Meetings are a reality – physical or virtual. We may hide but cannot run from it. If that is the truth, how can we make these meetings productive? I believe it has to do a lot with meeting notes, and follow-ups in clear action items. So here goes!
Question: What are key things to keep in mind for taking meeting notes and circulating them to all attendees for action and next steps?
Here are some key things to keep in mind for taking meeting notes and circulating them to all attendees for action and next steps:
Start by clearly stating the purpose and agenda of the meeting, as well as the names and roles of all attendees. This will help everyone understand the context and focus of the meeting and ensure that all participants are on the same page.
Take detailed and accurate notes of the discussion and decisions made during the meeting. This may include key points, action items, and deadlines. Make sure to include the names of the individuals responsible for each action item and any relevant references or attachments.
Use a clear and concise writing style to organize and present the information in the notes. Avoid jargon or abbreviations that may not be understood by all attendees, and use bullet points or numbered lists to highlight key points and action items.
Review and proofread the notes carefully before sending them to all attendees. This will help ensure that the information is accurate and easy to understand.
Use a professional and standardized format for the notes, such as a table or template. This will help to ensure consistency and make it easier for attendees to quickly find and access the information they need.
Follow up with attendees after the meeting to ensure that they have received the notes and understand their action items. This will help to clarify any questions or concerns and ensure that everyone is on track to meet their deadlines.
Overall, the key is to be organized, detailed, and professional in your approach to taking and circulating meeting notes. By doing so, you can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and able to take the necessary action to move forward.
I was never a fan of potatoes growing up. I thought they were boring, mushy, and bland. But in the last 20 years and having moved to cities, I realize they are the perfect food! They are the ultimate all-rounder: mashed, fried, baked or boiled. Top it off; they go with everything, including cheese, egg, or meat – not to mention veggies too! As a bonus point: they are inexpensive and available across the globe!
I never liked potatoes as a kid because they looked too bland and mushy. But in the last 20 years, I have realized that they are the perfect food.
Potatoes do not discriminate against any other ingredient or cuisine. They can be enjoyed in any shape and size chips to fries to wedges, without discrimination! Also, Potatoes are versatile and are a must-have in different cuisines.
Much like the Generalists who can work in any organization and culture. They have the unique ability to adapt themselves according to the needs of a team or an organization without discriminating against anyone. Like potatoes, they imbibe the values or culture of their workplace.
Generalists are like potatoes. Like potatoes, they do not have a distinctive snob factor. They usually do not cost much to hire while delivering immense value to organizations when hired well!
Like potatoes that are easy to prepare, Generalists can quickly be onboarded across industries because they possess skills applicable across domains.
Generalists are the ultimate all-rounder, like potatoes.
Potatoes are versatile and adaptable and can be cooked in various ways. You can have your mashed spuds straight up or make them into chips, wedges or even potato gratin. These versatile tubers can be used as the main course or as the side dish—they are equally good either way!
A good Generalist is similar —they are the ultimate all-rounder who can take on any role you give them, no matter how big or small. A true Generalist will always be your second-in-command (after all, they are exceptionally good at taking orders). They are also more than capable of stepping up to lead projects if they need to do so—and sometimes even when they do not need to do so because they want some more responsibility!
Generalists are wildly versatile – mashed, fried, baked or boiled. Oops.
Have you ever noticed that potatoes are versatile? They can be mashed, fried, baked or boiled. You can use them as a side dish or main course. You can even make potato salad out of them (and who does not love potato salad?).
Just like good Generalists! Good Generalists are versatile, and they can be used in many ways. They can be used as a team lead, a project manager in the main course, or as that go-to resourceful guy.
Top it off; they go with everything, including cheese, egg, meat, or veggies. A good Generalist can be put in any department – project, product, sales, operations, or finance. They can be worked with in many ways, go with many departments and are not too pricey and accessible.
They can be your side dish or even your main course.
