When you start a business,the first thing which comes to mind is raising capital.Every person has ideas but most of the ideas don’t get implemented either because they don’t get capital to implement the idea or they are not serious about it’s implementation.Well,I am sure that I would be facing a similar problem for my own idea especially,when we try to scale up.As far the initial funding is considered,it can come from your family members or your close friends.

Just happened to see WebMarketingPlan where Paul A. Broni of Mercury Partners Inc. points out “The 5 lessons to avoid Business plan mistakes” (the important learnings) which are given below:

a. Submitting the Plan to the Wrong People
Check if the investor or the lender has an interest in your business.This can be done by making a call or just sending an introductory email.If you have a referal from accountant,banker than it gives you a better chance.An unsolicited plan would just lie at the bottom of the pile and would not be shown any interest.

b. Incomplete Executive Summary
Every investor would be interested in your executive summary and this should be present at the last in your Business Plan.Also,it should not exceed more than 2-3 pages.It should be broken into five sections given below:

  • The Opportunity
  • The Solution
  • Management
  • Market Size and Share Expectations
  • Financing Need and Exit Strategy

c. Weak Management
One of the sections that all investors will read first is the discussion on management. If you do not have direct, significant experience in the industry in which you’re trying to start your business, add someone to the management team who makes up for your weakness.Either agree to hire full-time executives or bring skilled directors onto the board.Venture capitalists, on the other hand, are not likely to invest until the management team is complete.

d. Unreasonable Financial Projections
All lenders and investors are accustomed to seeing financial projections that go in only one direction — up!!!While every business owner and entrepreneur has the best of intentions when preparing a forecast for the next five years, it is seldom realistic to assume that sales will grow by 50-100% YOY.Hence,before exposing your projections be sure that your business projections are reasonable as well as realistic

e. Greed
Nothing will ruin a deal faster than greed. If your business is little more than an idea at this point, it is not feasible to value the company at more than a few million dollars. If your plan is to raise $2 million in exchange for 10% of the business (i.e., a $20 million valuation), you are going to have a tough time attracting the interest of venture capitalists and angel investors.Spend less time getting worried about the valuation today and focus on increasing scaling up your business for the future.

You can read the complete article here

Everyone knows that blogging is about networking and there are some basic mantras that bloggers need to get things right and get rewards by getting more traffic to your blog.Below are the 10 mantras mentioned in the Blog Marketing book by Jeremy Wright and these mantras would help bloggers succeed , whatever might be the topic of their blog.

1. Be Real:
Knowing yourself and your audience are extremely important aspects of successful blogging.Identify who are you as a blogger,what you’ll be blogging about and who your target audience will be;these are the keys to a successful blog.

2. Be Passionate:
If you are not enjoying what you are blogging about,its difficult to be passionate,so blog about what you truly enjoy.The passion that comes from writing a blog and connecting with number of people out there is contagious

3. Write Often:
Writing often is not just good for the blog,it is an absolute requirement for success.Anything less than once a day is abandoning the potential of your blog.Updating your blog is often rooted in two major facets of blogging:search engine “juice” and the fact the readers love new and fresh content.Its very important that search engines searches your blogs … So know your SEO fundas well.

4. Link Lots:
Links are called as “Currency of the blogosphere”.Most bloggers link for one of the two reasons: a. Either they are interested in the subject matter or
b. They respect the blogger to whom they are linking.
Links carry an inherent value,so providing links shows your readers and users what interests you-and higher the quality of bloggers to whom you link,the more respect readers and other bloggers will have for you and your blog.

5. Leave comments on other blogs:
Creating a community of like minded bloggers is very important for the success of your blog.Your community of interest is the community in which you are interested as well as the community that is interested in you.By commenting on blogs in your community of interest , you are letting existing bloggers and their readers know that their blog might be of interest to them.This is one of the successful tools to get more traffic to your blog.

6. Have Fun:
Blogging is meant to have fun.Its a serious business that will change the way your business is presented online so,try new things and link to fun and interesting sites.

