How to build a Successful Business Model or a Business Plan?

Business Models are crucial for the success of an enterprise or even a startup. So what do you need to focus on while building up your business from scratch? A Business model or a Business Plan (B-Plan) helps you to plan this properly.

  • What are the firm’s core capabilities?
  • How does the firm deliver value to its clients? How does the network with its partners/collaborators (value chain) add to its core competencies. How does the value chain model collaborate with the firms current strategies?
  • What is the cost structure in the business vis-a-vis that of the firm?
  • How is the value proposition unique and sustainable in the long run?
  • How does the firm manage its distribution channels and relationships / liasons with the customers?
  • How is the targeted customer contacted, acquired and retained?
  • What are the sources of revenue and the structure of the same?
  • How does the vision/mission statement adhere with what the firm is doing now and what it is planning to do in the future.

The problem of professionals

Three professionals were riding in a car: a hardware technician, a systems analyst, and a programmer. The systems analyst is driving and when they come to a steep hill he finds that the brakes have failed and the car is accelerating out of control. So, the driver starts pumping the emergency brake, downshifting the gears, and rubbing the wheels’ rims against the curb. He finally manages to bring the car to a stop.

The three professionals climb out and assess the situation.

Hardware technician: “Let’s try and fix it. I’ll crawl under the car and take a look. ”

Systems analyst: “No. I think we should get someone qualified to fix it, a specialist in brakes.”

Programmer: “Why don’t we just get back in and see if it happens again?”

Moral of the story: There’s an urgent need to come out of your comfort zone to taste success


Most people have a tough time dealing with politics and all sorts of mental pressures at the workplace in addition to personal tensions. This often creates friction with our peers unknowingly. One of the outcomes from the mental turmoils is creation of groups of so called friends and foes. One of the basic purposes of workplace friends is to listen to our sufferings, sympathize and bad mouth our foes. Further, these friends are also the people via whom all our personal and official details get leaked in office. In reality, it has very often turned out that the foes whom we hate so much and are always busy mentally abusing as the possible sources of all our troubles, are actually in same conditions as us, just they don’t get along with us.  Further, if we came across such foes at social places after quitting the organization, mostly they turn out to be much less of a monster than what we thought they were, although our ego prevents us from recognizing the same. Also the friends who seem to be the best of well wishers we can have, fade away from our life slowly and eventually after we quit. Thus, it is very important how we act and display our emotions at the work. What is really important is to maintain a “pleasant” relation with the strategic people . Now pleasant in no-way means being fake. Be earnest, help, share and liven up your collegues, maintain great rapport with the boss but always keep emotions out of it. Its best to disassociate the emotional side from the professional side for avoiding troubles.

#Quote Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t do

This quote by Donald Trump speaks more than just the words. Business success is often about choosing which projects to go for and which to leave, even if they appear attractive. Not always do all firms have the capability to deliver a “waao” project, even if the same is offered to them. The same works on the personal front also. A man needs to recognize his limitations before jumping onto “opportunities”.

Impossible is nothing vs. Superstition

Though out the history we have seen or read about great men and women preaching that it is only hard work that pays off, there is nothing called luck. Is it really so?

No matter what people say, when it comes to actual practise we see innumerable instances where in spite of their talent, men have taken the aid of superstition while performing the task they excel at doing. Let us consider some of the most popular as well as distinct instances.

India is a country known for religion and unfortunately when there is religion can superstition be far behind? If there is one profession in India which pays well irrespective of actual talent and proof of success then it is ASTROLOGY. Astrologers predict what probably even science cant at few instances. The most funny astro superstition must be the addiction to K by the famous bollywood producers namely Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor or Rakesh Roshan.

But if we have to give an instant of some really wacky superstition then lets remember the 10 wickets haul taken by Anil Kumble at Delhi in the cricket match against Pakistan, Sachin Tendulkar used to hand over Kumble’s sweater and cap to the umpire before he was to bowl an over and kumble used to take a wicket.

However, barring obsession with astrology India isn’t the only nation where superstition dwells. Every human being, irrespective of nationality and religion is superstitious to certain extent.

If we recollect history then we shall remember that Napoleon Bonaparte feared cats (ailurophobia) and the number 13 whereas Winston Churchill petted black cats to obtain good luck.

Michael Jordan always wore his blue North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform for good luck.

However, if we have to list some of the weirdest superstitions then it would be of Jennifer Anniston won’t board a plane without stepping on with her right foot first and tapping on the outside of the plane. Coldplay’s Chris Martin has a pre concert ritual, he doesn’t go on stage without brushing his teeth.

