4 Realistic Renewable Running Options For Green Businesses


Go green, they say. You are hurting the planet, they preach. Sure, going green is something every business would like to achieve. Not only does it help the environment, but it sustains the company for years. However, changing overnight isn’t practical. A business has to be realistic and realize it will take time to turn into a renewable energy giant. All it can do is make small steps and work its way up to the top of the tree.

With that, below are four renewable energy methods which are as realistic as they are organic.

#1: Solar Power

Solar energy is without a doubt the king of renewable energy at the moment. The reasons are varied, but the main one is the accessibility. For starters, any building can install panels on the roof and start soaking up the sun’s rays. It costs a fair amount, but the boards pay for themselves in the long-term. Also, solar energy is constantly churning out electricity because UV rays are always in the atmosphere. It may be dark and wet outside yet the rays still seep through. So, even in the winter, it will produce a decent level of electricity.

#2: Wind Power

A wind turbine is a little less accessible because it requires a lot of equipment. For starters, there is an engineer who has to keep tabs on the machinery. Then, there is a plot of land on which the turbine will go. Plus, you need the cables to connect the turbine to the main building. However, that aside, wind power is still an excellent alternative. Now that it’s autumn and winter is on the way, there is an endless supply of electricity. Also, wind power has been around for years, which means it’s further ahead than its competitors.

#3: Nitrogen Generator

Anyone who sees an ISC nitrogen generator for sale will think it’s beyond their comprehension. The title alone is too scientific! But, don’t judge a book by its cover because a nitrogen generator is surprisingly simple. The way it works is that the pressure swing separates nitrogen molecules from the air. Then, it transforms the atoms into electricity depending on the settings. Because nitrogen makes 70% of the composition of the atmosphere, it’s a truly infinite resource. Plus, modern generators can produce electricity at the cost it takes to power the device. It isn’t uncommon to see these machines in offices and factories around the country in 2017.

#4: Biomass Boiler

Boilers still have a role to play as long as they don’t burn fossil fuels. Thankfully, there are lots of alternatives in this day and age. A wood chip generator is an excellent example, although burning wood does release CO2. Instead, water or steam generators may be better options. Water is, at the moment, a renewable source of energy and doesn’t release any toxic chemicals into the air. Possible cons are the cost and the size of the boiler. However, it pays for itself in energy.

So, if you want to go green, these are the practical options to consider.

Forming A Practical Marketing Wing For Your Business


Every business needs to have a marketing team that works non-stop to make sure the products and services of the company are projected in a positive light to customers and clients alike. However, the traditional style of a marketing department is slowly going to the door, and more modern practices are now being pulled in. Rather than just working on ways to make the business and the newest item look great and innovative, now marketing teams are more inclined to show customers how. This means that the marketing and communications departments, more so for small businesses that have to make sure each employee possesses multiple talents, are able to practically make this happen. No longer should a small business try to go outside the company to get a logo, animation, mascot, digital walkthrough or model, made so that the products and services are better understood.

Hiring and filling a group

Marketing staff is a versatile bunch, and many are more orientated toward the analysis and behind the scenes impact of the projections, advertisements, and campaigns have on the business. Others are simply more creative and want to be much more hands-on with regards to the actual creation of the project. Therefore it’s vital to realize that some marketing professionals will be better at formulating a plan, watching the figures and others will be more inclined to take the artistic route. Those that are can be shown an Altium course. At seminars, meetings, exhibitions, and lectures, they will be put on training courses. Here they can learn the importance of design and be shown the essentials. They can also go on to do, more advanced courses that will delve deeper into the software and technical aspect of designing and managing components.

Research and impact

Of course, if this method is done, that means there will be a split in the marketing department of your business. This is actually a good thing, as smaller teams that work together are able to almost purify a subject and the results down to a simple form. However, the impact that design has on the business, especially with regards to clients that are familiar with the business, should be studied and logged. The research and impact a marketing campaign has on consumers, can and should be made into a digestible report for the business itself. If consumers are reacting positively to one part but are nonchalant toward the other, this can be corrected and improved with more staff members dedicated to sifting this out. The design team can, therefore, use their creative means, to alter a patch of the campaign, be it a 3D model, the logo or simply an interactive component that consumers are reacting to such as a smartphone app.

Forming a creative wing for your marketing department isn’t just about including more artists and creators. It’s about now making the design of such projects, purely in-house and not having to rely on a third-party. Therefore the communication between departments has to be bolstered, and though the original team will have to split into practical and technical minds, the evolution of marketing campaigns is paramount.

Five Ways Startup Business Owners Can Motivate Their Team

pexels-photo-429247 (1)

Getting involved in a startup can be exciting and full of possibility that other established companies may not offer. And, many times, that’s exactly why people choose to come on board a startup.

Though startup entrepreneurs live and breathe their businesses, the same isn’t always said for staff members. With the oftentimes unpredictable future that comes with startups, staff members need to be reminded of their value and worth … to keep them hopeful, motivated and wanting to remain with you and your company.

