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Tips for Startups

How a 10-Minute Daily Meeting Can Change the Future of Your Startup



daily meeting startup

Could 10 minutes per day change the future of your startup? Absolutely, if these 10 minutes are used in the best possible way.

A business meeting that falls in the range from 10 to 15 minutes can accomplish a lot. In fact, research suggests you should keep your business meetings within the 15-minute range for an optimal outcome.

Marissa Mayer  used to be known for her 10-minute meetings while she was a member of the Google team. If Google can do it in 10 minutes, so can your team.

To hold effective 10-minute sessions that will change the future of your startup, you’ll have to focus on several essentials. The time is enough if you know what you’re doing and what outcome you’re looking forward to.

Clear Purpose

A 10-minute meeting forces everyone to be concise and highly specific. People are all on the same page when it comes to the goal of the gathering and the involvement of each attendee.

The 10-minute meeting will affect the startup culture. It reduces the waste of time, enhances communication and makes everyone more focused on the task at hand. To make the transition to a short meeting, however, you need to have a clear agenda and you need to moderate the discussion.

Statistics show that the average employee spends 31 hours per month in unproductive meeting. Making the switch from such lengthy sessions to just 10-minutes whenever something has to be discussed may feel like a challenge in the very beginning. Eventually, however, the process will become a lot easier.

When drafting an agenda, you need to consider the following:

  • What’s the purpose of the meeting?
  • Who’s going to attend?
  • What problems are these people facing and how will they be addressed?
  • Will there be specific goals set?
  • How much time will you dedicate to a Q&A session?

Putting this kind of structure in place right from the start and sticking to agenda items will allow you to accomplish a lot more in 10 minutes than some companies do in an hour.

Motivating, Collaborating, Learning More about the Business

Here’s a quick example of what could be accomplished in a 10-minute startup meeting.

Spend the first two minutes to provide a company update or to share some positive news that will get people excited and motivated.

Next, move on to assessing performance or outlining an issue that has to be resolved. You don’t need more than a minute or two to provide the details in a concise, organized manner.

If team members need to contribute to the update or make a progress report, now would be the time to make that happen.

Finally, people can speak up for the remaining few minutes, providing suggestions, sharing their frustrations or asking for assistance on aspects of the work that they feel stuck with. 

Admittedly, maintaining this structure will be challenging in the beginning. Once you eliminate the small talk and the distractions, however, all of you can learn a lot more about what the business has accomplished, where it’s headed and how it’s missing the mark at the time being.

Honor Your Commitment to End Meetings on Time (but Maintain Some Flexibility)

To make 10-minute meetings effective, you have to honor your commitment to end such sessions on time.

Studies suggest that meetings running late contribute to a higher level of unproductiveness than those who don’t start at the specified time. Taking more than the designated time to discuss issues will interfere with individual schedules and make it difficult for people to get back on track.

Honor the commitment to keep gatherings to 10 minutes. If you do, you will soon find everyone being more capable of communicating succinctly and cooperating with each other. This is one of the biggest lessons that short startup meetings teach.

At the same time, you should not ignore issues just because the 10-minute window is closing.

If you see that a specific problem has to be addressed, schedule an additional 10-minute session that will highlight that very issue. Such very specific meetings contribute to a better corporate culture and they also let people know that no problem will remain unaddressed.

Analyze Your Current Meeting Policies

Are you missing the mark each time you try to schedule shorter startup meetings? If so, you’re missing the mark when it comes to effectiveness. Findafacilitator can help you pinpoint shortcomings and wasteful practices to make startup meetings more strategic and productive.

Attempting to hold a 10-minute meeting forces you to take a deeper look at the practices that were previously considered standard within the startup environment.

Once you question the norm, you will find out that perhaps a different format can accomplish better results.

Questioning the framework gives birth to innovation, creativity and more tailored practices. These are precisely what a startup needs to move forward and grow sustainable.

A 10-minute meeting isn’t just about a timeframe, it’s much more focused on a business culture conductive of productivity. Communication can be concise and effective. You don’t need hours to get people working together, collaborating and exchanging ideas in the best way. In fact, most issues can be addressed in resolved in 30 seconds to a minute.

Try speeding things up when it comes to strategic startup meetings. Chances are that the team will love this new approach and feel much more eager to participate in the brief, yet focused discussion.

About Author

Sylvia Peters is a Collaborator for Find A Facilitator and a mother of two.

She’s also an expert to bringing the most credible, experienced and personable facilitation to every meeting she attended. In her free time you will find her meditating and making her favorite salad.


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Tips for Startups

Tips To Design A Perfect Mascot For Your Startup



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



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



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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