How To Use Technology To Boost Your Business Performance

January 9, 2020 in Cultivate, Startups

In the list of things that make a business to prosper, perhaps technology has today found the topmost place. In this age of science and technology, you can make the best use of technology for executing your business goals. Technology helps entrepreneurs keep everything in an order as well as ensure the best check and balance.

Technology in business

Invest in productivity software

Many things can create a block in the employees’ performance. It is very difficult to implement new strategies every day. Invest in the right kind of advanced software that can work fast with no errors. Such software help increase productivity by improving the performance.

Stay connected to your customers

Successful businesses must find ways to stay connected to their customers 24 X 7. A superior customer service can help attract and satisfy targeted people. Establish an online communicative environment to take the orders as well as solve the client problems.

Create a great website

Today most searches for businesses happen online than offline. Have a user-friendly website and implement the best SEO practices to increase the visibility of your business.

Use technology to evaluate your employees’ performance

It is necessary to compare and evaluate your employees’ performance by using the right kind of software. Compare their performance month after months and motivate them in order to boost up sales. Make some internal changes to get the most from them depending on how productive they are.

Take advantage of crowdfunding option

Capital is the basic requirement to start a business. Today no more are many entrepreneurs thronging at banks for getting business loans. You can project your business vision online using technology today to attract crowdfunding.

Benefit from Blockchain software

Companies make use of Blockchain software to keep the record. The inability to keep a proper record can lead to disorder. Blockchain can help verify and record this transaction. Use of Blockchain can help you rule out the need to depend on brokers who prove to be very expensive. By moving to Blockchain software you can save enough money to invest back in your business.

How To Set Your Start-Up To Rolling Without Quitting Your Job

July 16, 2019 in Cultivate, Startups

The early days of starting, stabilizing and running a start-up can be intimidating. You are prone to experience a lot of sleepless nights, financial difficulties and self-doubt. However, this hectic responsibility does not mean you can straight away quit your job and plunge into your dream venture.

Shifting from an employed to the self-employed phase of life is a high-risk decision which you must do with great care. Here is a way to get started with your start-up without quitting your job.

It is not yet time to quit your day job

Day jobs help develop some amazing skills which you can apply in your start-up. Further, you also learn to be more communicative and productive too. Your mentors at the day job can be your role models to teach you how to accomplish your goals. Know that even a negative experience helps to mold yourself. You learn teamwork and how to be flexible, which are great skills for an entrepreneur.

Venture into a side project

Whenever you take up a new project, you learn something related to marketing, product development, usability, customer support, and sales. They let you test your ideas and check where they go. Sometimes, the side projects can help you make some good extra income too.

Share with the crowd

Sharing helps in creating an audience base for you. Share some useful content on social media channels. Valuable content will attract visitors and later, you can leverage your followers to buy your products and services.

Learn from experts

Today we have access to expert resources. You can immensely benefit from videos, blogs, online courses and learn anything and everything you want. The Internet is today your prime educator. Many people learn how to stabilize their business while being on job only with the help of successful online resources.

Stay abreast of emerging technologies

To be successful, you must always stay in line with the emerging technologies. Invest in new technologies and take advantage of their potentials for your success.

Avoiding the Mistakes that lead to a Startup Failure

July 9, 2019 in Cultivate, Startups

It is not easy to make a successful startup because almost half of the founders do not do what is essential for this achievement—addressing a problem that is troubling the customers. If you have a business idea and you spend your time and money building a venture around it, you may or may not succeed because the question lies in the application of the idea. If it does nothing apart from selling goods, it is bound to fail.

So, what you need to do to make sure that you don’t fail:

  1. Find out a problem that is still unsolved—try providing a solution to this problem. It could be a product or a service.
  2. Try figuring out your customer-base—the more specific and focused you can be the better it would be. Starting from a small customer-base is not bad.
  3. Talk to people—get feedback and suggestions from real life scenarios. Don’t simply depend on online surveys and simulations.
  4. Talk to your customers—ask them what they want. Tweak your product or service based on the feedback. Don’t sell your product or service and ask the customers for its adoption.

The market is full of startups but a lot of them fail because there is no market demand for the products or services that they offer. It is like setting up a push-cart business of vegetables in a vegetable market—the probability of success is bleak. However, if you could sell these vegetables in housing communities, remote housing areas, you have every chance of succeeding.

You have to innovate on your idea if it revolves around a traditional business model. However, if you are bringing something very unique and previously unheard to the market, you need to make sure it addresses a problem and not simply a fancy way of doing things. The initial success (which you may have) will die down soon.

