Importance of ‘Business Plan’ for an Entrepreneur
A carefully crafted Business Plan is one of the most valuable tools in helping entrepreneurs reach their business goals by giving direction and defining objectives. A business plan is helpful in assessing the efficiency of strategies and helps the start-up to benefit from oncoming opportunities. Entrepreneurs can refer to the business plan as a guide that helps prevent and manage problems that may arise on the way to success.
Developing a business plan is a time-consuming process and it may be tempting for an entrepreneur to neglect planning altogether but the time spent in drafting the plan gives you an excellent opportunity to learn more about the industry and competitors. Although the time spent cannot be monetized upon, the benefits of a well devised business plan far outweigh any temporary financial losses.
Plenty of start-ups begin without a business plan relying on their optimism and confidence while others get so involved in operational tasks that they neglect the idea of planning itself. What these businessmen fail to understand is the fact that operating without a business plan is much more time consuming and less efficient than working as per a set plan of action.
One great thing about a business plan is, you may refer to it as a map which provides a reference point that you may need to return to just in case you go astray. The plan shall show you how far you have managed to come and even get you back on track if you drift away. Used as a management tool, the plan can ensure that the business is on track with set operational milestones, sales targets and meeting goals.
A business plan gives you a clear image of your company as of now and what it ideally should be over a set period of time. It describes your company, products or services offered and the factors affecting future growth in both directions. The business plan marks your starting point, evaluates where you stand now and helps you with a vision of tomorrow. Following a business plan makes it easier to adapt with market changes, trends and innovations and helps you reach your goals efficiently.
A self-descriptive business plan that clearly mentions statistics, facts and figures with detailed description of potential growth and profits, persuades investors and financial institutions to provide the necessary capital for an entrepreneurship.
A business plan is essential to attract executive level employees, business partners and helps in securing bonds with dealers, suppliers and retailers. It also designates titles and roles to each individual and by allocating a set of duties for each one to perform, simplifying the entire process.
For an entrepreneur, writing down ideas and concepts on paper is the first step to a successful entrepreneurship. By surveying the market, researching your competitor’s data and mentioning costs incurred and profits expected, you shall not only be compiling invaluable reference material but making yourself your very own ‘Business Bible.’
EDII Wins Excellent Institute Award at National Education Summit & Awards 2017
Excellence – is the word we strive for. It puts us above everyone else. EDII was awarded ‘Excellent Institute for Entrepreneurship Development in India’ at 11th National Education Summit & Award.
For EDII’s contribution towards developing entrepreneurial ecosystem, CMAI association of India awarded this prestigious award to the institute. Shri Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, Chairman CMAI & IAS presented the award to Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director, EDII.[Top]
Traits of a successful entrepreneur
Reading about great entrepreneurs is super inspiring and motivational yet how far we let its positivity affect us depends on us, the readers. By working on the crucial attributes of one’s personality, under the right guidance, the entrepreneur in you can emerge at any age and stage of life.
However, the best entrepreneurs share a few common characteristics, which are crucial in building and maintaining a successful business structure. While considering the fact that they come from different cultures and upbringing, income brackets, educational levels and a varied lifestyle, we cannot overlook that they all share a few common traits which are not only strong and positive but are the very pillars of their success.
- Tenacity: No matter how hard it gets, successful entrepreneurs have the ability to sustain. Persistence, perseverance and determination are the key ingredients of success.
- Passion: It is a common assumption that the sole purpose of all entrepreneurs is to make maximum profits. That is not true. Most of the entrepreneurs are actually quite passionate about their work. Challenges excite them whereas mistakes make them wiser. Money, although secondary, is not their purpose of business. The purpose is to follow their passion, which is excellence at work. Those who are not fully passionate about their work tend to slack at it and eventually lag behind.
- Risk-taking: Taking risks in business does not necessarily mean financial risks. It could be related to risking one’s reputation or social standing. It could be risking your time and energy while working on a project. Successful entrepreneurs are not scared of taking whatever risks that come their way. Starting a business with limited funding is not an issue for entrepreneurs who aim to be successful and take it up as a challenge but the same might seem to be a major issue for others who keep dwindling upon the pros and cons instead of taking action.
