Are You Forty Plus? It’s Not Late to Startup

Are You Forty Plus? It’s Not Late to Startup

Nobody can take away the credit from the young generation to show us the way in launching a business, running it successfully and raising funds from some of the biggest foreign funds. These two set of professionals have only one thing in common – fire to launch a business and make it a success – but beyond this, there are stark differences in how they execute their vision.

The older entrepreneurs who are beginning to give start-ups a serious thought should play to their strengths, like their experience, domain expertise, their ability to finance their business, use their professional network to recruit the right talent. If you are 40 plus and looking to start up, launch a business idea you understand and don’t attempt to merely ape and compete with high energy and daring younger entrepreneurs.

For a 20 something, they have no family pressure or equated monthly installments to pay. What they lack in experience, they more than make up for it in their energy and hard-to-control enthusiasm. The younger generation has grown seeing what technology can do to address many problems of our lives and is thus inclined towards launching more consumer facing tech-enabled businesses. In India, these folks while in college replicate international business models and build minimum viable products and are able to scale up much faster.

One of our investee companies, launched by three IIT Kharagpur 2012 graduates, has young founders with merely two years of work experience. They lived in a rental accommodation and used their savings to start a business in inter city cab booking segment. They had no fear of failure and no preconceived notions on what would work. They put all their saving to risk and lived hand to mouth for a year. Recently, they have raised funds and seeing a healthy month on month growth in the business.

If a young entrepreneur fails, society in general, and the corporate sector will see this as a positive. It shows their risk taking capability. On the contrary, if an entrepreneur fails in his 40s people take it as personal failure not realizing that entrepreneurship is anyway fraught with risks. Corporates, on the other hand, may brand this failed entrepreneur as someone who likes ‘full freedom’ in the work environment and not someone who can work in an organised set-up.

As a senior entrepreneur, one needs to leverage from industry knowledge and network. Create a business in the industry where you have grown and solve a problem that you have faced. More senior entrepreneurs should look to digitise business processes in their industry of comfort and knowledge. Having spent time within the industry, one is able to leverage from one’s contacts to get things done at a minimal spend and in most judicious manner.

To my friends of my age, I say: Go for businesses in sectors you are familiar with; take the risk and be out of the corporate set-up; invest the risk capital and build the product; take newer blood in your team; shred the ego of who you were and how many people reported to you; get used to travelling cattle class and don’t compete in businesses that the 20 year olds can do too.

Article Source:

How to Communicate With Your Clients

How to Communicate With Your Clients

Imagine if you will, a bright, red telephone in your office. This telephone is the hotline to the most important person for your business – the client. Unfortunately, the phone cord has been cut. There is no way you can use this telephone to communicate with your client. Wouldn’t it make sense that you would want to get that telephone line repaired so it could connect you to the lifeblood of your company? Curiously enough, many small business owners do not think that way.

Frank Cooper, the author of many books on client service, makes it clear that without the client there is no paycheck for us, our managers or employees. If that is true, why would anybody not want to communicate with this most important person? Some of the excuses I’ve heard include:
“I don’t have the time – I’m too busy!”
“I don’t want them to know who I am – they might have a complaint.”
“”I didn’t think it was that important.”
(fill in your own )____________________________________

One way for you to consider communicating on a regular basis with your clients is to be visible. One of my past clients, Terry Johnson, Owner of Johnson’s Car Wash in Wayne, MI does this very well. Throughout the day, he makes it a point to walk around and stop and talk to his clients. He knows many of them by name. He listens to them and he hears what they like and he hears what they don’t like. By walking around and talking with his clients, he has developed a solid connection with the people that sign his paycheck.

Another major benefit is that his clients feel a connection with him. “They feel special because they talk to the owner.” Is that important? You bet it is. Remember, the number one reason why a client or customer will quit doing business with your company, is because they get a feeling that you or your staff do not care about them.

Your clients want to be listened to and they want to feel appreciated. By being visible to them, your clients have access to you and they like that.

Another way to communicate with your clients, is to watch their body language, and listen to their tone of voice as they interact with you, your managers and employees. Do they look and sound like they are glad to be interacting with you and your people, or do they look like they are only tolerating the process.

Of course there will be clients who don’t enjoy much of anything, but the question is, are the majority of your clients happy to do business with your company? If they are, what can you observe that is contributing to that successful experience? Is it the way the manager or employee is interacting with them? How about the ease in which they are served?

How about the environment? Is the area well lit, with pleasant music in the background? You be the judge. Take good notes and spend some time thinking about what is working and what isn’t? What should you continue to do; what should you stop doing or change?

