What You Should Expect Before Launching Your Start-Up?

Introduction

In this era, the dynamics of the world have changed owing to technological advancements. 

The gravity of the situation demands many individuals start their own businesses for better sustainability. The present market is getting saturated with time, making it difficult for young people to find jobs that are fulfilling.  

Often, individuals are compelled to do odd jobs that make them feel devastated. They avoid starting little businesses that demand a bit of risk.  We need to understand that jobs are fruitful, and businesses can rule. 

Revamp your thinking to start a small start-up or business today. But before that, we’ll tell you what you should expect before launching it.  

8 Things You Should Know Before Launching Your Start-Up

You should know these 8 things before launching start-up.

  • Do Research

Studies suggest that 22.5% of businesses fail within the first year due to the lack of research. That’s right!

Research is the crucial element that helps to develop business awareness. Do your homework regarding market traits and how you can gain conversions through your business. 

Initially, you have to research the present market and people’s choices. After that, move on to the next stage. 

Use search engines, newspapers, google analytics, and social media for useful research. 

  • Clear Your Vision

Your vision defines the impact of your business on the audience. Time and again, we have seen many startups go down the drain because of the lack of vision. That’s why researchers say that many businesses fail because the CEOs were unable to understand the market’s needs.

Clearing your vision before launching your startup is very important. You must know how you can scrutinize the global market to ensure your progress steadily. Your idea must be rigid and executable. 

Plan out whether you want to empower few people or inspire the masses across the globe.

  • Find Your Audience

Audiences can vary depending upon the nature of business. Brands provide services and products for different audiences such as children, men, women, and old age people. 

Try to find the answer regarding the audience that you are trying to capture. Whether it will amaze the children, fascinate the women, enthrall the men, or ease older people. Only then would you be able to find the right direction to prosper your startup.

  • Size Your Competitors

Do you know what takes companies to feature in the Fortune 500?

Well, the power to overwhelm their competitors!

Your competitors are the biggest challenge you’ll face when starting your own business. The competition has increased rapidly over time. Under the elusive circumstances, many companies have come and conquered the world through their enthralling means of captivating audiences. 

The formula is simple. Size your competitors and devise a strategy so that you can win from them.  

  • Consistency is The Key

Studies show that 24% of businesses fail and close during the initial 1 or 2 years. Half of the startups survive for almost 5 years, while a third of companies sustain for like 10 years. 

The evidence shows that consistency is the key to having long-term success. 

You’ll fail, you’ll be depressed, you’ll feel like quitting!

But remember, businesses take time to grow. You’ll have to be patient enough to face the bottleneck.

  • Get A Mentor 

Before starting a new venture, you need someone to advise you on your decisions. That’s why getting a mentor is a great option. 

Mentors can be anyone having prior experience of doing business and taking risks. You don’t need an exceptionally qualified degree holder mentor. Facts say that one-third of the entrepreneurs didn’t go to college. Having a person who knows the market well can be your mentor. 

Find a mentor and learn from his experiences. 

  • Carve A Marketing Strategy

The biggest challenge most startups face is how to shape an intriguing marketing strategy. We must understand that the dynamics of marketing have changed rapidly with time. 

Most entrepreneurs have a firm conviction that a good marketing strategy boosts their sales exponentially. 

Marketing strategy comprises how to gather an audience on social media, build a reputation with other organizations, and use mainstream media. 

Before launching your strategy, carve a formidable marketing strategy that can help you to reach the masses. 

  • Do a Test Run

Once you are done with all the processes and now you’re ready to make your product live. Remember!

Do a test run before making it live to the public. 

A test run or beta run helps test the product with its full capacity and find loopholes if any. 

This will make your analytics more powerful.  Entrepreneurs should carry out a process to dry run their products more often to find any discrepancies. 

We can say that a difference between promising entrepreneurs and bad entrepreneurs is that the good ones always test their products timely. 

Conclusion

So we leave it to you here.

Understanding the pros and cons of a business is very important before launching a startup. Successful startups tend to evolve with time. They have the expertise to shape themselves according to the interest of their audience. 

We have formulated 8 simple points that’ll help you in understanding the essence of your startup. 

Looking forward to seeing your business in the Fortune 500!

10 Insightful Tips to Grow Your Online Business

Introduction:

Growing your online business is not a piece of cake. It demands meticulous attention to detail. An online business’s fundamental purpose is to build a reputation that can sustain for a long time. Big enterprises like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart have advanced steadily because of the top-notch strategies that proved a vital game-changer for them.

Ten Insightful Tips for Growing Your Online Business

Here are some insights that might help you to flourish your online venture. 

1. Use an Attractive Sales Copy

Most of the online businesses have outdated sales copies. Be it a website or an ad, your sales copy influences your customers. People usually buy things that fascinate them at a glance.

That’s what a sales copy can do!

It can create hype for your product through words’ power and make people curious about your brand. 

Let them sync with your copy.

Tip: To optimize your sales copy, find professional copywriters who can sell your products through words. 

2. Be Clear about Your Target Audience

The question arises, you’ll you do that?

Well, Remember your audience and devise your plans accordingly. 

Online businesses should be flexible in crafting their ideas as per the target audience. 

Focus on specific people rather than targeting the world. 

3. Highlight Benefits Over Features

Buyers are always looking for some exciting offers when they surf the internet about something. They might not be interested in the feature set you are offering, but the benefits will surely excite them to wait for a moment and think. 

That is where you can captivate them!

Highlight the benefits you are about to offer to the buyers on the front page. 

Most marketers fail to understand this technique. 

4. Create a Sense of Urgency

There’s no harm in creating a sense of urgency to persuade your customers to act immediately. Humans prefer incentives in any form. 

They always look up to the things they find appealing. 

online business

Here above, the urgency lies in the sentence, “valid for the next 60 minutes”.

