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Personal and Emotional Challenges May Affect Startup Business; How to Tackle?

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You complete the best education, you work for the best company, but somehow you feel not so interested and satisfied with your job. You have been pursuing your favourite hobby and realize that it is making you some money. You work on it harder and realize that it is proving to be more profitable and interesting if analysed and compared with your job. You quit the job and pursue your hobby as your career. You feel the freedom, you are your own boss. You come back to your home, or work with friends or go to a solitude place with internet. You work on your own given time and rest on the time decided by you. You realize now you make more savings, and more time for your friends, family and personal things. 

When you take your hobby as your primary business you may not be much organized. It may also be possible you have no knowledge of management and business administration initially. You move ahead with your own knowledge. You are enthusiastic and energetic. You find that you are investing more time for this work than what you had ever invested in your job, just because this is your hobby and is more interesting. Your friends start telling you that you are living dreams of many people. You build the confidence and sense of independence. Everything is going right, but what if you suddenly meet with an unfortunate emotional disaster? Break up with your loved one or loss of a partner or any problem that strikes you in the initial days of building your startup?

Startup business problems large

When I started working here, I had left my job at IBM and came home from Bangalore to Delhi. My only problem was the deplorable internet service at home. Most of the time I never got the ADSL signal. I called my ISP a number of times, they used to send a technician, he used to do something and it could work for another 2-3 hours and then again used to return to its non-operational state. This cycle I might have repeated over 50 times and now everyone in the department knows my name.

While the internet light on my modem was never a regular sight, another problem that struck me was loss of love. Without going much out of context here, I was thinking the way it gave me an emotional shock, could it have been avoided? I stopped working for almost 3 weeks. My traffic went down, Alexa ranking went down, number of people talking on Facebook page went down, twitter interactions went down and income from advertisements went down. The only thing I was thinking was how I could have tackled this situation.

I was not even willing to see the stats of the website, because I knew it would be disappointing. All the hard work that I did in the past 6 years was going into vain in such condition. Since we are student journalists most of our teammates were also busy with their exams. And when you have a flat organization in a startup, everyone’s role is equal. And in that case if you are lost for some personal reasons, others will get demotivated too or will face a big burden. I did not want all this to happen.

In the meanwhile I was comparing the situation with that of my previous job. How it would have been different if I had got same emotional shock when I was in my previous job. When you work in a company, other than your own desire to work, there is also an external force of your manager that makes you deliver on time. A lot happens on a working day if you are in the office. A call or a ping from manager, an appreciation or escalation mail/call, a new task and a new near deadline, making status report and attending status calls, talking to other colleagues and going for a coffee. All these things and external pressure makes you put the reasons behind your sadness in the background temporarily so that you can work and think more about your deadline, which if you do not meet, could create problems even worse than the present one. When you put the sorrows in the background you think about it, but comparatively less. It eventually helps you to forget and move on. But when you are working on your own business, there is only one thing that keeps you going on, your ambitions and dreams which are also emotions. And when you are emotionally shattered and destroyed, you lose that zeal of work. You look for a break or something that can cheer you up. Since you are free and independent you tend to delay your work.

I tried to implement the scenario at work here. Enforced some deadlines on myself and motivated myself to write this first article after the nervous breakdown. It took me three days to write this article compared to four to five hours which I usually take, but things seems to be working. After all writing is my hobby, something which gives me happiness. I realized I was unnecessarily going away from something which gave me the most happiness or may be the second most happiness after her. Being involved and dissolved in the flow of my ambition was the solution and I was moving away from it. After all this is the reason I left everything and my previous job. And now it deserves my full attention. Because when I write I forget everything, I even forget my headache if I am suffering from one.

Therefore, I think the solution to such emotional disasters at work is to involve even more in the work or something that gives you happiness. Do not run away from your friends, family. That is not the solution. Happiness and sadness is within you. Do not let someone else control it. You are the reason of your happiness and you are the reason of your sadness. We all keep the capabilities to forget things with the time. But the quick solution is in your hands.

