As an entrepreneur who founded and runs a successful and growing business, Excalibre, I see many entrepreneurs with great ideas but no clue how the business will be profitable. For certain websites or apps, if the idea is good enough you can get lucky and sell the business after you get a spike in interest.
However, most companies require considerable planning and need both a competitive advantage and a solid business plan in order to succeed. For my company, I focused on a big market and found a profitable and attractive niche.
If you’re thinking about starting your own company, here’s my sharing’s:
Set realistic expectations.
While enthusiasm and faith are needed when planning out your business, you do want to temper those thoughts with realism. Your projections for the business should not be wildly optimistic so you can manage your expectations and those of any partners.
Consider the type of business and industry.
- Are you selling a lower margin product that will take time to gain traction?
- Are you taking a shot with an app that might be a dud or might attract 100,000 downloads a month?
- Plan for a realistic amount of sales and interest so you can conservatively manage your finances. Are you counting on advertising to bring in customers?
- Remember that most advertising simply does not work, and you’ll need to attract customers through other channels and the power of word-of-mouth referrals.
At Excalibre, I understood the Talent Evolution market is massive and knew a niche player could capture a large amount of revenue, but my initial projections were modest and I watched expenses closely.
Have a clear value proposition.
Your product or service should offer true value. The value assessment has to go beyond your own biased opinion. You’re invested in the business, so of course you’ll feel it has value for your customers. Gather some outside counsel to be sure the value is clear and easily explained to your targeted audience.
Envision someone referring your service to a colleague, saying “You need to get Service X because it will help you do A, give you B, and offer you insights into C.” If the value proposition is unclear, then you’re likely setting up the business for failure.
Excalibre’s value proposition is based upon superior pricing and service. In an environment with rate parity such as in training companies that offer consumers reduced prices, exemplary service coupled with strategizing the vision, is able to really stand out as valuable.
Offer unique attributes.
Does your intended service or product bring something new to the consumer? If they already possess what you are offering, can get it for free, or can an easily acquire it from myriad competitors, then how do you expect to stand out? Will customers be able to identify and discuss your competitive advantage?
Excalibre stands out because it presents a new model for executive coaching and mentoring. It hand holds corporations talent pool to uncover their unarticulated needs , identify clearly their stoppers and accelerators, thereby effecting a quantum leap in enhancing their productivity across spectrum. The executive education initiative hones their skills, competencies, capabilities thereby rehashing their capacities, to be a being of substance, thereby transforming from a common resource to a brand.
From womb to the tomb one has a facilitator, whose only aim to help the talent to be better than before- which sets us apart from our competitors.
What attributes would set your venture apart from the competition?
Find your niche in a sizable market.
Knowing your clear value proposition and your unique attributes will help you determine where you fit in the market. Coaching and Mentoring is a $500 billion annual business, so for Excalibre, we don’t require too much of a share of that market sum to reap considerable rewards.
Coaching is a good market for entrepreneurs, but it’s not the place for copycats. You can’t compete with big booking players unless you have an angle. Several of the large online agencies have a model of offering access at all locations; their angle is the sheer breadth of coverage.
In large and expanding markets, there is always a value proposition to be found with niche players who can provide a compelling service. In Executive Coaching and Mentoring, there is always someone looking to help research it, track it, or provide services for certain areas. As long as the niche service has a true value proposition and a reasonable market audience, it can pull in profits.
Design a sound business model.
An entrepreneur can have the most unique product offering, one that offers tremendous value, but if his underlying business plan is not sound he has nothing.
A quality plan is the key “how” of a business: how you are going to move forward with your service while keeping costs down?
How do you ensure there will be demand for your product that can be reasonably sustained over the long term?
How will you market your product or service to the intended audience on a reasonable cost? You need to be a hawk on the bottom line and ruthlessly manage top line expenses.
The hard truth is that most businesses fail, and not always because the idea itself was not sound. A well-constructed economic plan does not of course guarantee success, but it is necessary and can turn a failure into a learning experience instead of a catalyst for personal financial ruin.
A sound model doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from the model and innovate when it is the right call.
Pull in customers cost-effectively
Once you have the product or service and a solid plan lined up, you need to drive customers to create partnering solutions. As I mentioned before, advertising typically does not work. Look at inexpensive promotions or contests and your social media strategy as cost-effective ways to attract consumers. Encourage conversations about your brand by asking for reviews or finding a way for consumer-created content that shows off your facilitations unique features.
While none of this advice may seem particularly surprising, I’m always amazed by how many entrepreneurs have neglected to do this homework before they launch. If you want to beat the odds, make sure you’ve carefully thought through these non-negotiables before you start your business.
Excalibre Fact File
Excalibre – is dedicated to enhancing human transformation by offering ‘path re-defining solutions’ to enhance critical measures of performance- like quality, service, speed and cost.
- Leadership evolution
- Personalized coaching and mentoring
- Raising the skill matrix in sales, communications, customer orientation, relationship management
- Business Reengineering by Optimizing Productivity, thereby,
- Creating high net worth teams
Excalibre presently is preferred resource with 30 apex corporations, across 8 industries and has facilitated over 5.6 million hours in Coaching, Mentoring and Training Space. Additionally it’s a dependable ally for 20 educational institutions, wherein over 2.6 million man hours have been invested with students, academia and management.
Partnering Initiatives are designed to create new possibilities that drive innovation and commitment in their employees- creating a huge impact on retention and motivation.
Instead of the conventional approach of a website, Excalibre charted a different path to reach its target audience, by customizing information through 10 unique focused blogs and monthly thought sharing’s with 15 top periodicals. Aim was to equip first generation entrepreneurs and emerging leadership in understanding better the techniques to resolve their vexed challenges.
- http://ksahluwalia.blogspot.in/. Thoughts by K S Ahluwalia on executive coaching
- http://excalibresme.blogspot.in/. Addresses challenges faced by emerging entrepreneurs
- http://ksahluwalia-excalibre.blogspot.in/. Focuses on ways to revisit your inherent potential.
- http://excalibreiinc.blogspot.in/. Inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit in you
- http://excalibretnl.blogspot.in/. Get beyond. Effect Quantum leap thinking across spectrum.
- http://excalibredecisiveconversations.blogspot.in/. Learn the art of effecting decisive communications
- http://www.speakingtree.in/public/ks.ahluwalia. Thoughts on being a being of substance.
Retention ratio with our partners has been 98% + till date.
We believe – that if you have it in you, you need to hone it – never be tense, simply be ready- think beyond, think ahead and make it happen in the now.
Your call now folks