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MAKE EACH MINUTE COUNT

 

For an entrepreneur, time is money and one who efficiently manages time achieves success in the long run. As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of time management, prioritization and keeping track of our goals while setting up a start-up venture. Time well saved results in cost efficiency and increase in productivity. During the entire journey of establishing my venture, I always gave importance to respecting both personal and professional commitments by way of effective time management.

Throughout my entire career experience, I have learnt that for attaining success one should make each minute count, define clear priorities and set deadlines for completing various tasks. In this article, I will describe the factors which contributed towards my entrepreneurial success. The two word formula “Time Management” made the real difference in my life. Given below are some of the tips which helped in staying afloat:

  1. Prepare a Calendar and Schedule Everything: I schedule all the activities throughout the day over a time slot and try my level best to stick to the schedule. Preparing a time calendar will help in making the maximum out of each hour spent in a day, minimize time wastage and improves the sense of focus.
  2. Handle Challenging Assignments during Peak Time: It is generally recommended that the tedious or challenging assignments should be tackled in the morning, as it is the peak hour of productivity generally for most people. Follow-ups or routine nature of work then can be given a second priority and can be handled anytime in a day.
  3. Organizing Skills: I deal with the assignments in a methodical and an organized manner. Proper filing and having a master folder, serves to be quite handy at times of need. I hardly face any difficulties in locating the files, which avoids the frustration and helps me to put a check on the time wasters. Proper organizing provides me a sense of control over the activities. By demonstrating organizational skills at work, I have been able to reduce distractions and work more productively.
  4. Delegating Responsibilities: Being an entrepreneur, I have realized the importance of delegating responsibilities to the team members. By delegating certain responsibilities, I pay attention to crucial and more important work which requires my personal attention.
  5. Optimum Use of Technology: Technology in this context means depending upon the usage of smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc. for running the business. Various apps and user-friendly tools such as Skype, Google Talk, Whatsapp, Calendar Reminders, etc. have facilitated convenience for us. Smart use of technology can prove to be a blessing in disguise and help us in communicating faster and more effectively.
  6. Commit to complete at least one Productive Task within a Day: As an entrepreneur, commit yourself towards completing at least one productive assignment a day, this applies to weekends even. Productive in this context means devoting yourself to an assignment which will generate opportunities for revenue generation and profits immediately or in the near future. This could be in the form of organizing seminars for the existing and prospective clients, developing creative promotional content or blog writing.
  7. Minimize Distractions: An entrepreneur is expected to make the best out of the available resources and time is the most precious resource which should be managed intelligently. The key to effective time management is minimizing distractions which are an outcome of the excessive dependence on technology and social media platforms. The solution to all this is to disconnect yourself from such distractions by either switching off your cell phone, not responding to unnecessary phone calls, not logging on to the mails or social media websites and staying away from any such distraction when you have dedicated your attention to something important.
  8. Avoid Playing the Role of a Yes Man/Woman: For ensuring faster and quality results, one should effectively deal with the “Time Vampires” as they suck your precious time with their unproductive or unscheduled conversations or chats. An entrepreneur should be smart at handling these time vampires by not hesitating in saying “No” to their uncalled requests or time-wasting conversations.

Make each minute count is the best lesson I ever learnt.  Share with me, How do you make your each minute count? 

A trendsetter is one who starts something new and often leads the masses to the new age! Who we are is something that cannot be changed. Being a trendsetter is the requirement of the new age, need of the hour!

ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY STARTS WITH…

People often want to become a leader and a trendsetter for those around. Who wouldn’t? There are often those who wish to become the ideal entrepreneur! The first step of any entrepreneurial journey starts from an Idea. An Idea gets you started and looking at all the different possibilities requires you to do a thorough market research, which include the number of potential customers, the pricing, the target segment (the customers that you need for your product or service), the number of people required for catering to the customers and many other such parameters.

AFTER THE RESEARCH COMES TO THE PLAN ITSELF!

A good plan often tells in detail to the investors what it is that you are trying to achieve and whether the business propositions that you propose are going to take flight! An investor would only be interested in the plan if she/he understands the strengths and weaknesses of the plan that is shown to them after all the investor is there to make money out of it! So it becomes imperative to tell them about the vision that you have for your company and the mission that you are setting up the business for!