But rest assured, there are ways to motivate your employees so that they, too, genuinely care about your company and want to help it succeed. Read on for five ways to motivate you startup crew.

Get Team Input

One of the easiest and smartest ways to show an employee that they are valued is to ask for their opinion on important business decisions. When you ask folks for their opinions rather than barking out orders, you reiterate that they are valuable contributors to the company and that you respect their point of view. Not to mention, more opinions equals more ideas and solutions.

Flexible Working Options

If and when you are able, you may consider allowing your employees to work remotely. Though this isn’t always possible on a regular basis, when it is, offering it up to employees can be a great way to give them some flexibility. They not only save time and money on the morning commute, but they can work from their couch, the coffee shop or even on the beach. This can provide a work-life balance option and could even increase productivity through a change of scenery.

Invest in Their Interests

Most people these days have more than one gig. And a unique way to help your startup crew with pursuing other, non-work-related passions is to invest in their interests (and future). Savvy business owners may wish to help high-performing staff members with funding a side hustle. For example, Amway is a highly reputable multi-level marketing company that offers money-making opportunities for Independent Business Owners to make some money on a part-time basis. If a staff member expresses interest in such a side gig, employers may wish to help them start out. Not only does this display a genuine care for staff members, you may also reap rewards of them attaining a new skill set to bring to your business.

Cool Culture

Today’s successful workplaces are very culture-driven. Creating a world-class culture is a great way to spark and maintain staff motivation, especially for startups. Energetic design such as brightly colored walls and furniture (maybe even a ping pong table for good measure), lots of natural light and positive quotes can make for a motivating physical setting. But talking the talk, as in, keeping the vibe positive, welcoming and open to communication is just as important.

Reward Uniquely

When you want to reward someone for a job well done, consider customizing the reward to the employee’s likes and personality. For instance, if he or she is a big movie buff, get tickets for a show. If another enjoys a particular sport, spring for game tickets. You get the gist. Learning what your staff likes and appreciates is not only a way to get to know them better, but allows you to reward according to their interests. They will appreciate the recognition even more. The key is to think outside of the box.

Many folks mistakenly think employees are only interested in monetary bonuses or rewards. And, many times, startup companies aren’t in a position to offer large financial rewards. But easy and cost-effective things like staff outings or happy hours, a pizza lunch, free coffee and donuts or even letting them go home early here and there can add up to happier, more motivated team members.

The Black Mark: Personal Finance Problems Which Could Stop Your Startup

For the most, it’s essential to keep your personal life and your startup separate. Business and pleasure don’t mix well. A scandal at this stage could spell curtains. So, the chances are that you keep your personal life out of the office. It’s usually the best route to take.

But, such separation life isn’t always possible. Entrepreneurs can’t escape the fact that who they are is linked to what they’re doing. Your personal background could have a massive impact on your success or lack thereof. For example, a bad personal meeting with a future business associate could scupper a deal. Equally, a bad credit rating could halt progress before you even get going. And, that’s what we’re going to look at here.

You may assume that personal finances wouldn’t have anything to do with your enterprise. But, think again. Here’s how your own money problems could cost your startup.

Failure to get a loan/backing

Let’s not beat around the bush; no startup can get off the ground without money. You’ll have a hard time convincing anyone your business is worth investing in if you’re drowning in debt yourself. Not to mention that yet another loan could lead to more trouble. Even if you manage to get a loan against the business instead of your name, it’s unlikely you’ll meet the repayments. As such, your company could end up filing for bankruptcy before you even start.

Lack of faith from the business world

Nothing stays secret for long in the business world. If you’re drowning in debt, the businesses in your circle will soon know about it. And, once they do, you’ll have a hard time getting a deal from any of them. Why would they trade with an entrepreneur who can’t handle money? That would be financial suicide. If your company goes bust, they lose money. It’s as simple as that. Instead, you’ll find that all those businesses turn their backs on you. And, when they do, you’ll soon find yourself in trouble.

Is there anything you can do?

Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to get the situation under control. You want to develop a way to clear your debts as soon as possible. The faster you’re clear, the sooner you can enter the business world on stable footing. Many would choose to turn to debt consolidation to tackle the issue swiftly. But, that might not be the best plan for you. After all, every penny counts when you’re starting out. You can’t afford insane interest rates right now. Instead, consider the debt relief programs offered by companies like the Bank of America. This way, you can develop a plan to clear debts in a realistic time frame.

It’s also worth being completely open about your situation. Speak about how you’re dealing with the issue. As mentioned above, these things have a way of coming out in the end. So, beat the gossip by sharing your story. You could even become an inspirational figure for other entrepreneurs out there.

Financial Advice For Your New Startup


Starting a new business, whether it’s by yourself or with a small team of friends and professionals, is no easy task. The number of startups popping up in all manner of industries might be growing exponentially but the number of those startups which achieve success is still relatively low. Many entrepreneurial individuals jump into the business world with their head in the clouds. It’s good to have innovative ideas and to be passionate about turning them into a reality but running a good business depends on you being level-headed and practical.

