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Entering a new business challenge..

ramya narayanan
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Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
I'm planning to start a Training Institute for students & professionals & enhance their technical & soft skills.
But eventhough I'm good individually as a good Java Trainer, I want to succeed as a Team in the business.
In this context,
I'm very eager in finalizing my
1) Mission
2) Vision
3) Management
4) System
5) Leadership
6) Service etc..
Your inputs are highly appreciated.
Regards.
ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
Any replies?
Chetan Parekh
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Joined: Sep 16, 2004
Posts: 3636
Are you sure about the viability of your business plan in current market condition? Have you done any due-diligence?
[ December 29, 2008: Message edited by: Chetan Parekh ]

My blood is tested +ve for Java.
Arjun Shastry
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Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
IMO training institutes in India are not doing so good.But I am seeing many institutes are revamping(look and feel,courses conducted) and giving many Ads in newspapers.


MH
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3216
If you already had not worked in a traing institute, working for a training institute will be a good place start


-- to make some (key) contacts (very vital for any business).
-- to see what they are doing right and not doing right.
-- to understand the business (e.g. business model, learning materials, marketing strategies, target audience, etc).
-- to understand how you can do things better.


Also, study the demographics and learn about your competitors. How are you going to stand-out from your competitors

-- Price
-- Quality Of Service
-- Job placements
-- Quality of the study materials
-- Combination of the above


Good luck.


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ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
First of all thanks Chetan & Arjun for participating in this discussion & giving some valid inputs which is going to shape up my business plans.

Are you sure about the viability of your business plan in current market condition?

I notice some caring towards me in those words. Thanks chetan.
My mission is to " Provide best possible education(formal,technology,finance,softskills) to the student community thereby making them powerful in making their personal & professional decisions"
So technological training is inclusive part of my mission, not the only part.
Since I had earlier experience as a Java Trainer, I thought in this angle.
Yeah I'm sure even in this current market condition, companies or people want to enhance their skills or employees skills, looking for quality education at an affordable cost which somehow I should provide.
For which I need a good business design which I'm discussing with you.


Have you done any due-diligence?

No but I understand I need to do.
Apart from doing some work on
1) Competition
2) who are the major players in this industry
What other things I should look for?


IMO training institutes in India are not doing so good.But I am seeing many institutes are revamping(look and feel,courses conducted) and giving many Ads in newspapers.

Correct!
Regards.
ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
Also thanks ArulkPillai!
M'wile I've worked in a training institute for around 6 months as a Java Trainer.
Regards
Arvind Mahendra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1162
Why don't you explore the idea of buying some sort of a franchise? It does not have to be a really expensive one and they will help you get setup and essentially provide a 'working system' that you wont have to tamper with much.

Given the proliferation of training institutes and assuming you have a limited budget you would probably have to chose a small town to start off from. But despite all the initial challenges I would say a comp. training center is probably ideal because there are either lax or no laws regarding what you are allowed to do. I am not saying you do anything illegal but in India you can easily teach courses that you may otherwise need official authorization for. Buzzwords like '100% placement' or 'Live project training' also pull crowds in. There are other advantages in running a center because of the low overheads. Hardware isn't too expensive and neither is the software needed to teach these courses.
You could also try looking for a niche in the industry(like testing maybe) which does not have too many players as yet.
If I were you I would go meet with your local bank manager and ask him what criteria they look at before they make a business loan. Have a business plan ready and maybe try to get their opinion on what they think.


I want to be like marc
ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
Why don't you explore the idea of buying some sort of a franchise? It does not have to be a really expensive one and they will help you get setup and essentially provide a 'working system' that you wont have to tamper with much.

Some reasons are:
1) I want to market a brand of my own & expand the market through franchisee.
2) I've worked as a JavaTrainer in one of those franchisees, where the franchisor's support is limited to Books, certificates, monthly auditing, meetings etc.
The franchisors are more concerned about their monthly share of income which they expect as part of using their brand name.
Also you said about providing a 'working system' .
If I'm a franchisor, you want a franchisee from me what are all the components you would expect from my working system?

3)Marketing & advertising these brands itself is cumbersome for which we can start our own institute.