The brand has pitched the idea of urgency on the home page, so the viewers might get interested in what you are trying to offer—the perfect example of how you can manipulate your audience impeccably to think about your product in a flash. 

5. Choose the Right Platform

Most online businesses have potent websites. But that doesn’t mean people will always browse the URL of your website and surf. 

That is where most of the businesses go down the drain.

You have to create engagement through other platforms to direct the audience to your website. 

Use Facebook, Instagram, youtube, or any other social platform to market your project’s benefits. Picking the right platform to create engagement is crucial. 

6. Use Robust Marketing Strategies

In retrospect, marketing strategies have changed with time.  Brands have always tried to retarget the audience with creative maneuverings. Here optimizing your content and website is the key. 

Although developing an effective marketing strategy can be challenging at times, but it’s do-able. 

Brainstorm your ideas timely. 

A simple technique to carve a formidable marketing strategy is to understand your audience’s perspective through research. 

Remember, 87% of the brands over the world are working on producing well-crafted marketing stunts. 

So buckle up and think about an electrifying marketing strategy to empower the masses!

7. Engage Online Communities and Public Forums Through Your Business.

Online communities and public forums are where people worldwide share knowledge, chat, ask questions, and share their experiences. It creates connections based upon brand convictions. 

As most businesses critique their buyers’ interests, social communities are hubs that can help them boost their conversions. 

A public forum helps in researching the foremost marketing trends. Furthermore, you can conduct surveys about your product to get an idea if it overwhelms the public in any way. 

Valuable feedback from the customers from public forums helps in growing the business steadily.

8. Collaborate If Possible

The 21st century is quite captivating. Here influencers, members, and bloggers enthrall the local audience more. 

People are fascinated by influencers, so collaborate with them.

79% of the businesses are now casting the influencers in advertisements, brand endorsement campaigns, or sponsorships to promote their product and create engagements.

Collaborate with some of the well-known celebrities or influencers. They are easy to reach and will surely help you to build an audience.

9. Use Lead Generation Techniques

Lead Generation helps you to find an audience for your brands. Many enterprises believe that leads help you in converting your audience to buyers. 

 

The businesses are opting for several lead generation techniques. Most relevant that can be helpful are as follows:

  • Pay per click advertising (PPC)

Pay-per-click advertising is a technique used to generate clicks on your website through search engines. It is quite useful in gathering leads as people are always looking for solutions on the internet. 

To learn more about PPC, click here.

  • Lead Generating Websites

Generally, websites are information-centric. They usually provide knowledge about products and services. 

A lead generation website helps to gather details about the audience visiting your page. It helps to discover more insights into the flavor of your brand. 

Carve good content that can stimulate your audience to sign up for the lead to help you reach them out in the future.

  • Webinars

Webinars are a way to create awareness about your brand virtually. You register for most of the webinars for free. 

You can gather information about the attendees who signed up for your webinar. Reach them out later for future correspondence.

  • Facebook Lead Generation Method

Around 2.79 billion people across the world use Facebook. 91% of the brands across the globe have Facebook pages to interact with their audience. 

So why not convert the interaction into leads?

Well, the Facebook lead generation technique will help you do that!

Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/lead-ads

  • Use FOMO’s

FOMO means fear of missing out. This technique has been working for many marketers in boosting sales. 

You have probably seen FOMOs on websites that create a sense of urgency for people in drafting them to show interest in your product.

Phrases like “Limited time offer,” “Offer valid till midnight today,” and “We are offering discounts for 24 hours” create FOMO. 

business online

Advertise your product in a way that your audience thinks they might miss the offer if they don’t react abruptly to your call. 

This technique will surely uplift your game!

 

Final Thoughts 

We all want to grow our businesses quickly. 

There is no specific recipe that makes your business grow millions of dollars overnight. 

So what to do? 

Well, it’s simple.

Evolve your thought process, keeping the mentioned insight in mind. 

That’ll surely help your online business to achieve marvels if you wish to initiate them. 

How Much Money Do You Need To Kick Start Your Startup?

Do you dream of having your own successful startup? The majority of people have this ambition at some point in their lives, but the problem is that when they start their online business, they don’t consider all the factors that could suck up their money. This is one of the main reasons startups fail.

Most people are so focused on the exciting part of starting their e-commerce business that they start without a sustainable business plan and preparation. You know what happens next, right?

Around 90% of startups fail in the first few months. Although there are many reasons for it, 40% of entrepreneurs claimed they ran out of cash after a few months because their startup did not receive enough funding.

You must understand your expenses well to launch a successful startup. Moreover, One lifesaving tip is to overestimate your costs by 20-30% because you never know when some unforeseen expenses or price increase add up to the list.

How To Calculate Funds To Start Your Online Business

First of all, The amount of funding you need to launch a successful startup will vary a lot from industry to industry. However, knowing an estimated amount is critical as you might be raising money for your startup through pitching it to investors or applying for a bank loan. This blog will discuss the exact steps to work it out.

The first step most entrepreneurs start with is research. Here are five useful tactics to get authentic details.

  1. Start with talking to relevant people in your industry. Network as much as you can to soak in all the technical details and estimate operational costs.
  2. Inquire about the estimated cost of your average inventory from various potential suppliers to get the best rate.
  3. Using a startup calculator will also give you an idea of estimated figures.
  4. Take advice from a business or an accounting consultant to make sure you’re going in the right direction.
  5. Interview people who own startups or small businesses to avoid mistakes and get insider details about the cost needed to sustain a business. 

Secondly, figure out the following items to calculate the amount of money you need for your startup.

  • Capital expenditures refer to one-time expenses needed to open the business, such as machinery, equipment, furniture, and a certain inventory amount.
  • Expenses:
    One-time expenses: This includes the logo and website design, down payment on property taken on rent, license, permits, etc.
    Ongoing expenses:  These are recurring costs that include wages/salary, utility bills, rent in certain scenarios, marketing, advertising expenditure, etc.
  • Assets:
    It includes the things you already own, such as physical space, money, some inventory, etc.

