Pop Quiz, Monday with Abhishek Talwar

Focus on the first ten customers. You probably don’t need an app right now. Just start providing services without any technical interface.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Abhishek Talwar

Abhishek Talwar
Photo credit: Abhishek Talwar

What is your job role?
Founder

Tell us about your company?
We connect commuters travelling in a similar direction to share a ride, reduce pollution and metal on the road while building a real-world network

What do you love most about your job?
Connecting people, building the world’s most authentic real-world network

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am a problem solver, so if there is a challenge be it technical or non-technical, I would want to solve it.

This and the mere fact that two strangers get to know each other over an hour-long drive to their office, connecting people while reducing carbon footprint does the job for me

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Inspiration can come from any walk of life.

We like to play some house music in the background. If someone comes up with a piece of good music, then it could also be a piece of inspiration

Besides the work we talk about life, friends, sports, love, drugs. This comes with a bundle of inspirational and motivational topics.

Lastly, anyone who comes up with a better coding design pattern in any of the projects does spark a neural connection and does inspire us to move ahead in the right direction

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We go trekking

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I have a small team, so I am involved in all domains

  1. Technical
    Code review is a must for me, as we can not afford good quality coders. So we have to train coders and then make sure they are adhering to the standards
  2. Business
    Proper analytical analysis to figure out the way to provide the best service worth user’s time and money. This is a complex process and a journey which gets beautiful while acknowledging failure

Team Building
For any side to win, you need loyal and intelligent soldiers. Team building is by far the most crucial and challenging door.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Always go lean.

For Poolmyride we bought two hatchback commercial vehicles to provide shared office commute to employees. Within a month we started to feel that this work is not for us for various reasons.

We should have rented out a car and seen if it works.

Last but not least, Make sure your team consists of highly motivated and self-starter individuals. Hiring is a crucial role which should be done right

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Focus on the first ten customers. You probably don’t need an app right now. Just start providing services without any technical interface.

Otherwise, app maintenance would be extra overhead.

Also, discuss your ideas with all the friends and family to check their opinion. You might have so much energy and must be an optimist that you may ignore all ground realities and that’s where you want someone else to break the truth to you

Don’t forget to have fun during all this.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.poolmyride.com
www.yantha.com

https://www.facebook.com/PoolMyRide/
https://twitter.com/poolmyride

How Start-ups can overcome business competition

Be it any business domain or industry, competition is a given fact and is as inevitable as death and taxes for every individual.

Additionally, start-up entrepreneurs in diverse industry domains often face direct competition from a large multinational company with their global reach, resources, and high market share. When it comes to large investments and traditional marketing reach, most start-up companies are unable to match up to these multi-billion-dollar companies and end up on the losing side of the business most of the times.

An estimated 19% of start-up failures are primarily because of strong competition.

Despite the challenges, start-up entrepreneurs can adopt several innovative business strategies to get the better of their competition, including large business corporations.

Monitor constantly what the competitor is doing

Most successful business enterprises like to focus on their own product offerings and services and how they can deliver them effectively to their customer base. While this strategy is important, it is equally important to monitor what the competitors are doing, particularly on what product mix they are offering and the quality of customer experience for their services. Monitoring or keeping a tab on your competition does not mean blindly copying their product design or services but adapting their successful product strategy or innovation to work for the start-up business.

In the digital and online age, monitoring business competitors is comparatively easy as start-up entrepreneurs can get valuable information by visiting the competitor’s website and online social platforms. Young entrepreneurs can also develop their product and marketing strategies based on the successful and unsuccessful business moves made by their competitors.

Listen to what the customer is saying

As a start-up business, customer acquisition and retaining is the most important factor for business growth. Large corporations with a worldwide customer base are rarely concerned about what their customers want. This can be a major advantage for start-up businesses, who need to listen to what their customers want and deliver products and innovations that can fulfil their expectations. Develop a work environment in the start-up company that is very customer-centric and is completely focussed on their needs. Customer service must be the top business priority and can be delivered through digital platforms such as Twitter and other social media platforms.

