helps you access hot-desking facilities, IT and front-desk infrastructure, boardrooms, and business premises. The first step towards becoming a successful entrepreneur is by having access to the right business infrastructure.

 4. Access to Specialists

Any business will at some point need the services of professionals in order to remain sustainable or move to the next level. Through its support system, the program can help you access experts that are cost- effective. The experts can be of great help when it comes to critical areas such as legal aid, human resources, financial advice, taxation, and marketing.

5. Access to Markets

Most entrepreneurs will agree that a business can only be sustainable when you have no access to markets. Growing entrepreneurial businesses can largely benefit from EDP through its viable market channels. Being part of the program allows you direct access to thousands of alumni businesses, other businesses on current programs, and large corporate supply chains.

Entrepreneurship Development Programs or EDPs as they are popularly referred to as today have helped college students prepare themselves for Entrepreneurship.

They learn the tricks of trade by listening to those who have failed and succeeded in running their ventures.

5 Ways to Cut Costs in the First Year of Your Startup

The first year of a startup can be the toughest. In fact, between 1994 and 2015, an average of 60 percent of new businesses died in their first four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But your enterprise doesn’t have to follow this trend. If you manage your finances well and cut some business expenses, you can create a money buffer to get you through—and beyond—the first year. To learn how, read about the following five problems for new businesses and the solutions to each issue.

1. Problem: Missing or Wrong Team Members

According to CB Insights, 23 percent of startups fail because they don’t have the right teams. Low motivation, lack of expertise, and disharmony sink a startup almost as fast as a cash flow problem.

Solution: Hire carefully, with a focus on the right roles, mindsets, and skills. For example, if you lack strong accounting abilities, employ an accountant. Entrepreneur contributor Sujan Patel explains, “A good CFO or accountant can save you more money than you’ll spend on [them. They hold] you accountable for spending and [help] you plan your investments and understand your return on investment.”

2. Problem: Documenting Startup Expenses Inaccurately

One of the top reasons startups fail resides in poor business planning, including neglecting to document and track initial startup expenses. Almost inevitably, owners end up strapped for cash. The problem worsens from there; because the business is less than a year old, the owner benefits from few financing options, which further hampers the company’s cash flow and ability to thrive.

Solution: Document your expenses in a holistic business plan. While an online business’s costs differ from a brick-and-mortar’s, some expenses apply generally: insurance, equipment, financing, technology, research, advertising, wages, etc. If you forget an expense or underestimate it, you may reduce your business’s chances of survival after the first year.

3. Problem: Handling the Marketing In-House

Most online business owners include marketing on the budget sheet, but they may either scrimp on funds or try to do all the work themselves. However, even an owner with top-notch marketing skills likely needs to get other things done to keep the business running—and the marketing campaigns and sales funnel fall to the wayside as a result.

Solution: Simon Dlugowski, founder of MySocialNerd, recommends startup owners outsource their marketing in the same way they do with their legal and accounting services. “If you wouldn’t hire and facilitate a full-time lawyer, why would you do it with a marketer?” asks Dlugowski. “Whether it is for search engine optimization, branding, or social media marketing, there are companies with a staff of experts who can service your business for half the cost of an employee.”

4. Problem: Purchasing the Wrong Type of Internet

Business owners obviously require internet access, whether their business is based online or in a physical location. But some owners think to save on the expense by purchasing a residential internet package rather than a business internet plan. Unfortunately, the choice usually comes back to haunt them in terms of lost business opportunities and decreased productivity due to a poor internet connection.

Solution: Do some research and purchase the right type of business internet for your startup’s needs. If your employees work remotely, you want an internet plan that secures endpoints—your staff members and their devices. And, if you’re using Amazon Web Services or Azure to store and manage your data, you’ll likely want the highest speeds available, a feat best accomplished with fiber-based internet.

5. Problem: Paying for Every Tool Imaginable

“You get what you pay for” is so engrained in business owners’ minds that they cringe at the thought of using free tools. However, paid isn’t always better than free, especially for the early-stage startup. Paying for everything only constricts cash flow and can set your business up for long-term struggles.

