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entrepreneurship

Being an Entrepreneur and Its Pros and Cons

Thought of starting up a business crossed your mind? Looking for the advantages and difficulties that you may face if you start a business? Here is a compiled list of the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur and starting a business and a few minute tips on getting started. Let’s start by defining entrepreneurship.

So, what is entrepreneurship?

Dictionaries define entrepreneurship as “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.”. According to this definition, there are two qualities of an entrepreneur – number one, he/she hopes for profit. Number two, he/she knows there will be financial risks. So, an entrepreneur is basically a realistic optimist taking risks hoping for the best of profits. So, even while thinking of starting your own business, you must be aware that things are not going to be that easy. If this risk is involved, then why are so many people becoming entrepreneurs, in spite of being aware of the risks?

What are the risks?

Before getting into any business, it is advisable to know what risks are involved. Here is a list of a few risks that one may face when getting into venturing out with own business.

  1. There are chances of losing all they invest and have in a business:May be things did not end up where they ought to have been. This may result in losses.
  2. Loss of means of living: For many, job is the only way of earning a living. So, leaving the job all of a sudden to start from scratch may be difficult, given the reallity that they have to maintain their families and themselves.
  3. Lesser time with family:Any startup needs critical care till the stage where it is properly established. This may take away the time of the entrepreuners from their families, atleast for a small period of time.
  4. Pressure to maintain a steady flow of customers:Any company must ensure that it has a steady flow of customers to sustain itself. This is a bigger challenge to startups because they will not have credibility and fame in the market. This complicates when they misguided into improper marketing strategies.

Why do People become Entrepreneurs?

So, what makes people give up their jobs which give them financial security and venture on the path which has so may risks?

  1. They are fired from the present job :Paul B. Brown says,” John F. Kennedy said he became a war hero because “they sunk my boat.” I became an entrepreneur because I got thrown out of my job.”.  Some people are forced to start their own businesses because they are forced to quit their previous jobs and cannot find other jobs. They will be in a do or die situation, having to feed themselves and their families. So, they have to do something, this something turns out to be their own business venture. Trust me, they never look back once they are fully established.
  2. They want to have full control on their destiny:Independent people do not wish others to decide what they have to do. They want full control on their professional lives.
  3. Innovation:Entrepreneurs do not begin their businesses right away. They first work for someone to gain some exposure and experience. Later, they find out the discrepancies in the present business scenarios and put it to best use in their ventures. Another most probable factor is that they have some unique ideas that they are confident that they will definitely be successful. For example, think of Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of the Amazon. He saw the exponential increase in the internet users and was sure that online shopping will work out.
  4. They will be the Boss:They become fed up with working under someone and want full control over their workplace. So, they venture on their path of becoming independent. Think of the flexibility of working hours and dress code.
  5. They are inspired and want to inspire others:They are inspired by some successful entrepreneur and want to be like them. They strive towards their dream and also wish to become role models to others in future.
  6. There is no age barrier and no formal retirement: Any company which hires employees specifies the maximum age limit that any person can apply for jobs. But you can begin your own company even if you are just 18 years old or 75 years old. You can work as long as you please before entrusting the work to someone who is able to handle it.
  7. They contribute to the society and the nation:Most of the companies at present are the Multi- National Companies who take all the profits out of the country. But in case of entrepreneurships, the profits remain well within the country. They also take up various  social awareness drives that contribute to the betterment of the society.
  8. They earn a living doing what they love:Nobody takes up a business in which they have no interest in. Quite obviously, it is something that they are passionate about. So, how about doing what you are passionate about and make a living out of it?
  9. No Qualification needed:When you apply for a job in a company, there are good chances that the demand for at least a graduation. But if you are starting your own business, then it does not matter what your educational qualification is, only thing that matters is you skills and hard work.
  10. Create their own work culture:All those employed under other people experience some sort of uneasiness in their jobs like wanting a work from home, wanting a childcare for their children, creative meetings, etc. How about giving an atmosphere including all these to your employees?

How to avoid risks?

While it is almost impossible to eliminate the risks completely, it is definitely possible to minimise the risks to the maximum extent. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Start your business venture while still working so that there will be some way of maintenance in case things go wrong. It is also good if you could switch to a part time job while going ahead with your business venture.
  2. Make savings while still working so as to it comes to rescue when worst of the things happen.

Final Words

Entrepreneurship equates to innovation, hard work and perseverance. So if you are planning to start a business venture and are serious about it, the first step towards it is to keep up your motivation and increase it day by day. Be confident and best of luck in your endeavors.

Sources:

  1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243389
  2. https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/040615/what-risks-does-entrepreneur-face.asp
  3. Image Source: https://www.careerguide.com/ask/t/what-are-the-challenges-and-rewards-of-entrepreneurship

Author: Ms. Nayana M R

Categories
entrepreneurship Self Development

Delegate and Micromanage

Micromanaging has become a foul word in the corporate world. Being used by employees to describe overzealous managers, who don’t trust them to perform the simplest of tasks without constant interference.

