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8 Simple Hacks For Low Budget Startup Entrepreneurs

8 Simple Hacks For Low Budget Startup Entrepreneurs

Startup entrepreneurs should be aware of the risks involved starting their own business. Money plays a big role in the success or failure of a startup. In fact, 90% of startup entrepreneurs are expected to fail.  But does this mean that you shouldn’t chase after your dream?

There are simple, yet cost-effective measures that low budget startups could adapt in their business practices. Here are some effective low budget hacks that entrepreneurs could start to implement.

1. Build a solid content online

Quality content makes a huge difference on how a company is perceived online. Content has been considered the king for quite a while, and there’s no sign of it changing soon. Low budget startup entrepreneurs should start investing on an effective content strategy to get the attention of their niche.

This simple, yet effective strategy has been proven to build a company’s reputation. It can also potentially increase your conversion, while attracting the right people.

Is it cheap? Hiring content creators may not be as cheap as you expect. Big companies are even willing to pay $100 or more for high quality content.  For low budget startup entrepreneurs, they could start building their own content. Using tools such as Grammarly.com, the content can be proofread even without the help of a professional copywriter/editor. If not, they can hire online freelance writers to get the job done. Freelancers offer a budget friendly solution to this type of concern.

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2. Delegate the simple and mundane tasks

It is a common mistake by startup entrepreneurs to micromanage and perform mundane tasks. Startup entrepreneurs could save more money if they focus on the more important tasks in their company.

So who should cover the simple and mundane tasks? If you don’t have the money to hire new employees, you can start having a virtual assistant to get things done. For some businesses, they also allow on-the-job trainees to be part of their organization. On-the-job trainees are young college graduates or students who are trying to gain experience in a relevant industry.

3. Invest on a modern and responsive website

Whether or not you have an office or a physical store, it is imperative to have a modern and responsive website for your startup company.

A responsive design allows the user to have an optimized view of the website in different devices. This type of design responds to the viewing space that is available.

Now that 48% of mobile users start using the internet on search engines, Google has decided to adapt its algorithm to this trend. Aside from providing superb user experience, responsive websites are given an edge on Google. This type of design increases the chance of landing on the first search result page.

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4. Study the industry/market well

As rule of thumb, every startup entrepreneur should never get into something that they don’t know.   Investing in an unknown niche increases the risk of failing.

Market research is something that businesses of all sizes shouldn’t forget. By performing a study in your industry and market, you’ll be able to determine the startup’s potential. Is there a demand? Who are our competitors? Is the market already saturated?

5. Branding consistency

Branding is your key to be easily recognized by your audience. An effective branding strategy can help get the message across effectively. Small businesses should be able to understand the value of using consistent designs. Branding isn’t just your logo. Branding is also about the voice, colors, fonts, and even your website’s layout.

6. Develop a social media marketing strategy

Social media has leveled the playing field for a lot of businesses. Even small businesses have been able to get the same exposure as their larger counterparts, thanks to the use of social media. And the good part is that it can be used for free.

With over billions of accounts floating around in different platforms, social media should never be ignored especially by small entrepreneurs. According to one study, consumers tend to buy products from brands they follow (64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users).

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But of course, not all social media campaigns can yield positive results.  To maximize the reach and engagement, it is crucial to learn some effective social media marketing strategies. This includes establishing the right type of voice to balancing the promotional and non-promotional posts.

And of course, you have to understand that the social media platform algorithms are also changing. It has been a concern among social media managers when Facebook changed the way people see posts from pages.

The average reach of Facebook publishers in 2015 is only at 2.27%. On the other hand, in 2012, publishers organically reach 16% of their fans. This only means that small businesses should also consider sponsored posts, to help boost their reach. But more importantly, it is imperative to reevaluate the content shared on social media.

7. Take the customer feedback seriously

You may have heard Steve Jobs downplay customer feedback saying that customers have no idea of what they want until they have seen it. But for startup entrepreneurs, keep in mind that word-of-mouth advertising is still among the most effective means of advertising.

Word-of-mouth advertising can either help or destroy your business. For a virtually unknown brand, it is crucial to get as many people to recommend your products or services. In fact, 84% of consumers say that they trust recommendations of either friends or family when it comes to products. Same is true for online opinion made by consumers.

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So what should you do if you are faced with a negative feedback online? This is where startups need to have a protocol on how to manage negative comments and reviews.

8. Analytics

Every startup entrepreneur should consider the numbers. Analytics provide startups a reality check, whether or not they are doing the right thing. For starters, check the social media’s engagement, and reach. Compare which posts have the highest reach and engagement.

Next, look at your site’s traffic. Are you hitting the expected number of visitors? If the numbers are met, are you really hitting the demographic? For local businesses for instance, it is important that the searches come from the area where they operate.

Conclusion

Becoming a startup entrepreneur can be a struggle. The lack of capital can definitely play a major role how your business operates. But the lack of funds doesn’t mean that you should forget about your dream. Today, there are many ways on how you can run your business even if you only have minimal funds. It is about how you make use of your available resources to your advantage as a startup.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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