Like potatoes, a good generalist can be your “side dish, or even your main course” (sic). The potato and the generalist are both versatile. They can work on projects requiring technical skills but not too much specialization—tasks called “the 80%” if you are looking for someone to take care of the back-end development of your website or app, great! Oh wait, did you say your Operations team have quit en masse? Look for a few generalists. That is yet another area where they will shine, not outside their boss. And after all this, they will probably still have time left to help with other things like graphic design or marketing (if you need it).
The bottom line is that if you need something done quickly and well—and do not mind having them around after they are done—good generalists will always be there for you.
They are also not expensive and accessible across the globe.
Yes, they are not expensive, like some Yartsa Gunbu, Spanish peas, Wasabi roots or pink lettuce. Potatoes are accessible across the globe and inexpensive. There may be some La Bonnotte Potatoes, but they are more exceptions than the rule. They can be grown in most countries, which means they are available all year round, unlike other foods with strict growing seasons. Potatoes contain a valuable source of carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, and fibre, making them ideal for people on a budget or with dietary restrictions. Even more importantly—they can be stored for months!
The generalist is produced in most countries, universally available, and significantly less constant skilling and grooming. Generalists are a valuable resource for contextualization, standardization, and cross-functional and cross-industry innovation. Even more importantly, they have a long shelf life, unlike some of the tech industry, where the skills courses/certifications they attempt to gain are already ancient by the time they finish a course!
Generalists are a valuable resource for contextualization, standardization, and cross-functional and cross-industry innovation.
A Generalist is like a potato – good in everything but rarely gets credit for all the goodness.
Yes, many things, well, from being a Patient Care Assistant or a Police Officer or a President, but they rarely get credit for all the goodness that comes from being a Jack of all trades. A Generalist can be hired for any project or team because they are usually capable in many areas. It is high time we see their versatility and pay attention as they should. From fries to wedges to chips – they are everywhere.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it helpful in shaping and shifting your career. If you are a Generalist like me, do not worry. We have lots of time to prove that we are good and the best at what we do!
What if you were your team’s biggest problem? How will you even know? Let alone fix it.
My friend and I were talking about what it means to lead a team. He runs a hands-on small business, and I do CxO on Tap consulting, usually working with CEOs and Founders on boring stuff like “business transformations”.
My friend talked about his challenges with his team and how he could improve the performance of his employees and his business. His team was talented and hard-working, but they weren’t meeting their company’s goals or delivering the high-quality work he expected.
We talked about all sorts of things he could do differently. He could change their workflow and different tasks, give them new tools, fire some, hire more people with expertise in specific areas, delegate more responsibilities to them and so on…
Then at one point, I heard myself blurting loudly – “Hey, What if YOU are your team’s biggest problem right now? Then how would you fix yourself?”
My friend was shocked at my brutality. I was stunned myself that I said that.
He immediately replied, “nothing”. Then there was radio silence on both sides for 2-3 minutes. Both of us said nothing—dead silence.
Then he got up and shook hands, left the meeting as suddenly as possible. He said, “Thank you so much… that last question …wow! … it was a killer. I don’t know why I didn’t ask myself all along…. I will call you back as soon as I crack this… thanks a bunch”, and he just left.
What would you do? Did it ever happen to you? What if you were your team’s biggest problem? How will you even know?
We should use imagination more often and in more ways than we do today. But then, isn’t it weird to try to just imagine something out of thin air? At least, that’s what I thought for most of my life until I learned about the ‘power of imagination and how it works.
Instead of asking “Why?” all the time, why not we start asking “Why Not?”; instead of “What?” what if we used “What if”? Could these open ourselves up to new possibilities?
Imagine this: You are standing on the edge of a cliff, looking down at your own body lying motionless on the 100ft below you on the ground. How would you feel? Would you be scared or excited? Would you want to jump or stay put? What are you feeling now? What are the thoughts running at that point?
Imagining things from various uncomfortable perspectives and possibilities helps us understand ourselves better. And we gain new insight into our own lives by getting outside ourselves for a moment—the above was just one bizarre (imaginative) example!
Instead of asking “Why?” all the time, why not we start asking “Why Not?”; instead of “What?” what if we used “What if”? Could these open ourselves up to new possibilities?