Build a strong product or service offering

Did you know that 17% of the start-up business failure is because they failed to build a good product or service?

Building a good product or service is paramount to the growth or even survival of any business enterprise, including start-ups. Focus on the product (or service) strengths and what they can offer that your competitor cannot. If your product does not offer any business leverage as compared to your competitor’s product, it is best to go back to redesigning the product.

As Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin Group mentions, “For me, building a business is all about creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”

Keep track of the company’s financials

Business enterprises, including start-up companies, are eventually all about numbers including revenues, profits, costs of operations, sales figures, and market share. Product marketeers are often faced with numerous questions, including:

  • Do I know the cost benefit of capturing a higher market share?
  • Is my product pricing too high or too low?
  • What is the capital investment or financing required to achieve my company goals and targets?

Focus on achieving the right level of business profitability. While high product prices can reduce your competitive edge, low product prices can eat into your company’s profits, particularly if the production costs are high.

Utilize all available resources.

While large business enterprises have the best of professional resources, start-up companies can also utilize the best of production tools to cut down their costs and improve their productivity.

Some of the popular tools include the:

  • AdRoll advertising tool with cross-platform customer targeting and prospecting, all at a very affordable cost.
  • IBM Watson Analytics software tool that can provide valuable business insights through its Big data predictive analytics and data visualization features.
  • GetResponse email-based marketing tool that can help track and monitor the success of your business emails.

Focus on the sales and marketing

While effective sales and marketing is the lifeline of any company, inefficient marketing practices such as spending too much money, or a poorly-designed marketing campaign can tarnish the business potential and reputation of any business enterprise. Be prepared to toil the hard way by developing and sticking to the business strategies that can work for your product or business line.

While larger corporations can generate more market reach through their marketing and advertising initiatives, start-up business enterprises can look at innovative modes of digital and content marketing to create a successful online presence for their brands. Thanks to digital technologies, start-ups can adopt smart marketing and selling tactics and product branding to overcome their competition.

Build your business the start-up way

Young entrepreneurs must be determined to build their start-up company from the bottom and work their way up. This is true for every successful business enterprise including the likes of Facebook, Uber, Tesla, and Airbnb. Along with a good product niche and business strategy, do not hesitate to put in the required long days into business growth, which will lead to the overall success of the start-up and in overcoming the best of competitions.

As an entrepreneur, determine to succeed in your enterprise and do not feel dejected if prospective customers decline to meet you. In the face of any major business adversity, be prepared to pivot the business with a fresh mindset and enthusiasm, which is the bedrock of all start-up business enterprises.

These are just some of the successful business strategies that young entrepreneurs can adopt to make their start-up companies a raging success in the face of stiff competition from established corporations. Go, find your niche!.


Girish Bindal is the Head of Content at Makaan.com, Housing.com & PropTiger.com.

Pop Quiz, Monday with Benoit Vatere

My favorite part of my job is that I get to solve problems while innovating all day long. I love the process of seeing a spark of an idea grow into a household name and products that millions of people use. The ability to reach and entertain a massive audience is something I enjoy and appreciate.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Benoit Vatere

Photo credit: Benoit Vatere

What is your job role?
Founder and CEO of Mammoth Media

Tell us about your company?
Mammoth Media is the first and only mobile entertainment network, bringing original content in new formats to the hands of millions of millennial and Generation Z users. Mammoth is the company behind micro-storytelling app Yarn (http://www.yarnapp.co), social polling app Wishbone (http://www.wishbone.io), and live trivia battle app Arena (http://www.arenatrivia.co), and has partnered with several legendary entertainment franchises (Disney / Marvel, Archie Comics, NBC, Syfy) to incorporate their IP.