Don’t throw all your crazy ideas in the bin just yet. You shouldn’t dismiss your creative side, by any means, but you shouldn’t let it dictate your business decisions either. You need to focus on the financial side of running your startup, above all else. Money keeps the wheel of productivity turning. Whilst your sole goal shouldn’t be to make a profit at any cost (given that you most likely want to retain integrity and provide a top-quality service), you should certainly focus on managing your business’ funds sensibly and effectively. Here are some pieces of financial advice for your new startup to help you avoid going under before you’ve even really started.

Keep track of expenditures and income.

This might seem like a lesson from Business 101 but it’s baffling that so many companies make the mistake of overspending. You need to keep track of your profits in weekly roundups, ideally. Think of this in the same way as managing your personal finances (in a sense, these company finances are personal because you own the startup). You need to reflect on the money your startup has earned, take a look at the business plan, and start to make some decisions with regards to planning upcoming expenditures. Your startup still needs to spend money to improve itself; if you’re too afraid to make investments then you’re actually taking a bigger risk by failing to progress your business forward with higher-quality services, more employees, and so on.

Just to reiterate, the most important thing to remember is that your expenditures shouldn’t ever exceed your profits. You wouldn’t spend beyond your means with regards to your personal finances or you’d end up in debt. It’s no different in the business world. Your company’s bank account only runs so deep and if you’re a startup then it probably doesn’t run very deep at all (for the moment, at least). This doesn’t mean you should play things safe because you still need to spend money to make money, as mentioned before. However, keeping track of spending and frequently referring back to the budget is essential if you want to safeguard your startup’s finances.

Use personal funds.

This startup is your creation, isn’t it? Perhaps you co-founded it with some friends but you own a stake in this business. You’re not some worker bee at any old firm. You’re your own boss. And that means you have a real investment and stake in this company. You can’t just jump ship if things look dire. It’s up to you to keep things afloat. That’s why you should be striving to pour as much of your personal funds into the startup as possible during the early days, in order to get things started. You might not be seeing the sales you want just yet because you don’t have a big enough client-base, so the money your startup needs in order to grow has to come from somewhere else.

Of course, you’ve probably quit any 9-5 job you might’ve had because you need to dedicate all your time and effort to this new venture. Perhaps, instead, you could look for other sources of revenue. Investing in property is always a smart and stable way to gain some extra income. You could look into a hdb rental in order to make some money from leasing out properties to other. Investing in property is a great way of ensuring return on investment; people always need places to live. There are other ways to invest, of course, but the goal is to look for low-risk, high-reward opportunities.

Remember that automation is your friend.

Time is money in the business world. When you’re running a startup with only a small team at your disposal, you’re already fighting an uphill battle against all the huge competitors in your respective industry. They can get more done in a shorter space of time and maximize their profit potential. They have a superior financial model, surely? Perhaps not. Digital technology is the slingshot you can use in order to take down Goliath. Rather than wasting your time focusing on administrative tasks and other dull aspects of daily business life that are taking your attention away from the “real” work, you should automate as many tasks as possible; payroll software and many other types of automated services can take a load off your mind. It’ll also free up more time for you and your team to work on creative ideas and talk with your clients. You’ll be able to focus on the money-making side of things rather than basic tasks which need to be completed but don’t need to be done by humans.

Build up that client-base.

Do you still not have many loyal clients? Make that your priority. Sales are everything. Don’t get swamped by all the technicalities of running a business. You’ll be growing and changing all the time, so your startup’s organizational structure will always need to be reworked (new job roles will need to be fulfilled, the budget will need to be revisited, and so on). What you need to focus on today is gaining customers. You need effective marketing and top-quality products or services. It’s important not just to reel in potential customers with an enticing brand but to make sure that the service is great enough for them to return again (and to leave a positive review which captures the attention of other potential customers). You can’t just fake it until you make it. Your startup really needs to be as good as it says it is if you want it to make money and grow.

Protecting Your Employees in Your Industrial Workspace


So, you’ve started your own industrial business and hired a load of hard working and talented employees to work for you. First of all, congratulations! Second of all, the hard work for yourself starts now. Because industrial workspaces are so high-octane and come jam packed with heavy equipment and machinery, the potential for danger within them is sky high. Oh yeah, there is the danger of falling from high vantage points in these sorts of workspaces too! This all means that your talented employees are in danger every time they step foot in your workspace from all sorts of different things in all sorts of different area. And it it is your job, as the owner of your business and ruler of the industrious workspace it works from, to protect them from them and ultimately coming to harm. For advice on how to protect your employees in your business’s industrial workplace setting, make sure to read on.

A typically industrious workspace. 

Protect your employees from the dangers posed in warehouses

Your industrial business either works directly from or has heavy with a warehouse, right? If so, you need to ensure that any warehouses that your employees step foot in when they are working are as safe as can be. In fact you need to do more than just ensure this is the case, you need to make it a number one priority. Why? Because warehouses are dangerous, there are no two ways about it.