But despite all the initial challenges I would say a comp. training center is probably ideal because there are either lax or no laws regarding what you are allowed to do

One of the reasons I start business is to avail the tax breaks from government & also to reduce tax from my earned income.

Buzzwords like '100% placement' or 'Live project training' also pull crowds in.

Do you think it is possible to place all the students.
In my business, I don't want to compromise on integrity or business ethics.
" I want to teach people how to fish, not sell them fish a.k.a selfish"
Hardware isn't too expensive and neither is the software needed to teach these courses.

If that's the case, no body is expected to come to training institutes right.
There are some intangible factors or benefits in a training institute:
1) Conducive environment to learn & explore creativity.
2) Learning the wisdom of experienced people, so that they can know how to identify & avoid mistakes.
3) Chance to socialize with people.... like wise

The major problems I think we face in running a training institue is
1) We should have a effective business design or system in place right from student counselling to issuing certificates .
2) Take care of associates, clients(Students) & their satisfaction level.
3) Maintaining integrity between the management,associates & clients.
4) Effective & innovative marketing strategies.
5) Compliance with the promises.

....


You could also try looking for a niche in the industry(like testing maybe) which does not have too many players as yet

Yeah certainly I've noted it down.

If I were you I would go meet with your local bank manager and ask him what criteria they look at before they make a business loan. Have a business plan ready and maybe try to get their opinion on what they think.

Very important. M'wile what is a business plan?
Anyhow thanks Arvind for your valuable suggestions!
Regards.
ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
training center is probably ideal because there are either lax or no laws regarding what you are allowed to do.

No there is a regulatory board on this.
We need to comply their instructions.
Regards.
ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
Why don't you explore the idea of buying some sort of a franchise?

Is there any good franchisors, in this domain?
Since I've very limited experience in franchisee system, I seek the guidance,knowledge & experience of others in this business model.
If anybody is running succesful franchisee business either in this domain or other domain , please share your experience in this about the training & co-operation you've got, about business models etc.
Regards.
Arvind Mahendra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1162
Originally posted by ramya narayanan:

1) I want to market a brand of my own & expand the market through franchisee.

This is a great ambition to have but do you have any experince running a business? If you are loking to create your own brand, you will have to learn alot of stuff by trial and error and you may even make it but the failure rate of new business are very high so keep that in mind.(something like 80% of all startups are supposed to fail within 5 years).
Franchises can and do fail too but its less risky. The reason I think you should start out as a franchisee is because you will learn the ropes and have lots of support(ideally) from the franchisor. Find one that can balance your limited budget to buy the name and has alot of perceived brand equity for what you are going to pay. Contact NIIT, Aptech's etc.(the big names first) and find out what their criteria is in order to apply for one. Even if their requirements are stringent, and as Arulk emphasized key contacts is important because no mater what you do it would be wise not to go for a sole proprietorship and instead better to find a few partners who could bring everything from teaching experince, business experince to financing. For an entrepreneur, the ability to network, have superb convincing, selling, negotiating skills are key and more important than say accounting skills for instance.

Originally posted by ramya narayanan:

1) 2) I've worked as a JavaTrainer in one of those franchisees, where the franchisor's support is limited to Books, certificates, monthly auditing, meetings etc...The franchisors are more concerned about their monthly share of income

This is still better than nothing and with franchisors being concerned about their pay cut might also motivate you to work hard to make sure you can meet the financial targets of both your establishment's as well as pay for the royalties. I dont have any direct experince in business myself (have relatives involved in) but I can tell you that it is a generally an overall combination of factors and persons that can combine strengths to plan, launch and sustain a profitable business enterprise. You will need to build those relationships. Keep in mind though that franchises are also not easy to acquire. I think any franchisor would also want to know what your experience in a running a business is? and more importantly how well have you educated yourself? To them, after all they are also taking a risk by investing in you and they might not have a reason to if you cant show them you haven't invested in yourself first.

Originally posted by ramya narayanan:

3)Marketing & advertising these brands itself is cumbersome for which we can start our own institute.