What do you love most about your job?
My favorite part of my job is that I get to solve problems while innovating all day long. I love the process of seeing a spark of an idea grow into a household name and products that millions of people use. The ability to reach and entertain a massive audience is something I enjoy and appreciate.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My family and my team at Mammoth motivate and inspire me. My sense of curiosity and desire to figure out what to do next to scale the business even further keep me thinking about work at all hours.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I admire their passion and commitment every day. They dedicate countless hours of their lives to our work and have a fantastic capacity to tackle and switch between multiple urgent tasks all day long. They’re incredibly efficient, even while facing the challenges that come with the chaos of a growing startup.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Some of our Mammoth team members are huge LA Dodgers fans, so we often go to games together during the baseball season, which is the best!!!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Building the right team is very crucial, and it can sometimes be challenging to find the right talent. I also think a lot about how to balance between tactical and strategic work. I want to be able to get into the weeds when needed but also elevate my focus to the big-picture things that CEOs need to think about and spend time on.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I often think about Reid Hoffman’s famous quote: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” I learned that very early on and kept reminding myself of it every day. Sometimes it’s better to get a product out into the world, even if it still has some rough edges, than wait too long for it to be “perfect.”

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Everybody has ideas for a new app or business but very few know how to execute correctly, so sharpening your execution skills is crucial. Never build anything without figuring out a way to properly capture user data first. Data is so valuable to help you find product-market fit, iterate on your product, monetize it properly and more.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://twitter.com/bvatere
https://twitter.com/mammothmedia

Pop Quiz, Monday with Darren Winterford

Having fun is central to our culture – and we tend to like doing things a little different – our US office, for example, will embark on Axe Throwing for their Xmas party.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Darren Winterford

Photo credit: Darren Winterford
Photo credit: Darren Winterford

What is your job role?
CEO and founder of Ed App

Tell us about your company?
We are changing the way people learn at work. Ed App is a mobile-first, microlearning platform that delivers engaging and effective on-demand microlessons directly to users devices.

Our solution breaks up learning content into easily digestible bite-sized pieces and reinforces core concepts with engaging games and rewards.

What do you love most about your job?
Without a doubt, it’s our amazing people. We have teams in Sydney, New York, and London and I am lucky enough to work with all of them. Every day I get to talk with engineers, project managers, client service staff, account managers and salespeople, so my role is not only varied but really inspirational.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We are on a mission to change and challenge learning behaviour within workplaces across the world. We are having a real impact on global organisations, and it is gratifying to see our teams not only creating cultures of continuous learning within these companies but also hearing directly from these clients about our leadership in this space, both regarding our product but also our thinking.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
As a tech company, we tend to skew younger in terms of employee makeup. We are also highly international, the Sydney office alone has more than a dozen nationalities among the various teams, our US and London teams are similar in the mix.

These two elements create an amazingly powerful mix of insightful, broad thinking and highly motivated team members.

Our software engineers are leaders in their respective fields, particularly in mobile and I am continually impressed at the insights and commercial capability of our client teams.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Having fun is central to our culture – and we tend to like doing things a little different – our US office, for example, will embark on Axe Throwing for their Xmas party.

Most offices will have gatherings at least weekly for social activities whether it be a social activity or simply weekly drinks nearby.

I think what makes us unique though is that apart from the many regular organised activities, we try and make use of communication tools like Slack to foster fun and a sense of fun and community between the various teams. For example, we have a #daily-jam channel on Slack that every employee contributes to, sharing a piece of music currently inspiring them.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The hours can be a little challenging with offices covering almost every time zone!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the most important is to stay focused on the outcome you are looking for. Often with projects, objectives can become lost when the twists and turns of project and stakeholder management begin.

It is essential to regularly review the outcome you set out to achieve and ensure the team, and all resources are still working toward this result.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Contrary to what many believe, I would encourage as much collaboration and sharing of information and ideas as possible.

There is a common misconception that early-stage products should be shrouded in secrecy, but I have found some of the most significant advancements come from sharing and discussing ideas with industry leaders and contributors.

