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The world's, best inventions !

Jun 17 Philip Philca
June 17th, 2014

 I am a technology consultant, scientist, researcher, and inventor.
I  have invented several Technologies, which, I believe,
are the world's, best inventions.

I  am, now, making such inventions, of mine, available to
whoever, in the world, would be interested.

What I am looking for, right now, are the following:
a. A financier;    b. A publicist, or PR man;    c. Two, or more, agents,
who can arrange, and negotiate, for me, the best book, and magazine, deals,
with the world's largest, book and magazine, publishers.

If you are interested, in any of the above,
please send an e-mail message, to me,
at:   philip.philca@gmail.com
OR:  phil.felipe34@gmail.com
OR:  read my website:    http://facebook.com/philip.philca








Try to read my website. Some of the things I have worked on, and
invented, are written there. I am, now, making them available to
anyone, in the world, who would be interested. I believe that my
inventions are the world's, best inventions. Please help me inform
people about them. Please ask them to read my website, also.
My website is:    http://facebook.com/philip.philca









At Last! Now Available! The world's, best inventions:
a. Philca Cure - the world's, first, and only, scientific, non-medical,
prevention/cure, for: cancer! clogged arteries! diabetes! obesity!
hypertension! prostate problems! old-age problems! or any
illness, or disease!
b. Philca Technology - the world's, first, and only, technology, that
can enable people, to live 250 years, or more, in perfect health!



IF YOU, YOUR FAMILY, OR ANYONE YOU KNOW, IS
INTERESTED, WHETHER AS A CLIENT, OR AS AN INVESTOR,
TEXT: 0927-3308393
OR: SEND AN E-MAIL MESSAGE, TO ME,
AT: philip.philca@gmail.com
OR: philip.phil48@gmail.com
OR: READ MY WEBSITE:   http://facebook.com/philip.philca

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Vitality of Innovation Certification

Jun 18 Tahseen Bahoo
June 18th, 2014

Competition in the globally competitive environment has gone beyond imagination. With the advancement of technology and focus on research and development, organizations are striving to maximize their market share in the local as well as foreign markets. Today most of world renowned companies and their brands are well recognized everywhere. The change is spurred because of increasing focus on innovation in the existing as well as new products and markets. 

 
Speaking specifically, organizations are striving to hone the skills of their employees to have a global focus in mind while expanding the product lines. Using innovative approaches employees are able to analyze the global markets, needs of the customers and pitch those needs with the right products. Marketers and product manufacturers thus try to make products with global perspective but targeted to local markets. It is all because of innovation that today world witness emergence of new companies with creative ideas, commonly called ‘Startups’.
 
As the people who have innovative ideas are the real driving force behind the establishment of new businesses, it is important for them to know the various approaches to launch the business idea, fulfill all initial requirements, study the markets, identify the needs, plan the development of product, identify the right target audience and then promote it through various marketing and promotional activities. Entrepreneurs who establish the startups must be equipped with the knowledge that is conducive to successful development of the company business. These skills are developed out of training programs, certification and experience. It is, therefore, highly important for entrepreneurs to polish their entrepreneurial skills in order to launch their business idea successfully.
 
International Institute of Certified Innovators & Entrepreneurs (IICIE) offers innovation focused certification designed to fulfill the problems of the entrepreneurs who struggle to establish their businesses. The certification program is designed to help the entrepreneurs understand the fundamentals of innovation that are helpful for the business, understand the relation of the product and market, use innovative approaches to develop it according to the needs of the customers, market and promote it to the right audience - thus covering all aspects to launch the business idea and achieve sustainability. This Certified Business Innovation Manager (CBIM) certification is an online (instructor-led) program facilitated by the highly qualified and experienced mentors with substantial industry experience. 
 
Growing at a rapid pace the “Certified Business Innovation Manager (CBIM)” has become a well-known certification in the eyes of large enterprises which aim to have their employees trained to changing business environment. Furthermore the program is highly recommended by the universities which motivate their students to learn the entrepreneurial skills in order to start their own businesses. Become  Certified Business Innovation Manager. 
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Business Globalization– Trends And Challenges

Jul 19 Raamish Rana
July 19th, 2016

Globalization is often cited as a key driver for global business expansion. According to EY reports, the trends in globalization have reflected an overall increase in globalization over a period of time from 1995 to 2013. They base their findings according to indicators that fall into five broad categories leading to a globalization Index to measures and track the performance of the world's 60 largest countries. These categories include: openness to trade, capital movements, labor movements, exchange of technology and ideas, and cultural integration. Their findings lead to an overall increase in globalization score from 4.12 to 4.19. 

