How to become a successful online entrepreneur? Debajyoti Banerjee, Founder & CEO of Seven Boats has delivered this online session on Starting up as digital entrepreneur at United College of Education, Greater Noida . Learn how to be a successful digital entrepreneur and excel in your digital entrepreneurship journey.
Video talk by Debajyoti Banerjee – Starting up as Digital Entrepreneur
How to become a successful online entrepreneur? [Video tutorial]
Digital Entrepreneurship: Many people want to be their own boss and set their own hours, but they don’t know where to start. The internet has created opportunities for people to become digital entrepreneurs, or online entrepreneurs. To be an online entrepreneur, you need to have a digital product or service that you can sell online. You also need to have a marketing plan to reach your target audience. And finally, you need to be able to use digital tools to run your business. If you can do all of these things, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful online entrepreneur.
Guide to digital entrepreneurship – The questions
- What is digital entrepreneurship? Few Examples.
- Challenges in startup entrepreneurship
- How to start? What are the prerequisites & steps involved in starting up as digital entrepreneur ?
- What are the skills needed for digital entrepreneurship?
- What’s the initial investment to startup? Can I start with zero investment?
- Should I start a product or service startup?
- How to get my first customer?
- How to sustain my business? What are the key points to remember?
- What are the legal or other operational aspects for a startup?
- How to scale up? Should I go for funding or keep it bootstrapped?
- What if I fail?
- Entrepreneurship Success Mantra
What is digital entrepreneurship?
Digital entrepreneurship is broadly defined as creating new ventures and digitally transforming existing businesses by developing novel digital technologies and/or novel usage of such technologies.
Examples of Digital Entrepreneurship:
- Freelancing or Gig based work
- Online Tutoring/ Online Teaching / Online Coding Jobs
- Ecommerce or drop shipping or affiliate marketing
- Content Creator [Blogging or vlogging (YouTuber)]
- Become online author, Translator or Voice Over Artist or Online Photography
- Sell designer merchandise or Art Items or Own Music.
- Start digital marketing service or build products or become social media influencer
- Domain or website seller, online website tester.
- Start any other services or products that you can offer virtually & globally.
Challenges & opportunities in digital entrepreneurship
Read below more about how to take your business digitally. Many businesses are taking their operations online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be a daunting task, but there are some simple steps you can take to get started.
First, you need to create a website. You can hire a web designer to create a site for you, or use a platform like WordPress to build a site yourself.
Once your site is up and running, you need to start promoting it. You can do this by creating social media accounts and post regular updates about your business.
You should also consider running online ads and using search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure your site appears as high as possible in search engine results.
By taking your business online, you can reach a wider audience and keep your business running during these challenging times.
How to take your business online
How to earn money online as a digital entrepreneur
Digital Marketing & Entrepreneurship – How You Can Start Earning Online –
Signup, Surveys & other activities
- Upwork.com, freelancer.com, guru.com
- uxbooth.com, taskrabbit.com
Selling items online
Blogging & making YouTube videos
- Must have a knowledge of video editing and content writing in your topic of interest
- Knowledge of Google AdSense and affiliate marketing
Work from home
- Design themes for platforms like WordPress and Blogger.
- Amazon Kindle, Google Play Store
- Apple’s App store (iBooks), eBay
- www.flipkart.com, www.infibeam.com
- www.lulu.com, www.pothi.com/pothi
Sell designer merchandise
Become video publisher on YouTube
- Make Video from Pictures
- Video Editing Software
Become a translator
Online transcription jobs
Lend your voice (Voice over artist)
Sell photos online
Sell website , domains or apps
Make & sell music
Online website tester
Sell creative arts
Teach kids online
Related Earn money online tips
- Tips to make money online with your website
- How to earn money online with paid traffic
- How to earn money by reselling different products
- How can you become an affiliate marketer?
- Top 2o ways to earn money online
Keep Climbing the Social Ladder of Success with Internet Marketing
Business and working opportunities available in the industry as well as at home are attracting a large number of people to the World Wide Web to commence a business of their own. Anyone who wants to start off with any kind of business or opportunities to start off with their own endeavors on the Internet has to be initially enough informed about the secrets that will aid you earn more money and eventually achieve success.
