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.

The Urban Youth Project Award Ceremony

On November 12th, 2018; the National Incubation Center (NIC LUMS) alongside British Asian Trust (BAT) and Citi Foundation hosted the award and cheque distribution ceremony to mark the pilot of the Urban Youth Project.

Out of the 60 trained micro-entrepreneurs under this project, 13 were invited to the NIC facility to be given cheques ranging between 100,000 to 200,000. These micro-entrepreneurs included:

  1. Muhammad Faisal and his electricity store.
  2. Rabia Ashiq and her school.
  3. Shagufta Parveen and her academy.
  4. Salma Gilani and her academy.
  5. Muhammad Waqas and his mobile store.
  6. Shazia Zafeer and her school.
  7. Fatima Tabassum and her medical lab.
  8. Shahista Waheed and her school.
  9. Sidra Shehzadi and her beauty salon.
  10. Aneela Jaffer and her store.
  11. Hafiz Mudassar and his fast food chain.
  12. Huzan Arshad and his academy.
  13. Sheheryar Manzoor and his cosmetics and jewelry store.

The event was conducted at the National Incubation Center’s auditorium with more than a 100 guests from various institutes present to honor and commemorate the efforts of the young micro-entrepreneurs.

Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development was present as the Chief Guest.

Director NIC, Faisal Sherjan addressed the audience and the media informing them of the inspiring and overwhelming experience of working with the micro-entrepreneurs. LUMS Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad spoke of the importance of empowering the youth; followed by a brief documentary that provided insight into the journey of these young minds.

Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, in his concluding remarks highlighted that through projects like UYP, LUMS NIC has contributed a great deal to ameliorating the circumstances of the youth and serving the bottom of the pyramid communities and that is bound to have lasting impact on the future of the country. He further, commented, “It is heartening to see the high results this group of entrepreneurs has delivered given the right mentorship and opportunity. I hope the British Asian Trust, Citi Foundation and NIC Lahore continue investing in Pakistan’s youth so they can fulfil their potential.”

The evening ended with dummy cheques being presented to the recipients as each recalled their excursion and shared anecdotes on how NIC contributed to their development.

It was an inspiring sight to behold as their hard work paid off in the form of an investment that allows the growth of not just their business but their self-worth and financial standing as well.

The National Incubation Center stands firm on the belief that those with a potential must be mentored to entrepreneurial heights. It recognizes dedication, conviction and the motivation the youth possesses and often struggles when looking for opportunities and platforms that would identify that eagerness and willingness to grow.

The Urban Youth Project is merely a stepping stone in the right direction to enable the youth for a brighter and more stable tomorrow.

 

Startup weekend 2018 – Sign up Now!

One of the most prodigious startup competitions of Pakistan is back! This time around it’s even bigger and better than before. Fifty-four hours of intense competition, coupled with an unparalleled entrepreneurial learning experience, await you at Startup weekend 2018.

The event would be held at NIC Lahore, from 16th to 18th November 2018.

Techstars Global Startup weekend, powered by the tech-giant Google, is an internationally recognized competition that offers a platform to the budding entrepreneurs to present their creative ideas, hone their entrepreneurial skills, and execute their plans.

National incubation center (NIC) opens the doors to the vast entrepreneurial world. Participants are given the opportunity to interact with the renowned and adept entrepreneurs of the industry, and subsequently augmenting their team-building and networking skills.

Wining team is honored with a chance to convert its ideas to reality through a fast track incubation at NIC itself!

DAY 1

Being a 3-day event, startup weekend’s first day would kickoff with the participants checking in, followed by an opening ceremony where guests and speakers would reminisce their past experiences regarding the event.

After that, participants would pitch an idea in 60 seconds, and through voting, 20 to 30 ideas would be qualified for the remaining rounds. Day 1 would come to an end with a scrumptious dinner.

Day 2

On the second day, the remaining participants, now in teams, would be exposed to rigorous counselling and mentoring sessions with acclaimed entrepreneurs and coaches.

This would entail an unprecedented experience of building effective and coherent business models under their guidance.

