7 Apps That Can Make Things Easier For Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, by and large, live fast-paced, chaotic lives, where decisions have to be made quickly and inspiration can come in the most unlikely of places. They live and die by their smartphones and tablets, so it helps to have those equipped with apps that can make the most of every minute, in turn helping their businesses grow.

The right app won’t make or break a startup, of course, but it can make the lives of the people behind those businesses a lot easier. Here are 7 apps that might benefit entrepreneurs with productivity and even with growing their businesses:

1 Remember The Milk

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With millions of users worldwide, Remember The Milk is everywhere you are: from mobile to the web to apps including Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter and more. It can add and complete tasks on the go, great for backing up your tasks and notes, allows you to organize the way you want to with priorities, due dates, time estimates, repeating, lists, tags etc. Moreover, you can search your tasks and notes, and save your favorite searches as Smart Lists. It also gets the user reminded about tasks via email, SMS and instant messenger and keeps the users in sync with their tasks on multiple devices.

2 Evernote

Evernote

Evernote is a cloud-based app that lets you sync notes between your phone, tablet, desktop and most other devices; edit; share files as necessary; and always be up to date with the latest version. No matter where you are or what device you’re using, if you have Web access, you can get to and work with your notes. Evernote even plays nice with different browsers, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox.  No wonder it’s been a go-to note taking app for years!

3 Producteev

Producteev

Producteev, available for iOS and Android, helps you delegate tasks and make sure they get done on time. It’s helpful for any small business owner and features due dates, milestones, and progress tracking to keep your employees motivated. There’s also filtering so you can see how busy each of your employees is before assigning new tasks.

4 MobileDay

MobileDay

For those frequent occasions when you’re too busy to be sitting in the office, use MobileDay to coordinate all of your in-person and conference call meetings. It scans your calendar and imports all conferencing information. When it’s time for the call, you can join with just one click. And if you need to arrange a group discussion yourself, just tell the app who to invite and it will send the details for you—even setting up the call via its own conference service. Also, with this app, you can email participants and even get directions to your meeting place.

5 Instapaper

Instapaper

Coming across interesting articles is one of the best parts of the Internet – and one of the worst things for your overall productivity levels when this happens while at work. Instead of reading through new posts whenever you encounter them, save them to your Instapaper account.  Your selected Web pages will be automatically saved for later browsing, when they will  be displayed at a convenient time in a reading-friendly format.

6 HelloSign

Hello Sign

HelloSign is an easy-to-use electronic signature service linked with Evernote. Sign documents yourself or request signatures from up to 20 different people in any order, or all at once. When the document is fully executed, everyone gets a copy delivered to their inbox. See your documents progress with status notifications that keep you in the loop throughout. The greatest advantage of using electronic signatures is that you don’t have to fax or mail documents back and forth and dispels the need to print these documents thereby saving time.

7 Dropbox

dropbox

You never know when you’re going to need to access a photo, document or video. Dropbox’s cloud storage is one of the most popular storage apps and it adds mobility to its many features. This app is extremely handy for sharing files with your team, which prevents back-and-forth emailing. Best of all, if you lose your phone, all of your files are still safe, assuming you’ve synced the device to your account.

The best part about these apps? Most of them are free!

Opting out of entrepreneur-centric apps is like turning down an offer of free work from a contractor. You wouldn’t do that, so please make sure you don’t have an empty smartphone desktop. These apps are just a few of our favourites that we think are essential for entreprenenurs.  If you have others that you couldn’t get through the work day without, share your recommendations below!

An Inspiring Speech By Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Chief Guest For the 16th Convocation of Post Graduate Programmes

2nd May, 2015 marked the convocation of PGDM-BE 2013-15. Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary, Dept. of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India was the Chief Guest of Honour and addressed students on the special occasion.

Here are the inspiring words from Dr. Adhia that motivated budding entrepreneurs on their convocation day:

“It’s my pleasure to address and award the bright and young pillars of the nation, at this 16th convocation of the EDI Post-Graduate Diploma Programmes.  I congratulate the students who have earned this diploma and those who have been awarded special recognition. No accomplishment is achieved alone; it always has support of so many down the lane. And I am sure, in this journey of yours, you had support of your parents and mentors. I congratulate them all. While I have always enjoyed coming to Gujarat, I am particularly excited today because the reason is so pleasant and progressive, to say the least.