Solution: Sarah Hewitson, co-founder of Neatly, a data-reporting platform for SMEs, says, “Despite the reputation that free tools can get, they’re not all bad. Of course there are the obvious ones like royalty-free images and the free version of MailChimp, but there also are free tools out there to help with HR, invoicing, and time tracking.”

If you want to succeed as a startup, be smart with your finances. Look at the budget and determine what expenses can be cut or reduced. Then, combine those details with the information above to keep your startup healthy and growing.

The Pros and Cons of a White Label Company

People are always looking for ways to make a living.  Some choose to find a job as an employee for someone else while others choose the entrepreneurial path.  Choosing to be an entrepreneur is not for everyone and is not always a success.

In the past few decades, one of the easiest way to make money as an entrepreneur has been to resell products and service from another company.  Some example of being a reseller include joining an affiliate program, taking part in pay per head program and starting a white label company.

They are several definitions of a white label company.  In general though, a white label company allows a person to sell a generic product or software without having to spend money on licenses, infrastructure and technology.  Thus, a person can create their own brand or company at a fraction of the cost it would take to start their own company.

It is a great way to start your own business but everything has a price.  Here are the Pros and Cons of starting a white label company.

Pros of Starting a White Label Company

Cost – The cost starting a white label company are much lower than starting a company from scratch.   On average, you will spend 10% to 50% less on white label company.

You don’t have to come up with a Product – One of the biggest challenges in starting your own company is coming up with a product or service that everyone wants.  By using a white label company, you already have a product that has been proven to sell.

You can spend your time marketing your brand – Since you don’t have to worry about product development; you just have to worry about marketing your brand.  This takes a big load from our shoulder and lets you focus on just one thing.

Resources and Expert Help – The business you are reselling wants you to succeed.  The more money you make, the more money they make. By joining a white label reseller program you get a lot of help and mentoring you would not get if you were starting your own company from scratch.

Simply said, starting a white label company can help you start your own brand of product or service without a large cash investment.

As in all entrepreneurial concepts, they are risks involved in a white label company that may not appeal to everyone.

Cons of Starting a White Label Company

Whose Product is it?  Even though you are a reselling the product or service using your own brand, it is not truly yours.  Yes, it is cheaper than creating your own company but in a round-about way, you are still working for someone else.  The main difference is that you make your own hours and you take all of the risks.

Not all of the profit is yours – You are still helping someone get rich and are just taking a small amount from the top.

You are still working for someone else – You are still helping someone get rich and taking a small amount from the top.

Are your clients truly yours?  This does not hold true for every white label company but if it is a service or software oriented white label company, you have no direct relationship with your customers.

Like any business, they are pros and cons and I hope that this information will give you an idea of what you are getting into when you decided to open your own white label company.  Just remember that any business requires a lot of time and effort in order to be succesful no matter what kind of shortcut you may take.

5 Ways to Help Protect Your Brand and Keep Customer Loyalty.

Fraud comes in many different forms. The last thing you want is a knock-off product reaching the hands of a loyal consumer. This could ruin their experience and make them decide to never use your brand again. Fraud can also have a huge impact on lost profits and affect any business model from a short or long-term point of view.

Protecting your brand can be executed in several ways. You can use some simple or technical ways to find out instantly if someone is trying to defraud all your hard work.

With the digital age growing massively, it might seem impossible to protect your online content. However, there is help on hand.

Google Alerts

If you have a Google email address or a Google webmaster account, you can set up live alerts. This means if your brand name is mention on another website, Google will send you a direct message as to where this is being mentioned. If you find the content has been copied or being used without permission, you can take the necessary steps. Google has the strongest algorithm and fastest spider indexing system on the web. Their resources for monitoring and storing content from the web is on an unthinkable scale. This means if your content is being used by a third party without permission, you can guarantee Google will send you an alert with 48hours of it being used.

