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Personal Log of Manish Abraham

Personal Log

Dazzling Stars Media

Personal Log

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Personal Log of Manish Abraham (W11033698)

Dazzling Stars Media

Abstract
This is a personal log which reflects on the various personal activities during the entire period of: Preparing & Establishing the Company. The Period of Streaming. The Liquidation of Company. An effort has been put to demonstrate the personal contribution to the business plan, the knowledge of the business function, commercial and legal awareness, problem solving ability and Team working ability. In addition, I have also tried to demonstrate the external mentor support as well as Engagement with the guest speaker. There was an engagement with the module teaching team in the form of Company Seminars which was scheduled with the tutor which is also attached. The rest of evidence like due diligence meeting with young enterprise and other evidences for the log is included in the Portfolio.

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Dazzling Stars Media

Table of Contents
Topic
Page Number Personal Log.......................................................................................................... 2 Abstract................................................................................................................. 3 Table of Contents...................................................................................................4 The Idea Generation .............................................................................................4 Formation of Teams & Business Idea.....................................................................5 Business Planning..................................................................................................5 Technical Research & Development .....................................................................7 Data management ................................................................................................7 Social media harnessing .......................................................................................8 Increase Efficiency.................................................................................................8 Commercials ......................................................................................................... 9 Demonstration of the External Mentor Support.....................................................9 Demonstration of the Support from Guest Speakers...........................................11

The Idea Generation


As per Casson (1982) an entrepreneur is an individual and the explanation given for this individual focus is that only individual persons can take entrepreneurial decisions about coordinating the scarce resources. In case of Dazzling Stars media, it was me who came up with the idea of starting up a radio station long before setting up of the teams (see portfolio for the mail sent on 27 th September 2011) because I had experience in broadcasting and in journalism and mass communication. Kirzner (1973, 1979) also suggested that 4
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entrepreneurial invention is usually an individualistic phenomenon. Although purely relying on my own ideas would not be effective and after discussing with Prof Steve Ball I was told to form a team, which much literature argues by forming a team, entrepreneurs can develop socially extended cognitive nexus whose computational and problem solving features is distinct from those of the members (David harper, 2008).

Formation of Teams & Business Idea


I started looking for a team which would agree with the common goal which Bachrach (2005), argues to be achieved by judicious joining of individual entrepreneurial actions. In this case, I was unsuccessful, and in the third week, the team was randomly allotted by the professors. When the team was allotted I decided that we all will receive an equal opportunity to present individual, business ideas in the first meeting of the company, and decide on the company name and logo. After the first Belbin Test, (see Portfolio) I realised that I was strong as a monitor evaluator and Implementer. In the first meeting, individual business ideas, were discussed including selling cooked stuff, which I argued as it was not covered with the insurance of young enterprise (see portfolio for minutes). The team agreed with the business idea of starting a radio station. I decided to authorize the responsibilities and gave the major task like the managing directors responsibility to a person who was more experienced in working in the real world (I was the youngest in the team) this demonstrated a feeling of intense interdependence and also helped us to identify ourselves as a team, which much literature argues as a crucial aspect to adopt an interdependence hypothesis (Bacharach, 2006). I got the task as the marketing director. One key factor was that none of us had a previous knowledge of running a business as most of us were from the engineering school; I suggested that we could engage sub entrepreneurs (Ensley et al., 2000; Timmons, 1994) and have a nested entrepreneurial team T = {E1, S1, S2} but the team overruled this as it would increase the expenses and time as everyone was in their final year. So it was decided that we form a team with equal footing in a joint venture thus T= {E1, E2...E6} (see the Portfolio for the individual team position and team formation). For me, the most important learning was that I understood the importance of proper team formation in a business.