There are many dangers posed in warehouses, one of the biggest of which is the fact that, because so much stock is stored within them, it is highly likely that something will fall at some point. And, if this stock, especially the heaviest of it, falls upon one of your employees then they are going to be in serious pain. So, you need to consider the fact that things are likely to fall in your warehouse, and you need to plan around this happening. One of the best ways to plan for falling stock is to have cantilever racking systems that are considered to be heavy duty installed around the workspace. By doing so you give the stock stored in your warehouse the best opportunity possible of staying exactly where it needs to be and not falling anywhere, let alone falling on one of your employees.

Something else that you should do to keep your warehouse workspace as safe as can be is ensure that it is tidy at all times and everything is exactly where it needs to be. This could mean ensuring that equipment is put back exactly where it needs to and is expected to be. This could mean ensuring that your stock is stored safely in the designated storing areas. This could mean ensuring any vehicles that are driven within the warehouse, such as trucks or forklifts, are driven exactly where they are allowed to be driven and never deviate into other working areas. Or this could mean throwing out everything that is not needed in the warehouse and maintaining it to be a zone where everything has a designated place and home.

Protect your employees when they are off the ground

The industrial industries are all about going where nobody else will go in order to do the jobs everybody needs doing. What this means is that you more than likely send your employees up high and off the ground. And, when your employees are off the ground, whether they are high above it or not, you have a duty to care for their well-being and ensure, first and foremost, that they do not fall. You have to ensure that whenever you send an employee up high, such as on a rooftop, they are as safe as can be and in no danger of falling — falling to injury, or even falling to death. To ensure that the employees you send up high are safe, make sure fall protection systems are put in place in the area they are working in. The could mean having safety rails fitted, either permanently or temporarily, to any areas above the ground that you send your employees into. This could mean clearing the area prior to them arriving in it of trip hazards. Or this could mean doing both!

Industrial workplaces are some of the most dangerous in the world of workspaces. But, they can be made safer. And the job of making them safer rests solely with the person in charge of it all, the boss. So, if this just so happens to be you, then make sure you are doing it!

Wow The Market With Your Positive Brand Reputation


Whether you are an entrepreneur at the head of a massive business empire or you’re a freelancer using your name as a brand, the way others perceive you can make or break a deal. First impressions, as the saying goes, always matter. However, when these first impressions can be shared with others, they become difficult to address and fix if they’ve been negative. Imagine this scenario: As a young graduate, you’ve prepared for an interview for your first job, but on the big day, your nerves get the best of you. The interview turns into a fiasco, and you don’t need long to realize that you’ve ruined your chances for this job. Others candidates have made a better first impression. It’s annoying, but unfortunately, these things happen. Maybe you’ll be lucky next time. Now, put yourself in the same scenario, but with one noticeable difference: The interviewer publishes an article about how bad they found you and why no company should bother hiring you. You’ve not only ruined your chances for this specific job, but for any job! The same thing can occur at a business level. Creating a positive reputation is about making sure that the interactions with your market run smoothly and that, if mistakes happen, they can be sorted out efficiently and durably.

Monitor what others say about you

You may try hard to appear on top of the search results on Google and Bing, but what happens when others beat you to it with your own branded terms? When bloggers, reviewers or journalists write about your company, they use your brand name. Depending on the reputation of the online platform their commentary is published on, it’s likely to appear before your own website, especially if you’re looking at customer reviews. Tracking what others say about you is part of your Online Reputation Management strategy or ORM for short. Indeed, there’s nothing worse than finding that the top search results for your brand rank negative reviews or articles about your business. It’s damaging to your reputation and your growth, and that’s precisely why there are options that you can use to remove online content and improve your brand reputation. When a blogger publishes something negative about your brand, for example, you can contact the webmaster to remove the page, or in some instances, you can ask Google to remove the information permanently in the case of fraud, sexually explicit information or even Right to Be Forgotten in the EU.

Be a confident professional

Building a positive reputation begins with your professional skills. Becoming an expert in your business environment is at the core of making the best possible impression. In a word, the day you neglect your professional training is the day you will cause harm to your reputation. While you may not need to become the very best, your ability to remain knowledgeable about the latest industry trends and evolutions is essential to maintaining the image of expertise that you crave.

Shout about your successes

Nobody likes to sound big-headed or pretentious. As a result, less and less small businesses like to shout about their achievements and latest successes. But let’s get things clear from the start: If you don’t tell the market about your results how do you expect people to know about them? Self-promotion is not a shameless excuse to boast. It’s about promotion what your business is good at. So make sure to create success stories and monitor the metrics that you can share with your audience.