No one wants to work for a boss who does not allow them any kind of freedom and does not want them to grow and gain experience by facing new challenges every once in a while. A superior who spends all of their time obsessed with tracking their team members’ actions is in no way making the best use of their resources.

But there are certain tasks that are essential and need to be ensured they are done correctly. In such circumstances, it’s better to think of micromanaging as opposed to delegation.

Delegating and micromanaging both have their places.

When delegating, aim for success

As business grows, tasks need to be handed over to other members of your organization. It arouses conflicting feelings. While one trusts the people they have recruited, they also wish to make sure their task is in capable hands. When deciding whether to delegate or not, assigning a task to someone who is unequipped to handle it is indeed a grievous error. If they fail, it will be damaging to their confidence, you faith and the company. One of the best strategies for avoiding such a scenario is to follow the 70 percent rule.

According to the 70 percent rule, if one believes that their employee is capable of doing the work at least 70 percent as well as them then it is beneficial to delegate it to them. Experts say that once one decides to delegate, it is vital not to challenge the trust they have placed in them by letting the instinct to micromanage creep in.

Allows employees to embrace new challenges

Delegating tasks to employees becomes a vital as the demands on time rise. But if one has the time to work on everything by themselves only, then probably delegating is not advised.

Employees are satisfied when they are given new challenges that allow them to expand their skill set in fresh and remarkable ways. One is far more likely to retain an employee if they are satisfied with their job. Employee retention has important consequences on both the bottom line and business culture.

Asking employees to take on new responsibilities is a cost-effective way of assisting them with professional development. They will have opportunities to learn things that will make them more versatile contributors and the company will reap the benefits of said versatility.

Focus

There are tasks that are critical to the survival of the company, such as hiring, raising capital and pursuing an acquisition, then one should make sure that they take control of the project themselves.

Ultimately, the job as CEO is to focus on thing that they can do better than everyone else, which will facilitate the performance of the team and allow taking the company to new heights. Distractions from this one thing by delegating tasks that could easily be performed by others should be avoided. It is essential to understand that delegating and micromanaging are both important skills for any leader to master.

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entrepreneurship

Boosting the Morale of a Team – Getting More Work from the Team Members

Whether you are a team leader at school or a manager in a private organisation or a principal in an educational institution or in any of the position where you need to take work from a number of people, it is a challenge to get the optimum work output from each of them. Here, let us look into the issues that might pop up and the solutions for such problems.

Being a Head – A Headache?

Is it a boon or a bane to be on the top of the hierarchy? It depends on how the person takes it. It is just like seeing the glass half-filled or half empty. Top positions can be seen as an excellent opportunity to get better recognition and respect and also to be in some command over the policies of the organization so that you can confidently interfere in those policies that have a detrimental effect on your subordinates. This can be a very good chance for the leader in you to come out.

There is also another face to this. Managing many people under you can become a big headache if things are not organised properly or if you have a hostile situation in a team. So here are is one of one of the major challenges that you can face as a superior person – Social Loafing.

Social Loafing – Evading Away from Responsibilities

Social Loafing is a phenomenon where the members of a group run away from their responsibilities and do not do their work properly. This happens because of the following reasons:

  1. There is somebody dominating – It is either you or somebody in the group who is dominating others in the group, thus reducing the motivation of the group members.
  2. There are too many people in the team – If the work is too less and the members are too many, group members are likely to escape from their responsibilities thinking that others will take care of their duties.
  3. The members of the group are not in good terms with each other – there is a problem with the interpersonal relationship among the team members.
  4. The group members are not in good terms with you – Think what is going wrong – are you giving them too much work,or scolding for the small mistakes – see what is the cause of the problem.

How to Deal with Social Loafing?

There are a few strategies that Industrial Psychologists suggest to deal with Social Loafing.  Some of them are:

  1. Treat all the members of the group equally. Though it is human nature to have your favorites and hates in the group, make sure that this is not exhibited in the treatment of the members, so that no one feels special or superior to others.
  2. Reduce the number of people in the group. Make sure there are just enough people to take up the assigned work and no one feels as an “extra person”. If there are many people, divide the assignment into smaller parts and assign each person them and make sure they are aware that their work, though small is of high importance.
  3. Give individual recognition on the successful accomplishment of the tasks.
  4. Promote harmony among the group members and see to that there are as less conflicts as possible.
  5. Always remember that you also are a member of the group. Though you are given certain powers, make sure you do not misuse them. Always make sure that the group members are comfortable talking to you about the assignments and any problems in the team while working.