A PLAN WITHOUT THE VISION AND MISSION?

A plan isn’t a plan without the vision and mission for as long as the company is! Any entrepreneur should realize that they are not setting up the company for shutting it down soon but for running it for a very long time. So define the vision and the mission of the company as clearly as possible!

MARKET RESEARCH

Then come forming the perfect strategies looking at the market research that was done before. Any strategy formed without the market research is gambling with the available resources and often leads to an abrupt end! So it becomes quite essential to put your mind to it and form strategies that actually give you results that you desire!

THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Once the strategies are formed, we require the right set of people to take care of the strategies. Any good strategy would go down the drain if the right people are not employed for the strategies. And the way to find the right people is by interacting with many. Interviews should be made in such a way that measures the mental aptitude of a person. There are many who like to pretend who they are not and often this leads to future discords within the management and the team that is formed!

If all of this is done in the correct method anyone can become a trendsetter! Becoming a trendsetter, like any other profession requires dedication, passion, persistence, and patience!

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think about starting your own business? The funding for business? Am I right? If I am right, then you are wrong! Yes, it is true that any start-up comes into being after the first round of funding. However, if you talk to any successful entrepreneur, they will tell you that funding did give them that extra benefit of scaling up or while boot-strapping, but that was not all. Success in business is something else!

A lot of people approach me with the mindset of funding first. Let us see why I say that funding is not everything and what the other things that matter are.  

The basic idea behind this concept is simple. As a business, what is your priority? Yes its profits, now how do profits happen, well its simple.... through great sales. What it takes to have great sales, its customers’ satisfaction. Your customers will really not be interested in the amount of funding your raised. They are looking for satisfying their needs which happens via the quality of services you provide and value you bring to them for money they pay. They are looking for something that can understand and solve their issues. This should be your primary aim. What problem I am solving and how am I providing value continuously? 

Funding does help in scaling up your business. However, your value proposition and feasibility of idea have to be sorted before you go for funding. This is the reason why a lot of start-ups do not get funding. Once in business, you will have to increase your cash flows and ensure that you make profits. So, you have to build a reputation to have that many customers for a longer period of time. So, how do you attract more customers? 

We have seen many e.g. of online commerce ventures where it was very lucrative in beginning to get customers through discounting model and ease of shopping. The profits later became the issue, once the funding got over. Now you go for funding again and repeat the mistake. The mistake is not having the clarity that its the repeat customers or repeat buying behavior which is the major reason of many brands being successful for years till date. If you provide value and quality, people will buy your product again. Very few start-ups focus on that. Most time new businesses focus on getting more and more new customers and exhaust themselves in process. They do not see the value of repeat buying behavior. The systems that I have taught and implemented in companies is based on Repeat buying hence value creation. Greater Profits and effortless branding are an end-result of this.

What can you do to make sure you have repeat customers or customer retention?

You must make sure that you come across clearly to your customers. They should not be misguided or should not misunderstand your services or products. They must understand that you have the ability to take care of their pain points. That you care! Being successful and wealthy is an outcome of sustained efforts, clear attitude and focus.

You must be very focused and dedicated towards your goal. You should know why you are doing what you are doing. There must be a vision that you have and a goal that you want to achieve. Nothing must come in its way. Determination and focus will definitely take you a long way. 

Concentrate on the quality of your products and services. That is something no customer will ever compromise with. If they are paying you, they will definitely want the best results. A good strategy is also a must. You must build a proper business strategy that will help you run your business successfully and the way you want. 

It is important to understand that funding is just a channel that can materialize your business, however, the actual thing about business is "why", the purpose of it.

So, rather than focusing on getting more and more money for your business, the focus should be on having clarity about your goals, being committed towards your customers’ demands, a larger than life purpose, and having specifics about how will you reach there with or without any funding.

As an entrepreneur, you must concentrate on the solutions that you offer to your clients, the value chain and aftercare. To get funding, focus on making an awesome strategy for your business, with a right model and a broader vision! It will automatically come if you can show investors a great vision, passion and good business model.

Thus, funding is not all that you need for your business. Wealth is an outcome of sustained efforts and a combination of all that we discussed above.

