Every entrepreneur sets out to become rich, successful and famous.
Yet not every one of them becomes that. Though they may work hard to their best, put in long hours they still fail to achieve their target. This is because entrepreneurs sometimes fail to do the most important thing which is required in today’s world: networking.
Nowadays in the corporate and entrepreneurial world the most important thing you need to have is not just the clichéd quality of working hard and following the rules but also how many people you know and how well you know them. This opens doors and leads to opportunities which you would have thought could not be possible on your own. The more people you know; the more they can help you achieve your target, let you know about more opportunities in the market which you wouldn’t be aware off and introduce you to more contacts.
According to the famous top manager Fred Luthans, networking accounts for 48% of the time the most successful managers spent most of their time on in relation to other activities which included 13% traditional management, 28% communication and 11% for human resource management.
Many successful people in different fields acknowledge the importance of networking. From celebrities like Simon Cowell, to actors like Edward Norton to entrepreneurs like Armstrong Williams. Armstrong Williams quoted “Networking is an essential part of building wealth”. Famous US attorney judge is quoted to have said “Sometimes, idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in Heaven. To succeed in this world you have to be known to people”
Networking is an art which every entrepreneur must learn to use resourcefully along with their other tasks and activities as well if they wish to be successful.
Vinesh Kumar, a student of SZABIST.
On the first day of internship at a well reputed firm he came up with the design for a billboard campaign for the company, which was highly appreciated with a round of applause. He started designing logos and graphics that were being approved on the first attempt. For Vinesh, the journey to success has been long and harsh; he faced a number of obstacles on the way. However, the key for him was being diligent and perseverant.
To understand the intricate workings of the business, he worked on a nonprofit basis for a large number of companies, spending many sleepless nights designing and redesigning websites and logos before launching his own business. After accumulating experience, he started to work as a freelancer and eventually launched his own business: ‘Vinesh Kumar Creative and Software Solutions’. Since then, his clientele base and experience have made rapid progress. His clients include reputed firms such as Coca Cola and Shan, for whom he designs their websites and billboards.
How did you build a successful customer base?
Having an effective social network ameliorated my business. I also joined many societies at Szabist, where I developed a lot of potential clients. My specialty is delivering work on time before the deadline, which in turn boosts the faith of the client in the business.
What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Networking is paramount to any entrepreneur; it is the backbone of all operations. Having a successful clientele base at the end of the day is what gets the business rolling. Creativity and adaptability also rank on top of the skill-set for any entrepreneur to be successful. I cannot emphasize this point enough that it is pivotal for any entrepreneur to be open to criticism. In our field of work, everyone has different tastes, perceptions, and sometimes getting a design approved takes a lot of criticism and approval from everyone, so perseverance is the key for any entrepreneur to be successful.
Alay Hussain, student at SZABIST.
There was a boy, careless and not hard working at all. He almost flunked his O-level results. One day his teacher told him that he will never pursue any career successfully. From that day, his outlook on life changed. The boy began working hard, took life seriously and most of all started thanking Allah for giving him a beautiful life. In his 6th semester at SZABIST, he started an advertising company named ADSHAW.
The startup helps small companies to advertise by posting their ad in lit board on the back of the Rickshaw. As small companies are limited on budget, this advertising field was a blue ocean where no one has entered as of yet. ADSHAW currently has four partners and two employees who handle the logistics. In a time-span of 8 months, the startup has made 9 clients and has 15 rickshaws running all over Karachi. For them perseverance was the key as initially they made thousands of calls and suffered a high amount of neglect. Today they are generating good revenue and in future want to put advertisements on anything moving on the roads or that matter even airplanes.
What advice would you give to the students of Szabist who desire to become entrepreneurs in future?
Never ever think that you cannot succeed. The taste of being your own boss is very different and its fun. Make yourself work with a slight humor because when you need to work for 16 or 17 hours, seriousness can kill you. Working hard is important but the best entrepreneurs work smart.
What has been your most successful form of marketing?
We have used extensive word of mouth marketing because we are in B2B form of business so this is our best choice.
Daniyal Qaiser, student from BABS program and a member of SZABIST Entrepreneurial Society.
Few years back he started his business “Skipper” for exporting polo t-shirts to countries like South Africa and England. Daniyal gets them manufactured locally and then exports them to the designated addresses of his cousins for them to sell in those markets. His monthly average now stands at around 700 to 800 t-shirts. The motivation behind starting his own business was that he wanted to carry out his expenses on his own. Plus for him a person who is earning has his own recognition in this world and he is known as a productive member of the society. He attributes his honesty in business as the trait that will serve him well in the future too.
Where did your organization’s capital come from?
Well I only needed funds during the starting period and my dad funded me. Now i don’t need any sort of funding. But honestly i did return him his funds back when i made some good profits
What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Entrepreneurs are the boss, they own everything. Nobody can order them, they make any decision they want and they are not answerable to anyone in the organization.