NICL Welcomes it’s 4th Batch in Full Swing

NICL Welcomes it’s 4th Batch in Full Swing

The Foundation Council is one of the most important events conducted by the LUMS National Incubation Center, Lahore. Every time a new cohort of start-ups is to be incubated within the NICL facility, a grueling process of selection is conducted. This begins months prior to the actual orientation and includes various minor and major steps that ensure the streamlining of some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the city are brought into the facility.

For Batch 4 the Foundation Council received a staggering number of applications, out of which 56 were chosen to present in front of the esteemed judges. These start-ups ranged from food, agriculture, robotics, fashion, consultancy, lifestyle to many other niches that promised global impact.

How the Foundation Council Works?

NICL prides itself for its selection process; our FC includes some of the finest names from within the industry and is conducted within several meticulous steps. The initial step marks the reception of applications that are then vetted through interviews conducted by our team members including Kaleem Ullah, Yaser Awan and Faisal Sherjan. Once the application count is brought down, the final pitches are heard by our judges during a daylong event held biannually.

The FC Judges

The foundation council members include Ali Mukhtar the founder and CEO of Fatima Ventures, Omar Shah the CEO Colabs, Barrister Ahmed Uzair from Ahmed Uzair & Co, Hamayun Azhar, the CEO of Cres Ventures, Hassan Altaf the Resident Director at Crescent Steel, Dr. Bilal Zafar the CEO at Dr. Bilal Zafar Veterinary Sciences, Ain ul Abideen the Marketing Manager at Samsung Electronics, Ahmed Hanif the CEO at Khaleef Technologies, Dr. Suleman Shahid, Assistant Professor HCI/UX Design at LUMS, Rehman Adil, the Expert Associate Partner at McKenzie, Khurram Zafar, the CEO of 47 Ventures, Dr. Zartash Uzmi, the founder of Confiz, Fatin Gondal, the Co-founder at WebWorks.pk, Mohammad Faisal Mirza, a management professional and strategist, Mahrukh Ali Malik, the CEO of Insta Print., Saad F. Akhtar, Media and Marketing Strategist, Shoaib Zahid Malik, Chairman Punjab Industrial Estates, Adam Mohyuddin, Manager at Khaadi and Dr. Ehsaan ul Haque Professor at SDSB LUMS. The decision making process is moderated by members from within the NICL management team.

Welcoming Batch 4

Once the start-ups are scored by the judges based on the set criteria, the top tiered one’s are selected for incubation. For batch 4 the selected start-ups are as follows:

  1. Fruitistan,
  2. VampWelt,
  3. Car Helpline,
  4. Kuch Khaas,
  5. Adwheels,
  6. UAvinity,
  7. Sesame,
  8. Brainality,
  9. Mudeser Ali Fitness Pro,
  10. Stitch Karao,
  11. Plus One,
  12. Mini Tractor,
  13. Callvet.pk,
  14. Philly’s,
  15. Agricultural Engineering Services pvt Ltd.
  16. Mechatronics Engineering Solutions,
  17. Valuesbig,
  18. Rahnumai,
  19. Wizdojo,
  20. Zero Mika Startup and
  21. HyperSalon!

Orientation for Batch 4

On July 30th the start-ups were given a warm welcome by the NICL team during their orientation. NICL management team member Rida Khalid began the orientation with a quick ice-breaking activity that required every member of the new batch to share one unique aspect about themselves. This was followed by an introduction of each team member to the start-ups so that during their incubation process they are aware of how they can benefit from each member’s area of expertise during their tenure. Kaleem Ullah later took the floor to ensure the NICL facility stood aware of the expectations the entrepreneurs had from the facility to not just maximize productivity but their satisfaction as well.

We ended the fun, engaging and hyped orientation with a group photo to mark the commencement of the journey of all the ideas that made it through. We wish our entrepreneurs the very best of luck and hope to play pivotal roles in escalating their idea to the heights and benchmarks they wish to see themselves on!

Good luck Teams, It’s time to make it big!