- Focus: Opportunities don’t just come to successful people. They exist all around us and it is up to us to spot them and that’s what makes us successful. All successful entrepreneurs are so focussed on their business that they develop this trait to spot an opportunity that others wouldn’t even dream of. It is this vision that aids the very success of great entrepreneurs.
- The Desire to Learn: Those who stick to the good old ways may last for a while but not beyond that. It is essential to learn new tricks of the trade, keep oneself updated with the latest innovations and follow the latest systems if you wish to be in the race. Education and experience does help us a lot but keeping pace with the industry and evolving along with the latest trends is absolutely necessary. Successful entrepreneurs do all they can to learn and absorb the latest information which helps them to stay ahead of the rest.
- Handling Failures: No success story is written without an eraser. Mistakes do happen but the wise learn from their mistakes and move on. Entrepreneurs who believe in themselves develop enough patience and persistence to rework or renew and deliver better results the next time. These entrepreneurs relate to such valuable experiences in their future as well.
- Money-management Skills: Being one of the most crucial aspects of every business, entrepreneurs need to be exceptionally good at money management. Be it using your own savings or large amounts of funds deposited by the investors, making every penny count is what successful entrepreneurs do. Correct financial decisions, calculated expenses, spending where it is essential and curbing where necessary is a trait all successful entrepreneurs share.
- Business Relationships: Building relationships and maintaining them is important for any business to flourish. Successful entrepreneurs know this very well and take extreme care in maintaining these business contacts because if not now, they shall soon transform from being contacts to becoming clients.
- Salesmanship: Believing in your own product is the first step of successful salesmanship. Every entrepreneur needs to understand that if they believe that their product is good, half the job is done. The other half rests on how they express themselves to the client. Successful entrepreneurs are good at this because if they as creators of the product are unable to explain this well then who will?!
- Planning Expertise: All successful entrepreneurs are excellent in planning strategies. They organise their time, money and efforts well in advance for efficient implementation. Their business strategies are based on thorough researches and surveys that aid the overall success of the business.
Are you the one? If you are, EDII is right institute for you![Top]
Do family businesses score over nonfamily businesses?
Family businesses go on for generations together. This gives them an easy advantage over non-family businesses as they have deep industry knowledge of what’s happening currently and the past trends too. That’s not all, they have the commitment and passion towards the success of the business and the industry knowledge helps them to take informed market-focused decisions.
Let’s go through each of these advantages in detail:
- Dedication and passion towards the business goal: In a family business, often non-family members too are treated as a family. This strong relationship built with the employees and other stakeholders result in fruitful daily operations as everyone works towards achieving one goal. While the owners tend to take better care as they have their stakes involved in the company, it makes a huge difference when the employer is appreciative of the employee’s talent.
- Decision making: Not having responsibilities towards any shareholders gives the Indian family businesses greater flexibility in terms of making decisions faster, improving the speed with which they launch new initiatives, change operations, evaluate new business opportunities, etc.
- Industry insights: Family businesses work in one industry for longer durations. This gives them significant experience and expertise. They understand the pulse of the market and their consumers well over non-family businesses. This makes them ready for any challenges.
- Mutual trust: Family businesses thrive on mutual trust and believe in maintaining long-term relationships by providing a conducive, supportive and trusting work environment.
- Reinventing entrepreneurs: The Family Business Survey conducted by PWC suggests that:
- 74% of respondents think that family businesses being more entrepreneurial in nature
- 62% think that family businesses generate more employment in the market
- Nearly 60% of the respondents felt that they reinvent themselves with each generation
Family businesses take pride in their contribution towards providing a greater balance and stability to the economy and are more likely to take greater risks than the non-family businesses. While there are downsides of the family business, it’s their industry knowledge that keeps them going generations ahead![Top]
How family businesses can keep the entrepreneurial fire burning?