Learning To Handle Shame And Failure Is An Important Entrepreneurial Skill

June 5, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

You are making the biggest mistake if you think you must be a good enough CEO for your employees to give their best and build the company. Many successful entrepreneurs were not the ones who were admired and liked by their employees. Remember, it is never easy to get a group of people and make a band out of them. The toughest part of entrepreneurship is perhaps managing people than managing time, resources and business processes.

Learning To Handle Shame And Failure Is An Important Entrepreneurial Skill

Often if you had successfully retained a team for quite some time working together on a project, you have reasons to pat your back for doing a rare and wonderful job. Shame and failures are part and parcel of any big mission. Here is how you can successfully handle fears and failures without burning yourself in the process.

Learn to be critical of your own work. As a founder and CEO, you have a long journey ahead of you and you can always learn from shames and failures to become better and more successful. Understand your employees thoroughly so that you can put an engaging content in front of them. Nevertheless, if you are unable to please them, it is none of your faults. When the book you write is not something they wish to read, it neither means yours is a bad book nor can it suggest that they are bad readers.

Be open to every possibility in life. This openness will give you forgiveness. In turn, you also develop the freedom to move forth and give a try even if it means to fail once again. Develop the following two hopes to handle shame and failure in the right way.

Provided whatever you feel shameful about is not a malicious intention, you have no reasons to feel shameful. If you are a bit more patient and persistent, you will find your friends supporting you.

Accept the possibility that what you have created and what you intend to create must resonate with everyone. If one of your ex-employee says they hated working in your business, it is perfectly OK and it is neither your fault nor that of the one who says so.

Micromanaging Can Be a Sure Key To Success If Done Smartly

May 29, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

Often the term ‘micromanagement’ has a negative connotation in the domain of leadership topics. We say a leader is micromanaging if they are found fussing over small details instead of having their eyes on the big picture. While this can be true in some cases, studies show that some effective leaders were in fact ‘micromanaging’ with their fingers checking the pulse of what is actually going on in their organization. Here are the ways to do micromanage your business in the right way and get the most out of it.

Micromanaging Can Be A Sure Key To Success If Done Smartly

Ensure you know what is happening
Trusting your employees is a good thing. Nevertheless, as a person in charge, you must really know what is happening under you. If this is not ensured, you are only putting yourself and your business at risk to state it plainly.

You must make your employees feel you trust them
If done rightly, micromanagement need not be something that will alarm your employees. Those leaders found to be micromanaging tend to lose the trust of their employees only when they fail to communicate their intentions to their employees rightly. Tell them you are not there to nitpick them. Also, make them know you have confidence in them that they can do their job well even without someone looking over their shoulders.

How micromanaging can help
Smart micromanaging can help your business grow immensely. When you have a thorough knowledge of what is happening under you, you will be better capacitated to delegate the tasks to the right people when you try out new ventures. The right way of micromanaging will let your workforce know that you are fully aware of the business’s comings and goings.

The far-reaching benefits of micromanagement are better time management, fixing problems when they are just starting, identifying well in time if a process is going bad, making employees feel a sense of ownership of their work, and making the leader an adept in delegating the tasks to the right people during the right time.

Entrepreneurship Is Not Just About Innovating

May 23, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

Innovating is a great quality that every entrepreneur must possess for sure. The ability to innovate makes you unique and successful in your entrepreneurship mission. However, all innovators cannot just make a successful entrepreneur for the simple reason that entrepreneurship calls for a set of entirely different skills. Here is what we must reflect in these lines.

Entrepreneurship Is Not Just About Innovating

We often hear people saying that you need to be original and innovative to be a successful entrepreneur. While this statement makes a lot of good sense about entrepreneurship, we must not forget that entrepreneurs must also be able to make things happen. Some of the qualities that will help make things happen in the domain of entrepreneurship include focus, perseverance, flexibility, and diligence. Though the journey of an entrepreneur starts with an innovative idea, the entrepreneur must be able to take those ideas and make them impactful. To be successful, every entrepreneur must be willing to take challenges and adapt the plans to address the problems that might come on the way.

We see a lot of top innovators in every industry domain get hired by large companies. These people are also rewarded with fat paychecks to match their contribution to the firms they work for. Some other innovators are seen joining some startups and give their bit to the concern. Our study of the industry reveals that most innovators end up working for a company rather than turning to be successful entrepreneurs. This is because building a company calls for an entirely different set of skills than being able to invent some idea, thing or concept.

Academic grades can never take you an inch forward in your entrepreneurial mission. The qualities we must appreciate in entrepreneurs include resiliency, curiosity, resourcefulness, tenacity, passion for products and customers, pattern recognition and others. We must never forget that large technology startups were founded and built by a team that was led by an entrepreneur and not just an innovator.