NIC Lahore’s Investor’s Summit for Batch 3

On July 13th, Saturday; the National Incubation Center Lahore organized it’s third investor’s summit for the qualifying start-ups of cohort 3. After weeks of preparation, start-ups from NIC Lahore, Quetta, and Peshawar, Gwadar and Takhleeq pitched their ideas to a panel of investors hoping to spur some interest in them.

The session was incredibly successful as ideas that cater to some of the most pressing problems within the country were addressed through businesses that are all set to change the face of their respective industries.

Faisal Sherjan, the Project Director began the highly anticipated summit and wished the start-ups the best of luck. Following is the order of their pitches:

  1. The summit kick started with our start-up based in Karachi called Ghumo.pk. The start-up focuses on solving the innumerable problems within the hospitality industry in Pakistan.
  2. SabziBox followed with their start-up based in the farming industry. The founder spoke of their enthusiasm to change the face of grocery shopping and farming by empowering home owners and local farmers.
  3. From NIC Peshawar, Bera pitched their idea claiming to redefine the Peshawari chappal concept in Pakistan with their unique and innovative stylistic approach to the age old shoe.
  4. E-flow presented next with an idea that provided an effective solution to ending the ever elusive load shedding problem in the country.
  5. This was followed by Lahore’s Apna Furniture that focuses at providing home and office owners the comfort of purchasing furniture through simplistic and hassle free procedures.
  6. ParentsEase was next with their online platform offering insurance packages to individuals and how they ensure an easy and simple way to get insured.
  7. Save Every Drop (SE Drop) presented next with their sought after innovation that recycles waste water by removing arsenic from it thereby, solving the water scarcity predicament in the country.
  8. From NIC Quetta, Sun Spark Inverter presented later – this was another innovative inverter that caters to load shedding.
  9. NIC Lahore’s Smart Switch provided a solution to a problem many are unaware of – the extra charges in the electricity bill and the energy consumption one doesn’t know of.
  10. Next was Nano IT from Peshawar creating immersive experiences through virtual reality. They allow one to literally experience the excitement of being on a chairlift and feel the water splashes of being on a boat et cetera.
  11. From NIC Quetta Gul technologies pitched their life saving smart helmet for coal miners allowing monitoring and evaluation of the miner’s health.
  12. Monumental Studios from Quetta pitched their start-up that provides videography and documentaries that showcase the rich Baluchistan culture.
  13. pk from NIC Lahore presented next advocating the tabooed topic of mensuration and how they intend to make this a household conversation and equip women through their app.
  14. Mountainise presented their intelligent solution for both social and digital media marketing.
  15. From Lahore, StrawHat a digital smart helmet that wishes to bring the numbers of bike accident numbers down to 0. Their product comes with a number of features – the most interesting being limited mobility until the helmet is worn.
  16. Milkify presented their cooling mechanism and balancing mechanism that ensures milk purity and amount – changing the face of the gawala
  17. From NIC Quetta’s WECO presented their chick incubator running from a self-designed thermostat that only needs air to function.
  18. Fori Fixer from Quetta spoke of their start-up that provides labor such as carpenters and mechanics through their app.
  19. Dillevery from Quetta presented an idea to that helps save time for women on the go.
  20. NIC Lahore’s Send2World presented their idea for the freight forwarding industry by making it super convenient for all.
  21. VectorInks pitched their domain adamant to save the time and quality of work being produced by designers.
  22. From Takhleeq we had ZAPS creating single sole shoes with multiple skins allowing one to save money without compromising on style.
  23. A Total Parco Startup, the Mad Hatters pitched next talking about their travel based start-up exploring the many faces of Pakistan.
  24. From Gwadar we have a female led start-up Agri Irrigation that helps curb the water scarcity issue in that respective area.
  25. The Cookery Lahore from Batch 2 pitched incredible initiative that provides healthy alternative to home cooked food and facilitate the food industry through home based bakery owners and several others.
  26. NIC Lahore’s SOOP – Schools On Our Phones talked about how they help save time, money and the environment while providing teacher and school efficiency by digitizing entire school systems.
  27. Another dedicated woman leading The Robotics Club to encourage hands on learning and encouraging a child’s desire to build, code and play! She intends to eventually establish her own school.
  28. Smart Trolley from Quetta presented next coding products being purchased and generating the bill before one reaches the cash counter.
  29. From NIC Quetta we have Asaan Booking making sure you get everywhere on time. Their platform allows e-ticketing, reduction of cost and a lot more. Traveling just became less of a hassle.
  30. NIC Quetta Aprus. The startup provides a technology that provides AI driven electro-surgical units that provide immense precision and the pride that comes with technology that is “Made in Pakistan.”
  31. Our last start-up was from Lahore Alrrish Du Ciel brings the Summit to a close with her maternity and modesty wear clothing brand working towards introducing comfort and style in the fashion industry for the working woman and mother.

