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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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Published on June 5, 2018

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance . Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to make it happen for a more fulfilling life.

Signs that you need a career change

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Why a career change is good for you

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

Common mistakes of people making a career change

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. What is your situation?

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  • Desire for an increase of salary: The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time. At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.
  • Overnight decision: Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.
  • Rejected for a promotion: I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.
  • Bored at work: Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization. Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Now that you had a chance to review your work situation and none of these recommendations can help, it is time to take the next step.

How to make the change for a successful career (Step-by-step)

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a career plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh your options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job, in the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be real about the pros and cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are impacting the current situation.

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A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

4. Find a mentor

A mentor that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

  • What is required to be successful in the role?
  • What certification or educational development is needed?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • Is there potential for career advancement?

A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: A Good Mentor Is Hard to Find: What to Look for in a Mentor

5. Research salary

Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

6. Be realistic

If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

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Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

7. Volunteer first

A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

8. Prepare your career tools

I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

  • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
  • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.

Final thoughts

It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will discover the role that is the best fit with your skillsets.

Master these action steps and changing careers will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1]Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
[2]MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan

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