It is certainly not going to be straightforward to accomplish success or even earn immediately for anyone. You need to first make yourself aware of the following secrets to assist you achieve both of these objectives with a business of your own.
- First and foremost, you need to make yourself familiar with the business prospects you want to opt for. If you consider making money with any opportunity over the Internet, you have to initially make yourself familiar with it. This way, you will be able to learn everything about the certain opportunity, and companies providing you with such an opportunity will eventually help you build it successfully.
- Learn how the Internet marketing works. Being an entrepreneur over the Internet means you have been able to figure out how to attract more and more visitors to your website. One of the most effective and efficient means for accomplishing this big objective is by utilizing several proven internet marketing methods. The more marketing methods you make use of to attract more traffic to your website & convert prospects into leads, the more income you will be able to generate with any business opportunity you select over the Internet.
- You need to determine on how you can build relationships and trust over the Web. Brand building – Building trust and relationships are extremely imperative as an Internet business entrepreneur. The more people over the Internet get to know about you and they start to trust you, the more successful you will be able to make your business grow successfully.
- Be an honest digital entrepreneur. There are various business entrepreneurs over the Internet that believe they can earn huge sum of money by simply being dishonest. This way, they will only be able to make money for a short period of time, it will not last long for them. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are being honest from day one when you start off with your business so that people over the Internet can trust you to deliver what you commit. Being honest happens to be the only approach via which you will be able to achieve success and still manage to keep it for long.
It is exceedingly vital for you to learn about how to do these things appropriately so that you can become a good digital entrepreneur that people can come to instead of going to your competitors. Unable to do this right, you will give away all your market share to your competitors and even you are going t lose your potential customers as well.
The aforementioned are some of the vital secrets that will help anyone earn a considerable income as well as success with any business endeavors right from their home.
How to start as a digital entrepreneur? Prerequisites
- Focus on your strength. Do your own SWOT analysis.
- Be analytical. Keep a problem solver attitude, not a problem seeker.
- Understand your business well. Identify TG and do right segmentation.
- Do regular competitive research and create buyer persona. Chalk out a positioning strategy.
- Focus on understanding user intent and provide excellent user experience.
- Be ready to embrace all odds and be happy of your own.
- Self motivation is important, as well as flexibility. Good Change is constant.
- Consistency is the key. Also do market research & come up with innovation.
- Keep a helping attitude. Don’t run after money always.
- Focus to add excellent value whatever you do.
- 4E formula to follow – Be Energized, Energize others, Execute & Be empathetic.
- Ready to always upgrade your skill, up skill, multi skill. Unlearn & learn.
- Be calculative. Learn to take risks. Keep back ups.Keep a clear exit strategy
- Always keep a contingency plan. Keep eye on changing technical landscape.
- There is nothing perfect. Fast & Incremental execution matters a lot.Make a blueprint, projection plan for next 6 -12 months, validate it and start towards your goal. Talk to a mentor or learn a new skill before you start.
What are the skills needed for digital entrepreneurship?
Soft skills –
Problem solving, Team spirit & Leadership skills (People & relationship management), Analytical Skills, Clear Communication & Presentation skill (Listening, Writing & Speaking), Positive Energetic Mindset, Flexibility, Competitive aggression, Fast execution skill, Consistency, Perseverance, Empathy, Prioritization & Time management.
Technical/Business Skills –
Learn overview of how a business runs (Admin & HR, Accounts, Operation, Process, Project, Delivery, Sales & Marketing, Strategic Management, Customer Support etc), Learn Digital Marketing ( Learn SEO, Social Media Marketing, Online Ads, Emails, SMS, WhatsApp etc), Data Analytics/ Data Science (R or other), Web Development & Web Design, Digital Tools, AR, VR, Gamification, Mobile Apps Development, Cyber Security, AI Chatbot/AI , Robotics, IoT, Blockchain, Animation/VFX, Video editing, MIS (Excel/G Sheet) etc.
Name a few digital tools for digital entrepreneurship
- G Suite – For email, calendars, drive, hangout, team collaboration
- Trello – Easy drag & drop project or task management
- Larksuite.com or Mural – Team collaboration, video conference, projects, chats
- Basecamp – Project & team task management
- WhatsApp for business or Telegram – Day to day quick communication through groups
- Facebook chat message automation tool, Facebook business (Team)
- Hubspot CRM or drift.io or intercom or getgobot.com for lead funnel & chatbot
- Zoom, anymeeting, gotomeeting, webex, Google meeting for video conference.
