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entrepreneurs

Help at Hand for First-time Entrepreneurs

Smart first-time entrepreneurs are well-prepared with their script to write a success story. Let’s have a look at what you need to do to navigate your smooth sailing into the exciting world of business.

Challenges galore!

Starting a business is no cakewalk. Right from day one, you land right into the middle of myriad challenges including financial, legal, marketing, staffing and administration, customer issues, etc. Lay the foundation for your start-up landscape equipped with a roadmap and a lot of confidence. We give you some helpful suggestions:

  • Choose a business that excites and motivates you. If you have some knowledge, or at least can source knowledge, all the better.
  • Your business idea should follow after thorough research about the market opportunity for your product or service.
  • While it is important to have the brass-tacks ready, don’t try to get everything in place before you launch your enterprise. You can hit the ground running. Early customer feedback will help you improve your product or service.
  • Ideally, you can plan to launch your start-up while you are still earning so that you can keep your head above the water.
  • Financing is a huge challenge. Ensure you have sufficient capital to break even right at the start. Be prepared with a cushion for product development as well as market expenses. You may want to consider reducing your percentage of ownership in the company to garner more funds.
  • Ensure you are on top of all the expenses, income and balance sheet. Be frugal about your overheads and expenses and avoid unnecessary costs. Run your enterprise on a minimum budget.
  • Market analysis and research help you garner details about demand for your product or service. Equally important is your research on competitive products or services in the marketplace. Get constant updates on the latest advancements by competing business enterprises by setting up online alerts.
  • Consult other entrepreneurs and business professionals like lawyers and accountants before you start your business and if possible, have some of them on your advisory board by offering stock options.
  • Make a presentation of your mission and vision statement and a pitch about your start-up for the benefit of potential investors and customers.
  • The success of the start-up depends on hiring the right people. Hire those with relevant experience and background. Look for those who are committed, hard-working, flexible, believe in your company’s goals and have trust and faith in the company. Employees must also be willing to multi-task. Also, make sure the background of the employee is checked thoroughly before hiring.
  • As a start-up entrepreneur, connectivity and exposure are of immense importance. Continuous networking can lead you to new investors, mentors, customers or even good employees. Ensure your company has a visible online presence and shows up at the top of the search results.
  • Offer impeccable customer service because customer referrals are good advertisements for your product or service. Send thank you mails or messages to your customers.
  • Get an experienced business lawyer on board who can help incorporate your company, draw up contracts, set up stock option plans, prepare offer letters for hiring employees, draw up terms of negotiations with investors and help you limit your legal liabilities. Moreover, copyrights, patents and non-disclosure agreements need to be arranged too.
  • As an entrepreneur you need to interact with a huge network of potential investors, customers and employees. Spruce up your public speaking skills.
  • The market is everything. So is being market-savvy and market-ready. You need to be continuously visible, snare attention, build and educate your market. Have an online presence with a professional-looking website and ensure the SEO is smart enough to put you right on top of search results. Have a strong social media presence, choosing popular sites for promoting your business.

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Swati Amar calls herself ‘the write person’ precisely because she claims her brain starts functioning only when her fingers dance over the computer keyboard. Gripped by an obsessive compulsion to write, her day is incomplete until she has ‘keyed’ in a few lines. Moving from counting money as an erstwhile banker in State Bank of India, Swati has been counting words for more than fifteen years. She has contributed copiously to various print and online publications in English and Tamil, numbering over 15K articles on varied subjects. Swati Amar swears allegiance to the Chennai Press Club and prides on her experience as a media entrepreneur and consultant, never losing a ‘write’ opportunity. Swati’s favorite pastime is to watch News on television, read, revel in melody, doodle and dawdle and follow the footsteps of global chefs when time permits. She believes that a good laugh peps up one’s life! And the write words too…