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Tips for Startups

7 Reasons startups fail and how to avoid them

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Startups are made out of ambitious entrepreneurs and creative people coming together to create a product of high quality and extreme profitability. However, countless startups are shattered while only a fraction succeeds, and a fraction of those grows into a ridiculously profitable endeavor.

Developing an air-tight business plan is essential in preventing any random elements within a market. However, markets are living entities made out of people interacting within them. You won’t be able to avoid every hurdle by preparing your long journey to success, but with a good game plan and some nimble navigation – risks will be minimized.

You might also love to read The Biggest challenges of the first year in business. However, for now, I will list seven reasons why startups fail and how they can prevent it:

1. Failure to raise funds

If your dealmakers are still green within the space, don’t be surprised by the amount of doors you’ll knock on before one opens. Venture capital is presented via media as some sort of a golden goose -which cannot be further from the truth. The reason such people have so much capital is exactly that they were meticulous in their decisions who will they fund.

Be direct, convincing and professional. Remember that your potential investor is only interested in the bottom line. He isn’t emotionally invested in your project, he doesn’t care about the tiny details of your development process. The only thing that matters is time, money and return rates. So keep that in mind when raising capital.

2. Ignoring competition

Having a self-centered approach will blind sight you. By observing your competition and monitoring what they bring to the table, you get the necessary perspective to see what your product is lacking and how it will fare against those who also want a piece of that market pie.

By remaining ignorant to this fact, you risk burning down everything invested, thus leaving the table with no chips and a sad face. The point is – be proactive and always keep testing the waters, in the long run it can only be beneficial.

3. Insufficient connections

Reaching the right people can be difficult for some, but isn’t actually that hard to do. You would be surprised by how much people you can already reach. Ask around the office if someone knows a relevant person within the industry. It doesn’t really matter in what capacity that person is.

Utilizing people within all the market cogs (economics, law, media, etc.) is useful since your own business is impacted by all those aforementioned spheres. Still, if you’re out of options, partnering with SEO or PR agencies isn’t a bad idea since they can handle the reach and exposure for your product, while you focus on making it.

4. Fighting with the bulls

Some markets are simply dominated by certain companies. Having an idea for an internet browser that is even better than Google is awesome, but if you can deliver that kind of a product, chances are Google will likely buy you out rather than let you risk their current position. Keep in mind the financial and influential power of your (potential) competition.

 Not every market is accessible or even realistic to conquer. For example, even giants like Uber couldn’t outcompete its Chinese counterpart Didi and simply left the Chinese market. Choosing your battles wisely is the key to success.

5. Legal hurdles

Registering a brand, entering new markets, managing the legalities of cash flow and other business related activities requires legal assistance. Having clear paperwork is the best ailment from potential government inspections. Don’t enter the most common pitfall, get some legal aid.

For example, companies like Withstand Lawyers offer services for such startups by providing the legal framework necessary to keep your business legal and sound for all parties involved, which is of pivotal importance.

6. Failing to prototype often

Developing your product secretly has its benefits when it comes down to hiding your secret formula. However, being overconfident and convinced you have the perfect supply for the market’s demand is a slippery slope, at best.

By being afraid someone will steal your idea or presenting an inadequate version for testing, creates a bubble of opinions that can be quite unhealthy for the end result of your product. Constantly have a testing loop for your prototype, the product has to evolve in accordance to the user feedback. It doesn’t

matter if the result isn’t what you’ve originally thought of. The only thing that matters is that the consumers want it, and they have to want it bad.

7. Biting more than you can chew

Lastly, let’s talk about success. If you start making a profit, don’t become overzealous. There are countless variables on why and how you are in your current position. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Pouring more money into the product isn’t necessarily the end all be all solution.

Analyze your market, quantify the price-per-user and see what works for your business in the most stable way possible. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest big bucks once you get rolling, but rather that you should always be weighing your options and finding the right pace for everyone involved in your product.

The situations I’ve presented are just a fraction of potential problems. Being afraid isn’t a bad thing, being ignorant is. Try finding all the potential leaks in your business structure and work with your stakeholders on how you can fix them. Open your mind to criticism and suggestions, even you can become that fraction of a fraction if you play your cards right.

About Author :

Cate Palmer is a designer, marketer, and writer. Cate’s expertise could be summed up in web design, digital marketing, and business-related topics. Cate’s interests are, on the other hand, wide and ever-evolving.

