The importance of market research should never be underestimated, especially for those starting a new business. Market research builds a sturdy foundation for a business to be built upon, preparing the company for any threats or weaknesses that may arise as the business grows. From getting to know your target audience to exploring potential competitors, market research gives businesses a competitive edge, allowing them to thrive in new environments.February 5, 2021
The importance of market research should never be underestimated, especially for those starting a new business. Market research builds a sturdy foundation for a business to be built upon, preparing the company for any threats or weaknesses that may arise as the business grows. From getting to know your target audience to explore potential competitors, market research gives businesses a competitive edge, allowing them to thrive in new environments.
What Is Marketing Research?
Before you can understand the importance of marketing research, you need to know what it is. Market research isn’t about a specific method or activity, it’s just what businesses call their attempt to learn more about their target customers.
While tasks like surveys and focus groups can help, they aren’t absolutely necessary, and they aren’t the only things you can do to research your target market. Here are some tasks that can be part of your market research:
- Have short conversations with contacts who are part of your target market. Let’s say you’re looking to launch a wedding photography service. Talk to your contacts who have been married or who are engaged and ask them about their experience in hiring and working with a wedding photographer. Even a five-minute conversation can give you insights on how to run your business.
- Look up Facebook groups relevant to your target market. This can help provide you a free, low-effort way to reach target customers online and ask them questions. Eventually, you can go back to these groups to promote your business, if the group rules allow for it.
- Add a survey form to your website. If you already have a website for your small business, you can offer potential customers a small discount in exchange for filling up a survey.
The above activities are just a handful of tasks that could be part of your market research. In fact, you can classify any task as a market research activity as long as you end up knowing your target market’s needs, behaviors, and preferences.
The importance of Marketing Research
1. Easily spot business opportunities
After you’ve done your market research, it’ll be clear to you who you want to reach out to (your target customers), where you can reach them (your marketing channels), and what they’re interested in. Once you’ve defined these, you’ll be able to easily spot business opportunities.
2. Lower business risks
Around half of businesses with employees don’t survive past the fifth year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The way to make sure that your business survives for longer is to ensure that you’ve got a steady stream of sales and customers. To do that, you need market research.
Regular market research will be your way to check in with your current customers and potential customers to ensure that you’re still meeting their needs.
3. Create relevant promotional materials
If you’ve ever wondered what text or images to put on your flyers, website, or social media accounts, with thorough market research, you’ll know exactly what to do. Since target customers have already expressed all their wants, needs, and frustrations with you, you’ll know exactly what to address and how to address it when you start creating your marketing materials.
4. Know where to advertise
One of the problems that small business owners face is a limited budget. Because of this, your marketing budget should be optimized to give you the best returns possible. Your market research can help ensure that you’re reaching your intended audience in the channels where they’re most likely to see your message.
5. Outsell competitors
The business that knows their customers more tends to win more. If you can beat your competitors at finding out your customers’ needs and you aim to fulfill those needs, you’ve got a better chance of standing out from the competition.
6. Set better goals for your business
When business owners set goals for their business, it’s typically related to growth in sales or customers. But without market research, you won’t be able to know if your goal is achievable and how to achieve it in the first place.
You might say that you want to double sales by the end of the next quarter. How would you know if this goal is feasible if you don’t know whether the size of your target market is more than twice the size of your current customer base? Without knowing the current size of your potential market, you’ll just be setting arbitrary goals.
7. Decision-making becomes simple
The need for and importance of marketing research frequently comes up when making tough business decisions. Instead of having arbitrary criteria for the decisions you make as a business owner, you can always go back to your market research report. Based on that report, will this decision lead to more customers? Will you be able to reach more people who are likely to buy from you? Will it be clear to them that your business can meet their needs?
Market research builds a sturdy foundation for a business to be built upon
Right Time to Undertake Market Research
The right time for a business venture to undertake market research is before the launch of a new business or venture. In case everything looks positive, a business can go ahead and launch its new venture.
With a few days of entering the market, a business can go for a second round of market research to gain an understanding about the acceptance of its already undertaken initiative.
A business should include market research as a continuous and an inbuilt plan of its business. This helps a business to gain knowledge about its market standing in the most challenging, competitive and ever changing dynamic environment.
How to conduct Market Research?
You should always ensure the end goals and objectives are clear. Your target audience, business objectives, challenges and end customer should be at the heart of it.
