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Are You Ready to Start Your Own Car Detailing Business?

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Car Detailing Business

Car detailing or auto detailing is a good business to get involved in, but only as long as you have the necessary skills, experience, and connections already. The fact that it is a consideration in your mind is likely proof of the fact that you at least have some of those essentials covered. However, we are going to go through a brief list of the checkpoints to help you decide whether you are ready to take your first entrepreneurial steps in the auto detailing segment or not.

You Have the Skills and Experience to be a Good Worker

In order to be a successful business owner in this trade, you will need the skills to be a good worker in the field first. Although you may not have to study and train for eight years like you need to pass out of med school, proper training and a few years of experience as a worker is a must.

You Have the Funds Necessary or Can Get a Loan Easily

Depending on how much you have to invest in your new business, a loan may or may not be needed. Either way, you need to be sure of the fact that the expenses of starting a new car detailing business can be covered by you. For example, if you are going to take out a loan, are you sure that you are eligible for the kind of loan that you need?

In the other scenario, if you do have the funds to launch your business without a loan, are you sure that you will have enough cash flow available after that to keep the operations running smoothly? Will you have enough left over to buy the essential equipment like a pressure washer, a hot water extractor, and a buffer? If the answers are yes, then you are financially ready.

Traders Insurance Coverage is Factored into Your Expense Estimations Already

Someone who has never run a motor trade business before will probably underestimate the cost of insurance which they must pay in order to get the kind of coverage they need to keep the shop protected against usual threats. 

Even if you have a clear idea and have already factored in the cost of insurance, comparing all your options for traders insurance on Quotezone.co.uk is highly recommended. The platform lets car traders, auto detailers, body shops, repair shops and other motor traders in the industry easily compare quotes from multiple providers and check their policies and covers to find the best possible fit. It could lower the overhead of starting a new motor trade business significantly.

It’s better to wait a few years and gather some experience under your belt first, even if you have the skills and money. This allows any skilled worker’s professional skills to mature and sharpen with practical application. It also gives them the opportunity to build connections with key people in the industry, and form good relationships with the regular clientele. If you have the entire checklist covered though, then now is as good a time as any to take the plunge.

Unlocking Startup Success- Why HR Software Makes Sense

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HR Software

Building a new business from scratch is never easy because there are a lot of challenges that entrepreneurs have to face. Funds often run tight while there can be bottlenecks in operations and processes. Needless to say, competition in the market can make things tougher. And it is often hard to understand customer expectations and keep up with them. However, efficient planning along with the right approach can make a lot of difference. First things first, you require to be extra watchful about your human resources because they are the ones who drive growth in the initial stages of a startup.

To start with, you need to decide the ideal team size based on your operational requirements and budget. Even more importantly, you have to ensure that the entire HR workflow is smooth and streamlined. In this context, investing in an HR software solution makes sense to ease workforce management within your organization. Obviously, you could be apprehensive considering the cost of this investment. But there is more than one way in which it can prove to be worthwhile. Here are some ways in which HR software can serve as the key to unlocking startup success. 

Dedicated HR management

The biggest problem with new organizations is that a single resource often has to play multiple roles. Your HR managers would probably be burdened with extra tasks that fall out of their scope of work. Not having dedicated HR management can result in myriad problems for the startup and the team would not be able to perform efficiently as well. However, the implementation of a software tool that automates most of the HR functions can resolve this concern to a significant extent. A good one is able to manage the entire tasks of the HR department with complete precision and accuracy.

Streamlined workflow 

HR operations are more complicated than you may think and handling them for startups is even tougher. You need to go the extra mile to ensure streamlining of the employee workflow if you want to achieve the highest levels of productivity and performance. At the same time, you also have to ensure that scheduling is handled effectively. With an HR management system in place, you can rest assured that the entire aspects of workflow are covered. It also offers accurate reporting that helps you track the ongoing operations and identify bottlenecks even before they happen. Moreover, these reports offer insights that drive fast and effective decision making

Comprehensive record-keeping 

Another benefit that HR software can serve for a new business is in the form of comprehensive record-keeping. This is something that startup owners often tend to overlook because there is a lot more they are burdened with. Keeping paperwork in place is, however, vital to understand your progress and comply with industry norms. But the sheer volume of documentation, right from employee onboarding to payroll and benefits management, performance assessments, and offboarding can baffle you. Thankfully, a software solution eliminates all the manual work related to record-keeping. Further, it also reduces the chances of human errors in the process. 

Employee satisfaction 

Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit of embracing HR software for your new business is that it can drive immense employee satisfaction. With capabilities like smart payroll management, effective workforce scheduling, and unbiased performance tracking, it simplifies HR operations and cuts down the possibility of disputes. Employees are happy with the system as they can expect fair treatment and rewards for their performance. Satisfied employees go the extra mile to deliver higher productivity, which can propel your startup’s growth to a significant extent.

Positive workplace culture

Building a positive workplace culture matters a lot for new business and this is where an HR software solution can help. A happier and productive workforce is loyal to the organization, which fosters the spirit of positive contribution. Moreover, you can expect to have a high retention rate which is vital for startups. While you can save up on hiring and training new resources, people who stay with your business, in the long run, serve as valuable assets for the organization. 

You cannot overemphasize the value of an HR software application for a new business. Despite the cost, it may spell for your startup, the benefit it delivers makes it a smart choice. Apart from helping your business grow currently, it serves as a scalable resource that can help your business align as it grows and onboards more people in the team in the future. So this is one investment you should make without thinking twice!

Female Start-Ups Changing the World in 2020

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Female Start-Ups

Despite huge strides in inequality, women’s entrepreneurship still lags men’s in all but seven countries in the world. In this infographic guide, Trainwest looks at nine leading women-led start-ups that are changing the world and inspiring the next wave of female entrepreneurs in 2020. 

How A Lack of Funding is Contributing to the Start-Up Gender Gap

Access to capital is essential in order for a start-up to grow and succeed. Yet, research from Telefonica has found that “male entrepreneurs are 86% more likely to be VC funded than their female counterparts, and men were 59% more likely to secure angel investment.” This is likely linked to the fact that 90% of VCs and Investors tend to be attracted to businesses run by people who look like themselves. With few high-profile examples of successful female-led start-ups, investors may hesitate to fund companies run by women. 

The Role of Gender Bias 

Even in 2020, it’s evident that sexism still plays a role in hampering female entrepreneurship. For example, a poll from The Telegraph, two-thirds of 750 female founders felt they were not taken seriously when pitching to investors. Similarly, interesting research from the Harvard Business Review has found that investors tend to ask men and women different questions: “They tended to ask men questions about the potential for gains and women about the potential for losses.”

A Bright Future for Female Entrepreneurialism 

As the examples in the below infographic demonstrate, there has never been a better time to be a woman in business. Study after study reveals that there has never been a higher rate of female entrepreneurialism. What’s more, women-led businesses are the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurship in many places.  

Scroll down to the infographic below to learn more about the top female-led start-ups in the world.

Female Start-Ups Changing the World in 2020

What Does it Take to Be a Good Business Advisor?

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Business Advisor

It can often be difficult to know what career you want to get into, and it can be even more of a challenge to know how to obtain that career. This is why it is so important that you do your research into each career option you are interested in before you make any final and permanent decisions. 

Business advisory has become an increasingly popular career route in recent years and the role involves offering professional and expert advice to help new and well-established businesses get set up and grow. However, being a good business advisor will not happen overnight, and it is important that you know exactly what it takes.