The pitches were followed by interactive sessions and meetings between start-ups and investors allowing the latter to inquire further in ideas that managed to interest them. The Summit itself was a sight to behold as the ideas were not just well-received by incredibly appreciated and validated by innovators in the investment industry looking for bright minds and smart solutions to problems that have existed for years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We at NIC Lahore are extremely proud of how far our start-ups have come and wish all those who had meetings with the investors, the very best of luck for a brighter and better future – for both their business and for Pakistan!

Onwards and Upwards; towards greener pastures.

What Makes a Start-Up Investable?

According to a survey conducted in the year 2016, it was identified that more than 22% of the Pakistani youth expressed a dire interest in wanting to start their own business as opposed to getting a job. Just in the United States, more than fifty thousand start-ups produced a year.

If a start-up is not investable then they might as well close off their business before they have even begun. According to a research conducted amongst several experts, attorneys and investors, following are five primary elements the investors wish to find in start-ups to consider them investable:

  1. Founders and Advisers

A founder and a panel of advisers are two aspects that are considered the backbone of a start-up because they identify the strength of the network the start-up bases on. An advisory council can help the start-up foot its growth and make relevant and significant decisions without compromising the scaling of the business. Advisers assist the founder in the financial component of the job and often enable them to form strong connections that allow the start-up to grow within the right and desired circle.

  1. Business Model

Before pitching your idea ensure you have answers to key questions such as how you intend to make money. Furthermore, identify if the answer caters to the notion that your business is in fact sustainable. Potential growth is one of the key factors that investors look for when making a call. When making a pitch, it is imperative that founders prove that their idea or their business can and will eventually make profit.

  1. What Problem Is Being Solved?

Whether this is a local or a global problem or a mere market friction that is being catered to, it has to be spelt out for the investor because this can be a deal breaker or a deal maker. The market friction needs to be identified alongside expected and latent friction. All of which allow the founders to uncover the relevant market and understand their user persona so that their pain point can be catered to and whatever problem exists, it can be solved further allowing the start-up to make consistent money.

  1. Potential Exit

Each potential leave accompanies an arrival math dependent on a mix of the amount you contribute, the pre-cash valuation, the amount of the stock the financial specialist possesses, and the price itself. So it is significant not exclusively to have a thought of how much the organization may be sold for, however the investment you contribute and whether extra speculation rounds may weaken your proprietorship rate.

  1. Legal Structure

The very first thing one needs to do is identify which legal structure is fitting for the start-up. This depends largely on the type of business in order to identify the liability. One is required to decide whether a sole proprietorship works for the type of business or if a partner is required. Based on these details, the tax liability has to also be taken into further consideration. Whenever an investor considers investing a sum of money into a start-up or the founder, an intact legal structure plays a pivotal role in enabling them to decide in favor or against the investment.

There are several other aspects that go into the firm standing and the potential growth of an idea into the business world. It is imperative that the team of any start-up takes all of those into consideration; however, if you are at a time crunch then the above 5 points need to be given dire focus and importance to ensure what you are presenting to a panel of potential investors is worth your and their while.

Secretary of State for International Development attends Business Education event by Ilm2 & British High Commission

The British High Commission organised a networking and exposure event for education businesses at LUMS National Incubation Center (NIC) Lahore marking the completion of their Ilm Ideas 2 project. The event held on February 21st 2019 was attended by Chief Guest, Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development in the UK.

