Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Set expectations right to avoid a mess!

From what I’ve experienced in the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of business owners or the sales guys commit things which they are not able to deliver or fight really hard to get things done by the deadline that’s been mutually agreed upon. What happens is, in the process the stakeholders end up having not so good conversations/relations either with their own team or with the client. To share an example, I know of 2 companies working in the same domain. While 1 of them has declared an off for the entire Diwali week, the other has 2 alternative days as off. This year, Diwali being on a Tuesday, these 2 off days are Tuesday and Thursday. For obvious reasons, most employees in the company have taken 2 leaves, of course the days being Monday and Wednesday. That leaves it with just 1 day to work and we all know how much work is accomplished on a Friday, that too when the rest of the week was off. Not to mention, some of them would fall ill or maybe have already taken a Friday off as well by now. That eventually means, work gets delayed by a week or at least by 3 working days! Now if you’re the client facing person, you know that you’re gonna slip on the deadlines by at least 4-5 days and face the wrath. By the way, you wouldn’t want to imagine a scenario if you’ve set your deadline somewhere in *that* week.

By now you would have understood that this 2nd company is going to delay projects by a minimum of 3-5 days. In some cases, the client would be ‘just okay’ while the others might complain a bit. Either ways, whether the client complains or not, why would you want to deliver a wrong message for your company? Who knows, this small bit might result in you losing out to some good referrals. Word of Mouth still remains the best form of marketing, right!

We have a lot of festivals in India. While on most of those off days we might end up working, but, let’s be honest, there are some days when you want to keep work aside, even if you are an entrepreneur. These are the days when you just want to be with your family & friends. Most of us would agree here but some of them might just want to work. What is important to understand here is that whatever way you feel (taking an off or not) your employees would definitely want to take off for a day or two. In most cases, even your clients want to do that, right? So why shouldn’t you just declare that week off? Even the west completely shuts down during Christmas after all, with auto responders always set!

So I would believe this first company has done a great job – has kept employees happy by giving them a week off and at the same time communicated this to the clients that they would be shutting shop for the Diwali week and the deadlines set accordingly. To me this sets expectations clear on both the client’s and the employees’ point of view. And if both the sides are happy, I believe you as a sales guy, a project manager or an entrepreneur would never have to hear harsh things from anywhere!

Agree/ Disagree? Share your views in the comments or shout out to me @AbhinavSahai or on LinkedIn

Cross posted on Dare.

Why (and how) should entrepreneurs attend events

I was at a startup event last year, my first as an Entrepreneur, where I learnt a tip from a fellow entrepreneur. He said, at each event he plans out what sessions to attend, prepares a small question beforehand and then enters the hall. This is what he said next, “During or after the session, I take the opportunity to ask the question, for the first 45 seconds I introduce my startup and then ask my question in the next 15 seconds. After that I’m not even bothered about the speakers response, my job’s done”. Apart from his point about not bothering about the response, I feel, every individual, entrepreneur or not, should follow what he said. The 45-15 second rule can really work out.

Since then I try to go at any startup event I can possibly attend. Next week also comes another event, a big one though. Its the Nasscom Emergeout and this time a lot of focus is on startups and/or SMEs. There are about 13 sessions and the entire agenda can be found here.

Since there are parallel sessions, the ones I am interested in are the sessions on “Big business decisions”, a discussion on “Scaling up your product” and the one on “Effective sales strategies”. Of course, this is apart from the Keynote sessions where speakers are of the stature of KrishnaKumar Natarajan, CEO – Mindtree, Aditya Ghosh, President – Indigo Airlines, Venky Mysore, CEO – Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajan Anandan, Managing Director Google India.

You can register here. I know, its slightly expensive if you are a startup, but then there’s a deal for startups! Also, there are a few contests running on Twitter, check out the Emergeout hashtag.

Still if you feel the fee is high, here’s a small tip I got from a VC sometime back. “Don’t register for the event, just express interest. Most of these payment forms would be tracking who all fill the details but don’t pay. In most cases, event managers contact these guys and offer them a low fee entry on last days”. That’s what he told me, I don’t know how often does that happen though 🙂

If you are coming, great! See you there, I would be available @AbhinavSahai

Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?

When I told my friend/colleague/mentor that I want to be an entrepreneur, along with a few other questions, he asked me ‘Why’ . I took some time but answered it honestly with what I was feeling. I am sure it made sense to him as he later on partnered with me to start my business.

A couple of days back I was sitting among a group of entrepreneur and we were again asked the same question. Most of us had our answers but 1 of the participant gave answers which kind of didn’t settle in my brain. She started answers with “Because I don’t want this…..”. Most of her answers had ‘this shouldn’t happen’, or ‘not because of…’

Well, in my humble opinion, becoming an entrepreneur (or doing any job in life) should not come from the “Not this, hence..”. Your reason to become an entrepreneur can’t be “Not because of…” or ‘Because I don’t want to do a job’ or ‘Because I don’t want this to happen’ etc. It should start from – why you want to do it! Find a reason to accomplish any task in life instead of making it an excuse for doing something else, the momentum won’t survive!

Agree? disagree? thoughts? Your experience?

Originally posted on DARE.