Why I chose to sell at a start-up over a corporate job?

Author: Pooja Parashar

After completing MBA, I worked with well establish ventures for a good time period. ‘Brand matters’, that’s all, I had heard from college seniors. As a BD professional, it’s easy to sell if your company’s brand is well-known. But life is not always about easy things, as we sayJ. After a short sabbatical, I faced two choices. On one hand was a reputable brand in the industry. On the other hand was a job offer from a small startup. I knew one thing that job at corporate, would be simpler, build good relationship with management (for a reason I call it mnnnagement J), meet deadlines, and go home; that would be all.

But I guess, I had done that for quite a long and now it was time to take a jolt. Fortunately, I met right people at the right time and start working with a start up. Besides, having the wrecked mind to take jerks in my life, I had few more reasons to work for a start up rather than going for a corporate job:

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Reason 1:  It’s your company: When you are with a company right from its inception, you feel more at home. The company, the projects, the success becomes your own, rather than company’s owner. Because you are a single digit team, you are important to the company and company is important to you. You tent to lose yourself and always work as a team.

Reason 2:  You trust the management: Yes, for the first time, I trust the management. Entrepreneurs are different, the true innovators. They approach problems differently and hence they are the best people to learn from. For sure, they challenge you, to be multi-tasking, push working hours, to go that extra mile. But when you get appreciated for the same, you feel satisfied at your work.

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Reason 3:  Amazing working atmosphere:  Imagine a conference room as your working station, your meeting room, you eating place and your sleeping place. You feel passionate for the work. Everyone else who works at a startup has the same drive and enthusiasm for work as you do. You share experiences, learn and innovate at the same time. Fewer rules; more work; everything that I have been longing for.

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Reason No 4: Every project is the last on this earth: When you work at a start up, you need to convince that one person, win that one project; you need to have that one client. And, when you win that one project, you need to deliver it putting everything of yours on stake. Every project becomes so important, and that one recommendation from the client makes your day.

Reason 5: the real test: Selling is never easy but when your brand has top ten industry clients in their basket, the other clients want to at least meet you, if not giving you work. But what if nobody knows your brand; you have team experience but no company experience? That’s the real test of your selling capabilities. I believe that if you have the best backend team and if you truly believe in the capabilities of your team, nothing can stop you and your start up.

So here I conclude saying, working at a start-up, doesn’t only mean that you and your small team are the only people responsible for your success; it also means that you are only responsible for the failures. For sure, you can have the privilege of working at the a start up but that does come with a huge responsibility. For few people, that may set off a response to go creep into a corner and hope some corporate comes and adopts them with fat paychecks. For others like me, it’s the greatest motivation ever. No matter where you go after giving your contribution to that start up, but for sure the skills you picked up to make that contribution, will power everything that you do.

And Believe me, if you’re victorious, the stress is all worth it:

‘My Way or Wi-Fi Way’

Author: Pooja Parashar

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I want to grow global and tell me who doesn’t? As a businessman, it’s your dream to make your business/product/services/or even yourself, global and that’s the main reason you have hired your whole marketing team. So, you have hired marketing gurus in your company; but have you told them to adopt the kind of marketing strategy for your business. Is it going to be ‘My Way or Wi-Fi Way?’ You got it right; is it ‘Traditional Marketing you are going to embrace or the ‘On-line Marketing’? But before selecting either traditional marketing or internet marketing, through market research is very important for successful marketing campaign.

Selecting Traditional Marketing or On-line Marketing very much depends on your target market, type of business you are dealing in, your capability, budget, and of course the sales targets you are aiming at. I agree when it comes to local marketing, traditional marketing (TV, Radio, Print media & Outdoor Marketing) is a time-tested and effective way to make your business popular. But when comes to growing global traditional marketing shows its dark side to us in terms of high cost, more man power, and limited customers reach.

So, what is the solution when you aim for the high sales target under constraint budget? Is on-line marketing is what your business requires in this digital time? So, why you should either develop or strengthen your presence on-line? Do we have some advantages for On-line Marketing over traditional marketing? Do we only have to focus on-line marketing and ignore traditional marketing?