Thirdly, you need to plan your startup costs. Now you might ask how? There are two ways to achieve this goal.

First is the traditional method of making a startup worksheet to estimate your initial costs, i.e., the price before launch. Note that it doesn’t include any expenses that occur after a launch, which contains ongoing sales, recurring fees, and so on.

startup online business

This startup worksheet includes a list of startup expenses, assets, and findings.

The second method is the LivePlan method that contains consolidated estimates. The difference between the two ways is that the LivePlan starts when a business begins spending money, while the traditional way begins when the business is launched and earns revenue.

The Liveplan method does not include any difference between launch and pre-launch spendings. If you want to use this method, start with adding revenue and expenses. After that, add assets to it and solve the projected cash flow problem using financing, i.e., by including loans and investments.

Finally, figure out these four key elements to calculate the startup cost.

1. Minimum cost

 Once you follow the steps mentioned above, you will figure out the minimum cost you need to start a successful startup. Minimum price can vary hugely depending upon your business plan and model, along with several other factors. Tailor your minimum cost according to your needs.

You do not always have to break the bank to start a business. Richard Branson built his empire with only £300 and now has a net worth of almost $5 billion. Another famous example includes a big player in the laptop market, “Dell,” which started with a mere 1000 bucks.

2. Projected cash flow (PCF)

Cash flow is money flowing in and out of your business.

To find the projected cash flow start with the money you have in your hand currently and add the money that will flow in and out of your business in the first month. Similarly, make a PCF of 12 months, which is a standard time for it.

Remember, cash flow would be slow in the beginning, so estimate accordingly.

3. Break-even point

This is the point when your business expenses are equal to the profits. You might not think of $0 as an impressive stat, but it predicts that you’re about to become a profitable company shortly.

Break-even point provides us with several useful tidbits such as how much sales you need to make to reach a neutral point and how long it will take to get there.

4. Get to know the professional fees

This expense goes unnoticed almost always, but this is a crucial cost you need to include in your startup cost.

By professional fees, we refer to business advisors that provide specialized services in areas that you don’t know. They may include lawyers and consultants. You might need them for various reasons such as gaining a trademark, legal documents procedure, and so on.

How much money do you need to launch a startup?

To be precise, most small-scale businesses cost around $3000 to launch, while home-based startups usually cost between $2000-$5000.

In a Nutshell

Most startups fail due to financial crises, so you need to research your business’s needs properly before starting this venture. Moreover, calculate the estimated amount of money required to successfully launch your startup before spending any money. 

Make sure to calculate the break-even point, minimum costs, and projected cash flow for this purpose, which will help you determine how much sales you need to make to ensure a profitable setup. 

Now, if you’ve read the above steps carefully, then you’ve done your homework. We wish you the best of luck and hope you will effectively estimate the cost of running a sustainable startup. 

If you need help in setting up an e-commerce website, make sure to reach out to us.

6 Steps You Need To Take Your Online Business In No Time

So, you’ve decided to take your business online, that’s great! After all, it is estimated that over 2 billion people will be digital buyers in 2020. You have a big vision for your brand and your head is brimming with new ideas. But how do you make it happen? 

That’s where we come in. You don’t need to be a tech ninja or a marketing expert to do it, although these skills will probably help you in your journey. After you’re done with this article, you’ll have the basic know-how about what steps you need to take to create a successful online business with a strategy! Let’s start. 

How to take your business online in 6 easy steps

1. Get a domain name for your online business

First thing’s first, you need a domain name. You can think of it as an address for your website or online shop. You won’t ask a friend to come over to your house without actually buying a house, right?

Keep your domain name as simple and as relevant as possible. This is going to help you later when Google presents your website as part of the search results relevant to your field. Also, a unique and simple name is easier to remember as well! 

2. Design your eCommerce space

Once you get your house, it’s time to design it for the best functionality and usability, right? While also keeping it chic, modern, or whatever other choices of style you prefer. 

First impressions do matter and people do judge a book by its cover. So you have to make sure that the website design is appealing to your prospects and they get hooked right in, enough to at least explore the website! 

Look at templates, or invest in a hosting service to set up an online shop quickly in just a few clicks. Think about what you would want to look at as a user when you stumble upon your site, or what to do to make the customer’s buyer journey as smooth as possible.

You wouldn’t put a bed in the kitchen right? Think about what makes sense, then trust your instincts and follow them. 

3. Create valuable content

We cannot emphasize enough how important content is! Think of content as tickets, or roads people take to come to your house (website). Without roads, how else are people going to reach your house? 

Focus on the problems your customers are facing and how you can solve them. Hire industry experts if needed and come up with hacks and tips to solve a problem, or do a thing an easy way to impress a customer and compel them to keep coming back to your website’s blog. 

If you can think of translating those tips and hacks into a product or service, then even better! 

Bottom line is, aim to solve your customer’s problem, and then slowly watch yourself rise up the ranks. 

4. Get your online business on the radar

Remember how important it was to create content? Well, it’s equally important to market it! Using our analogy, think of it like this, you have a house and road leading to it, but how will people come if you don’t tell them the address? 

You’ll need to market your content, get under the radar, and only then will people start visiting your website. There are multiple ways to do it. 

For example, SEO. SEO will take you a long way if done right. You won’t need to spend money on marketing because whatever traffic you get through SEO will be organic (free!). Other routes include paid advertisement, PRs, guest posts, and collaborating with influencers.

5. Connect with your prospects

Connecting with your customers is very important. Show them the face behind the brand they love so much. It will humanize it. And if you click with your target audience through your personality alone, then they are going to buy from you just because they like you and want to support you! Sweet, right? 

So get active on social media and constantly post videos, images, behind the scenes to attract customers from there, and direct the traffic to your website. 