Team Building

Team building refers to the activities that are taken up to enhance the interpersonal relationships in the teams and assign roles. Team building can actually be fun and effective way of building a highly bonded group. This helps in better co-operation between the team members, in turn resulting in more desirable positive results with more quality work output.

Some of the effective team building activities are as follow:

  1. There can be games organized to promote team work like treasure hunt, which actually require the cooperation of each member of the team.
  2. Occasional office outings, lunches, parties, etc. to boost the motivation of the team.
  3. Organize competitions which bring out the hidden talents of the team member, which may or may not be related to their job. It promotes better understanding between the team members which in turn lead to better cooperation.
  4. Try to give incentives to the team members like family trips to some tourist places, bonus pay or gifts to family members so that they feel you care for them and their families.

A Living Example: Savji Dholakia

Savji Dholakia is a businessman in the diamond industry. It is indeed inspiring the way he shares his profits with his employees. This has never caused him any loss. In fact, his trade is increasing year by year, thanks to the hard work of his employees. Here is an interview with him by the NDTV which was viral in the social media.

A diamond merchant in Gujarat has gifted over 1,000 employees cars, homes and jewellery as Diwali bonus in a stunning act of generosity, Oprah-style. Savjibhai Dholakiya says his workers deserve big rewards for their hard work and loyalty.

Here are highlights of his interview with NDTV’s Ravish:

This is God’s blessing that I have come this far from zero. I had nothing. This is God’s gift.

I have experienced this in my life that I will not have less if I give.

It is the law of nature.

When I sow one seed, I’ll have hundred.

These are my employees. They will not let me suffer losses.

So we thought that we should have a loyalty programme.

In 1991 when we started the company, our exports were worth Rs 1 Crore & now it’s close to Rs 6000 Crore.

Our employees are responsible for this growth.

We analysed the work done by these 1200 people and realised that they had a major role in taking us forward.

People should hear about these 1200 people and be inspired. Everyone should feel responsible for their own work.

People have skills but they need motivation.

We had our own method of choosing people.

My son has done an MBA from New York and has been working with me for 6 years.

Everyone got together and analysed who are the people responsible for our growth. We know who has added what value to the company.

What we have given them is nothing compared to the effort put in by these people.

You are speaking to a person who has had little formal education but I read every day, learn every day. I inspire myself, motivate myself.

I have studied till the 4th Grade. I dropped out of school when I was 12 and joined the diamond industry.

The employees who I gave gifts to – I did their kind of work in Surat for 10 years with my brothers.

All four brothers put together will not make a graduate. My youngest brother is the most educated – he made it to the 10th Grade.

Q: Are you a Communist?

I don’t understand what ‘communist’ means. Is there a Gujarati word for it? I have learnt whatever little Hindi I know speaking to people like you.

In the next five years, you’ll see how this impacts the diamond industry.

We had decided on a budget of Rs.50 Crores.

I wanted to give cars to everyone but then we found out that about 200 employees don’t have their own houses.

Then we found out that there were 500 people who had both houses and cars. So we then thought we should give them jewellery for their wives.

Wives support the workers who work here. We do not give priority to wives in Gujarat so we thought this should be our priority.

I am happy that you’ve highlighted this effort. I did not expect it. I think people will be inspired by this move.

Even in your industry, the mindsets will change and you’ll have higher salaries.

I’m a very ordinary man and you’ve made me very big.

This stadium belongs to our factory because I saw Ganguly play cricket in London.

My workers play cricket and I sit in the pavilion and watch them.

We have a gym, a steam-sauna facility. We have other sports facilities; the managers and workers play volleyball together.

Whether the government gives us an exemption in taxes or not it doesn’t matter. Paying your taxes will not kill you. These 1200 people have contributed over Rs.10 Crores to taxes. 

I have decided to call diamond-cutters ‘Diamond Engineers’ because they may not be educated but they work better than engineers.

And we want to call the workers who polish diamonds ‘Diamond Artists’.

These people earn Rs. 70-80,000 a work. They’re people who earn by their talent and skill.

I have workers from 21 states in India and 361 villages.

Everyone’s parents know me because I take them on pilgrimages to Haridwar. We’re indebted to their parents too.

I’m in what is called ‘social business’.

When you give money to someone, the responsibility of the person who takes that money increases.

I am a businessman. I want more therefore I’m paying more. I’m not doing anyone a favour.

I have with three others have bought a plane to start charter service for Surat. The idea is to give a service not profit. But you see in the next five years this too will be profitable.

I’m trying to show businessmen what they can do. I’m also telling all workers to work hard like my workers do so that your bosses are compelled to act…..

No one from the Surat diamond industry has told me what I’m doing is wrong…..I am a trader – I give first and then I take… some people do it the other way round.

By God’s grace, none of the 28 members in the family go against what I say. My wife or brothers have never disagreed with what I do.

