How to Launch Your Company’s IPO Successfully?

After successfully running a company for a few years many entrepreneurs think of expanding their businesses but are short on funds. This is where the need for IPO arises. Many entrepreneurs wish to add more products to the existing product line, others wish to expand their business by opening a branch at a different location(s) and many others have yet other reasons.
At this juncture to acquire more capital inflow in the company the entrepreneur is ready to share with the public and go in for the initial public offering (IPO).

IPOFor executing a successful IPO the business owner and management requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. One should consider the reason for going public and the timing of the launch of IPO, as both have a significant impact on how things will turn out at the end.
It is exceptionally important to plan a solid strategy well in advanced and as far as possible all potential problems to be identified and if possible rectified.

Discussed here are a few matters which should be considered in advanced before the launch of the IPO.

A strong and experienced CFO

Successful ventures are heavily dependent on those persons who are guiding it, mostly the owner and his team members. Though it is more of a financial matter, hence chief financial officer has a major role to play. He/She will be responsible for the creation and implementation of IPO strategy.

Though other members will also be involved throughout the process who can be the company’s internal executives, external professionals are also required who are familiar with ins and outs of an IPO.

Before entering into water it is better to test first. One should analyze the company’s past performance and financial standing. Identifying existing and potential collaborators or partners and how much the prospective investors are interested in the company’s betterment.

Assess stakeholder’s readiness and interests

One should take into account the factors and circumstances for which the company is going for IPO, an honest assessment should be done. Since the reality of the situation should not be bye-passed with the greed and impatience only to make money. Stakeholder’s interest should be in line with the company’s mission and vision.

Assessing company standing and adjusting to the future needs

Conducting an honest assessment of the company’s standing will help you fix any irregularities or shortcomings if they exist in advanced. Once a company goes public it is bound by many rules and regulations that govern a company which does not apply to a privately held company and may create problems at the later stage. Financial and operational matters may need some change and that will consume some time. It is better to make these necessary adjustments to see how the company will perform once it goes public.

Allocating appropriate manpower

Making the transition from a private domain to a public domain will affect every aspect of the company. Hence one should have the appropriate amount of manpower and resources so that the staff can easily handle the tasks assigned to them. Though it does increase the costs allowing any sort of lapse or falling off the track may prove disastrous to deal with the upcoming situation. Care should be taken to manage and allocate appropriate resources at present then to feel disappointed when things go out of control.

How can you pitch your startup for better funding?

You have got an idea, one which is great, workable and sustainable and is eagerly waiting for someone to fund it, as there are many investors out there who wish to invest in projects that are feasible, viable, and innovative. It is you who will have to market your startup.

startup fundingFor a good impact of your idea, you have to go through a thoughtful planning process and prepare well to explain your idea in the best possible way. You can take some time now to make yourself ready for the event (presentation).

Your introduction and few moments of your initial time can win or lose the attention of probable venture capitalist or angel investor for him to decide to bet money on you or not.

An angel investor eats, breathes and dreams of ideas which he/she can fund and profit out of it. Here are few tips on how you can pull the angel investor to fund your project.

  1. Have your details ready

Before you contact investor, have 15 to 20 slides that cover all your business aspects. Few slides can be the description of your product/services. How will you market your product/services? What is the demographic who will use your product or services? Your business model and how will you scale up?

Marketing strategies that you will adopt? Who are your competitors in the field? Who will all be your team members and their roles? How much money and time you will need to spend to achieve breakeven point? How will you spend money and how much will you profit from your sales?

By discussion you can get feedback from your friends and relatives once they go through your idea. Present them your ideas and get feedback on the positive and negative part of your idea and its presentation.

Do not argue but listen to your friends carefully the questions they put up. You can also ask them what they did not understand in your presentation. What points or topic was not clear to them.

Before you think of talking to any investor do your homework thoroughly. Be ready with the trial run and rehearsal before the launch.

  1. Build a vibrant team

Fundraising is an important part for any startup. One of the smartest moves is to have a team of advisors who will introduce you to great investors. The team should be such that it should be passionate and committed to your idea too.

Instead of cash, you can commit each member with small equity in your enterprises. Maybe some may even be ready to invest. Many startup companies often skip the step of forming a right team of advisors.

You may know few people. Each member of your team also knows few people. If you pool everything you will know lots of people. There are many investors who have quite a lot of cash lying unproductive, idle or inactive with them and may be looking for less risky investments.

  1. Practice your lines

Practice makes man perfect so goes the saying and it fits perfectly when it is time to display your presentation. While displaying your idea to potential investor rehearse your lines thousand times. Go through your speech, practice in front of the mirror. Though it may sound silly and awkward, when you know your lines perfectly it builds up your confidence which is important.