(Source: http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Issues/Business-environment/The-new-global-reality---Globalization-index). 

 

As stated this phenomenon of globalization and accompanying international competition has over the years brought a high level of focus on accessing markets globally. Hence the reach of local businesses beyond territories have become key levers of success at both macroeconomic and microeconomic levels.  

Philip Rooke, CEO, Spreadshirt predicted: In 2015, more and more companies will go international. Especially, U.S.-based businesses will start their trans-Atlantic journey. Globalization is moving forward in big steps from both sides of the Atlantic, but also to Asia. "

 

These facts have been validated by a new study conducted from IDC and commissioned by TMF Group, a leading global high-value business services provider. Findings reflect that nearly half of the companies questioned (48%) were looking to grow internationally in the next two years – primarily to Asia Pacific (42%) and Europe (36%). Eight out of ten respondents (82%) cited increasing sales as among their reasons for international expansion, followed at some distance. Hence these findings reflect that there is a huge demand on expanding businesses beyond territories. 

(Source: http://blog.startupcompass.co/the-2015-global-startup-ecosystem-ranking-is-live)

 

The trends in business global expansion provide a sound trajectory of global business growth. However, in pursuing growth objectives, organizations should not neglect certain latent challenges. These can be manifold and are not by any means limited to: localization and cultural assimilation, competition from domestic competitors, regulatory, foreign exchange rate movements, legal rulings, and tax considerations. 

 

Interestingly, many American giant corporations have struggled especially in China and other Asian markets, owing to a lack of understanding of local demands and buying habits.The popular ecommerce site eBay was no match for TaoBao, China’s “heavyweight company”, in this industry. In an article for the Association of Computing Machinery, two Hong Kong-based professors cited TaoBao’s built-in instant messaging system as a reason for its edge over eBay China. Customers wanted to see a seller’s online status and communicate with them easily — a function not seamlessly incorporated into eBay’s China system. eBay also struggled in Japan, where it launched in 2000. Both Forbes India and Finance Elements later also noted that the company did was inflexible in adjusting its strategies and purchasing methods tailored to local preferences. For example, buyers were required to input their credit card information to make a purchase, a practice not popular in Japan at the time.

 

Similar case in point pertains to giant corporation, McDonald’s in its run in the Caribbean. The company is credited for its 10-year run in Jamaica, initially opening 11 stores on the island. A writer for Moneymax101 noted prevalence of a number of other issues, including high barriers to running a McDonald’s franchise and a slow economy. Similarly, in Barbados, the company was there less than a year before closing due to lack of sales.

(Source: http://www.internationalbusinessguide.org/10-successful-american-businesses-that-have-failed-overseas/

 

Thereby the experiences of these corporations bring to light the business needs of being sensitive to the local requirements. A meticulous, and methodical assessment of these considerations is important, where it can benefit businesses to gain from the experiences of experts that can facilitate smooth business assimilation into entirely new territories and in turn enable mitigation of many latent risks. 

 

Thereby, as this blog has alluded to, global business expansion often comes with benefits on one hand with underlying challenges on the other, a systematic mitigation of which can be aided through expert advice well versed with connections to the local needs of the market.

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Evaluating Challenges For Entrepreneurs To Sustain Businesses

Aug 11 Raamish Rana
August 11th, 2016

The very step of launching a new venture requires bold initiatives on the part of the entrepreneur. Start-up entrepreneurs have to deal with a multitude of internal and external stakeholders as a requirement to comply with a variety of demands of the likes of bankers, accountants, lawyers, and business advisers. Also they need to keep up to speed with developments with other associations. These include chambers of industry and commerce, craft associations, employer associations, start-up fairs, and start-up centres, to mention a few. 

 

Based on research, it is found that the process of creating a new venture offers series of challenges, and requires careful planning to undo the complexities that various events have to offer. The first few months particularly offer pecking challenges, where entrepreneurs are burdened with a number of important decisions often complemented with a heavy workload. These challenges earlier on can be problematic as entrepreneurs are unable to execute important managerial tasks effectively, which can further lead to unwanted outcomes. 

(Schick,, Hildegard, Sandra Marxen Jürgen Freimann, and Marxen And Jürgen Freimann. "Sustainability Issues for Start-up Entrepreneur." N.p., n.d. Web.)

