Things to do for an Entrepreneur

Amit Grover, a IIM graduate has learnt that as an entrepreneur, it is very important to be organized to be successful. He has given us the 10 Things to do daily for entrepreneurs from his own experiences. Here goes!

During my school days, we used to have a time-table for full day. When to study, when to play, what time to go to sleep, exercises etc. and it was a wonderful way to keep us organized and pack in more in the 24 hours. That was followed by a job, where every day was in a learning or fire- fighting mode! It was at IIM Indore, which I joined to do my MBA afterleaving my first job, I rediscovered the importance of “to do list”, and that is helping me in my entrepreneurial journey at Nurture Talent Academy till date!

  • Make a list of people to call up/ follow up with.
    Every day is an experience for an entrepreneur – specially the start
    ups. There will be thousands of people to talk to including your
    customers, suppliers, government agencies, investors and advisers.
    Start the day with a list of important calls that you have to make for
    that day – which may be a telephone call (for low priority or non-
    urgent) to personal meetings where it matters the most. Try to
    postpone/remove people who are nice to talk to but mean nothing to
    your business or add no value.
  • Send a sales proposal to a prospective customer
    A start up journey is like bicycling – you fall down if you stop
    peddling. And that peddle is called sales – I personally try to send
    at least 1 sales proposal (by email, post, etc.) to my prospective
    customers everyday – irrespective of volume of business expected or
    possibility of getting business. You can be lucky if your competitor
    is not doing this daily – who knows you could be the only person
    approaching the customer!
  • Follow up for any pending payments
    If sales is what drives a venture, it is cash that keeps it alive –
    and any pending payments at an early stage of a company are like
    cancer – keep following up for your payments diligently. This is more
    important than making business plans and approaching investors.
  • Speak to your employees
    I have always realized that the role of an entrepreneur is to find
    people smarter than herself, and motivate them to achieve their goals.
    One of the most important aspects of this is to constantly communicate
    with your employees, sometimes talking about their professional
    issues, and other times about general or personal ones. Make it a
    point to talk to your people daily. I learned this during my stint at
    Asian Paints, when through daily team-building, dialogues and
    discussions; we could take up our performance 200% in 1 month.
  • Analyze your performance against your target metrics.
    As an entrepreneur, we need to balance thinking with action. If we
    keep running, then no matter how fast we are, if we do not analyze
    which direction we are headed to, we will not go anywhere. I have seen
    a very highly successful entrepreneur, who raised his 3rd round of
    venture capital funding recently, measuring and analyzing his company
    performance almost on a daily basis. The key metrics could be product
    development (number of modules ready, lines of code written etc.),
    page visits to websites, revenue, expenses, customer inquiries etc.
  • Check your bank account
    I do not know how many start ups do this, but I get some internal
    motivation by checking my company accounts daily – it can as well de-
    motivate you if you are not acting upon how to get the cash in or
    control the cash out!
  • Remain updated with Google Alerts
    In current scenario, there is no time to read newspaper, listen to
    radio or watch TV but it is always important to stay updated – with
    what is happening around the world as well as in your business domain.
    Google alerts is a good way to stay updated, as it gives a summary of
    news/blogs etc. on your relevant keyword and sends you a mail on the
    same.
  • Give some time to family/friends
    Being an entrepreneur is a rewarding though stressful situation. It is
    always good to give some time to your family and friends, so that you
    are refreshed for another day at work. Have a nice time, go out for
    dinner, watch a movie, or just talk about your lives. You would want
    someone to share your success with! These are the people who will be
    the happiest when you come live on TV someday to collect the “Highly
    successful Entrepreneur” award!
  • Introspect, but do not procrastinate
    For 5-10 minutes daily, spend some time thinking about yourself –
    where did you start, where are you now, where do you want to be –
    think big! If you introspect, and start thinking that you have grown,
    that’s the first step towards growth. I have found people being happy
    with their current status, and never introspected about why they
    started as an entrepreneur.
  • Make a “To do list”
    This is obvious – you cannot do things unless you write them down.
    Personally, I use my mobile’s task app or memo pad to keep track of
    things. And then I keep ticking or deleting the task as it is
    completed.

I am sure that there are lots more to the list, depending on your
stage and priorities, and I will be happy to listen and learn from
your experiences. I am sure there will be lot of distractions to your
work, and some of them very valid that you will have to immediately
address, but a disciplined approach will help you take out time for
that too.

Amit can be contacted via amitgrover1@gmail.com