SELLING FOR START-UPS

The most important aspect for any start-up is the innovation as well as the sales of the new product. The whole start-up is dependent on the sales of the product. In one of our sessions, the importance of the selling for start-ups was taught and headed by one of the guest speaker Adam Raman. The key aspects which were pointed out were the identification of the customer needs and wants, development of a sales strategy, and planning about the upcoming trade fairs.

An in-depth knowledge about the sales were given which included the entire sales journey starting from the customer’s needs & wants and ending with the after sales services. The buyer’s persona includes the customer demographics, their needs, their wants and their behaviour patterns. The needs and wants of the customer play a vital role in the entire selling process and that can easily be identified through active listening and questioning. Emphasis on the value statements is the next step which may include the customer problem solving and then the next step is to close and see the reactions and patterns of the customer. Handling of the objections of the customers was the next main step and the crucial step where the critical objections are known and has to be solved to convince the customer to purchase the product and finally it needs to be closed again.

The thing which I liked the most was about the open probes and the closed probes which can be used to know more about the customer needs and wants. We had been given an activity in the class about the iPhone XS and we were required to play the roles of the customer and the salesperson with the objective to switch from other phones to this one. We had to work in pairs for this and were a successful one for me and my teammate as we focussed more on the features of the product and turned them into benefits so that it was easy for the customer to understand about iPhone XS and its features in a different format. Then the closed probing style was also implemented where only the customer is limited to just “yes/no” question to know more about their needs and wants.

The value statement was the benefits which are offered to the customers. The value statement of our start-up HSL was to provide better safety and a smarter lock for bicycles with a GPS system installed and a two-way alarm system installed within the bicycle lock. The final stage of the selling process was to deal with any objections by the customers and clear all their doubts about the product and also focus on the emotional and rational drivers of the customers purchase.

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DRAGON’S DEN

Hello all! This blog tells about my dragon dens experience which was held recently in our university. It was a very good experience for us (our group) as we were ready for the presentation. Dragon’s den was basically a presentation of our start-up ideas which we were dwelling with since the beginning of the module. The whole idea behind this was to improve our presentation skills and approval of the start-up which we had chosen.

Our product for the start-up is a bicycle lock designed for high end bicycles to reduce the number of thefts of bicycles being lost. Starting with the need of the product, the customer segmentation, the pricing of the product, the features of the product, the competitors and alternatives present in the existing market to the market entry of the product which we chose was to be presented in the dragon’s den.

Essential research has been observed to be critical to discover significant data specifically from the potential buyer of our item. Addressing the correct client portion and the fitting individuals inside the business has been very useful.

Teamwork was a major advantage for us. All our team members are really co-operative and helpful. Teamwork plays a vital role in any group presentation. My team members equally divided the work with equal responsibilities and never delayed in work.

To conclude, our overall presentation was good and the judges liked the idea too. Our course lecturer Janja Song and Alice Comi were a great help to us. They helped in each and every aspect of this module.

IMPORTANCE OF INNOVATION IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Innovation is something which helps any business to improve its functioning and performance. Innovation is a new idea, thought or imagination in the form of a method or a device which is used to improve something. According to me, it is very important for any business to be innovative in today’s competitive world. I’ve learnt many things from the module about innovation a business or start-up needs to be successful.

Innovation is vital in business enterprise. In the exceedingly focused world that we live in, creative thoughts are what will isolate you from the rest. Your objective isn’t to assemble only a normal startup, correct? So as to make an exceptional item, solid brand and to assemble your client arrange, you have to improve. Advancement doesn’t constantly mean to make something new: trend-setters regularly take something that as of now exists, enhance it, change it, improve it and make it the best for their clients. Inventive ides are what will make a startup aggressive.

Being innovative doesn’t occur without any forethought: it requires time and exertion to make something really imaginative that will make contrast. Advancement and innovativeness walk inseparably when we talk about business enterprise. Here you can discover five incredible approaches to see advancement so as to comprehend its significance in business, training, thoughts execution, information and the sky is the limit from there.