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I compliment EDI and its Governing Board for conducting these crucial programmes. I know this Institute almost since its inception and I am happy to see it having come thus far. EDI’s is a phenomenal journey from training programmes back in the early days, to successfully branching out into the areas of education, research and institution building. It is also the nodal agency for several ministries of the Government.  I am glad that the Institute has succeeded in its mandate of spearheading entrepreneurship development throughout the nation with a belief that entrepreneurs are not just born but can be bred too. And, I am happy to note that it is not just India that has benefitted from EDI’s interventions but several foreign lands such as; Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have also experienced a boost in their entrepreneurial environment through EDI established Entrepreneurship Centres. That Uzbekistan and  five African countries  are on the anvil brings us more reasons to revel.  I consider this a necessary task amidst a time when globalization and technology are transforming our economy. These critical factors and the interaction between them are exerting inordinate influence on our economy and unless we have innovative and educated entrepreneurs, we cannot turn this situation to our advantage. So, I must say, we all look up to these students to create their own distinct markets and in the process, a huge market for India.

The students of Business Entrepreneurship are aware of the changing economic circumstances arising from the emergence of new products, technologies and competition and, therefore, I advise them to use their knowledge and awareness to concentrate on carefully formulating and executing their business strategies, so that they create a niche for themselves. Traditional entrepreneurial practices and systems are fast getting blurred by new knowledge and understanding, and in that sense you are fortunate to have been educated to pursue entrepreneurship from a guided viewpoint. Let me request the entrepreneurs of tomorrow to explore several upcoming sectors and take a look at the enormous inherent potential before taking the plunge. The course has equipped you well. I understand it is the most appropriate course as its curriculum has been appreciated by several well-meaning organizations besides being recognized by the prestigious United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. My congratulations to the Faculty Group.

The Government at the Centre has taken significant steps towards enhancing the prospects for entrepreneurs. You all must be aware of these policies and schemes. I would also like to mention the setting up of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to iron the creases on the turf of entrepreneurship promotion in the country. The time today is just apt with environment that is receptive, amenable, accessible and friendly.

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Till a few years back it was believed that Indian entrepreneurs can never compete with their foreign counterparts and that technologies come to India much later. But, they have proved their mettle and you all have to carry this legacy forward. India will have to promote innovative, hi-tech enterprises and break free from the traditional models of business if it has to remain on the forefront of global economy.  Towards this I realize that India needs more incubators, considering that countries like; the USA has 1300, China has 800 and a small country like Korea also has close to 400 incubators.  While several Ministries are involved in promoting incubators and innovators. The number of incubators in India hardly touches about 200. Nevertheless incubators that the country houses are adequately equipped to provide an array of useful services and seed funding to start ups. So, you can see that the country is gearing up on not just this front but other fronts as well to promote high technology ventures. Further as a step towards advancing knowledge based economy, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has set up a Rs. 100 crore Innovation Fund. The Government of India has also set up a Rs. 1000 crore start-up fund to further this cause.  The policies and reforms that are coming your way are futuristic and high-tech entrepreneur friendly. So innovate and take advantage of the major economic restructuring that’s happening, to move ahead.’ Make in India’ as our Honorable Prime Minister has envisioned. There are many opportunities, if you are observant, you will convert even waste into wealth. So look around, think and you will succeed.  Match your high competence with hard work and high integrity, and every goal will be within your reach.  My congratulations to you all!!!

The students of Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Development Studies have to play a very critical role in the development. They have set a massive task before them – they are on the task of creating a strong society which is alienated from inequality and deprivation. Let your imagination soar, use your knowledge and also your gut feel to hail major revolutions. Social enterprises, today, are emerging as a trusted tool to address the issues faced by these disadvantaged communities. So, I urge you all to create your innovative social enterprises to address issues being faced by the people at the bottom of the pyramid. You all will also have to understand global trends, check their applicability in the Indian scenario, advocate a convergence, wherever possible, and head towards the most conspicuous benchmarks to get India a first in many developmental areas. My heartiest congratulations.

I would say, the students of the two programmes complete each other. One makes the task easy for the other. They have to continue building a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship. In that sense, I congratulate EDI for envisaging the significance of these pillars of society and offering two programmes which complement each other. Also, let me add that EDI is giving you the additional experience of intermingling with students from so many countries who visit its campus as participants of International training programmes. I understand that a group of Chinese Students also here on the campus for learning Business Hindi. Such interactions are a great learning platform and teach life skills that become significant at all important junctures.