- Set out clear objectives and goals before beginning the research
- Identify your target audience and market size
- Make sure your sample size is representative of the audience you are targeting. This means there should be enough respondents in the research sample that reflect, as accurately as possible, the larger target audience population
- Choose the most suitable market research and data collection methodologies based on objectives
- Create your research questions – this is applicable regardless of which data collection method you choose
- Ensure the questionnaire is neutral and is not leading. – Remain impartial throughout the process
- Build in questions that validate other parts of the questionnaire
- In a qualitative focus group setting include open ended questions and allow for flexibility for respondents to freely speak on a topic that might not have been covered in the questionnaire
- Once data have been gathered employ robust analysis skills to interrogate and decode the findings
- When research findings are determined, make sure to not take these in isolation. Examine the macro environment also (such as language, cultural, economic, political situations) to validate the findings
You should always ensure the end goals and objectives are clear
It is clear that market research is vital when developing your marketing strategy. It provides great insights to your business and on the wider marketplace. Market research can identify how customers and potential customers might view your business and identify gaps in customer expectations. This is powerful information to have when completing your marketing strategy. Having good market intelligence helps to minimize risks when making key business decisions.
There are too many benefits to conducting good market research for it to be ignored as part of your marketing strategy.
Marketing business-to-business (B2B) is different from marketing business-to-consumer (B2C). Although you still are selling a product to a person, experience shows that the difference between these two types of markets runs deep. The process of choosing which business to start is often done incorrectly and does not factor in the experience level of the younger entrepreneur or lay a foundation for the first-time business owner to grow both personally, professionally and fiscally.January 5, 2021
WHICH IS THE BEST BUSINESS MODEL FOR YOUR STARTUP – B2B OR B2C?
Marketing business-to-business (B2B) is different from marketing business-to-consumer (B2C). Although you still are selling a product to a person, experience shows that the difference between these two types of markets runs deep.
The process of choosing which business to start is often done incorrectly and does not factor in the experience level of the younger entrepreneur or lay a foundation for the first-time business owner to grow both personally, professionally and fiscally.
The issue with many business plans is that, prior to inception, they fail to take into account certain variables that can determine whether a business has longevity, such as search engine marketing competition, the hassle and entrepreneur’s inherent ability to recruit and manage outside manufacturers as various globalization factors will flood a market.
What Is “B2B”?
B2B – Business to Business
B2B startups, also referred to as enterprise startups, are companies that sell a product or service to another company, rather than (or in addition to) individual consumers. Essentially, B2B companies are businesses built to support other businesses.
Some B2B companies manufacture a component of a final product and sell it to distributors, who then, in turn, sell it to consumers. For example, Intel sells processors to Apple for use in the Macbook Pro.
Other B2B startups sell directly to businesses, such as Flexport, a startup that helps companies with freight forwarding and shipping goods, or Salesforce, a software platform that gives other businesses insight into their sales efforts.
B2B startups often classify the companies they sell to according to company size when deciding which portion of the market to serve.
Company size is a relevant distinction because selling to very large companies often requires a longer sales cycle, a more sophisticated product, and dedicated customer support. In addition, companies of different sizes often have different needs.
B2B – Business to Business
Advantages of B2B business model
a) Market Predictability
Compared to any other business strategies, the B2B business model has better market predictability and more market stability.
b) Better Sales and less competition
This business model also has less competition as compared to the other startup business models and thus, once you build a set of loyal customers, has a higher chance of better sales.
c) Lower Costs
As you are selling in bulk and as there is an effective supply chain management process, this online business model leads to lower costs for the businesses. Further, in most cases, the work is done through automation that eradicates chances of errors and undue expenditure that one faces in other business models.
Disadvantages of B2B business model
a) Limited Market
As compared to any other business model, especially the B2C model, this type of business model has a very limited market base. They depend mostly on volumes than the number of unique customers.
b) Lengthy Decision
Further, the majority of the purchase decisions in B2B businesses involve a long and lengthy process as there are two businesses involved and thus might have multiple stakeholders who need to take a decision and one or the other might raise an issue and thus take time to convince or completely say no.
c) Inverted Structure
As compared to other models, in B2B, consumers hold more power and decision making power than the sellers.
While your competition is limited, your consumers are limited as well and the majority of the times have additional demands like customizations, specifications and other things they want you to do so as to lower price rates, and in the process increase your expenditure.
What Is “B2C”?
“B2C” – means that you are selling a product or service directly to the consumer as opposed to selling a product to service to another business.