Business Planning
Since the time, between the planning and feedback was very small the planning in our case, was more effective (Locke & Latham 1980; Shane & Delmar, 2004). We were able to manage a large amount of information and also able to expand our cognitive limitations. Business Planning was a heterogeneous task since a lot of areas were to be considered. Since I was the International rep, I suggested starting an international station which would be local in nature and would be able 5
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to involve communities and students in an interactive system (Bruce Girard, 2003). So the international radio became our USP (Unique selling proposition) (Sterling. Ellen, 2011). In order to communicate effectively, we planned to stream in different languages (Beattie & Shovelton, 2005), which was also our unique point. My principal task in the whole process included collecting information and innovating. This Business planning helped us to improve performance (Lumpkin, et al.1998), though considered as a symbolic practice by many (Stinchombe, 1965; Singh et al., 1986; Delmar & Shane, 2004) it helped to show cast a mighty structured behaviour (Tomas Karlsson, 2007) and helped us to deal with the institutional pressure. In the business plan, I set goals for different tasks (copy of business plan submitted earlier) this goal setting theory (Delmar & Shane, 2003) proved really helpful as we were able to complete a set of tasks in a short period of time. This Knowledge will be useful to me as a practitioner as I want to start my own business after graduation. Working on the planning of this company was a real eye opener for me in terms of the lessons learnt in management as well as the time delays which could take place. I believe that the primary flaw lied in the formation of the team as we all did not have a common goal while being formed. Secondly was an age difference, two of the members were more than 40 and the rest of us including me were in 20 s, which brought a delay in functioning as they were engaged in their own personal interests and could devote less time to the company, knowing this in advance I gave the prime responsibility (also see Portfolio for particular roles) like managing director off, this was done in order to avoid conflicts in future as per conflict management strategy (Werner Havenga, 2008) and also believing empowerment, initiative will increase which may lead to an increase in productivity and overall performance of a team (Wilson J 2009). What I have learnt is that we need to check the capability of a person before delegating the task; I would also consider hiring external consultants. I felt that at some times, my team members were too relaxed, and discharge responsibilities on others during the early stages of planning though, we all agree that we worked better under pressure and by setting goals we were able to streamline our efforts.

Market Planning
We conducted our market planning due to its importance for the success of our business (Gruber, 2004); it was my duty to obtain information and plan. As per Stinchocombe (1965) the reference point for market planning in small firms is the lack of internal data and historical background. My research was followed after the research of Marc Gruber (2007) and focussed on the information about competitors, customers and market position, this Marketing Competency activity (Smart &Conant 1994)proved very helpful as we were able to achieve 6
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better knowledge of the market which in the longer run would have benefitted (see appendix for the listening hours). I was involved in the planning & operation of the social media platform which came in to effect after conducting a survey (see the appendix for some survey results), to adhere with the data protection act we did not include the name or details of the customer, which I had opposed as I believed by getting the names and details we could contact them later & establish a relationship with the client also known as the relationship marketing activity (Morris et al. 2002). By a comprehensive market planning, the other team members felt confident, and for the future, I understood the importance of innovation, one to one approaches(Sheth et al 2000), networking(Piercy and Cravens 1995), globalisation & technology (Day & Montgomery 1983) which could be used to create another enterprise. Entrepreneurial marketing is not the direct result of specific managerial decision but more the consequence of entrepreneurial processes and culture (Hills, G. E et al. 2008).

Technical Research & Development


We worked as a team when it came to develop technical stuff; it was my responsibility to find a suitable server to stream the live radio. While selecting a stream source, I kept the legal aspects in concern since we had to create a quarterly report of the music usage (PPL guidelines 2011). I contacted various providers and then after consultation with the team choose Voscast (see the portfolio for chat), since they were economical as well as provided with all necessary legal reports. This demonstrated the ability to choose from options and conduct a survey. We had developed the website but it was not possible to stream on that website this could be a due to incompatibility to live stream, so I had the task to do research on the development of a new website which would support the live stream, I contacted external lecturer on 24th Nov (copy of mail in the portfolio) in order to examine how to set up a radio station website to live stream and tried outsourcing it to decrease time delay (Moretto, M. and Rossini, G, 2011), but was unsuccessful; Hence I had a meeting with carrot media in the office on 30 Nov in order to examine the way to stream live, (see the portfolio for the meeting) After some more research we were able to develop a website on which we could stream. We had originally planned to come to my place, and stream but eventually I realised it was difficult to travel as all lived in different places, so I developed an additional plug with which we could stream music from the homes of any individual making the travel easy and flexible. Having experienced the way delays can take place I now realise the importance of research and development in a company.