P.S: My internet works now. I called MTNL 3 times to fix it and it worked.

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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Dropshipping: How to start a hands-free online business

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No inventory, no headaches. This is the basic fonament of dropshipping selling model, so If you are thinking to start a new business from home, in this article we analyze the main advantages and disadvantage of drop shipping.

Dropshipping can be a real way to make a little bit of money on the side, all you have to do is work hard and choose a product of your interest as health and beauty, video games, wholesale gadget parts, music, candles or whatever you like yourself.

But, how dropshipping works? There are three different parts to this business model, the suppliers, the e-commerce store or dropshipper and the final customer. And four steps to make it all work together.

In the first place, you will have to list the supplier product on your e-commerce store for customers to buy. Afterwards and in second place, the customer can purchase something from your e-commerce store. The third step comes when you order that same exact product that the customer paid for, from your supplier. So finally your drop shipping supplier will ship this product directly to your final customer, and they will receive the item that they have ordered from your e-commerce store.

Easy right? You will receive the money you sold your product for and the supplier will charge you the wholesale price. So your profit will be the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price that you will pay to your dropshipping suppliers.

How to find products to sell online?

It is time to find products to sell and push for those items you think will succeed and customers will purchase. A good way to start is by importing items from China which will translate into better profits for your e-commerce.

China brands and chinese dropshippers are becoming very popular because they wholesale products with high-profit potential, as a double stereo Bluetooth with DSP for 27.62 dollars, that it can be sold for the retail price of 46.95 dollars. The benefit will be huge.

Or a popular set of knives ship free, a good opportunity to increase your earnings and avoid to invest in shipping. This little opportunity will make the difference in your new e-commerce. Millions of people buy knives every day as they are incredibly useful in the kitchen and required for many outdoor activities like trekking, camping or scuba diving.

Disadvantages and advantages of Drop Shipping

Even If the high-profit opportunities exist, they are not common. In general, low margins are the biggest disadvantage of operating in a highly competitive niche. E-commerce stores need so little in getting the business started, that they can afford to operate in such a low margins.

The inventory issues are another disadvantage of drop shipping. When you are sourcing from multiples suppliers, inventory changes on a daily basis, but to mitigate this problem you can start stocking some of your items. Shipping complexities If you work with multiple warehouses and supplier errors fulfilling the orders can be also tricky to face.

However, the benefits can be very good If you want to make it work and you have the time to invest. The biggest advantage of drop shipping is that you can launch an e-commerce store without having to invest much money in front. With this business model, you don’t have to purchase an item unless you already made the sale and the final customer has paid.

It is possible to work from anywhere as long as you have the internet connection, so make sure you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily. Another big advantage is that is easy to scale, as most of the work to process additional orders will be borne by the suppliers, allowing you to expand and create a better customer service and build the base of a good marketing strategy. So as the popular saying proclaims, If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

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Managing A Renovation Project

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Starting a renovation project can be a big challenge. It is not as simple as the shows you see on TV, a huge amount of planning, legal stuff and sourcing goes on before the work even begins.

Managing a project like this can be a complex affair which is why you need to make sure you know exactly what to do at every stage, and leave no stone unturned.

  1. Assess the Building’s Condition

Before you start to plan a renovation project you will need to know exactly what you are dealing with. You will need to visit the site and run a full check to see if the building is structurally sound, if the foundations are stable and what cosmetic touches you will need to do.

  1. Stop Deterioration

When you have assessed the current situation of the property you intend to work on, you will also want to make sure that no further damage occurs as you prepare for starting work on the project. You may need to put up scaffolding to keep the building supported or board out floors and the roof to prevent damp getting in.

  1. Check for Grants

It is not likely that you will get a grant for your restoration project, but it is certainly worth looking into. If the building you are working on is listed you may be given funding to carry out the work and make sure that the building’s integrity is kept.

