Part-time CEO could be the right choice for your venture

Posted by on Oct 29, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Start-up business | 0 comments

Part-time CEO

The very mention of part-time CEO may appear to be something unknown for many of small or start-up enterprises.  Yes, because we are mostly used to the model of Consulting SLA whereby a consultant or an organization would meet the piecemeal services required by a venture.

At the very outset why an organization would need a CEO?  Obviously to define a right strategy and planning for the successful implementation of business objectives and to drive the vision of the enterprise.  CEO would obviously be accountable to draw organizational productivity, consistently increase the net worth of the company, and achieve stakeholder satisfaction.  These aspects would inherently demand efficient management of all business functions supported by an energetic team.

Part-time CEO services from EPMWORLD

Why do you need a part-time CEO:

(i)  You may be a first time entrepreneur and a start-up owner.

As a first time entrepreneur, you will need support right from setting up the processes, implementing the project  infrastructure, to putting the venture on commercial track.  These initial processes need multifunctional expertise in business and management.  For young entrepreneurs and for people who come from traditional business line, this might prove to be a challenge to build a professional structure.  In order to overcome this challenge, a first time entrepreneur and a start-up owner can engage a Part-time CEO who can invest his expertise on (i) Business Plan (ii) Statutory and mandatory registrations (iii) Investment model (iv) Procurement (v) Policy Development (vi) Marketing collateral (vii) Legal and organizational documentation (viii) Team deployment (ix) Technology implementation (x) Infrastructure deployment; and (xi) Commercial launch.

Besides the above, the matter of business promotion and brand identity processes suitable to the target market and customer segment is an important concerted task to be achieved with the active involvement of respective team members.

(ii)  You may be remotely handling a project.

You may be the promoter-owner of the venture who is away on other avocations.  You may be an enterprise having headquarters or business units in other part of the world.  You may want a local expert in the project location to handle the project with absolute expertise and accountability.  You need a responsible company who could extend you Part-time CEO services placing their Sr. Executive onsite.  This model will bring you required assurance on successful project implementation supported by relevant SLAs.

(iii) You may be holding some parallel projects which demand specialized techno-management skills.

You may be an individual or an organization who has got requisite management expertise and seized with several projects.  You might need a Part-time CEO who come with requisite techno-management expertise.  This will place you at ease in the initial project launch and you will also be secured about the project success under SLAs.

The model of engaging a Part-Time CEO:

You should go for a model where the role of a Part-time CEO is a mere indication of responsibilities, deliverables and accountability.  He may not be necessarily be an all-time visitor to the project site.  As a promoter-owner, you will be the actual CEO in the organization and the person in question would otherwise co-ordinate with you to effectively handle project deliverables.  The appointment of such person or organization for part-time CEO services would precisely indicate these aspects along with (i) project scope, (ii) terms of service, (iii) periodicity, (iv) remuneration, (v) Support after project launch, and (vi) exit route, in the MOU.  Regular and onsite placement of part-time CEO might give way to management and team cultural challenges on his exit.  Thus, it is desirable to have off-site services as an officiating person.

The MOU could spell the performance metrics and subjective terms like penalty for non-performance, cost over-runs, schedule delays and so just as in case of a project delivery agreement.

The challenges in going for a Part-Time CEO:

You would need to exercise openness in accepting suggested measures by the part-time CEO.  As a responsible person for project delivery, he might want contextual changes in resource handling, vendor relations, procurement preferences or even review of strategy.  Mutual trust and transparency between the promoter-owner and the part-time CEO would make lot of positive difference to the project.

The parameters of selecting a right organization or right individual

The most important parameters being (i) Multifunctional expertise specially with respect to project management (ii) Visionary with innovative thinking (iii) Ethical and transparent (iv) Sense of ownership (v) Proven background (vi) Process oriented and analytical (vii) Market Awareness (viii) Service with smile; and (ix) Always accessible; and desirably Social Media savvy.

Notwithstanding the above, the final responsibility again lies with you to monitor the effectiveness of part-time CEO and his deliverables.  Ideally, you should undergo a few sessions of detailed inputs from him before the project start and during the project handling on the approach, project baselines, performance parameters and controlling measures.  Choose a person as a part-time CEO with guts and confidence and through thorough screening.