 

DMCA

As a brand owner growing rapidly it may be time to trademark your logo and brand name.  DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) can help you take down stolen content. You can even add a badge to your website which will help deter thieves from stealing valuable content. DMCA offers a wealth of help including WordPress plugin, image watermark service, copyright bar, Facebook watermark, search engine monitoring and a fast ‘takedown’ service; for businesses that have been targeted with copyright abuse.

Ref: http://www.dmca.com/

 

Creative Commons

Creative Commons helps you legally share knowledge and creativity to build a more accessible world. Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work–on conditions of your choice. This covers video, photographs and graphics and written content.

Ref: https://creativecommons.org/

Register Your Trademark

Another important way to protect your brand, logo and name; is to get in touch with the Patent and Trademark Office. You need to seek the help of a solicitor as the forms can be complicated. Create a distinctive mark or product as common words or simple graphics may be rejected as they too generic. It might also be a good idea to think on a global level. This could be costly in the long run.

Ref: https://www.uspto.gov/

 

UV printing protection

Packaging suppliers and manufacturers can also offer help with the final product lines. UV printing techniques can hide hidden messages, logos or graphics. This can help you determine if the product is counterfeited. A UV torch or lamp can be used to check pallets of imports to see if your product is the real deal.

Imports of counterfeit and pirated goods are worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, or around 2.5% of global imports, with US, Italian and French brands the hardest hit; and many of the proceeds going to organised crime, according to a new report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office. Source.

UV brand protection

Consumer health is also important. Phony items may have toxic ingredients or simply fall short of any packaging standards. This can be seriously hazardous and cause skin irritations, rashes or other medical problems.

8 Mantras To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

It is wisely said that the harder you work, the more luck you seem to have. Becoming a successful is a dream of everyone but the ones who are ready to work hard will only get to taste it. Becoming an entrepreneur is not at all easy. You have to face a new challenge daily, need to fight your competitors bravely and the most importantly, you need to understand the market.  To become a successful entrepreneur you need to stop chasing money and start chasing passion because if you won’t be passionate about your business you would never be able to make it big. All you need to do is decide your goals and secure start-up capital. Grow your enterprise by working hard, surrounding yourself with great staff, and getting the word out about your product or service. Once your business becomes successful, reinvest your income in other business venture to expand your enterprise.

To become a successful entrepreneur, you need to follow few steps that have been discussed below.

1. No problem for beginners.

The best part about starting a business is that it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or experienced, you come from a business background or not, the risk level is same for everyone. Your day to day effort and decision making power will decide your destiny.

2. Be persistent.

When you start a business, you should be determined of keep moving forward and persistent about giving up. Confidence-building is a significant part of being a successful entrepreneur. If you are not confident enough of your decision, you would never be able to gain confidence of your clients. Don’t get scared of failing because success is walking from failure to failure, without losing your enthusiasm. So, if you desire to be a successful entrepreneur you should overcome your fear of getting fail.

3. Show full dedication to your business.

There is no doubt that if you don’t show your dedication or commitment towards your work, you will never be able to rule the business world. A leading Indian origin businessman in South Africa, Atul Gupta, is a perfect example for this. He started a small business of computers in South Africa but with his dedication and commitment he soon started to invest in different fields such as investment, real estate, mining, media et al. and today he contributes in the economy of the country. He plays an important role in the development of South Africa. Likewise, if you will show your commitment towards your business then you will definitely get to taste success.

4. Stay positive during ups and downs.

Do not ever think that failure is an enemy of success because it is not. You get to learn something even if you fail. You can either get discouraged by your failure or you can learn about your mistakes. Choose the second option, go ahead and learn from the mistakes you have committed. There is no denying in the fact that there will be a time when you will notice that things are not going as you thought but hang in there, don’t lose your hope. Work on it and you will be more successful.

5. Take the risk.

The most important step in any business is to take risk. If you are not willing to take risk, you will have to settle for less. Every new idea brings some challenges and risks with it. So, keep bringing new ideas and keep showing your creativity because this will bring some challenges with it and you will continue to learn something from it. Taking the risk doesn’t mean that you will take a step blindly or in which you don’t believe. You should have a clear vision of what you are doing and what can be its outcome.