Education 

To become a business advisor, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, or a comparable discipline. There are many different types of courses out there that could provide you with the skills and knowledge you need. 

You can find out the types of jobs that you could get from different business degree options by checking out University Compare’s career guides. Their university comparison website can help find a career that’s right for you. Many business advisors take their expertise to the next level by completing a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) where they can specialize in a particular area of business. Sometimes these include law or marketing subjects. 

Business degree subjects are known for being intense and challenging courses, but they are effective in providing you with the skills you need to be a good business advisor. 

Expertise 

In your role as a good business advisor, you would need to have an excellent business sense and the ability to tell companies how they can make a profit. Making money is the main focus in the world of business, so your clients will expect you to have the skills to help their company grow into a success. Therefore, you will need to be familiar with current financial trends, so your education does not end when you finish your degree. From the economy booms to the consequences of fiscal restraint, you need to keep up to date on the economy and be aware of how it will affect your clients’ businesses. 

Communication 

Communication is one of the most vital skills for a good business advisor, as you will be working so closely with your clients on how to help their businesses grow. You will need to establish and maintain a relationship with your clients so that working to tight deadlines and under pressure is more manageable. Your clients need to understand what you are discussing with them, and also trust that you know how best to advise them. 

Organisation 

Working as a business advisor means that you will need to effectively manage different areas of a business, so you need to stay organised at all times. A good business advisor is never late or absent at meetings, and always has the relevant files and documents with them.

By doing your research, you can find out everything you need about how to become a good business advisor to help you develop your career.  

5 Most Effective Marketing Methods on a Budget

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Effective Marketing Methods

Marketing is critical for every business, and in some circumstances, can be very costly. So, for small companies and start-ups, it is crucial to be aware of any marketing initiatives that are either low or no cost. If we can make the most of our marketing opportunities, we can see growth happening with much more ease as we move forward. Here are what we consider to be the five most effective marketing methods when working with a tight budget.

Leafletting

If you are tied to a location or area, then distributing leaflets can really help. This can be significant as it often gives you a chance to physically talk to your potential customers as you hand these out. You may have a unique opportunity to hear if they are likely to become customers, and if not, why not. It is relatively inexpensive to have flyers printed, and the potential expensive part is if you are paying staff or an agency to distribute them.

READ ALSO: Poster Printing – The Offline Marketing Powerhouse

Ambush Marketing

Ambush marketing is an exciting concept. It is where you use a large event that is happening in your vicinity and use it to gain exposure without actually becoming an official sponsor or advertising partner. If you had a significant sporting event in your city, then you can create promotions and offers based on this. Or you could even advertise in public spaces on the routes to the venues associated with the events.

Direct Marketing

For companies who know exactly who their customers are, it can pay to get in touch with them directly, and this is called direct marketing. This is particularly useful for those operating on a business to business basis, as you can quickly check business directories and phone them up or send out promotional packages and product samples. You could also engage an email marketing agency to create and manage email lists to market to thousands at once at a low cost directly.

Social Media

Social media is possibly the most prominent single aspect of online promotion that helps smaller businesses. Just using social media is not enough unless you know the methods that get results. You must create engaging content that is as visually impressive as possible with a clear message that speaks to customers. Know which platform to use for your demographic, is it Facebook for middle-aged and older, Instagram and Twitter for younger users. It’s also key to time Tweets and posts appropriately, and social media platforms allow timed posts, which can be targeted accurately if you pay a little for the advertising.

Word of Mouth

The best promotion you can achieve is that of independent customers talking you up. If you are good at what you do and get a recommendation, then no amount of paid-for advertising can rival this. Be sure to check that customers are happy with your products and services and attend to any complaints promptly. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive online reviews as this shows others you are trustworthy and helps your SEO efforts.

Workplace Safety Programs: Why Startups Need To Have One

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Workplace safety

The safety of employees should be a top priority for any business, all the more for startups. After all, your workforce is the growth catalyst that has the potential to take the company to the next level. You can expect to achieve your growth targets easily with a happy workforce and their physical safety is one thing that can make a difference in this context. So having a safety program makes sense even if your company is just a few months old and has only a limited number of people on board. Here are some reasons why you must surely invest in one. 

Legally required as a regulatory compliance 

As a new entrepreneur, you need to know that every business has to follow some regulatory guidelines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Under these guidelines, all businesses have to enforce and maintain certain workplace safety standards, regardless of their size or type of work. You need not worry about compliance costing a fortune because these requirements may be as simple as displaying the required safety notices or maintaining training compliance. Remaining compliant not only makes your setup safer but also helps you avoid fines. 

Fortifies your company culture

A startup’s success greatly depends on establishing an employee-focused culture right from your inception. When you go above and beyond with a proper workplace safety program in place, you end up bringing a positive culture while mitigating the risk of workplace accidents as well. The employees approach their work with safety in mind and are extra conscious while performing them. Further, they are quick to report potential hazards and visualize ways to improve safety in every way they can.

Prevents legal hassles 

New ventures already run on limited funds and the last thing they want to do would be to spend them on legal hassles. Experts at Thomas Law Offices recommend that startups must make an extra effort to enhance workplace safety for preventing accidents and getting into litigation for dealing with employee injuries. Apart from compensation claims, worker injuries add to medical treatment costs and also translate into missed days at work. Rather than losing money this way, it would be better to have a responsible approach to worker security. 

Boosts employee loyalty

An unseen yet immense benefit that new companies can derive by investing in such a program is in the form of employee loyalty. Your employees see the initiative as an effort to ensure their well-being. Obviously, this will make the workforce more loyal towards the organization and reflect in their productivity and satisfaction. In the long run, there will be an increase in retention. Your company will be able to save the cost of employee turnover as they would want to stay with your business. 

Implementing a workplace safety program in your startup is surely the best thing that you can do to steer it in the right direction. Having robust procedures, training, and expectations right from the start enables you to send to across the right message early. And the message does not stay within but travels outside as well, which adds an advantage in the form of reputation and credibility.

Why SEO is the Most Effective Marketing Tool for Start-Ups

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SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, plays a vital role in the success of any business operating in the current digital climate, but it plays a special role for start-up companies whose budget is more limited. Good SEO techniques can reap valuable benefits, such as helping a website reach a global audience, build trust from its customers, provide access to useful data, and even the playing field against more established companies. 

Since many search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, outlining an SEO strategy can be a hard task for any business, leading many to employ inefficient SEO techniques. The outline below features some of the most beneficial elements of SEO promotion to help inform a start-up looking to select an effective SEO strategy for their long-term business goals.

The Importance of a High SEM Ranking 

Since more than half of visitors that arrive at any website will have got there through a search engine, it is not hard to understand why a strong presence on these platforms is necessary. However, what some aren’t aware of are the major effects that come from specific placement on the first page of results.

When a business employs effective SEO techniques, this will help them to move to the highest position on a search engine results page (SERP). That’s the importance of SEO: no matter how small the company, if it is better at SEO, it will be able to rank above household names.

The benefits of this are twofold: firstly, it brings a major influx of click-throughs. Studies show the difference between the 1st and 10th positions is a 30% drop in click-through. Perhaps more importantly for the financial health of a start-up is the effect that the SERP can have on sales. The conversion rate (the rate at which a website’s visitor purchases an item) falls by nearly 90% from the 1st to the 10th position. 

