For any start-up out there, keeping running costs under control to stretch their dollars has always been the primary objective. When looking to build a business identity, a lot depends on designing your logo. With Deep Learning (DL) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the design spectrum has evolved vehemently.
The result is easy to create logos that impart a solid identity for your organization. Not some mirror cracking material type, but the kind that’s fun to achieve and saves money.
But, before we harp on further, let’s move over to answer a very significant question – What does the future of logo designing look like for start-ups and bootstrap entrepreneurs ?
Well, any great logo design focuses on basic geometry and typography rules. However, with new found technologies, scaling and setting of grids and lines have undergone automation. Quite contrary to what many would believe, such applications and tools aren’t replacing bespoke designs crafted by professional graphic designers, just yet. In fact, they can never be compared to what a professional in the field can achieve.
Now, since start-ups usually have a fixed budget, hiring a professional wouldn’t be a viable option. That is where online logo makers get the upper-hand. Furthermore, they offer a handful of benefits that any company on the verge of rising would welcome and appreciate:
- A much better substitute to DIY design option.
- Highly cost effective compared to hiring professional logo maker
- All logos are unique creations.
- One doesn’t have to spend too much time on researching
- A plethora of options to choose from in the form of inspiring visual mock-ups.
- It’s easy, fun to use and
They say, logos can break or make a business.
True that! A great logo readily depicts the objective and values of a business to make you stand out in the crowd.
Furthermore, when a logo is done correctly, it readily attracts buyers and turns them into loyalists. No matter where they can see your company emblem, they can relate with a brand they trust and depend upon.
So, what’s the backdrop for creating a great logo? Here’s a quick checklist to follow:
- Researching competitions across your niche.
- Listing out what makes your business exclusively different from the rest
- Be unique. Never blindly follow what’s trending and always skip clichés.
- Avoid scoring a complex or a controversial design. Ask for a primary feedback from patrons and loyal customers in private.
- Always incorporate a tagline that defines your business.
A logo that is of high quality and inexpensive as well.
Who doesn’t like the idea? That’s what start-ups want and that is exactly what logo makers have to offer. Regardless of what your business size is , logo makers offer exceptional features for designing your brand identity:
- Free Templates to work with
- Design Layouts that are distinctly unique
- Mock up designsthat inspire readily
- Inexpensive final ready to print designs
Enough said, let’s check out 6 such awesome logo makers we absolutely love and what all they can do:
One of the best performing logo makers out there that does full justice leveraging the power of AI to help design a logo within a few minutes. Reportedly, Tailor Brands is original AI logo design creator to use proprietary AI tech to deliver unique designs for just about anyone in any line of business. You start with a simple layout and truly endless options to render and modify your logo a thousand different times before it hits the sweet spot. Tailor Brands is a great option when you are looking to factor in the cost that comes with hiring a professional to do the same design. Premium Plans ofTailor Brands offer a wide variety of add-ons if you are looking to create a corporate identity for your business. There are three different plans that one can choose from and are all billed annually namely, Basic ($3.99), Standard ($5.99) and Premium ($12.99).
Crave endless customization for your brand logo? Logo Garden can be the answer. With Logo Garden, one can choose to work on yourself in creating a logo all by yourself or choose to work with a graphic designer. One can begin all by himself and start browsing through the native stock of icons and editing the same to create your desired look. Compared to other logo makers, Logo Garden offers similar service at much cheaper rates. Their package offering starts at $39 and one can also try their services for free over a limited period of time. Additionally, they don’t have any preset packages to lock customers into choosing them when they don’t require such services in the first place. Instead, one can download different file formats which can be purchased as and when needed so that you only pay for what you need.
- For High Resolution Image – Starts at $12.50
- For Vector Files (.AI, .EPS & .PDF) – Starts at $39.99
- For Custom Designs – Starts at $39.99
Fun and affordability are two such guiding factors that go into making a design with Turbo Logo. The interface is very basic to start with. You simply select from examples of other logos and preferred colours and the logo maker tool shall use the same as inspiration. Soon after, you will see a set of logo designs created for you where you can edit and modify the fonts, layout, style, icons and just about everything else and get print ready files to be used all around for your needs. The pricing structure of Turbo Logo varies along with the offerings as listed below:
|Lite ($9)||Standard ($14)||Business ($49)|
|Only one logo with no transparent background||· High quality images with colour variations.
· Vector files that comes with full copyright ownership
|Everything else that you get in the Standard package along with business cards, envelopes, social media kits and favicons.|
Logo Type Maker
Another innovative platform that is high on AI to create unique looking logos for your business. One simply starts with their brand name or with their tagline. Further, you select a category that defines your business and change the background colour of your design. From the templates that are presented in the next screen tweak layers to your heart’s content and play with fonts and colours and effects towards saving your final desired output. Logo Type Maker offers two distinct pricing plans (billed annually) to choose from namely Basic (€1,99) and Premium (€4,99).