6. Always evaluate

Whatever strategies you’re working with, always make sure to evaluate them. See what a good source of ROI is for your online business and then go with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. You never know what might work for you! 

After working with a couple of strategies, sit down and evaluate which one is the best for you, and then implement it on a larger scale. But don’t always just stick to that one thing. Switch it up once in a while.

Final Thoughts

Establishing an online business is not a piece of cake, but it’s super important and will challenge you as an entrepreneur! It requires full-time commitment and dedication on your part.

If this is all a bit much to take in (we understand), then all you have to do is reach out to us and let us handle it all professionally! It’s what we do best. 

Best of luck with your online adventure!

 

How To Start An Online Business in 8 Steps

Have you ever been hit with a realization at midnight? Like what am I doing with my life? I want to do something meaningful. Considering the circumstances, you might have thought of starting an online business.

If this is the case, then you have come to the right place as by the end of this article, you’ll get all your answers on how to build a robust online business. And a good time too as last year, 1.79 billion people shopped through online platforms!

Follow these 8 steps and you’re bound to succeed in the e-commerce business.

How To Start An Online Business

1. Find a problem that your product/service will solve

This point sounds like a cliche, but this will determine whether your business will survive or not. Having a firm idea is a must. 

It should solve a problem that enough people care about in order for your online business to be successful. Develop your business idea around your expertise and strengths to get an edge. 

2. Conduct Market Research

It’s daunting to find a unique purpose and mission the people will care about. Because of this, market research becomes a necessary element. See if the product/service that you plan to launch has a demand or not. 

Even the best ideas that look good on paper can fail miserably if they have no market. Moreover, conducting market research would help you identify your target audience which will help you sell better.

Market research includes various elements like:

  • Keyword research: You can use Google AdWords Keyword Planner for this purpose.
  • Research on popular social platforms: Social Media is a fantastic opportunity to get the know-how of conversations happening around your business idea.
  • Find trends related to your niche: Google trends can be a viable option to analyze the market. It can help you identify if your potential niche is on the verge of rising, overcrowded, or not in trend. 

3. Define your target customer’s needs

This is a crucial step, without it, your product or service could misfire and become a complete flop. Do not assume that you know the needs of your customer unless you have asked them first. 

Conduct surveys, 1v1 interviews, and focus groups to understand the needs and preferences of your target consumers in detail. 

4. Generate problem-solving content

You should meet customers’ needs according to where they are in their buyer’s journey to make a significant impact. The buyer’s journey includes three stages

  • Awareness Stage: If the prospect is in the awareness stage, make content that helps them identify their problem.
  • Consideration Stage: Make content regarding how to solve the particular problem they are facing
  • Decision Stage: Design content that shows how your product/service will help them achieve their goal or solve their problem.

Generating problem-solving content will position you as a thought leader in front of the target audience. This will develop trust and faith between you and them.

5. Devise marketing strategies to expand your business growth

You must understand how prospects will progress through the different stages of the buyer’s journey. This will help you come up with marketing strategies for each stage so it can hit the mark.

Following are the inbound mediums you can use to drive business growth:

  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Paid ads targeted towards the relevant audience
  • Social media and Content Marketing
  • Email marketing 
  • Blogs and infographics.

6. Launch an easy-to-use e-commerce store

Shopify, Woocommerce, and Squarespace are amongst the popular e-commerce platforms that you can use to launch your e-commerce store. Make sure that your store website is mobile-friendly, simple, and easy to navigate. 

This is important, as statistics have shown that 74% of the customers will switch to another company if they find your purchasing process complex. 

7. Market your product/service using platforms your customers use

There is a myriad of communication platforms on the internet. So it’s important to market your product or service on the platforms that your customers prefer or use regularly. 

Using every medium for this purpose is also a strategy to fail. Once a person becomes a customer, bother them with only relevant information. Statistics have shown that 94% of the customers have cut ties with companies that used to bug customers with irrelevant promotions.

8. Stay updated on current and upcoming business trends

Many businesses face downfall if they focus only on the present. You probably would have heard of Nokia and Blockbuster. They were rigid about their business model and looked at what happened. 

This teaches us to always stay updated regarding potential opportunities and future trends. Your company needs to be flexible to market demands to survive in the long term.

 

Final Note

In a nutshell, you first need to have a purposeful online business idea. To check its viability and demand, you need to conduct market research and in the process determine the audience’s needs. 

Second, you need to devise marketing strategies using the platforms that your target customers prefer. Third, you need to launch your online business store and drive traffic to it using marketing strategies. And finally, do not forget to stay on top of business trends and have a flexible approach as this can make or break your business.

If you have made it this far, then we are sure that you would be in a better position to launch an online venture. Start taking action on it from today and you’ll get closer to making it a reality soon.

Best of Luck!

6 Reasons Why Your Business Need To Have An Online Presence

Do you remember when you wanted that particular shade of scarf or the new kitchen cabinets that hadn’t hit your local stores yet? What did you do? You went online, searched what you needed, and within seconds were provided with relevant search results. With just a few clicks (and a credit card), you were able to buy what you needed. How amazing is that? 

Ecommerce websites exist for this very reason, to provide products accessible to anyone in the world from the comfort of your home. It’s because of this very trait that Jeff Bezos is now on his way to becoming the first trillionaire in the world! 

If you take your business online, you would be opening so many doors of opportunities for your business that just cannot happen if you don’t have an online presence. Let’s look at what they are. 

1. Enhance Accessibility

Do you know why the eCommerce industry is projected to be worth a staggering $4.5 trillion by 2021? It’s because a consumer’s buying power and decisions are not limited by geolocation. 

A person sitting in Australia can easily buy a product that’s sold in the UK. With new technologies and advancements, there is no limit to where you can sell in the world! 

This is what’s so beautiful about taking your business online. Before, you were limited to your neighborhood, because let’s be honest, who would go out of their way and travel to your shop to buy a product? But when you have a website, international boundaries don’t exist! 