7.Push the envelope:
One of the challenges with blogging is that it’s new.Try something unusual , and if you do the “Wrong” thing , it will get you some attention(good or bad). Entirely new types of cutting edge communication such as podcasting and video blogging,were created when someone asked “Why does blogging have to be just text”.So ask your own “Why” questions question

8. Ping:
Pinging is something your blog software does to tell several services that you’ve posted something new on your blog.This helps the Blogosphere to get connected to your blog.You can either have an auto-ping on Technorati or use the service of Ping-O-Matic , which pings all of the most important services for you,instead of you having to do it.

9. Create meaningful titles:
Titles are very important to blogging successfully-good titles means search engines find you and get you more traffic.Plus,good titles help you get readers glued to your blog lol Every blog post title should give the readers a reason to read the entire post.

10. Use Feeds:
Whether you choose to provide full text feeds or provide some of the text,make sure you are providing feeds.Feeds make it easy for people to read your content on their own schedules-be it traveling on the airplane or driving home etc. Feeds are all about lowering the barriers to getting at quality information,so do whatever you can to make sure you aren’t putting up any artificial barriers razz

These tips have helped me and my blog and I hope these basics of blogging(which we seem to forget sometimes wink) helps you and your blog as well !!!

In this age of Information sharing,Blogs have gained lot of popularity.Some say that the mainstream media faces a very stiff competition from blogs but the intention of blogging is not competition,but sole intention is Information sharing.Remember how much blogs helped during the time of disasters(like Tsunami, Mumbai bomb-blasts etc) and now we have technology blogs like TechCrunch, Digital Inspiration that provide us with all the technology oriented news.Well,these are just some of the popular blogs that I have mentioned keeping aside some of the so called silly blogs that just speak about some crap and hence in the process may not be getting more readership.

Just happened to see this article on BusinessWeek which covers “The importance of blogs in your business“.Definitely,Blogs are an effective marketing tool for small and medium sized organizations but with times changing,the question is “Do big corporates also require blogs?” Some of the corporate blogs that I noticed are:

So,why aren’t there more corporates coming up with blogs,which would help their employees the freedom to express themselves in public.Also, Blog would a very helpful tool for employment since,candidates can read blogs and see what employees are feeling about the company.On one hand,companies like Google that focus on innovation encourage blogging(where daily ,every employee has to devote some time for blogging) and on the other hand,instances like these that have recently happened where “An employee was fired just for blogging(though he had not blogged against the employer) could be one of the reasons why corporates don’t prefer having blogs.Or should I say “It is high time,big corporates become aware about the potential of Blogs in this fast growing competitive business world”

Question to my readers:Are Blogs really needed for corporates and if so why?

IIT Kanpur is organizing Megabucks,an International Business and Entrepreneurship festival from 6th April to 8th April 2007.Below are some of the details of Megabucks:

What is Megabucks?
Megabucks is the Annual Entrepreneurship Competition of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. ‘Megabucks’, the event that provides a nurturing ground for the ventures emanating from business plans of students and professionals. It aims at serving as the right platform for budding entrepreneurs to act on their ideas and talents to develop them into reality and nurture them to form exceptional enterprises. Transversal E Networks, Kalzoom Technologies and GEO-X are examples of companies that have already bloomed into the corporate world through megabucks. With the passage of time, Megabucks has gained great recognition among the academia and corporate world.

Why should you attend Megabucks?
The event religiously receives participation not only from Indian institutes like IIMs, XLRI, SP Jain , IITs, but also from international universities like Stanford, Purdue and National University of Singapore.

Prominent names that would attend the festival:
Mr. Vinod Khosla,Mr. Amit Gupta(IIM A), Honorable Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Mr. K.V.Kamath, Mr. Muhammad Yunus, Mrs. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Ambanis and Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal and many more

Competitions at Megabucks in a Nutshell:

How do you register for Megabucks:
You can follow the link to register for Megabucks

Registration for the various events have already started from 10th of March,2007
More details of the event can be found on their official website

After winning “Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki” in the startups.in contest,this is the other blogging challenge which would be worth giving a try.

