7 Life Skills an Entrepreneur Should Learn

It takes more than just technical and business proficiency for an entrepreneur to succeed- it takes particular life skills.  These are abilities that extend farther than the normal primary layer of expertise and are critical in order to maintain proper business relations and function.  Success in the business world goes beyond intellect and embraces emotional qualities and other life skills.

Let’s look at what these are:

  1. Keeping Calm and Braving the Storm
  2. It’s More than Just Please, Thank You, and Sorry
  3. Negotiation- and why it’s Non-Negotiable
  4. Ask – Don’t be shy
  5. Courtesy and politeness
  6. Maintaining a Positive attitude
  7. Playing to Your Teams Strenghts
  1. Keeping Calm and Braving the Storm

This area is generally the most volatile.  Most people can agree that they have trouble keeping calm and sometimes lose their temper in times of crisis.  Crisis is known to bring out the devil in us.

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Source: Google Images

This is why you, as an entrepreneur, should practice keeping calm and braving the storm, rather than letting the crisis (and your temper) get the best of you.  Easier said than done, right?  Meditation is an advisable technique that comes highly recommended by many entrepreneurs.  Remember, when walking the path of an entrepreneur, you are bound to encounter a few storms along the way.  For example, Maggi Noodles have forever been a consumer giant and fan favourite- but did encounter some dangerous storms and scandals.  However, the Maggi Corporation braved the storm and are once again favourite!

 

  1. It’s More than Just Please, Thank You, and Sorry

There are words that work wonders on you, the other party and the situation and these words go beyond the usual and default ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Sorry’. As is the case, many people and cultures shy away from using even these, but these are a must. And so are the others. Such as, giving positive strokes and appreciating things that you genuinely like about others and their work – may it be your team, partners or competitors even. In emails, try to be courteous and always use a salutation.  Do not forget to say ‘Hi’ ‘Hello’, ‘Dear’. Check who you are talking to and accordingly customize your salutation. Not using a salutation is a strict no-no. Your tone of voice speaks mountains, so always use a polite and courteous tone whether you are talking on the phone or writing an email or message. And yes, avoid texting-lingo in formal communication.  Keep your LOL and TTYL out of the message, even if it takes extra time to type the message.

  1. Negotiation- and why it’s Non-Negotiable

As an entrepreneur, Negotiation is a skill you need to master. It is not a difficult skill to master. When negotiating it is important to keep an open attitude and to remain alert. The situation is often dynamic and you may have to make quick decisions that you would not regret later. Negotiation merits patience, stamina and a calm mind. Do not show you are desperate-show you are keen on the deal. Although you may go wrong initially, you later will know how to do it correctly. A good tip is to be well rested, well fed and in a pleasant mood when you head for crucial negotiations. However, if you do not have adequate time to prepare, you can still try deep breathing, visualizing good outcomes, and calming your mind before beginning negotiations. Additionally, your travel/commute time can be used to prepare yourself.

  1. Ask – Don’t be Shy!

Don’t ever feel shy or hesitate to ask something that you don’t know, want to know more about, or are not clear about. Ask as many times as you need to until you understand. Ask until you know and understand. Sometimes, asking solves everything and not just gives you answers, but also lightens your troubles and worries. It’s good to ask! It’s excellent to ask your customer things – has he liked your product? What are his buying plans? Maybe ask him to visit your site, ask him to write to you- Ask

Recently, a professional who worked for a start-up was looking for space partners (free space) for an event, with whom they would co-brand. She thought, why would anyone give space for free? But she decided to ask-and the first space partner agreed. If she hadn’t asked, she wouldn’t have known that there are people willing to give free space.

  1. Courtesy and politeness

It is always good to practice courtesy and politeness in every situation. Unfortunately, these virtues are things that we typically forget when we are in panic mode or caught in a situation or crisis. However, we should never stop being courteous.

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Source: Google Images

Being polite and courteous are signs of good leadership and great entrepreneurs.  Moreover, practice this also in non-verbal and written communication. It’s an excellent habit to cultivate. As we know, good habits are built in 21 days.

  1. Maintaining a Positive attitude

This is one asset that every entrepreneur should have. An entrepreneurial journey is strewn with challenges, obstacles, setbacks, and people who pull you down. If you can face all these and maintain a positive attitude, then you are well on your way to success and happiness. A positive attitude means accepting setbacks and picking yourself up again with a smile, zest, and a new found optimism. If you do not succeed in one project, do not worry. Find out what went wrong, and try and correct it the next time. Steve Jobs, the CEO and Founder of tech giant Apple, was asked by his company’s board to leave the company.  He remained unfazed and worked his way back up after proving his worth. If he had he given up and let himself sink, we would never have been able to see such amazing products come out of the Apple company.

  1. Playing to Your Teams Strengths

Successful entrepreneurs are only as strong as their team. Pool your teams strengths together instead of focusing on their weaknesses in order to go far ahead in your business and life. For example, someone may be a good at organizing but may not be good at generating ideas. Another one may be disheveled and bad at organizing but may be very good at generating ideas. If you pair the two together, you will have twice the productivity and twice the success!.

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Source: Google images

Try building one life skill every three weeks, and experience the transformation within.

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How entrepreneurs should build a good Bank Proposal

The term ‘bank proposal’ can create a pit in the stomach for many a new and accomplished entrepreneur. Funding and loans are the most challenging and fear-inducing tasks as you decide to embark on your entrepreneurial journey.