 

It is important to be cognizant of the common pitfalls that entrepreneurs are often exposed to. David Skok identified the following set of entrepreneurial challenges:

- Business model failure: This can happen when entrepreneurs fail to find scalable ways to acquire customer, or their cost of acquiring customers exceeds the customers lifetime value (LTV)

- Weak management team:  A weak management team are usually poor at executing for which it is argued that the product is not ‘built correctly or on time, thus the go-to market execution is poorly implemented’. 

- Product problems: The problem of the product not meeting the requirements of the market can inevitably lead to a ‘product failure’. In most cases this entails teams to validate their products with the customers in an iterative manner.

(Skok, David. "5 Reasons Startups Fail." N.p., N.d. Web. For ENTREPRENEURS, n.d. Web.)

 

In the wake of such challenges, it is important that entrepreneurs take steps that can lead to business sustainability and growth.  According to Glen Llopis, certain steps can be extremely effective if executed properly. These include:

- Strategic and operational focus: For products to be successful, strategic partnerships have to be carefully crafted. Additionally strong operational foundations are needed. Operational efficiencies are needed to ensure that workplace culture is sensitive to costs, and adopt innovative practices to bring the costs down on a per-unit basis. 

- Top talent: Qualified talent can serve as the engine for growth, and keeping up the momentum for sustaining business overtime.     

- Prospecting the right client: To sustain the business it is important to sell to the right clients. These are the clients whose business needs are sustainable. It is therefore important to have mechanisms to identify and sell to right clients. 

- Sound decision making: An ownership mindset amongst employees can often help foster the feeling to sustain momentum and tackle problems courageously with commitment to succeed.

- Commitment to growth: Business growth will often be an outcome of collaborative effort with individuals being able to ‘share their momentum with others’. It requires having the interest of others in the team to build a strong ecosystem capable of sustaining growth collectively.

(Top 6 Ways to Sustan Business Growth. Forbes, n.d. Web.)

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Evaluating the importance of lean start-up methodology for start-ups

Aug 19 Raamish Rana
August 19th, 2016

It is plausible that decisions made without much data at hand is subject to a number of risks. However fortunately for business ventures where investment in resources are purely stage gate, opportunities exist to refine the direction that the venture can take in terms of solution it provides for the end user. Hence, it can be valuable if key unknowns, and beliefs are validated as early as possible. Else valuable resources can be wasted in the wrong direction which can lead to an early withdrawal.

Fortunately, the “Lean Start-up methodology” has evolved as an important phenomenon, and coined by Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup”. It builds on the concept of lean six-sigma, a mechanism that emphasizes on eliminating wastes from processes. (Ries, Eric. "THE LEAN STARTUP METHODOLOGY." N.p., n.d. Web. )  

 

Ries lean start-up methodology is built on the notion of hypothesis generation, adequately validating the hypothesis at every step, learning from the outcomes, and further refining to develop a product from what is initially a “Minimum Viable Product (MVP)” to what can be a “Viable product”. Ries mechanism is soon beginning to find application in a number of Silicon Valley start-ups and large companies like GE. 

 

Thus as rightly noted by Steve Blank, lean start-up methodology ‘favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development’. (Blank, Steve. "Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything." Harvard Business Review)  Further it is noted by McGrath, that integral to lean start-up implementation is “focusing on solutions to problems, creating a system that supports innovation, and building an experiment learn-iterate loop”.

(McGrath, Rita Gunther. “Transient Advantage,” Harvard Business Review. (June 2013))

 

Given this methodology, start-ups are argued to be particularly in a favorable position when compared to large corporations as they are believed to be well positioned to search for a repeatable and scalable business model, while keeping important decision criteria at the center which is: our products are providing customers with solutions that are better than competitor, while ensuring company is able to retain its best employees and build a cutting edge system within company over time.

 

Thus as has been established lean start-up methodology is an important phenomenon that can iteratively and effectively lead start-up growth, and the effective implementation of which can come through building a system and culture supportive of innovation.

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Evaluating how important is networking for realizing gains to participants of start-up eco-system

Aug 25 Raamish Rana
August 25th, 2016

Start-ups today thrive in an eco-system comprising of many other players that can realize gains through a healthy eco-system including: accelerators, incubators, venture capitalists, universities, governments, and other competing/non-competing start-ups. Pivotal to nourishing the start-up eco-system is the interaction between players in the eco-system to generate affiliations that can go a long way to extract collective benefits. Networking opportunities organized either internationally or domestically can fulfil this very purpose. It creates a platform, and an important initial touch point for all the players to leverage what diversity have to offer in terms of backgrounds, industries, cultures, skills, and experiences. Participants take meaningful connections who can facilitate accomplishing their objectives, be that in terms of funding growth, acquiring essential training or connecting with potential vendors/targets. This initial touch point between participants can translate into a series of follow-up formal/informal meetings to further build long-lasting and value generating relationships. For example, the networking phenomenon is believed to be active in the Silicon Valley, where traces of groups are found such as the “106 miles – a networking group focused on creating joint benefits for entrepreneurial engineers starting a high-tech business.” 

