Startups and their incredible stories, do not just happen overnight. It requires extensive research and dedicated hard work to make things happen. As a beginner who is launching a business, one must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of their business operations. Whether it is financial tasks or resources or manpower, a startup should keep a track of what and how and where to invest. Every business must conduct a SWOT analysis timely in order to find out its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A perfect way to find out where your business stands is to conduct a SWOT analysis. From large firms to small firms, every business can follow this analysis to find out its whereabouts in the market and implement the same when required.
The four elements of a SWOT analysis are as below!
Strengths – This element shows the characteristics of a business that give you an advantage over others. In simple terms, your strength could be your Unique Selling Point (USP.) Alongside, anything that adds weight to your business plan such as financial support, effective strategies, first mover advantage or any other internal factor that is your strength comes under this category, Recognize your strengths and use them to climb up the ladder to success!
Example – Nestle Maggie Noodles is the leader in the noodle market and its strength lies in its first mover advantage.
Weaknesses – Weaknesses refers to the areas your competitors have an upper hand when compared to you in the market. It is extremely important to recognize your weakness and work on it before it is too late. Low performance of your team or lagging behind with respect to technology upgradation could be considered as one the weaknesses of a business.
Example – One of the major factors why Nokia disappeared from the mobile phone market lies in its incapability to switch to the manufacturing of smartphones at an early stage.
Opportunities – This domain helps you achieve your objectives with ease. Find out the factors which could help you do more with your existing customers or clients. With the additional information you have, go for an extensive market research. As a startup you can go for expanding your business via social media platforms. Use it as an opportunity to expand your business. Examine your business with questions like, are there any new technological advances we could use to expand our business and reach new consumers? How can we adapt our business to changing consumer tastes and preferences?
Example – IKEA is traditionally famous for its diversification strategies. The company is launching its first ever store in India with its debut in T Hub which happens to be India’s largest incubator for startups, located in Hyderabad, Telangana.
Threats – Threats can be elements in the environment that could be dangerous for a business. Emerging competitors or changing customer attitudes could be major threats. Consider the factors that could affect the flow of your business and its operations. Try to opt for a solution and overcome them. Threats are external factors that you have no control over.
Example- PepsiCo must consider the consumer shifting toward health drinks as a threat and focus more toward flourishing the market with health drinks!
As easy as it may sound, SWOT requires a lot of considerations with regards to your business, your competitors, your work environment in the best possible way. So, when you are starting a business do not forget to conduct the SWOT analysis! Swot away your obstacles with a successful analysis!
How Keeping Your Goals To Yourself Will Help You Grow
Remember when you were a child and you would blow out the candles on your birthday cake? Make a wish, they would say, but do not tell anyone what you wished for because they might not come true! Did the child in you ever think it was an extremely silly statement to make? Why would you not tell your friends your dreams or your secrets? Was not the whole point of having goals so you could tell people and let them know you have crossed things off your checklist?
Growing up, I learnt the value of these words. I learnt people are rarely as transparent as they seem, often trying to one up you every time they think their goal is in line with yours. While most people can thrive under this kind of competition, there are some who just cannot work like this. If you fall under the second category of people, then this is how you can safeguard your goals, keep your friends close and still fulfill all your dreams!
1. Your dreams are yours and yours alone
One of the major issues I personally have with sharing your dream with others is that they tend to pick on things they do not understand. While it may seem as constructive feedback from their point of view, it really has a negative impact in the long run. Your dreams are yours and yours alone. No one has control over them and only you can work to make them come true. Let your dreams fester within, so they can take shape to something truly marvelous. The less you share, the more you know and the more you grow!
2. Your supporters might secretly be your biggest critics
More often than not, the loudest criticism is that which you get from those closest to you. While this may be a good thing, in most cases, it is usually a negative thing when it comes to listening to negative feedback on your dreams. The more often you listen to bad things, the more convinced you are your dream is never going to work out. Keep your friends close, but your dreams closer.
3. The ones who say no are always going to say no
Oftentimes, there are people in life who are going to bring you down no matter what you do or how much you achieve. From your regular hairdresser to the man who delivers you milk, these people can have a very negative impact. This is one of the major reasons as to why you should never, EVER let your dreams be made public.
4. Talking about your dreams can make them go away
No, really. If you think this is a joke, think again. How many times have you truly, madly, deeply wanted something and how many time has that not come true? The more you talk about your dreams, the less importance you give them and the less chances they have of coming true. When you really want to make something happen, make sure you and you alone know what your end goal is! This will work wonders, I promise.
