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Promoting Entrepreneurship at University level: Growth Catalyst for Potential Startups?

With unceasing evolution of technology, crowd funding, social media, support from venture capitalists and various other lending options it’s always encouraging for aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business. With lot of new trends and advanced technology in today’s modern world, there are various business ideas that can help budding entrepreneurs to become successful in their startup ambition. Many of startup businesses are intended to explode out and rake piles of cash by growing extremely fast, but not all of them are successful as per expectations.

Young entrepreneurs work at an office area inside the University Students Venture Park, in Shanghai

Tips for becoming a Successful Entrepreneur:

When it comes to and business plans and strategy, most of the entrepreneurs are interested in gaining knowledge about these key areas.

  1. How to manage fast and consistent growth?
  2. How to scale the business to next level?
  3. How to hire the right talent who are disciplined in execution and really accountable?
  4. Building the right environment with engaging work culture to attract best talent.
  5. How to adapt with new business models?
  6. How to generate the right focus without getting distracted?
  7. How to deal with new competitors and overtake them?
  8. How to train the employees to become more productive and also keep them motivated?
  9. How to understand the ever changing needs of the customer and act quickly?
  10. How to introduce new trends in the market?

Many of the modern Universities promote innovation and entrepreneurship among its students. At PA computer science schools, you have the required infrastructure along with experienced faculties that can nurture your talent and instill a strong entrepreneurship spirit in you.

In order to become a successful entrepreneur you should focus on these important qualities,

  1. Building quality relationships both with your customers and your employees.
  2. Understanding the needs of your customers clearly and build your business based on that.
  3. Develop great sense of gratitude and respecting the people around you.
  4. Creating interest and demand among the customers for the product/service you are offering.
  5. Be accountable for all your actions and never over-commit to your customers.

Any business cannot grow by itself; it requires the right people to execute your ideas. You should hire the people with right attitude and train them effectively in order to grow your business. For your business to thrive you should clearly understand the Key Performance Indicators and have a constant check on these KPI’s. Your employees should be 100% accountable on the metrics associates with your KPIs. Concentrate on the core values of your business and also establish a great vision for the future. You should reward your employees at the right time to keep them motivated and to make them strive hard for success. As an entrepreneur you should always focus on long-term goals rather than seeking quick profits.  One of the famous inspirational quotes from successful Entrepreneur Bill gates is, “it’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure “. More than celebrating your success, you should focus on lessons learnt from your failure and address the issues that caused it. Following the above traits can help you become a successful entrepreneur.

Seven Innovative Business Ideas Based on Current Market Trends:

Some of the best business ideas come from deep passion along with great sense of resilience and persistence. Some of the interesting business ideas for the year 2015 are as below,

Mobile App Development:

With huge increase in use of smart phones around the world, Mobile Apps are always a promising idea for any entrepreneur with passion towards Technology. There are number of successful Mobile Start-ups especially in India since customers are crazy in using Mobile apps for all their daily activities like shopping, work schedule management, booking tickets etc. Many of the CEOs and Founders are happy with the spectacular and sustainable growth they have enjoyed by investing their time and effort in developing innovative Mobile apps. There are plenty of startup ideas available online to give you better understanding on what areas you can target for your Mobile-App based startup company. Choosing a niche and untapped market segment is very important to become successful in your startup venture.

 Box Subscription Services:

 It has gained huge reputation in beauty, food and other product sectors since in today’s hectic life people are very busy with their day-to-day work schedule and don’t find enough time for shopping at stores. When you choose Box Subscription Services as your startup idea, you have to customize your services based on the specific likes and interests of your customers to keep them coming back to you. You should choose a unique and special product group which is not yet tapped in this business segment. There are many  successful and reputed Subscription box based businesses like Conscious box which delivers natural beauty and food products to your home, Cravory which delivers delicious hand-made cookies at your door-steps etc. Similarly you should also choose a niche product which has demand among specific target customers to become successful in this business.

Training Academies:

If you are an experienced software programmer or IT professional with specific skillsets, starting a training academy is a decent business idea which can help you make money by sharing your knowledge to young engineers and aspiring professionals seeking quality training. Though there is lot of information available through online media, class room training is preferred by many students as it’s more interactive and they can clarify their doubts instantly. Also they can get more hands-on experience from qualified professionals. There are many entrepreneurs who have become successful by establishing training academies globally and they make decent profits. Some popular training academies charge their customers on hourly basis as they have more experienced trainers and deliver quality programs.