- KickIdler.com or TimeDoctor for remote employee monitoring.
- CCAvenue, PayU, PayTM, GPay, PhonePe, RazorPay, Instamojo, PayPal for payments
- Moodle, Teachable, Udemy for LMS. WordPress.org, Themeforest, Go Daddy, Bigrock, Dreamhost for domains & website. Canva, Crello for designing. Mailchimp, Sendgrid, Constant contact for emailer
- Zoho, quickbooks, tally for accounting.
- AI based content automation tools like Articoolo, Gtranslate & more
- Competitive research tools like Spyfu, Ubersuggest, Alexa and more
Related reading: 8 best digital marketing tools for entrepreneurs
What is the initial investment?
Digital entrepreneurship requires minimal investment. Yes you can even start with 0.
Basically at start you need a domain name, a web hosting & a website (You can build it yourself with tools). Yearly investment approx Rs. 5000-Rs 6000/- . You can even start with free blogs or Facebook page or YouTube channel.
You need to start promoting your business by yourself initially on various social media & Google search. You should have at least a basic knowledge of digital marketing.
Further you may need to hire a small team (1 -2 people) or freelancers for content writing or digital promotion. Monthly you can invest Rs. 1000 – Rs. 3000/-
You may need to invest further on Google Ads or Facebook Ads.[Optional] (You can start from Rs. 2500 – 3000 monthly). Gradually with scaling you can invest further.
Product or Service? Which one to start as a digital entrepreneur?
Any Product (Physical or digital or Saas) needs very strong market research, it must solve an existing market / customer problem, you need to develop a prototype and then a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and then release it for alpha / beta phase. Product needs more investment than service. But chances of success of failure are higher than service. With products you can scale up hugely in short time if the product is successful but side by side if it’s bad there is higher chance of failure. Investors like products more than services (In a generic note).
On the other hand services have less risk, low investment and easier to start for people even without very strong technical or academic skill or big team. Scaling up with services is bit challenging as this is competitive and you must be unique in your approach. Also you should focus on productifying your services to scale up later.
How to get your first customer?
- Start focused digital promotion (Own website, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn etc)
- Offer help.Keep a freemium pricing model. Draw a fine line between free -premium
- Start building networking from day 1. Build your network on LinkedIn and Facebook by proper research – CEO, CXO, CTO, GM, AGM, AVP, VP, Sr. Manager or Sr. Executives or Social Influencers or business owners / digital entrepreneurs.
- Attend webinars and build your connection. Be very clear and specific about your offerings and communication.
- Join Tie, Nasscom, Various Chamber of Commerce, PR Societies, Indian Angel Network etc.
- Start validating your product or service first with close circle group and take feedback & criticism positively and do better.
- Keep patience and try hard & smart until you get your first customer. Once you get, give them your best and ask them to help you by giving referral.
How to sustain as a digital entrepreneur?
- Stay Efficient & Relevant. One way in which to grow your business is to maximize your operational efficiency.
- Capitalize On Your Brand. Building a reputable and trustworthy brand can go a long way toward helping your business grow.
- Keep Your Customers happy & cross sell/ upsell.
- Connect With The Community.
- Right decision making
- Leadership & building a right team
- Dream big and execute in a bigger way.
- Keep on doing what’s working and get out of what’s not working ASAP.
- Focus on recurring revenue stream. Keep expenses low. Work on running cash flow.
Legal or other aspects of digital entrepreneurship in India
- Pvt Ltd or LLP or OPC or Sole Proprietary? – Inc, DSC, DIN, Trade License etc
- IP – Trademark, Wordmark, Patent etc
- MSME registration
- Accounting & Tax – BL/PL, Cash flow, GST, VAT, P Tax, ESI / PF, ITR, TDS etc
- Customer acquisition cost, Customer LTV, monthly expenses etc
- Rented space or coworking space or virtual office or WFH or own office?
- Own employees or remote team or associate freelancers or offshore white label partnership?