Once you are prepared and confident, calmness follow. Being calm you will able to answer all the hard questions put up by the investor. Satisfied answers really matter.

  1. Know whom you are meeting

Find out details about the investor you planned to meet. If you know what interests and what bores your investor, you will not be in unchartered waters. Both can forge a better friendship and understanding.

You should know if the investor has been an entrepreneur, if yes he will understand you better. Has your investor failed in any startup, if yes he will have apprehension about the project? Was he in the past an associate investor or a principal investor? Though these are small things they will help you to decide which line of action you should take.

Be flexible, we all make mistakes and do have a share of bad and good days. Once you fail, remember to get up and start walking again. Life goes on and on and on.

How to Interact with Customers on Social Media Channels?

In today’s setup businesses cannot ignore social media intersection with their clients especially to improve brand awareness. Word-of-mouth and newspaper advertisement is the things of the past. Customers prefer to interact with brands on social media.

social mediaEven the most conservative and traditional businesses houses wish to make their own social media presence on Facebook, Twitter etc. or have their own website.

Even publishers operating from narrow bye-lanes in the old part of the city who are operating from one of the dark and dingy room of an old building, with hardly any ventilation, who have just electric connection now have a computer and a fully operational website.

Interacting with sellers, purchasers, vendors, and customers on social media are the decisive and crucial aspect of the marketing plan. How businesses can interact with customers through social media channels is discussed below.

  1. Importance of Social Media

In today’s age and time conversations happen on social media. Social media has become a type of customer service center for businesses. For whatever type of business one is conducting small, medium or large.

It provides certain benefits like lead generation, increased awareness, increased exposure, and reduced marketing costs, online search ranking and developing customer’s loyalty. The businessman must know which platform to choose from where he gets more audience and his business grows.

Large numbers of people are using social media for various different purposes and hence businesses cannot ignore it. They have to actively engage with the customers or they lose the opportunity to gain more users.

  1. Social media presence

Having cardinal relations with customers is an essential factor for the growth of any business. If a better relation exists between the business and customer, the business is in the better position to effectively grow. The strategy is simple but it should be used effectively to engage followers on social media.

Businesses should open up multiple communication channels and should be responsive and have their presence felt on social media. By staying integrated that is social and call center teams communicate seamlessly about latest updates and details on customers preferences.

They should have hands-on experience on engagement and be ready to welcome both positive and negative comments with an open mind.

If possible to manage the brand, the company can have a dedicated person to manage customers on social media. One can engage customers in various ways on social media.

Like you can take a problem statement and start the conversation by posting it on social media. The existing and/or prospective customer can share their opinion. Later on, you can promote your product or services by offering a solution.

  1. Choose platform which suits your business

There is no single platform or rule for social media interaction. It is by trial and error method that one figures out which suits the business the best. One has to evolve by learning and adapt your marketing strategies according to the platform one is using.

The best way is to treat the customer is such a way he wants himself to be treated. Do take care of the medium you are using. Each has a different approach like Facebook for more informal approach is better and LinkedIn should be used for more professional and formal approach. Instagram is a good platform if you wish to share a story. So on and so forth.

  1. Engage your customers but do not infringe their privacy

There are certain things to keep in mind while engaging your customers. You can have a relevant conversation with the customer but do not encroach into their mind space.

One should try to post blogs/articles relevant to the industry. While writing an article or blog sees to it that you do not focus only on your company’s product or services. You can post gathered information and interesting articles which are in trend and are relevant to your customers.

  1. Feedback and analysis

It is important to know your target audience and understand their needs. With so many multimedia apps available today you can acknowledge, wish and thank your customers.

Never ever ignore feedback you receive. Take it in your stride be it positive or negative and remember to analysis feedbacks. As they threw up an important and direct message about your businesses and ways to improve it.

Tips on how to manage your time and use it productively

TIME is one of the important things in human life. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. Few waste much of the time and few make good use of it. Those who make good use of it are the people who are successful in their life. They are more organized and more productive in their life as well as work.

time management

Many people waste time on unnecessary things and later on complain they do not have sufficient time at their hand. Time should be managed judiciously. Once gone, gone forever.

We will discuss how one can be good at time management:

  1. Everyone has only 24 hours per day

The first and foremost thing that must be understood is that everyone has only 24 hours a day, nothing more nothing less. No matter how much we are organized or disorganized. Time does not change. All we can do is to manage it optimally to get the best use of it.

  1. Identify where you are wasting time

Many of us waste productive time on net surfing, reading and sending unnecessary emails, posting unwanted and useless things on Facebook, Whatsapp, text messaging and talking long hours on phone. It was found that most of the people waste time ranging from 30 minutes to few hours daily each working day which can be curtailed.

