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12 Helpful Tips That Startups Should Know

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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 August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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