6. Know your market and customer.

To have complete knowledge about your market is really important because it will help you to take decision accordingly. If you don’t know your market, you will never understand what your customer wants and you will never be able to fulfill their requirement. Also listen to their complaints wisely and improve your product or service accordingly. This will help you gain customer’s confidence.

7. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs.

Getting social with other entrepreneurs can build your business sense. You can learn many things by just talking to them. The skills, experience and their traits which all must adore by their stories can be fruitful for your own business. Even if they criticize you about your work process or your business, it will be beneficial to you.

8. Plan for raising capital and spend wisely.

It is not easy at all to raise capital and it takes much longer time than you think. So, you need to plan for it. Capital is something that you need every time you plan to have some changes, be it at initial level or at ground level. If you have enough capital with you, then also you need to plan on how to spend it. You cannot spend your money on things that are not necessary. You need to spend it wisely.

The Complete List of Things to Evaluate Before You Open or Invest in a New Venture

Do you have an innovative idea you wish to market? Are you planning on opening a new business? Are you investing on somebody else’s idea?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions, don’t do it just yet!

Starting or investing on a new venture can be an emotional process full of anticipation and excitement. You need to keep a cool head and treat the process with the utmost objectivity.

To help with that, I’ve put together a complete list of questions you NEED to answer before you even think about putting a business plan together. This will help you make sure that no overlooked variable makes you incorrectly go forward or not. Make sure you don’t skip any part of the process and end the exercise with a very honest yes or no decision based on the answers.

You will find it difficult if not impossible to answer some of the questions. It is very important to understand the sureness of each response and the risk that each unanswered question implies. Handle this risk by analyzing scenarios with the different possible answers.

Write down a simple comment to each question, doing this formalizes your analysis. You can also think about each question in a SWOT analysis context identifying each one as a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity or Threat.

If you need the list in excel form contact me at cmatouk@alum.mit.edu.

 

The Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind:

Do this all the time

  • Be methodic, analyze completely. Understand the need, competition and constrains, then tailor and differentiate.
  • Be on the lookout all the time for the fatal flaw that will make this fail.
  • Lots of questions can’t be answered or are too vague, check the risk of not knowing them.

Don’t Do This

  • Don´t follow the classic idea method: “I have an idea, let me think hoy to shove it to the channel or customer”.
  • Don’t focus on the features of the product, focus on the need you are trying to fulfill.
  • Don’t get tempted to skip a full analysis.
  • The most frequent mistake is to think everybody in the market is like you. If you like the product, everybody else will.
  • It is common to confuse a good idea with a good business opportunity, they are not the same.
  • Thinking “We have no competition” is only for naive entrepreneurs.
  • Don´t obsess with first mover´s advantage, most of the time funds prefer second movers because the idea is already validated.

The questions you need to answer:

Product or Service  

  • Can you describe the business idea in 25 words or less?
  • Is the idea scalable? Is it limited to your time or something else?
  • Can your offering later change / adapt?
  • Risk of not being able to develop / manufacture the product?

Market or Customer    

  • Can you do formal market analysis or only informal? (Interviews, observations, focus groups, surveys, market experiments, etc.)
  • Who is the customer? How precisely can he be defined? Location, profile, etc.?
  • What problem are you solving? Why would the customer buy? Does he want to?
  • Commercial risk, no willingness to buy?
  • How big is the market? Growing or shrinking?
  • How penetrated is the market by the industry? What share can you get fast? Later?
  • What price is he willing to pay? Based on what? How important is it?
  • How price-conscious is your customer?
  • Risk of change in consumer behavior?
  • Can the target market later be changed? Can you later attack other levels in the value chain?

Industry       

  • Can you do formal analysis or only informal?
  • Is it thriving? Shrinking?
  • Do suppliers have power? Risk of supply shortage? Change in price?
  • Barriers to entry:
    • Contractual? Patent or trademark?
    • Lead time in tech development? Innovation?
    • Management? People?
    • Location?
    • Regulations and government?
    • Other barriers?
  • Can barriers change easily?
  • Do you have relations in place?
    • Customers?
    • Suppliers?
    • Partners? Talent? Investors?
  • Experience in industry? Yours? Other management?
  • Risk of regulatory or other government related changes or intervention?
  • Technology risk of obsolescence?

