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Will you get SEED fund for your idea?

Will you get SEED fund for your idea?

Being a start-up enthusiast, I have come across many innovative minds who wanted to raise SEED fund for their ideas. If you are a start-up looking for SEED fund, you may have so many questions popping out your mind: How and where to raise the SEED fund. As the term SEED itself describes, SEED fund is for start-ups who wish to turn their dream into reality to help them kick start their journey.

Before you think of raising SEED fund, you need to consider these 5 points as a must in order to become a successful entrepreneur!

  1. Product Validation

Rather than Sitting and talking with Google, Reach out to the real people outside. Talk with your friends, family members and most importantly to the people who are prone to be your future customers. Document their opinions/feedback so that you can conclude how far your idea/product will succeed.

  1. Know your Market

My boss will always say “Nobody will buy a Product since because it exists in the market; they buy only if it solves their problems or ease their lifestyle. So before you launch your product know your target customers. Do a deep market research, know the customer persona and nail a strong reason why they should buy your product.

  1. POC

Anybody can think of an idea but only those who have knowledge to develop and execute that idea can become a successful entrepreneur. You should try to build a demo / proof of concept and see if your idea is really working. You should be well versed in the technology/platform to develop your product, identify the challenges and undergo a detailed study on how to overcome the challenges.

“Investors always prefer to invest in what they see rather than what they hear”

  1. Business Model

Whether your product is a super wow product or a simple one, what matters most is “how do you make money out of it?” A clear business plan with all possible revenue models is a must while approaching the investors. Prepare a simple yet informative pitch deck with all information fulfilling the expectations of an investor. ( refer guidelines for preparing an investor pitch deck )

  1. Good Team

“Teamwork makes the Dreamwork”

A good team with expertise in different fields will definitely take your business to a higher level.  Every team member will have something special to contribute on their part. So select your team wisely. Execution plays a major part as it is the outcome of your idea. Your product will be a success only with a good execution team.

You can get SEED funding from-  Government schemes, angel investors, friends and family, Incubators, Accelerators, Venture Capitalists and Crowd funding. 

Of all the sources, Incubators plays a major role in an entrepreneur’s journey. Apart from providing SEED fund, they provide a wide range of services including office spaces, mentorship, investor connects and business opportunities.

Cultiv8 is a startup ecosystem fostering exceptional founders and creating measurable business impact, powered by Government of India. Know more

How to build a website that customers love

Top 6 Items To Consider To Build a Website That Customers Love

            A Company’s Website is the most important marketing tool for the company. When someone wants to know about a company they search for the company in google and end up on their website. Likewise, if someone is searching for a product or service then they may end up on your site if you offer the service. So you should know how to build a website that customers love. Any website should cover two important objectives- First, It should cover all the customer requirements and Second, It would be optimised for best SEO results.

Here, we will discus 6 most important aspects of building a website that will over not the these objectives

  1. Build the Home Page to address the Customer Requirements

        As we have described, the website is the most important marketing tool. The website should ensure it covers the three important aspects of marketing – Create Awareness about the company, Explain the products and services the company offers (Knowledge) and persuade the visitor to take ACTION. The Home Page or basic information page should convey the value propositionclearly so that the visitor is able to make a decision and persuade them to take the next step in the funnel

  1. No Distractions

        When customers visit the site, they should be able to see what the company is, what the company is asking them to do. There should absolutely be no distractions. Videos,  pictures or even content that are not relevant to the customer are sources of distraction.

  1. Think Mobile

        In 2013, mobile phones made up 16.2 percent of web web traffic. In 2018, that had increased to 52.2 percent. This also includes  significant traffic from tablets. The website has to be optimised for both tablets and mobile as majority of the customers may view the site from mobile. 

  1. Speed Matters

        The website has to load really fast. Ideal Website Load Time is 2 to 5 seconds. However, each second beyond 2 seconds results in greater bounce rates. Website load time not only affects customer experience it also impact the SEO. 

  1. Value Social proof

We would rather try hearing from someone like us than from the company. What’s good about the product and why people value it? The website should have social proof to showcase how customers value the company’s product. 

  1. Every page is a Home page

        People should be able to take action in every page rather than navigate to the home page. There should be a call for action on every page.         

To Know more about the basics of web development and the process of creating a website Click Here 

To Know more about Optimizing your Website for SEO Click Here

Why Customer Retention is Important?

If you run a business you know how hard is to bring in a new customer. You have to rely on advertisement and existing customer valuable feedbacks to grow your customer base. While every business owner plans to bring in new customers a highly knowledge one will work on ways to retain the existing customer. It is far cheaper than bring in new one.      

Why a business has to concentrate on retaining customer than bring in new one?

As per stats it’s 5 times costly to bring in a new customer than retaining the existing one. A successful business will be profitable if it can retain their customer base. Customer retention is crucial in this fast paced world. Some call it art and some call it science, But I truly believe it’s an emotion. As a business we need to tweak the right emotions on the customers to retain them.