Step By Step Guidelines On Fundraising

May 15, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

Planning is the key to success in every mission. This is very much true when it comes to fundraising. When you adopt a planned approach, you will find yourself more organized and achieve more than what is otherwise possible. It is important that you avoid the common mistakes done by many people seeking to raise venture capital. Here is a step by step guidelines on how to move forward with your fund raising campaign.

Step By Step Guidelines On Fundraising

Prepare a list

Creating a list of prospects is the first step to any fundraising campaign. Most VCs either do not do this or do it wrongly. It is most unlikely that you will approach only a limited number of people and be going about the task without a list in hand would be a mere waste of time.

Reorganize the list on a priority basis

When you rework on the list you have prepared, you will feel like moving the entries up or down depending on the priority you attach to the potential investor. Though the list can grow up indefinitely, it is good to have it as small as 15 organized based on priority and proceed with the list.

Sort out the investors

The next step is to sort out the potential firms into different segments to know who will be a good fit for you. Target the investors who might be willing to invest the amount you have in mind, not more or less. Do not target funds that are of higher value. Also focus on the industry of the investor, the geography and competitiveness before studying their past history of investments. This idea must give you a set of criteria to work with while sorting out the firms.

The underline

Always do remember that fund raising is like selling something. The investor is a kind of customer with funds at their disposal. Though they have money to spend, they can invest only in a handful of companies. It is hence essential for you to develop the approaches and strategies that will help win their trust. When the investors feel you are a smart and credible individual who can lead effectively and inspire others, they are most likely to take interest in investing in your venture.

Top Reasons Why Some Entrepreneurs Fail

May 7, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

Looking at some top stories in which some entrepreneurs failed in their ventures, we understand that ideas alone do not pave a way to success. The people who implement the ideas are more important than just the good ideas. Hence we must say that execution is everything when it comes to success in entrepreneurship. In other words, failure is related to the flaws in execution. No one can start with the perfect idea. Nevertheless, success comes at the end following a long line of learning experiences, adjustments, good habits and collective efforts.

Top Reasons Why Some Entrepreneurs Fail

Top reasons for entrepreneurs to fail

Inability to understand what ‘hard work’ actually means

In entrepreneurship, we need to work with uncertainties. There is none in the world to give us a predefined set of syllabus or assignments to go about. You must be able to decide what and how you must do. Most entrepreneurs struggle with defining their measures and the shock of getting to know how much hard work these measures demand from them.

Not able to balance between patience and impatience
This is a very important quality that most entrepreneurs lack. You must know where to be patient and where not to be impatient. It is like showing the willingness to walk down the long road while being vigilantly ready to gallop when situations and luck permit.

Never identifying what they are good at
It is said, “Imitation is Human”. Most entrepreneurs go by what is popular than trying to unravel what they are good at. If you have to pursue something that does not come to you naturally, you will be naturally slowed down. Also, you fail to put your abilities and talents to good use.

Thinking of entrepreneurship as a solo sport
Some unsuccessful entrepreneurs are found unwilling to share their equity, workload or their network with others. Success in entrepreneurship does not come because of one person. You must find the right people and deliberate the tasks to them to stay more productive and successful in the long run.

Unwillingness to know what they do not know
It is natural that we do not know everything in life. However, willingness to know what we do not know but necessary to push our way forward is an essential quality that will make up successful entrepreneurs.

How Are Start Up Ideas Formed

April 21, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

For a lot of people, championing a start-up is a dream career. Just graduating from an entrepreneurship program cannot put you right on track to found a start-up. Start-ups stem from an idea gradually maturing to perfection to ensure its profitability and sustainability. Here is the process of how start-ups are created.

Startup ideas

Steps to founding a start-up

Detect the shortfalls in the customer experience

This is perhaps the most important starting point of landing on a solid idea for a start-up. When people have complaints and inadequacies about a particular product, the points they lack in them becomes the reason to coin a new product that addresses their difficulties and help generate more sales and profits by assuring a superior customer experience. Frustration is an indication that the industry is getting ready for disruption and new ideas are highly welcome.

Identify the cause

When you come across a negative customer experience, look into the problem. Identify what cause is at the root of dissatisfaction and why the industry is not able to guarantee a satisfying consumer experience. Even failing to update to the new technology can be the cause of lingering disappointment in the customers. Once you identify the problem, decide if your startup can help fix it and bring about a better customer satisfaction.

Perfect the ideas

Spend the necessary time and effort to discover what is happening in the industry. In fact, a lot of other competitors could already be working on the issues and trying to discover some way out. Nevertheless, you can get to know if your idea can have enough value to bring about a start-up.

