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6 Foolproof Steps to Launching a Unique Online Business

6 Foolproof Steps to Launching a Unique Online Business
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In a market that is saturated and filled with strong competitors, you need to come up with a practical but unique idea for a business. Trying to find a business model that fits your skills, doesn’t make you want to kill yourself at the end of the day, is profitable and has room for development isn’t an easy task.

However, there’s a pattern you may follow which can make things a whole lot easier for you. Starting your own business is a risky move and you’ll need to invest your time, money and yourself to ensure that it works out as planned. If you’re ready to go the distance, you should know it’s worth it.

1. Make Sure There Is Market Demand

Many brilliant minds of the past ages have been a center of mockery because the world wasn’t prepared for them. Let’s remember the most obvious example for this claim – people thought Earth was the center of the universe for very, very long time and to say otherwise was to be labeled as a heretic or madman.

My point is that even if you do have a revolutionary business model or an innovation of some kind in mind, you need to make sure that people are ready for it. Therefore, make sure that there’s a demand on the market that can enable you to develop your startup and work your way up from there.

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2. Budget Distribution

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    Even if you do have a great idea and you can wiggle into the world of business thanks to market demand, you can still end up bankrupt, if you don’t know how to handle your money. As a business leader, you need to be prepared for various outcomes and you need to think several steps ahead and count various different factors into your equation, so you’re practically able to predict the future of your business.

    Startups are all about prioritizing – there’s no room in the budget for nothing more than necessary. Other than covering paychecks, your budget also needs to be distributed to utilities, rent, inventory, and promotions.

    3. Get together a Professional Squad

    Team assembly might be the most troubling step here. If you’re starting out with an acquaintance or perhaps a friend, it might be easier for you because you’re already familiar with someone’s skills and abilities – you have more than just an unfamiliar resume and a stranger’s word backing it up.

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    The fact you’re only just beginning with your business implies that you don’t have enough money to pay for experts to work for you. The chances are you’ll employ young people who lack experience but compensate that by being eager to work and earn money.

    Your best chance is to build a small team as soon as possible and transfer your work ethics to them – values you share with them will be the glue that holds you together through both the good things and the bad. On the other hand, a lack of those values will create anarchy, lack of authority and team spirit, which is one certain path to imminent bankruptcy.

    4. Create a Unique Proposition

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      Experts claim how the most important thing to build your business around is differentiation. Let me draw you a little picture; when a person who is in need of a service they have never used before start browsing for a proposal, they won’t be able to tell you apart from your competitors. You need to give them a strong reason to remember you and find you unique.

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      First of all, you need to strive towards profiling your ideal customer. Once you figure out their characteristics, the next step is to fashion your business around them. Applying this strategy to your business will enable it to grow in the right direction from the very beginning, which is quite efficient. If you create a functional version of your business in the beginning, it won’t be necessary for you to make big changes later.

      5. Take Your Online Presence Seriously

      Even if you already own a brick-and-mortar business, launching your business online is paramount – if you’re not present on the internet, you don’t exist. Your website is your business card and everyone who gets there by browsing online will make judgments based on what they see.

      When making a website, you need to stick to the current trends, but don’t try to implement all of them because that can only create a mess. The selection of design options you decide to go with need to be in accordance with what you do and be capable of showcasing your offer in the finest light.

      However, it’s not just what’s on the surface but also what’s beneath it. When trying to decide about your tech support, you need to do thorough research in order to select a good hosting option based on reviews and make sure it fits your budget. Be very confident that your visitors won’t waste their time trying to load a single page of your website if it takes too long, and be sure that they will turn to your competitor in a matter of seconds.

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      6. Tweak according to Feedback

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        Social networks are your most trustworthy partner when it comes to business development. Managing your profiles on these platforms is something that needs to be handled carefully; these accounts will be a way for your audience to reach out to you, leave their comments and share you with the rest of the world.

        The feedback you receive through these mediums should be most precious to you, whether it be a praise, suggestion or a simple complaint – you should look at reviews as if they were pointers for further changes. Even the finest tweak you plan on making should be based on profiling your ideal customer and trying to meet their needs and possibly predict them.

        Following these steps will enable you to transfer from a startup to a full-fledged small business quicker – each of them is a growth hacking method based on sound business logic. One last piece of advice; you should take risks only when necessary, but don’t hesitate from being brave enough to follow your gut when you’re most certain that’s the right thing to do.

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        Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/kaboompics/ via pexels.com

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Published on July 27, 2021

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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        During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

        But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

        Put the Pro in Professional

        After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

        1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

        The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

        Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

        2. Dress the Part

        While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

        Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

        For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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        Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

        3. Stage Your Workspace

        Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

        Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

        4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

        Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

        Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

        Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

        Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

        5. Arrive on Time

        In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

        Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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        6. Turn on Your Video

        Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

        If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

        Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

        7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

        Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

        Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

        Attend to the Pesky Details

        8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

        With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

        Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

        9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

        Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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        Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

        10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

        As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

        Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

        Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

        Talking Has a Time and a Place

        11. Chat Appropriately

        Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

        At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

        12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

        The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

        Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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        13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

        In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

        Manage Yourself

        14. Minimize Distractions

        While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

        Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

        15. Save Snacking for Later

        Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

        However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

        Final Thoughts

        Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

        Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

        Reference

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