Their insights can not only help you where to focus but also importantly what to avoid.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.edapp.com

Business Boutique Goal Planner 2019: Your Personal Guide to Getting Results

The Business Boutique Goal Planner is a companion product to the #1 national best seller Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide to Making Money Doing What She Loves. Christy Wright gives you the tools you need to get your goals on paper and the inspiration you need to see them through. Be inspired, motivated, and accountable! This is your personal guide to getting results. –Publisher

7 Reasons why Business Coaching is critical for Business Growth

A Coach plays a pivotal role in the entire journey of the Business’s Success. This is the secret to success of renowned people in the areas of Business, Sports, Movies / Entertainment, Politics or even relationships. The Coach will bring out the best within you. Here are some of the many ways in which a coach can help your Business Grow:

1.    Success lies outside of the comfort zone

A great coach will push you outside of your comfort zone & enable you to explore facets of yourself that you have never tried to. A coach can help you overcome the fear of executing new experiments in business. You will get the confidence to drive a higher impact from your actions, that leads to the ultimate success of your business.

 2.    Focus & Clarity of thoughts

Energy flows in the direction where you focus. A coach will help you focus on the outcome that you’d like to have in your business. In the absence of clarity of thoughts, you will find it very challenging to deliver results. The tools and models will help you utilise your most crucial resource, time in the best possible way.

3.    Best Buddy, a trusted partner and Unbiased Feedback

As a Business Owner, there are situations which you are not able to confide in peers, family members or friends. The coach plays the role of a confidante, wherein you can share any information without hesitation. The coach acts as a partner who looks at the problems with a different view & helps you arrive at the optimum solutions. The coach will not hesitate to give honest feedback because the underlying intent is strong – bring out the best version of yourself.

4.    The Right Questions

A problem in any area of life is an unanswered question. A coach will facilitate discovery of the underlying objective, that the problem is indicative of. Starting with the problem, the coach will then help you with solutions that are cost effective, logical, realistic & feasible which you can implement right away in your business.

 5.    Broad Experience & New Perspectives

An ideal coach will have served across different types of business, different geographies & comes with credible experience. Hence, they have a viewpoint which is different from your peers, friends and family. This will drive business innovation and help the business improve constantly.

6.    Increase Revenues and Profitability

The ultimate goal of any Business is to increase revenues and profit margins. A good Business Coach will have tools and frameworks that will help set crystal clear goals, outline the strategy, define processes and optimize resources. This is the tangible contribution of a Coach in a Business.

7.    Psychology of the Business Owner

80% of Business Success (why to) is Psychology & 20% is the mechanics (how to). The Coach will enhance the confidence of the business owner & tune the psychology towards success. While the how to? is also important in a business, the coach will emphasize on the Why to? which is the key to the success of any business.

Lead your Business to its Ultimate Success much faster with a Business Coach.

Connect with the author here : https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreyrakesh/

Website: www.jeffreyrakesh.com

The Most Powerful Word You’ll Ever Use In Your Business

“I don’t know how to play tennis, but I want to be a world champion. I’m going to win the Grand Slam. I will do whatever it takes. Hard work doesn’t scare me. But there’s only one thing that is going to end my career: the first match that I lose at any level at all, I’m quitting.”

We are so afraid of losing; so scared of hearing “no”. But it’s the most important word in your business.

Get used to hearing “NO”

This is the hardest lesson of all, but if you’re too afraid of hearing a rejection, you’re going to put yourself—and your client—under too much pressure.

How do you think a series of sales calls would go? We’d love it to be something like this:

Call 1: Yes

Call 2: Yes

Call 3: Yes

In fact, it’s more likely to go like this:

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Now, it would be amazing if you just had a series of “Yes” calls, but if you’re too afraid of a “No”, you’re probably not even going to have those sales conversations in the first place.

And you learn so much from hearing the word “No.” You might hear what your prospects do like about your service. You might learn a lot about what they don’t like, and why.

And that “no” may not be a permanent rejection. It may be just “no … for now.”

Get used to saying “no” to others

This is a big one.

If you’re too general, and want to accept “any kind of customer anywhere”, you’re not going to attract the people you are best able to help.

“Anyone” isn’t a market. “Anyone” isn’t anyone.

And while we’re at it, maybe it’s time to be a little more focused.

When someone asks you to take on some work, or collaborate over some project, you are doing them a disservice and doing yourself a disservice, too, if you are saying “yes” when you can’t honour that commitment.

So what is that commitment?

If you’ve decided to write a book, together, then what, exactly, are you undertaking?