A consumer is any individual who purchases products and services for personal use.
Business to consumer, or B2C companies, sell goods directly to individuals. Some of the most popular brands worldwide, including Disney, McDonald’s, and Nike, are B2C companies.
Many consumer brands further define their market according to demographics – market segments that share similar traits. Your demographic information consists of the personal information you mark down every time you visit a doctor’s office or take an online survey.
B2C – Business to Consumer
Advantages of B2C business model
a) Lower Cost
As compared to any other start up business model, B2C has the lowest cost as you communicate and deal directly with the end consumer and thus eliminate the cost that many lose to brokers in between.
b) 24/7 shop and searchability
With the arrival of the digital age and e-commerce sites, the B2C startup business model now has the added advantage of having a “shop” open 24/7 in the form of the online site which also easy to search on the net and app platforms.
c) Sharing information directly with consumers
As compared to other business models, B2C has the added advantage of having direct contact with their end consumers. This enables them to share any information with them easily. In fact, you can also pitch your products directly to them via emails, apps stores etcetera.
Disadvantages of B2C startup business model
When you hear of sites like Flipkart and Amazon, you also hear of things such as online fraud and identity theft. Thus, you not only have to constantly upgrade your security system to keep at top of things, but you also have to take the backlash of even one-off security breach that still takes place despite all the upgrades.
Further. while you can convince people in the cities to trust you, when it comes to smaller towns and villages, it is much harder to get people to trust you than people they meet and greet personally.
b) Limited Interaction
While you can reach out to your consumers directly via app notification, popups, and emails. it is very limited in interaction which people have one on one and which also gives you the consumer the option to physically see, smell and touch the products.
As compared to other startup business model, B2C has to deal with a huge competition which is present both online and offline.
While the online platform has made a huge dent in the Indian market, a huge chunk of the market is still controlled by physical shops. These shops act as a broker between B2C businesses and thus make a huge impact.
While each of these startup business models has its own advantages and disadvantages, keep in mind that choosing the right business model for your startup is a process and you will not figure it overnight.
You also need to research and research well to know what is the best business model for your startup. Keep all the options, pros and cons in front of you to know if they would make the business successful and profitable.
The role of classroom education has shifted in recent years. The focus has moved away from memorizing textbooks to learning critical thinking, collaboration and digital literacy.December 4, 2020
EDTECH – HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION?
The role of classroom education has shifted in recent years. The focus has moved away from memorizing textbooks for learning critical thinking, collaboration and digital literacy.
What does Edtech mean?
Edtech is the abbreviation of “Educational technology”. In Educational Technology, the term “Edtech” has two definitions which are relevant to the way we use it. Edtech as an academic discipline: people study, analyze and solve problems related to teaching, learning and social organization from a technological perspective.
Edtech as a practice: any form of teaching or learning which makes use of technology. In other words, the use of technological apps, tools or services to improve learning. This definition is the one that is the most widely used in the education sector and the one we refer to in this article.
Edtech is the abbreviation of “Educational technology”
Advantages of educational technology
Modern educational technology, empowered by Artificial Intelligence, cloud, machine learning, virtual reality and big data has immense potential to digitally transform the education sector.
Edtech is not a substitute for the work of teachers and educators. Quite the opposite. With Edtech, teachers have more tools for employing strategies which focus on the use of the resources and information available.
The use of multimedia to impart knowledge. While certainly part of it, defining Edtech as using videos alone is a very limited way of looking at things. It’s like saying that maths is no more than additions and subtractions.
With Edtech, teachers have more tools for employing strategies which focus on the use of the resources and information available.
How technology will shape the future of education through blended learning?
1. Interactive Learning
With the deteriorating teacher to student ratio leading to more workload for teachers and only a simple blackboard and projector at the teacher’s disposal, generating curiosity for learning among students is often a difficult task.
But by using the right digital tools, we can take learning to the next level; from the lifeless papers of textbooks to engaging experience a of virtual reality and simulation programs; from instruction based learning to gamification of study modules to foster better engagement.
Also, research shows that VR is more memorable than learning through texts and videos and helps in developing cognitive and psychomotor skills.
These tools also encourage to the development of real life skills such as problem solving and decision making ability of children as they learn how to analyze different options through digital simulations without running real life risks.
