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10 Essential Tools For Entrepreneurs and Startups

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Ideas can strike anytime. An idea may wander in your thoughts waiting for the best time when it can be implemented. A process of thought in your mind can be worth millions. In the present era idea and innovation is they key for a successful business. Addition of new game changing ideas, thoughts and young entrepreneurs are making the business world more dynamic and human life simpler and easier. If you can earn money from your hobby, then what can be a better and more satisfying job than that? You are your own boss, you manage your own money and you have more time for your friends and family!

When a group of colleagues or students think of a startup they are initially not much organized. Often people start with a hobby and when they observe that they have started making good money or money equivalent to their salary they plan to make it bigger and take it to another level, taking it to a complete professional platform. At this one needs to be professional and should create a professional environment that keeps the team motivated and give them the feeling of working on a big change. To help with this we are going to list some ten tools which will definitely help you in managing and running your startup.

1. Dedicated Contact Numbers

A visible complete office address, professional website and a dedicated line number can make your business look more professional and established. For examples having a toll free easy to remember number or 0845 numbers in case you are in UK can help your customers to connect with you without spending much. While having a toll free number will help your customers to connect with you for free, a 0845 number will help your customer to connect with you by paying only for a local call no matter wherever you are. A number of companies are available to provide you dedicated numbers hosted on their telecoms network making it sit on  top of your existing numbers. Thus, avoiding any need to install additional lines. You will also get additional features like call statistics, disaster recovery and online call management.

2. Wave

Wave is a very famous free tool that helps you be your own boss. Wave can help you with invoicing your clients and get paid by them, Accounting, managing Payroll and receipts and personal money management. Wave provides everything for free, only the Payroll feature is paid where they charge $1 per employee. You can connect your banks directly with Wave and it will help you keep a track of your transaction, your earnings, and will tell you where you stand financially and how you can manage it. All the features of Wave are inter-connectable, i.e any money earned through invoicing will automatically be updated in the accounting tool, similarly any bank transaction you make will be updated there. No need for manual entry, although Wave provide manual entry feature for those who are uncomfortable connecting their bank with the tool.

3. Skype

Skype has proven its supremacy when it comes to VoIP. It is quick, free and connects you with your team members around the world whether they are on computer or mobile. After the recent purchase of Skype by the Microsoft it has been nicely embedded in latest Windows OS and Windows Phone devices. Skype is available for almost any platform, not just Windows. There are a number of apps supported by Skype that can enhance its ability to be used as official communicator for your company. There are apps that provides complete PBX (Private Branch Exchange) solution. With Skype you can record your calls, divert your incoming calls to another number or voicemail, call people on their mobile or telephone for a very low price, etc.

4. Cloud Storage

Today with improvement in mobility and degree of freedom we need our data where ever we go. It will cost a lot of space if we start copying everything from our computers to tablet and mobiles and then a lot of effort to keep them on sync. Here comes cloud storage in picture. You can store your file on the online servers and access them, make changes and do whatever on any device. You can also share your documents with your team members and can give them authority to make changes as well. Dropbox is a famous cloud storage provider. With its free 2 GB space and desktop apps you can keep your systems at sync and upload files on the server so that you can access on other devices. Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive are one step ahead as they provide essential Google Docs apps and Microsoft Office web apps respectively for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and notes. When it comes to storage and costs, Skydrive is slightly better as it provides 7 GB of free space when compared to Google Drive’s 5 GB and Dropbox’s 2 GB. Also when it comes to extending your storage, Skydrive with its yearly plans comes to be cheaper. You can extend your storage capacity by 500 MB for free in Dropbox by inviting your friends to use it.

5. CrowdFunding

Often you have great ideas that when implemented can bring a good change and generate a large amount of revenue, but to implement such an idea and convert it into a startup requires some investment. If you do not have money to invest and if bank is unavailable to provide you loan, then crowdfunding is the solution for you. As the term suggests it is a platform where crowd (individual people, investors or companies) can fund your idea (can be anonymously) if they really like it. In return you can either give them momentos or gifts or a part of your profit when your business will be a success. There are a number of online services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo which can provide you robust platform to get started and raise money for your idea or cause.

