Tag: Parth Soni

Week 2: Business Plans (Firday)

In friday’s class, we spoke about constructing business plans for our businesses. In a shell, a business plan is the skeleton of how a company will approach regarding doing their business. This includes, what their product is?, Financial projections, manufacturing costs etc.. The plan can also be used for giving a clear vision of your products and future plans to your employees and partners.

Business plans can be very fruitful for businesses, if created well. They help not only project a future goal but it also prepares the companies for any potential problems that might occur in future with their products. The business then can prepare for the worst or the best situation possible. They also help avoid any fantasy like projections that the business owners might’ve had about the business. Most importantly, business plans can help anchor in investors. If a business have a professional looking business plans, then investors can see that they are serious about selling their product or making profit. This can be a huge financial boost for any starting business.

On contradictory, having a business plan that isn’t constructed well can have a negative effect and image of your business. Investors will not take your product and business seriously, and there is a good chance that your business will fail. A business plan can fail due to many reasons. One of them is, your business model is very myth like. It has numbers and projections that are unrealistic. Source of that problem can either be arrogance of the business owners or lack of knowledge. Other reasons can be ignoring problems attached to your business. This is not only bad for your investors but also bad for your business. Also, if a business plan involves too much risk with little payoff, this can cause it to fail. Overall, it’s very important to have a business plan, but it’s more important to have a functional business plan. A good business plan is often one that is tangible and shapes it self as situations arise.

The readings from Sahlman and Pirouz also speaks about similar problems & advantages with business plans. They go in a little more depth, also they provide an ideal advice on the way they think a business proposal should be written. They reason those thinkings well, and it will support me in writing a business plan in my own way. One thing i admired about Sahlman’s article especially was, he doesn’t give a solid model on how to write it, but more like suggestions. This gets the readers thinking, rather than making them blindly follow his instructions.

It’s hard deciding on one good & successful indie game, because there are so many amazing ones. But if I had to choose one, I would pick Bastion. First of all, this game is visually and musically stunning. It has game mechanics that flow incredibly well with it’s environment and story. This game sold mostly because of word of mouth, and it had a unique art style that set it apart from other games. The company working on this game was very new, this was their first game. And looking at their success of the game, it seems like they had a great business structure. Since the team was new, I’ve read that they have presented the Demo, in-progress version at certain events to gain some initial following. They had spread the word prior to release of the game, and most importantly they delivered the game and kept their word. Which is very important for an indie game developing company. Also one thing I noticed was, they had taken baby steps in terms of releasing the game to different platforms. They didn’t suddenly release the game to every single platform to maximize the profit, but instead they released to different platforms one by one depending on success of the game. Which is mark of a good business model.

Week 2: Structures & Functions

The Three Industrial revolutions brought a huge change in product design and the way business models functioned. The first revolution took place in 1760’s which had happened because of big cotton mills and such. The provided individual artisans and crafts maker power to make their products easier and faster. Business models of the time had focused much more in individualities and small shops. The Second Revolution took place in 1850’s. This revolution was contradictory of the first one, more bigger and faster machines were being created, so a lot of big businesses started emerging and took over smaller businesses. A lot of individualities were lost, and mass production was taking place for the same product. The last revolution is happening right now, it’s ongoing. This revolution is reverting back more towards the first revolution that happened, Due to rapid advancement of technology and maker culture, a lot of businesses are becoming independent. A lot more competition and creativity has entered the markets once again.

These revolutions showed great changes, and highlighted what worked and what didn’t with different types of changing business models over the years. As much as it’s important for businesses to stay up to-date, they must consider where their business models have originated from. This can give them not only more understanding about improving mistakes that might’ve occurred in the past, but also give them creative ideas on how to push it further differently. Also another important part is, this sort of maker culture had existed once before, but certain evolutions and mechanization made it out dated. It’s not likely it will happen again, but it’s important to know the flaws that existed then, and the businesses might want to learn from them.