The event demonstrated a few of the start-ups from across the country that are actively working on improving the quality or access to education.

Andy Brock, from Cambridge Education, stated,

“I am really delighted to attend this event hosted by NIC Lahore. The facility has been very supportive throughout this project to showcase to the Secretary of State, a whole host of excellent Pakistani businesses and incubators doing a wonderful job improving education.”

About UK Aid

Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), UK Aid Direct was established in 2014 as a successor to the Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF), which was created in 2010. UK Aid Direct is a challenge fund designed to support the UK’s commitments to achieving the Global Goals.

The share of the private sector in the Pakistani education system is around 40% with a higher incidence in cities and about 65% of the market in low cost schools. Ilm2 is actively seeking solutions of all kinds which could find market in this vast low cost sector. It is working with technology companies like Multinet and SABAQ to develop engaging and localized digital content for primary grades. Other projects include support to companies like AZCorp Entertainment and their comic series for children, or Knowledge Platform, a company working on blended learning and assessment models for low cost schools.

lm Ideas II is providing support to twenty-one start-ups through incubators to encourage new private sector start-ups. The majority of them work on quality issues. As a result of IlM2’s interventions, approximately 43,790 children continue to benefit through various programmes and 15,417 children have been enrolled as students for the first time.

About Ilm Ideas 2

Ilm Ideas II (Ilm II) aims to engage players from outside the education sector, primarily the private sector, to develop innovative approaches to improving the quality of education or increasing access to education in Pakistan. It is a four year programme.  Ilm II is a national programme and currently has its footprint in four out of five regions (Gilgit-Baltistan, Punjab, KP, Sindh and in AJK).

About National Incubation Center Lahore

The National Incubation Centre Lahore (NIC Lahore) is a first of its kind Incubation & Acceleration platform, launched under the public – private partnership of the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom, IGNITE, Fatima Ventures & Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Additional information may be found at www.niclahore.lums.edu.pk

NIC Lahore Batch 2 – A Recap

On January 10th, the National Incubation Center Lahore hosted the second investor’s summit for the graduating batch. The Summit is committed to making genuine and reliable contributions to the entrepreneurial community. NIC offers the perfect platform for networking as it brings together entrepreneurs and investors within Pakistan. The investors included 43 ventures, Fatima Ventures, Khurram Zafar, Almas Hyder, Usman Sabir, Umer Shah and several others. Each start-up was allowed 3-4 minutes to make their pitch – a fruit of their 4-month long incubation journey with the facility. The pitches included a demonstration of learnt skills, business models and financial ask.

Several raised the interest of the investors present hoping to secure a deal and promise themselves a more profitable future. NIC is a believer of providing opportunities to entrepreneurs and the investor’s summit is perhaps the most sought after event of our program.

30 start-ups were incubated in categories of Health, Education, Energy, Water and Agriculture.

Out of the 30, 15 start-ups graduated and were given the chance to present their pitches to investors.

The 15 start-ups included:

  1. Entertainment Pakistan

  2. Paycard

  3. Big Bytes

  4. MittiGhar

  5. Comic Con Pk.

  6. The Support Group

  7. Roady’s Café

  8. Mawazna.com

  9. Careerz360.pk

  10. Ilm Rohi

  11. Vceela

  12. AgriMart

  13. TrashMasti

  14. Home Innovation and

  15. RADA Technologies

Design Thinking

The graduation marked the end of a 6-month long journey inclusive of training sessions and one-on-one mentor-ship. Every start-up was given the opportunity to start their journey with a ten-day entrepreneurial development program. Soon after, they attended a 5-day workshop with the internationally acclaimed Shahid Khan and his design thinking workshop.

Industry Tour

The start-ups were also given a chance to visit the industry and learn from entrepreneurs in the business world, first hand. During the 3-day industry tour they interacted with and sat in sessions conducted by names like Daftarkhuwan, Fatima Ventures, Shakarganj and others.

