It's a new decade, new year. There must be new ideas for new ways to do things. As many get convinced and excited about their new ideas, they form their new companies, often without a plan or a roadmap.
Importance of a Road Map for the Startup
A business should never be started without a destination or exit strategy. A roadmap could lead you to the goal. This roadmap defines company objectives, policies, values, expected direction of growth in the form of chart, strengths, weaknesses, threats, and prospective opportunities. This roadmap can be used as a guideline for investors and customers as well. The road map gives a base for formulating policies and strategies for product marketing and launching. It helps in analyzing and reviewing future threats and the current situation of the market.
Roadmaps help in setting goals and assist in implementing the rules and policies with efficiency. The roadmap should be timely reviewed by the founders and directors of the startup and can be altered if needed. Roadmaps should also define in detail the role of every department in the startup and expected growth of that department to help human resources in the future manage their expectations.
The road map of the startup consists of short term and long term goals and timelines set by the founders. Other details such as how the resources are allocated, what are the sources of the capital, contingency plans, how to penetrate the market, and compete with the competitors are also defined in the road map. It could also help you figure out your burn rate to ensure your startup doesn't run out of money anytime soon.
How to Develop a Roadmap
A step by step guide is discussed below that will help in developing a practical roadmap for the startup.
Identify the Problems
The first most important step while developing a roadmap for the startup is to identify the existing problems prevailing in the market. Because once these problems are identified, it gives you a big picture of the overall market, and it will be easier to formulate strategies to avoid such problems while entering into the market.
Target the Audience
Formulating effective marketing strategies and targeting a specific group of audience according to the nature of the product is the second important step. It can be done by delivering high-quality content that appeals to the target audience about the product and the startup.
Professionals from different fields such as finance, law, IT, etc. should be hired so that they can take care of the matters related to their fields. Because one single person cannot be an expert in all fields at the same time.
Define Mission, Vision, and Strategy
Define the startup’s mission vision and business plan in detail in the roadmap. This will serve as a ground for building up future business plans and strategies. These statements can be reviewed and altered from time to time, as and when needed.
The roadmap provides a line of action for the startups. Therefore, it is always important to create a roadmap before starting the business and entering into the market. It will always help in making better choices and decisions by the founders. It will always guide the audience to understand the aims and objectives of the project.
Have you been bootstrapping your company? There are many ways through which you can bootstrap your business for your valuable resources and finances. It is one of the easiest ways to get started with your business if you have had savings. Of course, there were other examples such as Tim Ferriss, who used his credit card debt to bootstrap his business. However, only do the credit card option if you have a tremendous amount of confidence in your hustle and your new company. However, as your business grows and scales, you should probably consider injecting fresh capital into it.
This process takes time. You cannot raise your money and business funds the very next day you have started your business. You need to be patient enough and give time to your business. You need to make sure that you think about the long run of your company. And that is why you need to read every clause to ensure the policies. Make sure that you follow the below-mentioned tips to maintain your patience for fundraising and bootstrapping.
Tips for Maintaining Patience for Bootstrapping and Fundraising:
As fundraising and bootstrapping is a challenging part of businesses. Therefore, a high level of patience is required at every step of the business process. You may find it challenging to convince investors to fund your business. This is because investors look for well-established companies to invest in rather than taking a risk by investing in unproven startups. Therefore, ensure these tips and maintain patience.
Align With the Investors:
Always make sure that you align your business with the right investor. You might find an investor even after months or years but maintain your patience. Do not stress out. Give time to the investors to think about your company as well. After all, you don't want to appear too desperate and codependent.
Do Not Get Frustrated So Quickly:
Now that you have a business to grow, try to manage stress, and your level of frustrations. This is because you might make a wrong decision or deal if you are stressed. Give time to analyze the investor and then make a final decision.
Always Set A Clear, Focused Plan:
You must set a focused plan before starting with the fundraising process. This will help you to convince your investors and set a positive impression on the venture capitalists. Do not just make a deal with anyone who offers. Take time to make the right decision.
Set Achievable Objectives:
Always set realistic and achievable goals. Always talk about the future objectives clearly with the fundraisers. This is because the fundraisers are mainly concerned about the future profitability of the company rather than the current state.
Never Over Promise for Anything:
This is one of the biggest mistakes that company owners make by being impatient. Only promise about those outputs that you are sure about. Do not over-promise on things that you cannot deliver on time.
