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The Importance Of Seating Arrangements In A Meeting

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Since the very beginning, seating arrangments were crucial. In fact, in medieval times, where you sat at the table defined your relative importance and nobility. Arguments over who belonged where often erupted into swordfights, which is why formal dinners even today use place tags.

Ironically, business meetings follow a similar trend. Where you sit at a conference table usually depends on your body language. Your physical position influences how you’re perceived by everyone else and to a certain extent predetermines the role you’ll play in the meeting. If you are wondering where to sit at in your next meeting, then this seating arrangement could just be your lucky ticket!

1. The boss takes the number 1 seat

Your boss usually takes the seat at the head of the table. If you don’t know what the seat looks like, then its the one with the backed chair. On a side note, if you’re boss arrives a little late for the meeting and you bag the chair unchallenged, then you are officially declaring yourself as the boss!

2. The “opposition” takes the number 2 seat

If you are in this seat, then everyone around you knows how high up you are on the ladder. This seat usually means you do not agree with what your boss has to say and you are ready to go in guns blazing! P.S., if you have a really strong point you just have to make, then grab that chair as soon as possible!

3. The allies take the number 3 and 4 seat 

Every boss needs his allies, right? So where do the allies sit? On the third and fourth seats, of course! Taking either one of this seats indicates your closeness to the boss and once you sit on these spots, everybody knows your authority cannot be challenged! In my humble opinion, these spots are my favourite!

4. The “opposition” allies take number 5 and 6 seat 

If you work for the boss, taking either of those seats is putting yourself in opposition to your boss by implicitly supporting the visitor. Also, if you get fired after this meeting, you know what you did wrong. Just kidding.

5. The minutes of the meeting taker takes number 7 seat 

The secretary or the person assigned the task of taking the minutes of the meeting sits here! On number 8, the visitor’s admin is seated.

6. The door near the exit 

If you sit here, then you know for a fact that you don’t particularly belong in the meeting. So if you catch yourself dozing off, then the exit is very close to you! Run before you get caught. Better yet, just don’t sit there!

7. The wall benchers

Sit along this wall if you know you’re not going to be contributing to the meeting but will be present throughout. Sitting here doesn’t make any particular statement, unless the meeting is for working on departmental issues.

Where you sit in a meeting decides the course of your career and more often than not, your position on the big table is directly proportional to the work you do. So pick the spot with care and caution and always, ALWAYS, be early so you get the best place!

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How To

How To Raise Capital For Your Startup

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Most of us often think a revolutionary idea is all you need to set up a business.  Yes, a great idea is definitely the heart of your business, but funds are its backbone.  Most startups fail within months after their inception due to lack of proper funds. Raising capital to build your business is a huge challenge, especially if you are a first timer.  We are here to help you with just that. Keep reading to find out some ways in which you can fund your business.

 

How to raise capital for your startup

 

1) Self funding

This is the most obvious way to fund your business.  If you are a first time entrepreneur, you may have a tough time trying to find potential investors.  Therefore, you can consider funding your business from your own savings or ask your friends and family to contribute.  This process of funding your own business is called bootstrapping. Bootstrapping should always be considered as the first option for funding your business.  However, this is suitable only if the initial requirement is small.

 

2) Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a millennial way to fund your startup.  How does crowdfunding work? An aspiring entrepreneur puts up a complete description of his/her business, like the business plan, the vision, what he aims to achieve and how much funding he needs, on a crowdfunding platform.  Users of this platform will read about the business and pledge an amount of their choice, if they like the idea. Here, anyone can contribute to your business. Apart from providing financial help, a crowdfunding platform can also help in marketing your products or services.  Kickstarter, Patreon, GoFundMe, RocketHub and CircleUp are some of the most popular crowdfunding platforms in the world.  In India, Faircent, Ketto and Wishberry are some of the most famous ones. 