My advice to both the groups is –  Be confident but never harbour over confidence, be ambitious but never get into over-ambitious expansions, be aware and be with the times. Create a responsive, lean and competitive organization.

Please learn to compete. Stop blaming the environment and systems. Strive to give your best even if you are performing in a space with lapses.  You will not be able to move ahead if you look forward to being safeguarded at every juncture of your journey.

Despite the glitches that might cross your way, take pride in India’s economic achievements. Make India’s development your stepping stone to greater achievements. I am sure you all would participate actively in the growth of the Indian economy and try to utilise the new opportunities to the best of your abilities.

The challenge today lies in pursuing entrepreneurship which can stand up to global competition.  I am confident that you will seize every opportunity and go on to create great companies.  Your dreams are our command and we will support you in every possible way, so that you make the country achieve. And, lastly an important piece of advice – Put your health first in the list of priorities. It is not for nothing that Yoga has got an international standing today. Please understand its potential, make it a part of your life to achieve health and a peaceful state of mind. Such calmness will also reflect in your critical decisions and everyday work.

So move ahead with a ‘never say die’ spirit and make winning a habit.

I wish you all the best for the future.”

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Eureka Moments Leading to 3 Great Entrepreneurial Ideas

Life can be divided into two periods – before you know why you are alive and after. The two are separated by a single moment – the Aha! moment. That one brainwave turns a person into a person on a mission.

In this blog, we share the examples of  Eureka moments of 3 great personalities that led them to an unmatched success. Sure, for them, it was a process to get to that moment. But it was a catalyst that one day made them say, “Aha!”

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group

Determined to enter business, Jack Ma set up a translation company, but he still had to peddle goods on the street to get by. He traveled to the United States in 1995 as a translator to help a Chinese firm recover a payment. The attempt failed, and the American who owed money pulled a gun on him. But a friend in Seattle showed Ma the Internet, and an idea began brewing.

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He noticed there was not a single online listing for “China” and “beer,” unlike those that popped up for American and German beer. He returned to China and set up a listing site that he later sold to the government. After working in Beijing for an Internet firm under the Ministry of Commerce, he decided to quit his job in 1999 and went back to Hangzhou with his team in order to found Alibaba in his apartment with a group of 17 friends. Alibaba is one of the largets e-commerce sites which currently serves more than 79 million members from more than 240 countries and territories.

Samuel Morse, inventor of Telegraph

It was while working on the portrait of Lafayette that Morse suffered the personal tragedy that changed his life forever. In Washington, D.C., for the commission, Morse received a letter from his father–delivered via the standard, slow-moving horse messengers of the day–that his wife was gravely ill. Morse immediately left the capital and raced to his Connecticut home. By the time he arrived, however, his wife was not only dead—she had already been buried. It is believed that the grief-stricken Morse, devastated that it had taken days for him to receive the initial notification of his wife’s illness, shifted his focus away from his art career and instead dedicated himself to improving the state of long-distance communication. With this dedication, Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.

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Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro Inc.

GoPro is a camera designed for heavy-duty action, like skydiving and surfing. It goes (and survives) where other cameras can’t.

GOPro

He knew he wanted to build a new company, so he planned a 5 month surfing trip around Australia and Indonesia for inspiration. Woodman needed a camera to document his time there, so he strapped one to his arm with rubber bands. He was hoping to capture quality action photos of his surfing, but because amateur photographers could not get close enough, or obtain quality equipment at reasonable prices, he had an idea which led to the launch of a line of durable cameras that come fitted with mounting gear allowing users to capture images and video of their most active moments. His desire for a camera system that could capture the professional angles inspired the ‘GoPro’ name.

If you are searching for a brilliant business idea, start by looking at the simple problems right in front of you. After all, finding solutions to the problems at their very own finger tips is what inspired Steve Jobs to launch Apple, Donald Fisher to launch Gap, Ingvar Kampard to launch IKEA and Ben Silbermann to launch Pinterest. :)

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A Sneak Peek into Students’ Lives at EDI

College life has two sides to it – one that is visible on campus, in the classrooms, in front of the faculty and outsiders. The other, the more realistic one is what happens inside the hostel rooms, in the canteen and in the minds of the students.

