The Rise of Female Entrepreneurs

According to CNBC, the rate of female entrepreneurs in the US has been growing at a percentage that at least doubles that of their male counterparts. In part, the evidence for such a statement is taken from The Inaugural Upstart 25, CNBC’s first-ever list of promising young start-ups; 10 of which were founded by women working within a range of industries from neuroscience to finance to retail.

Considering the recent surge in female entrepreneurial talent, we thought it would be an interesting and useful idea to pull together some of the best business advice from four female entrepreneurs and inspire others to take the plunge.

Accountants and Genuine Connections

Amanda Luu, Co-owner of Studio Mondine, stresses the importance of having a good accountant on your side. She believes that no start-up venture should be attempted without first having clarified that it is actually possible to hit revenue goals. She also believes that genuine business connections are vital, both inside and outside your business’ industry. Global Resources Business Reviews recognizes that referrals are one of the key ways in which any business develops, which is why one great review or one genuine connection can truly make or break your idea.

Separating Home from Work Life

Jacqueline Whitmore, Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, believes that one of the keys to success lies in our ability to separate our business and personal lives. She makes a point of setting specific office hours and sticking to them, of never responding to emails and telephone calls when you are officially “out of the office”. She believes it helps to train customers, clients and staff, thus constructing a professional work environment that benefits everyone involved.

The Big Money Trap

Kelsey Ramsden, founder of four companies and Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur 2013, urges others to avoid starting up a business just because you believe it’s going to make you lots of money. Granted, we all need to earn a living in order to pay the bills and do the things we most enjoy in life, but money is usually the last thing a successful entrepreneur receives when setting up a new venture. Therefore, if money is your sole driver, you’ll probably end up giving up on your business idea fairly early on and you’ll never get to see the moment when your hard work begins to translate into financial success.

The Importance of Positivity

Mel Pharr, a successful business coach, believes that the most important thing that any entrepreneur can do is stay focused. If you begin to doubt yourself, if you refuse to keep pushing onwards when the chips are down, then failure is more likely to find you than success. When things don’t go as planned, you need to respond, shift your approach and work with what’s available to you to keep things moving forwards. If you become rigid and fight against what knocks you down, you’ll be fighting a losing battle and placing all your energy in the wrong place.

Digital Marketing for Small Business

Speed of your Website

When we speak of digital marketing, the first and foremost thing we need to talk about is your website and the importance of loading speed of your pages. I have previously been guilty of running a theme on inspire99 which literally took about 12s to load which makes me now wonder how many visitors I have lost in transition just because the site was slower to load. And when we talk of a website, a few things are really key to understand and how they impact the speed of your website.

  1. Images on the home page. The size of your image plays quite a crucial role in loading your site. Make sure that most images are of a decent size. There are tons of websites which provide you SEO information and how you can improve. But the most useful I have come across is tools.pingdom.com. It is a free resource which gives you a fair estimate of the items that take most space and resources from your website.
  2. As we talk about reducing the speed of items on your website, it becomes important to cache the commonly used images. Additionally there are plugins which help reduce size of images which are uploaded into your website. There are quite a few useful ones, but I found WPsmush for wordpress quite a useful tool
  3. Get rid of unnecessary pages and ads which might be slowing down your system. They are not really as important as they seem to be. Instead, you are better of placing them strategically.
  4. Google webmaster tools is quite useful to understand how your website is performing. You need to combine this along with google ad words to see which keywords in your related area are being the most targeted and which ones you can use in order to stay ahead of your competition. Long tail keywords are preferable considering that most websites use small ones and catchy ones.

In effect, a little bit of strategy can really propel your digital marketing through the website to a very strong position.


Digital Marketing and the Need for QR code

When we talk at length about digital marketing, it would be a significant mistake to avoid the importance of traditional marketing routes. Agreed that digital marketing has replaced some of the traditional routes through targeted ads and reaching people in better ways, but you still need to remember that digital marketing is a tool to make your strategy more effective. And when we talk about traditional marketing, brochures, pamphlets, banners, etc become quite important. If you are hitting a trade show, then it becomes quite relevant to make your banners and brochures catchy and in the tone which is well understood by your potential clients or strategic partners.