To find out where you are wasting time, track your daily activities and record it. This will help you to identify those pockets where you are wasting your time and where you have made good use of it.

You will get an idea of what all things you are using your time in. Identifying useful and wasteful time is the first step towards time management.

  1. Curtail wasteful activities

Time management involves changing your behavior and practices not changing time. Once you identify the activities where you waste a lot of your time you should work in the direction of curtailing or eliminating those activities.

You can set goals for a week to test yourself. You can curtail long talks on the phone or useless chatting on Facebook or Whatsapp. You can see the change by yourself.

  1. Track and monitor your set goals

Once you identify your time-wasting activities and then eliminating or curtailing it, you will see a change in your behavior over-time towards those goals that you have set for yourself. Only setting goals will not work, you will have to see that you implement it too.

This will increase your productivity and decrease your stress (because your work is getting completed in a set targeted time). Keep on continuously tracking and monitoring your set goals it will motivate you to improve further.

  1. Prioritize your work

Start your day by making a list of all work that has to be done today. Next start numbering, 1 for highest priority or importance and so on. Once over with numbering, start the task with number 1 and so on. You will come to know how many tasks you can achieve is a day and accordingly set your benchmark for future activities.

  1. Delegating unimportant and time-consuming work

Take the work, master it with practice, teach someone thoroughly and then delegate. Once delegated, keep an eye for some time and then once the confidence is built delegate permanently. You can utilize that time for some other new and important work.

Those works which consume a lot of time and energy and are not too important should be delegated. No need for on-person-show even for small businesses.

  1. Stay organized save time

Try to keep everything in proper place that is in an organized way. You will save a lot of time searching for things you need for your daily use, like a pen, mobile, handkerchief, purse, scissors, calculator etc by allotting a proper place for each. Proper filing of your papers in different files like health file, income tax file, property file, insurance file etc. will help you stay organized and save time when you search for certain related documents.

Taking control of your time will help you accomplish many things and utilizing it in the most optimal way will give you lot of free time. Busy people are those who have time for everything.

Does your boss have these two rare leadership skills?

Dictionary meaning of boss is defined as “a person who exercises control or authority”. The relationship between boss and subordinate depends upon person to person. In a span of working life, one comes across different bosses. Some get a very good boss and his thoughts and principles are cherished lifelong. Some are not worth mentioning, while some become a favorite and are worth remembering for a long time to come. Some are remembered because of their leadership qualities, dedication to their work, and style of functioning etc.

leadership skillsFew bosses who are remembered are simple and do not misuse the position of power or authority. They make their subordinates feel equal.  They are “approachable” by their subordinates even if they have executive status. They give their sub-ordinates autonomy and freedom to take important decisions. Provide their subordinates with all the resources to develop leadership qualities.

Sub-ordinates do not wish to leave their jobs and are more satisfied working with bosses who share leadership from bottom-up and never lead from top-down.

Here are two leadership principles that every boss should practice with his team daily-

  1. Facilitating a shared purpose that gives the work a meaning

Those boss who communicate an image of the future get attention from their subordinates. The subordinate’s point of view should be heard and if possible and viable should be acted upon.

The boss should be able to communicate clearly what the destination of the work is which is being done. In short, the ends result. He should question them – Why do you work and the purpose of doing it. Once the sub-ordinates come to know the greater good they are doing they will be focused on the end goal. They operate on shared values and vision that they have mutually agreed upon. The decisions and actions become more guided by the principles in their daily life.

These components define the whole team with the tremendous amount of passion and energy whereby the productivity is unleashed to its maximum potential. When the subordinates sees the relationship between what they personally believed and direction of the organization, the commitment level towards their work and organization increases. The employee joins the organization as theirs and organizations directions are one and the same.

The boss, as a leader should be able to communicate and let the subordinate know the image of the future as to why they are doing the work allotted to them and how their work will contribute to fulfilling the vision of the company.

  1. Delegating and sharing power

Relations are built on two-way trust. Sharing power and releasing positional control by looking after the subordinates first is from the boss side. In return the boss gets an extraordinary loyalty from them.

The boss should not use his positional power for his personal gains, special privileges or self-promotion. He should put his subordinates in the leadership position so that they grow and develop new strengths and undertake new innovative roles.

The boss should be a risk-taking type where there is an open communication and space for creativity to flourish. Actually by sharing power, delegating work and releasing control the boss gains “real power”. By letting his subordinate work without fear or favor and removing obstacles from the path, makes the boss a real hero. If there is a substantial support or help from the boss, subordinates can do amazing work and put all their efforts towards the work that they are doing.