It’s important to have solid business plans and financial projections for businesses. This helps business not only retain in an organized structure, but also the business can have more clarity on how much profit they are making and where. The business can also keep track of where the money is being spent. Also the business can have a greater control over their 4P’s (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion). If financial records are kept clear, the businesses can decide quicker and more efficiently which “P”, they can invest more money behind.

One of my favourite marketing and sales strategy comes from a ramen shop named Kinton Ramen. This Japanese restaurant has a very unique and fun environment, where a lot of Japanese cultural elements have been highlighted. The food there is certainly excellent, and there is a special reward for people that do finish all of their food. The completed plates get a special photo taken and the customers have a choice to share it with their friends. As simple and silly as it sounds, this reward is certainly surprising and fun, especially if you walk in there for the first time. Also, a lot of the time it becomes like a small goal for customers to try and accomplish. This marketing strategy has multiple of chain effects that make it really successful. First and most basic effect of this strategy is, the restaurant will have much less wasted food. If people do try to achieve their goal of photo, they are most certainly like to have finished their food. Also, more photos mean more happy customers, so it also becomes easy for the restaurant to keep an eye on their target audience. And lastly the most impacting effect of this strategy is, the customers spread the word of your restaurant on behalf of you and that too for FREE. If customers share their photos to their social profiles with name of the restaurant, it is more likely that they are publicly recommending that restaurant to more other people. This strategy I find to be very cheap, and highly effective.

Week 1: Business Development

Business idea development is a process that becomes difficult as the initial idea starts fabricating. As creative minds, it’s easy to come up with big ideas that can seem outstanding, however lack practicality.Unlike ideas, resources aren’t always infinite, sometimes even the good ideas can complicate a very simple process, thus creating potential risks in the business. To avoid such complications, a business must do a thorough research and mold the idea in a way, so it doesn’t lose its taste, while its still practical to make it.

A good business idea is often an idea that has a perfect mix of creativity and practicality. In this day and age, there are many business ideas that are catering to the same target audience and for the exact need. What sets apart one from another is, how each of them tackles that need in their own unique way, while still keeping to a practical, profitable business recipe. Either they make a little leeway into creating more needs within that one need, or they introduce a cool product that serves that need differently. Also, another important factor that I personally feel sets a good business idea from a great is the, Customer service and Community based around the business. I feel all good business ideas, often have great customer service and an established community that self present he potential of the business idea to new customers. However, that does come way far down the road in terms of business idea development.

Market research is a very important step in business development process. The reason for its importance is, it gives the business a solid knowledge about the audience they are catering  to, and also a good list on what their competition is doing with similar ideas. This helps the business in developing the idea in a much more unique way compared to the perks that already exist out there. Also a business can know more in-dept about likings, and disliking of the specific target audience, and brand their product in an appropriate way. The closer it speaks to the target audience, the faster it will sell. Market research can also help the business avoid the mistakes that the competitors may have made in past. Also, the business can avoid having any weird overlaps with others, that might otherwise occur while serving a similar target audience.


Inspirational Business:

In terms of innovative business concepts I’ve always had a special place for the company Maker Bot. It’s a little common now when we speak about buying 3D printers for homes, however, some years ago this wasn’t possible. There are many small companies now that sell 3D printers, but Maker Bot was the first business that had made a lot of buzz about it and marketed in a way that would interest general public. The reason I think that succeeded in their business was, they targeted their product to the growing DIY trend of the time. They came out in a period when a lot of start-ups were kick starting, and were looking for cheap tools to prototype their products. This tool marketed extremely well for that target-audience. Also, the company did something really fun for generating a community of followers. They simply opened a community where people that have experienced this printer would show off their product, and they would also help each other with technical issues. This quickly showed potential of the product to people that would be thinking about investing in it. And lastly it was fairly cheap.

This day and time this company is still functioning and earning revenue. They had essentially come up with an idea that was unique and supporting of the growing culture of its time, which made it an interesting and successful company.

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