In an attempt to have a closer look at the students’ lives at EDI, we had a candid conversation with 2 students from the 16th batch of PGDM-BE.

Priya Dialani is an ambitious girl from Nasik, Maharashtra. Born in a joint family that successfully runs a joint family business, Priya has always been firm about running her own business. Making a smart move, she decided to develop her entrepreneurial skills at EDI before taking a leap into the world of startups. Talking about the contribution of PGDM-BE course in her overall development, she said, “I come from a small city where I didn’t get enough exposure due to which there was a limited growth of my own mindset. PGDM-BE has helped me in all round development as an individual. After joining EDI, I got an idea of how things actually work in the biz world. It has helped me in transforming my theoretical knowledge into practical applications. When I visit Nasik during breaks and meet my friends who are also doing PGDM or MBA in the structured MBA colleges, I feel the difference between the way I talk and the way they talk.”

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Another budding entrepreneur, DivyaShil Jain, won the gold medal for scholastic performance in Family Business Management, PGDM-BE 2013-15. Having completed B.E. from Thapar University (Patiala), DivyaShil joined Essar Power and worked there for 2 years. “I have always wanted to join my family business and take it to a grand level of success. Family Business Management from EDI seemed the first step towards it and so, I joined the PGDM-BE (FBM) in 2013. The programme has groomed me by helping me develop an approach to look at things from various perspectives and an insight has been developed to maintain and respect the cultures across all the verticals,” he told us.

DivyaShil Jain

As a part of the second year syllabus of PGDM-BE, students prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) about the project they plan to work on as an entrepreneur. From their respective DPRs, DivyaShil and Priya had some very interesting insights to share with us. DivyaShil worked on the growth plan of his family business, which is into manufacturing and exports of ferrous and non-ferrous precision machined components for automobiles and industrial machinery parts. Priya, on the other hand, plans to go for a startup offering customized florist services where people can buy, gift or exchange cut, exotic or seasonal flowers.

While life at EDI might sound very exciting, academic rigour and healthy competition share an equal weightage in the overall two years stay at the campus. We asked them what kept them motivated throughout this period, away from their homes. Priya recalled the beautiful days at EDI, “At EDI, one is surrounded by people who think business 24*7. The faculty is the best I have met till date and has always guided me with shrewd business insights. Students of EDI get a family away from their family, we celebrate ALL the festivals together and make friends we can count on.” Divyashil, keeping it crisp and to the point, told us, “The faculty and the guest lectures contributed a lot in developing our skills and a positive attitude. Bonding with close friends kept all of us motivated and never made anyone nostalgic.”

Priya and Divyashil are all set to win the world with their entrepreneurial skills. We wish them all the best with their future endeavours.

For an amazing learning experience and beautiful journey at EDI, apply to our PGDM-BE 2015-17 NOW!

Apply here: http://bit.ly/1zDi5aF | Download brochure: http://bit.ly/1dSP5fT | Visit our website: http://bit.ly/1HJJ43P

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From SMEs To MNCs – 5 Family-Businesses That Inspire Every Entrepreneur

Can you imagine starting a business that will be functional even after 100 years from now?

It’s almost unthinkable in this launch-and-sell age, where myriad tech companies are born, built (barely) and sold to larger companies for a quick pay day for entrepreneurs and their antsy investors. But who are those larger companies? Those are the ones who started out small, with the vision mentioned above. You will be surprised to know that many of those Fortune 500 companies were once small, family-owned business.

We have compiled a list of 5 such companies featuring in Fortune Global 500:

1 WAL-MART

Walmart

Family- Walton

Revenue- $ 476,294 millions

The Waltons are the richest family in America. The descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, the family controls more than 50% of the Wal-Mart Corporation. Wal-mart holds the distinction of being not only the largest family business in the world, but also the largest company in the world in terms of revenues.

 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

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Family- Lee

Revenue- $ 208,938 millions

The word ‘Samsung’ is inextricably linked with smartphones and electronics. However, before Samsung Electronics, there was merely Samsung Sanghoe: a small trading company founded by Lee Byung-Chull in 1938 that dealt mostly in dried seafood, produce and its own noodles. Today, Samsung has made the work, play and entertainment experiences better for each of its customers and has become one of the giants in the global market.