To summarize here is a list of things to do that will help you communicate with your clients more effectively.
1. be visible
2. listen to your clients

Article Source:

5 Productivity Tips for the Small Business Owner

5 Productivity Tips for the Small Business Owner

Here are 5 tried and tested productivity tips that every small business owner needs to follow…

1. Use technology to manage your time, tasks and appointments
A lot of advancements have been made in technology that helps people, organize their daily schedules, remind you about appointments and also helps to chart out your day. In fact, you don’t have to carry around any calendars or paper organizers; you can schedule the appointments on your smartphone, and it will send you reminders. For example, cloud-based applications allow users to store their data and programs on a virtual platform which you can access from anywhere. With this technology, you can check your schedules and tasks without having to open your laptop or PC.

2. Don’t Multi-task
Multi-tasking was once considered a very resourceful quality. But what a lot of business owners don’t realize is that multi-tasking does not deliver quality. When you handle too many tasks at a time, you are bound to leave room for errors, and this hampers the result. Multi-tasking also leads to a drop in focus, increased stress-levels and inability to meet business goals. Focussing on one job at a time is s sensible way to enhance productivity. You will remain more focused and relaxed and have a better job satisfaction. You can use advanced apps and software to organize tasks and finish each task with finesse and on time. This is applicable not only to the owner but can help employees also to deliver their best performance.

3. Keep a clutter-free workspace
Cluttered space does not promote productivity. The work areas have to be neat and tidy at all times. Office cluttering usually occurs due to the presence of too many files, documents, papers, etc. The second you walk into your office and see so many papers lying around, the mind shuts down. Maintaining a clutter-free and clean work space is necessary to create a pleasant atmosphere at the office. The use of online software to store data is an excellent way to avoid cluttering in the office.

4. Get a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants provide service from a distance, maybe from their home or another office. You need to pay them only for the services they perform; it is something like freelancing work. You can designate not-so-important tasks like proofreading, doing paperwork, making schedules, writing a press release, articles, blogs, etc. to them. So your work gets done and you can use your time to attend to more crucial work. There are numerous other services also that they can perform which can save you lots of time. Getting a virtual assistant will help you meet the business goals more effectively and efficiently.

5. Take a break
This is necessary for every individual. Business owners need to be creative and should possess quick decision-making skills, but when you subject yourself to continuous work every day, these qualities start to deteriorate. Setting aside 15 minutes every day to meditate helps to revive and freshen up the mind. When you have a sound and peaceful mind, the productivity also improves.

Article Source:

Being Organized Equals Small Business Success

Being Organized Equals Small Business Success

You started your own business because you have a burning passion for what you do. You are also – we hope — good what you do and have a desire to help others. Little do you know that running a business includes, well…running a business. This little bombshell can throw many a new business owner for a loop.

I receive numerous phone calls every week asking me how to start a business as a professional organizer. The first thing I say is that the organizing part is easy because it is a natural gift (sometimes a curse); it’s running the business that can trap you. This is not to scare a potential entrepreneur away, but to help them realize that it’s not all fun and games doing what you do best. You have to:

Find an accountant
Buy insurance
Get legal advice on how to set up your business
File for the company name with the state
Find working capital if necessary
File all the proper tax forms
Open up a checking account
Get office supplies
Market the business
Build a network
And the list goes on and on…

In the initial start-up stage, entrepreneurs are often so excited about starting a new business that they pay little or no attention to what is happening with all the paperwork and electronic data you are generating. That is typical and expected. However, around the six to twelve month mark, entrepreneurs start calling people like me – a professional organizer – begging for help in setting up a system to help them be organized. I envision a hand protruding from mounds of papers reaching for help.

The sad news is that many small businesses have never taken the time to set up systems once they’ve built up paper and electronic backlogs. They just keep generating documents without stopping to assess what is being created.

I firmly believe that the healthiest small business is the one that visits and reviews their organizational systems every six to twelve months. The small business that keeps doing the “same old, same old” is losing money. So where do you stand?

Something that has really hit home in the past year or so is that you don’t GET organized and have long lasting success. You have to BE organized. Getting organized is a quick fix of cleaning up and putting things away – usually a Band-aid (r) approach – that doesn’t last for more than a few days.

Being organized is recognizing that organization is an ongoing journey. Life doesn’t stop happening the minute you GET organized. You have to have systems in place that will help the daily flow; a lack of systems will cause clogs. These clogs come in many forms:

Piles of papers
Lost documents
Misplaced items – glasses, phone, pens, keys
Running late
Stress and frustration…

You get the picture.

When it becomes clear to you that you are running through your day feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing, you may need to reassess your organizational skills and systems.

Your small business must overcome many hurdles to be successful. Fortunately, being organized is one hurdle that you can learn to overcome. Or you can work with a professional organizer to set up customized systems that make you functional, productive, and more pleasant to be around.

I challenge you take a deep look at the state of your small business’ organization. If you see your passion being overrun by disorganization, it’s time to take some action.

Here’s to simplifying your life!

Article Source: – Free Website Content