One of the most famous superstitions is that in the year 2012 the world is going to end. Who knows? I say live your life today so that there is no regret for tomorrow 😉

How to choose a career

Everybody knows that skills are important for getting and keeping a job. Employers expect you to list relevant skills on your resume. They ask about your skills in interviews. And they expect you to develop skills on the job so that you will remain productive as new technologies and new work situations emerge.

But maybe you haven’t thought about how closely skills are related to job satisfaction. For example, let’s say you have enough communication skills to hold a certain job where these skills are used heavily, but you wouldn’t really enjoy using them. In that case, this job probably would be a bad choice for you. You need to identify a job that will use the skills that you do enjoy using.

There is an interesting tool freely available online to guide you for such a big decision making step: Its called a Job-Match Grid. This mentioned grid makes a match with the skills in you, with the drives in you, to a possible set of career choices. This ensures, even if you are good in a particular domain, but do not have a passion for the same, you don’t end up 10 years down the line as a dead bone, dried up emotionally, because although you have made a lot of progress in doing what you do well, it does not fulfill your emotional needs expected from the job.

To know more about the Job-Match Grid, check out the ebook “100 fastest growing careers” by Michael Farr, or mail me to get a complementary copy of the same.

Twisted fate

Rajiv could feel that slowly he was slipping away. Inside his head he was experiencing something mixed; a dizzy feeling as his body was becoming numb slowly and also a bliss, lightness, something he hasn’t experienced in days or probably months. He could feel a bright light flooding the room as he closed his eyes and also distant voices shouting his name. His hands fell sideways and the empty bottle rolled out of his hands which was filled with sleeping pills some 20 mins ago. As he slipped into unconsciousness the voices became clearer. One of them, a particularly distinct female voice was asking him to give an explanation for whatever has happened.

Rajiv Mehta was one of the main partners of Mehta and Mehta, one of the leading legal consultants of India. He was one of the most suave guys who has reached his position in a short span of 8 years. He was also one of the most famously ill-reputed mentalists in his organization and a would be entrepreneur, all thanks to his inlaws, the founding members and also partners of the firm. He was particularly effective where the dealing became rough. The smoothness of his behavior was also sharp enough like a razor to cut anybody’s fate into pieces if it didn’t suit his way in the organization. This particular morning Rajiv was looking forward to interview young and beautiful ladies who have come for the post of his assistant. In between the interviews he drifted in his thoughts, he needed to shut his wife from going public by taking her for their fourth honeymoon. Just then he came crashing back to reality. Dia Malik, the lady who was standing in front of him made him come back to all his sense, he could not think of anybody better who would suit his requirements better. At that moment he was sure that she was somebody who could engulf his clients mind enough, to make them a continuous provider of fat cheques, again and again. She maintained her poise all through the interview and Rajiv found himself smitten by her charm and also by the fact that her knowledge was surprising high about how he functioned. She completed his thoughts even before he could speak it out. After he completed the interview, just for the sake of being formal, he could not help himself from asking her out for dinner which she gladly accepted. Rajiv was high and she was holding his hand laughing, he wasn’t sure when or how it began but he had shared with her details about all his holdings, about most of which even his wife isn’t aware of. He felt like he was flowing along with the water. She took him to her flat and he gladly went along. But along the way he could feel that he was loosing control over his body. Then everything went blank.

Next afternoon Rajiv woke up with a severe headache. He was lying in his bedroom but he couldn’t figure how he reached there. His servant Ramu informed that he was found banging on the main gate by the watchman at the middle of the night. He had his tea and opened the tv and moreover was shocked to find some 200 smses in his inbox. However he was more surprised when he found his name flashing on the screen of one of the most popular business channels. Beside it was shown a recorded video where he was accepting that he is handing over all his property to  Miss Dia Malik, his eldest daughter. He accepted that his dream of creating Mehta and Mehta was fulfilled by marrying his wife, the main partner of the firm some 22 years ago for which he planned to eliminate his late wife Sunaina Malik and by giving away his daughter to a couple who has lost their child. Rajiv Mehta went blank for sometime. After about an hour he went to the washroom and took the bottle of sleeping pills which his wife took occasionally.

Rajiv pulled his eyes once and saw his wife’s face before the whole room went dark….

100 Fastest Growing Careers

All of us want a great career. For someone who is about to take the big leap into the unknown, an intriguing question that torments his mind is what prospects does the future hold for him in the particular career track? What are his growth prospects and is it just a job for him or will it provide truly a career worth pursuing?