Key Factors for Business Growth

The key factor for any business to grow is determined by the 2 main non tangible factors trust and customer satisfaction.

Let me share my real time experience on these. The first key factor is Trust. 7 years back I was in Ohio, US and wanted to buy a digital camera as there was plans to go on a vacation on the upcoming weekend. Since ordering online will take time to deliver. I was also not sure if the camera gets delivered before the start of my trip. I decided to buy it from BestBuy retail store.  The obvious question here is, Though there are lot of electronic stores why did I choose best buy?. The simple and straight answer is Trust. The store promises the buyer they are offering the product for the best price. And if at all we prove the same product is available somewhere cheaper they will match slash the price to match it. I went in bought a Sony 12 megapixel digital camera after testing out all the models in my price range. The trust that the customer gets is that he is buying an item for a price nobody else can offer. This is what makes a customer to return in the future as well. After that purchase and due to the trust I had on BestBuy I later bought 2 LED TVs, a GPS, iPad and Pen drives. That is the power of trust.

The second key factor is the customer satisfaction. Again let me share a personal story. Before 5 Years in Plainsboro, NJ. I entered into a super market on a special day. It was my spouse birthday and directly went to the pantry section and saw the cakes on the display. I chose one of them and asked the baker to write the birthday wishes too. She asked my favorite color and wrote the message. She packed it neatly in a box and handed it over to me. I took it with joy, billed it and marched to the exit door. Somehow I lost my balance and dropped the cake upside down. I was totally disappointed how our carelessness can turn the moments of joy into moments of agony. I collected the box from the floor and opened it to find out that the cake was totally messy. I went back to the pantry and met the same bakers and asked if there is another piece of the same cake I bought before. She enquired why am I buying it again. That’s when I explained the fate of the old cake. The point to note here is that since it was my mistake I didn’t ask for a replacement. But the Baker was so kind and she took the cake back and offered me a new one without billing it again. I thanked here so much and that act of kindness flashes me every time I go out to buy a cake for any celebrations. I head straight to same shop again and again for buying cakes.

Any business can flourish only with a returning customer. Trust and Customer satisfaction top my list when it comes to retaining them. As per Pareto principle 80% of business comes from 20% customers. If we have the knowledge to sort that 20% customer and able to retain them any business can be successful.

Know More about Factors that drive Customer Retention

I would like to quote to classic examples of PayTM mall and Amazon for retaining their customers. PayTM does that through cash back offers where as Amazon gives a % off on regular monthly buy outs. Amazon also is a classic example for underpromising and overdeliver. You might have ordered a product from Amazon and delivery time mentioned was 3-4 days at the time of order but you received within 2 days.

Final thoughts: Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Most of the time business overlooks its own employees. They forget that only when employee is happy he/she can keep the clients happy. Business should treat an employee as good and as important as its customer.

ArunAnand R

5 Ways to Generate Leads for B2B Business in India

I was having this interesting discussion on the process of generating Leads for one our startups that are working in the B2B space. We employed our model of Demand Generation to the business for Lead generation. Unfortunately, the model did not work very well for the startup. The reason is simple Indian B2B businesses have still not evolved in the online space. For instance, many decision makers in the B2B industry still operate in the offline mode. They may not have a LinkedIN Account. They still prefer Face to Face interactions. Sales proposals are sent to them on Whats app etc. Thats when i learned it requires a completely different approach to generate qualified leads for Indian B2B business. This blog focuses on writing a hypothesis to generate more leads for a B2B Business in India. 
1. Determine your ideal customer:
The first step in the lead generation process is of course, identifying the ideal customer. Your ideal customer could be say, pump manufacturers.

 2. Identify the list of companies that you want to target:

It may be very difficult for you to get the list of ideal customers from one source in India. You may have to use different sources. You can start with Google. Associations of the particular target group can be a good source. There are certain websites that provide details of various companies like JustDial, india Mart,in.kpmass.com. They could be a good source for developing the database of the companies. One ideal way of finding out more details about potential customers is talk to two or three mid management employees of the companies that your are targeting. They can provide you with details of other companies that work in the space. 

3. Identify the decision makers in the company:  

Many successful organisations in India are run in an unorganised manner. It is very difficult to find out decision makers in the company by looking at their designations or by searching in LinkedIN. The best way to identify the decision makers of a company is talk to someone in the company. Of course we could use different tools to find out the decision makers and their contacts. A list of these tools and approaches are listed in https://www.leadfeeder.com/blog/how-to-find-decision-makers-in-a-company/#gref. Though these tools are useful to generate leads in organised companies, building relationships with someone in the company is the best way to identify decision makers in unorganised sector which contributes to 80% of the businesses in India.