2. Efficient Formative Assessment
Where the traditional teaching model leaves us with test scores and attendance percentage as a student’s only measurable information; Technology (if applied correctly) can provide us with valuable information about a student’s reading efficiency, ability to conceptualize a material, time taken to answer each questions and auto-generated reports that compare their progress over time.
Also, at the end of the day, students need to have more insights than simple grades to understand and improves their performance. Thus, making the entire assessment process more efficient than humanly possible.
3. Personalized Learning
AI-s can play a great role in competency-based adaptive learning. It can automate the e-learning feed, create recommendations based on individual learning history and in fact help students to choose a future career based on data regarding their learning ability of various subjects.
At the same time, upon analyzing student’s data, teachers can set the curriculum to match each student’s capability and pace of learning. Thus, making the once far-fetched dream of personalized learning possibilities.
4. On-demand Learning
Thanks to on-demand learning through videos, online classes and ubiquitous accessibility, students are now not bound to rush through topics in fear of being left behind. They can now repeat any lesson whenever they want. It has given the flexibility to the students who miss a physical class due to sickness or personal reasons, to catch up with the school work without any hassle. E-books and cloud have made globalized learning through collaboration easier today despite physical distance.
Also, any student in any part of the world can be provided with world-class learning facilities and guidance from experienced teachers through online classes and digital study materials, thus truly enabling learning for all.
5. Role of Teachers In The Classroom
The one attribute of 21st-century education that separates it significantly from earlier models of teaching is a philosophical shift in the role of a teacher in a classroom. If we wish to create an interactive environment, reverse the classroom design to make it more student-centric and opt for advanced digital solutions to find information; teacher’s role in the classroom has to shift from being the sole source of knowledge to be the Guide on the Side.
Tools like AI-s, metrics, content management systems not only leave the teachers with more time to focus on improving the quality of learning experience of students but also empower them with valuable insights to improve students performance based on real-time data.
6. Role Of Students
In addition to teachers, classroom technology has altered the role of the students as well. In conventional classrooms, students were passive learners and learned through listening and memorizing. But with the free access to boundless information, memorization doesn’t help students to get ahead in life. They are asked to cultivate a mindset of life-long learning.
Also, having access to information is not sufficient, students are now required to learn to connect the dots and be able to eliminate the misinformation from the essentials. Thus, students are now expected to take the driver’s seat in learning and engage actively in the process.
In the end, we must remember that technology is just a tool to enhance performance. The role of dedicated and caring teachers cannot be filled in by artificial intelligence.
At the same time, learning can definitely be made more interactive and interesting for students with the right use of technology, but we must also understand that longer screen time alone will never be sufficient to ensure better learning. It needs to be supplemented by the enthusiasm and a passion for learning among students.
If you have reached the point in your start-up where it is time to begin hiring new employees, then you will need to ensure that you know how to hire the best.November 27, 2020
7 RECRUITMENT TIPS FOR AMBITIOUS STARTUPS
Recruitment is not always an easy job, and recruiting for startups to hire suitable talents can be even more difficult. A startup is an early-stage company with a limited salary budget, lacking recruiting experience, it is inevitable to hire the wrong personnel. Therefore, it’s important for founders need to be learnt how to improve their decisions of hiring.
Here are some small but useful tips for startups:
1. Building Legendary Branding Stories
What you need to do from the beginning of the idea of starting a business, or parallel to recruiting for your Startup, is to build a personal brand, and to show clearly vision and mission of the Startup. This will help Founder (founder) and Startup get “hard fans”. This is a very potential workforce for Startup. Many unicorn startup employees were loyal customers and “fans” of the legendary founders. They understand more about Startup than others, they also love and trust with the product. This is a great motivation to apply to the company because these employees will definitely work harder than normal employees. Building a personal brand for founder and mission of Startup is also very beneficial in the future when word of mouth from fans will make their relatives and friends excited to apply to Startup.
2. Use Referrals
The best way to ensure you are hiring brilliant people is to ask the people you already work with if they have any recommendations. This way, you will be recruiting those who are already spoken for rather than strangers. Building a team in this manner creates a trusting, successful array of people who work well together.
You will need to ensure that you know how to hire the best
3. Write a Clear Job Description
One of the greatest problems when searching for the best candidates is finding yourself dealing with hundreds, or even thousands, of unqualified applicants. The way to avoid this is to make sure your job description is as clear as possible. Plainly state what qualifications and work experience you want your applicants to have, as well as listing all of the daily tasks that they will be expected to perform. Of course, there will always be some who apply for the sake of it, but being as open as possible will make sure most of your applicants are the right people for the job.