 

Therefore networking opportunities serve to harness the start-up eco-system generating a multitude of long-lasting business relationships that can be worth investing in for relevant participants. Like for any opportunity, a networking opportunity can also come with limiting factors that need to be taken care off. This can be thought in terms of the information dissemination about the idea/concept which might be at a pre-mature phase of development, or the cost in terms of investment of limited time or money. However, the gains from networking in terms of the highlighted long-term value creation opportunities can significantly enhance the odds of success of various participants of eco-system that can make such limiting factors insignificant.  

 

Source: Rampton, John. "Http://www.inc.com/john-rampton/10-places-to-network-with-startup-founders-in-silicon-valley.html." N.p., n.d. Web. 

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Corporate Sustainability - Evaluating Corporate Needs To Adopt Start-up Approach

Sep 30 Raamish Rana
September 30th, 2016

In modern times, as rapid changes are taking place in business environment globally, large corporations need to have flexible structures to react timely to the most relevant trends, and deliver efficiently on customer needs that can help sustain their businesses. This necessity has made it important for corporations to undertake a start-up approach to address consumer concerns with an openness to their needs.  Hence, it serves a great deal of benefit to highlight some of the start-up practices that have become widely accepted today to evaluate their usefulness to corporate sustainability:

- Lean start-up approach: This approach introduced by Ries, has been widely adopted by some of the most successful companies of the likes of General Electric, and which continues to inspire people through some of the amazing products designed to do their job well. For example GE recent time-saving washing machine reduces washing time by 20% without compromising on the washing quality clearly enhances customer convenience by minimizing time. As per Kasey Panneta, a key segment, GE Fastworks at GE serves as a key lever to “translate lean start-up principles and other disruptive strategies across its ecosystem, enabling GE to design experiments to test minimum viable products”. Hence this enables GE to “discover early customer needs through experimentation while validating key assumptions before launching the final product.” Their approach in my view explains a sizeable portion of GE’s projected 10.48%, 5 year growth rate provided by NASDAQ. (http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/ge/earnings-growth) based on their exceptional growth in the past. It is imperative to highlight that such approaches have been an outgrowth of the practices of silicon-valley start-ups and offers a unique mechanism for corporate success.

- Culture of collaboration: One of the immediate benefits that start-ups are exposed to is a collaborative work culture, which is realized due to its small size, nature of its operations, and a fast paced environment. This collaborative culture enables start-ups to quickly validate the merits of their approach and products through exchanging useful information that might arrive from different areas within the company such as marketing (that acts as voice of external customers), and strategy (that provides for the key trends, and competitive landscape to shape future direction). Collaborative work cultures are fast gaining momentum at large corporations like Cisco, a multinational technology corporation, whose Executive, Ron Ricci identifies that  “collaboration is vital for company-wide strategic alignment”, and that major decisions such as “rapid exit from home networking business would not have been possible without effective collaboration”.

- Bold approaches: Making employees take bold approaches has been a norm accepted at start-ups where the scale of operations enable employees to test and try new approaches, and work harder to accomplish results. Similar approach was used at Tesla Motors (once a start-up) that continues to design some of the top electric vehicles. Their founder Elon Musk identifies as hiring employees solely on their ability to solve complex problems as opposed to experience which pushed employees to work harder– this approach has been one of the key factors soaring their share price to “15-fold since 2010 to $33 Billion company as per market capitalization”. Hence bold approaches encouraging employees to test their limits is undoubtedly an important aspect for large corporate success. 

In conclusion, in an ambiguous business environment of today, corporations can enhance the abilities to sustain businesses by adopting some of the approaches that come natural to start-ups that capitalize on new opportunities. These include effectively deploying Lean start-up methodologies, utilizing collaborative work culture, and taking bold approaches.

Sources

Panneta, Kasey. "Why Big Companies Need Lean Startup Techniques." N.p., n.d. Web.

Anderson, Kare. “What makes collaboration actually work in a company.” N.p., n.d. Web.

