The 2018 World Cup Series for Startups: Five Things You Can Learn From FIFA For Your Venture

Much larger than the Olympics, The World Series, and even Super Bowl, the FIFA World Cup takes place every four years, bringing and fixing 32 nations of the world to compete on standard soccer pitches for the very best. This has the whole world on notice, captivating fans, spectators and even naysayers who are out to make shouts for their countries, best players and the sheer experience of great football. This sporting event is the craze of the now, thanks to social media technologies, digital media, giving the global football community the avenue to share millions of content pieces, including over 140 Mn related Google searches, before even a single match was played. Also, World Cup fans have broken free of experience games only confined within their direct regions. These football lovers are now tapping social media platforms such as Twitter, sharing real-time reactions, following the trends and posting images of the event on Facebook to express their excitement on a global scale.

But while the nerves are pulsating, footballers team-playing, commentators pitching and stadiums being drowned in oceanic noises, this Russia-hosted biggie is at the background putting some marketing lessons out there that wannabe, newbie, and growing business owners can harness for the success of their ventures.

Talent Doesn’t Always Win

The Spanish team claimed the world cup title eight years back in South Africa, marking their first-ever win on this international sporting platform. Fans were expecting them to snatch the victory again in Brazil 2014. With some of the best players in the soccer scene and a .large part of the rosters of highly acclaimed Real Madrid and Barcelona, people could bet half of their in-cash fortune that Spain could at least reach the finals. However, they didn’t. They didn’t even play through their group stage, exiting after a loss to the Netherlands and two lackluster efforts to follow. Even England and Italy, the other two nations with a lengthy football resume made similar exits while making way for the smallest, less talented teams to advance to the stage of 16. In Russia this year, we see something nearly identical. The Argentinian team that went on a headlock with Germany in the finals of 2014 is now on their way home, having drawn with Iceland, lost to Croatia, won Nigeria and lost to France. Germany seemed to be gettng back in the game after their win against Sweden, because Mexico refused to give in to intimidation from the defending champions. But, loosing to South Korea in their final group game, they got on thier next plane home.

I am no soothsayer or all-knowing octopus, but I think the teams that will pull through this time around will be the less-expected ones, even though they do so with a few football giants. Portugal lost to Uruguay yesterday (thanks to Cavani) and are on their next plane home. Christiano Ronaldo is gone, so is Lionel Messi and every other German powerhouse we expected to deliver. Did I also mention that Netherlands and Italy didn’t even qualify?

These dicey outcomes and seemingly disappointing results all serve as an important reminder for the startup ventures out there. Success is not guaranteed alone by success. It takes more with effort, innovation, and strategy immediately coming to mind. The biggies in your niche or industry may not stand a chance against your business if you come out right with all of these necessities.

Community is Your Brand’s Best Friend

The World Cup has been great for brands across the planet. The biggies such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser among others have set the nations of the world on fire with their innovative, compelling and mind-blowing campaigns that capitalize on the world’s passion for this biggest sporting event. That said, a significant number of these brands put so much focus on tying their products and services to the global soccer community and not to products and services themselves.

For startups out there, this fact is a non-negligible reminder that building a community for your customers and prospects is paramount. If you focus on education, information and service rather than pure self-promotion as a means to propel brand awareness, without feeling like Spam 2.0, you are on the right track. For me, any brand that keeps me at the edge of my seats watching even the commercials is on to something good.

The Darkhorse has a Role on the Big Stage

In the 2014 World Cup, the teams, the teams that emerged among the 16 at the knock-out rounds were not the best in the world. This happened while the highly acclaimed soccer powerhouses suffered defeat and got on the next plane home. National teams such as Costa Rica, Greece, and the United States all scaled through quite tricky groups to emerge ahead of the English and Italian teams, including Christiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. This year’s World Cup is seeing teams such as France, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Columbia and Croatia making the names for themselves, through thier group stages and competing in the round of 16 alongside other bigs. Though Panama lost to England, they as well recorded their first World Cup goal in their match against England. This is happening because, no matter who the best must have been in the world, everyone, even the underdogs are playing for the title.