You cannot achieve all the goals and objectives together. You need to be patient and try to focus on one goal at a time. Be wise to choose the right fundraiser. The right funder will appear given time and patience.
To reduce your burn rate while maintaining your patience, cowork with us! Check out our space by scheduling a tour today.
A huge amount of people, no matter young or old, are joining the startup community. However, it doesn't matter the age; we all have different experiences that could help each other.
For those who are new to the startup world, it could be difficult to navigate. One does not need to reinvent the wheel or to navigate a system that has been crossed by others already. Here are some other reasons why do you need to get help and advice for your startup.
Preparation to Confront the World
In today's day and age, there is an entire crowd of youngsters who have such innovative and creative ideas that one is unable to understand the failure of their startup. The biggest reason why many startups face a downhill is that they are being led by young men and women who are not aware of what the outside world has to offer them. They enter the world with a fresh mind that yet has to learn the ways of the world. Having a mentor prepares them with what is ready to tackle them down. Having a controlled and refined vision helps in making a startup successful.
Oftentimes, one cannot assess oneself clearly. The decisions you make may be wrong, and you may not realize that until someone tells you. A mentor can tell you about your mistakes. If you lose the right track, a mentor can hold your hand and take you back on it by guiding you. However, one needs to be humble to take criticism from others.
When it comes to financing, it can be challenging to start a business with huge amounts of profits from day one. One has to invest a tremendous amount of money for the business to reach a place where one can call it stable. Mentors do not only help with advice but also financing a company that can grow in the future. This not only builds a relationship of trust but boosts one's confidence, which is needed to run a newly formed business.
As a business starts running, it cannot lead on with the same idea with which it started. In order to stay competitive, the entrepreneur should be aware of different ways to keep the customers loyal and develop a strong name in the market. The mentor is not there so that you can get your business into running but also for how one should be recruiting new employees to the organization.
When you start a business, you invest your own money and time. In order to be successful and not have your time and money wasted, you need to have guidance. Experienced people know business strategies that can help you earn more than you invested. Only a skilled person can tell you this.
Awareness of Future Hazards
A novice will not have the same knowledge as an expert. A person with experience will have learned from downfalls and mistakes. He can guide a newbie what mistake not to make and how to remain wary of possible dangers. An early warning can save you from a disaster.
There are countless reasons as to why a mentor is needed, and to be formal, it might not even be the most formal mentorship process. In a coworking space, there are lots of people who have already had startup experience. To save your time and money, it would be the best idea to find your next mentor or just someone to bounce ideas with at a coworking space! Take a tour today.
It is 2020, a new year, a new decade, and maybe time for a new career for you! Although the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence, it is not a piece of cake to start a company. Every step needs time to work in the right manner. Not only is it a challenge when you are not able to find the right investors for your business, but it could also be a challenge assembling the best team. You need to implement your expertise at every stage because every stage is a challenge. But no worries, it is normal as the initial days of the business are why you might face a lot of difficulties. It would be best if you were smart enough to use your expertise and knowledge at the right time. At times you even have to face a situation where you do not know the best way to be chosen. For this reason, your accumulated knowledge will always be the best solution.
Knowledge is Always the Key to Success:
To be active or be dead? That is the one question you must ask yourself daily. Some people spend all day watching TV instead of learning new skills. But have you ever thought that would this be beneficial in the long run?
Well, at some point, this perception is proven to be wrong. For example, Malcolm X was arrested at the age of 19, and instead of wasting his time in prison, he chose to stay alive and educate himself in the prison library. He could've been dead and do nothing instead of learning, but he chose to study, which exposed him to learn how to read and eventually even start a movement.
If you want to be a knowledgeable business owner, then you need to understand the importance of getting knowledge. You need to understand how knowledge can make you a skillful entrepreneur. Especially with the world-changing at such a rapid pace, you need to stay alive and learn new skills daily and be adaptable.
Be Skilled and Use Your Expertise:
It is important to be a highly skilled entrepreneur. You need to show your expertise at every step to face all the challenges. One of the biggest and the common mistakes that most entrepreneurs do is that they do not implement their skills at the right time. Many entrepreneurs were experts in a field before striking out to start his/her company when the realization of the potential for a tremendous change for the industry crosses his/her mind. This is why it is ok to be an expert in a field before starting a company as no one knows a field better than the experts in the field.
