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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 January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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