How to scale up as a digital entrepreneur
My personal opinion is not to go desperately for funding at initial level. Keep things bootstrapped and focus more on customer acquisition, adding great value to your product or service, building trust & keeping cash flow. At Least for 3 years. Further you can participate / explore in various startup warehouse programs to get an idea about how you are doing.
- Ask Yourself Honestly If Your Business Is Really Scalable
- Identify Your “Core”
- Automate or Outsource Everything You Can
- Make Your Business Workable Without You
- Don’t Go Overboard in Hiring, Spending & diverting focus to multiple things
What if I fail as a digital entrepreneur?
Failure is obvious. Failure in inevitable. You can’t avoid failure but what you can avoid is the impact of the failure on yourself. You should focus on SOFT LANDING. You should learn from failure and stand up & next time apply a different strategy. Without fail, no one can actually progress or get success.
For soft landing, a clear projection plan for 6-12 months, milestone/ road map/blueprint for execution is required, you also need to prepare a contingency plan, backup or clear exit strategy. And you should be get out of founder’s ego to identify what’s working and what is not (Obviously after giving it a good time and 100% effort) and then get out of that not-working things immediately and focus on the working ones.
Digital Entrepreneurship Success Mantras
- Domain expertise
- Market acceptability
- Prototype, MVP, Testing / Experiment
- Accepting rejection and improve
- Get out of Founder’s ego
- Learn to say no.
- Find your right frequency and tune to it.
- Team building, lean structure
- Cash flow. Profit, break even.
- Cost reduction, revenue engineering , innovation
- 1 small step every day towards goal.
- Task delegation
- Don’t compare yourself with others
- Don’t be a boss. Keep Mutual respect
- Centralization and decentralization
- Positive mental state.
- Entrepreneurs block. Relax and enjoy life / moments
- Money matters but it’s not everything. happiness counts .
- Add value. Contribute each day
- Don’t over push. A good routine , make your daily task list .
- Personal & professional branding.
- Consistency , perseverance and patience .
- It’s a journey, not destination. Float
- Backup strategy, use tools
- Art of unlearn & learn.
- Help people but keep a clear stop line.
Download PDF eBook on Digital Entrepreneurship
How to make a plan that will help your business thrive
Enjoying a successful business does not come easy, even if you own your own business where you are your own boss. This is because there is really no shortcut to success. Some entrepreneurs fail where others have succeeded, as some companies succeed where others have failed. A lot of hard work coupled with long hours and sometimes frustrating experiences are all part of the success story of any enterprise.
If you are a digital entrepreneur looking for success, it should be clear that nobody gets to the top, unless they are willing to put in a lot of sweat and effort. For people, who want to succeed must invest time in planning their business before it is executed. Planning takes up time and may be tiresome without any payment in return. However, by planning out the road map of your enterprise, you will be building yourself a guide towards success in the long run.
Plans may not always be predictable
When you plan out your business, you take into account the future possibility of what you will need or how you would deal with it. Of course, you cannot expect 100 % success out of your plan, as things may change by the time you start your online venture.
Sometimes, plans never get to be taken off as they become obsolete. Many digital entrepreneurs who succeeded had to let go of their original plans and turn to totally new directions. However, they did have a plan made although they ended up doing something else and still succeeded.
Whereas, some digital entrepreneurs fail because they skip the whole process of planning, thinking that it will not even be relevant. They fail because they do not have any idea of what they want, where they are going and what opportunities to look for, simply because they do not have any framework to evaluate any situations.
Plans can be updated periodically
Your business plan needs to be updated regularly even if you end up doing things differently, as a good business evolves round a plan. You can create a mindset by having your employees or an advisory board gives you feedback periodically, which will challenge your thoughts.
By evaluating the current situations and how best to tackle them, or what action can be carried out, will give you fresh ideas and perspective. You will develop a long term mindset which will constantly be thinking, of how to avoid pitfalls and harvest new ideas.
As a digital entrepreneur, your precious commodity is your mindset, as you will constantly be figuring ways of what impact your actions will have in the future. You could also try getting feedback from customers as they are more candid about what they want, enabling you to evaluate how best you can serve them.