An imaginative mind is a mind that can think of many things at once. Imagination is the ability to create new ideas, experiences, and situations in our thoughts. Imagination helps us to solve problems and make decisions. It’s also vital to foster creativity!
The more we use our imagination, the better it works! We have seen this happen before: When someone tells us a story about something they did with their friends or family, do we imagine what it would be like if it happened to us? This is because our imaginations are highly active all the time!
All minds are active minds. An active mind is multi-dimensional. An active mind is multi-dimensional. It can work on many ideas at a time; it can hold multiple ideas in its grasp and turn them over like so many stones, seeing what lies beneath the surface of each one. Is it a surprise then that an active mind is so powerful:
The active mind can consider the different facets of an issue without feeling overwhelmed or having to choose between them. Instead, it can look at them all at once and see how they relate to each other individually and as part of a larger whole.
This is why a multi-dimensional mind is invaluable—it can take the most complex problems and simplify them to become manageable.
A mind is like a garden full of flowers of different hues and colors, with different blooms and fruition cycles. Still, they co-exist. And like in a garden, where each plant needs specific attention, one’s multi-dimensional mind needs specific nurturing to each of the dimensions.
All of us have a little voice in our heads. It’s the one that asks “what if?” and “why not?”. We call it our imagination. It keeps us asking questions, exploring options, and thinking outside the box. It’s also the thing that makes us human.
Yes, sometimes our imagination can feel like it’s getting a little too loud in our heads—we get overwhelmed by all the ideas we’re trying to juggle at once. We start feeling like we’re just spinning wheels on everything because we don’t know where to start. What if we practice quietening the mind to co-exist with those multiple ideas like a garden full of beautiful flowers?
The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
The more possibilities there are, the more creativity we have. Resources are finite, but our mind is infinite. We can create something out of nothing while using our imagination to help others and ourselves.
Innovation and creativity are at their highest when we have an open mind to the many possibilities to arrive at a solution. As our society becomes more dependent on technology, we will need more people who can think outside the box, look at more possibilities and draw patterns. This is precisely what humans do with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – exploring increased possibilities to find hidden intelligence.
So, what do human-made machines do, can’t humans do better?
In a way that creativity and innovation are two sides of the same coin; it is like art and science.
The creative mind is more open to new ways of thinking and perceiving; it sees things in new ways, bringing about innovation. Innovation is an integral part of human progress because it enables us to create tools, products, systems, and ideas that help us live better lives.
Innovation comes from a combination of imagination and knowledge—it’s not enough to know how something works if we don’t also have some insight into how it could be used differently or improved. This is where imagination steps in: if we can imagine a better way for something to work, we might be able to make it happen!
The world is a complex place. There are infinite problems that need to be solved, and we need creative solutions to solve them. So the more imaginative and innovative people there are, the better our chance of making things better for everyone.
Innovative people come up with new ideas, which lead to new ways to solve problems – be it products and services; these things create jobs, create a better standard of living, feed the poor, cure the diseased, and a lot more.
But innovation doesn’t just stop there! It also means being able to help out those in need by finding better ways of doing things so they don’t have as much pain or suffering anymore. This is good for saving the planet since we use fewer resources and are more efficient.
An imaginative mind is key to making the world a better place. A good imagination is critical and can help us achieve our dreams and goals. We must imagine ourselves achieving them before they become a reality, so we must know how to use our imagination properly.
We need more people with imaginative minds to make the world a better place.
I addressed a group of young people in their early twenties and in their first jobs, on building their careers.
During the conversations, when asked about how they were contributing to the company’s success, most said they were not aware of the management team’s plans, and that I should ask their super bosses.
The same week, I met a few more mid-level managers who had decent experience and were reasonably good in their functions and jobs. I curiously asked them again how they were contributing to the company’s success. Again, the answer was almost similar to what the rookies in the first jobs said.
In both cases, this is what I shared with them, and I thought it would be worthwhile to share in this post –
All businesses need three things.
Everything and anything that you do as a business or in your job will fall under one of these things. All functions – sales, marketing, finance, technology, operations, customer support, or human resources – focus on one more of the above three. That is the purpose of their existence.