At each sporting event, we find this happening almost all the time. For startups, it shows that the most prominent business owners are not always the fittest to deliver the products and services that clientele requires. Newbie ventures can as well provide unique value and differentiation even if they are smaller or less experienced in the game.

Scarcity is Relevant

Thanks to technology, we live in a world of connectivity. With our mobile devices and presence on social media platforms, we can be reached around the clock. According to an infographic, 91 percent of people sleep within arm’s reaches of their phones, meaning that we are more connected than ever. Someone somewhere in the world, or maybe all of us would have the thought that FIFA may want to take advantage of this and make the World Cup happen every two years, maybe. I don’t think so. Not a chance. Much like the Olympics, the World Cup is kept to every four years, because the buildup creates more significant and greater interest as the event draws near each time.

Startups out there can pick a tip from this. Before going out there, have it in mind that while you never want to make customers wait so much, there is something to be said about having your genuinely unique differentiator. Soccer is played all year round and done so on many grand stages like La Liga, UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, among others, but only the World Cup brings the passion and commitment that we see right now. FIFA’s differentiator is scarcity, so entrepreneurs need to think what makes them unique and worthwhile. About eight percent of venture owners believe their products are genuinely differentiated, yet just 8 percent of customers felt the same, according to a study by Brian & Company. Christiano Ronaldo’s secret is consistent delivery, contrary to the disappointments Lionel Messi’s fans are currently facing. Coca-Cola is ubiquitous, so what’s your differentiator?

Engaging Content is King

Amongst other things, this year’s engaging World Cup and it advertisers are doing a great job, giving us outstanding content that keeps us glued even during half-time (I mean the people are watching from their homes). A steady cadence of visual, engaging content that solicits viewership and deep emotional ties to the event and individual teams go a long way to amplify anticipation. The ideas being spread by the graphics, sound/music and words (especially from the commentators) are just spellbinding. Amalgamating these content strategies is what makes FIFA a big deal. And, likewise, it is the company that touches a person’s heart that will reach into a customer’s pocketbook.

In case you missed it in the last World Cup, here’s the true meaning of being emotional with your content. This Game Before the Game video from Beats did a great deal to successfully solicit an emotional connection to the World Cup and the Beats Brand.

Start your business by first understanding which channels your customers acquire information. Sit back and develop the kind of content that appeals not just to their needs, but emotions. Take some time to determine the real pain your widgets solves and base your content strategy on that: what you know will surely work. Find a way to add value through engaging content, and watch the sales turn in for you. Did you see the way Budweiser lit up the World Cup with their ad? That’s the kind of tapping content we are talking about.

While we watch the event unfold in Russia, waiting to see who will scale through this round of 16, which will ultimately lead to quarter final, semi final and the grand finale, wannabe, newbie and traction-gaining entrepreneurs out there should keep their eyes peeled. And as you do that, always check with us here for other World Cup-related snippets.

Source: Wee Tracker

Seed Capital: How It Can Help Your Small or Medium Business

Access to early stage development funding for up-and-coming businesses in South Africa remains a key hindrance standing in the way of entrepreneurial development.

There are, however, numerous strategies to finance your business’s launch, or early stage development. One of these tactics is to secure seed finance or seed capital investment.

Seed Capital: How It Can Help Your Small or Medium Business

The money you need to launch your business (or conduct any early stage development of a product or service) can come from a bank, an angel investor, or friends and family. But these money lenders can be tough to secure when you don’t really have a track record or much profitability to show yet.

This is where seed capital funding can help you.

According to Investopedia, seed funding lives up its namesake –  in that it’s the capital needed to ‘seed’ a business.

A portion of your seed funding could come from family members, friends, banks, or angel investors, but there are also a rising number of specialist firms out there that can provide you with specific capital or business finance to ‘seed’ your business.

The Difference Between Seed Capital and Venture Capital

The key thing to remember with seed funding is that investments usually range in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Other forms of investment, such as venture capital investments, can range into millions of rands. So, if you are an entrepreneur looking to fund a new idea with seed money, expect to receive smaller investments when compared to venture capital.