Innovation and education

Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined. – Peter Drucker

Money and innovation

Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it. – Steve Jobs

Ideas and innovation

Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress. – Ted Levitt

Learning and innovation

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. – William Pollard

IMPORTANCE OF FINANCE FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR

Finance is the money available to the entrepreneur to spend on his business needs.

Right from the moment an entrepreneur thinks of a business idea, there needs to be cash. As the business grows there are inevitably greater calls for more money to finance expansion. The day to day running of the business also needs money.

The main reasons an entrepreneur needs finance is to:

Start a business

Depending on the type of business, the entrepreneur will need to finance the purchase of assets, materials and employing people. There will also need to be money to cover the running costs. It may be some time before the business generates enough cash from sales to pay for these costs.

Finance expansions to production capacity

As a business grows, it needs higher capacity and new technology to cut unit costs and keep up with competitors. New technology can be relatively expensive to the business and is seen as a long term investment, because the costs will outweigh the money generated for a considerable period of time. New technology is not just dealing with computer systems, but also new machinery and tools to perform processes quicker, more efficiently and with greater quality.

To develop and market new products

In fast moving markets, where competitors are constantly updating their products, an entrepreneur needs to spend money on developing and marketing new products e.g. to do marketing research and test new products. These costs are not normally covered by sales of the products for some time, so money needs to be raised to pay for the research.

To enter new markets

When an entrepreneur seeks to expand, he may look to sell their products into new markets. These can be new geographical areas to sell to or new types of customers. This costs money in terms of research and marketing e.g. advertising campaigns and setting up retail outlets.

Take-over or acquisition

When a business buys another business, it will need to find money to pay for the acquisition. This money will be used to pay owners of the business which is being bought.

Moving to new premises

Finance is needed to pay for simple expenses such as the cost of renting of removal vans, through to relocation packages for employees and the installation of machinery.

To pay for the day to day running of business

A business has many calls on its cash on a day to day basis, from paying a supplier for raw materials, paying the wages through to buying a new printer cartridge.

EVALUATING THE BUSINESS MODEL OF A START-UP

We had a guest lecturer who had come to see us in one of our classes. This was organised by Evy Sakellariou. The guest lecturer was Mr Bud Martin who had his start-up called “Fun Photos” which was basically based on photo booths and events. He along with his two friends had started up a new business on photo booths and introduced them in events in the UK. The unique selling proposition was that the photo booth could cover around 100 people at once in one single photograph and the set up was very handy and could be set-up in just 10 minutes at any event. Our main intention from this lecture was to evaluate the business model from his speech. Bud was a young entrepreneur who made us laugh and made sure that we understand his business model thoroughly.

He took the presentation in a very smart and calmed down way. The outcome of his speech was great as I got to know many aspects of business from his speech and I would implement these aspects in my real world of business and try to be as successful as him. I have learned many things from his speech which include: closeness to competitors, trusting your friends and families the most, having a good networking with people outside as well as inside the business, having a positive attitude every time, try to solve any difficulty with peace and harmony and how to be successful in business.

He told us about the hard times of his business when they were not able to get customer attraction at first and their company went into losses in the first six months and how they have overcome this barrier and changed their business strategy and how they could try to get more customer attraction by social media and kept themselves updated by the technology.

He then made us realise the importance of friends and family in any business which I liked the most from his speech. He said no matter what, there are your friends and family members who are always behind our back supporting us at any point of time in the good times or the hardships of the business. He told us how he created revenue from this start-up and initially did not earn much but gradually how he multiplied his earnings at later stages.

To conclude, it was an amazing experience to listen to someone’s real-life business experience and could gain many positive aspects from his speech that could be inculcated in the real business world entity and become a successful entrepreneur.

DESIGN THINKING

Design Thinking is a technique planner’s use in ideation and improvement of ideas. The technique depicts a human-focused, iterative structure process comprising of 5 stages—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. Design thinking is helpful in handling issues that are badly characterized or obscure.