6. Mailchimp

Often you disregard communication and service mails from websites and uncheck “send me communication and promotional mails” while signing up for a service, but there are people who do select it. Interested people want to hear what is new with your company, or when can they expect a new exciting announcement from you, or may be you will provide discounts and offers directly to their inbox to keep them engaged. Never undermine the power of emails. Even if you are not sending any such mails at present, it is a good idea to at least have contact information of your regular readers/viewers/customers as anytime in future you might require to send them a communication mail. For this reason Mailchimp is there to help you out. It can build a list of your customers for you and can help you to contact them with appealing email templates. This service is free up to 2000 customers and sending 12000 mails per month.

7. Website/Blogging Tool

It is very important to have your online presence whether your business require direct online involvement (like e-commerce, online journalism) or not. Having your company online connects you with your potential customers who may be out of your reach in the real world. Customers can find you and easily contact you online. Wix is a platform that can help you create free and beautiful website for you quickly without any requirement of coding. When it comes to online customer engagement, you need to have an updated blog about your company, containing updates, offers, communication etc and anything that is official. WordPress and Blogger are two most popular and powerful blogging platform. Whatever you write is available for everyone and can generate even more potential customers as blogs are indexed by search engines and they can be shared on social media websites generating more views and expanding your reach.

8. Domain name and Professional Email

When you have created a website and blogs for yourself, you need domain name and professional email. Just like point number one that we discussed, having a professional domain name www.somecompany.com and then directing it to your website and having professional email [email protected] can make your business look more professional and established. Godaddy is one such popular service that can provide you domain name and email Id for your company. You can even chose Google apps and that can buy you a domain via Godaddy or any other service and provide you its premium email features on Gmail.

9. Personal Productivity

You have a lot of ideas and things in mind but you forget one thing while doing the other thing? You note down at your desk or on papers creating a lot of mess and clutter. Often startups do not exactly start with an office space you might have your own private space and your team members might have their own. So if you are at any other location you will not be able to access or refer to your notes that you had pointed down on the papers or on the desk. There comes Evernote to help you. Again it is a multi-platform application and you can use it on your mobile, tablet, and computer no matter what operating system you are using. It can capture anything from your ideas, your thoughts, and anything that you think might need to be referred later. When you need to refer to your notes you do not have to search in the clutter of paper, but all you have to do is type some search keywords and Evernote will present you your notes. You can even share your notes, ideas and collaborate on project with your teammates. A similar service exclusively for Mac and Apple products is Omnifocus. If you are already using Skype and Skydrive, then you can use Microsoft Office OneNote, another service by Microsoft like Evernote.

10. Hootsuite

It is the time when almost every company is trying to make their presence on social media bigger. It not only keeps you connected with your followers and customers but also extends your reach to potential customers. Social media is not about time pass and killing time when moms used to scold their kids for wasting a lot of time on Facebook. Today it is a virtual market and with the help of customized Facebook pages you can even sell your products. Hootsuite is an application that can help you manage all your social network profile at ones. In a free account you can add up to five social media profiles. You can not only post, track each posts, respond to notification, view analytic, but also schedule posts. Scheduling a post at night can help you target the people on the other side of the globe even when you are asleep. keeping your social media pages active 24X7.

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Editor | The World Reporter. An economist, IT specialist and a post graduate student from Romania.

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How To Manage A Team Working Remotely

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Once upon a time, practically all businesses were run on a local scale, meaning that they were within a short distance of their core consumer group. Even the largest, most expansive firms in the country have broken their territory up into smaller regions, cities, and zones. Through the use of eCommerce solutions, remote working, and outsourcing, modern firms are no longer constrained by their physical locations. This has allowed the wheels of industry to continue rolling.

