Category Archives: Start-up

Product info in AV format – Beatroute

Did a video for a client sometime back. Concept, design and development by Team ICS.

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Why brand

To make business a successful or profitable venture, it has to develop a brand that its target audience recognises it with. It becomes easier for the business to grow and develop successful customer relationships. Although many people think that building a brand is complicated, just follow a few steps and you are already on the right track.

Decide what you plan to brand and do a research on your target audience
Before engaging in the brand development process, it is important to do some research work and decide what you would like to brand. Generally, there are choices between branding a person, a company, a service or even a particular product. Once a decision has been made regarding what will be branded, it then becomes crucial to ensure that enough time is spent on researching your target market. Once this has been done, it is then essential to learn as much as possible about the product, service or individual that you intend to market.

Decide the brand definition and positioning
After researching your target audience, it is important to take time to develop a brand definition that clearly explains what is being offered, and how the product or service you have to offer is different from what is already out there. It should also inform your target market how they will benefit from using it and what guarantee you offer to those who choose to use your service or product. From here, the next step is to win a place in the market for what you have to offer. This can be done by giving them solutions to problems or needs that previously could not be solved or met.

Develop a brand name, tagline and a logo
These three aspects are extremely important in the brand development process as they help to ensure that your business or service offering stands out clearly among others who may have the same offerings. By designing a logo and compiling a memorable tagline, you can be sure that customers will be able to remember not only your business name, but also what you are able to do for them. Once this has been done, it is time to launch your brand and market it.

Manage your brand
By offering consistent customer service and products, you will be able to manage your brand very well. Once the market is aware of the high quality goods or services that you have to offer, you will be well on your way to effectively mastering the brand development process. It is also important to ensure that any negative publicity is dealt with as professionally as possible in order to maintain the reputation of your brand.

These steps will show you the way to develop a winning brand. Once you have achieved this, it may become necessary to adjust your branding approach on occasions to ensure that your company identity is kept up to date. And if you need any kind of professional assistance during or after the process, get in touch with us at info@industree.in

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Story of Start-ups

The word Entrepreneur sounds so cool, an entrepreneur with a hot technology and venture-capital funding becomes a billionaire in his 20s. But it’s not fun to hear that even venture-backed start-ups have a 90% chance of failure. But start-up failure isn’t just reality; it’s also a necessity and a benefit. Here our references are made keeping America’s entrepreneurial environment in mind.

Firstly, the number of companies getting started far exceeds the potential market. Each year, 500,000 new businesses are started in the United States.  If each one were to become a $100 million success, that would mean adding $50 Trillion in ultimate revenues.  Clearly, those numbers don’t add up and mathematically, most companies have to fail.

Secondly, market failure, while painful, plays an important role in the economy.  We’re not smart enough to allocate people and resources; the failures of all those start-ups let us reallocate their people to the companies that are succeeding.  If start-ups never failed, every other type of company would run out of good people!

Thirdly, failure is a sign that you’re and have been trying.  To most folks who assume that winning all the deals you go after is the best possible result. A high win rate indicates that you’re not in enough deals.  Your people aren’t trying hard enough to get you in the door.

However, lets focus in our initial topic, there is enough evidence that venture-backed start-ups fail at far higher numbers than the rate the industry usually cites. About three-quarters of venture-backed firms in the U.S. don’t return investors’ capital, according to recent research by Shikhar Ghosh, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.

Compare that with the figures that venture capitalists toss around. The common rule of thumb is that of 10 start-ups, only three or four fail completely. Another three or four return the original investment, and one or two produce substantial returns. The National Venture Capital Association estimates that 25% to 30% of venture-backed businesses fail.

Mr. Ghosh chalks up the discrepancy in part to a dearth of in-depth research into failures. His findings are based on data from more than 2,000 companies that received venture funding, generally at least $1 million, from 2004 through 2010. He also combed the portfolios of VC firms and talked to people at start-ups, he says. The results were similar when he examined data for companies funded from 2000 to 2010, he says.

Venture capitalists bury their dead very quietly says Mr. Ghosh, they emphasize the successes but they never talk about the failures ever.

There are also different definitions of failure. If it means liquidating all assets, with investors losing all their money, an estimated 30% to 40% of high potential start-ups fail. If failure is defined as failing to see the projected return on investment, say a specific revenue growth rate or date to break even on cash flow then more than 95% of start-ups fail.

Failure often is harder on entrepreneurs who lose money that they’ve borrowed on credit cards or from friends and relatives than it is on those who raised venture capital. Venture capitalists make high-risk investments and expect some of them to fail, and entrepreneurs who raise venture capital often draw salaries.

Overall, non venture-backed companies fail more often than venture-backed companies in the first four years of existence, typically because they don’t have the capital to keep going if the business model doesn’t work, Harvard’s Mr. Ghosh says. Venture-backed companies tend to fail following their fourth years after investors stop injecting more capital, he says.

Of all companies, about 60% of start-ups survive to age three and roughly 35% survive to age 10, according to separate studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit that promotes U.S. entrepreneurship. Both studies counted only incorporated companies with employees. And companies that didn’t survive might have closed their doors for reasons other than failure, for example, getting acquired or the founders moving on to new projects.

Positive is, whatever it is even “nutty” ideas are a sign that entrepreneurs are collectively trying new things all the time.

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being a small start-up

Starting a business can be exhilarating and fulfilling, but in course it can get complicated and may challenge you in many ways. Challenges and problems will be nothing new but will be something we have often seen happening to others.

Most small businesses fail because of lack of cash flow. Study says that 79 percent of small business failures cited “starting out with too little money” as one of the reasons for the business downfall because owners borrow based on their ideas of a successful business, instead of borrowing for a worst-case scenario. A start-up business owner needs to be optimistic, but often is too optimistic about seeing profits. Without adequate cash flow, slow sales or a downturn in the market can end the business before it has a chance to gain momentum.

Common problem for new businesses is to hurry into marketing campaigns without understanding the actual target market. The costs associated with marketing is stiff and if a business does not know who its target market is, then the money may go wasted. With incorrect messaging the reach is limited and don’t reach the target audience.

A start-up requires tremendous effort, commitment and strong will to make it a success. Add to this the financial stress of a fledgling business. Start-up business owners often have problems balancing the overwhelming demands of the company, if the stress of the workplace spreads into the home, the business owner may feel pressure around the clock.

A common problem for most entrepreneurs is the belief that they can handle all of the start-up’s operations by themselves. It may be a cost-effective way to run the business, but operating the entire business on your own may not be a wise decision or the best use of your time. Many small-business start-ups may not require full-time employees. But it’s a good idea to have at least one or two teammates who are ready to help. With experienced, reliable assistance you can avoid other common business mistakes. When it is time to hire staff, be careful in your choices, employees are a crucial component in the success of your business.

But as a matter of fact hiring is also a big problem for small companies, atleast in a business like mine. We offer marketing solutions and are often in need of high-end graphic designers, writers and editors. And these creative people don’t come cheap, so most of the time hiring them is out of question, thus, use them on contractual basis. Contract has its own issues in our country, India where we operate. Most workers are never committed. Also, since we are a small company, many people don’t like to work for us as we are too small and are kind of perceived as unstable, have no brand identity. Hence, the moment they get an opportunity from a bigger company they shift jobs.

Since you are competing with big fish it does not mean you have to quote rock bottom prices. Pricing your goods and services too low can delay the process of turning a profit. Instead list fair prices and make sure your start-up excels in customer service and delivery. Its very important to excel in any field and customers do appreciate on-time response.

One thing I got to say, its tough but not impossible.

This a guest post by Ms. Thapa, Twitter @bijeta

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