Let others tell their stories with you

The main reason why happy customers are so precious is not that they’re easier to deal with for your customer service team, but instead, it’s because they are your best advocates. If you don’t like the idea of promoting your successes, maybe you can let your best customers do the promotional work for you. When a customer shares a positive experience they’ve had with a brand, their circle of followers listen carefully. Why so? Firstly, because people trust what strangers say about you. Secondly, because it’s likely that your customer might be describing a meaningful issue that others struggle with too. Promoting your services for their problems also presents your brand as a solution to people in a similar situation.

Share your knowledge

You don’t always need to talk about your successes. Sometimes, sharing your experience willingly can make all the difference to an audience. You could speak at a conference, for example, to share your expertise about a specific market theme, or publish a book to discuss a niche business strategy. Usable knowledge is, after all, the best advertising campaign you could get.

Are you ready to improve your brand perception and build a reputation that will attract future customers? Then it’s time to maximize your expertise, monitor branded content, and make the most of your satisfied customers.

Why Startups Still Need Excel In 2017


Just because Excel has been around for 30 years doesn’t mean it’s redundant in the ‘age of information’. Excel is still very much needed by businesses of all kinds, including startups. Here’s why:

Finances And Accounting

Excel is one of the simplest and best things you can use for finances and account in 2017. It can be used for outlining financial results, clarifying and setting budgets, forecasts, plans to make big business decisions, and so much more. While it’s always wise to have an accountant on hand, excel can help you to keep track.

Marketing And Product Management

Excel is also useful for marketing and product management. You can use it to list customer sales targets, manage your sales force, and help to plan based on past results. It’s never been easier to manage your strategies and products.

You Can Do Pretty Much Anything With A Spread Sheet

Let’s face it; anybody who has ever worked in an office knows you can do pretty much anything with a spreadsheet. It has a number of diverse uses, and can be used for hours each day in just about any office. Excel will never go anywhere and is still a primary tool that should be used to keep offices in check in 2017.

Excel should be one of the basic things that an office worker uses in their daily tasks. To help you on your journey to becoming an Excel buff, here are 7 essential tricks that every office worker should know:

credit to STL excel tricks

Marketing Methods Debunked


Marketing is one of the most important things a business needs to do. Right from the beginning you should be looking for ways to market yourself, and your products. The official definition of marketing is, “The study and management of exchange relationships”.  Basically, you’re communicating with your customers products and offers. Without it, you’ll be struggling to get yourself noticed in a very big world. Before you start a marketing campaign, you first need to do some market research. Knowing exactly what your customer wants, and what your competitors are doing can help build your own marketing campaign. This can either be done in house or outsourced. Getting an expert to look into your market for your first campaign might be a little easier than giving it a go yourself, that way your first campaign will be strong and effective. There are a lot of different ways of marketing, some of which can be confusing. This article is going to debunk some of the most effective.


SEO stands for search engine optimisation. This is one of the most effective methods for getting your website noticed within a search engine’s rankings. It works by increasing traffic to your website, or a particular web page within your site, and in turn boost your overall rankings. Everything is on the web at the minute, so getting your website to the top is so important, hence why SEO should be your number one method of putting yourself or product out there. Like with market research, it may be best to outsource this one yourself. A successful SEO campaign can be hard to do, but SEO can be self taught. The backbone of SEO is link building. So basically, a search engine his little ‘robots’ that’ll crawl through all the websites on a web search. Within a website or webpage there should be a number of links that the robot can follow through the continue its crawl. If you have no links, and the robot can’t crawl your site, you site will be right at the bottom of the rankings. So this is where keyword research and link building come in. The more links that are dotted around the web that link to your website the better. Search engines assume that the bigger and better that your link building profile is, the more interesting your site is. But you can’t just build spammy links on random fake sites. This could face you being penalised. You also can’t build hundreds and hundreds of links at once. Again, you’ll be penalised. The robots aren’t stupid, you need to build your backlink profile up naturally. This is where companies that specialise in building backlinks come in handy. As you start to dabble in the world of SEO and backlinks, you should start to notice a rise in your rankings pretty soon.

Social Media

Again, this is a really big method of marketing, purely because social media is so huge. It is however, not as effective in terms of drawing traffic to your site as link building would be. It is more to showcase yourself to the world much more quickly. Social media is a real time thing, people are constantly tweeting, putting a picture on instagram etc. As soon as you tweet or post something, it’ll instantly start to get noticed. Your business should always have the three main social media pages set up. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you create a business page through Facebook, they have a really good tool called boosts. Basically, if you post something such as a new deal, you’ll be asked if you want to boost the post for a set price. This will then rocket the posts views from maybe hundreds, to in the thousands. The prices are relatively cheap, but it isn’t alway reliable in terms of meeting the right people. If you’re going to utilise Twitter, you need to think of hashtags that are relevant to your business. For example, if you’re selling gift hampers, you could promote a product by using hashtags such as #Gifthampers, #Christmas, #Birthday, and so on. Twitter is huge, and if done right you could be sending a lot of people your way. Make sure you’re always active in terms of tweeting, and try to gain followers as best as you can. Instagram is more for just showcasing what you have to offer, it won’t be as effective in terms of sending people to your website. Use it to show professional pictures of your products, and again you can use the hashtags that instagram has to build a decent following. Make sure you show your products off in the best light, use photo editing software to make them look as professional as possible.