SEO vs. Paid Sponsorship 

Internet advertising has long been the fastest growing form of promotion on the market, with SEO and paid sponsorship being the two most popular methods of online advertising.

Paid sponsorships involve a company paying for their website to be displayed at the top of a search engine when the required keyword is searched for. As a legal requirement, these will ‘sponsored’ or ‘AD’ label alongside the website name. Although most are aware that the majority of internet users view the companies ranking the highest to be the top of their industry, many aren’t aware of the way different strategies can affect a potential customer’s perception of a business. 

Studies have found that these two different forms of marketing can have very different effects on the way a business is perceived. SEO is observed to bring greater benefits for long-term sustainable branding, as it produces organic search results. A study found that 77% of 425 respondents favored organic results, viewing them as most relevant to their query. 

SEO can be resource-draining, as best practices change as quickly as search engine algorithms. For many start-ups, employing an in-house team of SEO experts simply isn’t an option; this is why many find outsourcing to an SEO industry leader like Click Intelligence to be the most efficient way of ensuring the most up-to-date and effective techniques are always used. 

The ability of a start-up to employing a low-cost strategy that can not only make the business globally accessible but can also enable the perception that the business is a trustworthy and valuable alternative to large, established companies is transformative. It is these potential outcomes that should make SEO the go-to tool for all new and fledgling companies out there. 

Social Media Channels as a Way to Your Customers

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Social Media channels

Browsing social media is one of the most popular activities online. According to the latest reports, 49% of the worldwide population is on Social, which is around 63% of eligible audiences.

If your ideal customer is anything like the average social media user, they have an account on eight different social media channels and spend up to two and a half hours every day using them. Being where your customers spend their free time is not just an option anymore. It’s actually one of the crucial factors of your startup’s success.

The fact is that businesses need a strong social media presence nowadays just to keep their competitive edge, grow their customer base, and build their customers’ loyalty. To achieve these goals and use social media as a way to their customers, businesses need a carefully curated and managed social media presence.

Scroll down for five tips on how to make social media work for you.

Find the Channels That Work For You

And more importantly, for your audience! 

First things first – you can’t manage your presence on every social media channel or at least manage them well. You need to determine the channels that are dominant in your industry for the services and the products you’re offering.

You can target two or three channels. Then, focus all your efforts on delivering high-quality content that will engage your audience, leading to conversions and loyal customers.

To determine the dominant channels, try answering the following questions:

  • What channels do my target customers use?
  • Where is my competition?
  • Is there an untapped opportunity I could use?
  • How many channels can I manage?
  • Are there any geographical differences I should take into consideration?

Answering these questions will make it easier for you to choose your preferred channels and focus on them.

READ ALSO: The 7 Ideal Social Media Principles for Startups

Form Meaningful Relationships With Your Audience

However, it’s not only about your startup showing up on social media to advertise your products and services. 

Many businesses approach social media this way. They use it as yet another channel for self-promotion. Sometimes not even bothering to respond to their followers’ comments and queries.

The crucial part of social media is interaction. Actually, it’s the way your business engages with your audience that truly matters.

Use your social media channels to form meaningful relationships with your target audience. Offer high-quality content that fits their specific needs, interests, and pain points. Digital marketing consultants can help you learn how to create and send you well-tailored messages directly to your target audience.

If you know their pain points, offer them a solution. Whether they have a recurring problem with using your product, share a video tutorial, and teach them how to do it.

You should also know that your potential customers feel underrepresented in advertising, as 70% of women do, stand for your values as Dove did with their Campaign for Real Beauty.

By addressing the needs of your customers, you’ll show your genuine interest in making their life better. This is a surefire way to create trust and form meaningful relationships.

Excell Your Social Media Customer Support

With the rise of digital technologies, your customers’ expectations have also increased. There are many behaviors your followers just won’t tolerate on social media, and that they will punish you harshly for. Failing to respond to comments on social media can lead to a 15% increase in your customer churn.

Statistics also show that 54% of customers would rather use social media channels than email or phone for customer service. When they make a complaint, they expect the answer to come within the hour. So, you should do your best to not only meet their expectations but also exceed them.

Fortunately, there are some great tools available that can make you respond to the comments and complaints of your customers promptly.

As many customers won’t post complaints directly on your page, you can use social media listening tools to receive mentions of your brand online.

And when it comes to providing customer support via your social media channels, AI-powered chatbots can be there for your customers 24/7/365. These can successfully resolve up to 80% of the most common queries in a personalized, human-like way.

By leveraging your social media channels for customer support, you will not only solve your customers’ issues faster and make them happier, but you will also do it in a way that is 83% cheaper than via a call center interaction.

Use Social Media to Learn About Your Audience

Social networks are an excellent resource for you to learn more about your customers. You can use this knowledge to improve both the products and the services that you’re offering. You can as well adjust your marketing and sales campaigns and fit them better to your customers’ needs.

Social media gives you an insight into your target customers’ demographic, their behavior online, and their response to your campaigns. Specialized tools you use, such as chatbots, for example, can gather many other details about each one of your customers, from various sources. 

As they have access to the records of every touchpoint between your customers and your brand, these tools can provide personalized content that matches the needs of every individual customer.

You can also use social networks to run surveys and polls. Ask your customers for their opinion so that you can collect the feedback you need directly from your customers.

The best way to capitalize on your social media channels is by being more responsive to your customers’ needs and requests. In other words, listening to them should always come first. 

How domestic manufacturers accelerate economic growth

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Every government relies on domestic as well as foreign trades for economic progress. However, there are a few key differences in how these two trades affect the economic health of a republic. Notably, it is not easy for any of these alone to drive the economy of an entire country. Yet, it is the manufacturing of products domestically that can give a quick boost to a nation’s economy.

Let us understand how domestic manufacturers accelerate the economic growth of a country.

Increase In Employment Rate For Domestic Population

Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges that any government can face on the path of economic growth. Simply because more unemployed people would suppress the already fragile economic system and burden the government reserves. However, when a domestic manufacturing unit is set up, several skilled and unskilled workers find employment. Now, an employed population would not only reduce the burden on the national treasures but also would contribute towards revenue generation for the government. This is the most fundamental rule of economic development.

Development Of The Supporting Infrastructure

Setting up a manufacturing plant demand some basic amenities. These amenities ensure the safe and efficient operation of the unit. Now this notion has a reverse side as well. When there are no manufacturing units to benefit from the infrastructure, there is no development. However, if the factories and production facilities are set up, they would also push the infrastructural development. For example, if there are no steel manufacturing facilities in an area, there are possibly meek chances of finding any supporting infrastructure. Now, these infrastructure elements may include utility supplies, transportation access, water supplies, nearby residential complex, and so on. Several manufacturing units also go to websites that offer backup infrastructure equipment, such as a diesel generator, as well. But, none of these trades and utilities are of any worth, if there are no industries in the region.

Higher Domestic Yield Invites Foreign Investments

One of the most significant benefits of domestic industrial development for any country is the potential for inviting foreign investments. As simple as that, when foreign investors bet their money on any trade-in an alien country, they help the treasures increase. Subsequently, this also has an impact on the country’s currency. In most likelihood, more foreign investments have a good impact on the currency. However, inviting foreign investments is not as easy as it sounds. The governments have to offer several other benefits to the investors, particularly, when the infrastructure in the country is weak.