Dyer Jeff and Gregsen Hal, “Decoding Tesla’s Secret Formula”

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Challenges Start-ups Face In Global Growth

Oct 06 Aj Khan
October 6th, 2016

Recently, I had a discussion with Futurpreneur on business expansion.  That discussion focused on evaluating some specific criteria for assessing whether your start-up is ready for expansion and which would be a probable target market for expansion. Based on this evaluation, you, the entrepreneur, might decide that it is indeed now time to grow your start-up and explore new global opportunities outside your local market.  At this point, you, the entrepreneur, need to look ahead and think of the potential challenges that an entrepreneur entering a new market might encounter.  Below are some of the potential challenges to consider that might doom your entry into a new market.

 

Is your Start-up ready to Go Global?

An entrepreneur needs to make sure that her start-up is absolutely ready for growth.  This means looking at four key areas of your start-up.  The first focal point should be management commitment i.e. are you and the investors of the company ready to put in the time, effort and resources required to succeed in a new market? The second important area to consider is the product offering i.e. whether you will have competitive advantage in that specific new market because of your superior product or service.  The third necessary condition for growth of your start-up is whether you have sufficient cash-flows to enter into a new market as this is an expensive endeavor.  Finally, the entrepreneur has to be realistic about the capacity and capability of their start-up to deliver the additional sales that may happen as a result of this expansion.  If a start-up enters a new market before these necessary conditions are met, the start-up can incur significant damage to its reputation.  This can lead to catastrophic result and even end in the failure of the expansion effort. 

 

Market Entry Method and Partner Selection

One of the most significant challenges that start-ups need to overcome while entering a new market is to decide the ideal Market Entry Method.  This can have great consequences on future business to the company.   There are two possible options.  The first is to directly or indirectly export to this new market while the second option is to open a new sales and market office in that location.  This decision does not depend upon the size of the company but on the business strategy defined for the company’s expansion.  There are a number of factors which determine the strategy to employ including International experience requirement, management focus, speed to go-to-market, financial commitment and the risk profile of the company.

Whichever Market Entry Method is ultimately selected by the company, finding the correct partner(s) to enter a new market is another crucial step in this journey.  In order to do this, your start-up must clarify the requirements it has from the partner.  Questions such as which market(s) will the partner focus on?  Is the partner only a sales partner or would it also add value to the delivery of the products or services? What would be the revenue-share model for such partnerships?  These and many other questions need to be answered to build long-lasting relationships which are mutually beneficial for both entities.

 

 

Impact of culture

Culture has huge impact on business and it is imperative for an entrepreneur to immerse himself in the culture of any new market in order for his venture to succeed in that market.  A very simple example of culture impacting international business is language.  Any foray into a new market is defined by an entrepreneur’s ability to communicate in that market’s language and understand the nuances of the spoken and the written word.  Other differences between cultures could arise from factors such as economic philosophy, social mobility, religion, education system, and history.  These cultural differences have major impact on business functions such as customer support, advertisement, negotiations, public relations and consumer choices.  Understanding these cultural differences and their influence on business practices is always a significant challenge for any venture entering a new market.

 

Pricing Strategy

International pricing strategy is always a major challenge while entering new markets.  A start-up is focused on keeping it costs to a minimum while having maximum revenue.  However, the associated cost and pricing structure is based on its domestic market and the entrepreneur has to consider a number of additional variables in order to determine the best pricing model for a new international market.  These variables include additional costs to entering a new market, foreign exchange fluctuation, Tariffs, legal considerations, consumer affluence and local market conditions.

 

Legal

There are two major challenges when it comes to legal considerations while going global.  The first is to understand the extent that your product and service are protected under Intellectual Property Rights in the market that your start-up is planning to enter.  Your IP is usually applicable only in the country that you have obtained it in e.g. Patents and Trademarks issued by Canadian Intellectual Property Office are only valid in Canada.  You need to understand how vulnerable your IP is in the markets you are entering and what are the protections that can be obtained for your IP in those markets. 

 

The second area to understand are the applicable laws of the country that you are entering and those of your home country.  Canadian laws that focus on foreign corrupt practices or restrictions on Export of Canadian products and services to certain countries must be studied before entering any new market.  Similarly, the entrepreneur must comprehend the impact of the laws of your target country on areas such as product liability and International contracts. 