It is but this is exactly a franchise is better since that is already taken care of by the franchisor so this should translate into more sales for you as a franchisee.

Originally posted by ramya narayanan:

1) One of the reasons I start business is to avail the tax breaks from government & also to reduce tax from my earned income.


This is a good reason but I hope it is not the main reason you are looking to start a business. The main motivation shouldn't even be money but instead to provide a valuable service in a way that exceeds current quality benchmarks or something. You should be consumed with a passion to fulfill this dream or a vision of yours that you feel certain about to the point that you do not care about the failure rate of new business. Personally,I think entrepreneurs are born, If you look at some of the successful ones, you will find that many of them are what one might call 'serial entrepreneurs' and fail at quite alot of ventures initially but eventually through their persistence strike Gold. Perhaps the biggest thing here is tenacity, the drive to doggedly pursue your goals and be consumed with a passion that won't let you rest until you have.
Originally posted by ramya narayanan:

1) Do you think it is possible to place all the students.
In my business, I don't want to compromise on integrity or business ethics.
" I want to teach people how to fish, not sell them fish a.k.a selfish"

No it is not. And I am not recommending you need to do make false claims, but what I am saying is that these are buzzwords that every institute uses when advertising their institute and unless you are a known brand like NIIT you will most likely also need to make such advertisements. And why shouldn't you? The laws are not in favor of consumers in India and thus you would be unwise not to strike a balance between good business ethics and flashy advertising designed to pull in the crowds especially when everyone else is doing it. Given a choice between two institutes, I think a potential student would, based solely on advertising choose to enroll at an institute which raise his hopes a little.

I think you really should consult with someone who has experience in running their own company to clear as many doubts and get as much information as ,I and probably everyone else on javaranch wouldn't be able to offer much other than opinion, which is what I profess to offer only as I have never started a business venture of my own although I would like to someday. Probably the best way forward (in addition to what other posters have advised)might be to take some classes on entrepreneurship but if you have the will and drive to learn in a formal setting enroll in a good MBA program.
ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
Dear Arvind,
The following points you have made has captured by mind & those are very very valid points.

Regarding Franchisee:

it would be wise not to go for a sole proprietorship and instead better to find a few partners who could bring everything from teaching experince, business experince to financing.


Company's mission:

The main motivation shouldn't even be money but instead to provide a valuable service in a way that exceeds current quality benchmarks or something.


Perhaps the biggest thing here is tenacity, the drive to doggedly pursue your goals and be consumed with a passion that won't let you rest until you have.

Now I feel so to understand the business better, it would be wise to get a franchisee from a very good organisation, understand the various components of the business better which will take some time & then start our new one.

Now what should be my vision for my organisation & how I should expand my services?

Now how I should see myself or work in the first 5 years ?

My vision:
"To provide better education to the students, professionals & organsiation thereby enriching their knowledge"
Is it good?
Regards.
Arvind Mahendra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1162
Originally posted by ramya narayanan:

Now what should be my vision for my organisation & how I should expand my services?

Now how I should see myself or work in the first 5 years ?


It would be hard if not impossible for me to define this for you as I have absolutely 0 experience doing this and I suspect at this point in time it would be impossible for even you to answer this without actually having getting started. This is what your mission statement is for and still nothing is ever set in stone as all businesses tend to evolve over time. What matters is do you have it in you to face and overcome adversity along the way. There are too many factors, some related to experince and some like plain luck that will determine where you will find yourself in the first few years should you take this path. I would probably read as many books and do as much research as possible to better educate myself on what you are about to face. The first step is to jot down all your thoughts and ideas about what it is exactly you want to do. Formulate the goals you want to achieve. Then write down a business plan that you think will help you get there. Establish deadline and a time table by when you wish to achieve all of it.

Lastly, I would mention that if you are looking for a franchise do know that you may also be able to buy one thats already operation instead of buying a new one and could have the previous owner stay on to guide you for a month or two until you learn most aspects of the business.
you should definately consult with professionals to help you in matters.
good luck!
ramya narayanan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 338
Any other opinions!
I recently heard that University of Wales has an MBA part-time programme in International Business.
Do anybody know about that?
Regards
 
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