Sage Advice on Early Stage Funding from A Seed Funder

Geoff Ralston is a partner at YC, a seed funding organisation based in Mountain View, California, in the United States. More than two decades ago, he founded Four11, where he built RocketMail, one of the world-wide-web’s first web mail services.

In 1997, RocketMail became Yahoo Mail. Ralston has worked in engineering, then ran a business unit at Yahoo, and went on to become Chief Product Officer. After Yahoo, Ralston became CEO of Lala, which was acquired by Apple in 2009.

He says the ecosystem for seed (early) financing is far more complex now than it was even five years ago: “There are many new VC firms, sometimes called ‘super-angels’, or micro-VC’s, which explicitly target brand new, very early stage companies. There are also several traditional VCs that will invest in seed rounds.”

The Pros and Cons of Early Stage or Seed Funding for A Business

PROS: Seed funders can invest much needed capital and they can provide expertise and back-end assistance, which could be helpful in the early stages of business. If you are seed-funded, you also earn credibility in the marketplace should you wish to take a loan or seek further investment at a later stage. Ultimately, any seed funders you take on could open up proverbial doors to a vast network of like-minded entrepreneurs and future business partners or investors.

CONS: Seed funders require a return on investment, like any other investor. Some might be more focused on the money (returns) and could push you to take necessary steps to see a return on their investment – including ousting you from your own company, according to Under30CEO magazine.
A seed funder could potentially steer your business in a direction that you don’t agree with, but this could be because of their experience in the game.

If you are ready to take the step and talk to firms about seed funding for your company, here’s a list of organisations that can help you kickstart your business operations with early stage capital investment:

  1. 4Di Capital
  2. Technology Innovation Agency
  3. Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation
  4. Grovest
  5. Business Partners
  6. Seed Engine
  7. Edge Growth
  8. Kalon Venture Partners

How Blockchain Will Disturb The E-Commerce Industry In The Next Few Years

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto invented blockchain to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. The creation of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency, to resolve the double-spending problem without the need for a trusted authority or central server.

So, what is blockchain? a blockchain is an endless growing list of records called blocks, which is linked and secured using cryptography.

Each block naturally contains a cryptographic hash of the former block, a timestamp and transaction data.

As a design, blockchains are resistant to modification of the data and is an open distributed ledger which can record transactions between two parties proficiently, and in a verifiable and lasting way.

Blockchain permits digital information to be communicated between a decentralised, peer-to-peer (P2P) network creating a new type of internet.

Blockchain functions like a digital ledger or spreadsheet which can be accessed by everyone, but the former input cannot be edited without that edit appearing in the audit trail.

Having a high-level understanding of how blockchain works, will help you stay ahead of the competition.

There are a number of key features which make the network exciting for eCommerce brands like:

  1. Decentralised – Blockchain works over a P2P network. Data is not held in a single location, which makes it more reliable. Nobody owns or is in charge of the blockchain, which means its free of influence from governments or large corporations.
  2. Immutable – transactions are append-only, meaning once data is recorded it cannot be changed without that change is visible in the audit trail.
  3. Near real-time – stakeholders can work collaboratively in real-time over a sole, trusted ledger.

The challenges that the eCommerce industry face today are trust, frauds, slow transactions and other costs. Going forward blockchain will disturb the challenges and create a whole new revolution in the eCommerce industry in the following ways:

  1. Cheaper Transactions – blockchain allows the existence of “smart contracts” which would be software programs that will self-execute contract instructions, lowering the cost and complexity of transfers and transactions.
  2. Faster transactions – transactions, order details, commissions in the form of smart contracts can be used to save all documents, shipping, delivery and possible events which affect financial settlements. Thus, every individual or company involved in the supply chain can make vital data visible to others, which lowers disputes, delays, disorganisation and speeds up the transaction process.
  3. Transparency – blockchains store entire owner history, no matter where the product goes and how many times its bought, which eliminates the frauds and brings transparency to consumer and merchant.