2. Sell 24/7

Only a handful of essential stores are open 24/7. If you run an interior design business and sell your own furniture, chances are you would only be open 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. Compared to the timing that an online business lets you operate, this is nothing. Because your business is literally running all the time! 

This is very important especially if you sell internationally as well. Because of different time zones, consumers would be in and out of your eCommerce website all day long. Being open for business literally, all the time translates to more customers and hence more sales. You just can’t have it this good with a brick-and-mortar store. 

3. Low Operational Costs

Here’s a secret, you don’t even need a physical presence -or a ton of money- to start an online business! Starting an online business is way easier than setting up a physical store. You won’t have to spend on mortgage, rent, bills, employees, furniture, and decor. 

All you need to build an online store is motivation, an eCommerce platform, and only a little money to start off! That’s it. It’s just that simple. 

You can easily run your online business as a one-man show, and then later grow your team as your business expands (because it will)!

4. Showcase Your Products

Thanks to your (future) eCommerce website, each and every product you lovingly crafted will have its own unique space on the website. Rather than blending in with the other items or jamming between racks (as is the case with a physical store), customers will easily be able to assess your products by reading the details and the pictures provided so they can make an informed decision.

The more details and customization flexibility a product has, the higher the chance of it selling! Be sure to add well-lit pictures of the item from every angle and provide a sizing chart for reference so you don’t get angry customers going off in your review section. 

5. Run Campaigns Effortlessly

During peak sale seasons like the Christmas holidays, Halloween, or even just normal months, people demand discounts. When you have an online presence, it is much, much easier to run a sale campaign or float coupons as compared to doing it in a retail store. 

You can easily manage, analyze, and keep check of your inventory and prepare ahead of time. With modern tools and website analysis, you’ll know what the conversation rate was, which items were the most popular, and have an idea about your target consumer’s buying behavior. 

You can redesign your website according to different occasions like sales and holidays to reflect new offers and discounts. You won’t need to spend dollars on decor if you have a retail store. You’re saving money from every possible angle!

6. Build and Market Your Brand

The best thing about having an online presence is that your startup markets itself. How? Through customer reviews and ratings! Be sure to be active on all social media, have a killer eCommerce website, and most importantly, genuinely good products! 

Unfortunately, we people judge things first by appearance, so establishing a good first impression is very important which will be done through your website and its design. Once a customer sees a thing they like, they will definitely generate word of mouth. 

Final Thoughts

Taking your business online is one of the best decisions you could make for your business. It’s so much easier to manage your inventory, showcase your products, and not mention, having almost zero operational cost! 

There is no expiry date for your eCommerce business. The main ingredients you really need are motivation and will. 

The Startup Culture Of 2020

When thinking about startups culture, you must be thinking about late sittings at the office, busy hours, and homey offices. Well, you’re not wrong. However, just like everything else in this world, startups culture is also ever-evolving.

This article is going to reflect on the startups culture of 2020 and how it has changed from before. The startups culture of an organization can make or break a business. The efficient work of its employees runs a company, or it doesn’t run at all.

A culture of an organization plays a vital part in the satisfaction of a worker, but how does culture tie in with the success of a business? Why is it so essential to establish an excellent startups culture? Let’s find out.

Why startups culture is important

Did you know that 65% of 18-35 old employees prefer culture over salary? It’s not surprising since mental peace comes before everything, even money!

Establishing the culture of a startups can be really tricky. Since the company is new, every individual contributes to the culture, and it keeps on changing over time. You might think you don’t have a culture yet, but you do!

From your policies to how you take care of your employees to the office environment, everything contributes to your culture!

Workplace culture can be a critical factor in why your company has a high turnover rate, low motivation, and productivity. So, even if you manage to attract and hire experts in the field, if your culture is toxic or weak, they will leave no matter the benefits. Nobody likes being miserable. A high employee turnover rate also tarnishes the company’s reputation, so be careful!

Creating a startups culture is a challenging task, but it can be even more challenging to change the dynamics once a bad culture sets in. An established company can take the hit that is caused by its cultures, but a startups will just sink.   Keeping employees satisfied should not be on the back-burner, but should rather be a priority, so they perform well and input more into the wellness of the startups because that’s the only way it can grow.

Startups Culture of 2020

We talked about the startups culture within a company, but how is the paradigm of the whole startups industry changing?

No more high-pressure environment

Startups culture is known for working under pressure, expanded JDs, and working at breakneck speeds to deliver results. All of this is going to change in 2020. Hustling Culture is out, making room for a more empathetic approach. The old approach actually proved to be counterproductive as the employees burnt out more often than not.

Hence, for 2020, HR is encouraged to put out more policies that will be centered around employee’s well being. This will attract more talent that will stay, hence benefiting the company in the process too. What goes around really comes around in this case!

More seed funding

The frequency of new startups has steadily risen over the past few years, and so has investments. This is mainly because before the investment was distributed across multiple startups. However, after many startups failed to deliver results, investors have become vary about where they are going to put their money in.

Venture capitalists now dig deeper into the startups to determine whether it will be successful or not. Once they do find one, they’re not afraid to invest in them, hence driving up the investments as well.

Tech startups will take the lead

From home automation to our fridge notifying us to restock our groceries, it’s no wonder that IoT projects are leading the tech industry right now. Gartner reports that 20.8 billion projects will be connected to the internet by 2020, and there are no signs of stopping.

Everything is getting automated these days, even cars and vacuums! The focus of the IoT industry was towards home automation first, but it’s slowly creeping up into healthcare, logistics, and management as well. Many startups have been capitalizing on this trend by coming up with new and exciting ideas and pitching them to VCs.

However, IoT products are always at risk of data fraud since the products used are recording at all times. If the information is leaked, it could pose a huge problem for the respective company, and they could be fined millions of dollars.

Hence, companies should have policies and security protocols in place so the problem can be dealt with in case of hacking and other security risks.

