Friday 23 September 2016

Entrepreneurial Kit: On Investing Case Study

This is the case study I wanted to add in my last blog
A friend of mine always used to send me chocolates, every time she prepared a new variety at home. In February this year following a miserable accident, her husband had to undergo multiple brain surgeries and in roughly two and half months, she was drained financially to the tune of 15 lakhs. With her husband still recovering from serious brain atrophy, with ongoing EMI and other expenses, her salary being no match to meet the growing financial needs, she took up making chocolates a little more seriously.
In end July she hosted a sale in her own residential complex and chocolates sold out in 2 hours. Just a month later she took part in a food festival, where 85% chocolates were sold out again.
Here are the rough stats in one month
26 Orders
22 Kilograms
Over 60 Customers
To manage production, she now pays helping hand for packaging
A potential customer has already expressed interest to invest in large scale production with her assistance. She is certainly not interested in external investors now. She is just focusing on increasing her production capacity
Many would be interested to invest for sure. It is never about the big “ideas” - it is the “execution” and the “numbers” that attracts investors.
I wanted her to face a poor sale day to evaluate her mental strength. She did. When I spoke to her after that, she was all set to launch her diet chocolates. That is the key takeaway - nothing can stop when you are mentally ready and prepared to take those leaps, plunges and falls. 

Her priorities: 

Marketing Strategy: Pitch first, plan later
Market Research:  Live feedback from first time customers
Seed Funds: Couple of Thousands
Support system: None
Facebook Page: Click here
Do you really need a lot of money to invest in startups always? Is the entrepreneur in you ready to take that fall now to rise beyond your current level?

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Entrepreneurial Kit: The Startup Hiccup

I deal with them almost every day.
  • Who think they were not exactly born to do a job and will soon start something of their own – The job is just a facilitator to create the seed funds. 
  • Whose business ideas, mostly in dozens, take better shapes every Monday and disappears every Friday. The ideas are scattered in different sockets of their brain and in much elevated position, so high that it takes years for those ideas to come down to the level of a business plan on paper/ document. 
  • Who  are constantly meeting people, validating business ideas, sourcing partners, refining business plans while waiting for the next pay check. 
  • Who have many great ideas and always think the world is out to steal them. I hear this at least twice a week – “Do not discuss with anyone” or “How do I know my idea is protected?” 
  • Who is ever ready to start business and there is always some external factor that is stopping them. 
  • Who have "supported" multiple businesses and they know quite a lot how to run business. So when they start one, it will just be cakewalk. 
  • Who cannot differentiate cash flow statement from balance sheet and yet to claim to have done all the mathematics. Sure, some straight calculation in excel is just wishful thinking.
Reality Check
  •       You are not ready yet and that is just half truth
  •        The full truth is - you never will be.
Entrepreneurship is a state of mind. It does not let you breathe in any other environment except trying something new, something better, something different to fill a gap in business or mankind.
No safety net, no left brain logical thinking, no full proof planning. Most of them are probably just getting ready to fail knowing absolutely well, failure is just the beginning, not the end.
A failure is like fertilizer - it stinks to be sure, but it makes things grow faster in the future. -Dennis Waitley
Myths about entrepreneurship and investing
  • If you call yourself an entrepreneur and your company a startup, you do not automatically qualify for fund. I know I am stating the obvious but some are really not aware.
  • It is really not enough to have billion dollar ideas. As an investor, anyone would like to see how much of your blood is in there and for how long?
  • Action speaks louder than words. If you believe in your idea, you should ideally be the first investor and willing to sell your conviction along the way to get more of your tribe. 
  • You need to be a millionaire to be able to invest. That is seriously a big NO. I will share a case study in my next blog to justify this.
Powerful, purposeful change begins with just one thought – What the hell you are “willing” to do in life, not “planning” to do? It is seriously not what you do between 9 to 5 that makes much of a difference. It is what you do between 5 to 9 that has the potential of changing lives.
We are so much programmed to follow the rules and stay inside the lines.
Are you ready to cross those familiar, predictable lines?