Competition    

  • Can you do formal competition analysis? If not, what informal analysis can you do? Is it good?
  • Who else is attacking the market? How? Successfully?
  • What is your competition´s pricing strategy?
  • What is the closest thing in the target market to your product? Are you a first mover? Second? More than that?
  • Strategic advantages / differentiators. Clearly visible to consumers or only in your mind? Sustainable? True, important and provable?
    • Function? Design? Quality? Uniqueness? Innovation?
    • Delivery? Channel? Availability? Location?
    • Cost? Marketing? Sales?
    • Ignorance of buyers?
    • Customer service?
    • Other?
  • Are you taking advantage of a certain opportunity, situation or advantage?
  • How fast can competition catch up?

Channel     

  • Which options do you have?
  • Which one is the ideal? Why?
  • If the first choice does not work, does it make sense to try others?
  • What channels does your target market prefer?
  • Which ones are your competitors using?
  • How much integration do the channels have?
  • Will the channel change with customer habits or tech?
  • Risk of no access to the correct channel or consumer?

Sales and Advertising    

  • How will you get customers?
  • How will you retain customers? Is it important?
  • Describe the necessary salesforce?
  • Can a salesperson of ordinary skills sell it?
  • Do you need advertising? Which kind? How much? Is it important?

Economics    

  • How clearly can you model the basic economics of the idea? (Costs, sales, margins, required capital, ROI, etc.)
  • Will there be economies of scale? Are they important?
  • Accounts receivable? Can it become a problem?
  • How will you finance initially? Later?

Management  

  • Do you have or can get the necessary management team?
  • Do management / leadership / organizational capabilities make a difference? How big a difference?
  • How valuable is intellectual property?
  • Does it make sense to do this solo? It normally doesn’t.

Other   

  • Validation:
    • How fast can you know if the business can work or not?
    • Can you define the variables to know it? How fast can the data flow?
    • Do you need product development to know? Dangerous!
    • Do you need a long selling process or many tries to know? Dangerous!
  • Can you diversify? Not easy on new ventures, but can it be done?
  • Give me the biggest drawback / risk (fatal flaw) of the idea? The one that will make it fail?
  • Enlist the seemingly fatal flaws that can be fixed.
  • Does the idea fit your life objectives? Workload?
  • Do you feel passionate about the idea? Enjoyable? Are you doing it only for the money?
  • Give me the upside / best case scenario?
  • Give me the downside / worst case scenario?

How to Outsource Accounting

Outsource accounting is a diverse business filed. It offers a stable long-term employer, self-employment. People who study accounting have the ultimate goal. They want to start own business as an independent accountant. It is not a simple task, but the self-employment path in accounting outsourcing services is justified. Knowing how to start will help to do the job professionally.

If you have experience in consultation providing, could establish an accounting consulting company. It will offer the best choice of accounting organization and internal control implementation for customers. It may include accounting programs training, consultation for company members.

Bookkeeping specialization can determine the key company competencies, pick out you among others business accounting services  Going out on a too narrow niche can scare off from you a certain number of customers in another sphere. In the beginning of bookkeeping practice, try to remain open to new customers.

Choose an entering strategy; starting from scratch is a good option. The client’s choice as well as the partnership with an already working accountant, the existing company purchase are also good options. You will get full control of start providing bookkeeping services from scratch. You do not have to deal with an obsolete software, existing pricing. However, the tasks of attracting initial capital, finding the first clients are becoming more complicated.

In the beginning, part-time employment is a good way not to be a loser.  The advantage is that you allow clients to «probe the ground» in spare time, without huge financial risk in business. When you move from main employment place to self-employment, establishing relationships with clients will smooth your employment change.

A partnership with recognized outsourced bookkeeping services can help you at the start. Working with a partner means more connections, capital, potential relationships with customers. Partnership with another company will reduce control level, save from a lot of questions. In addition, it takes time to study the current region market services.