Once again, domestic manufacturing units play an important role in bringing foreign investments. Consider this, if there are already micro or small industries operating in a particular trade, it guarantees the existence of infrastructural needs for the trade. Subsequently, the investments are also possible in two ways.

  • Investment in supply chain

The first possibility is investments in the supply chain. Usually, when the yield from any domestic manufacturer exceeds the demand in the local market, they begin to penetrate into new markets. Essentially, these new markets demand efficient export and import channels to facilitate the movement of the goods. Foreign investors often show their interest in improving these supply chain channels.

  • Investment in Infrastructure

The other possibility is when investors bet their money on the infrastructure. An investor may invest in setting up a new manufacturing facility or they may help create supporting services. For example, Coca-Cola usually set up their own manufacturing plants in any new location, or they sometimes outsource there manufacturing tasks. This is typically an example where a foreign investor puts their money in setting up a new manufacturing facility. On the other hand, there may be instances when a company may invest in supporting services, as already mentioned. For example, DHL is a global leader in providing transportation services for goods across countries and continents.

In a nutshell, foreign investments support both employment goals, manufacturing operations, and infrastructure development. And all of this is facilitated in addition to the economic growth for the country.

The Way Forward…

Most importantly, the economic growth of a country depends on how much revenue is generated domestically. In light of this statement, it is quite important for a country to promote its domestic production. In fact, the Gross Domestic Produce of a country is largely dependent on local trades.

  • Easing The Norms For Setting Up A Manufacturing Unit

In order to promote domestic trades, governments need to simplify the process of setting up a manufacturing plant or a trade. This includes simplifying the rules and regulations, tax reforms, finance opportunities, and most importantly providing the technology. When all of these needs are provided, the domestic trade is sure to flourish and grow. And subsequently the economic growth of the country.

  • Providing Industries With Supporting Infrastructure

Simplifying the process for setting up the manufacturing unit is just the beginning. In order to help the trades expand and scale, supporting infrastructure is as important as the basic norms. For instance, providing transportation facilities and easy access to energy resources can lower the cost of setting up a manufacturing plant. And thus, more and more investments would be made in the respective trades.

  • Promoting Foreign Trade, Particularly The Export

Lastly, providing the opportunity for foreign trade is the key factor that increases the economic value of any business. Opening up the ports and cargo facilities for local traders is a basic necessity for foreign exchange. In other words, easy export norms and facilities boost the exchange rate in foreign currencies. And thus, help boost the economic development of a nation.

All in all, domestic manufacturers are the key to economic growth. And it is needless to say that a better economy reflects better life quality for the citizens of a country. Thus, improving other factors of the country’s development score. So, the government agencies and authorities need to focus their efforts on promoting domestic production. But, it is not limited to the authorities alone. The citizens of the country also need to put their efforts into creating more and more domestic opportunities for economic transactions.

The First-Time Manager’s Handbook

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First-time manager

Management requires a certain level of skills, experience, and knowledge as the role is crucial to the organization’s success. It is a great and rewarding opportunity, but can also be both terrifying and overwhelming at the same time during the first few months, especially for first-time managers. Managers, while managing a group of individuals, are directly involved in planning, organizing, and controlling everything under their scope of work. If you are a new manager, you now have a vital role for your organization to function well, make a profit, and meet its goals.

Preparing for the New Role

If you are a first-time manager, you should not be too overwhelmed by your new position to a point that your capacity, skills, and performance get affected negatively. It would help a lot to educate yourself on the new role. Get to know your tasks, the scope of your work, your primary functions, your team members, and everything that is essential. Not only would you gain confidence in taking the new role, but it would also make your career transition a smooth-sailing experience. 

You may also ask yourself “What type of manager would I like to be?” or “What kind of manager would I want my coworkers to expect from me?“. Then, set your personal goals from there. Once you have laid out your personal goals, it would be much easier for you to embrace the new role. Work out everything slowly, one step at a time. By setting goals, you could have a long-term vision and motivation as you get involved in your new role. Moreover, it would help you focus and be more organized.

As a first-time manager, it’s important to clarify expectations. You will need to know:

  • What you are accountable for,
  • How your performance will be measured.

Being new, it is important that you clarify such expectations from your superiors and colleagues so that you can have a clear grasp of your role in general. It will also give you a different perspective on handling things as you go along. Similarly, you should openly and clearly discuss with each of your team members what your expectations are. In this way, they will have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and accountabilities.

Lastly, you have to keep in mind to be professional at all times. You are designated as the new manager because you are qualified for the position, and you have reached a certain level of skills and experience to be at that point.  Although it is understandable that you may still be adjusting to the new role, you need to look the part and exhibit a professional image. As the manager, you should set a standard in showing professionalism that your employees could follow. You should also be able to hold yourself liable for your own words and actions. Be responsible, considerate, truthful, ethical, and obey your organization’s principles.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Successful Manager?

As a first-time manager, you have to understand how crucial respect is in your new position. You must treat everyone with respect so that they will respect you in return. Listen and not interrupt when someone is speaking and be on time during meetings. Such simple actions would result in a harmonious working relationship with one another and a more productive and conducive work environment.

Another important thing to note is that you should exhibit excellent organizational skills. Managers always have their plates full, and as such, you should be able to stay organized and focused. You should be able to meet deadlines, prioritize and delegate tasks, and coordinate resources internally and externally.

READ ALSO: Developing Communication Skills in a Startup: A Guide

Another vital thing that every manager should pay attention to is their subordinates or team members. You must be able to motivate your employees by providing them an environment that is conducive to working effectively and efficiently and showing support, encouragement, and appreciation for their works.

Managers must also possess one of the most crucial skills in management – problem-solving skills. Problems are unavoidable and should be addressed immediately. As the manager, the first step is to be confident in handling them. Identify the problem and come up with alternative solutions. From there, you can evaluate the alternatives until you find the most plausible solution. As the manager, you should be able to establish open communication among team members so that you can collectively come up with a viable solution. 

What Tools Will You Need to Make Your Life Easy?

There are several ways to make management easier such as utilizing tools online that you and the rest of your team can easily access. One of the most effective tools is the Google Cloud Platform. This includes computing, data analysis, storage and database, networking, data transfer, and management tools, and much more.

There are also many time and attendance software available online, which you may find useful. 

READ ALSO: What is the Best Conference Call Service? 5 Amazing Options

How to Build a Strong Team?

As the manager, you are in-charge in overseeing your team individually and collectively as a whole. For you to build a strong and effective team, you must possess great leadership skills and communicate effectively with your team. You should be able to establish open communication between team members so each can effectively express concerns and issues concerning the tasks, the projects, or the team in general. You must also establish time attendance software for your employees. You need to focus on each of the member’s roles and give value to what they do. It is important as well to set individual goals for each member, and general goals for the team.

Manager Must-Read Books

Learning is a continuous process that a first-time manager should always take note of. To stay focused on your goals and motivated in the work you do, you must read books relating to management and the things you do professionally. Read everything you can and take in as much as possible. From such, you can introduce new ideas to your team that may help everyone, including yourself, to improve. Some of the books that you could read are the following:

Top Mobile App Funding Guide and Ideas

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Mobile App Funding

The mobile apps market has to be considered one of the fastest-growing in the areas of business and technology. It’s undeniable the revenue that it can bring in is substantial if you know how to utilize it. The global mobile app market size had a value of $106.27 billion in 2018, according to Allied Market Research. They predict that by 2026, the value will be $407.31 billion. The CAGR will be approximately 18.4% between 2019 and 2026. 