Day 3

On the third and final day, the participants would present their business models in front of a panel of reputable judges, followed by a critical Q&A session. The third day would finish with the dinner and a closing ceremony where the names of the winners would be disclosed. NIC would award the winners with an incubation opportunity at its highly-specialized and capacious, internationally recognized, entrepreneurial facility.

Besides the incubation opportunity, Startup weekend offers a plethora of benefits to the participants. Through networking, they would be interacting with the brightest minds of the entrepreneurial milieu. Being an internationally-recognized prestigious event, Startup weekend allows its participants to compete with the contenders from other startup weekends around the globe.

Some of the judges and coaches from past events include notable names like Zafar Khan (CEO Sofizar), Shayan Zaeem (Co-founder Caramel Tech Studio), Sajjad Kirmani (CEO Infogistics), Tosheeba Sarwar (Founder Management Outfit), and Amena Hasan (CEO Business for Social Progress), Faisal Sherjan (Director National Incubation Center, Lahore), Huamyun Mazhar (Founder, Chairman, CEO CresVentures) etc.

The venue for the event is NIC Lahore. The National Incubation Center Lahore (NIC Lahore) is a first of its kind Incubation & Acceleration platform, launched under the public – private partnership of Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom, IGNITE, Fatima Ventures & Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

It provides state of the art facility established to nurture startups during their early phases whereby they provide affordable space, shared office spaces and included services, hands-on management training, marketing support and, often, access to financing.

The registrations for the event is open and the entire registration process can be accessed online.

To register: https://www.facebook.com/276793985720254/posts/2258612317538401/

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/startupweekendlahore/

#TGSW #SWLHR

Dangers for Startups – Recruiting Friends as Investors

Usually when startups go into business they decide to trust their family and friends as long-term investors. Stats have reported that a huge percentage of these startups receive more than 50 billion dollars’ worth of investment from their family and friends.

On the one hand, getting your family and friends to invest in your idea is advantageous in many personal and legal elements. On the other hand, there are several factors that overrule the advantages and make recruiting family and friends as investors a step into the dangerous territory.

When family and friends invest in your startup, equity will immediately be divided to ensure equal shares. Over or under evaluation is often a possibility that can lead to legal penalties. Following are some of the things that need to be considered gravely when stepping into the dangers of recruiting relatives:

  1. The Pressure is Far Too High

If your relative wishes to invest their life’s savings in your idea, that is probably not a good idea. When you know what is at stake from the investor’s end added the personal relationship, the pressure becomes far too high. The pressure to be able to return the investment in the form of profit can drive you to take decisions that may not be fruitful in the long run thus jeopardizing the whole process altogether. A small scaled investor may not put that kind of pressure on you and often allows the startups the space needed to grow at a reasonable pace.

  1. Their Involvement May be Bothersome

When family members become investors, the boundaries get blurred. Therefore, their investment in your idea has the tendency to exceed the monetary limitations. They often require constant updates and even expect their involvement to be imperative in the decision-making process.

Even though, it is reasonable to keep them informed; their involvement in the day-to-day may become problematic. Investors with extensive experience are often allowed interference in business decisions of startups because of what they might bring to the table. Allowing relatives that level of participation can be more damaging than helpful.

  1. Strengthen the Business Idea

It is imperative that your business plan be a strong one, especially when dealing with relatives. Often relatives don’t push us to the extreme we would like to be pushed at. They overlook loopholes an outsider investor may not. This is a deceptive fault that can be detrimental for the business when it comes to profit and longevity.

  1. Don’t promise what can’t be delivered

Just because you are excited about the venture you are endeavoring on, it does not mean you promise what you cannot accomplish. More so, when relatives invest money in your idea, they must be informed of all possible risks and downfalls. Not only is this important to ensure their expectations are not exceeded but also to ensure your relationships do not get damaged.

  1. Avoid putting relationships at stake

There is no surprise in the fact that sometimes businesses fail, and ideas do not work out as anticipated. When something like this happens, you may be unable to return the money to the investors. It is important to always anticipate a possible downfall when getting into a new business venture. Also, voice your anticipations honestly to your investors.