So, if you are the CEO, a rookie, or a mid-level manager, when you wake up every morning, you can ask yourself these questions (or similar) and work towards them during the day.
The questions you may ask each morning?
What are my revenue sources?
How can I increase my sales?
How can I add more customers/ partners ?
How can I go into new markets?
How can I increase my profits?
How can I reduce the costs of my operations?
How can I do more with less?
How can I build efficiency when to all the things that I do?
How can I build effectiveness into all the things that I do? Can I do something better or find a new way to begin things that can help me become faster, cheaper, or better.
How can I get closer to my customer/ partner?
How can I address my partners/ customer’s unsolved problem?
How can I get more share out of the customer’s wallet?
How can I increase the sales?
How can I get into new markets?
How can I get new customers’ questions?
What can I do to cut costs?
What can I do to increase profits?
What can I do to play better with the pricing?
How much should I increase the product’s price to bring in 25% more in absolute profits?
How much will a decrease of 5% in the selling price affect my profits in absolute terms?
How can I build efficiency and effectiveness in the system?
How can I hire better people?
How can I write a more efficient code?
What technology or framework should I deploy to give better response time to my users?
How can I motivate people so that they deliver their best every day?
What can I do play build a culture of continuous improvement in the organization?
What can I do to improvise on a current way of doing things so that I can increase more sales or get into new markets?
Are your customers jettisoning you by the hordes? Or are they leaving you in a trickle? Is your product revenue becoming a sinking ship or a leaky bucket?
Customers will soon turn too busy for your product only when your product manager becomes too busy for the customer.”
A product manager is responsible not just for building a product that works, but more importantly, one that sells and sticks.
1. Building the nuts and bolts of a product that works is probably the easier part (oops! engineers, no offence). That is engineering.
2. To make sure a product indeed meets the needs and aspirations of customers is challenging.
3. Creating an ecosystem of product+experience (support and service) is where the magic is created. That is where the rubber hits the road.
And this activity cannot be 100% outsourced to Marketing, Sales, Support or Service functions.
When customers decide to swear by your product, it is crucial to understand the why
When those customers decided that your product is not worth their wallet, it is vital to understand the why.
When those key prospects are still undecided, to test your product, it is still essential to understand their why too.
Listening to customers and users is a vital part of product management. Much to the chagrin of many organisations, l product managers tend to be internally focused on product engineering only. Product engineering is a ‘part role’ of a product manager. What is core is to listen, to meet and to interact with the product’s long time users, customers and, (more importantly), the ones that dumped the product after the first few uses.
This is what good product managers do. Understanding the customer, listening to them, and bringing in the right features functionalities in the product they are building is the key. And these cannot be done by being internally focused.
Meeting customers is a part of the day job of a product manager. It is just as important or more than looking at the spreadsheets for sales and profitability or those slides for marketing or the PRD for engineering. I would add first-hand interaction and information collection with the customer gives life and purpose to the product.
And product manager who becomes too busy for a customer will soon see customers who become too busy for the product. #LawOfKarma or #CommonSense
In my interactions with clients, they come with an absolutely ‘clear ask’ on the requirement and want us to fulfil that ‘immediately’.
It is most comfortable for me to give them what they asked. However, I almost always pose this question.
“Why do you want to do what you want to do? Not that we cannot do that x thing that you ask for, but would love to understand the why of it is the right thing to do.”
7 in 10 times, during the process of discussion, their ‘clear ask’ has now changed a few times, and the new request is more practical and commonsensical. Sometimes that ‘urgent need’ itself is nullified, and I have possibly lost that ‘immediate business’ of what they were initially planning to give us.
I do this because I put myself into the shoes of my customer’s business. And gives me a vicarious experience of ‘being a core part of their business’ during those conversations.
That is the value I seem to bring to the table. It has often, at times, saved millions. But more importantly, asking the right questions, seemed to be the right thing to do.
