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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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The Importance of a Strong Brand Identity

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There was once a time when the quality of a company’s product was all that mattered. As long as the goods were of sufficiently high quality and reasonably priced, success was almost assured, and few people gave much thought to the company behind the endeavor.

However, today’s digitally connected, and always-online world makes it far easier for potential buyers to compare products from different companies around the world, all in the blink of an eye. As a result, there simply isn’t time for any message about the superior quality of your products to sink in. You need to grab people’s attention right from the outset. The best way to achieve this is to have a strong brand identity.

The Brand Comes First

Competition has never been harder so a key element of ensuring future success it to make your products stand out from the crowd. Creating a brand identity that attracts and excites potential customers will help them engage with your site and make them far more likely to purchase your products or services.

Ultimately, you are selling your brand first and your products and services afterward. Apple and Google are two mainstream examples of how successful such a strategy can be. The power of their individual brands is so great that anything they launch or create will immediately be adopted by a significant proportion of their users.

Adopt the Customer POV

Think about the way you want your customers to see your company and use this as a basis for building your brand identity. This exercise can also be of assistance when it comes to thinking about the core values of your business and what it is that sets you apart from the competition.

Today’s consumers expect rewarding experiences in all elements of their digital lives and your branding should reflect that during every step of their online shopping experience. While platforms such as BigCommerce offer a high level of user experience, these can be further enhanced by working with web development partners such as Eventige.com who can create a more precise UX-focused brand experience for your online store.

Customers also expect far greater levels of transparency and accountability than in the past so ensure that yourself and members of your team are front and center in your branding. Use social media to allow current and potential customers to get to know a little about you. The more they can relate to you, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Leverage Loyalty

Although your ultimate goal is to see your business succeed and your profits rise, your brand image is there to build relationships, not generate transactions. A single sale is a great achievement but turning a buyer into a regular customer is a far more successful long-term strategy.

Ideally, you want your company to be the first one that comes to mind when a customer needs a particular product or service. Combining this level of loyalty with superior customer service experiences can help promote your brand even further as such customers are likely to post and comment on social media about their happy interactions.

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6 Services That Startup Owners Should Outsource to Ensure Efficiency

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In the game of entrepreneurship, time and money are important factors that will determine how the business will perform in the long-term. Every startup owner knows the importance of capturing a bigger market so that cash flow will be abundant. But when it comes to time, you can free some of it be ensuring all the processes are efficient.

Outsourcing is a great way of making sure that you are spending time and energy on tasks that matter most to the growth of the business. This doesn’t mean that there are tasks that are less important in a business; it only implies that you should focus on what will help the business move to the next level. There are several services that you can outsource and accelerate the rate of business growth.

Big data and related analytics

We are living in the information age and this has given rise to a generation that lives online. as a response, businesses have to incorporate digital strategies into the business plan.

As such, it’s important to use reputable cloud-based tools that are efficient in data collection. This will help in identification of stumbling blocks to productivity. If the tools are not standard, the data can be misleading since the conclusions will be drawn from erratic data.

For instance, you can collect data about conversion rates, revenues per converted customer to get an educated conclusion on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. In addition, you can see which content is popular with the audience as well as how the landing pages are performing.

Data collection on its own is insufficient. If you intend to get a clear picture of the business performance; you have to run a comprehensive analysis. When you outsource this task, it’s possible to get a detailed report that reflects the situation of your business. When you have the reports, it’s easy to make decisions that are informed by the data and make the necessary adjustments.

Content marketing

In content marketing, you are aiming at educating the audience without pushing them to buy your products. Besides lead generation, it will also nurture good relationships with your audience. When the business is young and you don’t have a digital content manager, you can outsource.

While some people will work on creating, recreating and posting the content, the effort may be counterproductive on other management tasks. In fact, most marketers prefer outsourcing a large percentage of the content.

If you are just getting started, you can get a freelancer to handle content creation for your startup. Alternatively, you can get a content agency to manage the content.

Bookkeeping

According to a scientific research from APA, multitasking can make your productivity to drop by up to 40%. This means that you will take a longer time to complete the tasks and the level of stress will be quite high.

Finances are a critical aspect of a startup and the last thing you want is making an expensive mistake when managing the accounts. When you outsource this task, you will be getting an experienced team working on the most important factor of your business.

There are many angles involved in managing business finances. For instance, if you used a loan to start the business it has to be factored into the budget to make sure you are in good relations with creditors. In addition, when you intend to take an additional business line of credit or installment realistic loans to help you smooth out the irregular cash flow, it’s important that an expert incorporate the same in the financial plan.

Payroll management

There are many regulations and laws that revolve around the payroll and it’s wise to have it done by an expert. Since this involves lots of tiny bits here and there, making a mistake can attract tax audits which are both expensive and risky.

Every year, small businesses are penalized billions of dollars for making improper fillings and omissions. You don’t have to employ a permanent accountant to handle the payroll because you can get the services from a contractor. By doing this, you will free up precious time while you make sure that no mistakes will occur during the process.

Human resource management

It’s an open secret that a good human resources department is critical to the success of any company. Nevertheless, when a startup is young there are budget constraints making it almost impossible to have an in-house department.

There are numerous outsourcing organizations that specialized in offering human resource service to companies. You can save your time and funds by having an agency perform tasks like recruiting, capacity development and hiring of specialized personnel.