There are many advantages to hiring investors from the outside as opposed from within your social and familial circle. Hire a lawyer as well as they may be able to guide you better when looking for tangible and profitable investments.

When to Boost Posts on Social Media – A Guide Startups

If you have a startup or a full-functioning business with a social media profile, then you are probably aware of the “Boost Post” button. The purpose why this button is made available is to help businesses increase their overall reach. However, when it comes to boosting a post, selecting which to boost is a predicament. More so, the amount that should be spent is also a question.

So, if you wish to boost your post on Facebook and Twitter here are answers to some of your questions.

Boosting Facebook Posts

Managing a Facebook page means you’ve often come across the system telling you that a certain post is performing better than the rest. This automatically also states that Facebook is suggesting for you to boost it. Where several people tend to ignore these notifications; they are there for a reason.

The in-built assessment feature of Facebook posts allows it to keep you informed. It keeps track of the quality of the posts and their performance on an average basis. It also often recommends how much you should be spending on boosting the post.

Facebook posting it not limited and allows the leeway to ensure a strong post is being viewed by a wider audience. Here are three ways you can boost a Facebook post:

  1. To Followers: Unfortunately, often the organic reach of certain posts is not as far reached as one would hope. For this very reason, the marketing strategies for all social media platforms keep altering. So, if you wish to boost a post to increase its reach to people who already follow you then the best options are features, updates, or events. These are elements that create hype amongst those who already know what you’re doing.
  2. To friends of followers: If you wish to increase your number of followers then this type of boosting needs to be considered. Pick your best post and boost it so that it appears on a non-follower’s page and is intriguing enough to get them to follow you.
  3. To selective group of people: If your post is getting a lot of shares, boost with a wider audience based on select criteria.

Important Boosting Hacks

It is always a bad idea to boost a post right after you’ve posted it. It is always a smart idea to wait for at least 3 days before pressing that button. Oftentimes, people decide to not boost a post if it did not organically manage to get any notifications. Just because Facebook did not inform of that a certain post is doing well, it does not mean you shouldn’t boost it. Keeping track of the insights can help learn which post is reaching how many people.

It is always a smart idea to boost videos mainly because it is the most engaging kind of content one produces. Text only posts are often limited to a certain type of audience. However, posts that are videoed or have graphics automatically intrigue more people just because they are visual.

However, this does not mean that you don’t put out any text whatsoever. The credibility of a page often relies on the content that is being produced whether you choose to boost it. It is always a smart idea to boost those posts that are original. Where sharing posts by other pages isn’t a bad idea, it does not have the desired impact. It is always smarter and more effective to boost a post that is exclusive to your page.

The goal of boosting a post is to get your brand in front of more eyes; therefore, what you’ve created wholly should meet more eyes.

Budgeting your Boosts

Boosting costs of a post are not as high as one would expect. You can set a daily budget for yourself and ensure you’re meeting that benchmark. Boosting a post is often better than ads because of the time allowed to use the former. Ads limit you to a certain sum monthly limiting your overall budget. So, for startups who do not wish to invest a great deal, boosting a post is a great way to go about marketing your product or service.

Boost with A Resolve

It is important to have a proper marketing strategy regardless of the platform where you choose to market. Knowing when to spend the money and where to spend it, is a big plus especially for startups who already have a limited budget to begin with. It is irrelevant and will be lost in vain if you boost posts without a final resolve in mind. Set an objective or a goal for yourself; it can be as simple as gaining 100 more followers after boosting a post.

There are many ways one can gain traffic in an organic way. However, where investment is needed it should be made but with a clear head and with an objective in mind. If you can witness the strength in one of your social media posts, make the smart call and boost it.

The Importance of a Sales Strategy for a Startup

Any business or company that designs a product or service, must at one point sell it. Often when businesses are in their startup phase they focus on not just developing the product but on marketing as well. Lost in the above two steps, they often overlook and fail to provide the required attention to sales. This is something that can be detrimental to the growth of their business.