If you’re going to be affiliates, or even to catch up for a regular meeting, what are you saying “Yes” to? Will this meeting (and the work that comes with any meeting) be strategic for you?

When you say “Yes” to some new commitment, what are you saying “no” to?

Say “No” to yourself

This might seem obvious to you, as an entrepreneur. After all, you’re giving your heart and your soul to make this business work.

But sometimes you take on new commitments to your professional development that just make no sense.

For instance, supposing you decide to buy a business book. Are you committing to read it, or are you just going to add it to the pile, and feel guilty that you never seem to get through the list?

Or downloading a checklist or an eBook, and then committing to subscribing to the newsletter. Is that really going to be information that you will read, digest, and implement? Or is it going to add to your inbox clutter?

Practice “No” 3 times in the next 24 hours

“No” is the most powerful word you’ll ever use in your business. It’s good to hear. It’s good to say. You really should try it (even if you’re a nice person!)

So, here’s a challenge: in the next 24 hours, practicing saying “No” (nicely) to three things that you really shouldn’t say “Yes” to. Three things … or maybe to three people. Do it nicely, but do it.

You’re only saying “no” to these things in order to be more focused on the opportunities you need to say “yes” to.

You can thank me later.


By breaking down the process of starting and growing a business into simple steps, I give entrepreneurs the direction in which to go. Learn more from my website: AnthonyEnglish.com.au

Interview with Danny O’Brien, Founder of Avila Home Care

 

The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.

Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur.

Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.

Ricky: Can you tell everyone your name, please?

Danny: Danny O’Brien

Ricky: Where did you go to school?

Danny: Undergraduate degree in Business from George Mason University. Master’s in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and MBA from Loyola University in Maryland

Ricky: Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?

Danny: My father worked for the federal government and when we were kids, we occasionally would borrow a pen from a classmate marked “US Government Pen”. My father would go ballistic saying that the pen was stolen. We were living in Northern Virginia where lots of people worked for the government and virtually everyone helped themselves to the government-issued pens, etc. But my dad had a very strict sense of integrity that, I think, helped shape mine.

Ricky: Thank you for providing background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons.

Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.

Ricky: What is the name of your company?

Danny: Avila Home Care

Ricky: Where is your company located?

Danny: Towson, Maryland

Ricky: What services or products does your organization provide?

Danny: We provide in-home care for seniors or other adults who need some assistance to be able to thrive in the homes they love.

Ricky: What problem is your business trying to solve?

Danny: People who are aging and require some assistance but do not want to move to assisted living or a nursing home. We come alongside them and their family to provide whatever services they need to be able to remain at home safely and to thrive to the fullest extent possible.

Ricky: How is your business unique against your competitors?

Danny: Our culture is very unique. The best caregivers in this field do their work out of a sense of calling, not just because they need a job. Our company affirms the dignity of their calling, and we treat our caregivers exceptionally well and pay them more than any other agency. We do not charge the most, but we pay the most. Also, everyone on our office team has tremendous interpersonal skills and treats our caregivers (and our clients and their families) with love and respect. We share a belief that the highest calling for any of us is to love others and we seek to do this in every interaction every day.

Ricky: How did the idea for your business come to fruition?

Danny: I was at a point of transition after being the pastor of a church for ten years. Previously, I spent 16 years as a senior executive with Erickson Living, a company that develops and manages large retirement communities, so I had great experience in senior living. I felt like home care was a great fusion of my senior living and my pastoral care experience.

Ricky: Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?

Danny: www.avilahomecare.com

Ricky: Final question. We want to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.

Ricky: What one tip would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?

Danny: Think clearly about the purpose of your business. If the main purpose is for you to make money or to maximize shareholder value, it won’t be very inspirational to your staff or to your clients. My belief is that we aren’t in business to make money, rather we make money to be in business. Profits are like oxygen — they are necessary for life but not the purpose we live. Consider how your business will enhance the lives of your clients, their families, your employees, and the community. Focus on that. It will make every day more meaningful for you and your team, you will provide better goods and services to your clients, and you may well find that you’ll be even more profitable than you otherwise would have been.