Essential Steps before formulating a Business Plan – Kick-start your Startup

With jobs getting scarce, economy stooping down and the entrepreneurial ecosystem developed,  there is widespread interest amongst the youngsters to start something on their own. The reality, however,  is that 8 out of 10 startups that commence, do not go too far and die within the first three to four years.

While this must be due to the fact that young entrepreneurs do not have the experience of having run a business and hence the intelligence to run a business successfully remains as a bottleneck. It is a fact that failure teaches us a lot of lessons. However, it is wise to seek advice, develop a plan and be prepared for any adverse situations.

The basis of all successful ventures is good planning and of course skilful execution. Most often a formulated and well thought out plan can save you a lot of frustration and disaster in the future.

A business plan, as all the other manuals will essentially answer the following questions:

  • What is the product or service your business is promoting?
  • What needs does it fulfil?
  • Is it unique?
  • How is it different from a competitor if one exists (The Product/Service Differentiation)?
  • Who will buy your products/service and at what price?
  • How many customers will you gather over a period of time and at what price and what volume (Customer Acquisition Cost and Strategy)?
  • What will be your strike rate?
  • How much revenue will be generated now and from when (Financial Modeling and Future Forecasting)?

In short, this is a process for forming a revenue model. As you can see this is a tall order but it is imperative that you need to work on this.

Let us start with the basic product /service and the need that the product or service satisfies:

  • It is always pertinent to look at some success stories and get inspiration (but remember for every success story there is a lot of failure stories as well).

Almost more than a decade ago, two young engineers found it difficult to get a seat in a bus going to Andhra Pradesh during festival time. They went from agency to agency and lost a lot of time!  It was frustrating as well.

Being techies they felt that if one could connect all buses going to a destination into a database which updates seat availability across various buses, this would be helpful to all concerned. The business Redbus was born. Initially, they trudged the difficult path of convincing each travel agency to get the software in their computer with a net connection, so that transactions could be updated real-time.  Each stakeholder with a vested interest in the company knew instantly about all the data such as – ‘how many seats are filled’, ‘how many vacant and in which bus’ and with online ticketing instant comfort, the business took a flight.

As the business potential was large, rapid scaling up took place. Competitors tried barging in, but since the volume was large there was room for many.

So perhaps, the first phase of the plan is to have a product or service that satisfies a widespread need (addressing a problem) at a reasonable cost – this will make the business scale up at a faster pace., as they say the task of marketing as an extension – “A business, is to uncover a need”.

Look around, get inspirations from success stories, conceive an idea, product or service and step out without a fear!

Stories from such sites as www.yourstory.com should inspire you.

Use Wiz For Biz Creative as your starting springboard business consultants – they will only happily answer your questions and help you build your brand!

Watch out for the next blog: The gestation period

About the Author:  Prof Rajan Lakshmanan, Alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB). A former manager at Asian Paints Ltd., General Manager, Pancharathna Industries, Advisor to Maini Group, Advisor to GMCI (The Greater Mysore Chamber of Commerce).

He has designed and conducted more than 100 training programmes and MDPs corporate. He has conducted many case analysis and has written many cases. The case ‘The Dabhol Debacle’ on ‘Enron’s Misadventure’ in Maharashtra was widely acclaimed.

Social Media Marketing & Digital Marketing Trends to watch out for in 2019

Social media is always adapting and evolving, it’s necessary to understand what’s new to decide if your social media plan is going to be successful in the years to come. It’s always important to stop in a particular point in time and look at what strategy you have been using to promote your products on the social media till now and decide if tweaking is required to make the process more efficient for a successful return on investment.

Last year was an exciting and happening year as far as social media was concerned. Both good and bad stories have come into the limelight about the social media platforms we use every day and this year is going to be a year to watch out for since last year’s news cycle is bound to create an impact in the social media platform’s framework and technology as a whole. Also, it’s important to investigate the marketing trends for this year so that one could drastically improvise on the social media reach.

Before we go any further, we will list down some of the famous and successful social media platforms in today’s era along with its website links (Just click on particular brand name for redirection).

1) Interactions

The famous social media platform, Facebook has already changed their focus last year, and have decided to promote articles that generate genuine attention and real interactions as a part of their new and improved algorithm.

