July 7, 2007

Avoid starting your business during high-tide

A quick tip for budding entrepreneurs:

If your business starts at the right time, you can extract maximum growth by getting ready when the industry segment gets the peak demand. I strongly suggest that a new business should be started during the "low-tide", i.e. when markets are not doing well and industry sentiments are not positive. It helps in many ways:

1. You can get the best talent available in the industry due to lay off by major players.

2. You will not have major competition and you can prepare your competitive edge "in hiding" to give surprise to your competitors.

3. Tough times results in innovation. It is highly probable that your company will have the "innovation" advantage as you try to come up the adversities of a low-lying market. This innovation can become a catalyst when the markets are strong and can become the deciding factor.

4. You can concentrate in building the right processes, measurements, quality control systems and genetic-composition of your company which will result in its rapid growth when the right time comes.

5. Your expenses will be lower in building the fundamental framework for the company.

It will well known that markets have both the ups and downs. I feel "downs" should be well utilized to prepare the company for taking maximum advantage of the "ups". It makes much more business sense and also keep your spirits up!

Note: It is important to be patient. It is very important to know that you are preparing for the "good days" and, it is most important to know that you should not blow up all your money, since capital is another thing that you need to scale up your company fast when the right time comes.

 

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Comments on Avoid starting your business during high-tide »

July 9, 2007

Swagata Choudhury @ 10:40 am

Hi,

Although you have made some very valid points on starting a business, I would love to get some tips on getting the HR Managers to listen to you. Basically I have started a Recruitment consultancy in Bangalore India with as little investment as possible. My difficulty lies in getting th HR Managers to even give me the time of the day..Most times they are in a meeting (which dont exist if you are calling them about a job opportunity) else they have too many vendors and arent looking for anyone new. In other words, 0 contacts with top guys 0 business.

SO how does a firm begin? Help please..(with contacts and tips) 🙂

July 11, 2007

Abhishek Rungta @ 1:05 pm

Hi Swagata,

Frankly speaking HR consulting has a decent chance of growth even if started during a high tide. However you will need to differenciate.

I too delete most of the mails I get from several HR Consultancy companies. The main reason is that they all want to do the same thing, charge me the same and will almost do something which my own HR department can do! In fact I came across a firm which was simply using a naukri.com database and just calling candidates to fix interviews.

So you need to change the way the game is played and I am sure you can come up as a winner! May be you experiment with the billing model OR you develop a special niche OR guarantee your results OR add extra spice to your offering. And make sure that you communicate this difference to the HR manager when you talk to him.

To discover this niche, I will suggest that you speak to some HR Managers (who are relatively approachable) and try to jot down things which are making their life hell. If you can compile this list and look at it with a cool mind, I am sure you will find something that you can solve. Experiment with that and make it your attention grabbing feature. If this is a major change from the regular way of doing things, you might just rewrite the rules of the game.

Now, I can see that you are having tough time in cold calling. This is an art, which you can learn by attending some real good quality training or may be by reading Zig Ziglar! He is a guru in diect marketing and I love his books. You can also find a lot of reading material online on cold calling 🙂

I hope my ideas help you a bit. Feel free to contact me to bounce an idea and see if that attracts me as a customer.

Regards
Abhishek

July 12, 2007

Swagata Choudhury @ 5:02 am

Hi Abhishek,

Thanks for your reply. Yes I have been pondering on the point of making my company different from the others. To that end, We say that we aim to provide atleast 3 good cvs on their desktop within 24 hours and we usually do(95%)…Usually HRs dont let us get there therefore I thank you for suggesting Zig Ziglar…I do realise i need help in making cold calls…Sitting on the other side of the desk (in my past avtaar as an employee) has fattened my selling skill..Need to tone it up..

The second point about price differentiation worries me..Because when we tried that the HRs got suspicious thinking we werent a great company…thats why we were trying stunts by varying the standard prices..So we got one up by introducing Client referal reward system..Anyone who can help us get a client gets paid.. 🙂 (something like the insurance business model)

About developing a niche, I am quite clear in my mind that I want only 2 or 3 big clients like Infosys and become dedicated partner to them rather than hurrying aorund every month trying to get clients and achieve targets..We are a startup company and have that zeal and determination to succeed…We put in our heart and souls into sourcing good candidates and when we cant we say that straight away rather than leading the company on a merry-go-round..I think our honesty and dedication will take us ahead..What do u say?

Abhishek Rungta @ 5:36 am

Hi Swagata,

I think if you experiment in "Process of shortlisting candidates" for the company so that the HR of the company do not have to spend hours interviewing hundreds of guys, you will have a winning niche.

Based on your experience, try working out a winning formula 😀

When I talk about price differenciation, I do not want you to cut down on the pricing. However you can bring in a more transparent way, or may be make the pricing campaign based instead of per candidate (not sure if this is feasible, as you know your business better). When I talk about differenciation, I mean that it should be ground-breaking.

I do not agree to your concept of working with only 2-3 big clients. You must work with as many good companies as possible for various reasons:

1. It gives you more knowledge
2. It diversifies your risks
3. It helps you grow faster and maintains good cash flow

So try to diversify initially and later on as you do well, you might like to create a special cell to take care of high priority clients!

Abhishek

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