  1. Apply for Permission

One of the most boring and long winded parts of renovation is getting the permission to carry out the work in the first place. As soon as you know you want to start a project, get your application for planning permission, listed building consent and any other things in. It may take a few weeks for the results to come back so it is always worth doing it as soon as you can.

  1. Structural work

The first thing you will need to do in terms of working on the property is making sure that the building has water, electrics and gas supplies- as well as being weatherproof. It may take some installation, plastering and insulating to get the building ready for the rest of the work you plan to do.

  1. Demolition

There may be certain parts of the building that you plan on knocking down and salvaging, so once you’ve stabilised the main structure you can go ahead and do the groundwork.

  1. Issues with Damp

If you are working on an old building, you will find that it is much more likely to be damp than a more modern one. This is because older buildings are made with solid walls. Because of this there is no airflow going through the bricks and therefore condensation builds up much more easily causing damp and mould to grow. To get rid of the damp you may need to call someone in to help you identify the source and to seal up any potential holes for water to enter the home.

  1. Check Drains

Sometimes you may find that the drainage around the property is damaged or blocked- and this can be another cause of damp in the home due to water becoming logged underneath the foundations. You will also want to check what’s connected to which part of the house, and you can do this by putting different coloured food dye down the sink and having someone inside a manhole seeing where the water comes out. It will show you whether your drains are in working order or if they are blocked.

  1. Plan Access

With a large project like this you will need lots of heavy equipment and machinery. Make sure that you have the ability to get the large diggers and other machines to the site without being an inconvenience to the surrounding public.

  1. Managing employees

It is not easy to manage a full group of trade people, but it will be required if you are to work on a large project.  If you are going to be overseeing the development of a home extension or a large row of homes, you will need to make sure that before the work begins you lay out the guidelines, safety laws and provide training to your workers. If anyone gets injured during the construction they could go to a lawyer like Hofmann & Schweitzer if you do not take the time to write down every regulation. It could be worth going over it with a lawyer before your employees sign it.

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New Business Approaches

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Business, like anything in life, can sometimes become a bit stale. Sometimes you need to refresh your approaches to give it that new lease of life that is so badly needs. But, sometimes it is unclear, and you’re not sure which direction you need to take to get the best out of your business. It is something that everyone goes through at some point, but is something that can be easily solved. All you need to do is know your business, and do a little research. Luckily for you, this article is going to give you a bit of advice if you’re stuck with knowing what to do.

Customer Focused

Somehow, this is where a lot of businesses lack. They’re so money driven that sometimes they can lose track of the bigger picture, and the people who matter the most. The customers. They’re ultimately who are going to be giving you the money you so badly desire, so keeping them at the forefront of your mind should be something you’re always trying to do. Even little things like making sure your office is immaculate when customers come in is going to make the difference between a sale or not. If they see somewhere that looks a bit dirty and dingy, they’re not going to want to do business. People prefer places to look tidy and smart. Custodial services aren’t that expensive, so if you know you’re rubbish at keeping the office clean, this might be worth looking into. Another way of making sure your customers are always happy is by doing questionnaires. These can be done either when they come in the store, or online anonymously. This feedback to your should be invaluable.

Marketing

Marketing should be a big approach for any business. If you’re not currently marketing yourself, you really need to look into why it’s important and how your business will benefit from it. If you are marketing already, then you’re already on a step in the right direction. The only downside to marketing is your approaches can sometimes become a little stale. What once used to work for you might not work now. This is where a fresh approach is definitely needed. Do some online research and see which methods you might be interested in. If you haven’t tried it before, SEO and link building is a really good way of gaining your business exposure. It is a risky game, so you are going to be better off hiring a consultant, but it’s definitely worth doing in the long run. Be warned though, you won’t see results straight away, and it is on the more expensive side of marketing. If you’d like to try cheaper ones, then radio or social media marketing might be the route to go down for you. It just might be the case that you don’t get as much exposure from methods such as radio.

New business approaches are bound to only do good for you. Above are just two ways in which you can make your business better.

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