While the growth for mobile app is assured, so is the investment in it. Two groups are sure to see a profit from these trends. One is the companies that design the apps. The other is investors who sink money into ventures for a cut of the revenue. Funding app ideas is a viable way to make a lot of money, so there are plenty of entities and individuals out there that are willing to do it.

How to Get Funding for an App 

Venture Capital

With venture capitalism, you have entities that are engaged in private equity financing. Venture capital firms invest money into startups or companies that are in the emerging or early stages. If you want to get funding for an app through this source, then you’ll need to present a valid case for why your idea has merit. At this early stage, you’ll need to stretch every dollar as far as you can, and venture capital firms fully understand this. If individuals or other entities see that you can use your investment money wisely, they’ll be more likely to invest more later on.

Crowdfunding Your App

This is where you use app funding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. It’s a proven method for raising capital, as some tech crowdfunding campaigns have raised millions of dollars to get their ideas off the ground. Crowdfunding also represents built-in validation for your ideas. If you can run a crowdfunding campaign and reach a large group of individuals to pledge real money towards your mobile app, that confirms the demand for what you’re trying to build.

You can raise capital this way, and you can also prove that it’s worth spending that money to develop the app. You can even cultivate your community of backers to be the first users of the finished product. When you are looking at how to find investors for an app, this is one of the easiest ways that is worth your consideration. 

Angel Investors

As you are looking at how to get funding for an app idea, you should certainly consider angel investing. An angel investor is someone who provides the capital for a business startup, or an app, in this case. Angel investors are like venture capitalists, except they operate on their own instead of being a part of larger firms. If you take on an angel investor, what they’re going to look for in return is either ownership equity or convertible debt. Angel investors may be your best option if you cannot get money through a venture capital firm. For instance, Joist app funding through an angel investor would have made a lot of sense. 

Accelerators

Accelerators are also sometimes called seed or startup accelerators. They are cohort-based programs that can help you if you’re in the midst of developing your app. You might think of them as app funding companies. They may put up a seed investment, but they also might provide help with your connections, mentorship, or educational components to help the process along. They may also help you set up a public pitch event when you’re getting close to launching the app. TechStars, AngelPad, and Y Combinator would be some examples of apps fund entities. 

App Contests & Incubators

An app idea contest is a way of generating app ideas from a select group of individuals with knowledge of a particular niche. You have a contest, and then once you pay out the agreed-upon prize, you usually get the intellectual property rights for the winning idea.

At that point, you start looking around for fund ideas. Incubators are periods of immersive education that are meant to accelerate the app-creation process. The first one of these might be a viable option if you’re trying to come up with an app idea within a particular niche. The second would be when you already have an idea, but you’re trying to get clarity before you forge ahead with the development. As you are thinking about how to get investors for an app, you should look into these two concepts. 

What are Startup Funding Rounds?

If you do manage to get in front of potential app investors, it’s vital to know how startup funding rounds are structured. 

  • Seed Round: Seed funding usually comes from industry insiders. It provides the initial startup capital for your business.
  • Angel Round: The angel round is similar to a seed round, but it is often more formal. Angel investors sometimes have limited knowledge of the niche in which your app is meant to operate. They are outside investors who will buy common stock in the company, usually after agreeing to more formal terms than seed investors.
  • Series A: This is often the first round of large-scale venture capital funding for a business. Series A rounds can bring in $2 to $10 million. They provide capital for the business entity to fully develop its product and grow.
  • Series B, C, etc.: These are further rounds that may be held based on the company’s later capital needs, should any be necessary.

Read Also: How Startup Funding Works

How to Get Investors for a Mobile App 

Start with Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Let’s say that you are in the idea stage with an app. You might not be able to land any mobile app investors until you develop the MVP version of your product. This version of the app despite it is not full-scale has just enough features to generate excitement and investor interest. 

Mobile App Funding

Collect Money from Early Adopters

An adaptor differs from other forms of investors. Adaptors are those within your circle who have the earliest vested interest in the app, and probably know the most about it. Often, adaptors turn out to be part of the creative team behind the app. If they have no developer knowledge, they’ll need to hire devs to handle the creation process for them.  

Establish a Brand

As you are creating your app, it would be beneficial for you to work on establishing your brand, if you hope to get access to a mobile app fund. If you are recognizable and seen as knowledgeable and appealing within a particular niche, then it makes it much more likely that you’ll be able to generate outside investor interest in your projects. 

Research the List of Potential Investors

Next up, you can find investors for app development. Candidates might include venture capital firms, angel investors, or other entities.

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch

You should next come up with a concise way of telling potential investors about your app. Try to land on points like what the market is for it, and why it’s likely to be successful. Try not to get too technical, since investors may not know too much about your niche.

Read Also: 4 Types Of Startup Pitch You Need To Know About

Create an Interactive Demo

As a way of generating more interest if you have an investor on the fence, you should now be able to give a demo with the MVP that you developed earlier. The app should now be in a version where the investor can clearly see what the potential is and why it’s in their best interest to get behind your company financially. 

Read Also: 7 Ways to Prepare Your Startup for Scaling

Conclusion

Now, you know how to raise money for an app. If you have an idea for a mobile app that is truly exciting and original, then that often proves to be the hardest part of the process. Hopefully, finding investors for apps and enlisting the help of devs should not prove to be very challenging. If your idea is resonant enough, then how to fund it should not be all that tricky, and it ought to be able to find an audience. 

A Guide to Building a Business from Scratch with Literally No Money

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Building a Business from Scratch

Starting a business from scratch requires capital, and it is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face. Now, you do not have to break the bank to start that business you have been craving for. You can use creative ways to establish your business and keep it running with little to no cash. Let us look at ways you can use to build a startup from scratch with literally no money to set you up and running. 

Starting a Business with No Money

Save up for your business expenses

It is unlikely that you will set up your business today and earn top dollar profit tomorrow. That said, it takes at least six months for you to start realizing profits from your new business. It is advisable, therefore, that you put in place means to meet your expenses while running your business before you start realizing profits. That will afford you the time to focus on your business without the worry of how you will get money to meet your personal needs.

Make use of free stuff

You don’t have to spend too much on costs at the early stage of business. Why not take advantage of free stuff to build your business? For example, if you are building an online business, then you can start selling from Facebook, Instagram and the likes. You can also take advantage of open source tools and used equipment to set up the business. Remember, you literally have no cash to spend, so why not get creative and lower your costs? 

Borrow extra funds from family and friends

Your family and friends are the closest to you. That means that you can pitch your business idea to them and get objective feedback on its viability. Once the idea is solid and ready for implementation, you can cordially invite them to support it by offering you some cash. You might get funding from people who are close to you and who have bought your idea already than strangers. That will also be easy to manage the risk as some might not expect to be paid back.

Invite people to pay you upfront

For the product or service that you are selling, you can have some loyal customers pay ahead of delivery for bulk orders. That’s one way to get money to purchase in bulk from the producer at a wholesale price and resell to your client at a retail price, therefore making good profits. 

You should, however, make sure that you deliver the right product to your customers, without compromising on quality or the standards agreed upon purchase. For example, if you promised to deliver fresh vegetables and the customer paid upfront for it, it is only prudent that you deliver nothing less than what was paid for. That is important in building mutual trust and long-term customer relationships.