Learn from the mistakes

Often there are chances that you get discouraged spotting that a major player had not been able to implement something similar to your idea. However, this can as well be an encouraging sign. Large companies are great at what they do and hence they might lack innovation. They also often lag behind in investing in newer technology. Sparing the necessary efforts and learning from others’ mistakes can provide a clear path for you to move forward.

Understanding Start-up funding Options: Seed Vs. Series A

April 19, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

When it comes to venture to fundraise, start-ups confront two major options namely seed round and series A. Choosing the right one for your situation can be a tricky job. However, understanding them rightly will help you decide the best stand that will benefit you both in the short as well as long run.

What are they?

Seed round refers to a series of related investments by 15 or lesser number of investors who will ‘seed’ a new firm with an upper cap of $2 million and the money is used to fund the market studies and product development in the early stage. The investors benefit from equity, stock option or convertible notes.

Series A refers to an investment with an upper cap of $10 millions by a smaller number of angel investors who benefit through series A preferred shares.

Get to know seed round

Seed round funding solely pertains to the start-up stage and the investment helps build the foundation for the business to establish itself and move towards sustainability. In this stage, the founder is just experimenting with the business and it is not necessary for them to know everything. Hence the most important thing is to have experienced investors who can troubleshoot any arising challenges. Seed round enables the founders with enough time to shape the business model, adequate opportunities to connect with the business partners behind the mission, facilitate lower dilution and more capital for future rounds and is more flexible to changes based on market expectations.

Get to know series A

Series A comes into picture while the business model is already developed and established. When you opt to receive series A funding, you are expected to grow fast. Hence it is necessary to have the product market fit as well as established systems that will help multiply the revenue within a short time. The key advantages of series A funding include the ability to grow faster with the help of more cash and larger partners. It assures a better recognition within the community.

Working with the options

Since seed round will give you the flexibility and time needed to stabilize your business, it is essential to go through this step before raising series A capital. Nevertheless, skipping this step and directly jumping into series A makes sense when the start-up needs a large amount of capital that is not possible to get through a seed round and when the founder is almost certain of generating the revenue straight away.

Find Pain to Build a Successful Business

March 30, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

Why pain?

Well, if you could find pain, and then find a solution to alleviate that pain, you have a business opportunity. Whatever solution or service you will provide to lower or remove that pain will sell. It may have to do with a delivery, security, commuting, saving time, or whatever—if you could find a pain-point of people’s lives and can build a solution around it, you are up for a nice business experience.

Too many professionals want to leave their jobs and start doing something on their own; however, sustaining on a business is not easy if you don’t have an already-flourishing business in place. Establishing a new one takes time and money both—if you don’t have either or any of them, you can’t think of leaving your job.

However, if you have thought and are seriously making plans to start something on your own, think what troubles others or maybe yourself. Find a pain-point in the day-to-day life of the family members, friend-circle or the colleagues.

Figure out if there is a solution for that pain. If yes, figure out can you build something more efficient, cheaper or better? If no, figure out the solution—everything else can be done later on.

Once you have built a new or a better solution, start promoting your solution through your close-ones before you could take the initiative of leaving your job. Remember, your product or service may fail and may face problems that you might not have foreseen—it is always better to test it with actual users before betting your future on it.

If you feel there is a demand or want of your product and you can scale the market for the same, you can go to launch yourself fully as an entrepreneur and even look for funding etc. to scale your product or service. Before that, it is always better to stick to your job and continue evolving into a better strategist.

Are You Looking for a Co-Working Space for your Startup

March 22, 2018 in Cultivate, Startups

In the last couple of years, the buzz around co-working spaces has increased a lot. There is a definite upside when it comes to cutting costs, and in the environment of startups having lean teams and just looking to find a place with bare minimum facilities, having a co-working space proves like a boon. Later on, as the team and the business grow, the startup could be moved to a bigger place and maybe exclusive office can be leased.

The first thing to consider as an entrepreneur looking for a co-working space obviously would be cost. However, there are other related things that you can think of before making your decision solely on the basis of budget.

How are the basic facilities like the furniture, coffee machine, rest rooms and the internet facility? If these things are checked, there is hardly anything else that you would consider.

Though commuting, availability of parking, nearness to public transportation services etc. are few other features that you would love to have.

Further, if you have a product and you are looking to launch it soon, it is also good to know what kind of team or companies are already in that space. More often than not, those co-workers could become your first customers or provide you with a lot of interesting feedback about your service or product. They are not directly related to you and therefore their observation about your service or product would be totally unbiased, which is pure gold when it comes to launching your product based on user reviews.

As mentioned earlier, co-working spaces are great for cost reduction but they could also help you in making your business streamlines. You just have to research a bit before you opt for any facility that may look interesting or inviting in its visual appeal.