In conclusion, blockchain has ushered a new revolution of digital currency and transaction system where intermediaries like brokers, banker’s lawyers might not be needed at all.

By Jandre de Beer

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine

Why Team Leaders Should Be Great Teachers

New York Times Bestselling author Sheryl Sandberg defines leadership in the most creative and truthful way. “Leadership”, says Sandberg, “is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

According to Sandberg, a great leader becomes such an inspiration for others that the teachings they spread will continue to have a lasting impact, even after they’re gone. Guiding employees in a way that transcends job duties and rigid responsibilities stands at the core of great leadership.

In this article, we’ll explore the rapport between teaching and leadership, highlighting how to spot leadership potential among employees. We’ll also do an overview of the most important lessons that great leaders should pass on to their people.

Selecting the best person for the job

First and foremost, if you want to become a great leader, you need a chance to lead. Spotting the talent requires intuition, but also creativity and thinking outside the box. Those who might seem to be the best people for the job aren’t always what they seem to be. At the same time, people who have never shown leading potential could actually possess a real talent for it.

Leading positions are way too often granted to the best performing employees. However, this might not always be a winning strategy. Since being a top performing employee does not always come with leadership skills. Team leaders need to have more than great ideas and a high-job performance.

One of the most common mistakes is to believe that the person who talks the most or the loudest is “leader material”. Even though being a good communicator is crucial, the person who just talks more than others is not necessarily a leader.

Being an extrovert and taking up more space than others might be mistaken for leadership skills. However, in most cases, such people just talk more than others. This is not a desirable leadership skill. A good team leader knows how to listen and makes space for everyone to share their ideas.

Management usually promotes to leadership positions people they see fit from their own perspective. However, as already discussed, the best employees don’t always make good leaders. Instead of following the regular path, you could try sending out questionnaires to your employees and ask them who they think would make a good leader other than themselves and why.

You might find out interesting things that you couldn’t have known otherwise, and get under your radar people you haven’t considered before. The best thing about these people is that they already have the respect and appreciation of their peers, who are probably looking up to them for guidance. This means that they might possess the most valuable skills you can find in a great leader, including being a good teacher.

Read on to find out why it’s so important for great leaders to be good teachers.

Most valuable lessons a leader can pass on to teams

Team leaders who are also great teachers make the best leaders. Sharing wisdom, offering advice and taking the time to tutor their team is what makes them stand out.

While most managers have formal feedback, advising and guiding in their flows, teacher-leaders do much more than that:

  • They build bonds that help their people grow and become great leaders themselves.
  • They spend one-on-one time and work side by side with their team, sharing principles, strategies and technical skills.
  • Instead of limiting teaching to formal meetings and training, they let team members learn organically, on the go.

Now, let’s discuss some of the most valuable lessons that a great leader can and should pass on team members.

#1 How to be good a professional

A great team leader is also a good professional, teaching team members to be the same. Leaders are an inspiration in everything they do. From the way they carry themselves to giving presentations, leading meetings and communicating ideas.

Many successful professionals relate that their former leaders and mentors taught them how to share their vision, how to emphasize integrity and have strong work ethics.

#2 Sharing technical skills

As a team leader, it’s your duty to ensure that people are giving their best. But a teacher-leader won’t just manage from a distance and let their team do all the work. They will work side by side with them and share their knowledge to help everyone improve.

Insecure leaders usually refrain from that. It’s either out of fear that someone might become better than them, or they simply can’t find the generosity to share their knowledge with others. Make sure you don’t fall into any of these traps. It will only keep the team in a standstill.

#3 Life lessons from team leaders

Great leaders are mentors both on work-related issues and life matters. They inspire teams to achieve their professional and personal goals and become the best version of themselves.

When LinkedIn Executive Mike Gamson first met with CEO Jeff Weiner, he learned a very important lesson. Weiner asked Gamson what kind of leader he wanted to be, and the latter said that he aspired to be “an empathetic leader.” In return, Weiner replied with a Buddhist parable, stating the difference between empathy and compassion. Furthermore, he explained that an empathetic person relates to the struggles of others without being able to take action to help them improve their situation. However, a compassionate leader understands the struggle with a layer of detachment that allows them to confront the situation. Even though the meeting between the two leaders happened 10 years ago, Gamson still stays true to the “compassionate leadership” philosophy.