Make your business a successful one!

The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to experience and create online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords. Over 120,000 students and professors from almost 100 countries have participated in the past 10 years.

Participate in the optional AdWords Certification category by studying and passing the necessary exams to become an AdWords Certified individual in the Google Partners platform.

All students must register under a verified faculty member, lecturer or instructor currently employed by an accredited higher education institute.

It’s time to put your marketing skills to the test. Visit Discover GOMC to learn more about the Challenge and how to participate.

DISPLAY ADVERTISING

Display advertising can help you reach people while they’re browsing their favorite websites, showing a friend a YouTube video, checking their Gmail account, or using mobile sites and apps. The modules in this course cover what the different types of display ads are, how they work and best practices for campaign management in preparation for the Display Advertising exam.

CERTIFICATION IN ONLINE MARKETING CHALLENGE

You need to pass 2 of the AdWords certification exams to become an AdWords certified professional — the AdWords Fundamentals exam and one of the following: Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, or Shopping Advertising.

PRIZES

ADWORDS BUSINESS AWARDS

There are four competition regions: The Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific. In addition to an overall Global Winner, there is one winner from each of the regions.

GLOBAL WINNER

The Global Winners and their professor will receive a seven-night trip to San Francisco, including one day at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California to meet with Googlers from the AdWords, University Programs and Marketing teams. The team will also receive digital devices, along with other prizes.

REGIONAL WINNERS

Regional Winners and their professor receive a two-night trip to a regional Google office. The teams will also receive digital devices, as well as other prizes.

I am a business woman. Looking back at my journey, inspires me and tells me of a little secret that I have kept.

It is 6 AM on the clock. The soft fog greets the morning school-goers, newspaper vendors and some joggers. A woman in a hoodie, runs past them. That’s me. I have been doing this for years now and so, I guess that’s not unusual really. ‘130, 131, 132’, I count the calories burnt on the tracking device on the wrist. As I do that, my phone softly vibrates. I know it is the notification for my meeting with Mr. Singh at the nearby cafe at 8 AM. Huffing and panting I draw my phone out. Two messages. ‘Where is my uniform’ from my daughter and ‘Can we meet at 7:30 instead?’ from Mr. Singh. My daughter leaves at 7 AM. Oh no! Not much time! I immediately run back the 3 kilometers to my house. My daughter is waiting for me to pack her breakfast and find her uniform and sign her homework sheets. There are eight different dishes in the kitchen to be served to eight members in my family. There is packing of lunch-boxes to be done as well. Mr. Singh has requested a change in my latest proposal and has sent me two ideas to work on. I rub my hands, draw a deep breath and walk ahead. It is going to be a long and amazing day.

Women like me are growing everywhere. We run a business to fulfill those goals that the world always told us not to believe in. We run our families, not because we would be judged if we didn’t, but because we love our families! We keep the accounts for each and every aspect of the business and the house as well. The first penny spent on the milkman’s bill to the last penny spent on the cup of coffee ordered over the final meeting for the day- we track it all. We calculate the money saved in the last shopping excursion and we also look at the RoI of our business and think about optimizing it further. I spend five or six hard worked hours, doing every possible bit to make by business grow bigger and stronger. Of course, those hours add up to enrich my account. But the real prize is getting quality time to spend with my daughter in the night. Business woman and house maker- I have been leading these two lives ever since I embarked upon my journey. My trick, that I also recommend, is to automate the processes at home and at work. This helps me find more time to attend to other priorities without affecting the daily schedule.

Looking back at my journey, I amaze myself with the amount of growth, discipline and ambition that I have acquired.

I always dreamt of having something of my own. I am sure many others do as well. When women like me get married and have children we think the time to go for our dreams is over. But my story and the story of many others like me is different. Because, we chose to be different. Because, we chose to walk a path that grills us every single day, in all possible directions. Because, when we look back at the journey we only see a trail that we can be proud of. We also have our bad days. Those are the days when a business deal doesn’t work out or a judging relative suggests that we give up or the fear of failing becomes just a big bigger. But then, the sun shines again and we fight ahead with renewed hope.

Looking back at my journey, I think that there is nothing in the world that can stop me from achieving the highest success in business and in family!

