BY ROBIN GHOSH
( FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST, BENGAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY)
KOLKATA, 12 JANUARY 2023
“We are a startup. A new company. We have launched our product. How can we go forward and achieve our target turnover?”
This is a kind of request I often receive from business enterprises. Most of these entrepreneurs are young, first generation businessmen with dreams but with little practical experience.
Here is story of one Mr. Ashok Ray (name changed) who came to me looking for a strategic blueprint and mentoring to set up a business enterprise.
One fine day Ashok arrived at my office and disclosed that he has resigned from his job and he and his wife now plan to start a business.
He has seen our post on Facebook on 4 Grid and 6 Steps and he wants us to help him to set up a business.
Ashok had no background of doing business. But he had done an MBA and had an experience of working in a medium sized company marketing electrical goods.
The meeting with Ashok revealed that he had energy and excitement to start a business but no knowledge or expertise as to how to go about it .
Now, I will describe how my team members guided him to start a sustainable business and grow.
The first thing the Team did is to ask him a few questions.
The questions were:
1. Does he know how companies unlock growth ?
2. Does he know how to grow sustainably and profitably ?
3. Does he know how to develop a strategy with a unique marketing opportunity ?
4. Does he know how to implement the strategy with the help of a team?
5. Can he explain what is the deep purpose behind his passion for
setting up the company?
Why did we ask these questions to Ashok?
Having worked as an economist and communications consultant, I have noticed that many startups and young entrepreneurs fail to answer the 5 questions which I have identified .
Most of the entrepreneurs have either wooly and incoherent ideas about the market, product- market fit, contemporary marketing tools, how to identify the profitable niche market, how to generate leads and how to convert leads into sales.
The first question we asked him was what is the basic purpose of the company he proposes to start?
Ashok could not define it. He said “Business “. But that was not the answer. We defined it as follows
“We propose to offer a helping hand to all men and women having unique skills a platform to market their skills for greater human well being
” Our next question was what values and behaviors will govern your business?
Ashok fumbled and said “good and gentle behavior”.
We rephrased it “We shall operate with integrity, responsibility, excellence, pioneering and keeping in mind the interest of all stakeholders as also the environment”.
The next question was ” What is your vision”?
“To be no1 in the business “.
We redesigned it “We want to become one of the most desirable digital marketing agencies in Kolkata”.
We then asked Ashok ” What is his strategy to achieve it? How does he plans to accomplish it?”
Ashok was at loss and he confessed that he really does not know. And to be frank, the bus stops here.
He wants to get into business but does not fully know what are the levers of business. How to identify the right market ? What is the right market business grid he should focus on and what are the steps he should follow.
Having worked as an economist and management consultant and a serial entrepreneur myself, I decided to create a practical digital marketing framework which can deliver targeted results.
Here is What business blueprint we created for Ashok Ray.
1. We identified the right Business Grid for him.
2 . We suggested to him that he should focus on the High Margin Low Competition Market.
3. He should abandon his earlier idea of setting up a mini digital advertising agency.
4. We recommended that he should create a unique digital marketing platform for Dentists and Dentists’ Chambers for marketing their services.
5 . This business concept coincides with our operating principle-high value low competition grid.
6. Once the Business Grid is selected, a 6 Step Action plan needs to be executed.
7. What are the possible activities:
1. Idea Test
2. If test results are positive, prepare a one page action plan.
3. Prepare a Digital Marketing plan with a budget estimate.
4. Fix launch date and backcalculate the timeline for each activity..
5. Execute the action of your own or take help from Agency
6. Do weekly monitoring and take actions as required.
The Last Word
GOD LIES IN ACTION!!