Create a vision and family atmosphere
Involve your employees and keep them happy by treating them like family members. This does not mean that they should step all over you but when they are happy, they will be more willing to serve the customers in a cheerful frame. This can greatly help you in staving off turnover and subsequent costs towards training new employees. Hold value system for your business and stand by those values, creating a vision for the employees by inculcating those values in them as well.
If you want your business to thrive in the long run, do not be afraid to keep updating your plans even if you always deviate from the original plan. However, always keep a focus on your vision and goal and do not be hesitant in changing paths if they do not work for you.
Check out the infographic below to get an idea about small businesses marketing trend. This might come handy while planning your business.
Digital Marketing Strategies for startups and new businesses
Here are some bullet points for digital marketing strategies for new businesses:
- Start by creating a comprehensive digital marketing plan, which includes goals and objectives, target audience analysis, and a competitor analysis.
- Build a professional and user-friendly website that is optimized for search engines (SEO) and is mobile-responsive.
- Develop a content marketing strategy that includes blog posts, infographics, and videos that provide value to the target audience and helps establish the brand as a thought leader in the industry.
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote the brand and drive traffic to the website.
- Utilize email marketing campaigns to reach and engage with potential customers or business partners.
- Invest in PPC (pay-per-click) advertising to drive traffic to the website and increase brand awareness.
- Use analytics tools to track and measure the success of the digital marketing initiatives and make adjustments as needed.
- Develop a referral program or offer promotions and discounts to incentivize customers to spread the word about the brand on social media platforms.
- Consider collaborating with influencers or other businesses to broaden the reach of the brand and tap into another network of potential customers.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest digital marketing trends and innovations to stay ahead of the competition and continually improve the digital marketing strategy.
Small business and Marketing Infographic
Digital Entrepreneurship: When is it Time to Strike Out?
The first question that budding digital entrepreneurs ask is, when is it the right time to strike out on your own?
When I floated my own company, 7boats, I was faced with this question as well. I had years of experience in the digital marketing sector. I was committed to do something on my own and not remain satisfied with the status quo. However, there were several bugs of doubt in my mind about the timing. I was also not quite sure then if the groundwork I was preparing would be enough to sustain the rocket that I was planning to launch!
Now that the ship (or rather the 7 boats!) has sailed, on hindsight I feel a little encouraged to answer this question for those who are toying with this idea today.
Firstly, there cannot be a single answer to this question. The usual tips aside, like there’s no right time to launch your dreams and all that empty motivational talk, the risk propensity of each individual is different. For example, I may be comfortable with a financial cushion to last me 6 months before I started earning from my startup. On the other hand, you may feel that 1 year is a better cushion. So, that is something that you have to figure out for yourself.
Secondly, you should have confidence in the product or service you are offering. I’m not going into the details of product testing and market surveys. If you are serious about launching a startup, you must have already done considerable reading on these fronts. The important thing is to be practical and sure about the acceptance of your product or service. It will drain out your seed capital if you launch it and then find loopholes in your offering. Take another year, if you must, to test things out.
Thirdly, do not be delusional about the whole initiative. Like I said earlier, vague concepts like ambition and dreams are okay, but you need to be a hard realist in judging the viability of your startup. Your startup won’t be successful simply because you are the hardest worker ever or the one with the most brilliant idea ever! Your startup will click only if you have a working plan and a clear strategy. The blueprint needs to have ground realities and specifics, in currency units against time, if possible.
Start stitching a founding team together if you tick these boxes. Contact us for our digital entrepreneurship programs and launch the startup you want.
The Most Challenging Phase of Entrepreneurship: The First Few Months
If I have learned something from my initial days as a startup owner and digital entrepreneur, it is this: the first few months are the most challenging days ever! Whether you make it or break it, these first few months will test your mettle like nothing else. Yet, these days will be the most enjoyable and you will look at them with wistfulness, irrespective of whether your business takes off or goes bust.
You need your youthful exuberance
If I was to share my experience of those days, the first tip I would give is that you need your youthful exuberance and a bit of naiveté to succeed. Veterans of the industry or the professional circle you exist in may tell you words of advice and wisdom. Let their experience be a guide, but never a template for you to follow. If that happens, you will seldom succeed in cutting through their shadow to break open new ground.