The people in my life were never wrong about not sharing your wishes with anyone and for me, this message has really worked. Keep your dreams close and your desires closer, therefore making sure the life you lead is the life you have always wanted!
When Do You Realise You Should Not Be Working For A Toxic Boss?
You are an adult now. You have made it to the big leagues and you are finally doing what you thought you had to this whole time. Brand new clothes, a job you desperately wanted and new clothes that could make anybody’s head turn, you walk into the first ever job of your life. The first few days are fun, rosy and full of joy. The people are nice, the breaks are fun and your boss could not be nicer. A few months into the job, you suddenly realise everything is not as hunky dory as you thought it was. You do not have it in you to do the same thing over and over again and have absolutely no patience to deal with the same kind of challenges on a daily basis. The reason? Your boss is not the person thought they were, a revelation only you realised and not the people around you! You have been seeing the signs and just did not want to accept them till the situation was too grave to ignore!
1. The ones who think feedback is for the week.
You have been working hard at your job for a while now and suddenly over a period of time, you realise the very idea of waking up and going to work is a thing you dread. For example, a colleague of mine (Radhika*) was given a compliment the other day and because Radhika was so not used to receiving compliments, she responded with her fallback defense mechanism, sarcasm. Absence of compliments makes the heart grow harder, not fonder. Oh, dear Manager! If you work for a dude like this, you know the Exit sign is what you need!
2. The ones who parent more than manage
Do you remember how when you were in college and there would always be that one teacher, who would be more of a parent than a teacher or rule enforcer? Sure, that is okay for a while in school, but when you have a similar boss at work, drawing that line between your personal and professional life becomes really hard. There was one at a friend’s place, Kumar*, who said girls should not smoke. To
3. The ones who want the credit, but do not want to do the work
This is perhaps the most toxic boss you could have. They expect you to put in all the hard work and to meet all the deadlines way before your end time. However, when it comes down to giving you recognition or credit, the result is never good enough for them. This is because of two things: either they have already taken all the credit for your work or they just do not care enough about you as an employee. When this happens once or even twice, you can let it go. However, when it happens on a regular basis, that is a sure fire sign that you have to quit as soon as possible!
4. The ones who do not like getting feedback of any kind
While there is one category of bosses who fall under the category of not giving the right kind of feedback, there are others who do not like taking feedback of any kind. These bosses like enforcing rules, but when their employees want to give feedback about the changes, the reaction is quite contrary to what one would expect. A good manager likes learning how their employees react and likes looking at what can be done better from a different perspective. But when you do not see that happen, you know you should back off. This is not a good boss to have at all!
5. The one who is never around for things in life
Bosses like this are always absent for the bigger things in life. My boss’s boss (Mr. Y) is like this. Y wants to know what is happening with things in connection to the outside world, but still wants an update about the most mundane everyday happenings. The worst combination of a micro manager and an absentee boss, these kind of managers confuse your everyday schedule and make life at work a disastrous experience.
If you have ever had an experience with managers like this, comment and tell us so we can help you make dealing with your life just a little easier.
(*) Names changed to ensure anonymity.
How To Develop Leadership Qualities At Work
For some people, leadership is a skill that comes naturally. They are born into it and require no real effort while reaching their goal. However, there are other people who need an extra push to realise they can come to that stage and to realise the Shakti within them. For the second type of people, there are certain ways to develop these leadership skills. Here are some tips to help you learn how to become a good leader at work!
1. Take the extra step forward
When I first started working, my boss used to push me to do better every day. Like everyone else, I had bad days and needed the motivation to do better. Luckily for me, I had a team that always pushed me to keep doing better and take the extra step forward. They never let me stay comfortable in one place and helped me discover new things. This helped me grow and realise I could do a lot more than I was hired for and that in itself was a great leg forward.
2. Improve your communication skills
One of the primary ways you could improve your leadership skills is by bettering your communication skills. While you may have your basic skills in place, it always helps if you improve your skills from beyond what they are at the moment. The more you learn, the more you grow and the more you grow, the better you become at accepting yourself as an individual.
3. Learn from your mistakes
For as long as I can remember, I have always been told to learn from my mistakes. There is nothing more humbling in life than to learn from the things you have done wrong, thereby improving not only your leadership skills, but your skills as an all rounded human being as well!
Sometimes, when you look at your boss, it can be quite scary to see where he is and how he has reached that position in life. However, if you sharpen the key areas of your life, you have done half the work already. What are some of the concerns you have gone through in life to get to where you are? Comment and tell us so we can make your professional life easier!
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