Health Clubs for Teens:

The Generation Y is more focused on maintaining their health and fitness based on the surveys done by various health magazines. You can capitalize on this trend by opening a fitness center or health club, specifically targeting the teenagers.  It is important to choose an easily accessible location near to your target customers and also have the latest workout equipment to attract more people. Corporate fitness clubs are also an excellent startup idea since you can get consistent income from the bulk enrollment of employees in your organization. Marketing your health club is also very important to get more customers. You can use Flyers, pamphlets, marketing brochures, social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and feedback forms to gain attention from your prospective customers.

Re-cycling Services:

There is huge demand among customers for the latest electronic gadgets and new devices which creates a demand for re-cycling of used gadgets and electronic devices. Since people are always interested to upgrade their electronic gadgets like smart phones, laptops, tablets, desktops, speakers etc. there are lot of unused devices in every house-hold which can be recycled. E-recycling has become a popular trend in urban cities and one such successful E-recycling company started by Lee Lowden is named BuyBack Boss through which you can sell your used iPhones and get some money. Apart from electronic gadgets there is also lot of waste generated every year from the construction and home renovation industry which can also be recycled and turned to useful products.  You can start your recycling services by operating trucks used for pickup and delivery of disposal bins containing the waste products.

E-Commerce Websites:

Based on various surveys it has been found that more than traditional show room sales, e-commerce sales are increasing at extremely faster rate generating revenues up to $200 billion globally. So it’s not a big surprise for aspiring entrepreneurs to jump into e-commerce business. Many entrepreneurs have become extremely successful through e-commerce business like the Founders of Snapdeal.com, FlipKart.com, Amazon.com and Alibaba.com. The major success factor depends on creating a user-friendly and attractive e-commerce website to showcase your products. Current teenagers are interested in buying the fashion goodies like dresses, apparels, shoes etc. through online websites rather than show room which has led to the success of websites like Jabong.com, Myntra.com etc. There is plenty of competition in E-commerce space and hence careful business planning and market analysis is required to become successful in this field. You should also choose the niche products and have a reliable delivery service to thrive in this business.

Event Organizers:

With lot of parties, meetings and conferences taking place everywhere, event planning is a lucrative market to capitalize especially in urban cities. Right from individuals to big multinational corporations, there is always demand for professional event planners with great eye for details and quality services. You should be able to provide customized services and have the required resources to meet the varying demands of the clients. Whether it’s a corporate event, wedding or any special occasion everybody wants to celebrate it beautifully but planning the logistics and making all arrangements can be difficult without help from professional event-planners. Hence it’s always a great business idea to start your own event management company to cater the needs of individuals and corporates looking to organize their special events.

Creating Effective Marketing Plans:

 For any startup with a new product, marketing is very important to increase their customer base. Creating an effective marketing plan is an important agenda for any budding entrepreneur who has launched his product recently. Marketing plans should be decided after clear understanding of the target market segment which includes decent knowledge on your competitors as well as customers. For a thriving business it is critical to develop lasting relationship with customers based on great purpose and shared values. The marketing plan could be either informal or formal, but should clearly describe about your customers and the ways you are going to reach target customers.

You should deeply understand the target customers and clearly express the focused benefits on using your services/products to them. You should be able to highlight the advantages of using your product in comparison to the services/products offered by your close competitors. Some of the steps in designing an effective marketing plan include,

  1. Identifying the target customers – It is very important to find out the potential customer base so that you can get a clear idea of anticipated revenue from sales.
  2. Identifying the Competitors: When it comes to developing a marketing strategy, identifying competitors is equally important as identifying your target customers. Never take your competitors for granted as it can ruin your sales over a period if your competitors are able to deliver better quality than you.
  3. Brand–positioning: Your brand is an important identity for your business among the customers and you should position your brand ahead of the competitors.

One of the famous motivational quotes from Warren Buffet is “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”. When you are marketing and promoting your business aggressively make sure you standby whatever you promise and deliver the best quality services/products to your customers. Apart from above points, it’s important for entrepreneurs to market their business through various channels in order to get better visibility among target customers. Some of the popular marketing mediums today are,

Social media marketing:

Social media plays a critical role for marketing any startup. With lot of social media websites available today like Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, Entrepreneurs can use them for promoting their brand free of cost. You should find out which of the platforms is used by most customers and market your brand through the same platform.

Mobile marketing:

 Tablets and smart phones are more popular among customers nowadays and companies are looking forward to capitalize on them for marketing their products/services. Mobile marketing can be through pop-up ads in Mobile apps, text messages as well as automated phone calls.

Email marketing:

 E-mail marketing is slightly different from social media marketing and has become a popular medium for many small businesses. Companies can use email marketing to promote their brand among customers through promotional campaigns on various offers, monthly newsletters and free subscription services. Once you identify the proper channels for your marketing plan then you have decide on the budget you are willing to spend and expected outcome.  A good marketing plan should compromise a well-defined budget along with action-items and expected results.

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