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Market Leader Advanced – Unit 11: New Business – Listening
A. Match the business skills (1-5) to the definitions (a-e). What other core business skills do you think a successful entrepreneur might need? Which of these skills do you have, or would like to develop?
|1. Financial management||a) Identifying reliable partners, negotiating successfully with them and managing the relationship|
|2. Product development||b) Identifying potential customers and their individual needs, explaining your goods and services effectively and converting potential customers into clients|
|3. People management||c) Making long-term plans for your products or services and identifying the people, materials and processes required to achieve them; knowing your competition and your customers’ needs|
|4. Supplier relationship||d) Managing recruitment, resolving disputes, motivating staff and managing training; helping employees to work together as a team|
|5. Sales||e) Having a good grasp of cash flow planning, credit management and maintaining good relationships with your bank and accountant|
B. Research has shown that there are key qualities commonly found among successful entrepreneurs. How would you define these personal characteristics?
3. Being a self-starter
A self-belief and passion about your product or service – your enthusiasm should win people over to your ideas.
A belief that the outcome of events is down to your own actions, rather than external factors or other people’s actions
3. Being a self-starter
The ability to be resourceful and take the initiative; also to be able to work independently and develop your ideas
The ability to be open-minded when listening to other people’s advice, while bearing in mind your objectives for the business
The willingness to make personal sacrifices through long hours and loss of leisure time
The ability to continue despite setbacks, financial insecurity and risk
C. Listen to the first part of an interview with Mike Southon, an expert on starting new businesses. What types of start-up does he talk about?
Mike says there are basically two types of start-ups. One solves a problem or brings new services to a local area. This is usually a services business, a physical business, for example a plumbing firm or accounting company. The other type of start-up Is an Internet business, selling information or products from a website.
D. Listen to the second part of the interview, where Mike Southon talks about the classic mistakes that first-time entrepreneurs make. Tick the ones that he mentions.
1. Being over-optimistic
2. Spending too much time developing
3. Not having a good team research
4. Giving up when the going gets tough
5. Not having a good sales pitch
6. Not finding customers products/services
7. Spending too much time on market
8. Not having enough seed capital
2, 3, 6
E. Listen to the third part of the interview and answer these questions.
1. Who can become a mentor, and why does Mike Southon recommend getting one?
2. What key elements should a good elevator pitch include?
3. How does Mike define the two purposes of a business?
1. A mentor is somebody who can give you good advice and is probably somebody you know, maybe a family friend and who’s got some business experience and contacts. He recommends getting a good mentor firstly, to test your idea and give you advice on how to improve your product or service, or how to get customers and secondly, to make contacts for you and open doors for you.
2. An elevator pitch* is being able to sell your idea to a potential customer or investor (in one or two minutes). A good pitch should include the five Ps:
– Pain: Where is the pain or problem that you solve?
– Premise: What does your business actually do?
– People: What makes your people better than somebody else’s people?
– Proof: You have to have some proof (that you have a good business idea), and the best proof is some happy customers that you can direct potential customers to.
– Purpose: What is the purpose of your business?
3. The first purpose of a business is to make money; the second purpose is why you are doing this business and not something else, e.g. Are you making the world a better place? Are you having fun?
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