I had given three Maruti cars as gifts 18 years ago. They cost Rs. 52,000 each and I had no money then.

We have never sacked people but there are 2 or 3 per cent people who sometimes do not fit our criteria – but some of them get training and come back and we hire them again.

I train my workers – they do not chew tobacco, they respect their parents…..

My factory is not to make diamonds, it makes men (Meri factory heerey bananey ki nahi hain, manav banane ki hain)[truncated by WhatsApp].

Sources:

  1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220000
  2. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/fashion-/-cosmetics-/-jewellery/surat-diamond-traders-cut-back-on-bonuses-go-for-austerity/articleshow/61553263.cms
  3. https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Managing_Groups_and_Teams/Social_Loafing
  4. A forward viral in social media 2015

Author: Ms. Nayana M R

Categories
entrepreneurship Leadership

Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Entrepreneurs are leaders willing to take risk and exercise initiative, taking advantage of market opportunities by planning, organizing and deploying resources, often by innovating to create new or improving existing products or services.

Managing a company requires solid leadership skills. But being a successful entrepreneur goes beyond basic leadership practice. Entrepreneurs have to create something from nothing. They must lead people into the unknown and devise structure where there is little or none. Not all of these skills are obvious, especially to the entrepreneur. Often entrepreneurs follow their passion for an idea only to realize they need to sharpen their leadership capability. With a little luck, they figure this out before it’s too late.

A successful entrepreneur is a good leader. They take responsibility for their goals. Mother Teresa exemplified this sort of leadership responsibility and captured it eloquently in this quote written on the wall in her home for children in Calcutta:

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.  What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.  Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.”

An entrepreneur will be tempted to say no to opportunities they don’t want to pass up when they are feeling overwhelmed. But a good entrepreneur, being a good leader, is the master of their own emotions and reactions and when they build a mindset of being unstoppable, they will find a way to make it all happen.  If as an entrepreneur, you want to say yes to an opportunity but feel that there is too much on the plate, don’t doubt, just take action and find the support needed to make it happen. The only way one can become an entrepreneur is to take a risk. They risk their time, safety, money, security, reputation and so much more.

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entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship: A Trait of Modern World

Entrepreneurship. Google describes the term as the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking financial risks in the hope of earning profit.  Wikipedia terms it as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. To be reliable, the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit seems to be an accurate definition of what entrepreneurship entails. It defines the act of being an entrepreneur, or “the owner or manager of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits. It is the process by which either an individual or a team identifies a business opportunity and acquires and deploys the necessary resources required for its exploitation. To give a broader definition of entrepreneurship, one could say that it “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield”. Entrepreneurs create something new, something different—they change or transmute values.

An individual requires four basic criteria to become an entrepreneur.

  • Existence of opportunities
  • Identifying information regarding the opportunities
  • Ability to take risks
  • Organizing people and resources.

Successful entrepreneurs have an aptitude to lead a business in a constructive direction with suitable planning, to accustom to change and recognize their own strengths and weakness.

Entrepreneurship can range in scale from solo, part-time projects to large-scale undertakings that involve a team and which may create many jobs. “Entrepreneur” is used interchangeably with the term “small business”. Though many of the entrepreneurial endeavors initiate as a small business, not all small businesses are entrepreneurial in nature. Small businesses are mainly consisting of the owner or many include a small number of employees and many of offer an existing product, process or service and infrequently aim at growth. Entrepreneurial ventures are distinguished by the offer of an innovative product, process or service. There is an aim to scale up the company and bring about growth.

Entrepreneurship in today’s world is viewed as a key to economic development. It facilitates industrial development, regional growth, and employment generation. Entrepreneurship is a journey. All successful entrepreneurs from Jamshedji Tata, Bhavish Aggarwal, N. R. Narayana Murthy, N. S. Raghavan, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Nandan Nilekani, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Dhirubhai Ambani and others all went through this process. The process comprises of three parts – the entrepreneurial job, the promotion, and the operation. Entrepreneurial job consists of the generation of an idea and preparation of feasibility report.Entrepreneurship garners various benefits such as development of managerial capabilities, creation of organizations and employment opportunities, improvement in the standards of living andeconomic development.

In the rising hustle of the modern world, entrepreneurship has become a growing trend. One can distinguish numerous cases of successful entrepreneurs amongst the youth. Be it Pranav Yadav, the CEO of Neuro-Insight, a neuro-marketing firm that has designed and developed brain mapping technology to understand and improve the quality of commercials on TV or Arjun Rai, the CEO of OdysseyAds. Today’s young Indians are quite keen and never settle for ‘just ok’. Their aspiration for the best has surprised everyone.

With such excellent examples, the trend of entrepreneurship is indeed a defining trait in the modern world.  It not only builds up an individual and brings forth profit, it shapes the society.

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