Mentor-ship

Apart from the above events, the start-ups were regularly exposed to international and local mentors who provided them insight into the many facets of the entrepreneurial world so they may be equipped to step out. They attended sessions with lawyers, marketers, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, social media experts, website designers, investors and financial leads so that the start-ups may understand the many branches of their business and cater to them all, effectively.

What we Stand For

NIC Lahore believes in ensuring that the very best deal is provided to the start-ups. To ensure a decent impression is made, the 6-month long journey was tiresome indeed but productive for those who served the purpose well, invested their energies and were dedicated to ensure they meet the prerequisites set by the facility. Whether it was a 5-year plan or the drafting of an investment brief, the highly acclaimed trainers of NIC Lahore equipped all the start-ups to the best of their abilities before they were given the floor to make their pitches to potential investors.

NIC Lahore believes in providing opportunities to the start-ups to the best of its abilities. The investor’s summit marks the end of a start-up journey and commences the start of a business venture. We wish to continue serving the entrepreneurial community by incubating and producing more deserving entrepreneurs with revolutionary business ideas.

AYECo. Introduces Smart Canes for the Visually Impaired

From the first batch of graduates of the National Incubation Center Lahore, Faaiz Arbab, a student in the electrical engineering graduate program at Lahore University of Management Sciences’ (LUMS) urbanized a voice-operated smart wheelchair called GOBEE. AYECo. is the first and only manufacturing company in Pakistan producing Smart Wheelchairs and assisted devices. Their wheelchairs can be operated from a mobile application and relives the user from relying on any physical attendant for movement. AYECo. is also working on other assisted devices.

Taking his successful, useful and progressive start-up a step further; AYECo. Is now introducing smart canes for the visually impaired. Smart Cane is an electronic device to help people with visual disability to find a path without hitting obstacles.

What motivated AYECo.?

Low vision and blindness are important public health problems. People with visual impairment usually need support and assistance unless they get vision rehabilitation with the provision of low vision devices, orientation and mobility training and counseling for making specific modifications in their living environment for proper adaptation towards performing day to day activities and social integration. Most electrical low vision devices cost an arm and a leg, and that is the primary reason why the poor in Pakistan cannot afford it. The average cost of an imported blind man stick is almost $400.

According to the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA), there are 2 million people in Pakistan, who are visually impaired and almost 1.7 million of them are not affording a cane which costs $400.

The Solution They Offer

We live in an amazing time in terms of finding technological solutions for people who have lost their sight. Each day seems to bring a new medical or electronic solution, making the world more accessible for physically impaired. AYECo. Is researching on electronic blind man canes for the blind community of Pakistan. The start-up intends to produce a smart, effective cane which will cost no more than $50.

After struggling with and manufacturing multiple prototypes of the Smart Cane made, the start-up has finally perfect their product.

The first prototype was not fold-able and demonstrated difficult vibration pattern. The second prototype was modified and made a compact remote with the electronic circuitry embedded in it. In this way, Smart Cane become a fold-able device.

The Smart Cane has a rechargeable battery and can easily attach a white cane to it. AYECo. intends to launch the Smart Cane in Pakistan. Their aim is to provide cheap technological solutions for assistive devices in Pakistan.

They wish to make Smart Cane more compact and connect it with smartphones so that it can help the visually impaired navigate with ease. We wish the team at AYECo. The very best of luck as they improve the lifestyle of the physically impaired in Pakistan, one futuristic product at a time.

Tech Leadership Summit 2019 to kick off on 10th January with speakers from Forbes, Amazon, HP and Microsoft

Tech Leadership Summit 2019, presented by OPEN Lahore, TechTalk, and CareAxiom will take place on January 10, 2019.

The invite-only event will feature a number of reputable speakers from Amazon, Microsoft, TechJuice, and Forbes.

New technologies and startups are emerging every day. From blockchain to Virtual Reality, Internet of Things to Artificial Intelligence, new technologies are changing every aspect of our lives every single day. With more and more people moving towards a digital and connected future, it is important to identify the role of technology in our lives and have a meaningful discussion over where the future is heading towards.

And who is better suited to talk about the future than the representatives from the companies who are actively striving to bring it to fruition?