 

3) Venture capitalists

Venture capitalists (VCs) are professionals who invest in startups and companies which have huge potential.  VCs usually invest in a business against equity, which is the difference between the value of assets and the value of liabilities.  They exit the business when there is an acquisition or an IPO (Initial Public Offering.) Venture capitalists are not easy to impress, especially if you are new to entrepreneurship.  They even come with their fair share of disadvantages. Though a VC invests in your business, they often expect a recovery within 3 to 5 years. This is suitable for businesses which have crossed the startup stage and are already bringing in revenue.  Some popular venture capitalists in India are Blume Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.  Index Ventures and Accel Ventures are venture capitalists which made their mark across the globe. 

 

4) Angel investors

Angel investors are people who have a huge amount of cash and a keen interest to invest in a potential business.  Sometimes, a group of investors come together to scrutinize and invest in a potential business. Apart from finance, angel investors can also provide advice as mentors.  They are even willing to take higher risks for better returns. Angel investors are the people responsible for the establishment of several big names in the world, including Google and Alibaba.  One drawback of angel investors is, they give far less capital compared to venture capitalists.

 

5) Participate in competitions

In recent times, several competitions are being held, where the winner gets capital for his/her business.  All you have to do is present your business idea or module to a jury and if you win, you get the required capital to start your business.  This, however, is not easy as the competition is going to be very high and your idea has to really stand out from the rest to be able to attract investors. 

 

6) Get help from business incubators and accelerators

Business incubators and accelerators have become immensely popular recently and they are found in almost every major city across the globe.  Business incubators produce several successful entrepreneurs every year. They usually have a program for 4-12 months, during which, they nurture, train, evaluate and fund your business idea.  Accelerators, on the other hand, help an already established business grow or take a huge leap. StartupVillage, T-Hub, TechnoPark TBI and GSF Accelerator are some examples of business incubators and accelerators. 

 

7) Bank loans 

A bank is probably the most convenient place to get funds for your business.  Almost every bank in India provides business loans against some sort of security.  Bank loans for businesses are of two types—working capital loans and funding. Working capital loans are designed to traverse one full cycle of revenue generation.  Funding, on the other hand, is the process of sharing your business plan and your business valuation to get the required funds. 

An added advantage with bank loans is, you will not have the pressure of an investor depending on your business.

 

8) Government schemes

Governments these days are keen on encouraging entrepreneurs.  There are several plans and schemes which are made available by the Government to fund your business.  In India, the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and the Startup India Scheme are some initiatives. The Startup India Scheme, which was started in 2016, is known to have created thousands of entrepreneurs in India. 

 

These are some of the several ways in which you can fund your business.  Before approaching any investor, it is suggested you do full fledged research about each of these options and also get an idea about various market scenarios.  After that, choose a plan which is suitable for you and your business type. If you have a professional network, which we recommend you do, discuss the various options with them and then take a decision. 

Do you know of any other ways to fund a startup?  Comment below and let us know.

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How To Stop Procrastinating

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One of the biggest obstacles between your dream and you, believe it or not, is procrastination.  More often than not, we tend to postpone important tasks, waiting for the perfect time, out of fear of failure or even because of laziness.  As an entrepreneur, your success or failure depends solely on you. You have to be self motivated to stop postponing tasks and get going. 

If procrastination is a problem for you, we got you covered.  Here is a list of things which could help you stop procrastinating.  

 

Ways to stop procrastinating

 

1) Write down your goals

To stop delaying tasks and increasing your productivity, you need to have definite goals.  Every morning, write down all your tasks for the day on a piece of paper and take that paper with you wherever you go.  This way, you will know what goals you want to accomplish that day. Once you finish a task, cross it out off your list—this can keep you motivated to do more work everyday.  At the end of the day, make a backlog list of all the tasks you could not complete and go the extra mile the next day to complete all these tasks.

 

2) Stop waiting for the perfect time

 

Most of the times, we delay a lot of important tasks, waiting for the right time or waiting for that magical Monday.  The right time is never going to come unless you pull up your socks and get to work. The best time to start is now. So, instead of waiting for the right time, just get to work. 

 

3) Don’t let your mood drive you

How many times have you delayed tasks just because you did not feel like doing it?  Well, this is something of which we are all guilty. None of us are motivated all the time, but what separates successful entrepreneurs from the rest is the fact they get going even when they don’t feel like it.  They are not driven by their mood, but by their goals. They are disciplined enough to get work done even if it is the last thing they want to do. Train yourself to get going even if you don’t feel like it. 