Build And Grow As Much As You Can:
Never miss an opportunity to grow. You are always presented with hundreds and thousands of opportunities. You need to be vigilant enough to figure them out. You need to build a strong trust for your customers. Especially if you own online business, then trust-building is extremely crucial. You should also spread your audience and grow them as much as you can. Always remember, the higher the reach, the stronger is the brand awareness. Your expertise in communication skills is a must.
Your level of expertise can make you a successful business owner. You just need to implement it in the right manner. It would be best if you determined your potentials to grow yourself. Remember, if you are dead if you stop growing
REFERENCES AND CITATIONS:
Have you ever felt that you’re superior over others just because you are at a higher post than them? That quality might be one reason why your work performance has been low. Ego plays a massive part in tarnishing your business performance, along with your relationship with your peers. It’s essential to figure out where you’re going wrong and learn from your mistakes.
Are you unaware of how your ego is playing a part during work? Let’s look at some behaviors, so you can become aware of what your ego is doing to your work performance and environment.
How is your ego killing your business?
1. Over-estimating your abilities
You’re someone that believes they can achieve anything. Even though this is a positive mindset that one needs to have for work but don’t go overboard with it. If you set unachievable goals for yourself and your team based on your inflated ego, which will, in turn, harm your business.
2. Lack of learning
Due to the complex that you’re incredibly knowledgeable, you don’t indulge in more learning activities. You’re stuck in a paradox where there’s no learning or growth. How do you think this will affect your business? Egoistic minds, along with not trying to learn more, tend to ignore any criticism being put forward. Instead of working on being more productive, these criticisms are taken personal because of their ego.
3. Decisions solely based on your approval
Is it possible for you to know everything? You being the final decision maker without involving other people in this process is extremely harmful to your business.
What can you do to keep your ego at bay and learn from your mistakes?
1. Stop and think
Before reacting to any criticism or differing opinions, stop. Then, think of the pros and cons. It may be difficult to do so at that start, but you’ll get the hang of it. Be accepting of different opinions for your business to grow.
2. Quit the blame-game
Your ego leaves you with no option but to point fingers at someone for any mishap. Learn how to stop. Evaluate the situation and figure out how to correct the problem rather than blaming others.
3. Treat everyone equally
Learn how to be kind and respectful towards all your colleagues. Rather than pointing out differences in stature and designation, incorporate healthy conversations. This would boost morale in your business and would also result in better productivity.
4. Take credit for success and failure
It might be easy for you to take credit for any success, but the real deal is when you acknowledge your failures. Your ego is kept aside, and you face head-on with where you went wrong.
Ego is generally considered a negative trait to have when it comes to the business environment. Focus on what mistakes you’re making when it comes to your ego and learn how to make amends. Realizing where you’re wrong is critical when it comes to learning from your mistakes. Stashing your ego away will definitely help to create a more friendly working space for you and your colleagues.
Ideas play an essential role in our daily lives. It gives us an edge to improve and excel in different fields. Ideas also play a vital and pivotal role in business too. Amazing ideas can lead a company towards better earning and growth. The key to the success of a business is to have developed and integrated designs, which might include close analysis of the competitors, targeting a specific audience as per the nature of the product, mission and visions should be indicated. Above all, everything should be well-drafted.
There are many benefits of good ideas for the business such as creative ideas lead towards building network and associations within the market, strengthens the brand name, generate active and passive income, expands the business and strengthens the economy as a whole.
On the other hand, sometimes these business ideas can be proved dangerous for the world as well, even if they look innocent enough from the surface. Here are a few factors:
Destruction of Humanity and Nature
The greed for maximizing profits leads to the destruction of humanity and nature. These profit-maximizing ideas are based on threats to humanity and nature, which is what most defense companies are doing. They are producing weapons, and their excuse is to protect humanity, but in reality, they are doing the most destruction.
Polluting the Environment
Industries are polluting the environment causing health problems for the citizens. One notable example is the fast fashion industry. Most of them do not comply with environmental standards and pollute the water with their fabric dye. Even if their tags claim that they are environmentally friendly, the reality is that they are hazardous for the world.
A Threat to Existing Economy
Remember when fax, landline, and floppy discs became irrelevant with the technology advancement? People with existing jobs became irrelevant due to technological advancement. However, one could argue that this is a great thing for humanity as things are moving at a faster pace now.