 

Tax and Accounting

 

Tax and accounting is another significant challenge for would be entrepreneur going global.  These cover a whole range of issues such as Transfer pricing, Duty Drawback, Foreign Trade Zones, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Tax incentives for exporters.  Again, these need to be looked at and it must be ensured that your company is meeting its tax obligations in all the markets where the company operates as a business. 

  

 

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Kpis For Growth: Effective Monitoring Of Your Start-up’s Expansion

Oct 06 Aj Khan
October 6th, 2016

 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential to monitor the success or failure of business in any phase of its life cycle.  However, KPIs are critical for measuring the growth of a start-up when the entire organization is in a flux and a baseline for the meaning of the organization’s success has not been established.  This need for regular and effective monitoring becomes even more acute when the start-up decides to grow further and enter a new market or launch a new product. 

 

The KPI framework for a start-up also varies from that of a mature business.  This is inherent in the very nature of a start-up as the KPIs for a start-up need to focus on product-market fit for the whole team rather than in a mature business where different teams are responsible for different areas of business and thus, have different KPIs. The product-market fit is based on user behavior and acceptability of the product in that market rather than traditional KPIs.  This also implies that a product suitable in one market might not be successful in a new market due to different user behavior and product enhancement might be necessary to ensure long-term success in the new market.

 

An important area where KPIs can play an effective role is in measuring success in a new market that the start-up has decided to enter based on factors such as past leads, past sales, competitor behavior, trade shows, and requests from existing customers.  Although revenue might seem like the most important criteria to measure, there are a number of significant KPIs that can be more effective in ensuring start-up success at this early stage.  As a start-up needs to focus on a well-defined set of KPIs, below are the ten most important KPIs to measure while entering a new market.  

 

Number of Customers: Customer data is an asset for any start-up and enables a start-up to understand consumer behavior and thus, have new insights into customer needs and requirements for its product.  Product enhancement based on these insights from customers in a new market will lead to a better product-market fit and result in greater sales. 

Consumer Perception: Consumer perception is a measure of the awareness and satisfaction of a product by its intended target consumers.  KPIs such as Net Promotor Score (Do your customers promote your product to others?), degree of satisfaction with the product, brand comparison with competitors and measure of brand attributes are common indicators of consumer perception.  

Price Response:  Price is definitely a KPI to measure, especially when your start-up is entering a new market.  It is one of the main determinants of the buyer’s decision to purchase (or otherwise) your product or service and consumers in different market might value your product or service at different price points.  Therefore, it is imperative to measure the price response of the customer to determine whether price a factor that is limiting sales in this new market. 

Cost per Lead: Cost per Lead is a measure of the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.  When your company is entering a new market, a low CPL will show that the marketing campaigns of your company are successful in the market and is attracting potential customers to your start-up. 

Conversion Rate: Of course, just getting the leads is not enough and you need to convert those leads into revenue-generating sales. Conversion rate measures the success of your sales efforts into converting the leads generated by your marketing efforts into actual sales.

Repeat Purchase Rate: The best sale is a repeat purchase from an existing customer.  If your start-up is able to have a few customers who regularly purchase your product/service, these can be an important source of referrals and become champions of your start-up in that new market. 

Net Profit: At the end of the day, business is about profit and Net Profit is the KPI that clearly expresses that profit in dollar figures.  Net Profit is also a good measure of the impact of costs in any market to deliver the same products or services.  

Return on Investment (RoI): RoI is one of the most common profitability ratios in business.  However, it becomes even more vital to measure RoI when you are entering a new market as significant investment would have gone into enabling that new venture and RoI would be a key measure of that decision to invest in entering a new market.

Target vs. Actual Sales: One of the most important criteria while entering a new market is to set a realistic target for revenue and then measure it against the actual sales that the company achieves after it enters the market.  This would help highlight the complete sales process and is invaluable for you to assess the performance of your start-up in this new market.

Month on Month (MoM) sales growth %: Larger companies usually measure YoY, QoQ and MoM sales growth percentage but for a start-up entering a new market, MoM sales growth percentage can be a key indicator of the direction of your start-ups efforts to grow and to build a baseline of the performance of your company.

 

 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential to monitor the success or failure of business in any phase of its life cycle.  However, KPIs are critical for measuring the growth of a start-up when the entire organization is in a flux and a baseline for the meaning of the organization’s success has not been established.  This need for regular and effective monitoring becomes even more acute when the start-up decides to grow further and enter a new market or launch a new product. 