How to establish a startups culture

As a founder, how do you ensure that you create the best startups culture for your company? The thing is, cultures obviously differ from company to company, and once it’s created, it’s hard to change.

A startup’s founders, first employees, and their mission are some of the key ingredients that go into the making of the company culture. If you’re a product-based company, your goals and values will differ from the company which sells services.

77% of employees would consider culture before applying to a new company. Even new hirings are based on whether the employee will be able to fit into a culture, so it goes both ways.

If the founders are introverts, then the company is probably going to be a quiet place to work in because the employees will need to resonate with the culture. Any individual that does not fit in probably ends up leaving if they are hired in the first place as the core principles just don’t go well together.

Can you imagine an introvert stuck in a lively office filled with extroverted employees? Absolutely not! It’s just going to be an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience.

The million-dollar question is, how do you ensure your culture aligns with your values, vision, and goals?

  1. Lead by example

As a founder and leader, it’s your job to set the tone of the work environment. Make your employees feel at home and easy around you, rather than having them stiffen up every time you cross their desks.

Small things like how you talk to your employees, if your criticism is constructive or not, do you reward them for their performances or not. If you’re easy-going and friendly, then the work environment will be too.

  1. Don’t try to force it

There will probably be a difference in your current culture, and the culture you’re aspiring towards. If you force aspirational culture on your employees, then chances are they won’t even listen and just put it off. This is counterproductive as well and will make your employees feel uncomfortable.

There’s nothing wrong with striving to implement a different, better culture in your organization. It all comes down to how you implement it. Instead of telling your employees that we’re going to have this new culture now, sit down with them and tell them where your company lacks and what should be done in order to integrate properties of the aspiring culture slowly in the current one.

This makes the employees feel valued, are not only comfortable with the change but will also work and take the measures needed for the new culture to integrate seamlessly.

  1. Manage and act on it

Once you do have new policies to establish the culture, make sure actually to follow them. What’s the use of them if they aren’t being executed? Culture shouldn’t be on paper, it needs to be acted on.

Once the culture sets in, it’s critical to manage it in a startups organization. Be aware of any cultural gaps and work towards diminishing them. However, as your company grows, there should always be room for changes.

For example, before you were a product-oriented company, but since you’re doing so well, you’ve expanded it to include more services. Now your organization is more customer-oriented and has a large sales team to support it, and hence your culture will become more extroverted.

  1. Hire carefully

One of the key factors in hiring an employee is determining whether or not they will fit well in your culture. It’s important because otherwise, the employee will leave the organization if they feel uncomfortable.

Hence make sure that the hiring already aligns with your organization’s visions and principles.

How do you tell if you’ve done a good job establishing the right culture in your startups? These things have a way of showing themselves. If the employees are satisfied, it will reflect in the way they are working, coming up with new ideas, their motivation, and, most importantly, their overall productivity.

Of course, you can always circulate feedback forms if you want tangible proof. This way, your employees will also know that the company cares for them and is actually working to provide them with a good work environment.

Conclusion

Creating and maintaining a culture can be hard, and you’re bound to get some resistance too. However, you need to remain headfast because building a culture takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight.

At the end of the day, it’s all about what’s best for the company. As your organization gathers more success under its belt over the years, your culture will evolve too.

10 Tech Startups Poised for growth in 2020

Every year, thousands of startups sign up to start their new venture. Since demand is steadily rising for big data, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and IoT, new and old companies are capitalizing on it and introducing their own solutions in these areas.

Enterprise software spending is predicted to rise by almost 11% this year, hitting the $507 Billion mark! Not only this, but 20.4 billion objects will be connected to the internet by 2020 and the number is set to keep on rising. Looking at these statistics, why wouldn’t there be a rise in tech startups?

With so many tech startups hitting the market every month, competing for awareness, investors, and growth, let’s see which ones made it to our list. 

The Startups Culture of 2020

Startup culture of 2020

Startups culture of 2020

When we think about startups culture, we think about a cozy, nurturing workspace where everybody is growing, late-night sittings, in-house games and snacks, and other perks like that. But let’s go deeper.

We’ll not talk about the work environment of startups companies, we’ll talk about the startups culture from a higher viewpoint, see how startups culture, in general, has evolved.

It’s no secret that the frequency of new startups is increasing year by year, and so has their funding. The average Series A in 2010 was $4.9 million. By 2017, it reached $12.1 million. This proves how startups are expanding and gaining trust to perform well.

To minimize their costs, startups turn to freelancers for any work that could be done remotely. Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer are their go-to’s. In fact, freelancing is so popular in the US, that about 35% of workers comprise freelancers!

If they don’t higher freelancers, then almost 66% of small businesses hire other small companies to outsource their work.

In order to make their companies sustainable, startups presell their product before it even comes out. It’s reported that companies that do so, close 40 to 50% more leads and retain 80 to 90% more customers. So not only are they earning before the release of their products, but they also feel secure in knowing that it’s meeting consumer demand. 

Top 10 Tech Startups for 2020

Top-10-startups-of-2020

1. Snowflake

In the latest round held in Feb 2020, Snowflake raised $479 million led by Dragoneer investments group and Salesforce venture, bring the company to a jaw-dropping worth of $12.7 billion!

Frank Slootman claims to have built the first-ever relational data warehouse for cloud-based platforms. By executing this, they provided something unique to their audience- Real-Time data analytics.

Since data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are gold mines right now, it’s no wonder the company was able to grow so fast in just 5 years!

It’s one of the few startups who have earned themselves the Unicorn badge, and with the latest funding round, Snowflake is on the road to becoming one of the most valuable tech companies in the world. 

2. Tidelift

Open-Source software is great and all, but since it’s free, they lack the proper maintenance because maintenance requires cash, and open-source software is free! To eliminate this deadlock, Donald Ficher, CEO and co-founder of Tidelift,  came up with a solution to monetize this type of software.