That’s why OPEN Lahore, Tech Talk, and CareAxiom have joined hand to invite speakers from Amazon, Microsoft, TechJuice, and Forbes to talk about future technologies and their impact on our lives.

Tech Leadership Summit 2019, which will be held on 10th January, will feature notable industry leaders such as Salman Akhtar, President OPEN Lahore, Fahad Aziz, Contributor at Forbes, Rizwan Malik, Senior Product Manager at Amazon, Fatima Rizwan, CEO of TechJuice, Iram Nawaz, HP/Microsoft Representative, and Muneeb Khawaja, VP CareMerge.

The tentative schedule for the event is:

  • 9:30 AM – Welcome

  • 9:45 AM – Introduction to OPEN Lahore: Salman Akhtar (President, OPEN Lahore)

  • 10:00 AM – The Exponential Thinking & Future of Technologies: Fahad Aziz (Forbes)

  • 10:45 AM – Fireside Chat with Rizwan Malik (Sr. Product Manager, Amazon)

  • 11:30 AM – BREAK

  • 12:00 PM – Components of a true cloud-based application. Muneeb Khawaja

  • 12:15 PM – Faster Innovation, Faster Releases: Continuous Integration: Furqan Razzaq

  • 12:30 PM – Building a Testing Framework for Cloud apps: Mudassir Ali

  • 12:45 PM – 10 Ways To Market Your Products Free Of Cost, by Fatima Rizwan (Founder TechJuice)

  • 1:15 PM – Evolving Role of Technology Leaders: Iram Nawaz (HP/Microsoft)

  • 2:00 PM – Closing Remarks

The event will be held at the National Incubation Center (NIC) located inside Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and it is invite only. You can follow this link to submit an application to get an invite.

 

Note: To read original article click here.

The Importance of Deadlines for Entrepreneurs

There are several elements that work for regular employees but cannot be applied to entrepreneurs. However, what stays relevant and significant for both are deadlines. Deadlines are imperative when it comes to setting and achieving goals. For entrepreneurs, it is imperative that their deadlines be strategically specific and not capricious. It is only then that they can allow one to excel towards their goal and experience small wins on the daily as opposed to always stressing about bigger goals set for a longer future.

However, not exhibiting or following deadlines with a clear head can backfire. Some entrepreneurs get stressed and react whereas others get so caught up in the deadlines that they neglect major business priorities. For business newbies it is important to learn how to do things effectively. Deadlines can be daunting, but they can also excite, inspire and give your team the motivation and purpose. Here are some reasons why deadlines are important for entrepreneurs:

  1. You become liable for your goals

It is imperative for entrepreneurs to take the sole responsibility of several aspects of their business in order to ensure things ensue in the right direction. Deadlines have the power to grab one’s attention and that is how they define the varying levels of importance set for different tasks. Hence, regardless of who sets the deadline, if the objective is singular, it instills a strong sense of liability for attaining goals.

  1. They encourage positive impetus

Strategically set deadlines ensure entrepreneurs work towards meeting them. Approaching a deadline often spurs emotions and that is what induces in them the desire to act upon their feelings thus meeting or evading a deadline. Meeting deadlines instills a strong sense of positive impetus because it translates as a success. It enables entrepreneurs to believe in them and get excited for bigger deadlines. Despite the magnanimity of a deadline; meeting one is always positive.

  1. They tend to instill Creativity.

For entrepreneurs who feed on success, deadlines become a challenge that forces them to engage with their work creatively. They see deadlines as an opportunity for them to prove their own worth. It has been recorded that renowned individuals like Steve Jobs were known to set unattainable deadlines, primarily to set a singular objective for his team and force them to think creatively to meet it. Deadlines should be used to fuel creativity and should not be leveraged by entrepreneurs looking to remain motivated.

  1. They help Prioritize

When one sets a deadline, it helps them value not just their time but the time of everyone involved. It helps entrepreneurs struggling to make it big to organize and manage themselves and therefore, prioritize tasks not just for themselves but for their entire team. This is what enables them to keep the momentum going and not meet a standstill when it comes to meeting bigger deadlines that matter. Deadlines help say no when one feels like they’ve been stretched too thin.