This new algorithm is favoring posts that are very interesting and engaging to the audience, which has made it necessary for admins to create more rich and unique content.

It’s not easy to run circles around the new and changed algorithms that social media platforms like Facebook have been throwing out at the users, the old tricks that involve luring people into commenting and liking by literally begging the audience isn’t going to work so well anymore. The only way to gain organic viewership to your Facebook page is through steady, interesting, fresh content.

 2) Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has started getting more traction since they are not so boring as they used to be, programmers are finding more and more ways to actually make them “intelligent.”

They are now being used by the brands on social media as their receptionists – these chatbots can be programmed to answer some basic and repetitive questions that the brands usually get from the users; Now, the users can not only get the information they require spontaneously but in return the AI ChatBots are helping the brands to not invest time and manpower on answering repetitive questions. Smooooothhh Isn’t it?

3) The end of the fake following era?

Instagram and Facebook are not just famous for being addictive and interesting, they are also famous for all the fake profiles that create havoc for legitimate users.

The fake profile saga does not end with personal profiles but extend to pages, some pages recruit some third-party sites to get them a certain number of likes.

Instagram has recently decided to do away with this phenomenon using machine learning technologies, that can accurately weed out fake likes and comments.

 

4) Instagram Stories

We all know Snapchat started the “stories” like a phenomenon, it was fresh at the time, and people ran towards it in large numbers, but then Instagram which already had a large audience because of its unique platform incorporated a similar model like Snapchat and it has taken off like crazy. Facebook is also trying to get its users to become more and more used to it.

Advertisers have understood the potential of stories and have already started using them to promote their products, since stories are easy to access, and they stay on their page for 24 hours, they were quick to embrace it. It has been found in a recent survey that at least 68 percent of users on Instagram and 49 percent of people on Facebook use stories on a regular basis to promote their content.

5) Social Media Influencers

The models and creators within the social media universe have gained a lot of attention in the past few years, this social media celebrity status has enabled people like Kyle Jenner to create a billion-dollar industry. So, brands must utilize the micromarketing techniques used by these social media stars to enhance their sales and recognition.

While using social media influencers like these it is important to find the right influencers for the right product, for example, no one is going to take it seriously if you ask a comedian to sell your cosmetic product or an Instagram model to promote your educational app, so pick the right person for the job.

6) Tunnel Vision

The problems with choosing the right social media partner for your product is to understand how effective they will be at selling your product, it depends on the content they make, the kind of audience who follow them.

The older strategy of brands was to increase the product’s reach by making multiple people promote their products irrespective of the content creator’s background or specialization, this will not translate into a good ROI, so it is important to find the right partner to be associated with and stay with them for a long period of time, so their audience become your audience too.

7) Advertising Saturation

The number of ads placed on social media platforms are steadily on the rise, this thread has both positive and negative shades to it; positive is that the ads definitely seem to be working if not why would brands investment money into the platforms, but the negative is the issue of saturation, as more and more companies come in, there are high chances that your competitors are also there. So, it’s important to find the right platform where you will have the most ROI and concentrate on it. Although, to reach a large audience it’s imminent to utilize all platforms effectively, just prioritize the platform that offers you the best ROI.

8) Content will always be the King

In the end, the type and the quality of content that you associate with determine the reach of your advertisement strategy. It can be either videos, photos or podcast – always make sure that the content is top notch, interesting and fresh.

Facebook has been trying to promote its videos more than other posts so as to keep the audience intact with the platform at all times, so does the Instagram. A podcast is although relatively new has developed a hardcore following in the developed countries. There are so many genres in it that you can easily pick a good podcast genre to sell your product effectively.

Please do visit our website https://www.wizforbizcreative.com for a glimpse of the Professional Digital Services that we offer.

Web Design & Development | Digital Marketing | Graphics & Illustration | Branding | Business Consultation – ‘We design solutions for your Business to be the best”

An Overview of the Digital Marketing Trends in 2019

 

How many of us actually know that digital marketing has been around for at least two decades now? No, this is not a joke! – it’s neither stupid, rhetoric saying or a bluff, it’s a fact that ever since Marconi first found a way to transmit radio frequencies across devices, it didn’t take much longer for businesses to understand the potential that electronic devices possess for marketing their products or services. Digital marketing didn’t start with the internet and isn’t going to end with it. Digital Marketing is any marketing that’s targeted and presented via an electronic medium, but it’s definitely true that internet marketing is going to stay the flag bearer for digital marketing in the present scenario.