This is a service ran purely by Google, and it is effective if used alongside other methods such as link building. If you’ve ever done a Google search, you’ll notice that at the top of the search they’ll be three pages separated from the rest of the search with a little ‘Ad’ sign next to them. These are Adwords. Google uses keywords to determine which website should appear for which search. This is the difference between natural non-paid rankings, and paid rankings. To get your website in the top three, you’ll have to be paying a bit of money. You’ll be competing against other companies to take one of those spots in a particular keyword search. So for example, if you’re running an Adword campaign for the keyword ‘Sports Clothes’, they’ll be a few other companies doing the same, pumping money into this keyword search to try and secure the Adwords spot. It’ll sort of become like a bidding war to stay there. Whoever pays more, wins. It is effective in the sense that your website will get noticed instantly, and it does look more trustworthy. But it can be a really expensive game, and unless you want to constantly be paying a lot of money, it’s only a temporary method. But it will boost sales quickly, even if only for a short period of time.

Choosing the Right Startup Team for Success


Did you know that roughly 80 percent of startups crash and burn, vanishing without a trace in their first year of trading? I say this not to put you off starting your own business, but to highlight just how difficult it is to build a successful company from nothing, and you know what one of the biggest startup killer, other than a lack of cash flow, is? It’s choosing the wrong staff!

Hiring decisions might not seem like the most important thing when you’re setting up a new operation, but think about it your employees will be doing everything from marketing your company to coming up with new product and service ideas, and handling customers – if they’re not great at their jobs, your business will struggle to make any traction at all.

If you want to ensure that you hiring the right team to push your startup towards success, here’s what you need to do:

Be Aware of Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses

As the startup owner, you are the head of the team, and you are going to be taking a lot of responsibilities on for yourself. That means, there is little point in hiring employees who have the same strengths you have; what you want is a team that will compliment you and their peers. So, first know what you can do well and then branch out from there.

Network. A Lot

If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of putting together a crack team who are everything you need them to be to build a successful startup, you are going to want to leverage your network. In order to do that as effectively as possible, you may want to build stronger networks than you have right now. Go to events in your field, join social networks and forums and start talking to people; chances are you’ll get lots of leads on great marketers, content writers, PAs and accountants.

Qualifications Count

A lot of startup companies tend to hire based on whether they have a good feel for the person and whether they can demonstrate an ability to do the job well – this is a good way to go about building a team, but qualifications do still count. If a candidate has completed one of the many online mba hr programs or holds a marketing degree from Georgetown University, for example, it’s a good sign that they at least know their stuff. So, what you really want to be confident that you’ve chosen the right people, assess qualifications, ability and even passion for the role; if they have all three, you can be relatively confident that they’ll be a real asset to your business.

Choose Team Players

If there’s one thing that can make a small business implode like no one’s business, it’s employees who backstab, infight and generally don’t want to work together for the greater good. So, when you’re hiring, you should look for people who have a record of collaborating on projects, who know that having team spirit is important, even when they are working individually, and who appear to be well-liked by ex-bosses and a colleagues alike. It might take a bit of digging to find this information out, but social media has made it a bit easier, and it’s certainly worth the effort to try.

Diversity Pays

Choosing a diverse team isn’t just about being politically correct or looking good in the eyes of your customers – it is a great way of ensuring that your business has a diversity of ideas and opinions too. If everyone you hire has broadly the same background, then their outlooks are likely to be pretty similar, and that limits your company more than you might expect. So, choose the best people for each role, but try to account for a wide range of background and personality types too.

Choose Resilient People

It’s also a good idea to choose people whose resumes demonstrate an ability to work under tough conditions and thrive. If they have a  history of working on complicated projects, then chances are they’ll be able to keep their head should something go wrong or should your business go through a rough patch. This matters because, if your employees get stressed out and start to lose their heads at the first signs of trouble, you’ll have a very hard time weathering the storm and getting through the other side.

Choosing a startup team that spell success isn’t easy, but using these tips, your own judgement and taking the time to get to know people before you hire them, chances are you’ll build a brilliant team that works for you and your company.

Shop Talk: This Is How Much Space Your Office Should Have


When the time comes for you to open a new office, or even get your very first office, it’s not always easy to know where you should start. You’re probably thinking of calling a commercial realtor, and you’ve probably already looked online at what you can get for your budget, but other than that, you might not know where the start. And if that’s the case, you’re not alone. It can be daunting to find a new space for your business. But the way to make it a little bit easier is to firmly know what you’re looking for. Yes, budget will play a big part in what you can and can’t afford, but it will help you to know what kind of space you need when you start the physical search.


