Why SMEs find it difficult to grow after a level?

Key reasons that can hinder your business growth

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SMEs segment is the most vibrant and pioneering engine for economic growth in India. These units contribute about 33% (one-third) to India’s economy. As per the ministry’s Annual Report 2017-18, number of MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in India was estimated to be 63.38 million. Only a few of these units go on to become large business establishments. The estimate of the units going on to become large is abysmally low at 0.006%!

Why?

Let’s first understand the typical context of SMEs and then explore possible reasons behind this skewed number.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are businesses that begin with some unique product / service or advantage and have make a name for themselves in their respective market. They have good initial growth and get repeat business from select customers, who eventually become their all-weather loyal clientele. This continues for about few years (ranging somewhere between 6 and 16 years) after which there comes a time when SMEs just don’t seem to grow. They become stagnant with a stable level of business, products and revenue.

The market continues to expand with some existing players becoming large and larger while new players also enter and garner a slice of the market. The owners or the persons at the helm at SMEs have good knowledge, knows merits of their products, enjoys competitive advantages, commands respect from their existing customers and have few more things to their side.

Notwithstanding these favourable attributes, SMEs owners find it difficult to grow further.

Here are top five challenges that create hurdles in SMEs’ journey in further business growth and expansion.

  1. Too busy to grow

hurry-2119711_1920Most of the owners, having built their businesses from scratch, are engaged in routine work of transactional nature. Even after having a team of people, they’re primarily engaged in day-to-day operational affairs, spending 80-90% of their time at work. Their valuable time is lost managing first quadrant items and this keeps them busy through the day, weeks, months; leaving insufficient time to focus on developmental or expansion related work for business.

During the initial years, probably the entrepreneur may be doing almost everything due to lack of resources. After a stage, you need to delegate the routine / transactional nature of work and start devoting more time to business growth and expansion.

  1. Working without SMART Goals

The second reason is that most SMEs do not set either goals or SMART Goals. Just wishing to have more business is no goal. At the most, SMEs set goals for revenue targets for the year in question. But do not focus on big picture and miss taking a comprehensive view of operations and costs in the long run.

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SMART goals are goals that encourage organizations and people for more growth and accomplishments. In absence of SMART goals, the long-term planning and guiding direction for the organization remains missing.

In absence of SMART goals for all, performance parameters of key processes are not quantified. The data on these parameters is not collected creating blind spots for resources consumptions and costs. This may lead to redundant activities, waste of resources, inefficiencies in systems and processes, none of which can be objectively examined and analyzed in absence of data and details on performance parameters. Studies have suggested that what gets measured, get managed and there are about 12-18% improvements in operational parameters.

  1. Missing accountability and KPIs for employees

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In absence of goals / smart goals, the organization is unable to objectively define the output or contribution needed by employees. Employees do not know what they’re accountable for or what are expected results from them. They know their roles and responsibilities but are unable to find a link between their work and organization’s goals, if any. Moreover, organizations that set goals, do not make employees aware of the goals they’ve set. Employees usually do not take ownership or accountability of goals in such cases.

Another pitfall is that organizations do not reward ideation and innovation. Since employees are not accountable for improvements, generating new ideas and innovating remains responsibility of the top leaders and business owners.

  1. Passive mode of sales

Given lack goals, most SMEs settle for passive or reactive sales / marketing mode, i.e., they typically respond to requirements from existing or fixed clientele rather than actively seeking out or engaging with potential new clients. Again the companies do not undertake a detailed analysis of their customers and the business value (not sales) they generate for the company. 80:20 principle works here too, which means that there are 20% to top customers accounting for about 80% of their sales. Since, the business is well established and stable at a particular level, it becomes their comfort zone. They continue to operate at the same level what they were doing 5 years ago.

  1. What has worked, will work forever Mindset

person-731479_1920Since SMEs have running business with stable steady clientele base, many of them also develop a mindset that they know everything. They put disproportionate emphasis on the method that has worked for them leading current level of business and shun out most of the new or different ideas and methods. They forget that change is permanent and one needs to continually embrace change and adapt to remain relevant in changing market dynamics. Past accolades are no guarantee for future success. In sports, each match is new and one has to win every time to remain a top-ranking sportsman. He or she can’t rely on historical wins or records to keep winning. Same goes for business. What has worked in past, will not continue to work forever and business owners need to change their own mindset.

 

12 Techniques To  A Successful Interview

 

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Job interviews are hard to crack. You know it. We know it. Everyone knows it.

You have appeared in couple of interviews only to hear “we’d get back to you shortly” from the HR person in the end. And that “shortly” becomes infinite time, leaving you wonder what happened to the great interview you had with the company. The cycle repeats itself couple of times and in fact may last a couple of months before you land a deserving job. What if you could minimize the repetitive cycles and reduce those months into only couple of days. In fact, you could be offered a position by the time you finish your interview.