 

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Tips for Startups

Tips To Design A Perfect Mascot For Your Startup

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Design A Perfect Mascot For Your Startup

Startups must master the art of achieving more with less because of limited budgets and tight timelines. Whatever initiative you pick, you cannot afford to wait forever for it to deliver results. At the same time, you cannot spend a massive chunk of your budget on it. When it comes to marketing, you must choose the right mix of strategies. Mascot marketing is an ideal option as it defines your brand’s personality to make it more recognizable and sustainable. But designing a mascot may seem like an expensive task, considering it requires brainstorming, creativity, and design skills. Let us explain how to create a perfect one within your startup constraints.

Consider your goals

Before you start working on the design and image, you must consider the goals of your company. The objective goes a long way in defining your brand’s personality, which should reflect in your mascot. For example, you need a lively one if you wish to make life fun and easy for your customers through your offering. Conversely, a more professional design works for a startup catering to a business tool.

Resonate with your audience

The simplest way to ace the startup mascot design is by resonating with your audience. Define your target customers and consider their likes and dislikes to nail the look and feel of your mascot. If you plan to sell to a young audience, the personality should be an instant hit with the kids. Identifying your audience gives you a head start as you have a clear view of where you want to go.

Think outside the box

The key objective of any marketing strategy is to set your business apart, and mascots are not an exception. So remember to think outside the box when you design one. It shouldn’t look like any character already in the market. Instead, it should be unique and outstanding while being consistent across all channels. The character should look the same everywhere, whether you showcase it on social media or through Custom Mascot Costumes at a live event. It is the only way to ensure people remember your new brand and connect with it.

Pick the right hues

The colors you use in a mascot’s design decide how well it can stand out. A bland design hardly appeals to the eye, but going too loud with shades is also not the way to go. You can seek color inspiration from your existing marketing assets, such as your logo and theme hues. Keep the market trends in mind and check the competitor designs to pick the right shades to design your ideal mascot.

Name it wisely

Beyond creating a memorable design for your startup mascot, you must give it an easy-to-recall name. You cannot expect people to recognize your brand’s replica in a huge crowd unless everything about it stands out. So your mascot’s name is as crucial as its design and personality. Think of something that connects instantly with your personality and sounds good. Also, stick with a short and simple name.

Designing a mascot need not stress out a startup owner, provided you are ready to follow these rules. Be ready to spend time, effort, and money on this marketing asset because it defines who you are.

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Tips for Startups

Choosing The Best Tech Service Providers: For Start-up Companies

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Choosing The Best Tech Service Providers

As a business owner, you should carefully choose your IT service provider since it could be one of your most significant business decisions. Your technology partner should be a close advisor on the IT services you need now and in the future.

Moreover, your technology partner should be one that understands your business and industry. So how do you choose the best technology service provider from the hundreds of IT services companies on the market?

Let’s find out.

●     Available Services and Solutions

The first way to get the best IT business is to understand the IT solutions and services since it can help narrow down your options. Every company has its preferences and needs in correlation to its industry.

Therefore you should identify and layout your preferred tech providers based on your needs. When looking for an IT company, it is not only about which service provider has the most services available.

You shouldn’t pick because they offer multiple or several services. Instead, it would be best if you considered the levels of tech support that your company would need, such as an entire managed IT support system, break or fix service, or pay-as-you-go tech support.

●     In-House or Outsourced IT Support

Your business or company will grow and operate seamlessly depending on the tech support you will use. A competitive IT service provider would ask and respect your choice between both parties.

Outsourced and in-house IT support services have several differences from one another. This is why you should pick the correct one for your business.

Like the name, outsourced IT support is ideal for companies that cannot support the additional associated costs of having IT experts residing in their company. Outsourced IT service providers are usually called Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

You may ask, what is a managed service provider and do you need one? Well, a managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party company capable of remotely managing your end-user systems and information technology infrastructure.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), startups, government, and nonprofit agencies usually hire MSPs to perform defined day-to-day IT problems and management services.

On the other hand, as the name implies, in-house IT support is composed of IT experts who will work inside your companies and be assigned to your company’s IT department.

●     Experience and Alignment of Your Industry

You should ensure that your preferred or chosen IT service provider provides tech-related assistance to your company. Ensure that they do not have insufficient experience, expertise, or knowledge about your industry since it could be a massive risk to your company’s operation.

It would be bad to make the mistake of hiring inexperienced service providers in your industry. They would do more harm than good though they might have an impressive overall review or rating as a service provider.

●     Reactive Support/Proactive Maintenance

Quality support should not end with solving a problem. A good tech service provider would be proactive in monitoring systems to ensure issues are stopped before they start.

When they monitor and practice conditions maintenance, your tech service provider would be able to keep minor problems from becoming large and affecting your business productivity.

It would be best if you had a proactive tech service provider, but your business might also need a reactive tool to handle your day-to-day IT problems such as network connectivity, phone issues, printer problems, cloud issues, and computer problems.