Last but not least, the timing factor is also important. Great team leaders do not wait for meetings or planned events to share their wisdom – they do it on the spot, whenever the opportunity arises, yet never in a way that would put their employees in a bad light.

As a leader, when you need to correct a mistake or discuss someone’s failure, it works better if you do it in private. If it’s outside the office, it’s even better. Taking employees out for a one-on-one lunch can bring more value than having a session of negative feedback in the office.

What are the most valuable lessons you learned from your past or present leaders? Feel free to comment in the section below and let everyone know how they changed your life.

Source: Hubgets

8 Negotiating Tactics Every Successful Entrepreneur Has Mastered

Deep down, we’re all a little greedy. We all want the best outcome for ourselves. We can’t help but consider what’s in our own self-interest any time we negotiate a deal.

But to become a truly successful negotiator, you have to learn to put aside pure self-centeredness. Because if all you care about is serving yourself, you’ll blow the deal before you even start.

Negotiations are a delicate balance of give and take. Learning to strike this balance is necessary for any entrepreneur hoping to build a prosperous business. It takes time and practice and whole lot of patience to hone a winning strategy. And yet each deal is unique and needs to be approached correctly, which is why a one-size-fits-all approach will never work for long.

Here are eight of the most important skills every entrepreneur should learn to become a master at negotiations.

1. Do your prep work

Successful negotiations are built on solid prep work. This means you know something about the parties involved, you’ve done a little background checking, you know about their business and maybe you’ve even talked to others they’ve worked with to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.

The same is true if you are on the other side of the table and are looking to invest in a product or service. You should have a solid understanding of the pros and cons of the commodity they are selling. The bottom line is, you need to have a good idea of who you are dealing with and what they can offer.

You should always go into negotiations with your best foot forward. You should be well rested. You should have eaten something (being “hangry” can swiftly detonate any negotiation). You should show up on time – maybe even early, so you aren’t walking in feeling rushed.

If you’ve done the above, you should be feeling positive and are going in clear-headed and confident. You will have the stamina and energy to get this deal done.

2. Consider all the details of the opening offer

The opening offer usually acts as an anchor for negotiations. It’s also where the details get hammered out, so it’s important that it’s done carefully and thoughtfully.

The basic elements of an offer include the offer price, the work being proposed, what goods or services are included, when it will all be delivered and if there are any performance incentives, warranties or terms and conditions. Obviously, price is a key component to any deal, but keep in mind the other details. They can matter nearly as much in the long run.

If you are the one initiating the opening offer, this is your chance to set the stage for the negotiations ahead and start with the upper hand. You won’t get what you don’t ask for, so be bold! If you’re on the other side of the table, the offer is key to seeing how close together you are.

Know your bottom line – what are you willing to accept? And remember to take a close look at the details. What else are you getting for your money and what else are you potentially signing up for?

3. Check your ego and emotions at the door

While you should have confidence and assurance because you’ve done your prep work, you also have to check your ego at the door.

Letting your emotions run the show will never serve you well. In fact, you should be going in feeling as neutral as you can about the situation. Leaving your ego behind will free you to think objectively during intense bargaining. You can then negotiate from a standpoint of flexibility. 

To be successful you have to be able to think clearly in stressful situations and be willing to work to find common ground. If you walk in with a middle-of-the-road attitude, you’re more likely to strike a balance between getting what you want and not giving away too much.

On the other hand, you don’t want to give something away without getting something in return. Losing your ego and putting your emotions aside will help you find right path forward.

4. Play the game rather than letting the game play you

If you’re entering into high-stakes negotiations, it may be helpful to run through possible scenarios with a friend or colleague.

This will help you feel less nervous, and it may also show you objections to the offer that you hadn’t thought of, or help you see a side of the deal that you hadn’t considered.