3 FORD

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Family- Ford

Revenue- $ 146,917 millions

Henry Ford founded this auto company more than 110 years ago with a dream of selling cars that the workingman could afford. When a car was considered as a luxury item and not something affordable to buy, Ford introduced large scale manufacturing of cars to the world. The company went public in 1956 and now manufactures more than 5.5 million automobiles in the world and employs more than 1,80,000 employees. Today, fourth- and fifth-generation Fords help run the company, where they still control 40% of the voting power through a special class of stock.

4 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES

Reliance

Family- Ambani

Revenue- $ 73,332 millions

The richest person in India and MD of Reliance Industries, the largest Indian private sector enterprise, Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is a worthy example of business tycoon carrying forward legacy. In 1962, Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of RIL, started the Reliance Commercial Corporation to import polyester yarn and export spices with a capital of Rs.15,000. With no Oxford or Yale degree and no family capital, he achieved what the Elite “brown sahibs” of the ‘then India’ could not: he built an ultramodern, profitable, global enterprise in India itself. In 2004, Reliance emerged as the first and only private Indian organization to be listed in the Fortune Global 500 list.

5 TATA GROUP

 

Tata

Family- Tata

Revenue- $ 38,502 millions

Tata Group has evolved from being a family-owned business to becoming one of the best-run and professionally-managed groups in the world. Jamsetji Tata laid the foundations of Tata Group when he started a private trading firm in 1868. In 1874, he set up the Central India Spinning Weaving and Manufacturing Company Limited and thus marked the Group’s entry into textiles. Since then, there has been no looking back. Tata family has exemplified the true entrepreneurial spirit with over 100 companies in seven business sectors ranging from communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.

If you are going to be a part of your family business in future, we can help you take it to the next level.

Apply to our PGDM-BE programme: http://bit.ly/1zDi5aF | Download brochure: http://bit.ly/1dSP5fT | Visit our website for more info: http://bit.ly/1HJJ43P

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Open House Events, 2015

Some people are destined to be entrepreneurs. From the time they get through school, or maybe even before that, they’re hungry to start a business and lead it to success and will stop at nothing to make that dream a reality. If this describes you, EDI is the right platform for you to transform your business plan into business success.

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India

EDI, an autonomous institution set up in 1983 as a pioneering institute for Entrepreneurship Development and Training in India and around the globe. The institute has been acknowledged as a world leader in creating first generation entrepreneurs as also honing skills of existing ones and it shares its expertise with several developing countries.

PGDM-Business Entrepreneurship

The PGDM–BE two-year, full-time, residential programme at the EDI, now in its sixteenth batch of delivering entrepreneurship education, has been designed specifically for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial mangers to encourage critical and lateral thinking, nurture their ambitions, and enable new ventures through an academically rigorous, directly relevant and highly practical learning experience.

Entrepreneurship Process at EDI

All individuals who enroll themselves into EDI go through the complete process of sharpening their entrepreneurial mind set by boosting their confidence. Through constant mentoring and guidance the students then prepare their business plan and finally they are given the platform to pitch their ideas to banks and investors, so that they can launch their own venture.
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Open House events:                                                                                                     

The information provided above is just an overview of the course and the skill development process. In order to provide our potential students with an in-depth insight into the course, we have organized a series of Open House events across ten cities in India. These interactive sessions will help you evaluate the course with respect to various aspects so you can have a fair idea whether this course is the best one for you.

Who should attend the Open House events and why:

If you are a graduate or in your final year of graduation and dream of being a businessman, this event is worth your time. Whether it is about your own startup or about making your family business scale the Tata-Birla-like heights, your dreams can get a realistic base and insightful guidelines during the interactive session with our expert faculty at Open House events, along with the detailed information about our PGDM-BE course. Your parents may also join in if interested.

When / Where / Duration:

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Schedule:

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EDI accepts a maximum of 30 registrations for an Open House. For registering online, go here: http://bit.ly/1IMdpAl

Registrations and Enquiries:

For any further clarification / information please contact us at tushar@ediindia.org

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7 Reasons You Should Never Go For Entrepreneurship (Pun intended)

As entrepreneurship is rapidly gaining popularity across the globe, we wonder why so many people are inclined towards the startup culture? It is sheer stupidity to jump into the world wherein you can find no sure shot formula to success and add to that, a constant risk factor always associated with your life and career. One should simply go for employment as there are so many perks of working as an employee, where the risk factor is limited and the standard of living is high. Here are seven points that prove that employment is a better option than entrepreneurship:

1. Why be an entrepreneur if you can have the satisfaction of saying that you are working as a senior employee in an MNC?

