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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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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Silence Is a Virtue: 6 Things You Must Never Say After a Car Accident

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crashed car

flickr/sylvar

Following a car accident, we usually experience a rush of adrenaline that makes us tremble. Everything seems to be moving very fast, and in those moments, your actions mean a lot. However, what you say is very important as well. What comes out of your mouth at the scene can influence how the ensuing claims and damages are handled. Here are six things you should never speak after a car accident.

  1. “Everything’s fine, I can just go.”

Of course, not every car accident results in major damage and injuries. In these cases, you or the other driver may push the idea that you can both just call it even and leave. Never do this under any circumstances. Always insist on exchanging information and making a police report.

  1. “I am so sorry.”

Even when you’re not at fault, you might issue an apology, simply because accidents are tough on everyone involved. You really shouldn’t ever say this, as those who hear it can take it to mean you’re responsible for the accident. No matter what goes down, save your apologies for later.

  1. “I’m not injured.”

That adrenaline rush you get after an accident can mask pain. Even if your body isn’t coursing with adrenaline, there are many kinds of injuries one can sustain in an accident whose symptoms aren’t immediately apparent. If you’ve been in an accident, go to the ER to be checked over, and if an ache or anything else does arise in the following days, get to a doctor right away.

  1. “This is all my fault.”

You think you know what happened, and you’re pretty sure you’re to blame. Not so fast, there. You might be surprised what comes up during an investigation. It’s not unheard of for a person who thought an accident was their fault to learn that the other party was the one who actually violated traffic laws. In the same vein, don’t say anything which sounds like an explanation or excuse for your perceived errors.

  1. “I can’t be sure, but I think…”

The reason we shouldn’t try and explain how things happened from our perspective is because right now, it’s important to stick to basic facts. If your account differs from everyone else’s, it will make you look like the party who has something to hide. Only share information that couldn’t be construed differently by anyone else in that situation.

  1. “I can handle this myself.”

Chances are, you don’t know the person you collided with. You don’t know what they’ll say, do, or claim a week from now, even if they’re being very calm and collected immediately after the incident. You also don’t want to tangle with their insurance company alone. Hiring an auto accident lawyer is the best way to ensure fair end results.

So, what should you say? After an accident, you should ask all parties involved if they’re okay, and call for help as quickly as possible. You should provide accurate, up-to-date information about yourself. From there, make your interactions with police and insurance companies as simple and fact-based as you can, until you can get your attorney on the case.

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If you would want to build your own company, what would you need?

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Marketing business work

First of all you should have an idea. The next step, I guess, would be to have a business plan. That’s more or less an estimation of what your idea is going to cost you and studying all the laws you have to obey to be able to pursue your idea. Then you are going to need investors. I think that is the hardest part. You have to convince them that you have a good enough product to give money to, but not so good, that they want to take it away from you. And that, my friends, is a very delicate line to balance.

But let’s say your dreams come true, and somebody gives you money…. Now we have an obligation to a third party. You don’t want to let that person down, that is trusting in you. The conscience comes into play. But you are hopeful, you have a good idea, and you are going to do your best to achieve it.

So now you have to look for a location. A place that can fit your idea, it’s possible expansion in the next couple of years, the right location and a cheap price. All of this should be in the business plan, as well as future customers and maybe some other stuff that is important to the idea.

Location is an aspect, that is often ignored by the general public, because they think: If I see it, everybody else can see it too. But that is not necessarily always true. We all have mediocre ideas: “they should put an ice-cream store in that corner”, “if I could, I would open a company that sells things online”, “maybe I should start a food-truck”. But please remember: who is going to be your customer? What makes that corner so special for the an ice-cream store? Why will people buy from you online? Do you really cook well enough that somebody will buy your food out of a truck?

College students may tend to observe the tendencies of technology and decide to spend a great amount of money in something like electrospinning equipment and try to be ahead of the industrial need. This is a good idea, but you have to know who you are going to sell to, what the market value is for the quality of your product, in which country, city and street you are going to make the most sales and how you can make people notice you.

Then again, your idea doesn’t have to be a business idea. It can be more abstract: “ I want to change the name of my street”, “I think smoking has been criticised enough”, or maybe something like “I wish I could send all my leftovers to a third world country”. Those dreams are a little more difficult to follow. But the plan starts in the same way: Make an estimate, what it is going to cost you and study all the laws you have to obey to make your idea reality.