Playing through the scenarios, even if it’s just in your own mind, may help you feel less attached to the outcome. In order to treat the whole thing as a game, you should care…but not too much!

Having a little apathy will help you stay neutral and keep your feelings in check. And remember, negotiations are like anything else: the more you practice, the better you’ll be.

5. See your strengths and weaknesses clearly

Self-awareness is key when you begin negotiations. You are essentially looking for the other side’s strengths and weaknesses. Not in a cruel way, but to help you determine your next play.

At the same time, you must also be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, so you don’t allow yourself to be exploited. Try to take an honest inventory of your strong points and vulnerabilities.

If your company is small, what is its growth potential? Are you able to be more responsive to the market than a larger company? In short, what can you offer that the other side can’t, and what can the other side offer that you can’t compete with? Knowing where you stand on the negotiation chessboard will help you determine how to land the best deal.

6. Know when to walk away

When you enter into a negotiation with the knowledge that you are willing to walk away if things don’t go as planned, you come from a position of strength. That’s why staying neutral is key to a successful negotiation.

You can’t be bullied into a deal if you just leave. But often we tell ourselves that this deal means everything to us. Our ego is involved, and that weakens our position.

It’s about mindset. You have to believe that if this deal falls through, you aren’t losing an opportunity. You are keeping that space open so when a better opportunity comes along you can snag it. If you force a bad deal to happen, you are stuck.

You are no longer able to grab hold of something better. And there is no shortage of business out there. So if you are pinning all your hopes on one deal, you may be killing future business.

7. Negotiate in good faith

Whether you’re negotiating a long-term business deal or setting up a quick sale, it’s natural to feel on the defensive when you begin negotiations. We are all protective of our interests and we want to cut the best deal in our favor.

But if you are hoping to walk away with your reputation intact, you need to practice negotiating with compassion and good faith. Engage in active listening and really hear what the other side is saying and asking for. What are the issues that are making them hesitant? Then make sure that you relay your own priorities.

This is the basis of a “win-win” solution, when both sides explore each other’s positions and walk away feeling heard and comfortable with the deal that was struck. Even if it appears that you are on opposite sides, there’s usually common ground to be had. Maybe the other side has a different goal or an opposing position. But if you look for it, you can usually find mutual gains both sides will accept.

8. Know how to close

Negotiations may feel like a game of chance, but they’re more like a game of chess. A successful negotiation requires a good sense of timing and the ability to sense the other side’s next move.

If you’ve done your prep work and are bargaining in good faith, you should have a solid idea of what they’re looking to get out of the deal. And of course, you should have a clear idea of your own bottom line. So you’re either working to bring the sides progressively closer, or the deal is going nowhere.

Ask yourself what the endgame is. Can the difference between both parties be split? If both sides are close but a few numbers are hanging up the process, what will it take to shake things loose?
If you can strike a bargain that makes sense, it doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to work for both parties involved. If you can get to that point, you have set the stage for the final handshake. If not, you have to be willing to walk away knowing it just wasn’t the right time.

By Deep Patel

This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com.

8 Reasons Why Failure And Focus Are Essential To Business Success

There is an event that runs globally across countries such as the United States, Spain, France, Brazil and Israel. It is a conference that is aimed at the entrepreneur, the investor, the developer and the designer. It also caters exclusively for failure – FailCon asks the entrepreneur, specifically within the technology space, to embrace failure. However, this focus on failure isn’t about leaping blindly into the ball pit of collapsed dreams and wallowing in its sorrow as you shout ‘Bazinga!’. It’s about being comfortable with the idea that failure can happen and using it to drive your business focus and long-term success. These eight steps define exactly how…

1. Not big, iterative

Giving someone advice to fail big isn’t practical. It isn’t the kind of attitude that investors will be drawn to either. Instead, embracing failure is about being open to the fact that it may very well happen to you and some of your ideas. It isn’t necessarily going to be a gigantic failure on a scale of company-wide collapse. It could just be that you had an idea, and it wasn’t a very good idea so it failed.

