Clients are the life and blood of any organization. They drive in the revenue and help any business grow. Remember a business cannot function without the clients. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to have the perfect pitch for your clients at every client meeting. Going unprepared for a client meeting does not only reflect badly on you but on the company as well. For this purpose, here’s a quick checklist on how to prepare for client meetings.
Have all the facts and the numbers
Before going to meet with a client, make sure you have all the information necessary for the meeting. This includes the results of the past month, the target for the current month, quarterly analysis and a proper pitch if you are planning to present a new idea. If you have all the required information on your fingertips, you will be able to answer questions better, clarify doubts and convincingly pitch the new idea. It would also show that you are prepared for the meeting in all the ways possible.
Understand the product
This is a must for every meeting. Know your product inside out to clarify all the doubts. If you do not know a certain feature regarding the product, the clients would not be open to accepting it as well. Be brief while speaking about the product, however, never miss mentioning all the features. Highlight the key unique selling point about the product in the meeting but cover all bases from price to production value.
Have an agenda
Prepare an agenda for the meeting in advance. Compose a list of topics that need to be covered in the meeting to help keep the meeting on track. Include the topics the client would like to discuss and add the topics about which you need to speak with the client. Agendas will help cover all the important bases of the meeting and will help later while drafting minutes of the meeting as well.
Avoid small talk
Small talk is a nice means to start a conversation. But make it a point to keep the small talk to a minimum. Steer the conversation towards important and key issues especially when time sensitive issues are on the agenda. If the small talk is kept to a bare minimum, you can try to cover all the items on the agenda leisurely and make the best use of the time scheduled for the meeting.
The end goal
Make a note of the end goal of the meeting. What exactly are you trying to accomplish through the meeting and could be covered by calls and emails? Having an end goal will help you prepare accordingly and cover all the necessary areas. Clients also tend to have busy schedules, so give them a valid reason to make time and attend the meeting. The end goal also includes what the client would receive from the meeting and what the company aims to achieve through the meeting as well.
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO STARTING A BUSINESS
It is often easy to think about an idea and not wonder if you can turn it in to a business model. However, it is easier said than done, as starting a business is no easy job. Having an idea is fine, but the real work lies in building a sustainable model capable of generating revenue. This is where a lot of ideas just become what they are i.e., ‘just ideas.’ Here is a simple guide which may help you convert your idea into a business.
- Take the dive:
A lot of successful startups were not founded on something new. The founders just identified a problem which could be solved and just began working on it. Starting a business is as simple as just taking the plunge. Jan Koum and Brian Acton, the founders of the popular texting app WhatsApp, left their Jobs at Yahoo! and applied at Facebook, but were rejected. They then developed WhatsApp, which revolutionised the way messages were sent. Had Jan Koum and Brian Acton not taken this risk, the way the world communicates today would be extremely different.
- Evaluate the idea:
The business idea needs to be evaluated by assigning goals, targets, revenue and capital investment. A lot of initial brainstorming is necessary in order to lay the groundwork which will let the idea become a business model. Try to identify the demand for your idea so that you can be sure to convert the idea into a realistic business model.
- Do market research:
It is important to set aside a dedicated budget for just marketing the idea. This will help out a lot in the long run by helping a business identify their target audience. Market research provides a ton of data which can be crunched to establish key result areas (KRAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs.) If there are any potential competitors or existing competitors, it is important to research about them as well. Digital marketing, offline marketing and surveys are just some of the things which can be done. Market research is important in estimating the value for the product, which in turn will provide you with the necessary data to develop a revenue model. An interesting example of how market research is vital would be the story of when beverage giant Coca-Cola decided to rebrand the Cola to New Coke, along with a change in the product formula. It caused outrage amongst consumers which led to them boycotting the product. Coca-Cola then realised its mistake and went back to its original name and formula. During initial research surveys, it was found that the new flavour would be received positively. However, the outcome was completely different. Perhaps, had the Company done extensive market research, there are chances the outcome may have been avoided.
- Making it official:
Once the initial market research is finished and goals are assigned, the business can be made official. This can be done by legalisation, by establishing a business name and business structure. This may help in eliminating the chance of someone else stealing your idea.
- Hiring your workforce:
Offering jobs on a contract basis can help you out with getting a team to work with you. This will help out in allaying any hesitation with regards to working for a startup, where security is important. Finances can be stringent and it is not easy to get the talent you need nearby, therefore it is helpful if you can hire remote workers.
- Find a co founder:
Finding a co founder is not an easy job as it begins with self reflection and evaluation of your own strengths and weaknesses. Selling the idea to another person who can complement your weaknesses and allows you to work with each others’ strengths will help out a great deal in managing the business. Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Wozniak was responsible for the design and development of Apple I, while Steve Jobs took on marketing the product and the rest, as we know, is history. This highlights how a co founder who can add value to the skills lacking in a founder helps build a good business.
- Building infrastructure:
A lot of infrastructure needs to be in place to be able to run a business, like a building, IT framework and software, amongst many others. Identifying and establishing the necessary infrastructure can help in streamlining your business. A little bit of research can also be done to identify vendors who can take up the burden of starting up. Identifying the right vendor is vital as they may have access to sensitive company or product information. Indian food delivery unicorn Swiggy believed in having a strong infrastructure in place and spent considerable resources in developing their logistics and infrastructure, which contributed immensely to their growth. This led its competitor Zomato to take note and start doing the same in order to catch up.