The idea is to send your message across, provide them an information which they can take and above all try to get them to your website. In the era of digital marketing – your website is your single most powerful tool. I cannot emphasise the importance of  website enough, the more visitors you have – the better your point of reach as well. A good way to rope your digital marketing into offline marketing is the use of QR codes. The stats don’t really agree about the strength of QR codes in getting people to your website, but they sure make a catchy appearance. And if you are looking at a few resources to enable that, here is a taster below:

 

QR code generation, QR code, business marketing, digital marketing

When I was trying to do with my own venture here, I came across this website – https://app.qr-code-generator.com/manage/. The site not only allows you to change colours and provides you a range of choices about how artsy you can be about your print material / QR code generation. I have created one for inspire99.com just as a trial to show you how it looks. If it is of any use to you, it will be fun trying out a few stuff.

We will keep adding to this post to make it more relevant and useful. If you have any topics/deliberations or arguments about any of the points we touch upon here, please share your comment below. It will be brilliant to have your take on how the article can benefit your business.


 

 

New Directions?!

A warm hello to you. We thoroughly apologies for our radio silence over the last year. I have been racking my brains to think about a way to make this site more useful for you.

Courtesy: Pixabay.com

Courtesy: Pixabay.com

We have always loved the big brand quotes and tried analysing them. From our discussion with a few friends and some lovely readers like you, we realise that the offerings on this site lack a fair sense of tangibility. We have taken that feedback in the spirit which you guys intended with and we are trying to take a new approach to make this website a little more useful. This will involve talking about different resources available out there, most of which are free. The key however is going to be that we will take you through our experience of using it  in the hope that it will be of use to you.

Please do let us know if we are heading in a direction which you like or not. We love feedback and we love working towards being more helpful. Thank you for being with us and we will continue to thrive providing more useful stuff 🙂

 

Best regards,
Vinay Nagaraju

Self-drive car industry in India

Self-driven cars or car sharing is a growing concept that nullifies the need for car ownership by people. Car sharing is immensely popular amongst the younger generations in the developed countries. Companies like Zip car have about 900,000 customers with 10,000 cars in total. However, self-drive car technology is very new in the Indian market and hasn’t spread its wings yet.

The year 2013has transformed the car industry trend to self-drive rental cars in our country.

Zoomcar, Revv, Just Ride, MiCar, Carzonrent, Selfdrive.in, Voler, RentoMojo, and many other players or companies are showing their support and interest in the self-drive car rental market. More than 10 organized players are working in this segment from four metro cities, with new players continuously joining them.

Zoom car holds the position of being the India’s first self-drive car rental company. This idea was driven by the concept of sharing economy.

In India, we have seen a large change in the mobility paradigm, from people driven to car-pooling to a sudden tilt towards the recent entrant which is self-drive car rental industry which is the next potential unicorn.


Evolution of the market

The players or companies in the space are also launching various packages and services to improve its user base.

Revv is another competitor in the segment that describes its model to be a combination of Zip car and Dominos. They home deliver the car to its user. The self-drive car rental companies till now had parking areas from where a consumer picks up the car but Revv wanted to make this a bit easier as well.

Recently, Zoom car has launched Super Miler which is the first service that allows its customers to drive for unlimited kilometers over distance. The campaign was designed for corporate, office goers, and travelers who were planning a long distance journey.

They also have designed special packages that include Zoom Commute. This was basically done to attract corporate and office goers who were looking for an economic self-drive option for themselves. This package has a range of cars for weekly purpose and is accompanied by special services to suit the consumer needs for an affordable alternative to own a car.


Technology Usage

 Several companies have started collaborating technologies like Driver Behavior Monitoring (DBM,) and On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) in their cars. Zoomcar, Revv, Voler, Carzonrent and many others are using these technologies in their cars.

In 2013, Zoom Car started using a very simple GPS tracking system, but soon they realized that it needs the potential to evolve technologically. Zoomcar is using new devices in its cars nowadays.


Performance of Self Driven Car Industry

The market of the self-drive car rentals in India has sequentially evolved over the last two years during FY’2013-FY’2015. The self-drive car rental company is in the beginning stage in India, whereas in China and Brazil the market has been developed a lot.

The goal of the company operating in this phase is to popularize the idea of self-drive car rentals in India and to make the market really improve through a product that mimics the privacy and convenience of one’s own company car. The customer profile of the self-drive car industry in India is large and is used by various people from different demographics.


Future of the industry

The outlook period of FY’ 2016-FY’2020 shows a promising future for the self-driven car rental industry in our country. It is predicted that the market will witness a growth in the self-drive car rental industry size mounting to 80,000 cars by FY’2020 itself.

Self-drive cars rentals give its customers the liberty of self-drive, empowers them to choose a car of their choice as per their convenience with no problem of monthly EMI’S and maintenance or parking expenses.

With rising driver costs and the shortage of drivers in India, the chauffeur drive model is expected to reduce in future and in turn will offer huge potential for self-driven car rental marketing in India.

