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Business Touch - SME Business Digest
STARTING A BUSINESS ?
screw it, try it, just do it...…...
- BY  ANIRUDH NAITRAV
It is not a thoughtless idea to start a business. Such an idea originates from the desire to achieve success.  Nevertheless, the answers are not straightforward to beat the odds and challenges in business. Making the choice is inspiring, but not simple! The approach to ‘strategies’ and ‘positioning’ get a plethora of choices to find customers and to make the business positive. ‘How many of them are successful ?’ is the question. Starting a business is simple, but winning is exciting!
Article Published: 'Invitation Issue' of SME Business Digest, a Digital Business Magazine - Feb-Mar2021
Delivery of foods at home collected from restaurants started with a simple thought and it majored as a big service-business today. Contracting all ritual and spiritual services on the death of a person has turned out to be a transcendent package service and it has levelled to be a good business. Right from fixing the marriage halls, catering, events, photography, videography, and the decorations – all these need one vendor-agency today. When colleges are mushrooming, admission needs promotion; today, freelancers turn out to be agents. Tiny data centers created by Data Entry Operators for document-related services eventually expanded to a wide band of customers. They modernized it further to use as business centers with identity for micro-based businesses. All these strategies and modernisms compass choices.
 
Does growth mean ‘Technologies eating technologies’? Innovations frame technologies, yet the strategies influence business identity and bring options in technology. From the calculator in pockets, people moved on to electronic personal diary, then to pagers and from there it got rapidly replaced with smartphones of today. Technology has bundled post offices and telegram services; even created digital wallets like GooglePay, AmazonPay, or Paytm and ushered us to surface technology, wearable computing, 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, and so on.
 
Entrepreneurs may feel impressed by the vast number of choices even though some business paths coherently tangle with challenges. All these are fine! Can we call all ‘business-starters’ as ‘entrepreneurs’?

Not all freelancers and startups are ‘entrepreneurs’. For instance, just by pursuing his interest, a man starting a small catering business to earn a living for the sole drive of an income for him and his family shall not be called as an ‘entrepreneur’ or an ‘industrialist’. Entrepreneurs are visionaries to create new or improved products. They will have employees and strive hard to expand the business into other markets. When the company is growing, they not only make their profits but also get good markets for customers, upkeep vendors to support their businesses, find more investors, and give employment opportunities to people.
Questions to self
 
“Can I run this business alone?”
This question is ‘dependency’ on a person. If the business owners are the architects behind the products and services, they can handle challenges and changes. Else, business threats would always exist. For instance, any trader dealing with other company’s products or services ought to have the flexibility to adapt the principal’s decisions in major functions. Perhaps the trader may have some recommendations, yet the decisions of the principal manufacturer or the service provider would normally be the final. On the other hand, if the same product or service hails from the founder, then the influence is only from the market-trends and not from other teams.
 
“Have I protected my personal life?”
At the end of every business day, people prefer family-line and personal-life. Some people are smart to protect it before the start of a business and that means they must have planned financially well. They can easily feel the zeal of business. Unplanned efforts may cripple especially in the odd times of business and that may engender challenges in personal-life. Nevertheless, handling  and managing such issues are relatively in the mindset of the business owner.
“How mature am I in business? “
Practical activities in a business are different from theories. Most business decisions are based on historical data in the case of analytical minds in any practical business environment. Intuitive business owners find ‘feelings’ as the base. Owners gain maturity in business only after experience from supplemental exposures. 
 
“Am I brave to withdraw, if required?”
None would want to close down the business. Yet, business planning should cover this question with incremental points to it.
 
Why people don’t venture?
Risk is the reacting factor that is complex in any business. Regrettably, there is no business without the risk factor. Investment, capability, customers, and competitors are the risk-prone areas. An outstanding CEO who is employed in a company, may not be ready to take the risk of money and legal factors when it comes to personal business.
 
People prefer employment to business because of assured monthly salary without any major personal risks. They can nurture the capacity to handle all issues in business for others, but not with the involvement of personal risk.

Precautions in operations
The business planning with capital and cash-flow management will get the strong-sense of the investment process with time duration and break-even analysis. They decide survival during critical moments. Robust budget planning and strict process planning without major deviations would certainly bring success through operations. However, weak planning would melt the business to have critical issues.
 
Along with the code of ethics, people management is another stressful activity that involves human life and statutory services. Any flaw can make deep dents in operations and that may reflect in business instantly. However, if there are ‘right’ people with the company as a team, any business would be successful. For instance, the right set of people can handle the business with corrective measures even when the company is under a severe cash-flow challenge. It’s a pure ‘people planning’ during business planning.
 
Customer Relationship is the core root of any business. A deep dive planning on customers would certainly help the business in the long run. The plans should cover targeting, winning, nurturing, maintaining, and strengthening the customers along with the promotional aspects. Customer-loyalty is the ultimatum in the business.
 
Skill Management is something that controls the entire business system; that should be linked with the growth of the company. Effective training with the need-analysis should offer sharp learning in aligning the delivery output for the clients. Creating ‘get the feel approach’ at every stage of development can set right the challenges of customers at their planning level. When functional changes are inevitable, only training can help to get the changes.
 
It’s not unreasonable to create a world that can give many things to own. Occupation, environment, financial success, leadership, knowledge, social support, and complete mastery of an industry. That’s ‘business’! 
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