In point of fact, the time has come when a proprietor of a company may now conduct their entire operation from the comfort of their own home and the benefits of a distributed workforce

 are now more commonly known.

Let us get started with our discussion of how to manage remote workers.

Improve the efficiency of communication

You may probably guess that clear and concise communication is one of the most important aspects of managing a workforce that is geographically dispersed. The very last thing you want is for anything significant to be lost in the shuffle as a result of a mistake that was made with the logistics.

As a result of this, it is of the utmost importance that you establish a clear chain of command and make every effort to simplify and expedite your communication process. You do not want your workers to be uncertain about who they should report to or where they should deliver paperwork, do you?

Establish early on how you intend to conduct business, and then modify your approach only when it makes logical sense to do so. Your team will not benefit from continual upheaval in any way.

Place emphasis on the big picture.

How do you plan to make sure that everyone is on the same page? Paying attention to the whole context is one of the most effective responses to that query. Not just the deadlines and information that they “need to know,” but also the end goal of their job should be communicated to the members of your team.

The likelihood of your employees becoming interested in the various projects they are working on increases in proportion to the amount of involvement they have in the firm as a whole.

Use modern tech

It ought to go without saying, but it is important to emphasize that managers should make use of the most cutting-edge technology available in order to link the members of their teams. Skype, Zoom, and other video chat platforms to assist in maintaining continuity despite the large distances that separate them.

The use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone systems in establishments such as hospitals, legal firms, and private schools will make it possible for members of the team to share vital information instantly.

Keep in mind that managers have a responsibility to encourage their staff to investigate all of the possibilities and benefits that current technology offers. It is a waste of resources to invest a significant amount of money on a communication or software programme that is not utilized to the maximum possible degree. Remember to keep this in mind prior to making any more investments.

Face to face meetings

When it comes to bringing your team together for regular meetings, video chat is an upgrade over phone calls; but, neither of these options is as beneficial as having everyone in the room together in person. Create recurring activities in which all of your employees may interact with one another and spend time together. When people like one another, or at the very least have a healthy mutual regard for one another, they are able to collaborate more effectively.

A frequent “catch up” session with the team might involve either work or play. The culture of the team is an essential component in the process of constructing a company in which all employees, irrespective of their location, respond to clients in the same manner, utilizing the same templates, and communicate in the same manner.

The culture of your company, which includes how your employees interact with one another and with customers, is shaped from the very top, by the person who owns the firm. Maintaining a positive reputation for your company depends on providing consistently high-quality customer service. Now that the majority of business is conducted online and is less dependent on foot traffic, the way in which we collaborate has altered, which has produced issues for the management of the team.

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How To Scale Your Business In 10 Steps

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It’s no secret that businesses today face more challenges than ever before. In order to stay afloat and thrive in today’s economy, businesses need to be able to scale their operations effectively.

The good news is that there are a few key things you can do to make sure your business is able to scale successfully. In this article, we’ll go over ten essential tips for scaling your business effectively.

1. Define Your Target Market

The first step to scaling your business effectively is to define your target market. Without a clear target market, it will be very difficult to focus your efforts and resources in a way that will allow you to scale effectively.

2. Know Your Costs

Another important factor to consider when scaling your business is your costs. It’s important to have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with running your business, such as overhead costs, production costs, and marketing costs.

3. Streamline Your Processes

Another important tip for scaling your business is to streamline your processes. When you’re first starting out, it’s common to have a lot of different processes and procedures in place that may not be entirely necessary.

4. Invest in automation

Investing in automation is another great way to scale your business effectively. Automation can help you save time and money by taking care of tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually.

5. Focus on Your Core Competencies

When you’re scaling your business, it’s important to focus on your core competencies. These are the areas of your business that you’re most skilled at and that provide the most value to your customers.

6. Delegate and Outsource

As your business grows, it’s important to delegate tasks and outsource work to other people. This will allow you to focus on your core competencies and leave the less important tasks to others. For example, you may need to involve Het Vertaalbureau to assist with translation of your website and documentation.