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But as an entrepreneur, you can proudly say you OWN a business.

2. Why be an entrepreneur when as an employee, you can enjoy a fixed number of paid leaves for going on holidays?

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But if you become an entrepreneur, nobody is going to stop you if you decide to work from a cool place in a holiday destination or from a café while having coffee with your friends.

3. Why be an entrepreneur when as an employee, you have the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder and reach a post just below the topmost post in an MNC?

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How about the day when you are at the topmost position of your business from day one? You begin to grow YOUR BUSINESS. And guess what, there’s no growth ceiling.

4. Why be an entrepreneur when as an employee there’s a wide scope for networking with high-profile people working at senior positions in large MNCs?

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Who cares? You are more interested in being a member of that special, creative breed with whom you can relate; the one whom the world calls Entrepreneurs.

5. Why be an entrepreneur when as an employee, you love your high paying jobs that change your life and make it more luxurious?

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As an entrepreneur, YOU change lives. Period.

6. Why be an entrepreneur and work day in and day out when as an employee, you always reach home on time and that too, after leaving the workload at office?

No1

But entrepreneurship saves you that career hamster wheel at office wherein a monotonous, repetitive, unfulfilling activity eats your head from 9-5.

7. Why be an entrepreneur when as an employee, you can flaunt so many ‘employee of the year’ awards and accolades received from MNCs?

No

But as an entrepreneur, you have great stories to tell. Stories of your struggle, stories of your success; the story of your dream coming true.

This was our way of letting you weigh the pros and cons of entrepreneurship. At the end of the day, we have made our point clear :)

Does that tickle your dream of taking a step towards entrepreneurship now?

EDI is here for you. Apply online for PGDM-BE programme : http://bit.ly/1zDi5aF | Download brochure : http://bit.ly/1dSP5fT | Visit our website for more info : http://bit.ly/1HJJ43P

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Digital Marketing: The New “in” Among Startups

With the advent of the World Wide Web, many magazines and newspapers have folded or attempted to reinvent themselves online. Not only these, major consumer brands have reallocated a significant portion of their advertising budgets to the Web to reach online visitors. Talking about startups, a majority of entrepreneurs find digital marketing much more efficient than traditional marketing. These trends made us wonder what is it about digital media that makes it a favourite among entrepreneurs. We have summed up our findings in the form of 5 major advantages digital marketing has over traditional marketing.

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1) Relevant reach at minimum cost

Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing has the potential to reach exponentially more customers that are relevant to your marketing campaign in a more cost effective manner. While traditional media tends to yield a much higher reach than digital media, it cannot ensure that all people reached are relevant to the marketing campaign. There will always be some portion of the budget generating zero leads simply because the people who saw the ads do not belong to the target audience. On the other hand, when your website content and digital ads appear on search engines to the people looking for the same product category and on targeted posts on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest; your message and brand can be seen by many more potential customers, expanding the effectiveness of your total marketing investment.

2) Flexible scheduling

While traditional marketing campaigns require a lot of planning and extensive advance scheduling, marketing campaigns on digital media are flexible in terms of execution. No heavy losses are incurred if the campaigns have to be rescheduled. Add to that the benefit of scheduling posts on social media. Your campaign keeps on running even if you are in a distant country enjoying a holiday.

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3) Targeting the audience

With traditional media tools like a mail or television campaign, it’s difficult to target people who are actually interested in your business – meaning your message falls on a lot of deaf ears. On the other hand, digital marketing lets you start up a conversation with the people who actually care about your products/services. For instance, by using the adverts create tool on Facebook, you can reach customers in key locations by country, state/province, city and post code. If you’re an e-commerce business in West India, you can target your adverts at people who live in the West India region. You can also target people based on demographics like age, gender, relationship status, education, workplace and more. For example, an online fashion store would target its adverts at women in the 18-54 age group. Furthermore, Interest targeting lets you define your ideal audience by their interests, hobbies and Pages they like on Facebook. You can also use advanced targeting options, such as targeting women aged between 18 and 34, who live in West India region.