  1. They keep you on your toes

Deadlines are a great way to identify what needs to be said yes to and what needs to be ignored. Setting a deadline helps entrepreneurs say no to various tasks and thus never compromise on the quality of the work being done. However, it is important to not slack and say “no” to pressing tasks out of sheer laziness. Setting deadlines to meet the expectations of the clients ensures that you stay on your toes. Additionally, it also ensures that entrepreneurs make only those promises that they can deliver. As an extension, this teaches them the integrity to run their business.

  1. They allow space for small failures and successes

For entrepreneurs with a team in place, it is significant to delegate. Seeping into everyone’s decision making process can become quite problematic and can only add to unnecessary delays. Therefore, as an entrepreneur or the founder of a business, one must allow the space for small failures and successes merely to identify what type of deadlines work for everyone. This helps establish and set productive, effective and strategic deadlines for everyone in the team, in the long run.

  1. Meeting Deadlines Builds Buoyancy

When one starts meeting small deadlines on a regular basis, it tends to establish a strong sense of faith and belief in one’s team in the long run. It equips entrepreneurs to approach bigger and more important deadlines with a strong sense of buoyancy. This is very effective in inducing customer happiness and enables more team members to take on more responsibility.

  1. Helps Assess Success

There is no denying that meeting deadlines helps entrepreneurs assess the calculable progress of their business. It helps them assess their own performance and the performance of their team members.

There are many opportunities that exist in the entrepreneurial world. These vary from international grants to opportunities that can change the face of a small business as we know it. Setting deadlines and approaching them seriously allows entrepreneurs to meet more significant deadlines in an organized and strategic manner and that is what helps them upscale their business.

UX for Online Business – A Short Series

Series 2: Essential UX Aspects for Ecommerce

There is a reason why people prefer walking into a physical store as opposed to ordering online. Primarily, this is because they enjoy touching the products they intend to purchase and experience them physically before having to decide. Online shopping has this one drawback – the inability for people to experience the product before buying it.

However, with properly implemented UX elements you can easily fill in these gaps and ensure increased purchases. A very basic example to accomplish this is to avoid putting in a lot of information all at once, avoid using complicated language and make things look simple and approachable. Following are a few other elements that must be kept in mind:

Making the First Impression

If a customer is not impressed with your home page and if you’ve struggled to leave a strong first impression, then don’t be surprised if they prefer a different retailer within the first couple of minutes. Not only does it need to be compelling, it must also focus and help the user focus. The easiest way to do this is to provide a captivating story to the customer telling them why you as a retailer are a better option as opposed to several others that exist. This does not mean you complicate it. Keep it simple and focused.

Have a Diverse Collection

It always helps to have a diverse collection. This can be displayed in a grid system with the most popular items appearing first. You can also recommend products that have received better reviews in the past. Don’t force your users to make purchases of items you are unable to sell. Instead, allow easy filtering and comparisons for them so that they are able to choose based on their interest. Using a grid allows more collection items to displayed all at once.

Marketing Scheme

Research and statistics in the past have recorded that almost 70% of the users abandon their cart post an online shopping spree. It is very important to treat the customers differently. It is important to ensure that if someone has added certain items in the cart, they purchase them and do not abandon them. Here are some ways good UX experience can be accomplished:

  • Use a marketing software for emails.
  • Make New offers
  • Use promotions on Social media actively
  • Hold Contests to intrigue users
  • Announce Sales with timers and
  • Offer Free shipping for a certain amount spent on purchase.

Plausibility

An online store can only build its plausibility and credibility as a retailer through demonstration of testimonials. You can have page ratings and reviews and even product reviews so that users can see what people have to say about the brand and the services.

Always Have Customer Service Strips

It is very important to sustain a well-made first impression all the way through to the future. Customers will evidently have questions that cannot and should not be ignored by the retailer. This is why it is imperative that your website offer tabs where they can leave their grievances for you to cater to. This can also be done through live chat boxes or customer service strips at the top or the bottom of the page.