 

The KPI framework for a start-up also varies from that of a mature business.  This is inherent in the very nature of a start-up as the KPIs for a start-up need to focus on product-market fit for the whole team rather than in a mature business where different teams are responsible for different areas of business and thus, have different KPIs. The product-market fit is based on user behavior and acceptability of the product in that market rather than traditional KPIs.  This also implies that a product suitable in one market might not be successful in a new market due to different user behavior and product enhancement might be necessary to ensure long-term success in the new market.

 

An important area where KPIs can play an effective role is in measuring success in a new market that the start-up has decided to enter based on factors such as past leads, past sales, competitor behavior, trade shows, and requests from existing customers.  Although revenue might seem like the most important criteria to measure, there are a number of significant KPIs that can be more effective in ensuring start-up success at this early stage.  As a start-up needs to focus on a well-defined set of KPIs, below are the ten most important KPIs to measure while entering a new market.  

 

Number of Customers: Customer data is an asset for any start-up and enables a start-up to understand consumer behavior and thus, have new insights into customer needs and requirements for its product.  Product enhancement based on these insights from customers in a new market will lead to a better product-market fit and result in greater sales. 

Consumer Perception: Consumer perception is a measure of the awareness and satisfaction of a product by its intended target consumers.  KPIs such as Net Promotor Score (Do your customers promote your product to others?), degree of satisfaction with the product, brand comparison with competitors and measure of brand attributes are common indicators of consumer perception.  

Price Response:  Price is definitely a KPI to measure, especially when your start-up is entering a new market.  It is one of the main determinants of the buyer’s decision to purchase (or otherwise) your product or service and consumers in different market might value your product or service at different price points.  Therefore, it is imperative to measure the price response of the customer to determine whether price a factor that is limiting sales in this new market. 

Cost per Lead: Cost per Lead is a measure of the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.  When your company is entering a new market, a low CPL will show that the marketing campaigns of your company are successful in the market and is attracting potential customers to your start-up. 

Conversion Rate: Of course, just getting the leads is not enough and you need to convert those leads into revenue-generating sales. Conversion rate measures the success of your sales efforts into converting the leads generated by your marketing efforts into actual sales.

Repeat Purchase Rate: The best sale is a repeat purchase from an existing customer.  If your start-up is able to have a few customers who regularly purchase your product/service, these can be an important source of referrals and become champions of your start-up in that new market. 

Net Profit: At the end of the day, business is about profit and Net Profit is the KPI that clearly expresses that profit in dollar figures.  Net Profit is also a good measure of the impact of costs in any market to deliver the same products or services.  

Return on Investment (RoI): RoI is one of the most common profitability ratios in business.  However, it becomes even more vital to measure RoI when you are entering a new market as significant investment would have gone into enabling that new venture and RoI would be a key measure of that decision to invest in entering a new market.

Target vs. Actual Sales: One of the most important criteria while entering a new market is to set a realistic target for revenue and then measure it against the actual sales that the company achieves after it enters the market.  This would help highlight the complete sales process and is invaluable for you to assess the performance of your start-up in this new market.

Month on Month (MoM) sales growth %: Larger companies usually measure YoY, QoQ and MoM sales growth percentage but for a start-up entering a new market, MoM sales growth percentage can be a key indicator of the direction of your start-ups efforts to grow and to build a baseline of the performance of your company.

 

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From A Local To A Global Start-up Eco-system

Oct 21 Raamish Rana
October 21st, 2016

A startup ecosystem is formed by people, startups in their various stages and various types of organizations in a location (physical or virtual), interacting as a system to create and scale new startup companies. These organizations can be further divided into categories such as universities, funding organizations, support organizations (like incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces etc.), research organizations, service provider organizations (like legal, financial services etc.) and large corporations.

Building a stronger eco-system can help forge stronger business connections and inevitably deal with certain economic ills that are so prominent in a number of countries These ills include youth unemployment, and slow economic growth through innovation. Hence an understanding needs to be built upon how such an ecosystem can prevail at a local and global level. 

The insights provided by Michael Luni, an entrepreneur pioneer can serve an important starting point. He establishes that to create such an ecosystem, at the least following components can build a solid base:

- Talent:  A talented pool of individuals offering variety of skills, and experience in areas of designing, product management. Their willingness and commitment to join the organization serves an important component.

 

- Education: A solid education system can enhance the skills and prepare the individuals for the responsibilities of delivering for the start-up. However, fruits can be realized if these start-ups can in turn act as a source for educating employees.

 

- Events and location: It is important that spread of ideas is facilitated smoothly. Hence start-ups need to find mechanisms for gathering ideas by collocating staff at one place. Also, start-up employees needs to gather ideas by meeting each other at events offering valuable networking opportunities. 