First up, you need to think about whether or not you’re going to need a reception area. When you’re just starting out and you’re looking for somewhere to house your staff, this may not matter so much. However, if you’re planning on having clients, customers, or suppliers over to the office, then you’re definitely going to want to think about a space that has a reception area. Then, you need to work out whether you need a small area just suitable for greeting guests, or somewhere huge and impressive, with an array of receptionists working away.

Meeting Space

Next, you should then think about what meeting spaces you need. Or whether you need any at all. For some companies, they can get by with one communal area to hold their meetings in. But for others, they’re going to need dozens of meeting rooms to conduct meetings at the same time. So look at your calendar. This can often be the biggest indicator of the amount of meeting space you will need for your new office space.


Then, you need to be thinking about the facilities the space should have. If there’s one bathroom and you have 20+ employees, it’s just not going to work. You’re also going to want to think about covering off everything from urinal mats to sanitary machines. Whether it’s something you have to supply or the landlord will sort for you, it’s food for thought to think about as you’re planning and searching.

Communal Space

But you’ve also got the communal spaces to think about too. It’s easy to know that you need areas for people to work in, but they also need areas to take a break in. From kitchen space complete with the right office kitchen essentials, to somewhere to sit and breakout areas too, you need to work out how much communal space your staff will need and whether that should take priority over anything else.

Individual Offices

Finally, you’ve also got individual offices to think about. You may not need them, but if you’re planning on moving somewhere that you can grow into, they could be handy to have, or at least space to add them in, should you need to have senior offices in the future.

Empathy In Your Strategy


When thinking about the characteristics which make a good entrepreneur, most people won’t consider empathy. It’s not obvious that being able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes would be helpful in business. But, in reality, it can be one of the strongest tools you have. To help you with this, this post will be going through some of the things which appeal to customers, along with something to inspire you to apply these ideas throughout your company.

Of course, appealing to customers isn’t the only thing which you need to think about in this area. But, as a starting point, it should give you a good idea of the sort of thing you need to aim for. Below, you can find some examples of ways to appeal to people, along with the reasons why they can be so helpful.

  • A Good Reputation: Word of mouth has long been one of the most popular ways for word about a company to spread. People rely on a company’s reputation when they’re choosing to buy from them, and will often decide not to if people recommend against it. This is because of trust, and the difficulty people have in giving it to you blindly. Of course, it should be nice and easy to stay in people’s good books, though, and you won’t need to do much work.


  • Something Free: Getting something for free will always make people feel good, with the added benefit of reminding them of your company whenever they use it. This doesn’t have to cost you anything, though. As covered in several King Kong SEO agency reviews, you can often get away with giving away simple information. This is a great way to make customers feel great about buying things from you.


  • Feeling Valued: No one likes to feel like the companies they buy things from don’t value them. When someone gives you their money, they will expect a certain amount of due courtesy in return. This will come in the form of good customer service, regular order updates, and helping them with true support when something goes wrong. If you leave people feeling bad about your company, they may be reluctant to return in the future.


At its core, all of this focuses on the way that your customers feel. Of course, though, it can often be hard to see why you need to think about this. In the modern world, people have access to loads of different businesses and will go to the ones which make them feel the best. If you can offer a better experience than your competitors, people will naturally want to use you more. This sort of method will not only make people feel better about you but will also make them more likely to shop with you again.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start using empathy when you’re operating your business. A lot of small companies fail to consider this part of their work. But, in reality, your company isn’t anything with your customers, and it’s worth thinking about how they feel.

7 Options To Start a Business With Little or No Money


Do you have great business ideas that never get past the daydream stage because you have little or no money? A lot of us have been there, but don’t give up just yet! Obviously it would be nice to have a million in the bank, but even if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck or don’t have a job at all, there are still options and techniques to start a business.

Let’s dig a little deeper …

1) Provide a Service

While you might have one grand business idea that does require substantial capital, not all businesses do – especially if you are providing a service. Becoming an online freelancer for example requires next to no startup costs (unless you don’t already have a computer) and you will be paid as you go. Depending on your goals and how you approach freelancing this could be the business for you, but it is also a great way to bide your time, make some extra cash and save, while you work on other business ideas … which brings us to our second point:

2) Research and Plan

Just because you don’t have the funding now doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. If you are serious about starting a business there is nothing stopping you researching the market, drafting a business plan, estimating costs and carrying out other vital research. ll businesses start with research and planning, and some of this can be carried out at home on your PC for free.

3) Saving

So you have no capital right now? Save!Whether that means revising your monthly budget and cutting some outgoings, freelancing (see Provide a Service), selling unwanted items, or doing odd jobs – good old fashioned saving should not be dismissed. Imagine how great you’ll feel when your business is a success and you know you put in all that hard work at the beginning!

4) Sharing and Reducing Costs

At first glance startup and day-to-day business costs might seem overwhelming, but you can get by a lot cheaper when you think outside the box. Do you need to rent office space or can you utilize public facilities, shared work spaces or even your own home? Why pay for a phone line when you can use Skype? Do you need to pay for professional marketing, advertising or other services, or can at least some of this be done yourself?