Data management
Being music based radio station there was a requirement of hard drives and data storage facilities which was bought (See Portfolio for the bill), but I also collected information about the potential advertisers and varying variety of music benefitting us by improved and accurate reporting which linked the business 7
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function with the business process, (Jonathan Wu, 2005). At first I noticed it was difficult, but eventually it was simpler to manage data. Once the plug to stream from home was installed in all the computers the following question that aroused was data transfer between members. We had a choice of auto dj, but I came up with the idea of cloud storage. Cloud computing in business (Cloud computing, Business Link, 2011) offered us a new method to manage data, softwares, and information. The working practice became more flexible, and no more people needed to come to my room to stream. In order to comply with the data protection act 1998 we did not record any information about any of the students. This helped us to easily deactivate the account once we liquidated. I learnt the importance of data management in business processing, and having learnt how to implement effective cloud computing/storage facilities, I can use it in future business activities to reduce hardware & IT related costs.

Social media harnessing


We had decided to go for social media marketing, one to one marketing as it was decided that the first step was to obtain trust. I suggested that we need to have a single brand name and therefore, we changed the name of the radio station from students radio fm to dazzling stars media radio (look at appendix for the two websites). This helped to achieve significance in site optimisation which was covered by Justin Turner in a presentation on 13 Feb 2012. I made a very powerful marketing & promotion campaign which was focussed to gain attention of the students and increase the listener count, I made a Wikipedia page, blog, few YouTube videos, Twitter account, registered the company on Google places, effectively used ad word campaigns (by use of free credits). This act is well supported by studies on social networking and marketing (Stephanie maddocks, 2011). I was able to distinguish the companys profile in front of the students union which was even passed on as a report to the student union council (appendix for the report). I maintained and updated all these with new contents and in liquidation deactivated all accounts. The message in local language became an effective strategy to improve the acceptance of our brand name which is also supported by (Ahn & LaFerla, 2008). Having read social media marketing (Jan Zimmerman & Doug Sahlin 2010) and practising it practically I now can promote my company, which I hope to build in a very effective manner.

Increase Efficiency
In the initial business plan, we had decided to go with the stream quality which was the cheapest and affordable till we got advertisers, but after getting Individual feed backs from listeners, (see the appendix). I recommended an increase in efficiency to provide superior customer service in order to get new listeners as well as get the same listener return, We decided to increase the 8
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stream bit rate to double which resulted in more customers coming back(look at return customer bounce back figures in portfolio). In the presentation, we were told about mail chump which could be used to send multiple feed backs, therefore, we started a feedback section which was online therefore made the website more interactive. This method to Increase efficiency & maximise profit (Business Link, 2011) helped me to understand how to maintain customer loyalty and how important it is. We were not able to get potential advertisers because by the time we got listeners we were asked to liquidate.

Commercials
Initially we were able to create internet based advertisements, but after understanding the importance of on air radio commercials (Torosyan and munro, 2010) I created some radio advertisements for some clubs who initially wanted to advertise (see the portfolio), but since we could not promote alcohol due to legal issues (PPL licensing UK, 2010), this could be, so that no kids listen to the promotion (Institute of alcohol studies, 2010). I had to generate new adverts, but the trading period was over, and we had to liquidate, but I understood that radio service also improves the commercial environment and is not only for recreation (Rajagopal, 2011). Having experienced the whole process I can say an entrepreneurial action is inextricable from the trial and error process of testing out the idea Vaughn (1990). Total Word Count 2114 words

