Rajiv Talreja talks about what entrepreneurs can expect in 2019
With a rise in the number of startups in India, the need of the hour is to re-emphasise on some fundamentals which are going to become more important for businesses.
Here are a few things to focus on in the future
Marketing not advertising
The effectiveness of advertising is falling. Customers are smarter and their consciousness has increased, this makes them immune to advertising. Nobody wants to be ‘sold to’. Customers will buy your product only if they believe that you understand their needs, and that you alone are capable of solving them.
For that, you need to be marketing and not advertising as a business. So the thumb rule in 2019 for businesses is going to be “Don’t sell, add value and engage.”
Society and the media love making heroes out of people. While entrepreneurs deserve to be celebrated, it is important for businesses to nurture and celebrate their ‘intrapreneurs’. While digitisation is the talk of the business world, the competitive edge to any company is not brought by the technology it uses, but rather by the execution rigour of its teams.
Ideas don’t win. Execution wins. To make execution win, organisations need leaders who take ownership and turn the entrepreneur’s vision into reality. These leaders are the real heroes of a business and these are people who I call intrapreneurs.
In any business, the differentiator between success and failure is determined by how strong their second line team of leaders are, that is, the commitment and competence of their intrapreneurs. Let 2019 be a year where you focus on strengthening and empowering your intrapreneurs.
Profit consciousness is going for the win. Startups with futuristic, astronomical projections of capturing the market, are going to fail. Business is an activity designed for adding value to your customers in exchange for a profit. If entrepreneurs are going to ignore profit consciousness, and are just going to continue to burn cash, with the hope that someday in the future they will hit the tipping point — then that is just wishful thinking and poor business acumen.
The year 2019 will see businesses becoming more profit conscious and making a correction from being focused on customer acquisition to filtering and retaining customers who actually spend money.
The era of probability of success in business needs to move out and it’s time for a correction to actually determine the true value of a business based on its ability to make profits.
Focusing On Customers
It is true that technology is changing the way the world lives. But as a business, the priority needs to be creating things that fulfill the needs of the customer. Many startups make the mistake of obsessing over the technology and what it can do, rather than focusing on the customer’s needs and behaviours.
There is no point creating or innovating things that your customer would not be willing to spend their money on, or that your customer will not really change their core behaviours to use. Creativity and innovation are great, but application and monetisation come first. The fundamentals will continue to remain the game changer of 2019. Entrepreneurs and businesses that stick to the basics will thrive while the rest will just wither away. Stay focused on the basics and build a business which fulfills the aspirations of all its stakeholders.
— The writer is global speaker, entrepreneur and author