Additionally, you should consider the most affordable means of delivery. Try to save on the transport fees as well by picking the right mode of delivery. Remember that the goal is to save as much money as possible and to cater for the fixed costs of running the business.

Outsource services

One of the best ways to save money is to work with contractors and freelancers to access essential services that you need for your business. This helps you save money since you will only pay for the work done. Besides, you will be in a position to negotiate for the fees with the service provider. It’s better than having full-time staff who are entitled to a salary and many benefits you might not afford. 

For example, to optimize the performance of your business, you may need to incorporate the right tech systems into your business. To get the best deal, you can outsource IT services from managed service providers who will assure you of quality and affordable charges. As a result, you will be able to save money for other business operations. 

Apply for funding

You can get external funding for your business from small business loan lenders at a low-interest rate. You can also try to pitch to investors who might be interested in your business. The money can go a long way into funding business operations. Besides, you can also apply for grants. Grants are non-repayable funds given to businesses. Find out if there are any grants that fit the guidelines of the venture you are running and apply. Getting grants will help you scale up the performance of your business without worrying about finances. 

Final takeaway

It is possible to start a business with literally no money. However, this calls for hard work and a lot in creative ways to save and make more money. You don’t have to wait to have the cash to start that business you want to venture into. 

Which Content Marketing KPIs Should Matter to Your Business?

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Content Marketing KPIs

Time and again, it’s been proven that content is king.

So, most businesses are leveraging content marketing today.

However, do you know if your strategy is really generating results?

Which KPIs should you track to find out?

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question. It depends on a range of factors like your goals, strategy, audience demographics, etc.

It also depends on your brand’s overall presence.

Are You a Startup?

If you’ve just started your business, you need to track your content marketing ROI and make crucial decisions to ensure that you’re on the right path.

At this point, your content marketing strategy will probably not generate any leads or sales. In fact, your campaign goals should be to build awareness about your brand and products or services.

Here are a few KPIs that you should consider looking at:

  • Overall traffic: Analyze what your traffic looks like and where it is coming from. The goal is not just to reach out to a large number of people, but also to reach the right people.
  • Followers and subscribers: Whether your focus is your YouTube channel, your Instagram account, or your blog, you should try to grow your following over time.
  • Engagement rate: Your engagement rate is a great indicator of whether or not your content is resonating with your audience.

Since your business is new, a good engagement rate might be hard to achieve. However, if you publish high-quality content consistently, your audience will definitely like, comment on, and share it.

Do You Have a Decent Following?

Once your business develops a decent online presence and following on social accounts, you can track other KPIs and focus on lead generation.

Some of the metrics you can track include:

  • Inbound links: If people are linking back to your content, they look at you as an authority in your niche. This will help you generate more traffic and improve your search rankings.
  • Conversion rate: You need to evaluate whether your site traffic is actually converting into sales.
  • Click-through rate: Are your calls-to-action (CTAs) working well? Click-through rates will tell you how many people actually click on your links.

Do You Want to Scale Your Business?

Once your business is stable and successful, driving decent content marketing results can be much easier as you have experience. Ideally, your campaigns should be generating a decent amount of revenue by now.

In addition to the above-mentioned metrics, you should also start looking at:

  • The length of your sales cycle
  • Cost per lead
  • Customer retention rate
  • Repeat purchases
  • Customer lifetime value

All in all, your content marketing strategy and KPIs should keep evolving.

If you need help organizing your content marketing efforts, you can seek help from professionals. You can also use content marketing platforms to simplify the process. Check out some of the best ones mentioned on my blog, ShaneBarker.com to learn more.

Don’t forget to go through the infographic below to identify other important KPIs you should be tracking.

9 Important Content Marketing KPIs That Can Predict the Success of Your Campaign
Image Courtesy: shanebarker.com

How RFID Technology Can Revolutionize Supply Chain Management

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Supply chain management

Supply chain management is a job that moves with the times. For as long as there have been supply chains, there have been people seeking to use technology in order to maximize the efficiency of their chain and ensure the uninterrupted flow of materials and goods.

RFID technology is a modern technology that can help to bring supply chains into the 21st century.

What Is RFID?

Radio Frequency Identification Technology is a technology that most people are familiar with now, even if they do not realize it. RFID devices are a potential alternative to the now outdated barcode. A barcode utilizes a series of black and white lines to encode information so that when it is scanned with a laser it can be understood by a reader. An RFID scanner does not need to be able to physically see an RFID tag in order to read it. Instead, they communicate by using radio waves. 

For many warehouse managers, this alone is enough to pique their interest, but there are also implications for global supply chains that are equally enticing. RFID provides a potential solution to some of the most significant challenges that supply chain managers face today.

  • Barcode scanners are labor-intensive.
  • People are less reliable than automated systems, which RFID enables.
  • Minor stock inaccuracies can cause problems down the line.

If you are at all interested in supply chain management, you should know about RFID and the potential changes that it could usher in. You might also be interested in supply chain management courses, in which you will learn how technologies like RFID are changing the landscape. Click here to check out Kettering University’s supply chain management course to see what’s involved.

Monitor Stock Levels Accurately

Accurate inventory tracking has always presented a challenge to businesses. While electronic systems enable us, in theory, to track inventory much more accurately, these systems are only effective if their human operators do everything correctly. There is always room for human error, and this can lead to minor inaccuracies. However, until a full stock audit is done, it will not always be apparent that anything is wrong.

Over time, these minor inaccuracies compound. The end result is that, when a proper audit is undertaken, the results cause alarm for businesses. Anything that can be done to further foolproof the process of tracking stock levels can ultimately save businesses time, money, and headaches. 

When supply chains are flowing freely, the various businesses involved along the way can get away with minor inaccuracies in their records. However, the tighter the gap between supply and demand, the less tolerance there will be for inaccuracies. 

By introducing an RFID setup for tracking parts as they pass through supply chains, workers don’t need to go hunting for barcodes. Instead, tagged items just need to pass a scanner. There are some setups where this can be automated entirely.

Track Items Through Supply Chains

  • Ensure compliance with workers’ rights: Both consumers and businesses are increasingly taking a tough stance against suppliers who behave unethically towards their workers. Accurately tracking the flow of parts through supply chains can alert you to any suppliers who are reporting suspicious numbers. 
  • Make sure it’s legal: In some industries, businesses are legally required to purchase their materials through regulated supply chains. More accurate tracking means that businesses can easily check that their parts are coming from the right sources.

Accurate supply chain auditing is another ongoing challenge for manufacturing businesses, but we now have access to the ideal technologies to solve it.

  • RFID: As mentioned above, RFID makes the actual act of scanning items and logging their process much easier and more reliable. This is part of the puzzle, but there is another challenge with supply chain tracking that RFID alone can’t solve – security. Someone who is determined to subvert the legitimate supply chain in order to reduce their manufacturing costs, or circumvent laws and regulations that they perceive to be making their jobs harder, can easily alter their records. Even if RFID is used to scan everything in, it is not a perfect system. That means that it has to be possible to make manual adjustments.
  • Blockchain: However, it is possible to combine RFID technology with blockchain technology – which offers an immutable, cryptographically secure means of storing data. Of course, this means that even if the numerical count is known to be wrong, it cannot be adjusted. That information can still be recorded, but as long as the bulk of the items passing through the supply chain are being properly tracked, a secure record like blockchain will make auditing and validating supplies that much easier.