We know of entrepreneurs today who kicked their 9-5 job as they wanted to be their own boss! They had absolutely zero entrepreneurship background but still made a remarkable benchmark in their field of business. But there are individuals for whom it runs in their family. These individuals have decided to take up entrepreneurship because they have grown up seeing their family run a business of their own.
It shows that it is not impossible for family businesses to keep the entrepreneurial fire burning. While the next generation may not have the same spur in them as the founder of the business. The key is to keep EVOLVING.
Here are few factors that make it possible:
- Knowing the history of family business: When an Entrepreneurial Legacy is passed on, it is important to know for the current gen or the next gen handling the business to know where it started from and what their ancestors did to run the enterprise. A study conducted by King’s college in London where they studied 21 family businesses showed that lack of knowledge has actually proved to be a loss for the business. Whereas, the businesses who had proper understanding of the history, compared the past and present and accordingly innovated and hence they were able to make profit.
- Youngsters get started early: When the young generation is taking over the family business reigns, it is important to involve them early in key decisions. At the same time, it is important to give them a chance to make mistakes and learn from them. It gives them a room to innovate and explore their strengths and weaknesses.
- Making practical education mandatory: While there are individuals who have the entrepreneurial traits in their genes, it is important to get a global perspective of businesses which is only possible through education in a recognized B-school and on-the-job learning in other companies.
- Learning from the younger generation: As we mentioned, the key to a successful business is to evolve. The young generation will have ideas of their own. Allow them to explore and the current generation handling the business will have to learn with them. This helps the organization to keep up with the changing trends. Also, everyday is a new learning!
So, if you have an entrepreneur in the family, tell them the tales of your business and motivate them to take your legacy forward. For the next gen who are looking at taking over their family enterprise, get to the roots first and you will know how to take it forward!
EDII Ahmedabad Strengthens Entrepreneurial Bonds Across the Globe
With a view to strengthen entrepreneurial bonds across the globe, EDII has joined hands with University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Centre for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW) and BRAC University to have collaborated in this Professional Fellows Programme (PFP) to provide professional experience and training to the participants. As a part of outbound exchange, five delegates from Oklahoma, United States visited EDII during 4th to 14th January in the year 2016.
The delegates were from the U.S and Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The prime purpose of the visit was to understand workings of small and mid-level industries of India. The delegates also visited large as well as multinational companies to catch hold of mechanisms of Indian industries. They paid a visit to Indian institutes of excellence like EDII, MICA and NIFT during their stay in India.
Senior faculty at EDII, Dr. Sanjay Pal orchestrated the activity. He said, “The delegates were happy to learn about micro, small, medium and large scale industries of India. This year in the month of May, Indian participants from diverse fields like media, industries, mass communication, NGOs and entrepreneurs will visit Oklahoma to understand the nature of industries in the U.S.” The programme was managed by EDII.
During their visit to EDII, the delegates had in-depth discussion with the Director of EDII. They acknowledged role of institutes like EDII in promoting entrepreneurship in India and abroad.
Global View on Indian Industries:
Joe Foote, University of Oklahoma: I have worked on communication projects in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East for more than two decades now. I am amazed to learn that in spite of great dissimilarities in cultures and languages, Indian industries are strongly connected to each other.
Leslie Christopher, BOLD Multimedia: Indian industries are good at manufacturing but on customer service front, India still has a scope for improvement. Industries should make sure that client needs are understood and should strive hard to fulfil their expectations.
Quinn Vandenberg, Co-Founder and Owner, Life Out of the Box: The industries established by artisans in India are facing the same difficulties in gaining market share as those in other developing countries. Incubators should play an active role in supporting such units and boost entrepreneurship at grassroots level.
Sarah Beth Cullison, Elemental Coffee: Coffee industry is my area of interest. I have studied agricultural, trade and financial aspects of coffee productions for over three years. India is one of the leading countries in coffee production globally. I believe that coffee industry in India has much scope for exposure on global front.