My journey’s stories are filled in a little secret… a secret diary. Every day, I write a new line in my diary. This diary is not one of paper and ink. This is the diary that submits a new page in my memory every day. This is the diary that contains the thrills of my best days and the sorrows of my worst as well. This is the diary that makes me smile and inspire myself to do better every day. This is my diary. The secret diary of a business woman.

We’ve all heard about being or making a brand. But what most people do not understand is what exactly does a brand do? Or where is it supposed to be used? Why is it so important to make a brand?

Let’s start with the most basic question of all time. What is a brand? It is an easily recognizable symbol or mark that is used to easily identify a product. There are many out there, some of them very easily recognizable and some not. Many are trying to “brand themselves”, but often fail to make it popular. There are various reasons because of which they fail miserably.

A person who knows the importance of a brand would definitely try to use it in a way that it helps in the process of making a profit not only for oneself but for the company that they work for!

Below are some of the benefits of creating a brand

  • EASY RECOGNITION:

A good and popular one increases the recognition of your company and its products! Any good image or tagline would be easy to remember for the customers and as your company grows so does the brand value. There have been many great brand images which are easy to recognize and recall.

  • TRUST:

Trust is the biggest lifeline that is necessary for any company. For people to trust a company a brand is essential. It has been observed generally that any international or national easily recognizable BRAND is trusted more than those without it. The products even if made at a local place seems authentic those purchasing if the branding is easily trusted

  • HIGHER CUSTOMER REACH:

As mentioned before as the brand spread across the masses they become more and more trusted. As it grows the customers start trusting the company and give you more business. If used right, it can bring in new customers. But this does not mean that the masses would accept any product. The product should be given as much importance as any logo or tagline that is being made.

  • ADDS VALUE:

Most of the customers search for the image of the company before actually coming to a decision about the product itself! A company with a great image and easily recognizable logo would be able to spread much faster than a company without one because every time a new product is launched the customers might not take time to search for the company and product!

Last but not least logos Help your customers identify YOU! So Go Ahead and Start your Branding.

I have been receiving many questions about why people fail even though they have reached a good position in life. Here are 4 things that I could place a finger on and decided to write this article. Avoid these in your entrepreneurial journey and find success

1)     BEING COMPLACENT:

the drive to succeed should never fade away. You should always have the drive to keep improving, have the drive. The moment you fall behind in that aspect you will start losing the grip on things. There is a perfect quote that describes this “achieving the championship is easy but keeping the title is the difficult part

2)     NOT BEING OPTIMISTIC ENOUGH OR BEING MORE OPTIMISTIC THAN REQUIRED:

there have been many cases in the past where people become too optimistic about the results that they are going to achieve. They often fail to see what is going around them and keep on working as they have been and face the danger of failing even though they were on the verge of succeeding. There are also examples of people who were about to succeed but gave up on it because they were not optimistic enough.

3)     NOT HAVING A SET GOAL! 

The biggest question of all times is what is it that defines your success? There are many out there who start working towards one goal but, midway change their goals and start with something entirely different even though they were about to reach the goals! They keep forgetting or giving up on the predefined goals or due to lack of them and keep struggling defining what the goals actually were.

4)     LACK OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: 

after reaching a particular goal most people stop developing their skills. It is always better to have more skills under your wings to be able to deal with varied kind of people. In the work life, we meet many people who specialize in different fields and often it has been seen that they do not take an interest in any sort of personal development activities, which are ideally recommended.

We all have made plans in the past and we all know the importance of it. But how many plans do we actually make? Is there any particular reason why we should make them? And at what level should they be made?

Should we make a plan for a day, week or month? Or should the plans be made for the whole year? There are many variables that contribute to making a plan for the future but to make an effective plan it is imperative to understand what our objective in making a plan is.

Many out there always say “making plans are all fine and dandy but they never come to fruition!” There are often reasons behind the failure of the plan and can be listed down but are we actually employing the plans for which they were meant to be? There are many specifics that go into making a proper plan.

FIRST AND FOREMOST

There needs to be an objective of making the plan. We need a clear and concise objective that needs to be defined and even more so as you move up through the career ladder. The finer the details of the objective the clearer the plan would be.