 

- Mentorship: Mentors can leverage their past experiences to ensure that their vast knowledge can prevent start-ups from committing the mistakes and tread on the path of success. This dissemination of knowledge from one generation to the next can create a ‘virtuous learning cycle’.

 

- Incubators and accelerators: These provide the breeding grounds for start-up growth offering a combination of facilities under one place including mentorship, space to create first prototype, and knowledge sharing for the available talent. Hence, this facility can speed up the process of launching new businesses into the market.

 

- Funding: While sources of funding can become readily available from local and international sources, it is necessary to ensure that previous generation of entrepreneurs can serve as funding who can in turn leverage their knowledge to create successful businesses.

 

With these six components combined a sustainable eco-systems can hence be generated. Hence these insights can be built upon to understand the creation of global sustainable start-up ecosystems. The necessary components of a global start-up ecosystem remain the same. It will have to leverage the collaboration of talent, education, events and location, mentorship, incubators and accelerators, and funding. Hence what can be highly valuable in this regards for start-up growth would be the opportunity to leverage knowledge on a global scale by gathering in internationally oriented conferences. Example of such a conference is provided in the upcoming Global Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference to be held in London, UK in 2017. Companies can benefit manifold from attending such conferences, and further enhance global start-up ecosystem.

 

Source: Luni, Michael, “ 6 components of a thriving ecosystem” 

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Key Qualitative Ingredients For Start-up Success

Oct 28 Raamish Rana
October 28th, 2016

Start-up companies often launching a product, the success of which will often hinge upon the performance of their offerings relative to certain success factors. While products are different implying different success factors, certain success factors apply more generally to explain how product will perform. It is important therefore to identify such success factors to ensure that the new offerings are able to succeed. A useful understanding can be gained through understanding factors that Venture Capitalists (VCs) use to make investment decisions – essentially as VCs have seen the rise or demise of so many investments they have made. 

Hence a useful, yet a simple qualitative list of such factors considered by a large number of VCs, and supported by Professor Kaplan of Chicago Booth School of Business follows:

- Product: It is imperative that the product is able to solve a significant customer problem that has either not been solved or has been solved only to a limited extent. Further, the product features have to be carefully designed to ensure that these are not easily imitable at any time and will not be competed away through other alternatives that are more cost-effective, efficient, or serve greater customer convenience. Hence technical expertise in product designing can serve as a great asset.

 

- Customer, and market: Customer needs serve an important starting point, and are hence pivotal to product success. These needs can be many and collectively determine the value they are willing to pay. Examples of such needs include greater convenience, or efficiency. Also the offering has to be targeted to a customer base with select demographics (such as age, income for individuals, or revenues, assets for companies). Therefore it is important to gage how many of the customers suffer from the problem that a product is trying to solve, along with their propensity, and willingness to pay to resolve this problem. Once it has been qualified through market research, it is possible to design and launch products that shall meet the most value-inducing needs for our chosen customers. Also necessary is to include product features that ensure a repeat customer behavior. 

  

- Market and Industry competitors: Products have to be compared with the value proposition of other alternatives of immediate and industry competitors, and positioned in the market to ensure that the customer value is maximized and managed appropriately. The concept of TRIZ requires that customers desired outcome (in terms of price, convenience, other factors) from product use is maximized compared with alternatives offered in the industry. (Source: Innovators Toolkit). 

 

- Management: The management team is known to make a huge impact on the outcome of product performance. The attitudes of the management team, together with their access to a broader network in this regards can be pivotal. Also, as a product might go through a series of rejection, what is important is effective resolve, and management commitment to engage in iterating their offerings, staying motivated, and keeping the team motivated to realize success. Management should also gather ideas from multiple frontline workers to innovatively deal with product issues.

 

- Operations: Efforts have to be made to ensure that business operations operate in value maximizing ways, which requires having solid systems, structures, and people. The systems should be devised to ensure maximum value creation for employees. Also structures fostering greater employee collaboration and that are efficiently responsive to customer needs can ensure customer value requirements are timely met.

 

- External environment: As much as internal factors are important, other external factors can make a huge difference. These include the PESTLE factors such as general business environment (such as boom or recession), political climate, social/cultural factors, legal factors all or some that might be relevant to the product being offered.

 

As highlighted, some of the key factors for product success can include product, customers/market, alternatives, management team, operations, and external environment which if considered carefully can lead start-ups to path of success.

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