This startups works with the creators of this software in direct collaboration, by paying them a salary each month so maintenance is done on a regular basis to keep the software up-to-date and high-quality.

It offers its service to organizations at a mere $1500 for 25 developers, hence saving them from the trouble of buying expensive software, as well as solving their problem of running into bugs and rough patches of the free software they are already using.

Tidelift has accumulated funding of $40 million so far from companies like General Catalyst and Foundry group.

3. Funnel

CEO and founder, Fredrick Skantz tells Techcrunch that, “Automating the collection and preparation of the data has proven to be a very hard thing to do right and we wanted to make sure we were the best at this which we now confidently can say we are as we hear that again and again from customers.”

And sure enough, this SaaS startups integrates more than 500 data sources to provide relevant and valuable insights to its customers. It gathers all the data at one platform, making it very easy to extract information for marketing and advertising purposes. They offer their services starting at $399 a month.

With their latest funding round in January 2020, Funnel is now a $47 million company, backed up by 6 investors.

4. Cohesity

There are many things that landed Cohesity on this list. For instance, it has won the NorthFace Scoreboard Award for excellence in customer service for two years in a row!

“My vision has always been to provide enterprises with cloud-like simplicity for their many fragmented applications and data – backup, test and development, analytics, and more,” said Cohesity CEO and Founder Mohit Aron.

This startups offers an efficient yet cheap solution to store secondary data with simple and rapid recovery options, a service that many have found very useful!

Adding one more success to its list, Cohesity has raised almost $410 million to date, making it one of the most funded startups!

Top-10-startups-for-2020

5. GitLab

GitLab is an opensource repository for managing, tracking and collaborating code for developers. It handovers complete control to its users, so they can decide if their repositories are public or private.

CEO and co-founder, Sid Sijbrandij, announced that the service would go public on 18th November 2020.

GitLab provides it’s services in 4 different packages priced at $0, $4, $19, and $99. It starts with basic features and kicks it up a notch as it jumps from package to package.

The startups recently raised $268 million led by existing investors Goldman Sachs and Iconiq Capital, valuing the company at a staggering $2.75 Billion!

6. Afresh

When Matt Schwartz, founder, and CEO of Afresh, started noticing the food waste that resulted from overstocking, he decided to use AI to get rid of the problem.

This startups uses smart AI algorithms to optimize grocery stocks so they can minimize food wastage. By analyzing and predicting the trends grocery stores go through, it comes up with an optimized quantity for stocks so that nothing goes to waste.

It has already signed up deals with billion-dollar grocery chains. Some of the partners even reported that Afresh’s algorithm helped them cut back on cost as well as wastage.

7. Understory

understory is a weather infrastructure and analytics company which tracks 125,000 data point per second through its weather sensors. It tracks things like precipitation, wind, temperature, air pressure and humidity.

“Our commitment to disrupt outdated methods for dynamic weather analysis is the primary focus for this next stage of growth,” said Alex Kubicek, Co-founder, and CEO of Understory.

In 2019, the company partnered with an insurance firm, MSI GuaranteedWeather. Through the data Understory will collect, the insurance company will resolve hail-related claims for car damage, making the payouts faster and more accurate.

The latest funding round led by True Venture, brings the startup’s total funding to $22.25 million.

8. Movandi

When 5G technology was introduced in 2019, experts believed that it will not be accessible to low-density areas because of its infrastructure. But CEO and co-founders, Maryam Rofougaran and Reza Rofougaran aimed to eliminate this problem by introducing their own technology, Movandi.

Movandi introduces a technology that will broaden the reach of the 5G network. The technology can even work around obstacles like high-rise buildings, to keep the signal strength strong.

The startups is already in talks with major wireless providers and has raised $30 million to date.

9. Petal

Jason Gross, CEO of Petal, came up with the idea of a unique credit card, which determines if you’re ready for one based on your income and bank statements. The feature that sets it apart from other credit cards is that Petal is more geared towards young people.

The company doesn’t charge fees, not even for missed payments, and also offers cash-back rewards- Just what youngsters need. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a good credit score, or other reasons most credit card companies reject applications for.

The company has raised a total of $46.6 million for its new venture.

10. Confluent

Confluent was founded by the creator of Apache Kafka, Jay Kreps, an open-source software. The startup is a commercial version of it and is much lighter and easier to use than Kafka.

Confluent makes it easy for developers to stream data in large volumes and extract metrics from it for statistics and analysis.

It raised $125 million in its last round in 2019, bumping up the total funding to $205 million.

Conclusion

What did you think of the top startups leading the market right now? From weather infrastructure to artificial intelligence, the tech industry is spreading its roots in every direction!

We’re excited to see what these companies come up with next, which one- if any- will be the next Unicorn, and how their products will revolutionalize their respective industries!

These startups are all set and geared up for the race to success- a race where there is no finish line.

Top 11 Tips To Optimize Your Startups Blog

If you’re thinking of starting a blog, then let me tell you that it’s one of the best decisions you can make for yourself and your brand! Blogs are a great way to express your brand and its culture, so why not make use of it?

However, the fact that starting a blog is intimidating is relatable. With over 152 million blogs crawling the internet, how do you make your blog stand out? This is the question that you’ll be getting the answer to after you’re done with this article.

But first, to get you pumped up and motivated about starting a blog, let’s talk about what it can do for your business! 

Why You Should Create a Blog?

Why you should create a blog

1. Attract the Audience

Content is king! You must have heard this phrase many times, but only because it’s so relevant! Whenever you’ll publish a blog, you’ll be increasing your chances to be discovered.

Create blogs that will be of value to your target audience. Answer frequently asked questions about your industry, or some interesting insights, or whatever the most popular monthly searches are. Once you have a build-up of these blogs, people looking for answers will stumble upon your blog sooner or later through google searches. Optimizing plays a huge part in this, but more on this later.

