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12 Helpful Tips That Startups Should Know

12 Helpful Tips That Startups Should Know

The world has been built upon ideas and people willing to risk everything to see an end to it. There is no such thing as a “safe job” today. However, while the idea of having one’s own company is exciting, there are several other faculties that startups should have to be successful in this highly competitive world. No wonder, there would be challenges but the real success lies in being rightly prepared for the eventualities. Throughout the ages, there have been several startups trying to make a mark in the market but most of them end up getting bankrupt or giving up to the continued challenges. Here are 12 important tips that every startup should know.

1. Startups should have a strict purpose

Startups should have a definite purpose of their presence. They should not deal with several things all at once. A singular goal for the brand helps streamline their ideas and investment in the right places. The business can grow and diversify once you have made a mark but initially, every startup should be planning for a singular goal.

2. Startups should work fast and hard

Startups should work hard and reach the first goals as soon as possible. It doesn’t take long for ideas to leak and there is ample chance that somebody else with the resources will be willing to work upon and build his business upon yours. Don’t give your competitors a chance to overtake your ideas. Plan beforehand and start delivering as soon as you are good to go.

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3. Startups should not hesitate to fire

Startups should not be the place to show compassion. If someone in the team is not delivering and incapable of fulfilling his/her responsibilities, don’t hesitate to find a replacement. Of course, you give new people a strict time period to get acquainted with the company but they should be showing their contributions in numbers soon. For any startups, their team plays a very important role behind success or failure. You should accordingly build your team that can understand your ideas and can execute it.

4. Startups should charge flat fees

Startups should opt for flat project payments rather than overall project payments. Divide the project into accountable chunks of deliverables and make sure you are paid for what you have been doing. This way, you will not lose upon the entire payment if the client doesn’t seem to like the final output. Work upon ideas, make sure that the client is willing to follow, and handle every process so taht they pay for every step taken towards the goal.

5. Startups should get paid upfront

Startups should be relying more on advances to take up a project. In the initial days, workload will be less and you will be able to devote all your time to the present project. If a client refuses to pay an advance for a project, simply refuse to work for them.

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6. Startups should not go for bulk work and cheap clients

Startups should be setting a high standard from the first project itself. Don’t get attracted to bulk and cheap project that guarantees a long term payment but doesn’t do justice to the hard work you put into it. Clients will get unrealistic in their demands and seek discounts, especially when they realize you are new to the industry. However, it is best to have a strict pricing strategy and show that you deserve to be paid like the best in the business.

7. Startups should learn the products

Startups should be working on lean products initially rather than taking up extensive projects with an unpredictable delivery time. You can always add on to your product at later stages, but focus on the core in the initial days. Therein lay the quality and the credit. Anyone with the right tools can do the decorations. Rotimatic is one of the best example of such startup which is growing steadily and are well respected from their audiences.

8. Startups should have constant communication between employees

There should be thorough and fast communication between each member of the team. Every member should know what others are up to and this makes it easier to work towards a common goal. Depending on your area of expertise and industry, you should also be looking to use your space more wisely and strategically to entertain the maximum number of clients and work out on maximized production/service. You should also keep motivating your employees as it is very much important for startups that their employees are motivated to take new challenges.

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9. Startups should have an experience to drives ideas

Startups should be looking up to experienced professionals to take their idea forward and in the right directions. Seasoned players from the industry are a huge addition to any startup. Once you start getting experience, you will keep learning from it and can help you at long term bases. Let’s take an example of eCommerce vendor; I found that many vendors do manual research and spend lot of time in just comparing the price of their product with competitors. Just think, how much you are spending on this simple research work? If it is a senior executive, the simple price comparison work may cost you in thousands of dollars. You can easily get this job done using price comparison solutions like datacrops at very reasonable cost and in very efficient manner. Once you face such problems, you will start finding the solution based on your previous experience.

10. Startups should separate the duties

Startups should have a definite business structure. The executive who is looking into client queries shouldn’t also be the one working upon the accounts. There are hundreds of tools available in market to help you manage the projects and users efficiently. One of my favorite project manage tool is Trello, a free project management tool that can reduce your headache to manage multiple projects.

11. Startups should save money for eventualities

Startups shouldn’t be risking everything following a dream. In case your idea and business place doesn’t work out, you should have enough in the bank to take you forward in life. All ideas do not get success and failure is not end of this world. You should keep yourself prepared for any outcome of your startup. You should be ready to face failure too.

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12. Startups should maintain the discipline with co-workers

Startups should not be a place to make company or find your love. You should be having strict professional relationships in the workplace, whatever product or service you might be working upon. This is the only way you can keep everyone on their toes and willing to give their best. Work culture has a huge impact on overall output and it is very important for startups to maintain discipline with co-workers.

Conclusion:

The journey of an entrepreneur is just like an adventure, you should be ready to do lot of hard work. Sometimes you will face strange challenges and may think to quit but your self confidence and these important tips will help you find the best possible way towards your success.

Featured photo credit: Robert Scoble via flic.kr

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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