Saving Money

Using RFID provides businesses with another opportunity to introduce automation into their business and therefore potentially save themselves money on staffing costs. Under the old barcode system, a human operator was required to work a barcode scanner and ensure that it has physical line-of-sight with the barcode being scanned. This slows things down considerably.

By using RFID technology, it is easy to create an automated supply line where items can reliably be tracked and recorded without a human having to be involved.

Transitioning to Green

RFID can enable supply chains to slim down and minimize their environmental footprints. Remember, the environmental damage that a building causes is not limited to the direct emissions that it gives off. Some supply chains are very labor-intensive, requiring large numbers of people to travel to industrial facilities, causing emissions as they go, and then working on supply chains that aren’t always ecologically-friendly.

As well as the effect of these emissions on the environment, workers who work on dirty or outmoded supply chains are exposed to toxins and carcinogens. Most people are aware of the disaster that was Asbestos; a lot of the compounds that workers are being exposed to today are still new to science, and we don’t know their long-term impacts. Reducing general levels of exposure to these new compounds should be a priority for all of us. Automating certain parts of some supply chains could go a long way to achieving this.

RFID has the potential to revolutionize supply chains in a variety of ways. Accurate supply chain auditing is important to businesses and consumers, making RFID a solid investment all-round.

3 Ways technology has changed how businesses communicate

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how businesses communicate

A few decades ago, business communication consisted of meetings in your boss’s office, letters, and trips to your client’s office for a boardroom meeting. Today, thanks to technology, messages are delivered through email, meetings are held on skype, and customer communication is on social media.

To better understand how technology has affected how businesses communicate, let’s consider three major communication shifts. 

1. Building virtual relationships 

Businesses must find ways to listen to, support, and respond to their customer’s needs and queries. Social media is how this happens. When people comment, ask questions and tag your brand, you can use this data to analyze what your clients need and what’s important to them. Your marketing department can then use this data to coin ads that target your audience and answer specific needs, thus increasing sales and revenue while building relationships. 

Also, Maryville University says that your PR and Content department can build personalized relationships between your company and your audience by switching from being promotional to offering value through content. The department must employ excellent interpersonal, analytical, writing, and organizational skills to achieve this. 

2. The use of artificial intelligence 

AI is one of the most notable tech advancements in recent years. Since the introduction of Siri in 2010, AI has grown to a prominent part of how businesses work. Through chatbots, for instance, customers get automated human-like responses to their inquiries. Chatbots also help in website navigation. Perhaps what has made it more notable and famous is its ability to deal with the high volume of customer requests that would have taken ages for the customer service personnel to solve.

Also, AI is used to predict future sales based on current customer preferences. Knowledge of current preferences enables marketing departments to draft promotions that target specific people. For instance, you are likely to see Facebook ads about blogging if you are continually searching for blogging information.

3. Remote communication 

Communication software solutions have made it easy to get in touch with others. So much that it’s impossible to imagine the world without it.  Today, you don’t have to leave your desk to send your boss or customer a message or wait half a day for a fax message to come through. Also, you don’t have to rent an office because the internet has made it possible to hire and work with virtual teams and run a successful business while saving tons of money. 

Paperwork has also been streamlined. Instead of searching the library by hand and spending hours sifting through documents for specific information, you can enter a few keywords on the cloud, and you have exactly what you need in seconds. Whiteboards have been replaced by attractive PowerPoint presentations. These can be shared with the team during the meeting so you don’t waste time taking notes. 

As technology continues to evolve, more advanced technology will replace what seems high-tech today. Before that happens, take full advantage of the tech available today to streamline your communication channels. What’s available today forms the basis of future change.

Content Marketing – Falcon.io

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Falcon.io

Falcon.io provides a platform for social media management & content marketing.

Marketers and companies can deliver more personalized brand experiences, across touchpoints, based on enriched customer profiles.

Location: Denmark

Funded: 2010

Languages Supported: English

Website

Starting Price: $129/month

Free Version: Yes (free demo)

Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web, iPhone, Android

Support: Online, Business Hours

Who Is Falcon.io For? 

This tool is for companies who want to deliver more personalized brand experiences, across touchpoints, based on enriched customer profiles..

What Does It Include? 

The platform features a highly intuitive and collaborative UI and is complemented by comprehensive support and consultancy services. It includes:

  1. Audience Targeting
  2. Campaign Management
  3. Conversion Tracking
  4. Editorial Calendar
  5. Multi-channel Publishing
  6. Analytics Dashboard

How Much Does It Cost? 

There is no free plan. The paid membership starts at $129/month.

Community Management – Forumbee

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Zapnito - MyStartupLand

Forumbee provides modern cloud-based online community software.

Forumbee lets you engage your customers and employees with your own branded community.

Location: United States

Funded: 2012

Languages Supported: English

Website

Starting Price: $49/month

Free Version: No

Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web

Support: Online, Business Hours

Who Is Forumbee For? 

This tool is for companies who need to engage with their community either internally or externally.

What Does It Include? 

This tool allows companies to create custom online communities to interact with customers and employees. It includes:

  1. Content Management & Moderation
  2. Event Management
  3. Group Management
  4. Membership Management
  5. Ideation/Crowdsourcing

How Much Does It Cost? 

There is no free plan. The paid membership starts at $49/month.

COVID-19: How Workplace Risk Management Can Help

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workplace risk management

Workplace safety is one of the primary priorities for any business, especially now as we face the current COVID-19 crisis. With the virus affecting businesses the world over, keeping employees safe is more important than ever. Risk assessment is a vital tool for maintaining workplace safety; when you need to evaluate your workplace to improve security and safety for your employees, it’s just what you need. 

What Is Risk Assessment?

Simply put, risk assessment is the system used to analyze and evaluate potential hazards around the workplace. It also helps identify methods to minimize the risk of an incident. In this case, your aim is to develop a plan that can help protect your workplace from infection. 

Readying the Workplace

Now that you know what to expect from risk assessment, you can start taking steps to fortify the workplace against potential infection. For many businesses, the risk of infection is low. Basic hygiene practices (e.g. washing your hands, covering your mouth when sneezing, and keeping your distance from people showing symptoms) can do much to prevent the spread of infection. 

However, as part of your risk assessment strategy, it’s important to develop a plan to help you respond in case of an outbreak.

Your plan should: 

  • Address how to keep the business operational. For instance, in case significant numbers of employees, contractors, and suppliers can’t come to your location (for example, with video conference tools). 
  • Inform your personnel about the plan and explain what to do according to the plan. Remember to emphasize vital points like staying home even when they experience mild symptoms or have had to take simple medication (e.g. paracetamol). 
  • Discuss sick leave arrangements for large numbers of workers. Also, provide information and support to help keep employees safe at home. 

Preventing the Spread of Infection

Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, so the best method to deal with the virus is to prevent infection. Site safety inspections can help to identify potential risks (e.g. workers failing to wash their hands or follow sanitation procedures). This will allow you to strengthen your defenses and keep your employees safe.

Some basic measures you can take around the workplace to increase safety can include: 

  • Providing adequate soap and water and alcohol-based sanitizers so employees can keep their hands clean.
  • Making sure sufficient stocks of cleaning supplies are maintained. 
  • Encouraging frequent hand-washing to eliminate germs, particularly after sneezing and coughing.
  • Supplying waste bins with plastic bags so they can be emptied without touching the contents. 
  • Cleaning high-touch surfaces (e.g. door handles and workstations) regularly to prevent contamination.
  • Displaying posters in prominent areas to further promote good hygienic practices (e.g. cough and sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene guidelines, and staying home in case you develop symptoms).
  • Promoting teleworking to allow employees to stay in touch while minimizing the risks of infection. 
  • Supporting more flexible hours to minimize crowding in the workplace

It’s important to follow proper safety guidelines, even if there haven’t been any signs of infection in your area yet. Remember: an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.


Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

7 Ways to Prepare Your Startup for Scaling

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Scale Your Startup

Growing from a small company to an enterprise is time-consuming and complicated. However, to reach success and increase profit, you need to scale your startup. That’s why, in this article, we’ll discuss if your company is ready for scaling and several useful tips on how to prepare.

Growth vs. Scaling: What’s the Difference?

First of all, let’s find out the difference between scaling and growth of a startup. 

Growing stands for the process when the company’s revenue grows using the similar way. For example, you get a new client, so you should hire more workers. In this case, the company receives additional income but spends some money on new employees.

As for scaling, this process doesn’t need spendings to increase revenue. So, you get a maximum income with minimum expenses.

The Google enterprise is a perfect example of a scaling process. The company got a lot of new clients with low investments.

When to Scale Up a Startup?

Before starting the scaling process, you need to find out when your company is ready. According to the research, 74% of startups fail due to premature scaling.

So, the question arises — how to define whether your company is ready for scaling? We’ve singled out four signs that help you understand when to scale.

Your Company Fulfilled All Previous Goals

Starting a startup company, you set goals according to the statistics. As a result, you can predict possible revenue, expenses, and others.

When the company achieves such purposes, it’s high time to set new goals and scale up the business.

Your Company Has Strong Cashflow

Any scaling or growth requires investments. So, your startup should be not only profitable but also gets enough money for investments.

At this part, it’s essential to analyze the revenue sources and predict possible expenses carefully. For example, you need to create a list of income and expenses. Counting these numbers, you can single out the amount of money you can invest.

Also, you need to understand that you can’t get a high profit in a month. It’s common to wait at least three or four months to get your investments back.

There is one more way to get money for scaling. You can look for investors. However, you’ll need to prove to them that your company is stable and there are no risks for them.

Your IT System Works Well

Modern society requires a good-working business software to offer clients appropriate services. First of all, you need to make sure that your software is scalable. The company should be ready to expand its client base.

Also, scaling requires proceeding with a lot of data. If your software performs small tasks, you’ll face some difficulties during scaling. However, if your IT system works with various serious tasks and stores a bunch of data, you’re ready for scaling your startup.

You Have a Good Team

The team of workers is an essential part of your company. You need to analyze them carefully to find the answers to the following questions.

  • Can your employees bring innovative ideas?
  • Can they work with a more significant amount of data?
  • Will your team be able to work with new tasks?

In case you are giving positive answers to such or related questions, you’re ready for scaling.

Steps on How to Prepare For Scaling

Now that you know when your startup is ready for scaling, let’s move on to the process.

How to prepare your company for scaling? There are seven vital steps you need to follow.

Stage #1. Create the Strategy

There is no doubt: scaling requires preparation. However, there is no need to make a big complicated strategy. You need to make a list of the strong and the weak sides of your company. Using this data, you can set goals for a quarter, half of the year, and year. It’s also necessary to add market analysis.

Stage #2. Invest in Technologies

We’ve already mentioned how essential the software is. However, several solutions can help you manage information better.

  • CRM system. Custom Relation Management or CRM system assists in managing data about your customers. Such a system allows offering clients a better experience. There are many ready-made solutions like Salesforce and HubSpot. However, you can choose custom CRM development to follow your requirements and business goals.
  • Cloud computing. Cloud-based solutions make your project more flexible and powerful. It gives access to the data from any device for your employees.
  • ERP system. Enterprise Resource Planning assists in organizing information like reports, working collaborations, and more.

Stage #3. Outsource

These days, it’s common to outsource a lot of services. Outsourcing allows for saving money and getting qualified specialists.

For example, you can hire a reliable vendor for developing a mobile or web app for your company.

Stage #4. Build a Marketing Strategy

People need to know about your company. That’s why you need to develop a marketing strategy and follow it.

There are several marketing types that you can use.

  • Direct marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing or SMM
  • Influencer marketing

Stage #5. Improve Reputation

Let’s face it — reputation means a lot. To gain clients’ trust and loyalty, you need to consider branding. For example, you can create a good-looking website.

An attractive website, along with a marketing strategy, can bring you loyal customers.

Stage #6. Create a Reliable Team

Scaling often requires hiring more employees. You need to find workers that can fulfill complicated tasks. Also, you can cooperate with multi-skilled employees. It’s common for a startup to have one person for several tasks.

Stage #7. Let the Company Work Without You

The more employees you have, the more complicated to manage them. 

It’s better to onboard leaders of departments that help you manage the workers. In this case, your employees become more independent and can work productively.

As you can see, scaling is a time-consuming and challenging process. You need to prepare your company for growth carefully.



Photo by Oscar Nilsson on Unsplash

5 Ways to Enhance Your Photography Business

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Photography Business

Do you own your own photography business, but are searching for ways to improve your efficiency and client satisfaction? Handling clients, photoshoots, meetings, and factoring in time for editing can be exhausting and challenging. In this article, we are going to explore five ways that you can enhance your photography business to help make your life as stress-free as possible.  

Purchase a CRM Tool

A CRM tool, also known as a customer relationship manager tool, can be used to monitor your business in a variety of ways, through a specific application. There is a variety of great CRM’s that are perfect for photographers, and they can make managing clients much more straightforward. Click the link to read more about some of the most popular options.

Most CRM’s come with a variety of marketing features, such as lead generation and surveys. You’ll be able to monitor your clients, organize projects, set appointments, and much more. CRM’s can also help you get paid faster, as they can track your invoices and send reminders to your clients. 

Post Regularly on Social Media

In the last few years, social media has taken over the world and is a valuable advertising tool. Posting regularly on social media can help you find new clients while creating an online portfolio of your work. You can even develop competitions to boost your business further, all while creating new contacts. 

Maintaining your social media also creates another point of contact for potential clients to get a hold of you. No more looking up advertisements in the phone book! With the click of a button, you can organize appointments and share your photos online. 

Become A Local Expert 

Whether you live in a large city or a small one, make it your personal mission to know all the best spots in town. Go on a tour, or take a bike ride and take in the sights and sounds that could potentially be part of your next big photoshoot.  

Knowing your city inside and out is also a valuable asset, as it can impress clients and showcase your knowledge further.  

Connect with Other Photographers

Maintaining professional relationships with other photographers near and far is a great way to learn more and share your knowledge. It’s also good to have a reliable backup so that you can help each other out. For example, if they become overbooked, they may recommend you to their clients, and vice versa. If you’re new to the photography business, it’s a great way to gain more experience, while showing off your own skills. 

Continually Boost Your Photography Knowledge

Regardless of if you are self-taught, or out of college, it’s a great idea to boost your knowledge and learn new techniques continually. Keep an eye out for the latest techniques, new technology and applications. You’ll soon stand out amongst others, who stick to the traditional methods. Try to think outside of the box, and remember to take advantage of new online courses to push your skills to the next level. 

So, there you have it! These were five ways that you can use to enhance your photography business. Remember that you’ve got this! And don’t forget to ask for help and support if you need it.


Photo by Reinhart Julian on Unsplash

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