Make a business plan for your bookkeeping practice. A business plan is a formal document. It displays the mechanics, a concept, a mission, and core values of the business. A plan is a key, if clients want to take out a development loan, it will help make sure that you have planned everything correctly. The plan should cover marketing strategy and costs, revenues forecast. It should demonstrate that you understand the target market and the administrative and financial aspects of your bookkeeping company.

The definition of the concept, mission, and values is a key to choosing a niche and development course. The concept defines the company place, the mission presents specific methods which you are going to use to implement this concept.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are very popular among outsourced accounting services. Corporations are ideal if you plan to expand the business. The individual entrepreneurship is a good option, because of taxes, overheads tend to be lower.

Accounting company creation and launch.

Once you have compiled a plan, have selected an exit, marketing strategy, a structure – you are ready for action. Relatively simple tasks are the implementation of your business history, the materials purchase, the office space lease. The first client’s involvement is the most difficult aspect at the business beginning.

To attract customers – use last contacts. If you have established strong relationships with customers from a previous employer, may be able to attract them in new business.

Advice

A good skill is not a successful accounting business guarantee. It requires excellent marketing, management skills.
Assessing financial obligations in personal life will help determine entry strategy, the comfort level of risk. For example, if your client is the main breadwinner in the family and pays for a mortgage from income if the business fails he may lose all.

10 Tips to Become an Entrepreneur

There are few jobs which need you to be aware every moment. And being an entrepreneur is one of them. In this job, you have to learn to succeed; you stop and the competition will hit you hard. Follow the ten tips given below for success.

1. Recruitment

A team with the proper skills and having a leader to delegate the right responsibility – the start-up will be a success. But to build a team who share your vision/passion is the greatest challenge. Your investors will check your team members’ educational qualification and experience. The reason – your team should first believe in your ability to sell.

2. Fundraising

One of the most challenging jobs for an entrepreneur. In recent times, there are companies such as YCombinator, 500 Startups , TechStars etc. By registering in AngelList you can easily track the fund raising efforts regarding your company. You can know more about your strengths/weaknesses when you meet potential investors.

3.Customer Support
If you have started a service-based company, for the first few months, keep a sharp eye on the customer service. If possible attend the calls as it is your own designed product. You will be able to figure the expectations/needs of customers regarding your service. However, you cannot be doing the same forever and you should delegate to a person who can act as a perfect representative of the company.

4.Tradeshows
Tradeshows are the hot places where you are exposed to the press/media, forge valuable partnerships and friendships. Although, you will not like to be known as a Conference Ho , in some time, you will realize the importance of these trips.

5. Long Hours
In the initial stages, you will have to face the grind more than when you have worked for some company. The hours may stretch to 80 hours per week or even more. However, if you are passionate, you will enjoy the long stretch and never feel tired.

6. Tough Decisions
You may have smart team members, but there will be times you may have to take harsh or smart decisions. In short, you should enjoy taking crucial decisions at the drop of a hat or else you will burn out.

7. Travel
You may have to attend conferences/trade shows in another country. The crucial factor is your presence and not the $200 dollars that you spent on the taxi driver to reach the venue on time.
Your company is in India but may also get a big investor in a foreign country suppose in Germany. To form a lasting relationship, you may have to learn the German language. Since you are time-strapped, you think of joining an online tutoring class with a platform such as preply.com where you can find a reputed German tutor.

8. Humble Lifestyle
You might be stashing millions of dollars in the bank for your start-up but remember it is investor money. You may have to live a humble life until your start-up becomes a success.

9. Risk
There is one word which describes a start-up best – uncertainty. Ensure your focus does not shift from the goal of achieving success.

10. Time
You are always racing against time to reduce your cost and to grow steady-fast. Remember, in this job profile, you have to do the work of an entire organization. In the early days of forming an organization, you have to do many jobs such as HR, CEO, assistant, customer care executive etc.
Always think every challenge is a learning phase and you/your company will also become a success.