 

Let’s try to find some relevant answers to the above questions:

  1. Less cost: Start your own Blog (I already have two), Facebook page; do your own SEO, SMO and that too free of cost or a very little cost. You can develop your own on-line marketing strategy for a very less cost in comparison to traditional marketing channels like putting your advertisement in Print media, Radio, TV, yellow pages etc. Moreover, manpower needed in digital marketing is far less than the traditional marketing.
  2.  Real-time checks and measures: Unlike traditional methods, you can see in real time what is or is not working for your business on-line; you can modify, add, or change the on-line marketing strategy swiftly to improve your results. There are numerous tools for measuring website-traffic or to measure specific goals you want to achieve for your website or blog.
  3.  Global Reach: Anyone can see, find and know about your business, anywhere in the world from one marketing campaign with almost negligible cost. You get business directly from the consumers irrespective of the time zones and cultural difference. Your marketing campaign can be available in any foreign language which breaks almost all the global barriers you have in your business as well as in your mind.
  4. Viral effect: How often do your sales brochures or road hoardings get passed around instantaneously by your clients in traditional marketing? On-line marketing while using social media share buttons (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn) on your website, email and social media channels enables your message to be shared incredibly quickly and reach masses with the shortest span of time.

Finally, as we all know and agree to the point that digital & social media marketing is indispensable in this age of technology. Digital marketing not only reinforces your sales but also tells you where and when to make a strategy change. Having said that and being a true enthusiast for digital marketing, I would suggest you not to ignore any traditional media that your customers already use and what has worked in the past and of course don’t ignore your target market and customers while choosing marketing strategy.

Though the ‘go gaga’ word these days is digital marketing still being a wise marketer, if we argue on which medium is best, the ultimate answer would be ‘the one which works’.

Do it Right at the first step- ‘Before effective Business Development, do an actual Market research’

Author: Pooja Parashar

“The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.” – David Ogilvy

Today when I reached office, the first thing was an induction session with the trainees in BD (business development). As usual, I started with my favorite topic ‘Cold Calling’ and its techniques. But, before I could explain further, I realized that I almost forgot the foundation of business development and, what of course Dr. Philip Kotler taught me during my MBA days. Market research  is never a one-off activity for a BD professional and always ongoing as selling your service/product. There are so many definitions you can find from all the marketing gurus but simply, it’s nothing more than learning about people. People, who buy from you or might buy from you; these people who are your customers, clients; and these clients are going to make a market for your product.

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If you want to make a successful business, conduct market research on a continual basis to keep up with market trends and to maintain a competitive edge. It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting or expanding your business, market research is a vital tool for understanding your target market and increasing sales.

You would need to conduct an effective research as a stepping stone for your business development. It would help you to give a comprehensive depiction of your long term marketing planning and sales predictions which are ultimate goals for business development.

Understanding your competition

Remember, I told you above that market research is never a one-off activity for BD professional like us. You have to keep on studying and analysis market trends, knowing your competition and always having competitive advantages in terms of innovative solutions to the clients.

Identify Potential Clienteles

who is going to be interested in your product/services? Which demographic area you should target? Which people, group of people or which companies can be your clients. If you know you have identified your clienteles, half the work is done; because most of people waste their precious time with wrong clients.

Understanding customer needs

When you join in a Jr. BD position, the maximum home work you can do is to study services/products, your company deals in. But, what if the customer has entirely different needs or slightly different needs; what if your sales pitching is confusing him. Market research gives you a picture of what customer needs and how much you need to tailor your product according to customer needs.

Reducing the risk

You want to launch new products but without an effective market research it is always going to be expensive and risky. An Effective Market research not only increases your sales volume but also increase the odds of new product success by understanding the complexity of customers and the market. Finally

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 Market research is not always interviews, surveys and focus group studies but being a business owner, you can always start with a secondary research, reading journals and literature about the concerned industry, having market research specialist to do it for you. Use any method, but be ready to dig the market mud and do an extensive market research as your warm up exercise before you head for the big business development step…

 

So cheers and have fun in selling!!

Cold Calling: Hot Business

Cold Calling: Hot Business — the very first step of Business Developemnt

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The last one week I have been busy in getting fodder for my next post. I spoke to my peers in business development in India; both fresher and experienced. I read a few articles on HBR, and lot many sites like that. They all spoke about high BD position and the international strategies which are must for hitting the bull’s eye. But, suddenly one of my friends asked me a question and I dumped all my research and redid the post again. The question was HOW WE CAN START? The question was simple. We talk about big firms which already have an established name in one’s country and are trying to establish in another or a firm which is already established both nationally internationally. But what about the firm, I am starting? What about the firm you are starting. Nobody knows our company. They just have a small inkling about our…

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