It’s not very difficult. With proper preparation you can dramatically improve your chances of success in each interview that you will give in future. Read on to find 12 techniques for successful interview and implement these to land your desired job.

 

Should you have any additional item or feedback, do leave your views in the comments.

 

Before Interview

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  1. Be prepared. The most important part of your interview is before it. Go through the job description and  understand the key requirements in detail. Accordingly, highlight your most relevant experience during initial response.
  2. Do research. Know about the company that you’re interviewing with. Research about the background of the board members and the position you are being interviewed for. Update yourself with the current affairs and new trends related to the industry. Not knowing basic details about the company can make it look like you’re not interested in the job and lessen your chances of a call-back.
  3. Do a few mock interview rounds with a friend or practice giving answers out loud. Make a list of questions they could ask you. Answer them out loud. The more you practice, the more you will be able to eliminate the “um’s” and the “and’s” from your answers. Practising will also make sure that you have most of things prepared and don’t have to think for new things in the interview. Besides, this will significantly enhance your confidence and boost your morale during actual interview.

 

During Interview

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  1. Carry your portfolio. Although precautionary, this can definitely help you steal the show with foresight. Take a clear printout of your resume (not photocopy), your recommendation letters and other documents in printed form to the interview even if you have already emailed or submitted them earlier. In case of a technical problem, these will come in handy and will help you make a lasting impression. Also, carry a ballpoint pen with you at all times.
  2. Be on your best behaviour. It is important that the company sees only the best side of you so be punctual, speak softly, greet the interviewers before you sit and answer only when asked to. Your body language will decide your success in the interview much more than what you actually say.
  3. Be unique. Remember that they are interviewing a lot of other candidates with the same qualifications as you. Give examples about your leadership skills or your social work or anything that will set you apart from the others early on. If they remember you after you walk out, be sure that will due to the uniqueness that you portrayed.
  4. Don’t Criticize. Most of the candidates start citing negatives about previous employers, bosses or colleagues in response to the reason for change. This is killing your chances of landing the job. Under no circumstances, you should speak ill about your past associations, organizations or workers. This leaves bad impression on potential employers wherein they deem the candidate was either unable to perform or is giving lame excuses.
  5. Listen carefully. This is a simple mistake a lot of candidates make out of nervousness. Listen to the question being asked carefully. Especially, if you are being given a situation test or a hypothetical “what would you do” question. It is very important to stay focused so that your answer is appropriate.
  6. Be concise and coherent. This is not as simple as it looks. It is very early to get flustered when there is a panel staring at you, but that is where your practice would come into play. It is better to take a second before answering than starting an answer not knowing what you want to say and rambling for 5 minutes. Do not put in unnecessary details or use unprofessional language in an interview.
  7. Ask questions. It’s always useful to ask questions and clear any doubts you have at the end of the interview. Prepare these questions beforehand. Some topics you can ask about are about what the company thinks of as an ideal candidate, about the work culture in the company or about the company’s expected path for the next 5 years. These are all relatively general questions that will demonstrate how eager you are to work for the company. However, one is strongly advised to not ask questions related to money or perks of the job one is interviewing for.

 

Post Interview

  1. Close the interview on a positive note. Your first impression is only as good as your last impression. Make sure that your interview ends on a positive note. Be vocal. Be sure to tell the interviewer that you are grateful for their valuable time and that you are looking forward to contribute to the company.

 

  1. Follow up. After coming back from interview, send a brief note expressing your thanks to the interviewers. Reiterate your willingness to work with the organization and how the interview has further increased your enthusiasm for the role.

 

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If you can master these simple yet effective interview techniques, nothing will stop you from landing your desired and well deserved job.

Have you stopped growing due to lack of good ‘English-Speaking’

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In today’s globalized world, English has become a necessity. As more and more companies and businesses enhance their geographical presence and increase trade across countries, people need to deal with multiple stakeholders from different nations. In most of the workplace, English has become a preferred language of communication across boundaries and divisions. Unless, one speaks good English, professionals will be restrained in their abilities to share ideas easily and communicating well with their global counterparts. India is no different and that’s why we see a surge in demand for fluent English-speaking individuals. Companies from sectors such as IT, Retail, BPOs, eCommerce, Banking, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare, Hospitality, Tourism, Automobile have now specifically started paying special attention to fluency in English for their workforce.

While many individuals can understand and read English, they can’t speak fluently and confidently. This could be for variety of reasons including from lack of exposure, right guidance, inadequate teaching methods, treating as last priority. Whatever be the reasons, English has remained an area of improvement for many. It is an undeniable truth that having good command over English language opens up many avenues of further growth and greater success in career, profession and business and thereby help enhance life.