Indian Business networking site TechTribe has organized a “Nationwide Blogging Challenge” where TechTribe is looking out for the best Independent bloggers to submit their thoughts.The details of the contest are given below:

How do you participate:
1. Create a blog on TechTribe entitled: Blogging Challenge – “Your Name”
2. Write between 300-500 words on one of the three topics(listed below)

Categories for the challenge:
The submitted articles should fall in one of the following categories:

  • How has networking helped your career?
  • What makes you unique / How does your personal brand differ?
  • What innovation do you believe will help India?

Prizes for the contest:
Top 4 Blogs from each category would be adjudged winners receiving prizes given below:

  • First prize : Apple Ipod or Xbox 360
  • Second.Third and Forth prize: Each of the winners would receive an autographed copy of “How Innovators connect” by TechTribe CEO,Rohit Agarwal

Last date of entering the contest is Friday,6th April 2007

UdantakThe entire blogger community realizes the importance of Networking.The only way to get more visitors on your blog is by commenting on other’s blogs and this in turn would help you in building your network.Blogging is definitely a tool to share information.So,you might be thinking why am I trying to give my readers a lecture on Basics of blogging biggrin

Well, some of the early stage bloggers write pretty good content but they don’t get a platform for marketing their blog.Mitesh Vaha has a very good analysis of “The state of the Indian Blogosphere” and with number of Indian Blogs increasing day after day,a marketing platform for blogs was very much required.Udantak is the solution to all these problems.Udantak(see it’s pronouncation here) is a platform for bloggers to write, share , collaborate and earn as well.

What does Udantak mean?
Udantak is a Sanskrit word which means news, tiding, intelligence, satisfaction or satiety. And yes, that’s what; Udantak’s motto is, spreading the latest news, information, knowledge to the readers’ satisfaction.

What is the motto of Udantak and how would it help the Indian Blogosphere?
This is what Udantak has to say about itself

What are the finer benefits of joining Udantak?
Here are some points, to give you a brief idea of why exactly, it will benefit you and will benefit Udantak’s goals :

1. Will give you more visibility.
2. Will help you in connecting with fellow bloggers of same niche.
3. Will give you better Pagerank, Technorati and Alexa ranks.
4. Will find a place where you’ll be able to discuss and share knowledge with other experienced bloggers, with ease.
5. Will allow you to earn money through the network (Udantak’s advertising model will include, sharing of income with member blogs).

The brains behind Udantak:
Udantak is co-founded by 3 members and as you might have guessed,the founders of Udantak are Avid bloggers themselves
1. Mayank Gupta of ReviewSaurus
2. Mahesh Bhat of Kalaalog
3. Sourjya Sankar Sen of Chaos Laboratory

So,go ahead and collaborate using the Udantak network.You can check more about Udantak on it’s official Blog

The days of unconferences are back.Yes,Bar Camp,Bangalore is back and this time it is being tagged as “Bar Camp Bangalore3“.Even though the Logo of the unconference not yet finalized , there are already 90+ participants who have already registered for the event.

Do not miss the opportunity to Network,Learn and Share knowledge so, quickly register for the event here before it’s too late.

You can check out some of the BarCamp Bangalore 3 logos designed by Vijay Kiran here .Good work Vijay lol

Finally,Thoughtsprevail managed to reach 5 figures rank on Technorati and now Thoughtsprevail stands high and handsome at 97,013.Rankings are not important but it gives the indication that there are readers who have liked this blog.MyBlogLog is another attempt to spread the word of startups and Entrepreneruship to my readers biggrin

Yes , finally I added MyBlogLog in my blog and if you find this blog informative and useful, you can add Thoughtsprevail to your BlogBlog by clicking here

Let’s collectively improve the state of Indian Blogosphere and Entrepreneurship!!!