5) Loans

Most large businesses are not funded solely by the founder’s pocket; they borrow from investors and partners or take out loans on the hope that the business will be a success and make enough to repay them. Someone with a good credit score and a business plan stands a strong chance of getting a business loan from the bank. Others might choose to use a regular personal loan, though this might carry some added risk. If you have bad credit or are between jobs there are still loan options out there that you can use to fund a business. You can learn more on how to get a loan with no job from MatchedLoans.com.

6) Seek Investors and Incubators

If you are particularly confident in your business idea and have thoroughly researched the market and crunched the numbers, you could approach individual and groups of investors who fund startups. Incubators are funding programs designed specifically for startups that come with extra benefits such as expertise, admin services, office space and other support. They might also be sponsored by local colleges or universities.

7) Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding puts you in touch with investors and regular members of the public, and if your idea is something viable you may be able to fund it all the way. Some sites like Fundable are designed specifically for crowdfunding startups. Although you can accept straight-up donations on most platforms, usually you will be required to offer perks in return for a set sum of money. This might vary from a simple thank you or piece of business/product related merchandise, to early access to the product or even pre-ordering of the finished product itself.

Exactly how you set this up is up to you and will depend on your business idea and business model, but you must obviously account for any perks you offer. You must also be enthusiastic and capable of marketing your idea through the crowdfunding platform as people still need to know it exists before substantial capital can be raised.

These are just some of the ways you can get a business going with little to no money. Have your own methods? Let everyone know in the comments or share the article if you found the information useful!

6 Reasons Why Startups Fail


So you accept that you might not become a billionaire, but how can you prevent your startup from failing like so many others? To begin with it’s important to understand why startups fail and build your strategy to avoid the same mistakes.

Let’s take a closer look at these reasons …

1) The Wrong Team and/or Leader

A startup is only as good as the people behind it, so if any part of the team or even its leader isn’t suited to the project it will most likely fail. A good team needs to have all the skills required to research, launch and build the startup, and they need to be able to fulfill their individual roles without too much oversight. At the same time the founder needs to be able to set the vision and inspire the team. If you can’t convey your idea and needs to others, they can’t help you bring it to fruition. An icon like Steve Jobs was a master at setting the company vision and inspiring it within the team. Smart people also need to be on hand to handle unforeseen hurdles (changes in the market, funding issues, poor feedback etc).

Take a look at your own team, if something unexpected happens will they be ready?

2) Not Market Driven

The majority of successful business ideas solve a new problem or solve an existing problem better than anything else on the market, but they must do so with sound data to back them up. For example, solving a problem that only a few hundred people have is not going to sustain a business for the long-term or improving on an existing concept but spending millions in the process might make it impossible to break even. The market has to be there and it needs to be accessible with mind to all of the constraints a startup faces. You might also have the right idea but are targeting the wrong market, or just the wrong idea altogether.

Just because you think you have a great idea doesn’t mean other people do or will spend money on it.

Note: One common mistake in the tech industry is putting new technology before the needs of the market.

3) Too Many Competitors

But what if you have the right idea? Startups also commonly fail because there are too many competitors or the little competition that does exist is just too strong. Even if your product or business is objectively better than the competition, they may have more funds, experience, better marketing or other advantages that squeeze you out of the market. The market itself might also be saturated, with several businesses carving up consumers without much room for anyone else. Unless you can do what they do better (see: Not Market Driven), then it’s time to come up with a new idea altogether.

4) Inadequate Funding

An idea can’t go anywhere without the required funding, this means you must have a realistic expectation of how much your project is going to cost, whether you can raise such capital and if not, how things can be tweaked accordingly. Most entrepreneurs will go the traditional route of pitching to relevant investors, but smaller projects and tried and true businesses (a new restaurant) can also rely on loans.Funding failures are often down to a poor pitch or not foreseeing and handling funding gaps at different stages of the startup’s development. Small funding gaps that need to be filled while you wait on other agreements might even be covered by reputable online services like WhoNeeds500.com, who can deposit money in 24 hours for a term of up to 30 days.

Longer funding gaps and other needs might be covered by regular business loans.

5) Overpriced Product

Products obviously need to be priced to cover costs, but when those are so high that consumers aren’t biting (overpricing), it quickly leads to under-performance and failure if changes can’t be made. Many startups fail not because the product itself is bad or there’s no market, but other factors have made the product too costly in this manner. 

6) Poor Business Model

Giving away lemonade for free but monetizing it with ads is not a very realistic business model, and while most startups aren’t usually this clueless, a bad business model is one of the primary reasons for failure. An efficient business model needs to be scalable (i.e. has the mechanism to grow and acquire customers) and can be monetized to a level where costs can be met and eventually profits can be made. A good business plan might even work out an accurate cost of acquiring new customers and therefore what this means for the viability of the business as it grows.

Keeping these points in mind will stand you in a good position for formulating your business plan. If you found the information valuable feel free to comment below and share the article.