 

Even when you realize the need of fluent English Speaking, many reasons could stop you from enrolling into a programme. That’s why for sincere learners, who wish to enhance their English speaking, ‘Inspire’ has brought unique programme which will be offered for FREE of cost.

 

To know more, call / visit us or leave your details at http://www.startinspire.com for us to call you back.

How to Achieve Superior Personal Growth in your life

Growing is basic nature of human life. As individual, we always want to grow in different spheres of life including professional, financial, personal, social health and relationships. For, this growth in life’s spheres brings more joy and fulfillment in life.

 

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In the initial, everyone grows and continues to reach newer heights in their life. However there comes a point, when life may seemingly become stagnant and you feel stuck to make any further progress. This could include variety of scenarios such as absence of substantial career progression, limited social circle, doing monotonous or repetitive work, lack of future direction, state of confusion due to multiple possible directions and so on. The list is quite long.

When one gets stuck in life’s spheres, the one does not feel inner joy and happiness. It makes the individual wonder about the value she or he brings to self and others around. Over prolonged periods of such stagnancy, the person imbibes deep disbelief in her / his own capabilities and begins to limit the possibilities of further growth in their life.

However, there is good news. The scenario can be changed with little change in the mindset and how we perceive things. With realigned direction and addressing the cause of stagnation, one can embark on a personal growth journey that is not only more fulfilling but also astoundingly rewarding.

Here is a simple methodology to embark on or re-ignite the personal growth journey in your life:

 

  1. Assessing Current Situation

Understanding your current situation is first step to begin the process. Write down your thoughts about what you do, what you think and what you feel, what you want to do on paper. Feel free to write and write each and every thing that you encounter over a period of one week.

Once you’ve written down your thoughts, rate each of them basis your assessment on a scale of 1-10, 10 being perfect. This will clearly indicate which items are keeping you from opening your wings and grow further.

If you could categorize those using spheres of life framework, you would find that there are only one or two primary spheres of concern where improvement is needed, but they are affecting all the spheres of your life.

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  1. Visualizing Future State

Having identified your spheres of improvement, it is now time to define what would it take for improved score on those spheres. Consider any sphere of life and think what would make you rate your experiences in that sphere as above 7. Visualize your future state and write about it. Feel free to write every minute detail and how it changes your views of yourself. Picture this new scenario in your mind and visualize how it changes your interaction with others, how it moves your social standings.

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If you like this visualization and it fills you with excitement, then you’ve got a direction to move. But if it doesn’t, then continue with exercise till such an appealing picture emerges. State your picture of your future-self in form of objective statements.

Revisit these objectives 3 times at interval of at least 12 hours. Should you feel the urge to refine, re-define any of the objectives / statements, please do so and firm up final objectives.

  1. IGP formulation

Think through each of the final objectives and identify the actions that you need to take to achieve the stated objective. This may include attending some classes, participating in events, going out for a trip, reading through books / magazines, watching movies and so on. It could be anything but the important point is that you need to identify the actions for achieving these objectives. For each of the action, clearly describe what milestone would mean achievement of the objective. Put a timeline for the milestones and interim junctures, if any. This becomes your Individualized Growth Plan (IGP). Commit to yourself for adhering to this IGP.

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  1. Enablers and Spoilers

Before you jump on to start working on your IGP, it is important to assess what would enable achieving them and what could cause non-achieving of those objectives. For this, list down the enablers which would support you in moving towards your stated objectives. Keep them ready to tap into such enablers while following IGP. This would provide purpose and motivation to continue.

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Similarly, also identify what could become hindrance in your achieving your stated objectives. For such hindrances, chart out mitigation measures so that you remain focused on path of progress without being halted by any of these hindrances.

  1. IGP implementation

Now is the time to put your IGP into reality. Start with the actions and tasks to be accomplished. For want of continued focus and tracking progress you may want to seek help of your family members / friends or any acquaintances for being an accountability partner. You can also seek help of professionals from the field such as Certified Life Coaches for being your accountability coach to support you in realizing your IGP.

  1. Reaping the benefits – Growing again

2IGP, when followed correctly and persistently, will start giving results that you would not have imagined. You will start feeling more inner power, enthusiasm, and energy for growing in life. Indeed, you will start growing again. You will see that the scores on the spheres of your life identified for improvement have improved dramatically. Re-ignition of your growth prospects will give you more joy, happiness and greater sense of fulfillment.

Beginning or re-igniting personal growth journey is an exciting one. Every individual has power within herself or himself to achieve what she / he wants in life. This may seem daunting to many and indeed people get bogged down at mere thought of such journey. However, with structured approach and clarity of IGP, one can successfully start and re-start treading on path of growth.