Work on a steady cash flow
By all means, work on a steady cash flow before you think of pushing through the months. It all depends on your seed capital. If you have deep pockets, you can afford to take things easy before the revenue starts to roll in. But if you work on a shoe-string budget, like I did, you have to prioritize and build up a business model that is self-sustaining. The projects may not be the ones you dreamt of, but you have to pay the bills. You can always start off larger ventures when the cash flow is steady.
Work on your product
Work on your product. Then work harder on the presentation. Customers are seduced into buying products. Thanks to the incessant noise all around, they rarely make an informed choice because there is so much of information!
They can block out all that clutter if your product is packaged and presented like an object of desire. Spend more time in packaging and presenting than you did in actually conceptualizing or creating it! The first few months are all about attracting attention. The favorable reviews and word of mouth publicity is for the later stages.
Don’t overspend on advertising
Close on the heels of this point, I would like to add: don’t overspend on advertising. You may feel that you are not doing enough to promote and market. You may feel that spending some extra bucks will achieve that and you may be tempted to go overboard in advertisement spending.
Resist this temptation. You are still unsure about the response of the market to your product. You don’t even know if it will work at all! Ad spending will cut into your budget way before your cash flow is steady and self-sustaining.
I’m not going into the branding part because you know all there is to know about it! Making the brand unique and determining the USP, etc are all part of any post on entrepreneurship. What I would rather ask you to focus on is to play your cards well, how strong or weak they may be. You can also ask our entrepreneurship team at 7boats to figure out your way in those first few months.
Lessons learnt from bootstrapping
In this video interview, Debajyoti Banerjee, Founder & CEO 7boats is talking about his lessons learnt from bootstrapping.
Startup tools for success
In this video interview Debajyoti Banerjee is speaking abut a few tools for startup success.
Mistakes to Avoid in Handling Seed Money
As a budding digital entrepreneur, you know how hard it is to raise money for a business venture. Investors are particular about every little detail and getting things to roll for your startup is such a nightmare initially! However, it is all worth the hard work once the seed money is parked in your account. It is like the green signal on the board after waiting for an infuriating amount of time at the crossing just when you are running hard-pressed for time.
What do you do then? Do you rush ahead without any semblance of following traffic rules? No! Despite your wait and the surge of relief, you need to be cautious and tread carefully. Otherwise, you will end up causing more damage than you can think of. The analogy is so true for startups and entrepreneurs. Things can go horribly wrong with the seed money that you have already acquired. The entrepreneurship wing of 7boats comes up with some common mistakes of handling the seed money, and how to tackle them.
Tip #1: Do not change priorities
This is definitely up there as the most common mistake. Once you have the seed money, usually a large amount, you are tempted to go big. You want to scream out your business from the rooftops. The danger is, you might bite out too much too soon! The money is not just about PR and advertising. You need to use it to develop your business and product. The general temptation is to spend heavily on media coverage and promotional material because that is where the glamour is. Make sure you don’t change your budget or priorities once the seed money rolls in.
Tip #2: Update investors
The investors who have dished out the seed money require updates. You cannot go AWOL as soon as the money is cleared out into your account! These investors have to answer higher up the chain. They need to know what you are doing with the money. Moreover, you need to be on the same page as the investors. It is your obligation to stick to the business pitch that you made them when asking for the seed money. If you go wayward, they will feel insecure, even betrayed. That will not bode well for your business’ finances in the future.
Tip #3: Climb too fast
Business ideas can fly off the handle in tangents. The business on the ground cannot. Unless you bolster your credentials and tangibles on the ground, you should never scale up operations simply because you have the financial backup to do so. You learn your business even more while you work on it. Scaling up will carry heavy risks of bleeding money through leaks you have never ever thought of. Keep things under control till you gather enough experience to scale up operations.
Hope these tips will help you handle your seed money better! You can speak to our team for more insights on launching startups and cutting your teeth as an entrepreneur.
What Startup Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Commonfloor Co-founder Vikas Malpani – Interview Insights
“Plans are dispensable, planning is not”…
you nod in acceptance!
“If you are an entrepreneur, your wife calls and you suddenly do not recognize her but when a client calls midnight you know his entire history”…
you straightway start relating yourself with such situation. Laced with right dose of practical jokes, such engrossing has been the Ignite Talk session with Vikas Malpani of Commonfloor (@vikasmalpani) fame that everyone who has attended the show must have gone back with a big packet of start-up knowledge.