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How to start an Online business

Posted by on Oct 11, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Marketing, Branding, Start-up business, Technology | 7 comments

Online Business:

The digital world has paved way for a new and additional business source in the form of online business.  The traditional marketing budgets which were in the range of millions and billions of dollars are no more a must for someone who would like to attract global business sales.  It could be a largest retailer like Wal-Mart Stores or sheer online shopping mall eBay.  Generous broadband connectivity and Internet proliferation have brought dollar cheers to business men and discount cheers to customers in the online business world.

The significance of online business is its nature to be able to function as the tiniest business model propelled by a single PC to the largest business model driven by gigantic technology infrastructure.  It is as practical as that, an ordinary individual who can invest $100 (INR 5000) of his pocket money can even create blog based online earning revenue model.

(A)  Types of online business:

Online business is prominently dominated by product sale.  Consumer electronics, household provisions, ready made garments, drug store and the list is unending and is limited to our imagination.  The other business type is service sale.  The most popular among them are job portals, matrimonial sites, service exchanges and even research services.

(B)  Online business idea:

epmworld online businessChoose a single product which has large scope in the market and which can be sourced by you at required parameters.  You can go for marketing of all cereals like Green Gram, Black Gram and so.  You can choose art items if you are an artist.  You can go for designer garments if you are a designer.  You can sell photo frames if you are an artisan.  Or you can market handyman services.

Every business opportunity is portable as online business model, provided you know the target market scope.

(C)  Approach:

Idea consolidation:  Finalize the product choice after proper market research.  Make a quality business plan to understand the investment and ROI.

Technology: The major points of consideration could be:

  1. High level requirements of portal
  2. Operating System & Database
  3. Hosting platform
  4. Design considerations for Front-end feel and look
  5. Analytics and Reporting structure
  6. Payment Gateway options
  7. Support
  8. Security measures; and
  9. Development and deployment time.

(D)  Process development and deployment:

What constitutes this?

  1. Finalization of terms with vendors, affiliates for product supply or service deliver.
  2. Statutory and mandatory rules & regulations related to sale and purchase of products contextual to target markets.
  3. Procurement and supply logistics.
  4. Transaction cycle like Ordering, invoicing and delivery.
  5. Operational structure.
  6. Performance monitoring and controlling procedures; and
  7. Customer Data & Privacy Protection Controls.

(E)  Marketing and promotion of portal: 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media tools are the cheapest measures to market any online businesses.  You should engage a professional organization or designate an internal two member team who will promote your portal on continuing basis.  You could check this link on ways and means of online promotion.

epmworld online business portal

(F)  Consistent improvement through market intelligence: 

The success of online presence majorly depends on the factors like (i) Ability to introduce trendy and quality things (ii) Accountability on extended services (iii) Tech intelligence to identify the constraints faced by users during their engagement with your portal.

(G)  Common mistakes:

Several online business portals go bankrupt or wound-up in the early stages owing to poor planning, unfounded projections or technological challenges.  The mistakes to be avoided among other things would be (i) Keeping the site static in terms of design, look and user experience components (ii) Faulty design or insufficient features causing navigational confusion and frustration (iii) Poor performance like slow loading of site (iv) Inadequate or slow support (v) Limited payment options; and of-course (vi) non-competitive in price, product, offers or variety.

(H)  Success metrics:

When you ensure rectification of failure points as indicated above you would obviously find success in your way.  Still the major points or metrics of online business portal success would be (i) Efficient technology (ii) Presentation of clutter free and just in time and contextually required feature(s) (iii) Price and product attraction; and (iv) Real-time support.

Online business portals offer the advantage of business numbers which means a huge market, though with small margins.  From backyard products, house made items to far off place products every item could be traded online.  The secret is creating a brand of your own and maintaining it on consistent basis.  A small mistake or ignorance could distract the long-time customer.  You may tread slow initially but once the portal becomes attractive you would transact just dollars not the merchandise.