What #Marketing, #Sales, #BusinessDevelopment and #ChannelManagement teams can do in the times of #Corona
(Part 1 of n – This is the first in the multi-part series on how business can thrive in these times)
With COVID-19, the world is passing through extraordinary times. Companies require super-extraordinary approaches to survive and thrive in such situations. In this multi-part series, I will address what an organisation can do to lead the industry and leave the competition far behind.
Businesses will be restored to normalcy in due course; only the innovators with innovative marketing organisations will survive. The rest will perish and fall by the end of this pandemic. What remains hence is the impact that you have created in the coming weeks and months. Towards that goal, we will see and share a few tips in marketing and business development.
With the partial to a near-total shutdown of businesses worldwide, the domestic and global companies are facing a watershed moment. Their inbound marketing leads and enquiries have dried up. The social distancing norms constrain the sales team and outbound team. Many businesses are working from home. Revenues are barely trickling in.
Yet, this provides one of the perfect opportunities for a savvy marketer. Here are a few things that you can do –
 Reset and recalibrate the internal marketing
Lockouts and quarantine times, such as this is an ideal time to set the internal house to order. The marketing team can now experiment with things that you always wanted to do but never found adequate time. Some of the areas could be
Create ‘stock’ content like blogs, white paper, case studies
Revisit the calendar for ‘flow’ content like posting blogs and social media.
 Reach out to currently engaged prospects
Today is an excellent opportunity to reach out to prospects and customers that are engaged with you presently. The trick is reaching out to them, ‘not with a sales pitch but with ‘hacks’ or ‘tips and tricks. Such a sharing of high-value content that truly eases their lives can add tremendous value to their businesses and organisations. Your customers have all the time in the world now, and you can even reach out to them with web sessions like Zoom or Facebook / Instagram Live. Here are some examples of topics that you can use –
Everything you need to know about X.
Why most Y strategies today are destined to fail.
Three steps by that Y can do to stop Z
COVID-19 – How X can change the future of Y.
 CRM, Database clean up, and customer segmentation.
One of the vital things a sales team (and the marketing organisation) must have is a well-segmented target audience. It would be best if you used this time to look at the database of current opportunities in your CRM system. If you have not updated the customer database/ CRM, use this time to reach out to sales teams to update the CRM. You can then segment / re-segment the prospect and customer data. You may want to customer lists into categories or based on the sales cycle or with tags that your company is comfortable with. You would need to have a specific plan of engagement for each type.
Let me know your thoughts, and I shall continue to build on these on my next posts in the series. You can also reach out to email@example.com, and I will be glad if I can be of help /Rajesh
Leadership differs from management in a very fundamental way. Management doesn’t have to involve inspiring or motivating others. Situational leadership is a specific style of leadership, where your leadership style is dependent on the situation. You could be leading b either delegating, supporting, coaching o directing depending on the team and complexity of the task. Which essentially makes you practice one or more of the 4 popular leadership styles. The image here is self-explanatory.
What You Can Do About Situational Leadership Starting in the Next 11 Minutes
Leadership programs are appropriate for supervisors, managers, entrepreneurs and company executives. A leadership development program can help the company leaders in receiving new capabilities. This is a good 10-minute video on Hershey Blanchard situational leadership that you must watch
Now that you’ve understood, it’s vital that you take one of the critical projects that you are heading and see what amongst these leadership team would require at this point in the current situation.
The Number One Question You Must Ask for Situational Leadership
Leadership is more than only a word, it’s the action of leading. It can also cause a company’s demise. Situational leadership or the one size doesn’t fit all method is all about adapting your style to the particular circumstance.
“Knowing all that I know about this team and this project, what is the leadership that is required to help the project move to the next level, project right now?
Leaders help ordinary folks achieve extraordinary outcomes. They should be sent to various countries and allowed to learn that way. Superior leaders identify great talent, give them direction, then escape the manner.
The Hidden Truth About Situational Leadership
Leaders will need to function as a catalyst for change. Thus, a situational leader should have the needed aptitude in order to adjust their actions in order that they may fit with the present situation as a way to assist and meet the requirements of the faculty. Today, the leader with one principal leadership style can’t survive.