The team Seven Boats has for the first time attended a NASSCOM 10000 Start-ups seminar and it has been a great learning experience. Seven Boats, being another start-up company has sailed through several rough weathers to see twinkles of success. But we still have miles to go.
Having our own start-up philosophy in place and working tirelessly towards our goal, we have instantly connected with Vikas when he says,
“You may be successful or you may not, but when you start as an entrepreneur your ‘WHY’ should be very strong. There is no other reason that you are here for.”
It’s so nice to meet someone who has lived our aspirations and it’s such inspiring that we have instantly thought of sharing the knowledge we have gathered for helping the ecosystem grow. Here we have the lessons –
“Identify the common people’s pain and plan to solve the pain”
Lesson: It’s the basic principle that every entrepreneur should keep in mind. Identify the demand (Pain/Need) and fulfill the demand with Supply (Product/Service/Solution). Prepare a feasible business plan to address the issue and monetize.
“But when we thought of Commonfloor, that was an unique concept. How could you prepare a business plan for something which didn’t exist?” He introspectively gives answer to this,
“You can succeed only when you want to succeed, enjoy your work and keep moving…”
Lesson: Plan or no plan, you can succeed only when you are strongly grounded and keep moving tirelessly towards your goal until you are successful. Ignore everything else and keep moving. Do not get moved by your success and keep yourself well grounded.
“There are several routes you can take to reach your goal, but what is important is the right attitude and your unfailing determination to reach the goal”
Lesson: Work hard and take work as fun. You may fail (and a good percentage do!), still rise up and keep moving. If you strongly embrace your “WHY”, you will surely succeed. Enjoy work as it comes. It’s a journey made together with right team.
One gentleman stands up and asks to know about the mantra of team building.
“It’s good to have the right set of people who are in-sync with your vision. When it comes for choosing people it’s totally up on your personal choice and style” says Vikas.
Lesson: There is no formula for team building. If you find the person who can sync well with your vision and is equally passionate and determined to see the goal, he’s undoubtedly the right choice.
“Being an entrepreneur, you should not increase the size of your team and try to do as much work as possible individually.”
Lesson: Keep your payouts within a limit and be frugal (even if you become successful!). Do not spend on something that’s not going to add to your start-up’s value, be it on an extra coffee for yourself in client meeting or a weekend team lunch.
Try to share the expense reasonably. Hire a professional for his attitude and develop his skill in multitasking.
We completely agree with Vikas here as we too believe in having a small sized team, yet delivering quality work. (Check social samosa feature about our piece of story here: http://www.socialsamosa.com/2014/12/social-media-agency-feature-seven-boats/)
“These days candidates, pass outs from IITs & IIMs, come with wings. They have big dreams and jet wings. They can hardly identify with your vision and add no value at the end.”
Lesson: Acquire resource who has the ability and looks determined to sail with you on a long voyage. Train and retain him. Otherwise it’s good to go with a small team. One rotten egg can spoil the entire basket.
“Taking VC funding is like selling your kidney. When you take funding, for a start-up it’s synonymous with selling organs. You sell all organs and suddenly you are on ventilation. One day the plug is pulled out and you are gone!”
Lesson: Funding is important but more importantly you should focus on building your business in such a way that investors have enough reasons to fund you. Remember, investors will only fund you when they see a profitable financial proposition going with your business.
You should not allow yourself to be dictated by terms even if there is a beeline of prospective venture capitalists and funding houses wanting your million dollar attention. You should carefully verify their motive and take the funding from those with whom your vision is aligned.
Funding is necessary at certain stage to move your plans faster but before that you should work enough hard to make your brand a strong funding proposition. If you work ethically in the right direction and if you have the right team, you will organically traverse from point A to point B in certain period of time..for sure. Money can only make the travel shorter.
“And at every stage you will have plans. But plans are dispensable, planning is not!” … you straightway know what he is talking about!
Lesson: For a start-up the initial 5 years are very crucial. If you can shoulder the burdens and sustain this initial phase, you are almost ready to take yourself to the next level. Not every plan in this journey gets realized, but you essentially get to learn how to do planning. Planning is to reach your goal and plans are the steps you take towards that goal.
