28 May 2020

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Small Enterprise Magazine June’14 Issue : Start-Up Essentials

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Small Enterprise Magazine June'14 CoverStarting a business is exciting. But it can be exhausting if the entrepreneur is not properly guided. When starting a company, good advice early on can be the difference between success and failure. Choosing the right from drafting a business plan to right strategies in recruiting, marketing, branding and many more play key role in deciding the success of an enterprise. In June issue of Small Enterprise magazine, you will find start-up experts and mentors sharing their tips and advice for start-ups on various segments.

Topics include:

  • Tips to write a perfect business plan
  • Tips for start-up hiring
  • Tips for start-up branding
  • Tips for Start-up funding
  • Tips for minimising costs
  • Tips for best suited marketing strategy
  • Tips for IT decisions.......... and more

Many of you are tempted to establish a startup and become your own boss. But you should also steer clear of the pitfalls on your pathway to become the master of your destiny. Remember that the key to the success of a small and medium enterprise lies in minimizing input costs while maximizing resources in today’s hyper-competitive business environment.

These days rising costs on the grounds of manpower, machinery, logistics and taxes have become the bane of small businesses, which are already reeling under recessionary pressures. So, the most important issue before an upcoming entrepreneur is how to make his enterprise viable and achieve a healthy bottom line.  A startup must maximize its resources and efficiency to compete effectively with the bigger players in the industry.

Starting your own business requires scientific study of market and competitors and creative thinking to design and implement strategies accordingly. Don’t be unduly perturbed if you have to run on shoestring operations and minimize expenses in non-critical areas. After raising sufficient startup capital, you must maximize your resources and efficiency.

Following are some of the methods startups can adopt to guard against failure:

Know your market: You must identify your market and its potential. This includes studying the key marketing strategies being used by your competitors and the price tag and level of quality they are providing. You can do the SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis on the basis of these parametres.

Price your product or service rationally: Don’t think that if you lower the cost, it will automatically lead to increase in the demand for your product or service. Sometimes, underpricing reduces your market credibility. Similar is the case with overpricing. The right pricing depends on factors like the income-levels of customers, their buying interests, quality of the product and the pricing of competitor’s product.  You must know in advance that you have customers willing to pay the price for the product or service you render.  It is very critical to know these customer assumptions.

Grand or soft launch: It is advisable for you to go for a soft launch and gradually build the credibility of your product or service in the market, instead of making a big noise about your arrival which can raise market expectations with huge monetary implications.

Don’t compromise on quality: Your aim should be to lower expenses, but not at the cost of functionality.  You should have a long term vision, backed with proper marketing and initial funds to sustain your business.

Be web-savvy: You must have a website of your company as it does not cost a bomb to build the web presence for your business. Additionally, you must also make use of different sources like Facebook, Google+, Orkut, LinkedIn, Blogger, MySpace, Flipkart, eBay etc. You may also reduce considerable expenses by relying upon online sales, marketing and customer support. In this virtual world, you may even get a work order from a buyer over even some social networking site, say, Flipkart.

Serve your customers well: Even if you do not have a big budget business model, you must focus upon building a good customer service to retain or increase the number of your customers so that they do not switch to your competitors. Some of the customer-friendly marketing strategies may include offers like free home delivery, cash on delivery, bulk purchase discount etc.

Make strategic partnerships: You must forge strategic partnerships with other key stakeholders and vendors related to your business. The relationships may turn out to be mutually beneficial and cost-effective to enhance the brand visibility at minimum costs.

Introduction as well as feedback: You must provide a proper introduction of your product and services to grab the customer’s attention and disseminate complete information and knowledge about your start-up’s area of specialization. Similarly, it is important to follow-up with the customers after delivery of your product or service and elicit their genuine feedback, which may include a survey form (online or offline) inviting   suggestions.

Don’t spread yourself overboard: It is good to expand your business in a phased manner in sync with the increase in your turnover, resources, operational efficiency, manpower skills and production capacities.

Don’t over-staff: In today’s technology-oriented world, your employees need not be physically present at a particular location in order to work for your organization. You can embrace a work cultures that allows flexible work hours, which can reduce your office expenditure and raise productivity. In this way you can get talent from anywhere without incurring any expenditure on mobilizing them at your office.





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