- Generating sales:
Once your business is established, it is time to start putting in the work to generate your sales. The future of a business is dependent on the sales it generates. Always be on the lookout for problems which arise during a sale conversion, brainstorm a solution and apply it. Regular feedback on every sale will offer a great deal of insight into establishing an efficient workflow. When Indian e commerce giant Flipkart acquired online fashion brand Myntra, they decided to make Myntra an app only platform. This was a move which did not sit well with the consumers. It reflected on the sales by showing a 10 % dip in revenues, forcing Flipkart to get the website back on. Learning from customer feedback is important in order to keep the sales regular.
READ MORE: How To Pitch To Investors
It is not easy to convert your idea into a business, however, begin by utilising these strategies and investing in marketing and customer satisfaction. If you keep doing your market research on a regular basis, there is a higher probability of your business taking off to a good start. A lot of businesses or successful startups took off by following these simple steps. While there are many other things different businesses do when they are starting up, almost all of them may have the same guidelines mentioned above at their core.
How To Master Self Discipline
In the world of entrepreneurship, people with strong self control seem to succeed and achieve great success. These are people who are able to do everything and excel at their life goals. Fortunately, the habit of self control is a taught one and one can master the skill with determination. Here are five tips which can help anyone master the art of self discipline.
How to master self discipline
1) Set a clear goal
It’s easy to get distracted or discouraged if you don’t have a particular goal in your mind. In order to master self discipline, one should have a clear idea about what your end result will be. It is always better to have an end goal in your mind and a clear set of steps which will keep you motivated to achieve the goal.
2) Remove temptations
An important step to master self discipline is to avoid temptations. Having temptations, however small or big, will always urge you to overlook your long term goals. The best way to improve your self discipline is to remove the greatest temptation from your environment. For example, if you want to improve your productivity at your work and get good results, turn off your phone or mute the notifications on it to concentrate on your work.
3) Small steps
The process of self discipline may seem difficult to achieve at the beginning. It requires you to find your weakness and working on improving it. It can be pretty overwhelming to let go of your weaknesses all of a sudden. Therefore, it is a good idea to start with baby steps. For example, if one of your goals is to save money to start your own business, start by cutting down unnecessary expenses, one step at a time.
4) Eat regularly
According to researchers, not eating regularly can affect your mood and willpower immensely. Skipping your meals results in low blood sugar, which weakens the resolve of a person. It also affects a person’s ability to concentrate as well. A weakened willpower will result in you compromising your progress, be it in your work or personal life. Hence, it is always best to keep yourself fuelled throughout the day with healthy food.
5) Reward yourself
Lastly, rewarding oneself for achieving one’s goal is a good way to stay motivated and move forward. Having a reward in your mind drives you to work harder to reach your set goal. Once you reach a goal and collect your reward, it will motivate you further to work on a new goal.
It is really important to have self discipline while starting or running a business. It gives you courage and keeps you motivated to achieve big things.
If you think we missed any tips about how one can master self discipline, comment below and let us know.
How To Avoid Entrepreneurial Burnout
Entrepreneurship can be a very satisfying job. Owning your own business and working on your idea is fulfilling to many people. However, being in charge of a company comes with many difficulties, especially if you are just starting out. One of them is occupational burnout, which comes from unresolved, work related stress. Hard to diagnose, burnout is very common among entrepreneurs and if neglected, can lead to other serious problems like mental and heart diseases. Let’s look at some ways in which one can cope with entrepreneurial burnout and still remain productive at work.
How to avoid entrepreneurial burnout
1) Set realistic goals
In the entrepreneurship field, the result of a new venture is uncertain. Sometimes, setting very high and unrealistic expectations for oneself and one’s company can easily lead to disappointment, if the entrepreneur fails to achieve the goals. Disappointment leads to stress, which eventually leads to burnout. Setting some realistic goals is necessary to remain focused on the task and avoid disappointment. For example, launching a product in just 2 months when it requires 6 months to get ready is unrealistic and will lead to overworking and stressing out.
2) Maintain a balance between professional and personal life
Many new entrepreneurs fail to draw a line between their professional and personal lives, which results in them getting burned out pretty fast. Establishing a boundary between these two is important to work efficiently. A break from professional responsibilities helps in getting some relaxation. A balance between your professional life and personal life can be achieved by setting up some rules, specifics of which vary from person to person and following it religiously.
3) Change your routine
Following a similar routine day after day will inevitably lead to burnout. Having to deal with a similar task and similar people on a daily basis can sometimes become frustrating and stressful. Entrepreneurs can avoid this by making some minor changes in their daily routine, like working away from their normal setup or handing away certain tasks, which are stressing them out, to someone else.
4) Talking things through/venting out
Sometimes keeping all the stressful things bottled up inside can lead to more stress and frustration. Venting them out in a healthy way to one’s family, friends or therapists is a good way to cope with burnout. Venting your frustration out is good to take pressure off one’s mind and keep them relaxed.
5) Taking a break
While the thought of a break from work can be tough for many entrepreneurs, it is the ultimate solution to avoiding burnout. Sometimes taking a temporary break from your work and spending time doing things which relax you is a great way to avoid burnout. Read a book, play sports, or cook—whatever it is which helps you calm down, take a break from your work and do it to ensure you stay refreshed and are not burned out.
With burnout becoming increasingly common among entrepreneurs, it is important to cope with it or avoid it all together to remain interested in your work.
If you have any other tips about how to avoid entrepreneurial burnout, comment below and let us know.
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