●     Budget Planning 

As a startup or a small company, you should consider your budget before choosing a tech service provider. Though all budgets are not equal, this does not mean that you should skimp on quality for cost. Instead, a good tech service provider would help you identify and budget for services to help your business succeed.

●     Efficient Communication Channels

Lastly, ensure that you choose a tech service provider capable of establishing good communication platforms accessible to both parties. You have the right to know what happens behind the scenes as their client and also get involved in monitoring your tech systems.

You can efficiently handle this by establishing a communication channel that is convenient and favorable for both parties.

Final Words

Excellent companies are differentiated from bad ones by the integration of IT support. In the current era, you must manage your business data process and information in an organized, efficient, and smooth way.

Moreover, you can achieve this by collaborating with a tech service provider. When searching for the best tech service provider to solve your business needs, the above guide will help you with that.

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Tips for Startups

Best Sustainability Tips For Construction Startups

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Sustainability Tips For Construction Startups

The construction industry has immense opportunities, making it one of the top choices for startup entrepreneurs. The demand for new projects is high, and renovation and upgrade projects also keep contractors busy. The domain promises massive profit margins and long-term revenue growth. But startups have to face several challenges such as competition, complexity, and regulations.

Moreover, the growing public awareness of the environmental impact of the industry makes sustainability a necessity. Not surprisingly, going green is one of the key goals for businesses operating in this segment. But most entrepreneurs struggle to find ways to bring eco-friendliness to construction processes and projects. We have the best sustainability tips a startup can follow.

Lower impact on surrounding areas

Most projects require excavation as an integral element of the construction of buildings, bridges, and roads. It can have a far-reaching impact on the surrounding area, leading to soil erosion and the clearing of green belts. But you can do your bit by retaining as much of the soil and vegetation as possible. Trees, shrubs, and grass prevent soil erosion and flooding, so preserving them can make your business green. Apply mulch or geotextile materials to prevent additional soil loss. You can install graveled or padded areas along the entrance and exit points. These points act as a buffer and keep the mud, soil, and sediments from reaching public roads.

Source local materials

With growing globalization, construction companies and designers can access a greater variety of materials from far and wide. The idea is alluring as it can enhance the aesthetics and add novelty to your projects. But it may not be the best thing to do from a sustainability perspective. Transferring construction materials over long distances entails the use of more energy and resources. Sourcing locally takes you a step ahead with an environmentally-friendly approach. It cuts down the carbon footprint of your business by lowering fuel consumption for transportation. Moreover, it is a way to support local suppliers and providers.

Choose eco-friendly materials

Another measure that takes your construction startup an extra mile with sustainability is the use of eco-friendly construction materials. Ensure that the materials you use are non-toxic and made using sustainable practices. For example, switching to low-VOC paints is a good idea. You can use cement blended with calcium carbonate instead of the standard variant. The use of CaCO3 reduces the carbon emission from cement plants significantly, so you can pick the material in an effort to go eco-friendly. Using non-toxic materials has additional benefits as it limits respiratory issues for workers and residents. It boosts your reputation as an employer and business alike.

Reuse building material

It is easy to use the principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling in construction projects, so you are in a better place to embrace eco-consciousness. Whether constructing a new building or renovating an existing space, you have to deal with waste materials such as concrete, wooden planks, and steel trusses. The last thing you should do is dump the waste into the nearest landfill. Opt for an eco-friendly approach by recycling the waste material. You can look for a crushing facility to turn the waste into dry aggregate and reuse it in other construction projects. Besides taking your startup a step ahead with sustainability, reusing these recycled materials entails massive savings in the long run.

Revamp your processes

Revamping your processes is another way to achieve the goal of eco-friendliness for your business. Start early because it is more efficient and cost-effective than changing the course somewhere down the line. Consider establishing a vendor network that provides you with eco-friendly materials. Hire people with experience in sustainable construction and invest in sustainability training programs for your existing team. Build eco-consciousness into your company culture rather than trying to force the mindset into the existing business processes. Also, you can consider standardizing processes as it helps in wrapping up projects more quickly and efficiently. Moreover, it reduces mistakes and eliminates waste from projects. Using equipment efficiently and avoiding wastage of energy are other crucial aspects of revamping the processes.

Sustainability in the construction industry is an achievable goal, provided you are willing to take the right approach. Even startups can go eco-friendly from the early stages because the initiative does not require immense effort and investment. You only need to make wise choices and think of better ways of doing things. Starting early gets you in a vantage position as you can build a sustainable business with a good reputation in the long run. Follow these tips to move one step ahead with the goa.

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