Harmful for Human Health
Business ideas such as manufacturing cigarettes are harmful to human health. Startups who are inventing vapes need to grow their market share, and they are recruiting customers from the teenage population. Although the market to be for people who are quitting smoking, they are producing addictive fruity flavor vapes causing teenagers to be addicted to their nicotine products. A recent survey shows an alarming rate of 24.7% of teenagers is addicted to vaping.
Mind-blowing business ideas such as penetrating in other markets by low balling can create rivalries on national and international grounds. This can affect the economy politically, socially, and economically. It can also cause severe tensions between trading countries in the world.
Promoting Immorality and Indecency in the Society
Some of the entertainment businesses can seriously affect and shape our society. This doesn't even need to be traditional Hollywood and blockbuster movies that affect teenagers. It was proven that social media affect teenagers, and recently, Instagram admitted that it didn't confirm the age of its users. Think about the many influencers on that platform that probably have been displaying inappropriate behavior to children under 13.
Although there are side effects to businesses, some are milder or could be a better side effect than others, some are positive, and some are negative. The examples used in the effects above all look like typical businesses, but all have some serious side effects.
There are always advantages and disadvantages of what we do and pursue. This is why it should always be kept in mind that we should always strike a balance between right and wrong. Set the year right and change the world for the better instead of being too dangerous for the world.
REFERENCES AND CITATIONS
Alibaba is a unicorn in many ways. The founder, Jack Ma, had always looked like an underdog. From rejection from a hotel manager position to Harvard University, he had faced rejections almost all his life. Yet, his company became an eCommerce giant. From the latest Softbank presentation, it looks like Beyonce of Destiny's Child, Alibaba alone was holding the whole portfolio up.
This e-commerce platform has gained the attention of millions of people across the globe. There are non-stop transactions taking place through this platform daily.
Jack Ma's philosophies
Jack Ma was an ordinary man, an English teacher by profession, before being known as a business tycoon. Throughout his life, even after rejections, he made sure not to lose his optimism and built an internet giant.
He was hopeful when he first heard about the internet during a visit to the United States in the 90s. With the help of 17 friends in his apartment, he established a digital marketplace that connected Chinese customers with manufacturers after raising $5million. He immediately saw growth and opportunity from his websites alibaba.com and 1688.com
Then in 2000, Jack Ma took $20 million from Softbank, which turned into a $60 billion by September 2014 when Alibaba IPOed.
This investment had helped Alibaba launch and improve many of his products, including Taobao. In 2005, when Jerry Yang from Yahoo tried launching a site similar to eBay in China, he found it defeated by Taobao. So Yahoo decided to invest $1billion to help the growth of Alibaba.
What strategies did Jack Ma follow?
Jack Ma is known as a long term thinker. He is willing to sacrifice any short term losses over long term gains. Jack Ma also believes that one can only achieve greatness if they are passionate about their dreams. He said many times that businesses that don't have a proper mission or dream, usually tend to fail. Dream and mission are the things that could drive long term thinking.
There are plenty of strategies that Jack Ma follows to ensure that his company reached high levels of growth.
The most important factor that helps in growing a company, according to Jack Ma, is to not focus on hiring top executives. The growth of Alibaba lies mainly in the hands of Jack Ma and his 17 friends that helped him throughout his career in the Alibaba group. He believes in effective communication and teamwork enabled their growth and productivity.
Another factor Jack Ma emphasizes is making sure to keep an optimistic mindset. He has been a problem-solver his entire life. After failing multiple times initially, he diversified his business to the eCommerce sector. He's taken every opportunity and made the best out of it by keeping a positive outlook.
Jack Ma is one of the most famous examples of a self-made man. From earning $12 a month, he established a company that is valued at $480billion and growing. He recently retired as the CEO of Alibaba after setting an example of how to be the most efficient person ever.
We always have heard and read that demand is created and it is not an inborn instinct. Humans are rational beings but it is extremely easy to drive them with their instincts and please them to attain or achieve something. When it comes to desires and wants, it is really easy to convert their desires and wants into needs and necessities. Therefore, we have an entire system in our society or in today's world that is pushing us indirectly to consume and get what we desire. Do we often think of how these desires are created and how influencing these ideas can become in our life? Let's see what the entire story about desires and its creation is about.
Who Are Consumers?