With customer preferences getting niche, targeted solutions has become critical. Self-drive car rental industry is one such mushrooming sector which is set to cater to the needs of the niche and thereby up for exponential growth.


All you need to know about UGC NET

UGC NET is a qualifying exam conducted by CBSE for the posts of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellowship or both. UGC NET also serves as an eligibility criteria for admission to PhD degree program as many universities exempt NET qualifying candidates from appearing in the written test and call such candidates directly for the interview.

UGC NET is slated to be held on 22nd January 2017. The registration for the exam ended on 23rd November 2016. Admit card can be downloaded from 21st December 2016. UGC NET is a pen paper exam in which candidates have to mark their answers on an OMR sheets. UGC NET exam consists of three objective type papers. While paper-1 deals with general aptitude questions, paper-2 and paper-3 focus on subject specific questions.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Candidates who have post-graduation degree are eligible for UGC NET exam. While the eligibility criteria for Assistant Professor and JRF are slightly different. The required criteria is given below:

  • Candidates should not be more than 28 years of age as on 1st January 2017 to be eligible for JRF. There is a relaxation of 5 years for women candidates and candidates belonging to OBC, SC, ST and PwD categories. There is also a relaxation of 3 years for LLM degree holders and of 5 years for those having research experience. There is no upper age limit for candidates applying for Assistant Professor.
  • Candidates should have 55% marks in master’s degree or equivalent examination. The minimum marks required for candidates belonging to OBC(non-creamy layer), SC, ST and PwD categories is 50%
  • Those in the final degree of master’s are also eligible.
  • Candidates who have PhD degree are given relaxation of 5% in marks.

UGC NET APPLICATION PROCESS

The application process for UGC NET started on 17th October 2016 and closed on 23rd November 2016.  The candidates had to register on the official website. The application could be accessed by visiting official website of CBSE i.e, www.cbsenet.nic.in. candidates had to use scanned image of passport size photograph in jpg format. The size of the image was supposed to be between 4kb and 40kb. The size of the scanned image of signature was supposed to be between 4kb and 30 kb.

UGC NET APPLICATION FEE

After filling the application form successfully, next step was application fee payment. Application fee varied for different categories.  The candidates of general category had to pay Rs. 600 while the candidates of OBC (non-creamy layer) and SC/ST/PwD category had to pay Rs. 300 and Rs. 150 respectively. Fee could be paid through both the modes i.e, offline as well as online.

UGC NET ADMIT CARD

The admit card for UGC NET exam will be available on the official website from 21st December 2016. Candidates can download admit card using the following steps:

  • Visit the website
  • Click on the link “admit card for UGC NET”
  • Enter your application number and password
  • View and save UGC NET admit card.

UGC NET EXAM PATTERN

UGC NET exam consists of three papers. Exam will be conducted in pen paper mode. Candidates will have to attempt three papers in 5 hours consisting of 175 questions and 350 marks.  All the questions asked will be of objective type. The marking scheme for the three papers is same. Two marks will be awarded for every correct answer.

UGC NET 2017 RESULTS

The result of UGC NET exam will be declared on the official website of CBSE. Candidates can check the result once the merit list is out.

Qualifying criteria

The candidates will have to clear the cut off marks. From among the candidates who have secured minimum required marks or more, a merit list will be prepared. Marks of all the three papers will be taken into consideration for preparing the merit list. Top 15% candidates from each subject and category will be declared as NET qualified for Assistant Professor. A separate merit list will be prepared for JRF candidates from among the qualified candidates.

UGC NET CUT-OFF

In order to secure a place in the merit list, candidates will have to score the minimum qualifying marks. However, securing minimum qualifying marks does not guarantee a seat in the merit list. The final cut-off will be declared by CBSE.

CATEGORY PAPER-1 CUTOFF PAPER-2 CUTOFF PAPER-3 CUTOFF
GENERAL 40 (40%) 40(40%) 75(50%)
OBC/SC/ST/PwD 35(35%) 35(35%) 60(40%)

IMPORTANT DATES

EVENTS DATES
START OF ONLINE APPLICATION 17TH OCTOBER 2016
END OF ONLINE APPLICATION 17TH NOVEMBER 2016
LAST DATE OF FEE PAYMENT THROUGH CHALLAN 17TH NOVEMBER 2016
CORRECTION OF DETAILS IN APPLICATION FORM NOVEMBER 22 TO 29, 2016
ADMIT CARD DOWNLOAD 21ST DECEMBER 2016
DATE OF EXAM 22ND JANUARY 2017