4. Whom not follow:  

A very important  aspect of the Lead generation program is just not identify and nurture prospective customers. Marketing has also ensure that certain leads should not be followed by sales. Sales teams may waste a lot of time by following leads that may not convert into business. One way to avoid this scenario is to build relationships with mid management teams of your customers who have 10+ years in the industry. The mid-management friends can guide you on which companies have budgets, their decision making patterns and also on the process they follow. They will have a thorough understanding of the whole industry.

5. Nurturing the Leads:

Once you have developed the database of the list of companies and the decision makers to reach out, you could use many marketing tactics to create awareness about your company , educate the decision makers on how your product/service can help their organisation better and complete the sale.   
Once you have the list start the marketing campaign/sales campaign!!!
Dr. B. Kaarthick
CEO – Cultiv8

Optimize Your Website For SEO

6 Steps To Optimize Your Website For SEO

It is very important to optimize your website for Search Engine Optimization. When someone searches for a particular product/service and if your company is offering that product or service then you should be listed in the first page of Google results. Less than 5% of the audience will move to the second page or further. Further, the person who is searching for the product or service is someone who needs the product/service making him a very potential client for the company. Hence, it is important to build the SEO of the website.

 
SEO can be quite intimidating because it does not have particular guide line and GOOGLE continuously keeps updating it crawler. But there are a bare-minimum things that needs to be taken care of while building the website. The six steps outlined below may not be enough to list your website in the first page of Google Results but these hygiene issues have to be properly addressed while building the site.
  1. Title Tag: The title tag of the website tells what the page is all about. It should be less than 70 characters. Choose the title tag for every page carefully. 
  2. Meta Description: The meta description on pages of your website gives search engines a little more insight into what your page is about. To choose the right Title Tag and Meta Description for the pages do an anonymous search in google about the content you are writing in the page and google will display a list that will guide you better to choose the meta description. 
  3. WordPress Plugins: If you are using WordPress to build your site then you can use free plugins like All in one SEO and Platinum SEO for Title Tags and Meta Description. You can also get suggestions using paid plugins like Scribe SEO.
  4. Index the Images: Make sure the images are indexed in line with the service or what the images describe. Many website index images as 1.jpg etc. This does not help SEO in anyway. 
  5. Build Internal Links: When you write posts and blogs make sure the blogs are linked internally to other pages in the website. Like say a blog can be linked to the product page. Building external links is good but having internal links also matters when you cannot build external links. 
  6. Format the blog: When you write a blog, name the blog properly. The content should be optimized to become a Snippet. This can be done by having a Header (H1) which will be the Title of the blog. Sub Headings H2 and H3 become the snippet. Make sure you use the format “H2.” and not “ H2)”. Search engines understand H2. Use Bold letters fro Sub Headings and important messages. 
 
Finally to understand How SEO works and how to build SEO using content marketing i strongly recommend you use this guide by Hubspot. Click here for the link

Dr. B. Kaarthick,

CEO, Cultiv8

3 Things About How To Increase Your Revenue From Existing Customers Your Team has to Know

The ultimate goal of any business is to earn more money from their customers. But this doesn’t happen all of a sudden. To achieve this, you have to put ingenious efforts to acquire a large customer base, make them activated and retain them. Understanding deeply the psychology of customer behavior will help greatly in monetizing and increased revenue from them.

 Let us see some effective ways to generate more revenue and optimize earnings from your customer base.

1. Data Analysis

Knowing your entire customer journey right form their acquisition to retention can help you in identifying the barriers in generating revenue and any friction in payment process. Analyze where the company is making most money and where they lose. Identifying these pinch points (where potential earnings are lost) and causes for the drop-offs will generate ideas for fixing up the revenue leaks.

 

2. Customer Segmentation

Customers can be segmented by measuring the level of user’s engagement an ARPU (Average Revenue per User). Customers can also grouped based on age, location, source of acquisition, products/service they use the most. Measuring the revenue from each of these customer groups will provide good insights on which customer segment you should increase your focus on.

This breakdown of user base varies for different companies. Therefore, creating these groups can lead to various ideas to satisfy customers with specific wants and needs.

3. Customized offerings

Personalization is a tactic for building strong relationship with customers to retain them. Major reason for success behind Amazon, Google, Netflix is they have developed strong “recommendation engines”. However, building such engines are not relatively complex as you think. It can be generated using the various algorithms on the data collected as per the requirement. To start with, target a small segment of customers to capture their response and effectiveness.

Conclusion

Apart from the above mentioned ways, you can boost up your customer’s purchases is to offer them additional items to purchase or more features to pay for. A good e.g. for this can be Amazon with its wide range of products and number of payment options which ease customers’ experience and satisfies them. Surveys can also be a powerful tool to know what people are willing to pay for.

To conclude, I suggest letting the customer data lead the way in measuring customer’s needs and the company to take necessary growth steps to maximize the revenue.

 

Srisakthi.K  

Community Manager

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