7. Get Feedback from Your Customers

Another great way to scale your business effectively is to get feedback from your customers. This feedback can help you improve your products or services and make sure you’re meeting the needs of your target market.

8. Focus on Your Marketing

Marketing is another important aspect of scaling your business effectively. When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on the product or service you’re offering.

9. Expand Your Team

As your business grows, you’ll need to expand your team. This means hiring new employees or contractors to help you with the additional work.

10. Keep Your Costs Low

One of the most important tips for scaling your business is to keep your costs low. This means finding ways to save money on overhead, inventory, and other expenses. There are a number of different ways to save money, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for your business. You can negotiate with suppliers, use cheaper materials, or find other ways to reduce your costs.

In Closing

By following these ten steps, you can effectively scale your business while still maintaining a high level of quality. Automation, delegation, and feedback are key to success. Keep your costs low, focus on your marketing, and keep moving forward. With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to scaling your business effectively.

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How To Make SEO Work for Your Business

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When businesses want to get noticed on the internet, they usually turn to something like search engine optimization (SEO) so that their business appears higher on Google searches. SEO can be a wonderful way to help your business grow on the internet. It’s been tried and tested by plenty of businesses, and there’s no denying the power that it has.

But with that said, trying to make SEO work for your business can be tricky. It takes a lot of time and effort in order to make it work, and you need to pour a considerable amount of effort into making content that appeals to Google’s search bots. So before you start investing precious time into your website’s content, here are some considerations to keep in mind on how to make SEO work for your business.

Focus on creating content instead of designing your website

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when designing their website is focusing too much time on the look of their website. Sure, making your website look fancy with loads of unique transitions and animations can attract some people, but those are the wrong things to focus on if you want to get noticed by Google’s search bots.

Instead of focusing on the design and look of your website, focus on the content you have. After all, Google’s algorithm will take content into consideration when deciding on your search rankings–they really don’t care about how your website looks. This is where it helps to focus on content marketing so that you know exactly what kind of keywords to focus on and the types of content you should be making to appeal to a wider audience.

Be consistent with creating content

And if you do focus on content marketing as a priority, you’ll want to try and be consistent with your content releases. Google values websites that regularly update their pages with new content. It’s more stuff to rank, there’s more space for keywords, and it ultimately provides more value to your customers as long as the content is useful somehow. It could be guides and how to use your products, or it could be an FAQ on using your services. As long as you’re creating content on a fairly consistent basis, you’ll have a much easier time getting noticed.

To make this easier, you may want to consider hiring a writer. It doesn’t need to be a full-time employee and can just be a freelancer or even an outsourced service. This will save you a lot of time when writing content for your website.

Consider working with an SEO agency

All of this sounds great and can greatly improve your SEO efforts, but you could just as easily leave all the decisions to a reputable service such as Sofia Marketing. This will take a lot of the responsibility off your hands and you’ll find it much easier to create content that consistently helps your website rank higher. They’ll also help you with technical SEO aspects such as designing your website to work on mobile devices in addition to desktops.

Simply put, SEO agencies can make things a lot easier in the long run. Whether it’s finding the right writers to make valuable content or helping you choose the right keywords to target, their expertise and guidance will be invaluable when you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts.

Choose topics and keywords to focus on

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to pick some keywords and topics to focus on for your SEO efforts. For example, your business might want to specialize in appealing to a certain kind of demographic, so you’d research various topics and keywords that the group is more likely to search for. Keyword research can take a lot of time, but it’s something that can be made a lot easier with help from a marketing service. There are also plenty of keyword tools that you can use to help identify strong keywords to focus on.

Identify what your website will be used for

And lastly, figure out what your website will be used for in the long run. This can help drastically improve the user experience and will help you give a purpose to your content because you know who you’re trying to appeal to. If you know exactly what your website is going to be used for, then it cuts out a lot of the decision-making and helps you laser focus your efforts to optimize your time.

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