2. Focus on your agenda

If you’re not focused on your end game and business agenda, don’t expect your staff to be. This level of focus is critical as it gives people direction. They then understand exactly where the business is going, what it hopes to achieve, and the role that they play in taking it there.

If you don’t have this level of focus, your staff don’t have anything to latch onto.

3. Learn

This is where your ability to fail is of value. You need to test your assumptions and ideas and then use their failures to learn more about how they could potentially succeed in the future. You have to learn from your mistakes. Don’t drown in self-doubt, take the mistakes and move them towards enhancing your business.

4. Success isn’t easy

Look, if being a hugely successful entrepreneur was easy, everybody would do it. You need to keep the focus and intensity you brought on your first day all the way through to today. Create short term goals and objectives that give you endless purpose and a sense of achievement and use their success to drive you onwards towards your final destination.

5. Build in plenty of goalposts

Justify every decision and long-term goal through relentless measurement to ensure they are the right decisions. The last thing you want is to hit your goal in 10 years and discover that it wasn’t the right one, your business hasn’t gone anywhere and you’ve worked incredibly hard for nothing. The effectiveness of your time, decision making and execution is critical.

6. Define failure

What does failure mean to you? Understand how you define it and then use this as a barometer to define your idea of success. As long as you have clear objectives for both, you can assess your business, its effectiveness and your results. As mentioned in above, always set goals and objectives so you give your company and people a sense of purpose.

7. Your ideas aren’t always that good

Some of your ideas are not going to fly. They’re going to collapse with an embarrassed sigh. The lesson is that you should be constantly questioning yourself so when you are in a situation where your ideas don’t work, you can objectively examine why they failed and use these learnings to change and adapt.

There needs to be a healthy tension between learning through theory and practice. The latter is learning to win and to handle defeat in real time with real results.

8. Get over it

It’s quite easy to wallow in your failure misery and lose years to personalised anguish. It’s harder to just get over it and move on. The thing is, it’s moving on that counts. Those who get up, dust themselves off and start again are those who end up thriving. The ability to compartmentalise and learn is invaluable as you take your business from your first idea through to a sustainable, epic enterprise.

By Nicholas Bell

Fashion incubator for fashionable entrepreneurs

DURBAN – Truworths and Startup Hatchery have collaborated on a fashion incubator called the Truworths Fashion Incubator and it will benefit aspiring and existing fashion entrepreneurs.

The Fashion Incubator will mainly focus on the developing the business skills of fashion entrepreneurs. The incubator was developed by Startup Hatchery to immerse designers and entrepreneurs in a community designed to equip and propel upcoming fashion businesses.
Startup Hatchery is a virtual business incubator for entrepreneurs and they provide a hands-on learning experience through online entrepreneurship, training, mentorship and business support that can be accessed anywhere and at any time.
The entrepreneurs that will be a part of the incubator will go through a 12-week structured online entrepreneurship training programme. After 12 weeks the entrepreneurs will then have the opportunity to pitch their businesses.
If they complete the pitching process they will move on to the second phase of the programme where they will be mentored by industry experts.
In terms of funding, he/she will receive R20 000 worth of Business Development Support if they complete a one-year programme. The entrepreneurs will also have the chance to pitch to investors for funding.
For membership into this exclusive programme individuals must meet the following criteria:
1. Applicants must have fashion business idea or an existing fashion that has not been in operation for more than 12 months.
2. Applicants must be in their final year of studies or completed their studies.
3. Applicants must submit the online form which will then be reviewed.
Applicants who have made it through will be notified in writing and will be invited to a pitching event at the end if the month.
Source: IOL

Durban filmmakers, get your funding here

DURBAN – The Durban Film Office funding programme will be offering financial support to two Durban film projects worth R250 000 each.