 

4) Steer clear of distractions

Well, this is easier said than done.  It is very easy to get sidelined when you are trying to focus on something.  Distractions take away a lot of time from your day than you possibly think. So, as much as possible, try blocking away distractions when you are working—be it people, gadgets or social gatherings.  This will help you complete tasks faster and more efficiently. 

 

5) Overcome the fear of failure

 

Another reason why we tend to delay tasks is because we fear failure.  This fear could prove to be the biggest hurdle on your path to success.  As we all know, the best way to overcome your fear is to face it. Go ahead and start what you want to do.  If you win, you win, or you just learn. Don’t delay tasks just because you fear losing. 

 

Benjamin Franklin once said, “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.”

You may have a great idea and an amazing goal, but if you are not disciplined enough to get to work and pursue your goals, you cannot succeed.  Don’t let procrastination become a hurdle on your way to success. Never delay for tomorrow what you can do today.  

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How To Overcome Business Failure

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“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” — Henry Ford.

Failure is not a pleasant feeling.  In fact, it makes you feel like you are being crushed with no escape whatsoever, but if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this is a feeling to which you must get accustomed.  You will be surprised to know, 20 % of the startups fail even before a year and 50 % before reaching the 5 year mark. As an entrepreneur, you must know, not everything in your business will go according to plan.  Your odds of failure are much higher than your odds of success. 

However, failure is not the end of the world.  Your success in life and in business will be determined by how you deal with those unpleasant failures.  Keep reading to find how you can encourage yourself to start again after a failure.

How to overcome business failure

1) Don’t be too harsh on yourself

Entrepreneurs, especially first timers, tend to blame themselves completely for their failures.  As you know by now, entrepreneurship is a risky process and here, everything does not go as planned.  Everyone makes mistakes and it is these mistakes which make you stronger and better in the future. One failure does not mean you are not capable, so disassociate the failure from you as a person.  Blaming yourself and going too harsh on yourself will make it even harder for you to overcome failure. 

 

2) Sort out your finances

The first thing you should do after facing a failure is to sort out your finances as you can no longer depend on your business as a source of income.  Even if you had a good amount of money in your savings, you might lose it all due to the failure of your business. So, the best thing to do is to find a new source of income which can keep you going till you are back on track.  You can pull a favour from anyone in your professional network for a job or find one for yourself. 

Once you have a stable job, you will have income to pay off your debts and buy yourself some time to figure out what you are going to do next.

 

3) Keep your emotions in check

To see your business fail after investing your heart and soul into it can be emotionally and mentally draining, but if you let these emotions drive you, you are bound to fail again.  Do not take any decision out of anger or fear and any other emotions you may face due to the failure. In the nick of the moment, you may feel like giving it all up, selling your business or trying a new idea then and there.  No matter what you feel, you must wait. Give yourself some time to heal and get your emotions in check, only then move on to take important decisions.  

 

4) Evaluate your failure

As you spend time with yourself everyday, try and analyze your failure.  There are many reasons why a business fails, so it is very important to understand all of them.  Go back and look at your initial business plan, analyze what worked and what did not. If you have a mentor, which we recommend you should, talk to him/her.  A mentor can give you a clear understanding about your mistakes and can tell you what your next move should be.

 Analyzing your failure well can help you avoid making similar mistakes in the future. 

 

5) Rebuild yourself

Now, this is easier said than done.  To gather the courage to start again after failing is a challenge in itself, so take one step at a time.  Start by reading relevant books, updating your skill set and learning the new market scenario. After this, slowly start brainstorming for new business ideas and jot down all the potential ideas.  Also start making a business plan for ideas you think are scalable. Do not forget to reach out to your professional network if you need help at any stage. 

 

Failure is inevitable in life or in business.  Most of the successful people of whom you hear, failed at one point or the other.  Thomas Alva Edison, failed upto 10,000 times before he became one of the greatest inventors of all time.  J.K. Rowling’s books were rejected by several publishers and Evan Spiegel failed at 34 projects before coming up with Snapchat.  Look at the failures as opportunities to learn and move on in life. 

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