We all have come across Bill Board Advertising, TV Advertising, Radio advertising so on and so forth, while some of these, for example – TV ads are still prevalent but on the decline stage, billboards are pretty much becoming non-existent – people nowadays hardly take their eyes off the phones especially while traveling via roadways making billboards a public nuisance without any real purpose. So, it’s necessary for a business to keep adapting and refining their marketing strategies according to the trends and patterns if one wishes to stay updated and successful.

So now let’s learn more about what are the changes one has to make in 2019 to stay ahead in Marketing.

1) Don’t stick to a Singular Marketing Strategy

It used to be sufficient to stick to a blog or a YouTube channel to market one’s product or service, but since the competition has risen enormously on the internet, it’s necessary for a company to have their fingers in multiple bowls i.e. implement omnichannel approach to their products/services to be visible enough to reach a wide audience and stand out from the rest.

2) Lead Conversion and Proper Online Lead Qualification

Digital marketing in the past only concentrated on bringing the potential customers/audiences to their web pages, but that’s not enough anymore, now it’s high time businesses concentrate on converting the views to potential buyers or users, that can be done through various technological advancements such as Machine Learning or AI led automated functions or Email Follow-ups that can assist you in engaging a little more further with your consumer with email follow-ups, AI-driven chats and solid big data collection. It’s necessary for all business to leverage optimum sales funnel the right way to track one’s potential customer from their initial interaction to conversion.

3) Voice Search

Voice searches have been around for quite some time, but in the past they have been unreliable to even being grossly unresponsive, but the Giant Google, the monopolistic technology innovator has put in so much of time and effort to make Voice Searches better and accurate that it is becoming very popular – more and more people are preferring voice search technology to search on search engines which is going to be completely different from the traditional way of type in text searches. The businesses must first try to understand how this works and would affect them if they aren’t updated and try and adapt to this by applying long-tailed search algorithms/keywords in their online media platforms to be successfully found.

4) Customers Interaction and Customer Care

Customers prefer to interact with their service provides every time – Be it a purchase decision or after sales, they want to know if the furniture that they see on the photo can be customized according to their liking, or they want to discuss with you about the one tiny problem that they faced with your software. If the customer doesn’t find a way to interact with their service provider promptly and efficiently, they will surely move on to one of the thousand other business that does.

So, link a customer care number or an email Id – stay active on your comment section, form a community page/ forum for your customers to interact with each other so they can help each other solve their own problems (FAQs), be active and accessible on social media, which will help you gain so much reliability and trust – Remember this phrase always “Out of Sight is Out of Mind”.

5) Content is still the King 

Don’t ever forget content is still the king, don’t stick to boring old blogs that are filled with keywords and very little information, because people can now sniff such blogs from miles away and would avoid them completely. Create unique content that is also fascinating enough to hold onto the visitor’s attention for at least a little while, don’t fill your blog with jargons on the sole purpose of fulfilling your word count requirements. Make interesting videos, make use of memes and gifs, use interesting punch lines on twitter. Your marketing strategy should have a personality of its own.

6) Videos and Podcast

People are losing patience with blogs, they prefer your content to have a human touch to it, that is where video marketing comes into the frame – videos on Facebook and Instagram are doing much better than just plain old vlog links, because it shows that you have put in some major effort and it has much more potential to hold the audience’s attention. Also, the video offers you much more scope to be wild and creative than the plain old texts. Also, it’s high time businesses start utilizing podcasts, podcasts are everywhere now, you can listen to a podcast on-the-go while exercising or while doing some other passive work in the office. Even late-night show hosts and celebrities in the USA and other countries are implementing podcasts, you should do it too if you want to stay relevant and ahead of your competition, they offer so many avenues for businesses to market their products/services in a much more effective fashion.

Please do visit our website https://www.wizforbizcreative.com for a glimpse of the Professional Digital Services that we offer.

Web Design & Development | Digital Marketing | Graphics & Illustration | Branding | Business Consultation – ‘We design solutions for your Business to be the best”

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