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8 Tips You Should Know If You Want To Start Your Business Successfully

8 Tips You Should Know If You Want To Start Your Business Successfully

As Scott Belsky said, “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” It’s really not that the success of an idea depends on its uniqueness and potential foremost. Rather, it depends on how you bring the idea into action.

You may have heard, as an entrepreneurship enthusiast, people calling an idea a “billion dollar idea”. However, ideas in themselves are of negligible worth. It’s hard to sell just an idea for even a few thousand dollars, unless you’re an expert salesperson.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to undermine the value of an idea at all. In fact, a concrete idea is the first and foremost thing that you need when starting your business. However, there are plenty of other variables which determine whether you transform an idea into a successful enterprise or not.

Here are some tips to help you if you want to get your business of to a successful start.

1. Identify strengths and weaknesses

A common fallacy among young, enthusiastic entrepreneurs is the invulnerability regarding their idea. It is convenient to believe that your idea is impeccable. This however is not always the case. No matter how brilliant an idea is, it will have shortcomings.

A proper analysis of strengths and weaknesses of your idea will help you understand its actual value. It can help you identify risks and difficulties in implementing your ideas. Furthermore, it can reveal opportunities that you are unaware of.

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Once you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your plan, you can decide how much time and money you will need to put into the endeavor.

2. Create a business model

Your idea is not going to earn money by itself. You need to find the best ways to milk money from your idea. You will need a proper business model for that.

A proper business model will help you figure out elements such as who your customers are, which demographic your idea appeals to, what marketing approach you should take, what are the company’s capital and resource requirements, and how does the company plan to manage its operations as it grows.

A business model helps you to set clear financial goals and develop a proper implementation strategy to achieve those goals.

3. Take feedback from experts

One of the biggest mistakes young entrepreneurs make is that they don’t care to take any suggestion from experts. They feel their idea is solid and see no need for any feedback.

However, with years of experience under their belts, experts can understand the multiple aspects of your enterprise in a much more dynamic and realistic manner.

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Taking feedback from experts will help you to take a better approach towards implementation of your project and will also introduce you to difficulties or problems you might not have considered previously.

4. Form an alliance

If you think you alone can successfully grow a huge enterprise, you are wrong. If it’s a small scale enterprise, you could do it on your own. But even in that case, teamwork helps a lot.

You need to find a group of likeminded individuals with compatible skills who add to the value of the group. It’s best to go for people with different skill sets.

It’s always better to form a group that includes a developer, manager, designer, marketer and business analyst than one consisting of all developers.

5. Know your competitors

You might think that your idea is one-off and never thought of before. But there is a high chance somebody else has already thought of it in one way or another.

Whether the idea is a novel one or quite common, you will always have competitors, both new and those with years of presence in the industry.

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You should give plenty of thought towards contending with the competitors, existing and potential ones alike. And, outsmarting the rivals should be more than displaying more captivating ads or glossier banners on your building. Here are some great ideas on where to put those vinyl banners. The main focus should be on providing better customer experience than your rivals.

6. Earn your team’s support

Just increasing the number of heads in your team doesn’t achieve anything for the success of your enterprise. You need to build a solid team.

You need to build a cohesive team where individuals add up to each other. For that, the most important thing is to build a sense of trust and belief within the team.

You need to earn the support of your team. You need to instill belief in them that your enterprise is going to succeed. You might even need to make compromises in doing so.

7. Focus to boost skills within your team

For the continuous growth of your business, the team members also need to grow constantly. That requires continuous increment of individual skills.

Even when the business is not really succeeding, you need to find ways to aid in the boost of individual skills of team members. The members should constantly upgrade themselves for the betterment of business as well.

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It might be hard to do so in the beginning, but you should set aside some amount for training of the members, their recreation and also challenge them at every step.

8. Expand your idea

Ideas often arise from that sudden spark, when you feel you have come up with something big. At that point, you could even explain your idea in a sentence.

But ideas continuously grow. You might start with something elementary but, after lots of brainstorming and planning, you add more aspects to your idea.

With the growth of your business, you should continuously work on reforming your idea. You should regularly refine it, adjust requirements and try to continually assure that it is relevant.

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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