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5 Emerging Trends in Startup Culture for 2017

5 Emerging Trends in Startup Culture for 2017

Startups, new businesses based on innovation, have been trending for a while. Whether in the technological sphere or another sector, a number of individuals are opting for startups over a regular job. This trend used to be primarily male-dominant, however this is no longer the case. Many women are also opting to join a startup business over a more traditional job. The benefits include both monetary and other gains that keep startups a popular trend.

Needless to say, the year is surely going to forecast countless startups emerging with aims of achieving bigger and better. So what are the main trends that we will witness in this upcoming year?

1. Employee Oriented

Startups are more concerned about their employees than other corporations. With the limited amount of resources they have, losing manpower is a great loss. Therefore, startups will continue to go above and beyond to create an environment that is employee friendly.

2. Peppy Offices

A lot of focus is given to the interior design of the offices. Gone are the days of white-washed walls and creaky chairs. 2017 will certainly be a time for peppy office spaces that are neatly designed and departmentalised. The focus is all on promoting the brand name and forming a brand image in the market, which allows the target audience to connect easily.

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3. Freelancers Being Hired

Whether it is digital marketing, brand building, content writing, or anything else, for that matter, freelancers are found everywhere. The advantage of hiring freelancers is that it leads to cost cutting, which is necessary for any startup.

4. Perks to Drool Over

Financial stability becomes a cause of concern when working in a startup. Even if you are well-paid for your job, it lacks stability because you never know when the company could crumble. This often makes the candidate hesitant to accept the opportunity. However, to overcome this drawback, startups have found a trending solution. Perks like Friday festivities, free food, and musical Saturdays are offered to employees, which creates a different scene than you would normally find in corporate culture.

5. Chat Box

Communicating with customers as fast as possible has become an important need. One of the emerging trends of 2017 is that the chat box will appear on commercial websites. Adding a chat box aids the customer in getting answers immediately and, at the same time, it opens a channel for the company to pitch their best deals to the customer. This convenient method has been seen on a number of websites these days.

In a world that is evolving with the revolution of technology, 2017 is surely going to be an exciting year for startups. But the success of these emerging trends requires some good habits. Have you ever thought the following:

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“Procrastination sucks the productivity out of me.”

“I am tired of wasting my time.”

“There is never enough time.”

“I wish I could stop time so that I can get everything done.”

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I have heard these phrases many times, and sadly, I have fallen prey to them as well. The predator of procrastination is always lurking around the corner. But with a new year, it’s time to part ways with these negative thoughts by implementing the following productivity habits for 2017:

1. Make a To-do List

Nothing amps up productivity better than preparing a to-do list each morning. It not only aids in keeping your schedule organized, but also helps to make sure that your priorities are straight. Making a to-do list helps you keep focused on the tasks of the day.

2. Set a Sleep Schedule

Waking up early and going to bed on time can certainly give you ample time to make your day productive. When first adapting to a new sleep schedule, you will likely struggle in the morning, but that is just until your sleep cycle is set. Getting to bed on time and getting up early is also a sign of a healthy lifestyle.

3. Limit Distractions

I totally can relate to pointlessly scrolling through Facebook when I should be doing work. Perhaps we even do this subconsciously. However, needless to say, time still gets wasted. Limit your distractions by keeping your phone away while you work or setting aside specific times when you can surf the web.

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4. Balance Your Life

Being productive does not mean working the entire day, but rather it means taking care of your personal, social and professional life in a balanced way. Working without breaks will lead to frustration, which will negatively affect your productivity.

5. Set a Routine

Plan a daily or weekly schedule and arrange your activities accordingly. Also, make sure that you set strong priorities so that you focus on the more important matters first.

6. Keep Learning

Learning should never stop. Whether it is learning from your mistakes or it is about taking up a vocational course, you need to make sure that you don’t stop learning. Putting in daily effort to learn something new will pay off in the long run.

Productive habits are not something that magically happen overnight. In fact, you need the willingness to sustain these habits until they become second nature. These productivity habits will save you a lot of time so that you have more time to focus on what’s truly important.

Featured photo credit: All Top Startups via i0.wp.com

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Bhavik Sarkhedi

Founder of Write Right - A Content Marketing Company

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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