4. Consider Hiring Remote Workers
If you are having difficulty finding talent in your area, hiring remote workers is a good idea. In particular, remote workers are feasible for high-tech startups who need skilled software experts, engineers, data scientists, or special web developers. Hiring people from everywhere has the advantage because the founders have a list of diverse and multinational candidates to choose from. Besides, the salary will also be more competitive and you will not spend the travel allowance, lunch, etc. For them. If hiring a remote worker is not a suitable option, you can consider a “part-time” or “flexible time” options offer in recruiting. For example, a software engineer can work at the office for 3 days/week and 2 days at home to attract more candidates to choose your company.
Hiring remote workers is a good idea
5. Consider Recruiting HR Director/ Expert
If you have no recruitment experience, and your budget also allows you to recruit an HR director/expert or hire a freelance HR consultant to help you successfully complete the process. Instead of learning from the beginning, an experienced human resource with a relationship will help you do it more quickly and efficiently. It is still a hearing when you choose this option, then the founders need to consider well. Since building products from the experiment, this important position must also have experience in building a team from scratch, breath the air of small startup to aim to build a future big unicorn, focus on caring product experiment and team rolling to adapt to the market. In addition, this position must also have a broad vision and as far as the founders are, to build the brand of employers, recruitment process and attract long-term talents.
6. Don’t Make Decisions Alone
A second opinion is always necessary when dealing with recruitment. You may think you are the best at reading people, but the more people who have a say, the better the final decision will be. Remember, listen to others’ input, and you will be more likely to select the best candidate for the job.
A second opinion is always necessary when dealing with recruitment
7. Using A Variety Of Platforms To Recruit
As a startup with a small budget, many founders use only a certain number of recruitment platforms, most are free to post recruitment or search candidates. However, everything has its price. Free recruitment platforms or social networks also help you find potential candidates, but to make search more diverse and quicker, don’t be afraid to consider paid websites or paid recruitment platforms. Plan a time and test the effectiveness of technology platforms and decide which ones to keep the most appropriate.
By following these seven steps, you will be on your way to creating an excellent team that will make your business soar.
E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions.October 23, 2020
WHAT IS E-COMMERCE?
E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. E-commerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.
Whereas e-business refers to all aspects of operating an online business, e-commerce refers specifically to the transaction of goods and services.
E-commerce has evolved to make products easier to discover and purchase through online retailers and marketplaces. Independent freelancers, small businesses, and large corporations have all benefited from e-commerce, which enables them to sell their goods and services on a scale that was not possible with traditional offline retail.
E-commerce has evolved to make products easier to discover and purchase through online retailers and marketplaces (Source: internet)
Types of Ecommerce Models
There are four main types of e-commerce models that can describe almost every transaction that takes place between consumers and businesses.
1. Business to Consumer (B2C):
When a business sells a good or service to an individual consumer (e.g. You buy a pair of shoes from an online retailer).
2. Business to Business (B2B):
When a business sells a good or service to another business (e.g. A business sells software-as-a-service for other businesses to use).
3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C):
When a consumer sells a good or service to another consumer (e.g. You sell your old furniture on eBay to another consumer).
4. Consumer to Business (C2B):
When a consumer sells their own products or services to a business or organization (e.g. An influencer offers exposure to their online audience in exchange for a fee, or a photographer licenses their photo for a business to use).
There are four main types of e-commerce models (Source: internet)
The Advantages and Disadvantages of E-commerce
E-commerce offers consumers the following advantages:
- Convenience: E-commerce can occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Increased selection: Many stores offer a wider array of products online than they carry in their brick-and-mortar counterparts. And many stores that solely exist online may offer consumers exclusive inventory that is unavailable elsewhere
E-commerce carries the following disadvantages:
- Limited customer service: If you are shopping online for a computer, you cannot simply ask an employee to demonstrate a particular model’s features in person. And although some websites let you chat online with a staff member, this is not a typical practice
- Lack of instant gratification: When you buy an item online, you must wait for it to be shipped to your home or office. However, retailers like Amazon make the waiting game a little bit less painful by offering same-day delivery as a premium option for select products
- Inability to touch products: Online images do not necessarily convey the whole story about an item, and so e-commerce purchases can be unsatisfying when the products received do not match consumer expectations. Case in point: an item of clothing may be made from shoddier fabric than its online image indicates
Business leaders and startup founders always wonder how good meeting practices to boost their efficiency. Think of all the bad team meetings you have attended: Meetings where one person dominated the conversation, the room argued in circles, or the content shared was repetitive – and could have easily been an email.October 19, 2020
HOW TO LEAD EFFECTIVE TEAM MEETINGS
Business leaders and startup founders always wonder how good meeting practices to boost their efficiency. Think of all the bad team meetings you have attended: Meetings where one person dominated the conversation, the room argued in circles, or the content shared was repetitive – and could have easily been an email.