Make Checking Out Simple and Secure

A secure checkout should be a priority for all retailers. Build a sturdy platform and follow it up with speed and security. A single click for checkout works best so this should always be the aim for the retailer.

UX Experience

A decent UX experience is what will guarantee that a user returns to your store. In order to do this, it is essential that the retailer thinks about how their user feels when clicking the cross. Whether you feel that your products lack some sort of a zeal, or even if the business is about bed sheets and herbal teas; photos make all the difference. Get creative to leave the user with a feel.

To Sum it Up!

From the first impression on a visitor to the last on a consistent user, A UX experience for an e-commerce business if very important.

Social Media Mistakes Marketers Often Make

When it comes to establishing new businesses, it is very important to be wary of possible mistakes in all avenues. One such avenue is social media marketing. In order to grow and reach maximum number of people, it is important for businesses to hire professional and trained marketers who hold the potential to develop rich, client centered and evocative approaches to maximize productivity. A flawed strategy can cost one a lot, so here are some social media mistakes marketers should avoid:

  1. Poor Choice of Social Media Platforms

It is very important to identify the social media platform being used before it is used – this enables the marketers to come up with a solid strategy. This identification comes through research and the assurance that the chosen platform adds to the business value. If a social media platform does not promise longevity of profit and increased opportunities, then you may need to think twice.

Facebook usually works in all cases – it allows effective communication and enables marketers to promote their product or services well. Platforms like Twitter allow connection in a very interesting and creative fashion – this biggest plus is the direct interaction with followers. If networking and branding is your desired results, Twitter is the way to go. Other platforms must be look at through a similar lens so you can decide how you can benefit from each in the best possible way. It is always better to use more than one platform, however, the two should be picked out after some strategic thought.

  1. Inconsistent Updates

It is imperative that your social media platforms be updated on a regular basis. Inconsistent updates not only make a bad impression but they also fail to accomplish the desired impact minimizing your reach to the audience. Not only should you stay consistent but also boost strong posts so that you reach a maximum number of people. Consistency tells your users that you are concerned with the frequency with which your business is putting information out there. This does not mean you post one thing or another without an end result in mind. Come up with a solid strategy that keeps reminding your users of your services without becoming spam.

  1. Develop a strong strategy

The newness or oldness of a business does not define the use of social media strategy. Whether you’ve been in the business for a while or are just starting out, it is imperative that you develop a strong strategy. It is this approach that will allow you to establish a certain kind of connection with the audience. If you continue to use social media based on whims, then you may continue struggling to establish any connection with the people on the other end. This can only begin once you’ve identified your target audience. It is imperative that the content being released resonates with the audience, it should also have a touch of personalization while being engaging as well.

  1. Observe and Analyze Page Performance

A website is continuously under observation and that is what allows marketers to ensure it is up to date and its performance is being analyzed. If you wish to be at par with the response of your audience, then you must observe their rate of response and analyze the performance of each post on the page. Analysis is what ensures that you care about your customer and are willing to modify your stance based on the response rate. It allows you to:

  • Calculate achievement levels
  • Identify strengths and laggings

These will allow you to maneuver future posts to the best of your company’s abilities.

  1. Altering Approach

Social media is constantly being evolved. Because of this reason an approach that was very effective yesterday, may not be operative today. You can easily build your own brand and understanding with clients. Several companies build their individual brand and then empower that idea amongst their users. You can do this through modification in the mobile landscape of your application, simplicity and ease with which customers can find their way. It is important to stay on top of trends and analyze what it is that the consumers are most receptive to.

  1. Live chats and streaming

If you’re wondering how you can benefit from live chats and streaming online, then here are a few:

  1. Allows consumers to make quick decisions.
  2. Allows ease in access to products.
  3. Expedites response time to questions put forth by consumers.
  4. Allows personalization in user experience.

Any company or business without their customers is a fundamentally failing one anyways. It is imperative that your marketers are prioritizing the customers and keeping their requirements in mind. Everything a marketer does must have a vision and a strategy. This can only be done through assessment and analysis of what is already done in the past and how it must be amended to continue gaining positive and effective responses from consumers, both old and new.