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Is small really beautiful? Where do I get my capital from? How do I market my product?… Hundreds of such thoughts keep pestering new business women. Many such questions were answered by experienced women in business at our Breaking Barriers event.
Isn’t the idea of having and managing your own business enthralling? Obviously, it is! Hence more and more women from across the country, be it the huge metropolitan cities, small towns or even from villages, women are coming up with their innovative ventures.
Being a woman in business, apart from sounding all ‘cool’ and ‘fancy’ is very challenging. Everything has to be thought of and planned from scratch. Also, guidance would be needed to run the business successfully. So, at such a juncture all the possible external help from experts in the field would be welcomed with open arms.
This year at our Breaking Barriers series of events the guest speakers included many successful women in business. From their first-hand experience we wanted to know how to manage a small company without access to large-scale resources, how can small teams and solo women innovate?
Founder of The JadeTree, Neha Sharma chose not to have big business to keep the quality up to the mark. She believes that when people are aware of your brand, sales will automatically follow.
Talking about people’s early response to her innovation in creating textile-based jewellery she said, “Initially I faced resistance from people who asked why should I wear fabric jewellery?” It’s a human tendency, people usually take time to accept new things. The beginning is always hard but eventually, things fall into place. Similarly, Neha Sharma’s entrepreneurial journey, in the beginning, was uphill but they have come a long way now.
Rashi Ray, the Director at the Zero Budget Agency and Response India Pvt Ltd spoke of being an ‘accidental entrepreneur’, but now her business has grown extensively. Which was originally a 2 member team, now comprises 55 employees.
What is their unique business approach? “We are straightforward with our clients. I want to work with them, I call them and say so. I don’t want to work with them, I do the same. There is no pleasing involved.” said Rashi Ray.
They always make an effort to have the human connection with everybody and everything they deal with in their business, be it clients or employees. It is helpful in any business that one undertakes.
Rashi further added, “Initially it was hard to get talented people. Half our team is full of creative people, and the Indian educational system doesn’t really encourage creativity.” Yes, indeed! That’s a challenge and how did they overcome that? By trained enough people who are now training many others.
Tejaswini Pagadala, a Communications Consultant and the Author of ‘India’s Global Leader: Chandrababu Naidu’ strongly believes that innovation is a necessity for growth. She advised the audience not to compromise on what they want to show the world.
Social media is a boon to most of the upcoming women in business as they need not spend additional money for marketing themselves or creating a better brand image. So, giving vital social media tips Tejaswini said, “Stick to uniform messaging across all platforms. Stick to the trends as a brand.”
Before starting any business, it’s highly important to know your market well and have a thorough information about everything related to the business. Talking about how even small businesses can collect and use data in innovative ways Ritu David said, “Before you even launch a business you can beta test your concept by running google adwords and seeing how the market is going to react.” she further added, “When you are going from idea to execution, question all your own biases. Debunk every single myth and don’t do it by asking your own network.”
According to Anjali Noronha who is a firm believer of personalised business, “With small business comes the feeling of home which I didn’t get while working with big companies.” In her salon business, she makes everybody feel at home.
Talking about the employees, who are the pillars of any successful business, Anjali said, “When I hire people, I give them a couple of months to understand us. Because I grow when they grow.”
But however good your employees are or however personal your services, competition is inevitable. The best way to fight competition according to Anjali is by creating your own strong brand and your own solid identity.
These and many more such valuable inputs regarding running a business were imbibed by our audience at the Breaking Barriers events. We hope to see you all there next time.
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Apart from being the Associate Editor at Women's Web, where I get to read,
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