Running an effective team meeting shouldn’t be rocket science. However, most managers are still running team meetings that are poorly organized, overly long, and lack clear takeaways.
First, we need to define some terms clearly. The meeting is a generic term which describes any conversation between at least 02 persons via any tools/devices. Efficiency is a broad term which depends on a variety of the organization’s objectives. So how could we agree together with the same definition of an efficient meeting?
Create a meeting agenda and encourage everyone to prepare ahead of time
You can’t have an effective team meeting unless all the attendees are prepared to contribute to the conversation.
Start by creating a shared meeting agenda that is visible and editable by everyone on the team. This will give all attendees an equal chance to prepare and contribute.
Spending time preparing for large meetings is one of the most important things you can do as a leader, since those meetings are the ideal scenario to communicate ideas and impact how everyone on your team makes decisions.
Collaborating on a meeting agenda won’t just make all your meetings more productive, it will also be the first step towards building a more inclusive company culture, where everyone’s ideas and contributions are valued.
Good meeting practices (Source: internet)
Only meet to create value
Meetings are for creating value, not playing politics, covering your backside, or simply because “that’s how we’ve always done things.”
If the meeting doesn’t create value, cancel the meeting. You’ll reap instant savings from the freed up staff time, not to mention the opportunity for them to do other more valuable work.
Meetings are a great place to brainstorm ideas, to reach a key decision, to gain full buy-in from your staff, or to coordinate execution. Just make sure the area you’re brainstorming on, or the decision you’re making, or the project you’re coordinating on creates enough value for your company to make it yield a healthy return on your meeting investment.
Take a moment to recognize employees
Great managers praise in public and criticize in private. That’s why another practice you should adopt as a leader is taking a moment to recognize employees during your team meetings.
Here are two things to consider if you’re thinking about praising a teammate publicly:
Adapt to people’s individual preferences. While the majority of people like to be praised in public, some people might dislike public mentions. You should ask employees if they like public recognition during one of your one-on-one meetings.
You don’t have to be the only one recognizing people. One more thing you can do is add a Feedback/Shoutouts section of your meeting agenda. This is a great way to encourage other employees to recognize their teammates.
Take a moment to recognize employees (Source: internet)
Ask about roadblocks and concerns
In a study titled The Iceberg of Ignorance, Sidney Yoshida concluded that only 4% of an organization’s front-line problem is known by top management. In order to prevent this, you can use one-on-ones and team meetings to ask your teammates about the blockers that might be impeding them from doing their work.
Assign clear action items and takeaways
Action items are arguably the most important components of your team meeting. They’re an essential part of making sure that your meetings involve new discussions, ideas, and decisions – and aren’t just scheduled to exchange updates.
What’s the best way to record action items from your team meetings?
We recommend writing them at the bottom of your meeting agenda and assigning them as the meeting evolves. This will allow you to go back and reinforce what the team agreed on at the end of each meeting. Using a meeting agenda app can help you and your team build this habit.
Assign clear action items and takeaways (Source: internet)
Clarify and follow up on action items
It’s one thing to have a productive meeting, but to reap the value of that meeting, stuff has to get done. At the end of the meeting, go back and explicitly clarify action commitments out of the meeting.
Clarifying who owns which tasks, by when, and how they’ll “close the loop” by reporting back its completion is half the battle for accountability. The other half is ongoing follow up to make sure all assigned tasks get done. As a default, the meeting leader should be responsible to check in with all the task holders on status and to hold them accountable if not done as agreed. Of course, he or she could delegate this follow up responsibility, but as a default, this works well.
One final comment on execution–as the leader in your company you must role model the behaviour you want others to emulate. Are you clear at the end of meetings as to who owns which next steps and by when? Do you follow up with them and hold them accountable for their assigned tasks? Do you consistently execute your action assignments out of meetings? A culture of accountability is built in great part by leaders consistently doing the behaviours they want their teams to absorb.