Therefore, it is important for companies to invest the same amount of effort on developing a strong sales strategy. There is no denying that a well-orchestrated marketing strategy places a business and its services on the roadmap to visibility, a sales plan allows them to make profits out of their product. The gist of a good sales plan must include:

  1. Acquiring new customers.
  2. Retaining previous customers and
  3. Making more sales.

This article answers some of your pressing concerns that must have arisen during the Sun Tzu and Sales Panel discussion arranged by NIC.

Why Must you have a Sales Plan?

A sales plan is more focused on acquiring new customers and therefore must be developed keeping that in mind. This allows you to understand that the targeted individuals do not know about the product and must be informed. To address their concerns from all angles, a thorough strategy must be devised. Here I what this allows you to do.

1. It improves your team’s return on investment

A plan or a strategy ensures you have the big picture in mind. It allows you to focus on obtaining new clients and identify if your current strategy works for you or not. It also allows you streamline areas that are most profitable. You can devise tactics and maximize results while keeping in mind your budgetary limitations.

2. It ensures you Hire People Beneficial to your Business

Startups often overlook the importance of hiring a good sales person. This allows you to have set goals and adhere to methods that are beneficial as well. Doing so allows you to set reasonable expectations and track your own growth over the months.

Developing A Strong Sales Strategy

To develop a strong sales strategy, you must follow the 6 steps provided below:

Priority 1: Make a spreadsheet of your customer journey and see how they behave before and after the sales.

Priority 2: Analyze the journey and come up with smart ways to reduce the cost to ensure increased customer contentment.

Priority 3: Ensure you integrate your sales plan with your marketing plan.

Priority 4: Come up with a key sales strategy and track its growth.

Priority 5: Identify a process of your sales activity and them build resources to maximize profit from it.

Priority 6: Stay patient and don’t expect immediate results. Consistency of investment will be fruitful.

If the right approach to expanding one’s business is adhered from day 1, any idea can go a long way. So, don’t ignore your sales plan and ensure all things are in order before going into business.

 

 

8 Legal Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

The life of a startup is often quite precarious. This is why even a single wrong turn can lead to disastrous outcomes. If you are a founder setting up the groundwork for your business idea, there are various elements that need to be considered. Where creativity is imperative on one hand, the legalities that come along with stepping into the professional world as a service provider should never be overlooked.

Here are 10 legal mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid:

  1. Ignorance towards early Incorporation

Often in a startup, one founder consequently abandons the idea. However, all things considered, when the idea picks up and receives funding and financing, the partner often returns demanding parity. This is often followed by a string of contributions made by them on their end. To cater to this problem founders should be given incorporated shares early on. As a result of this, each founder should then be prerequisite to dispense to the new corporation.

  1. Shares without Conferring

Conferring allows founders to protect the founding members of a startup. This way, as long as someone stays on board and is working towards a common goal, the shares are vested. Upon leaving the shares can be retrieved and reassigned to their replacement.

  1. Hiring an inexperienced lawyer

Several investors often judge the worth of a startup based on their legal choices. This is why it is imperative to ensure one hires a lawyer who has experience dealing with startups. This is because experienced attorneys are able to look for loopholes others might consider insignificant or ignore. Hiring someone who knows the tricks of the trade and understands the mode of negotiations goes a long way for the future of a new idea.

  1. Negotiating investment based on estimation.

It is important to go beyond the basic estimation when it conversation with a potential investor. There are many ways in which compensation can be demanded if they pay a high price. Therefore, apart from basic evaluation other aspects of the capitalist must also be taken into consideration. These include their reputation, their relationship with entrepreneurs in the past and their response to roadblocks. A capitalist’s reputation within the industry also makes a lot of difference.

  1. Unveiling ideas without a nondisclosure agreement

It is very important for entrepreneurs to not get carried away when revealing new ideas. For a startup experimenting; any idea can work and therefore must not be disclosed in passing especially if a nondisclosure agreement has not been signed. The only protection available is to ensure required steps have been taken to protect the secrets from competitors in the market.