Basically, contracting an independent firm to manage recruiting and hiring of personnel can be rewarding if you don’t have sufficient experience in the area.

Cybersecurity

Vendors selling IT products and services will always assure you the safety of your data, but as a business owner, you should know better and get some additional cybersecurity. In fact, it’s wiser to outsource a cyber-security service as opposed to completely relying on the word of an IT vendor. The truth is that no company however good can give a 100% guarantee on data safety.

Basically, an IT vendor is not a qualified cyber-security professional and they specialize in selling the services. Every time they tell you that all your data is perfectly secure, please remember that most of the IT networks in use today have security features which are more of an afterthought.

The main job of a cyber-security expert is to stay in constant anticipation of looming threats and developing the necessary measure to mitigate the situation. However, some IT products sold to businesses come with great security features but you should also have a cyber-security expert to give you a better layer of protection.

Conclusion

When your team is busy juggling between securing business funds, accounting, marketing, and human resource management, other important tasks may suffer. In fact, some entrepreneurs think that multi-tasking can reduce the ability to create a great product on time. Therefore, you can outsource some tasks and dedicate your time and energy on growth facilitation.

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Starting Your Green Construction Business: Simple Guide

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According to some analysts, the construction industry is booming. If you look beyond the developed world, you can see extraordinary growth rates. Developing countries, however, due to the increased industrialization of recent decades, are now facing environmental challenges, and are looking for greener construction solutions. If you are thinking about starting a company related to building and construction, you will need to think about the future trends, and make sure your company complies with current and future regulations. You will be responsible for training and policies, so it is important that you pay attention to every detail. Below you will find a few tips on starting your green construction business.

Study the Current Policies and Regulations

When starting a green construction business, you will need to thoroughly study the regulations that apply to your industry, your state, and your company structure. Different local governments might already have green policies and initiatives that will give you an advantage. On the other hand, you want to make sure that your new business will be able to meet the industry requirements when it comes to training, health and safety. Check out the requirements of the American Safety Council OSHA card to find out which qualifications your workers will need before you would create your company structure.

Invest in Technology

Green technology is constantly developing, and chances are that there are several companies on the market offering different solutions. If you would like to beat the competition, you might need to develop your own materials and work processes. If you are able to team up with engineers who are familiar with the latest trends and can spot opportunities, you can offer something unique for your business partners.

Recruit the Right People

It is also important that you find the right people for each job. Look for individuals who have similar values and visions, and embrace green ideas in the construction business. There is no way you can change the mindset of people, so it might be a good idea to provide your own training and recruit newly qualified talent, instead of workers who are already used to using traditional materials, approaches, and technologies. Your main assets will be your people, so you need to design your talent pool to meet the expectations of your customers and the needs of your company.

Develop Research Partnerships

If you don’t have the right people to research future technologies and new materials, you might decide to enter a partnership with your local college or university. If you invest in their research projects and work with them, you can take advantage of groundbreaking inventions that will help your business prosper while providing students with an opportunity to explore different opportunities to make future buildings more efficient and greener. No matter if you would like to develop your own materials or reduce the carbon footprint of your operations, you can find partners if you contact local educational institutions.

Create a Strategic Plan

No business can survive without a sound strategy. As a green construction business, you will need to integrate efficiency and carbon footprint reduction in every part of your strategic business plan. Consult with a professional advisor, and study various national and local policies that can give you ideas on creating your own competitive plan to turn future buildings greener. Check out the European green initiatives that are leading the way for the rest of the world.

Green Policies

When building a green organization, it is important that you adopt green policies in your company. From providing your staff with training on how to save energy and look after the environment, reduce waste, dispose of toxic materials, to targets and process manuals, there are several ways you can get your workers to jump on board and embrace your ideas.

Measurable Goals

With every business strategy, you need to develop measurable goals. You cannot simply say that you would like to reduce your company’s use of water and other natural resources: you must state by when and by how much. This will help you create targets for each worker and team, and meet the expectations of your market and your industry.

Design a Green Supply Chain

In the construction industry, it is important that you make your supply chain efficient. When you want to make your supply chain greener, it is even more important. From choosing the right suppliers to make sure that your materials are not traveling more than necessary, and you are focusing on waste reduction, to educating your workers on green and efficient practices, there are several ways you can design a supply chain that is not only good for the environment, but also for your financial budget.

Government Collaboration

When experimenting with new materials and production methods, it is important that you build strong links with government organizations, so you can be aware of the future policies and trends that will shape your industry. You can join an industry organization, and find out about the new policies and government targets as soon as possible, so you can tailor your strategy to the future policy developments.

Create a Shared Vision

When creating an innovative green construction business model, it is important that you effectively communicate your vision and mission with all stakeholders. Make sure that you are on the same page, and your suppliers, business partners, and customers are fully aware of your company’s policies and initiatives. Engage with your stakeholders by communicating your company’s plans and strategies to create more efficient buildings that serve communities better.

Some experts say that green supply chains and construction models are the future, and innovation can help organizations achieve their goals while reducing their cost and carbon footprint. If you are committed to environmental goals and would like your business model to reflect your values, you will need to build positive relationships with government organizations, employees, customers, and research facilities, so you can achieve your goals faster. An efficient business and a green supply chain can also provide you with a competitive advantage on the market.

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