4) Concrete statistics for accurate reports

It’s not easy to know how many people heard your radio spots or read your newspaper ad. But you can find out exactly how many times your digital marketing messages were displayed to customers actively researching a purchase, how many times they were clicked, which web pages they visited after clicking, how long they looked around and more. This online marketing data makes it easy to measure your progress against your business goals and quickly adapt your entire marketing strategy to take advantage of what’s working best. For example, ExactTarget mobile behaviour report helped e-commerce startups revise their marketing plans when it stated that 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. To improve social media performance of brands, it would be of great help to know that if a post is greater than 1,500 words, on average it receives 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes than a post that is under 1,500 words. Almost 80% companies opted for a mobile optimized site when they came to know that 27% of consumers will leave a site if it is not mobile optimized.

 5) A platform for customer engagement and support

Digital marketing sets the stage for customer engagement. Whether it’s lots of phone calls from local customers seeing your online ads, to email opt-ins for a monthly newsletter, comments on a blog, or social media discussions, digital platforms make it easy to communicate with current and prospective customers alike. You can also use social networking websites as a customer support platform. For example, if your customer has a query or a complaint, he might not want to take the time to write to the company using traditional platforms. Instead, he might prefer to switch to another brand. On the other hand, if your startup is active on social networks like Twitter or Facebook, the customer will write to you about the issue in a minute and you can immediately respond to him, thereby maintaining the customer satisfaction as well as the reputation of your startup. You can also use these platforms as a medium for market research. The chances of responses in these media are high compared to the traditional market research techniques like telephonic surveys.

While conducting a research for this blog, we came across a good number of people who believe that traditional media, as we currently know it, will no longer exist in 10 years. While we aren’t at a point where we can really pronounce certain media “dead or alive,” we’re certainly in a state of major fluctuation and we’ll have to continue riding the waves before we see what modern marketing becomes.

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Why Are Entrepreneurs So Inclined Towards Crowdfunding?

Our previous blog about Crowdfunding must have given you a fair idea about what actually crowdfunding is and how it works. In this blog, you will come to know why more and more entrepreneurs are opting for Crowdfunding over traditional methods of fund-raising and how some of them have created a buzz across the globe with their successful crowdfunding campaigns.

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The Benefits of Crowdfunding

From tapping into a wider investor pool to enjoying more flexible fundraising options, there are a number of merits to crowdfunding over traditional fund-raising methods:

1. Reach – By using good crowdfunding platforms, you have access to thousands of accredited investors who can see, interact with, and share your fundraising campaign.

2. Marketing – An active crowdfunding campaign is a good way to introduce a venture’s overall mission and vision to the market, as it is a free and easy way to reach numerous channels. Many crowdfunding platforms incorporate social media mechanisms, making it easy to get referral traffic to your website and other social media pages.

3. PR – The momentum created by successful crowdfunding campaigns make for interesting reading, and reporters are always hungry for them. Crowdfunding is a unique and hot industry these days, and countless entrepreneurs who have been successful with it have seen larger success and exposure as a result.

4. Validation Of Concept- As potential investors begin to express interest, give feedback and ask questions, you will quickly come to know if there is something missing that would make them more likely to buy in.

5. Efficiency – One of the best things about online crowdfunding is its ability to centralize and streamline your fundraising efforts. By building a single, comprehensive profile to which you can funnel all your prospects and potential investors, you eliminate the need to pursue each of them individually.

Where and How to do it

There are numerous crowdfunding platforms where consumers can safely ask for or donate money such as Kickstarter, Pik A Venture, Fund Dreams India, Indiegogo, Catapooolt, RocketHub, Start 51, Keggo.org to name a few. While each site offers its unique spin, the general concept is the same across the board. Project creators can create a profile typically containing a short video, an introduction to their project, a list of rewards per donation, and some images to elaborate. The idea is to create a compelling message that readers will be drawn towards. The idea of “it’s not what you do, but why you do it,” really hits home here. By focusing on a bigger purpose, the driving force behind a brand, project creators will be able to create a unique community of like-minded individuals. Each campaign is set for a goal/target amount of money and a fixed number of days. Once the project is launched, each day will be counted down and the money raised will be tallied up for visitors to follow its success.

It’s not as easy as it seems

There is a huge misconception that creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is as simple as hitting submit and waiting for it to go viral. While this has happened to many brands, the vast majority of projects will require a decent amount of effort on the part of the project creator.