Now the first thing people will turn to is the internet. What can I find online, that will tell me how the state of the market is. My guess would be: nothing. Nobody really advertises their needs and advantages online. They do it in person. And you can’t look up the laws online, at least not for free. So then where do you go?

You look for the person who is most related to the subject, and you start to ask questions. This person may or may not want to hear You, but your ideas will certainly be heard. And then comes the question: is it more important to achieve your goal and let somebody else take the credit for it, or do you fear that the person who is listening to you is going to use your idea to achieve his own means, even if it is against what your idea originally stood for.

But then again, have the peace of mind that no one can ever be trusted. We are all humans, we all fail, disappoint and make promises we don’t know how to keep. But to be honest, If we don’t try to pursue our ideas, how can the world ever get better? How can we, the human race, ever take the role as the dominant species on this planet, if we know that our current state of industry is only killing other species and exploiting the planet we live on. Hopefully somebody has a dream, that will allow us to live in balance with the rest of nature.

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Managing creative employees

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Managing creative employees

Designers, journalists, photographers are talented and not ordinary people. At the same time, you can often hear that they can be easily distracted. But if someone complains about the uncontrollability of the creative employees, one simply does not know how to organize them.

How to manage creative employees

Designers, journalists, photographers are talented and not ordinary people. At the same time, you can often hear that they can be easily distracted. But if someone complains about the uncontrollability of the creative employees, one simply does not know how to organize them. Find out how to organize your creative employees in the best way and without unnecessary stress following the tips from these 10-page papers.

The method of the stick doesn’t work

Formally, creative people are no different from all others. And informally, of course, the difference is obvious. The geniuses have other motivators. For example, for them recognition is more important than money. A free schedule is more comfortable than working from a call to a call.

So, it’s advisable to rather choose the right leadership style to live in peace and harmony. In the scientific literature, four types of management are distinguished:

  • Authoritarian. When everything in the company occurs at the behest of the head, and the subordinates are obedient executors.
  • Market. Relations in the team are built on the principle “you do something for me and I’ll do something for you.” This is kind of entrepreneurial approach.
  • Bureaucratic. The company has clear regulations, management orders are not discussed, and all employees are disciplined and executive.
  • Democratic (humanistic). This is a paradise for creative workers. The staff of the company is one big team, where everyone is given chances to realize their ideas, even the most grandiose ones.

Follow your line

The main words to the manager is to become the creative leader himself. However, it makes no sense to create without knowing the measure and purpose. Therefore, top managers of innovative companies adhere to the following principles when running a team:

  • Self-management. Provide employees with a field for activities, not pushing in their strict framework, but also avoiding arbitrariness.
  • Personal responsibility for the result. Do so that every member of the team understands that the success of the project depends on it. Praise because creative people like approval very much.
  • Freedom. Every employee has the right to work as he likes. Work from home, at night or daytime – in fact it’s not important. The main thing is the result.
  • Tasks for interests. A routine is the most terrible word for creatives. They are bored sitting for a long time in one place, doing the same thing. A maximum of three years, and the true creator will run away, even if you give him free breakfast and lunch. So periodically change everything: tasks, areas of responsibility, and projects.

Looking for talents

In order to prevent the search for personnel from turning into a torture, one should immediately pay attention to those candidates who are equally capable of working both in the office and in public transport. And at the same time to give out unique intellectual products that did not exist before, absolutely viable.

During the interview, offer the applicant a simple test. For example, to come up with as many options for non-standard use of a paper clip within one minute. The candidate writes the answers on a letterhead, which is then analyzed.

Work environment

It’s more interesting for the creative person to work in a circle of like-minded people. It is not necessary for this to open super offices where you can ride bikes or lie on bear hides.

The creative environment is a mood, a climate, a kind of comfort. Everything will turn out fine if you take into account some features in time:

  • Create friendly relations. It is very good when you can communicate freely the company, without hierarchy, consult all issues directly with top managers and take the initiative.
  • Support the staff. In a good working climate, ideas and proposals are received with interest and are welcomed by leaders of all ranks. Often arrange brainstorming so that everyone can feel the team spirit and positive attitude.
  • Demonstrate trust and be open. When each person puts forward ideas and is not afraid to express his opinion, the emotional burnout of staff will not overtake.
  • Joke so there will be ease, spontaneity, and a friendly atmosphere.
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