1. Entrepreneurs Are
The New Black – $100bn In VC Investments
Despite all the uncertainties in the global
markets, entrepreneurship continues to be much sought after even in 2019. And
it is not without a reason. Globally,
the U.S Venture Capitalist Investments are on the steady rise from 2009(US$ 20+ billion) to over $100 billion by the end- 2018. Investments into India alone have tripled from
just over US$ $4b in 2015 has grown to a massive
12.65 billion in 2018, a record of sorts.
However, on further analysis, you will note that late
stage start-ups with a proven record of success took the lion’s share of
funding raised, even as the industry welcomed new ‘unicorns. What this means is that if you get to have success
at every stage of your start-up, money is not a big issue for scaling.
2. The Age Of Garage Entrepreneur Is Dead
Entrepreneurs are no longer just folks starting out
of a garage. You will find that the new
age entrepreneurs are well educated, are either freshers or those with experience
of working in the industry, have a few skill, capabilities, and competencies up
their sleeve. And they are aware of that too. You will find that they come with
a passion of Garage Entrepreneurs and have ring-fenced
that passion with a lot more practicality in combining strengths. They will
usually partner with like-minded co-founders who fill the gap their own skill
gaps required for business. This age of entrepreneurs has their feet firmly on the
ground in understanding the real problem
that they are trying to solve. Yet are dreamers with their own idols like Elon
Musk or Sachin Bansal or a Jack Ma.
3. Lifelong Employment Is A Myth Busted, Forever.
I said this in 2016, and this holds truer in 2019 than before. The age of lifelong employment is dead – and buried. With the security of lifelong employment and associated pensions gone, more people are looking to get into the driver’s seat and take control of their destiny. They may not be quitting their day-jobs to start off but are cranking their start-ups with the luxury of income from the day jobs funding their passion in part or in full. If you are contemplating, don’t spend the rest of your life contemplating, no do you need to take that leap by quitting the day job when you will face revenue pressures to even sustain yourself. You can well do both, by spending a few more hours on weekdays and dedicate weekends to get the start-up off ground. Once you are confident of taking of jettisoning the mother-ship you can.
I said this in 2016, and this holds truer in 2019 than before. The age of lifelong employment is dead – and buried. With the security of lifelong employment and associated pensions gone, more people are looking to get into the driver’s seat and take control of their destiny. They may not be quitting their day-jobs yet, but are cranking their start-ups with the comfort of regular income from the day job, that funds their passion in part or in full. If you are contemplating, don’t spend the rest of your life contemplating. Nor should you that day job, when you now that will face income pressures to sustain yourself.
A blended approach could be that you can do both, by spending a few more hours on weekdays and dedicate weekends to get the start-up off ground. Once you are confident of taking off, jettison that mother-ship and raise your sails to the headwind.
4. Unemployment And Underemployment Continue To Be Triggers For New Ideas Take Shape
Student unemployment combined with gross unemployment and underemployment seems to be the first ‘triggers,’ though not necessarily the reason for success of many entrepreneurs. The education industry is churning out graduates and postgraduates at alarming rates and the number of big corporations that can absorb such talent is far too less. Education has become expensive, with student loans mounting, yet with no assurance of campus placement, entrepreneurship seems to be the only recourse if you have that fire in the belly.
Since supply far outstrips demand, it is logical that more students are seeking out entrepreneurial experiences with self-funding from friends and family to start with – many with aspirations to build the next Facebook, Uber, or Tesla. The others go through basic education simply to better equip themselves or in anticipation of one day taking that big leap from a cushy corporate job on to an entrepreneurial journey.
5. Disruptive Innovation Seldom Happens In Large Companies.
A lot more disruption and innovation happen today
than ever before. And yet, most such disruptions have started with the new
entrepreneurs and not the big corporates.
The very fact that the big companies went on to acquire the smaller players at high valuations goes on to prove the value created by new entrepreneurs. When was the last time a Google disrupted the industry? YouTube was an acquisition. Facebook acquired WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus. Microsoft did that with Skype and LinkedIn.
The pace of disruptive innovation has been accelerating since 2005. The new biggies are barely teenagers, the 100-year legends are far and few. New disruptors are disrupting previous disruptors.