2. Build Authority

Blogging is a gateway for you to build authority in your industry, but only if you’re able to provide unique and valuable content to your readers! All it takes is one piece of information for a reader to decide that you’ll be valuable to him, hence making him come to you for his problems!

Publish as many blogs as you can that are centered around your target audience problems, then slowly watch your authority build up!

Once you create your authority, you have established a relationship of trust and respect with your audience. This leads to brand loyalty which ultimately generates more leads and sales for your business!

3. Tell your story

Create blogs that offer exclusives like how you made your business successful, what struggles did you face, how did you overcome them? This will appeal to the emotional side of your readers and will swing to your advantage! Everybody loves a good success story, why not tell yours to inspire them? Not only will your audience be impressed by the behind-the-scenes information, but they’ll be more devoted to you too!

4. Engagement

After you’re done attracting new customers and making sales, you don’t want them to forget about your brand, right? Blogs are a great way to engage your audience and delight them.

Create blogs related to your product or service to keep offering useful information on using it. What are the different ways your customers can use your product? What are some hacks related to them? Is there an update coming their way? 

Top Tips To Optimize Your Blog.

Top 11 Tips to optimize your startup blog

1. Be Consistent

Once you start a blog, there’s no going back. If you’re not consistent in updating your blog, then you’ll start to lose relevance as well as readers!

Blogs that get updated daily generate 5 times more traffic than those who don’t! Create relevant and high-quality blogs consistently to keep a steady stream of readers.

To make it happen, make a content plan and decide which post will go out when, so you can create them beforehand and have a steady flow of articles.

Remember, the more you post, the higher your chances of ranking higher on Google.

2. Be Original

Your readers will catch on to the fact if they know you’re forcing something, and that’s just off-putting. Your passion for your brand should shine through your writing. Don’t rephrase content you find on other blogs! Try to create something unique and valuable.

Not only will this establish your authority, but offering fresh stats or content to your readers will prompt them, as well as other brands to share a piece of your content with others! By being original, you’re creating content that will market itself when published. 

3. Use Quality Images

Using images in blogs is very, very important- they can get you 94% more views than usual! However, just like all the other content on your website, images should be relevant.

Include facts and figures so images are shareable. Absolutely steer away from bad quality images with low resolution. No matter how valuable they are, they will be very off-putting and will drive away traffic rather than attracting it.

4. SEO!

There are many ways you can optimize your article for search engines. For instance, making proper use of heading tags so Google can skim through your content. Optimize your sub-headings as well as URL with rich keywords to increase chances of ranking on Google’s first page.

5. CTAs

Call-to-action buttons are a great way to engage your readers and give them a direction after they’re done through your blog. And if your content was impressive enough, they might just click on it and boost your conversion rates.

CTAs can be anything you want, it’s totally your choice. It could be a form asking you to sign up, a subscribe or a download button, whatever you want.

There are also multiple places where you can set up your CTA. Experts recommend after the first 2 paragraphs, in the middle, and finally at the end. These are the places where engagement is the highest. 

6. Plan With Keyword Search

After you’re done deciding on the topic, your next step is to plan and research your content. Do comprehensive keyword research relevant to your article so you can incorporate it into your article subtly and as smoothly as possible.

Use a mixture of long-tail keywords and keyword phrases for some SEO juice so you can rank for those keywords on the first page as well!

However, don’t overdo it. Use a keyword 1-2 times in 500 words to avoid keyword stuffing. If using them is unavoidable, then try inserting synonyms in their place.

7. Add Image Alt-Text

SEO and keywords apply to images as well. Save your images with a relevant keyword. Image alt-text tells search engines what the image is about, so use it wisely and optimize that as well.

By doing this, you’re increasing visibility of your image. And even if your blog doesn’t rank well on Google, your image is visible in Google images for the same search results.

8. Make Your Blog Responsive

A good way to make your blog stand out from your competitors is by making it interactive and fun! Think about it, you’re providing your readers with something other than just walls of text. So even if your readers zone out- which they will because of human attention span- they will be snapped back to your content when they see something out of the box!

Examples of a responsive blog can include, a short animation through scrolling, or whenever a mouse hovers on a specific word. Not only does this keep the reader interested and hooked, but it also prompts them to share it too!

9. Optimize For Featured Snippets

Featured snippets offer websites another way to rank highest on Google. In order to have your content featured, the information needs to be precise and relevant. Here are some of the tips that might help you land this spot:

  • Use heading tags and list types to present content.
  • Target the most asked questions and address those.
  • Have keywords in your heading.

Whatever content you’re producing, make sure you’re using the proper tags so Google can discover your content. Use tools like UberSuggest and AnswerThePublic for keyword search and FAQs.

10. Optimize Your Title

For search engines, optimize your title by adding a couple of keywords most relevant to the article. Keep the title just under 60 characters so that readers can read your whole title on the search engine.

For your readers, optimize the title by evoking emotion through it. Promise the reader something that they will obtain if they click on your blog. Or maybe, go against the norm and tell them why a common thing we all do is wrong. If your title has a promise, suspense, or an uncommon negation, chances are that it is going to have a high CTR. We are creatures of habit after all. 

11. Make Your Articles Easy To Read

How many times have you exited the article just because you had trouble reading it? People hate looking at a wall of text, especially with no line breaks! That’s the worst thing you can do for your blog.

Your article should be a mixture of one-liners, small paragraphs, and images scattered throughout. This increases readability and maintains engagement from start to finish.

Keep your tone light and informal so readers can relate to you. They’re not reading a research paper, they’re reading your blog! What can you offer that’s unique? 

Conclusion

So there you have it, insider tips for optimizing your blog for the best traffic! These are just some tips we’ve learned along the way. However, digital marketing is ever-changing, so keep your experiments and strategies dynamic to accommodate new trends and tips for the future!

A blog is a powerful and sustainable way to express your brand, use it wisely!