The eThekwini Municipality Durban Film Office’s Development Fund aims to support intermediate and experienced producers based in Durban who need to develop feature fiction or documentary for both local and international markets.
The other programme, the Micro-Budget film programme aims to support local upcoming filmmakers and boost the production of local content in order to encourage the local film industry.
The Micro-Budget film programme offers R150 000 for the production of a feature-length film. The programme is aimed at emerging filmmakers with fiction feature projects and it runs for 12 months with the intent of producing four micro-budget films.
Aspiring filmmakers who are interested in the programme can still apply for the programme. Applications close on June 29th but there are criteria that have to be met in order for you to be eligible for this programme.
This is the criteria:
Development Fund Programme Micro-budget Film Programme
The project mist be capable of being developed
as a feature length film
The project must be capable of being developed
as a feature-length film
The fictional film must be minimum of 90 minutes
or the documentary must be a minimum of 60
minutes.
The fictional film must be minimum of 90 minutes
or the documentary must be a minimum of 60
minutes.
At least 50% of the key creative team must fall
within
the definition of historically disadvantaged individuals
as defined in the South African constitution.
At least 50% of the key creative team must fall within
the definition of historically disadvantaged individuals
as defined in the South African constitution.
CV/company profile which shows that you have experience
as a writer, director, or producer.
Principal photography must be located within the
eThekwini Municipality.
A producer with at least one completed comparative project A project that with a minimum total production budget
of R150 000.
Applicants may submit only one project per funding
cycle.
Previous grant awardees must wait two cycles
before applying for new development funds
For more information contact the Durban Film Office.
Source: IOL

7 tactics you can implement right now to grow your startup

As a first-time founder or entrepreneur, knowing where to start when it comes to scaling your business can be extremely overwhelming. With an overabundance of resources telling you the right way to grow your startup, focusing on the wrong thing before having the basics down pat could spell disaster.

With the TNW Conference in Amsterdam fast approaching, we’re lucky enough to have experts behind the growth of some of the world’s most successful companies at our fingertips. To find out what really matters when it comes to growing your startup, we asked the experts scheduled to speak at the Growth Quarters stage at the conference one question:

What is one tactic first-time founders or entrepreneurs should adopt tomorrow to start driving business growth?

Here are their seven best pieces of advice:

1. You are the people you surround yourself with

“It’s all about the people you surround yourself with. At Techstars, we look for “team, team, team, market, traction, idea” when we’re choosing which companies to invest in. A successful startup journey will take 10 years — so, make sure that you’re accompanied by amazing people.”
Max Kelly, Managing DirectorTechstars

2. Measure what matters

“Data is meaningless if you don’t have a North Star and ask the right questions to drive impact. Measure what matters even if it means putting customer success over business success. There may be features that delight and build trust that are more important than building traffic. Beware of vanity metrics!”
Clarissa Shen, COO, Udacity

3. Prepare to go international from the start

“Think about international expansion from day one. If launching into several different markets is a necessity for your business to win, start planning for it from the start. Even though it might take you years from inception until you have the product market fit that you need to be comfortable to launch your first international markets, preparing for it from the beginning is key.”
Axel Bard Bringéus, International Expansion PartnerEQT Ventures

4. Put all your energy into one thing

“Focus. There are so many things you could be doing in the early stages of starting a company but time is your most precious resource. Find the one thing that will drive your company forward and focus all your energy on being incredible at that one thing.”
David Goldberg, Co-founder & CEOFounders Pledge

5. Do something small every single day

“Identify one small thing you can do today and make it happen. It could be reaching out to someone, learning something new or building on your product or service further. One small thing each day leads to progress and growth.”
Nicole Mills, Director Technology Talent Development, Booking.com

6. Make sure your business model is sustainable

“It’s important for a company — from day one — to integrate a sustainable economic model into its product. Many startups manage to be famous and to amass a significant number of users, however, only a few of them manage to be profitable.” 
Didier Rappaport, Founder & CEOHappn

7. Listen to your customers

“Listen. Learn from what you hear. Capture the insights so you can organize and categorize them. What customers say about their experiences is incredibly valuable.”
Adrian McDermott, President of ProductsZendesk

We interviewed experts behind the growth of some of the world’s most successful companies to give you a taste of what to expect at the Growth Quarters track at the TNW Conference this week, hosted byGoogle for Entrepreneurs and TQ

This article was originally published on TQ Stories.

 

Source: The Next Web

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