Any business or startup founding team can easily design their coordinate system and numerical logic to track their quantity matters of the meeting. They also can design the cultural communication to boost their quality matters of discussion. Then they have a best practice to conduct good meetings to run the business toward long-term success.
In the early stages of a startup, one of the safest ways to raise money is to raise capital from venture capitalists.October 8, 2020
HOW DO YOU RAISE CAPITAL FOR A STARTUP?
Money is the first concern, every startup needs money to grow, that’s for sure. In the early stages of a startup, one of the safest ways to raise money is to raise capital from venture capitalists. But do you know, When do you start to raise capital? How can you raise capital? The following are some of the most basic concepts when raising funding for a new startup.
What funding rounds do startups usually go through?
In the process of looking for investment sources for the project, startups often go through fundraising rounds such as seeds, series A, B, C… The gap between funding rounds is 6-12 months. The round-up of fundraising typically involves the steps of collecting company data, researching investors, preparing and practicing for presentations, meeting investors, and raising funds. Next is building the relationship, submitting proposals and specific plans, passing the appraisal round, ending the fundraising round with the transfer and paperwork. The startup will go through the following fundraising rounds:
- Round Serie A
- Serie B
- Serie C
Only Raise Capital when you genuinely need more money
The more money you raise from investors, the more you give up control. When still self-funding and developing, don’t focus on raising capital. The process of raising capital will require a lot of time, energy, and concentration. You may find yourself distracted and confused. Instead, a focus on product development is advisable.
Understand that raising capital is just the starting line, it’s not the destination. You’ll recognize when your startup really needs more money. Do not sell false promises to investors. Don’t plan and promote this idea with the goal of making money from investors. Be realistic, specific, and create the necessary growth momentum before actually raising for capital.
Just raise the necessary amount of money
Million dollar figures sound interesting. You may start thinking, “What would I do if I had 1 million dollars? What if an investor offered 10 million dollars, what would be the plan to use this money? ” This is not a good way to think, and somewhat elusive. Instead, as your startup grows to the next level, consider how much money you need to achieve your goals. For example, suppose you propose an amount of 1X in exchange for a 20% stake. However, the investors see the potential in your startup and propose 3X or even 5X in exchange for a 51% stake. If you decline this proposal, they won’t invest. When investors really see potential in a startup, they often want to control. Do you waver?
The more money raised, the more control your investors are going to want to have. Beyond percentages this means terms and conditions which add more protections for their money and more limitations on what you can do on your own.
In earlier stages you may crave and price flexibility and the ability to make all your own decisions far more than money. So, find a happy balance.
There are well known dangers of having too much money. It can lead to overspending, spending on the wrong things, slacking off, lack of creativity or focus on a more profitable model, more distractions and friction between the founders. Don’t come up short, but be alert to these risks.
Choosing an investor, choose carefully
The right investors can add value to your startup, far beyond the capital they bring to your business. You need to be careful in selecting the investors because seed investing is an early-stage investment requiring particular skills and experience.
When selecting an investor, consider the person, not the number. Select someone who can guide you through difficulties, who will be willing to mentor you and help you become a better founder. You also want someone who can help your startup identify and improve its shortcomings and develop its potential. Before deciding on an investor, make sure that they will stick with you during the remainder of the startup life.
Be careful of legal issues and types of paper documents
You may have heard a lot of shortcuts in founding a startup because many founders lack experience with contracting. There are many obscure phrases that you may think you understand but actually don’t. The problem is that startups often must operate in a very economical manner. Some founders are unwilling to pay for quality legal services in drawing up capital contracts. Paying for good quality legal expertise is an extremely wise decision. If investors discourage you from using money for this, they may not be professional and may be unreliable. In this case, you should choose other investors. Failure to do so may cause you to lose your enthusiasm and assets simply because you saved money on a few unqualified attorneys at the beginning. There are numerous forms of funding, many terms, an abundance of agreements, and multiple ways in which investments can be diluted.
Deals are structured many different ways. The legal documentation spells out the terms, covenants, conditions, responsibilities, and rights of the parties in the transaction. The money sources make deals every day, so naturally they are more comfortable with the process than the entrepreneur who is going through it for the first or second time. Covenants can deprive a company of the flexibility it needs to respond to unexpected situations, and lawyers, however competent and conscientious, cannot know for sure what conditions and terms the business is unable to withstand.