Consumers are those people who consume certain products and services. They are the ones who personally use the product or services. They can be the customers and users of the creators. Let's take a simple example to better understand consumers. A mother is searching for a reliable brand of diapers for the baby. The baby is the user because the baby uses and wears a diaper, not the mother. The mother is the customer or a shopper who pays for the diaper. Similarly, consumers can be customers as well. If you want to have a can of coke, you will simply go to a store, pay for your drink and then drink it there and then. This is how you are a customer that is you are paying for your drink and a consumer because you are drinking coke yourself. Consumers always think about their priority and they are always struggling to achieve and attain satisfaction. But in reality, consumers are never satisfied. They are always in search of things that give them happiness and satisfaction. Even a slight change of mindset or a change in lifestyle might give this happiness. That is why we have creators in this world. These creators help consumers to fulfill their desires as soon as possible. Consumers are all somehow dependent on the creators because they are the ones who drive the instincts or creators and develop an urge to increase demand.
How Creators are Impacting The Consumers:
Creators are the major driving force that creates an urge among the consumers. The creators develop or create those things, products or services that fulfill the need of the consumers. They portray happiness in different forms that push consumers to attain happiness as soon as possible. Eventually, consumers start considering this happiness their necessity and make these creativities a part of their life. Creators do face real challenges as well. Since every consumer has a different insight, a different mindset, and perception, therefore it is extremely difficult and challenging to caret for every individual with their preferences. It is really important that creators know the insight of the consumers and then satisfy them accordingly.
Creators need to create great products and advertise them in a way that ensures the consumers how this certain thing will give then happiness and fulfill their needs. Demand grows when creators communicate to their consumers to get the product or service by spreading more awareness and coming on top of the mind.
Idealism and pragmatism are very much needed in any startup. Well, there is an obvious difference between idealism and pragmatism, especially in the business world. Idealism and pragmatism can hold different perspectives as well. Idealism is what you need as motivation to start a business to change the world, but pragmatism is what will keep your startup into becoming a part of the world to drive sustainable change. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss what actually idealism and pragmatism is and what are the major differences between these philosophies.
What is Idealism?
Idealism is pursuing often unrealistic ideals that are often unrealistic at the time of chasing. Idealists are often driven by a set of strong moral beliefs and those moral principles are a must to be adopted and accepted to become a part of our life. The idealists focus on their end goal and seek a higher vision for their goal. They are always ready to go and take on risks to reach their vision because they think that their vision is well worth it. They are ready to suffer for a better future because they say that the decisions they have made are always right. They are determined to achieve long-term goals and that is why in the business world the idealist leaders always create a long term vision for their big idea. They are always working hard to attain long-term goals and sustain their business for a longer-term. They could be rigid and determined. It can be a bit difficult to please or to convince the idealistic leaders for any tweaks to their vision.
What is Pragmatism?
Pragmatism is acting realistically with the current circumstance. People who are pragmatic normally only consider the practicality of life and spends their lives based on practicality. They reject idealism when it feels that idealism is hindering their way. Since pragmatism is all about focusing on what is practical that is why the pragmatics or the pragmatic leaders in business focus on what they have in their hands right now. They don't ask the dealers to change their cards at a poker game, they work on maximizing their cards. They utilize the best option that is available at the moment. Therefore, the pragmatic leaders in business focus to achieve shorter-term goals as a means to an end. Due to this, they at times create a negative picture of them.
Differences between Idealists and Pragmatics:
Idealism and pragmatism could be opposites but they could both be applied in a startup. If you are an idealist and your cofounder is a pragmatic kind of guy, instead of coming up with conflicts, you should find a solution to work together. We cannot ignore practicality as well as morality in our companies as they are both important.
Every type of business needs a leader whose thought process must be followed. These leaders can be either pragmatic or idealistic. You can choose which approach you want to follow. Idealistic approaches could be great but at the end of the day, one could be burned out from being too idealistic. Typically, in businesses, the pragmatic approach seems more effective as opposed to the idealistic approach. There are times to be idealistic, but day to day business operations requires a more pragmatic approach.
Pragmatism refers to being able to derive results using practical and logical actions. The main focus of this ideology is to get to the result and answer questions regarding how to get certain things done. There are certain ways how you can practice pragmatism for your business and how it’s beneficial for you.
How can you be pragmatic for your business?
Advantages of practicing pragmatism for your business
Many people believe that pragmatism is not an effective approach to take on when conducting business. They might be right because a pragmatic approach is a system. It is a system to get things done while your idealism is used as motivation to get you there.