Stages of design thinking:

  • Empathize: The primary phase of the Design Thinking process requests picking up an empathic comprehension of the issue you’re attempting to settle. This stage includes entering the domain of the problem, and understanding what needs to be solved out and their effects.
  • Characterize: Amid the Define phase of Design Thinking, you set up together the data you have made and assembled amid the Empathize organize. You dissect your perceptions and integrate them so as to characterize the centre issues.
  • Ideate: The procedure’s third stage discovers you prepared to begin producing thoughts. With the learning you have accumulated in the initial two stages, you can begin to “realize totally new possibilities” to distinguish new answers for the issue articulation you’ve made, and you can begin to search for elective methods for survey the issue.
  • Prototype: In the Prototype period of Design Thinking, your structure group create various variants of the product or explicit highlights found inside the product so you can examine the issue arrangements produced in the past stage.
  • Test: In the Test period of Design Thinking, you thoroughly test the finished item utilizing the best arrangements recognized amid the prototyping stage. This is the last stage; in any case, in an iterative procedure, the outcomes produced amid the testing stage are what you will regularly use to reclassify at least one issue.

In our design thinking module, we are similarly performing all the above mentioned stages to develop a new product which is not made and not available in the market. The main aim is to create a product and run a multi-disciplinary business out of the product. We have chosen the problem as the easily breakable bike locks which are not secure for the bikers. In the empathise stage and the define stage we have characterized the problems of bikes being stolen and need for better safety for the high-end bicycles. In the ideate stage, we have developed a stronger and a smarter lock which has a two way alarm system installed in this and also has a GPS system to track the bike which is being stolen. We are still in the prototyping stage, figuring out how to create the lock and the materials to be used for making the lock. This is a very unique system, where I am able to learn practical knowledge along with theoretical knowledge. The whole idea is to know the real business world scenarios and create a business entity ourselves and helps in better coordination and teamwork. 

BRAIN STORMING

Brain storming is a technique for adequately utilizing the brain to storm the issue. The objective is to create whatever number thoughts as could be allowed in the briefest conceivable time to take care of a predefined issue. It isn’t such a great amount about broadly expounding on the thoughts or picking one of them.

Process of Brainstorming:

Brain storming happens in a meeting to generate new ideas, a social occasion where the members invigorate and spur each other to produce a lot of thoughts. The session begins with a decent, solid, basic inquiry or issue. Just along these lines, would everyone be able to concentrate on the thoughts that answer the inquiry or the issue. Ideally, the meeting to generate new ideas is encouraged by a gathering chief or administrator. Taking notes is relatively inconceivable, so the utilization of a voice recorder is prescribed. A meeting to generate new ideas incorporates different stages:

1. Arrangement

The gathering is told ahead of time what the inquiry or issue definition is, the point at which the meeting to generate new ideas happens and to what extent it will take. One and a half hours is frequently observed as the most extreme given the concentrated idea of this kind of meeting. The director/talk pioneer readies the required materials for the procedure, including flip graph, pens, paper, sticky notes, and so on.

2. Produce thoughts

All thoughts are composed on whiteboard, flip diagram, paper or sticky notes and assembled by the administrator/discussion pioneer. He likewise guarantees that everybody gets the chance to talk and that no analysis is communicated about one another’s thoughts. The administrator guarantees that the air is profitable, inventive and loose. Following this purported disparity stage, the intermingling stage pursues, and in which all the diverse thoughts are bunched to related subjects.

3. Assessment

By and large, the precise assessment of all proposed thoughts takes plays after the meeting to generate new ideas is finished. You can do this part with similar members or with a littler gathering of agent proficient specialists. For every subject, you assess the convenience of the thoughts, the upsides and downsides and contrast them with one another. Prioritization likewise regularly happens and thoughts that can contribute immediately (low-hanging organic product), are given the most astounding need. By sifting the best and most helpful thoughts, you step by step go from amount to quality.

We had a brainstorming activity which was done in class. In the activity we were divided into teams of 4 members each where we had to body storm about the car maintenance and his regards. We were given with an audio in which there was a lady whose car was broken down in the middle of a highway and John, a car maintenance mechanic who had recently started up his business and was not well known. We were given four topics which include:

  • To tackle a challenging problem
  • To be trusted
  • To service knowledgeable clientele
  • To build relationship with customers

And were told to choose one from these four which was the most prominent to the case and give a solution using body storming. We chose “To be trusted” as the best source and suggested to open a website to share the services and the price list, which could do marketing and also was a platform to get opinions about the clients.