A recent research by Michael Farr has attempted to find out the top 100 fastest growing career paths. The figure below lists them out.

Maybe this should help before you think about a career choice, or decide to run the rat race. Do let me know what you feel about this.

Bringing home the Digits with Digital Signage

Digital signage is on a meteoric rise, both in Europe and the US. Originally utilized as branding and advertising on high streets, landmark sites and sports events, digital signage is now being utilized as a successful in-store marketing tool; revolutionizing retail and providing a whole new dimension to customers’ shopping experience.

Research in 2007 indicated that around 75 % of retail purchasing decisions were made in store, highlighting how underused digital signage was in relation to a marketing opportunity. Yet the Return on Investment (ROI) figures have been increasing every year, highlighting that there is still room for improvement for retailers keen to employ digital signage to its full potential. In 2009, a Digicom survey found that 78 percent of customers felt that in-store digital signage displays made a particular product more attractive than if it was advertised via standard print signage.

Current figures demonstrate that on average, digital signage solutions deliver an 18 percent increase in sales. This figure is substantial when, on average, only two in every 100 consumers make a purchase in an ordinary retail environment. It is not surprise then that in Europe, digital signage installations are set to rise by a whopping 144 percent over the next three years. According to a new survey by POPAI, this figure doesn’t look like slowing after 2013 either.
With this swift growth in mind many of the industry’s top protagonists will meet at the Next Generation Retail Europe event (hosted by GDS International) in March 2011 to discuss the importance and growing various types of digital signage. Among the high-profile retailers in attendance will be Giorgio Armani, Marks & Spencer,  McDonald’s, Tesco, Carrefour, Diesel, Edeka Zentrale, Sainsbury’s and Pearle Europe, who will each send key executives to the meeting to discuss digital screens, interactive kiosk technology and in-store broadcast networks among other discussion points.

“[Retailers have] learned a lot of lessons, says Mike Gatti, Executive Director of the Retail Advertising Marketing Association. “We’re seeing retailers are bringing their screens down to shelf level, they’re embedding them with a lot of products, and they’ve really tailored the messages a lot more so they are able to deliver the message quickly and a lot more effectively to the customer.”

Other issues within the digital signage realm include linking the necessary hardware, software and media players together to promote a continual, uninterrupted campaign, and sustainability, where companies can utilize solid-state players, which help its carbon footprint. All of this and more, will be discussed at the  Next Generation Retail Europe event next March.


This Article is authored by Jake Mazan, who is a guest author at Business Fundas. He is a Senior Research Analyst cum Manager at NG-Online News.

Social Schooling

Today we are much more connected as a society and more and more schools are using online networks to manage classes at schools and educational institutions.  It is the time to capitalize on the popularity of social networking rather than fighting the inevitable?

A recent research (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project) found that 73 % of online teenagers use social-networking sites. They are regularly updating their Facebook / Twitter / MySpace accounts and use social networking to keep up with the latest news from their peers.  Currently most social networking activity takes place off work schedule officially (or behind the back) and not in the classroom but a change to harness the power of social media is welcome and institutions are hoping to incorporate social networking into lesson plans. B-Schools like Harvard and Carneggie Mellon are already doing it. Its up to the rest to follow.

Today, thus it makes sense to have specialized social networking tools within the classroom, enabling educationally relevant academic matter for all students.  This is not for students to communicate with classmates but to communicate with other students from within the school, or state or country or even internationally throughout the world.  In essence, creating a broader network where students can learn from each other.

“The Web 2.0 evolution has enabled educational institutions to connect in transparent and impactful ways, achieving a greater competitive edge. However not all institutions have taken the full advantage of this movement. While over half of students report using social networking tools for educational purposes, faculty are not exploiting these tools to connect with students, instead preferring traditional methods of communication.” Next Generation Education Committee.

e-Business solution providers are now in the process of developing social networking aademics tools for usage in the schools.  The trend towards a more collaborative and open learning / open source environment has been fueled by the explosive adoption of mobile devices among both students and faculty.  This has made colleges and universities some of the most intensive adopters of wireless technologies and hence is well positioned to adopt social networking technologies for e-learning.  The aim of providing seamless and secure access to data to students is so they are able to share knowledge, manage and build content while build their social network is the goal of the future netizens. This surely looks geared to position them to make better informed decisions while they are on campus or at school.


This Article is authored by Jake Mazan, who is a guest author at Business Fundas. He is a Senior Research Analyst cum Manager at NG-Online News.