6. Failure Is The New Badge Of Honour
The Silicon Valley’s adage on entrepreneurial spirit, ‘Failure is a Badge of Honour,’ is no more restricted to the Valley. In the past, Asian economies like India, China and Indonesia that constitute over half of the world’s population rewarded formal employment and had a social stigma attached to failure.
This new decade had changed all that. Today, you
have the wealth created by entrepreneurs from India and China. It is more like this
generation of Asians are getting back vigorously and challenging the tenets.
Even as the likes of Jack Ma (Alibaba), Sachin
Bansal, Binny Bansal (Flipkart), Aggarwal (Ola) have either diluted their stake
to move into philanthropy or the next big
thing, there is a new generation like Rashmi Daga (Fresh Menu), Ritesh Agarwal (Oyo),
Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jasimini (Swiggy),
Deepinder Goyal (Zomato) that have filled in those spaces with fairly big
shoes. The spirit of failure does not seem to perturb them, and they are reinventing,
realigning from their mistakes along the way.
7. Freemiums Break The Jinx Of Entry Barriers
business is hard and one needs to be systematic and
efficient. Hiring external resources cost money. On the other hand,
buying software which you may not use or may find limited use at exorbitant
prices is a big deterrent to productivity. A lot has changed in the last few
years. I have compiled some of the world’s best software and tools that makes
it easier for any entrepreneur– Analytics
(Google Analytics) , Collaboration (Slack, Trello) , Communication (Skype) Design Tools
Document Storage (Dropbox/
One Drive/ Google Drive) , Email Marketing (MailChimp)
, Invoices And Billing (Zoho), Social Media
Schedulers (Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck), Spreadsheets (Google Sheets), Survey Tool (Survey Monkey) , Word Processing (Grammarly, Google Docs).
components of your business that requires software tools are available for free
to start off and then ‘pay as you grow.’ This is a great boost for entrepreneurs
and start-ups who can use world-class tools with zero spending.
8. New Marketing Models Shackle Traditional Stongholds
Acquiring new customers and ‘spreading the message’
is no more limited to expensive newspaper
advertisements and television spots. The online marketing channels are all
about creating inbound leads and low-cost outbound reach, to targeted audience
at extremely optimised and affordable costs. Imagine reaching out to your new prospects
at budgets as low as low as $10 (Marketing on Google Facebook, Twitter and Facebook
and LinkedIn) for advertising each day.
The new marketing models with digital marketing and
content creation techniques using some of the tools mentioned above, have
spawned the imagination and amplified the
marketing capability of every entrepreneur.
You can now, target, reach out and engage your
audience for the right demographics and geo-focus. This translates for you into
a theoretically unlimited market size with
hyper-local targeting. Since markets have democratised and entry barriers for distribution
busted, you have infinite opportunities as a new player that offer value to your
9. You Don’t Even Need That Permission To Start
This is the best part. The world has changed and
has changed forever in the last decade. Governments across the world are waking
up to the new reality of changing demographics and have opened ‘Start Up’ and
Incubation Centres in every part of the world to encourage and give a boost to
the new entrepreneurs. The painfully expensive permissions from the Government
and regulators are long outdated for most new set-ups.
Social structures have changed, sources of funding
have changed and most of them are an advantage for the new entrepreneur
10. There Is No Better Time To Start
The Internet has flattened the world for 2 decades now. That the advances in mobile
telecommunication, increased bandwidths and broadband penetration have led to a
convergence of idea centres a decade ago.
Together, they have unleashed a potential that is available today for you- in
all its magnificence – for you to start. If you must start, there is no better
time to start than now. A journey of a thousand miles – starts with the first
step, they say.
The question today then is not: “Can we build this?” but rather, “Should we build this?”
Please do share your thoughts and feedback and I
will be glad to learn from you.
**The author is an entrepreneur with two decades of
senior leadership experience in India and Asia-Pacific and now runs Futureshift,
a boutique consulting outfit that helps businesses chart their digital
marketing strategy with the @ZMOTly framework to achieve impactful outcomes. He
is available at firstname.lastname@example.org **