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Business Consulting

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in | 33 comments

Business Consulting:

The growth and development of any business depends on the thorough understanding of business, changing market requirements, growing competition, trending technologies and an efficient team that shares and works for achieving the Vision and Mission of the organization.  This aspect is not possible with every business owner considering the time constraints, relevance of his / her pre-business-experience and many other related facts.

As a Business Consulting firm, we can evaluate your business in “as is whereis basis” and work for a right solution to take forward the business to achieve projected growth. We have christened our company as EPM World to denote our service range spanning Enterprise Portfolio Management (EPM). Enterprise functions constitute every thing right from setting up company, formulating detailed business plan, going for commercial launch, conducting operations to achieving sustenance and growth. We may discuss any of your business concerns for a right advice, strategy or service extension.

  • SWOT Analysis and Due diligence
  • Marketing & Branding Strategy
  • Business Development Strategy
  • Collaborations / Tie Ups
  • Drafting Of MOUs, Agreements
  • Content Management
  • Online and Internet marketing Strategy
  • Process Development and Deployment for functional efficiency
  • Information Technology implementation strategy

Our business consulting services and development strategies would guarantee the defined short-term and long-term benefits to the organization.  May talk to us for a free discussion and brainstorming of your growth concerns for a clarified path.

 

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The first requirement of a new venture

Posted by on Apr 4, 2010 in EPM World, Start-up business | 0 comments

The first requirement of any new venture would be Detailed Project Report.  The report is like the business map for the venture.  A guiding principle in all the areas from ‘description and scope of business’ to be conducted to ‘profit levels’ to be achieved. The report is to be customized according to the requirements of lending institution wherever you are seeking project funding.

What does the Report contain? Why do you need it?  How do you make it? I would try to cover here certain important elements of project report and sample description against each element.  So that my effort will help you understand the report in a little detailed manner rather than a sheer Index, which is available all over the Internet.  The contents of report.

  • The title and description of the business idea or opportunity
  • The legal stature of the business
  • The targeted scope taken up in the project
  • The background as to how it would fit into the market
  • The vision, mission, strategy & planning
  • The market, target customers, competition, market share, achievable share by you
  • The means and mechanism of delivering the scope to target customers
  • The marketing strategy, brand definition & branding exercise
  • The partners & collaborators if any
  • The benefits and USP that you provide to the target customers
  • The promoters background, relevance to the venture, role in the venture
  • The raw material, procurement plans, long-term availability factors, agreements with the vendors with respect to the same (where the business is purely service oriented or professional consulting, you should cover the human resource expertise, its availability, and your plan of mobilizing such resources)
  • The material procurement plan wherever available quotations from vendors
  • The constitution of core team, their profiles, relevance, roles
  • The manufacturing / production process 
  • The standards, best practices proposed to be introduced in the project
  • The mandatory identities – company registration, tax registrations, statutory permissions,
  • The organizational hierarchy, communication flow, indication of key performance areas, accountability mechanism
  • Project performance metrics, performance appraisal system
  • Operational procedures, measures for operational excellence
  • The projected revenue, expenses, cash flow, profit & loss (for min 5 years)
  • The methods of project fund mobilisation (promoters equity, debt, fund raising mechanism)
  • The bankers, auditors, legal attorneys
  • Detailed Project Plan which consists the product life cycle and project life cycle (Preferably done with the help of MS Project like tools)

The report generally is divided in to various sections viz., Introduction, Techncial, Marketing, Manufacturing and Financial. In case of service or consulting businesses, it will be the delivery mechanism and the process handling in place of manufacturing section.

Why do you need the project report?
The report will be the guide for your entire project.  You will need to refer to it at every stage of your project progress in order to ensure that your project is taking off in a professional and disciplined way the way it is envisaged.  In absence of such report, you will over spend monies, loose control and can’t control various objects.


Further the report is required to present to the investors or bankers who should know about your project and its viability for investment.  In fact, you should develop a summary presentation based on the project report to present to the prospective funding institution.


How do you make the report?
Project Report is a professional document.  It covers integrated inputs w.r.t technical, commercial, market and so as could be seen from the above index.  Thus you need a professional agency.  Mostly there are certain CA firms who help exclusively in project report development.  You may also talk to my team who can help you.

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