  1. Hiring or getting hired by possible opponents in the market

Often entrepreneurs come up with interesting ideas while working for a firm. Though the venture begins while still being employed, it is very unsuitable to do so if the employer is a possible competitor. Doing so can lead to a lawsuit and therefore jeopardize the future of a business before it is even launched. Therefore, they should either formally leave the job or ensure their employer is aware and raises no concerns regarding their entrepreneurial idea.

  1. Overselling and failing to deliver

It is understandable when entrepreneurs come up with an idea and dream for it to make it big. However, overselling an idea on the basis of just that can backfire in the ugliest ways. Promising something without a certainty to deliver falls into fraud and can be detrimental for your startup. It is important to make realistic claims when selling an idea to avoid being sued. When a business flourishes, investors pour in automatically, conducting the activity the other way around may bring your startups journey to one that is short lived and not pretty.

  1. Ignoring legal concerns

Entrepreneurs often overlook the legal concerns and postpone them for later. To run a successful business one has to be farsighted and make the right calls at the right time. Hiring a competent attorney who takes care of the legal matters is a smart way to go about the business. You can stay focused on investors while they ensure your company meets legal benchmarks.

So if you have a business idea you’re willing to take into the professional world, be sure to handle all the legal matters beforehand.

NIC Proudly Welcomes Ilm 2’s Second Cohort

Ilm Ideas 2 is a 4 year program that runs locally and is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DIFD) and is managed by Cambridge Education. In the grand scheme of things it ensures that the youth of Pakistan is well-endowed and literate.

The program itself focuses on 3 primary strands. Primarily it supports startups establish their business ideas that work towards improving the quality of education. IIM2 may provide them with grant funding to ensure the outcomes of the business plans are being met effectively and lastly, the program ensures that new and innovative ideas are being continuously supported even after the program ends.

In order to accomplish the three strands meritoriously and to guarantee plausible improvement in the education system of the country, NIC LUMS plays a pivotal role.

NIC welcomes Cohort 2 for Ilm 2

Under cohort 2 the following 6 startups currently incubated with NIC LUMS were shortlisted. Out of these 6, four were finalized to receive funding under the Ilm 2 program.

Ilm Rohi

Ilm Rohi offers blended learning programmes to teachers in Bahawalpur and Layyah district. The founder of ILM Rohi – Fida Hussain has extensive experience of working with various education institutes in Bahawalpur and he believes that teachers lack pedagogical skills in his area.

Fida wants to develop courses on teaching and learning and offer them to teachers in his district as well as neighboring districts.

BigBytes

BigBytes offers schools to develop Makerspaces to promote STEM learning. BigBytes offers its makerspace equipment to both high end and bottom of the pyramid schools and customizes its curriculum according to its clientele.

They also connect robotics experts for technical guidance in engineering projects. Their team comprises of 5 members and almost 30 volunteers.

Comic Con PK Foundation

Comic Con is providing training to high school students in content development and animation for the last 7 years. The startup is giving young children a voice through animation. They offer customized courses to children of all age groups on animation and cartoon creation.

The founder, Mudassar Butt is also developing a comic book and has developed a cartoonists network in Pakistan that comprises of 25 top cartoonists of the country.

 

Careerz360

Careerz 360 provides human resources services to university graduates through the use of human and artificial intelligence.

It bridges the gap between industry and academia by connecting startups and students from various universities with potential employment and research opportunities.

Honorable Mentions

Even though the following two did not make it to the final list, they were shortlisted by the team because of their innovative ideas and progressive approach.

Women’s Press

The startup aims to edit and publish books, research publications for schools, universities and institutions of higher education. Musharraf and his Co-Founder are targeting students between the ages of 5 to 18 years.

The Web Theater

TWT intends to create a talent hub in Pakistan in the form of a web channel platform. The startup aims to target people between the age groups of 15 to 35 years.

We wish the incubated 4 startups the very best of luck and hope to witness their growth as they continue to reach new entrepreneurial heights.