Korey McMahon, McMahon Marketing: Despite quality products, Small and medium industries in India struggle to make mark at global level. This is because they lack skills in marketing. I strongly believe that investment in marketing and advertisement should be looked at as business investment by small and medium industries.
Institute Helps Comoros Get Vocational Training Centre
The institute has been entrusted with the work related to feasibility for establishing a Comoros-India Vocational Training Centre at Comoros. The task has been assigned by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. EDII worked in close association with the MEA and Embassy of India, Antananarivo, Madagascar to accomplish the goals of the assignment.
Two faculty members from the institute visited Comoros and helped prominent stakeholders understand the skill gap in the country and scope for vocational training centre. Post-visit, the institute submitted a detailed report to MEA which included rationale for setting up the centre, portfolio of activities, training and capacity building needs of Comorian faculty members, physical infrastructure needs, cost of training aids and machines, financial requirements and sustainability strategy for the centre. Capital and running costs for the Centre too were discussed.
Mr. Raman Gujral, Associate Senior Faculty at EDII and one of the members who was a part of this assignment said, “There is a need to impart an entrepreneurial routeing to countries, the world over. Comoros abounds in resources that need to be channelized, and this is possible only with entrepreneurial efforts. Interventions in this direction will give a strong entrepreneurial purpose to the country.”[Top]
Startup by EDII Students to Revolutionize the Indian Ceramic Tile Industry
Co-founder – Nikita Maheshwari & Shikhar Maheshwari
In last 5 years, we all have grown up experiencing e-commerce and tech-enability making convenience a form of lifestyle. Everything is just a click (and these days rather a fingertap away).
Food, clothing and now housing (the quintessential Roti, Kapda aur Makkan) have all found their way to the 5-inch platform. Amongst all the others having your own Makaan is everyone’s lifelong dream. However, despite several platforms coming up on the ‘buy, sell and rent’ model there was a visible gap in the home décor, beauty and aesthetics segment in the construction industry. One can definitely buy, sell and rent houses but what about homes? Here is where me and my brother saw a window of opportunity.
We decided to venture into coverings and tiling. The idea was even more workable due the proximity of Morbi to Ahmedabad. This small town houses an industry size of USD10 Billion within the periphery of 50 Km. having almost 1500 manufacturing units for tiles, sanitary ware and other coverings. However, the biggest challenge was that the market having huge potential is highly unorganized making it inaccessible to the the right customer at the right time.
Thus, Tilebazzar was born. We wanted to bridge the gap between the manufacturing industry and the consumer and in turn helping the industry to organize itself on the virtual space. We wanted to provide every stakeholder a levelled platform to reach out to the masses across the country. We at Tilebazzar aim at providing a variety of choices at affordable price under one roof and also to provide end-to-end solutions within budget to beautify houses for customers and also provide greater exposure to the small and medium enterprises at Morbi to to come on board and showcase their products.
To make Tilebazzar a reality and covert the idea into right product, it was very important that the stakeholders understood the concept and tell us their problems. Thus, we created a beta website and conducted our market research for 6 long months formulating different services that would assist everyone- Manufacturer, Builders, Architects, Dealers, Developers and the Government as well. Our moto stands simple – Every Covering @ Every Price.
We are planning to launch Tilebazzar by the third week of May. We are proud to be first of its kind platform which shall not only provide you coverings but also provide creative solutions so that you get your dream house in just the way you imagined it to be.
Tilebazzar plans to do two things in future – Firstly, bring a behavioral change in the way our county perceives aesthetics in Building & Construction Industry. Secondly, we also want to make Morbi the epicenter of Ceramic/Vitrified Tiles, Sanitary and other coverings for the world in next 5-7 years. Myself and Shikhar want to make this town as Ceramic “Silicon” Valley because we understand our true success does not only lie in our personal achievements but also in the success of each and every stakeholder involved in the process right from the grass root level.
P.s. To every woman entrepreneur out there- if you are taking a chance to enter a male dominated industry, don’t back down, you will find your place give it time. But walk tall and stay strong.[Top]