Demonstration of the External Mentor Support


External mentor: Chris Barber (Carrot media)
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Chris Barber was our external mentor and worked as a website developer since he graduated in 2007 from Newcastle University. He was acting as the technical director of Carrot media. Initially once we set up the website, we had a problem with the website because of which we were not able to live stream on the website we had created. I contacted our external mentor and me and one of my team mates visited the office of carrot media on 30 Nov 2011(look at the log of meeting in the portfolio and also the first company seminar meeting). He suggested us to create websites which are based on open source free softwares like the word press and buddy press. He also recommended considering companies which provide online creation of websites as it was fast and required less coding. Based on this suggestion we created a website which was based on the suggestion we created a website which was based on the online portal of Wix, (Please look at the portfolio for Wix website). I realised that the Wix website was based on flash and was not supported by all the processors, and there was a problem in marketing it on face book. I contacted Chris, and he suggested me to use all in one SEO optimization packs, and try any other service provider, I transferred the website service to Yola (Look at the website creation of Yola in the portfolio), and by transferring to Yola we build a website using an online portal. I also used the SEO optimization methods which fastened our marketing procedures. After undertaking the suggestions we were able to optimize our marketing and also able to create a website which could be used in order to stream live music. He even helped me to understand how to optimize the website on Google, now our website www.dazzlingstarsmedia.com is ranked as the first website on Google. (Please look at screen shot of Google). He suggested us to use the social media as an effective tool of marketing, not only face book but other mediums like YouTube videos twitter, MySpace, as a tool to advertise the radio. This social media marketing (Jan Zimmerman & Doug Sahlin 2010) helped us to reach a larger section of students who were our main consumers. I learnt how an external mentor can help us to mould the whole business in an easy and effective manner. I was able to get a third persons opinion on problems we faced and learnt how it could save time and effort. Chris left carrot media in January 2012 and joined Sage as a Web Application Developer. He even supported us once he left Carrot Media by responding to online enquiries. The support that Chris provided as an External mentor was enormous. During liquidation I even send him an acknowledgement mail thanking him for the support he provided. (Copy of mail attached in the portfolio).

Contact Details of Chris Barber- chris.barber@sage.com.

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Demonstration of the Support from Guest Speakers


Mark Renney Wubble you Ltd (Guest speaker 14th Nov 2011) I contacted Wubble you on 24th Nov 2011 (please look at portfolio for the mail), regarding the difficulties we faced in streaming through our website and the problems, we faced since in the lecture we were told that wubble you specialized in website designing and site engine optimization. Personally they had not worked in live streaming sector before, but he suggested me some websites which helped us in providing resources for live streaming, he also provided help in keyword generation tools for site engine optimization. I found him responsive in the help he provided me to get interested and enhance my knowledge, even though live streaming was out of his table he came up with a valuable solution. In order to remain in contact with Mark and his company in the future I have connected with him on Linked In. I even sent him an email during our liquidation thanking him for his support (please check the portfolio). Bryony Mansell - O Communication (Guest Speaker 21st Nov 2011)

After the lecture in Getting the best out of press, we decided to create a press release, I tried to contact her but did not have her Email ID, since it was not given in the presentation; hence I contacted her on Face book(please see the proof in portfolio). After creating a press release we needed a medium to spread the word, press would be the best medium, so I tried contacting her again, but later we created a blog and uploaded the press release on the blog (please see the blog in portfolio). This guest lecture made me realise the importance of press releases and copyright laws, and also made me realise that in future presentations, I would need to leave my contact details for customers to contact me. Justin Turner Carrot media (Visiting lecturer 13th Feb 2012) I had implemented the Internet marketing methods which the external mentor had discussed in the lecture on the impact of E Business. After the lecture, I personally met the external mentor in order to understand how to get free credits for the ad words. This helped the company to save a lot of money on advertisements as we were able to utilize free resources available online. (Please look at the ad word billing information which was all free because of coupons). Justin has also helped me by constantly answering my queries with a smile. I would say that he and his team are some of the brightest team in the creative sector of software engineering. The lecturer also explained me the importance of Networking; hence I connected with him on Linked in for any help in future. Matthew Rippon Particular C&L Ltd (Guest Speaker 27th Feb 2012)

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I connected with Matthew on Linked In (please look at the linked in connection page on the portfolio), In case of our company Young enterprise acted as Insurers as well as legal consultants. In the lecture I realised the importance of legal consultants and how they can help us in saving a lot of money and time. In the future, I can always contact Matthew for patenting an Intellectual Property Right.

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Personal Log of Manish Abraham (W11033698)