SECONDLY,

For making a successful plan we need to define the steps that are going to be taken to achieve the set goals. We also need to have the person fit for the role to handle those activities that we are defining in the plan!

THIRDLY,

The plan needs to be detailed, specific to each and every activity that needs to be performed! A Successful plan never leaves a doubt in the reader’s mind about the details that have been penned down!

THE FOURTH

Point to remember when finalizing a plan is the priority of the task at hand. A plan works miracles in a sense only if you have listed down the activities in the order of their priority! Any work that has the least priority should be put in the end!

LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST

It needs to be legible, understandable and implementable. Any plan with unrealistic numbers and figures would prove counter-productive and hamper other activities as it would require an extra amount of time, resources and stress on the person trying to accomplish the task.

Once you have the plan in place the only step remaining is implementing it! Remember a good plan is supposed to help you achieve your objectives and not prove detrimental to your growth!

As the dictionary explains - an entrepreneur is someone who setups a business, taking financial risks, in hopes of making a profit. But anyone can be an entrepreneur if he/she has the following traits

  • PASSION

    Passion is the most essential if you are trying to become an entrepreneur. There are many who get into it just for the heck of it and often face failures. Any successful entrepreneur would let you know that passion or the zeal to be is what is required at all stages of your entrepreneurial journey

  • BEING OPTIMISTIC (BUT NOT TOO MUCH)

    With the idea that you generate is highly required when you are on an entrepreneurial journey to achieve success. However, obsession with the idea should not be based on the gut feeling but on statistical data that needs to be collected on a regular basis

  • PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS

    There are many problems that develop during the course of the functioning of the company. Any good leader should have the skills to be able to solve the problems effectively and efficiently

  • BEING RESOURCEFUL

    Resourcefulness becomes the extra mile when you are facing difficulties. The more you utilize your resources the more you are looking at being able to solve the problems faster!

  • FOCUS AND VISION

    These are things that are required for anyone trying to be an entrepreneur as these form the basis of the culture that you are trying to develop for your company and can help you achieve stability and strengthen the company’s camaraderie.

  • ABILITY TO TAKE ACTIONS

    There are those who are incapable of taking action when the need is at its peak. This contributes to the easier functioning of the company when there are problems that arise out of the blue.

Thus anybody with these essentials can become THE entrepreneur!

Welcome to the new age of digital media! Everything you do is online and everyone knows you! But is that true for companies or individuals?

Social media has recently become the new hype for all the companies across all industries. Social media is used correctly can work for you to give you a global market to grow. It is one such platform that can be used to create a brand for yourself or for your company! There are a few points that you need to keep in mind before you use the social media

  • DO A PROPER RESEARCH!

    There are many social media platforms out on the internet which can be utilized but is aware of the negatives of each and every platform that you think you can utilize. Make sure to check the estimated growth that you can achieve. Also, it is imperative to understand the branding power of each platform to be considered.

  • STRATEGIZE BEFORE STARTING!

    If you are going to utilize social media as a platform to grow you need to be sure of the strategy that you are going to utilize and the social media platforms like FB, Twitter, etc. that you are going to use. You need to understand that these platforms have a huge customer base that can be utilized to your benefit! But you need to be sure of your choices

  • KEEP YOUR FOCUS RIGHT!

    It has become the norm for many budding professionals to just jump into the thick of things and start fishing for their objectives and eventually failing. These trends might work for a short term but wouldn’t last because of the chaos it creates. Any company without a clear objective or target would lose out its meaning for existence if there are internal and extreme continuing contingencies.

  • ALWAYS HAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN READY!

    Plan ahead! There are always chances that social media platforms may not give you the desired output (may be due to initial wrong research) but what next? It is better to have a plan ready as a backup for these types of situations. Plans should always be put in place to avoid a crisis situation!

  • DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR CHIPS IN THE SAME POCKET!

    There are many who utilize all their resources in the same social media platform which proves to be a fatally wrong strategy. There are many platforms out there and many of them are free to use! Utilize many or all channels available to you.

Social media has helped many SMBs and MSMEs to move to the next level or growth and can be useful to you as well if employed properly! Social media has huge potential to help you grow. Utilize it to your benefit!

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