However, with the help and guidance of experts, these tasks become pretty simple and doable; which is why deAsra Foundation is here.

We got our experts talking and worked with them to offer you entrepreneurs, some tips on how to build a great bank proposal that stands a good chance of succeeding and getting you the loan you want.

Read on to get your answers.

Q 1 What is the process of submitting a business proposal to a bank, in brief?

Applicant/candidate prepares a project report may be with the help of consultants, which covers detailed information about promoters, project cost, means of finance, details of the activity (product/service) on which the business is based, financial projections, market study, cash flow, repayment ability, security- primary and collateral.

In a nut shell, it is a techno/economic feasibility/viability report of the project.

Q 2 Who at the bank sees and approves the proposal?

Each bank has its own specified assessment-appraisal system. Typically, the initial study/appraisal is done by the Credit Processing Officer and is approved by a Senior Official. The powers for sanctioning the loan are given to authority or position holders (e.g.: Branch Manager, General Manager, CEO , Credit Committees etc.) High-value loans are sanctioned by the Board itself. Banks have a Financial Power Structure, approved by the bank’s Board, which is how loans are approved and sanctioned.

Q 3 What should the proposal have that the banks like or favour?

Banks need to see reliable promoters having credibility, experience, sound technical knowledge, a service or product which has a good market and potential, and the fact that this business is a feasible and viable activity. Banks also need to know the availability of primary and collateral security which has a direct impact on the loan decision.

Q 4 What should the proposal not have – things that the banks disapprove of?

Non-viable business, promoter with a weak financial background, unfavourable credit reports, very high-risk ventures/activities such as gambling etc.

Q 5 What are the typical things that budding entrepreneurs miss out on, in the proposal?

In their rush to get the bank proposal submitted, budding entrepreneurs typically miss out on some important things and these are: not doing the home work and groundwork properly while choosing the activity/product/service on which the business will be based; market study not done at all or is not adequate in its information, forecast and projections not supported by data, highly ambitious/over ambitious project.

Q 6 How much time does it take for a proposal to be approved-from applying to approval and loan disbursement?

This duration depends on the size of the loan, financial power/decision making structure in the bank, quality of proposal prepared and submitted and also on which bank we are going ahead with. Different banks follow different structures and procedures for proposal approvals and loan disbursements. It will pay rich dividends if the entrepreneur understands these and plans his way ahead, accordingly.

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To set up and run a business, or to grow a business, entrepreneurs need to have a working knowledge of how the banks work and how proposals need to be done. It helps to read on this, talk about this among the entrepreneurial community as well as have heart-to-heart and transparent discussions with your consultant. Leaving everything to the consultant is not advisable because your stakes in this are high. You should work with consultants closely and choose them right.

deAsra Foundation has Udyog Mitras and senior experienced members aboard who can take you through this entire process with ease. To know more, call us on 020 65365300/11 or write to us on team@deasra.co.in

Importance of Social Presence in Business, for Entrepreneurs

Gone are the days when ‘Social’ just meant ‘For the society’ or ‘Social work’. Today, ‘Social’ has an all-new meaning and is critical in the world of business.

Entrepreneurs, whether aspiring, new, or established, cannot afford to ignore the importance of Social Media and the effects of their presence on social media, also known as ‘new media,’ in business. Even if you are a start up or not, social media is the new King.

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Myths and Facts about Social Media

  1. Myth: I have so many important things to do, the last thing I want to do is Social Media. A new entrepreneur has too much on his plate and can conveniently put aside social Media or keep it for later.

Fact: Social Media is as important as all of the other aspects of business and is an excellent way to connect with people without having to step out into the field.

  1. Myth: Social Media is for those who have little else and nothing better to do.

Fact: Social media is ”new media and cannot be stigmatized simply because one is not aware of its benefits.  Your social media presence is an important part of promotion, which is one of the 4 most important Ps of marketing.

  1. Myth: The product is important, not the packaging

Fact: Packaging today is as important as the product. Social Media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIN can help you package your product correctly and bring it onto the stage for the right audience to see.

  1. Myth: I am not on Facebook – who has the time?

Fact: The personal brand of the entrepreneur (himself) is as important as the product and the company that he is trying to build. In the initial years, founders and the company both need branding and awareness, which is boosted through social media helps in this.

  1. Myth: Social Media is for the youth. Not for me.

Fact: Social Media is for anyone and everyone who wants to be at the forefront of marketing – with no limits on age, gender, or creed. Social media can be utilised to its maximum only if you understand how to tap into its potential.

  1. Myth: I don’t understand Social Media. It takes away too much of my time.

Fact: You can outsource Social Media for your business but you will always need to understand the basics of how it works and how it pays off. otherwise, you will be at the mercy of the agency who handles your social media without a clue of how your valuable money is being put to use. That’s too much of a risk to take. As far as time goes, anything new that needs to be learned takes time and patience, but nothing is impossible.

  1. Myth: Social Media is for the new entrepreneur and business. Not for an established business.

Fact: Wrong. Social Media is helpful at any stage of the product or business cycle. Social Media channels largely vary in their demographics, usages, geographies and categories. One must choose the channels judiciously. Once this is done, even the established entrepreneur can put Social Media to good use.

If you are not on Social Media, this is the best time to begin. Don’t forget, deAsra Foundation is reaching out to entrepreneurs like you through Social Media, among other channels and Media.