Utilizing social media, creating email distribution lists before the project launches, contacting local media, are all necessary steps to take if you are serious about your goal. Remember, this is not a platform to ask for a handout. If you expect people to join your cause, you had better be prepared to prove your salt.

Each campaign should contain a powerful reason behind the idea, exciting and unique rewards, and an eye-catching display. Video definitely plays a huge role in this last point because in this age of the digital reign, many consumers will stop reading your campaign if they don’t connect to the video.

Success stories to get inspired from:

1. Green Pea Cookie: A recipe discovered by three cookie lovers, Green Pea Cookie, is made from crunchy roasted green peas that offer a combination of a sweet and savoury taste. Their flavours include original green pea, chocolate-dipped green pea and cranberry green pea. Best thing about them? You can eat up to 6 and only consume 100 calories. After realizing the potential this treat they decided to make Green Pea Cookie come to life! Within 7 hours of launching their crowdfunding campaign for it on Kickstarter, they had already met their goal of $5,000. As of today they have exceeded their goal by 397% with more than 25,000 cookies pledged.

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2. Sheroes Hangout: This fundraising campaign is being run by Acid Attack Survivor Ritu to fulfil her dream of owning her own chain of restaurants in UP. She started off by opening a cafe in Agra for which she bought the equipments and paid remunerations to her fellow survivors at the initial stage with the help of funds raised from crowdfunding. Having launched this crowdfunding campaign on FundDreamsIndia.com, Sheroes Hangout has raised more than ten lakh rupees till date and has expanded across many cities in UP.

So what are you waiting for? Originators, jump the band wagon and rock the world! Supporters, get rewarded and enjoy your emotional satisfaction. Visitors, get inspired and launch your dreams.

Now is the time for you to start this incredible journey of owning your own tomorrow!

 

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Crowdfunding in Nutshell

Until recently, financing a business involved asking a few people for big sums of money. Crowdfunding is turning this idea on its head, using the internet to help entrepreneurs talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders that each contribute a small amount.

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Defining Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an efficient, contemporary way to connect entrepreneurs with smaller sources of capital, in the form of individual investors. Investopedia defines crowdfunding as “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”

Crowdfunding involves three parties:

Project Initiator – Project initiator can be anyone with a strong idea. If you have an idea and are looking for funds to put that idea into execution, you can easily be a project initiator on any of the crowdfunding platforms.

Contributor – People are now participating in crowdfunding in a pretty significant way. They make contributions to the funding of projects which they find creative and competitive. People love the idea of tying themselves to something they care about and can wed that with financial return.

Crowdfunding platform – The platform, which is usually a website, gives the project initiator a platform to present his idea and the potential investors to contribute to the projects they find viable.

Types of Crowdfunding

Just like there are many different kinds of capital round raises for businesses in all stages of growth, there is a variety of crowdfunding types. Which crowdfunding method you select depends on the type of product or service you offer and your goals for growth. The 3 primary types are:

Donation-Based Crowdfunding – In this type of crowd funding, contributions are selflessly given by the donors who fund the cause and expect no compensation in return.  Common donation-based crowdfunding initiatives include fundraising for disaster relief, charities, non-profits and medical bills.

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Rewards-Based Crowdfunding – Rewards-based crowdfunding involves individuals contributing to your project in exchange for a “reward,” typically a form of the product or service your company offers. This is most commonly used by entrepreneurs because it lets business-owners incentivize their contributors without incurring huge extra expenses or selling ownership stake.

Equity-Based Crowdfunding – Contributors are offered shares of the business entity, a stake or a share in its profits in this type of crowdfunding. This lures investments from contributors for lucrative business ideas.

Rewards and Donation based Crowdfunding are the two most popular Crowdfunding types. Within these two types, there are two Crowdfunding models called:

Keep It All – Amount received through each transaction is entered directly into the project initiator’s account immediately.

All or Nothing – If the economic objective is achieved (within a period of time), all contributions are transferred directly to initiator’s account. If the goal is not met, the funds raised will be returned to the contributors and the campaign will receive no funds.

In essence, crowdfunding is an excellent way for entrepreneurs to get the funds and exposure they need in order to verify, execute, and help their ventures grow. With the industry still evolving and becoming more efficient day by day, there is no better time than now to take advantage of the associated benefits!

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