Generation Z Entrepreneurs – Overcoming the Challenges of Starting a New Business
Exchange of experience as an effective tool to develop entrepreneurship
”It’s not easy to start a business in the era of growing corporations. Only a few can develop and grow. <…> Exchange of experience among large, small and medium-sized business is an effective tool to develop entrepreneurship in Russia,” Ekaterina Shcherbatenko, General Producer, Atlanty Business Forum.
Entrepreneurial success depends on the team
“In the current situation, teams win, because the market offer is large. It is the team that delivers the main result,” Albert Sufiyarov, President, Neva Milk LLC.
Businesses have to look for new solutions all the time
“One successful idea will not necessarily feed you all your life. Life makes you look for new solutions,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Difficulties in relations with business partners
“I started a business together with a partner. However, after 14 years of joint work we decided that we had to split the business, which was painful. <…> I have seen many cases, when people lose their business after splitting it,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Deficit of qualified personnel
“We came across the problem of human resources shortage, because we needed people with more advanced skills and competences,” Albert Sufiyarov.
It is hard to satisfy all customer requests
“Customers always want the result to be fast, cheap and with high quality. It does not happen that way. Usually you have to choose two of the three characteristics. Every company solves this issue in its own way. For example, lowcosters choose fast and cheap, often sacrificing comfort and quality,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Lack of time to solve strategic problems
“Business management took more and more time. I realized that if I don’t delegate company management to a top-manager, who will be able to perform administrative tasks better than me, I won’t have enough time to look for new opportunities in the market and meet new challenges,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Using unconventional solutions
“It is especially important at the initial stage of business development. When everything is excessively logical, there are fewer chances to take the company to a new level,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Readiness for continuous education
“When we started, we didn’t know a lot of things, but we acted. <…> When you act, you get a better understanding what competences are missing, which helps you to get what you need on the learning curve,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Focus on preparing qualified personnel
“When we faced the problem of human resources shortage, we opened a school of tire fitters. <…> It’s understandable that the school graduates started to work for other companies. However, as a result our company got a reputation of providing services of highest quality in this market,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Clear rules of interaction between partners
“It is very important to draw the right shareholder agreement, when you start working with investors and partners. It is like a marriage contract that will save you from losses in case of splitting the business,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Rational business operation principles
“There are three main principles of regular management <…>. Focus – you have to achieve certain results within a certain timeframe, so that later you could use minimal efforts to maintain those results at the relevant level. <…> Rhythm – in nature everything is rhythmical with daily rhythms, annual rhythms, etc. If we transfer this quality to business processes, people will get accustomed to it and work will be more efficient. <…> Measurability – you can effectively manage only the things that you can measure. An important condition of regular management is the ability to determine KPI correctly, define and follow up on the result image,” Albert Sufiyarov.
Marketing has to have emotional content
“Cost, price and value are different notions. We tried to find out why customers preferred Finnish cheese to local cheese. <…> We invited Finnish food engineers, started to purchase raw components from Finland, came up with a brand name. <…> And it took off. The success came because we filled our product with emotional content informing the customers that it is ecologically safe, natural and fresh,” Albert Sufiyarov.
“I decided to sell the hairdresser salon. I posted an announcement, but nobody called, so I changed it. I wrote: “Make your family stronger – buy a business for your wife,” Two days later I sold it,” Albert Sufiyarov.