We completely agree with this philosophy when he says “There are two types of currency in business, one is time and the other is money. When you do not have much money invest more time in your business because when you have the money you will have less time to invest. You should balance it well.”
Lesson: Time is money. Invest it well when you are in lean phase and building your business.
When he suddenly says “Entrepreneurship is a French word to your ears, but at the end of the day it still is ‘Dhandaa’ in Hindi…” This is an absolute cracker!
Lesson: Whatever you do, at the end of the day you stake interest in your cash register also. Has it swelled up or not! This is just the basic reason all entrepreneurs work for (There are many more valid reasons but generically speaking). You should always keep your motivation level up.
“Competition is good as it attracts more customers and brings in more business in your industry”
Lesson: Do whatever to stay in competition as it helps in maintaining the balance in ecosystem. Utilize all marketing tools and make yourself counted among the tops. The business will roll in naturally. (You can check how we can help grow your business with our cutting edge digital marketing services: http://www.7boats.com/services/)
“When you explain your business to someone, he will treat you as a salesman. You explain him ‘elephant’ and he will understand that as ‘dog’. It’s a difficult task particularly when they bombard you with questions like..is it free? why is it free…so on and so forth. You say yes and start explaining but surprisingly he will doubt about the financial sustainability of your business.”
Humorously he says, “You do not pay Google or Facebook for using their services, then why do you doubt about my service?”
Commonfloor is a common platform for various communities where members can come in to help each other on various issues surrounding their homes, mainly on real estate, property buying and selling.
Their path breaking innovation in virtual reality Commonfloor Retina offers real 3D walkthrough of properties to seekers allowing them to view and choose properties from any location at any point of time. It’s just a wow of a technology that can be read from the smiling faces of those who have taken a first hand demo in the seminar.
Now there’s no prize for guessing how this technology is going to save time and money to see the model apartment! (You can find more information about Commonfloor Retina here: http://www.commonfloor.com/retina)
Thank you NASSCOM for taking this initiative to bring young entrepreneurial minds to share their success stories. We dedicate this first write up of “Seven Boats Start-up Ecosphere” to Vikas Malpani and wish Commonfloor.com all the success.
Social Media: Best Resource for Successful Business Start-up
You can find millions of small businesses in the United States, and if you’re still in the start-up phase, it can be tough to compete with existing businesses. Getting the word out about your new business is a great challenge and it takes innovative work. If you want your products or services to reach a wider market, you need to use the best resource and that is social media.
Through social media, you can reach your target market and you also have a chance to stand out from existing competition. Many of today’s businesses are now using social media to their advantage and in order to compete with the best, there is a need to catch the attention of people. Through social media, you can present your products or services to a large number of people which includes prominent investors.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard about the power of social media for business start-ups. There is a need to find appropriate social websites for purposes of promotions. With the right knowledge and skills, you can maximize the potential of social media and guarantee success to your business.
What to Do?
When you use social media, you are sharing information about the business by creating some sort of ‘engagement’. To do this, you can use articles or come up with products/services that engage your target client base and customers. Your first aim would be to provide relevant and quality content.
Social media websites have millions of users from all over the world, and you can use it to drive more traffic to your business site, including that of a coupon code business. The unique format of social media allows business owners to share content directly to your target audience. This makes it easier to build trust among your client base. If you are also thinking about SEO or search engine optimization, social media is one of the best resources you can find.
Best Social Sites
Some of the best social sites include the following:
- Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn – You can use this for sharing products, services, and articles.
- Twitter – You can use the site for sharing news regardless of subject. You can also share information about product launches, stocks for sale, etc.
- YouTube – This is where you can showcase your videos relating to your business.
These are some of the sites that you can use during start-up. Use them properly and you can succeed in your chosen venture.
Connect with me
Founder & CEO, Seven Boats Info-System Pvt. Ltd.
Founder & CEO at Seven Boats. 15+ years of domain expertise. Felicitated & invited by 12+ top B Schools & Management Institutes of India including IIM, IIT. Associated as digital marketing visiting faculty in 3+ premier B schools in Kolkata. 20+ awards, invitations & featured in premier magazines. Instructor at Udemy.
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