Ucraft brings forth an alternatetouch for a logotool as it primarily functions as a website builder. With a slew of creative templates and breezy interface, it helps create websites of various types (ecommerce, blog, business, etc) with utmost ease. The free logo maker tool is a part of Ucraft’s offering where one can select from a wide collection of stock images that are freely available. The customization options are pretty limited like narrowing and stretching but one can add colour and edit the dimensions of the artwork. If you are looking for a logo that can be used just about anywhere (online and offline) and do not wish to invest a lot of time or money, Ucraft logo maker tool can certainly be your best option to consider. One can save their logo as an SVG file for just $10.
This logo maker can’t be any easier. The first step is to enter your business name and a slogan if you have one. After that you will have hundreds of logo templates to select from. After you select the logo that you think will best fit your company you’ll be brought to another screen that allows you to make even more changes to your logo. You can edit the fonts, the different colors of the logo and add shapes to your design. Once you have finished making your logo design you can then download the high resolution instantly. The entire process of making your own logo takes about 10 minutes.
Logo makers are a perfect choice for cash strained start-ups. No matter who you are or what you do, working with logo makers can be a great deal of advantage when you are looking to invest minimum for great results.
Customer Discovery: the Hidden Key to a Successful Startup
The term “customer discovery” might make you think of all kinds of processes.
Is it the part where you try to learn as much about your customers as you can? Is it the part where you go out and discover actual flesh-and-blood customers who will buy your products? Is it something else?
Turns out, it’s something else.
What Is Customer Discovery?
Customer discovery is a term used by two of the main figures of the lean startup methodology, Steve Blank and Eric Reis. They define customer discovery as questioning your core business assumptions. It is a way for you to validate your ideas and theories by going to the source – the customer – and a way to flesh out evidence supporting your product-market fit.
When Would You Need Customer Discovery?
In reality, you need customer discovery whenever you are designing a product or a service.
Let’s break it down into three distinct stages:
- You define a problem/market need (that your product/service is meant to fill).
- You develop a hypothesis about the solution (i.e., develop the product/service idea).
- You conduct an experiment to test your hypothesis (gather data from actual customers).
Yes, customer discovery is meant to validate your ideas – but it is more of a scientific approach than asking your friends, family, and coworkers what they think about your idea and whether they think it would work.
Let’s take a look at the four key steps to customer discovery, and see how you can use it to design solutions that fit your customer’s needs.
Step One: Come up with Your Hypothesis
This step encompasses stages one and two we’ve listed above: you are defining both the problem and the solution you are proposing to implement, and you are forming a hypothesis as to how the solution will impact the problem.
The best way to formulate your hypothesis is in a single sentence: my solution solves problem X. As simple as that.
You want to be incredibly specific with your hypothesis, and you want it to be accurate. Don’t just assume certain people have a certain problem. What if these people don’t see it as a problem?
That’s what customer discovery will help you discover, but in order to set off on the best foot possible, ensure you have a firm grasp of the issue yourself.
As for specificity: don’t just say, “I am solving the problem of lack of dog walkers by starting a dog walking service.” Instead, go for “I am solving a problem people living in this area have with walking their dogs from 9-5 by offering a safe, hassle-free, and reliable dog walking service”.
Step Two: Define Your Assumptions
As you can already tell, you were forced to make certain assumptions in step one. They may be correct, or they may be incorrect, and now is the time to write them all down.
You may be assuming that something is a problem (when, in fact, it isn’t), you may be assuming that your solution will help (when in reality, it won’t), and you may be assuming a certain demographic has this issue (which they may not).
Once you have your assumptions down, create a target persona in order to alleviate as much of them as possible. This is the person you are targeting, your ideal customer, the person with these problems.
Go into as much detail about your persona as possible, as it will help you ensure your data is sound later on.
Step Three: Test It out
Now that you have your hypothesis, an ideal customer in mind, and you are (in theory) aware of at least some of the pitfalls you may be facing, the time has come to test your theory out in the real world.
You are going to ask some people some questions.
The people you start with should be your potential customers. In our hypothetical case, dog owners living in a certain area, working 9-to-5 jobs.
Don’t ask people living in other areas, people who own cats and not dogs, or people who don’t own dogs but live in the area and work the nine-to-five. You have defined your audience – stick to it.
As for the questions themselves, you need to be very careful about how you formulate them.
You don’t want to ask, “Do you think this is a good idea?”. You don’t want to say anything about your idea, in fact. You want the people you’re asking to tell you what they would appreciate as a solution, and you are then going to build your solution based on their answers.
This is what customer discovery is about – creating a final product that matches the real needs of real customers.
To that end, your questions should be open-ended and not specifically related to your idea. Here are some examples:
- What do you currently do for…?
- Do you like the process?
- Is it working out for you?
- If you could improve the process, how would you do it?
- What is the biggest challenge about…?
- What do you like about it?
And so on.
The answers you get should help you outline your solution and make it a reality in the future.
Step Four: Evaluate Your Data
Now that you have plenty of data at your disposal, the time has come to go through it.
If you have done your homework well, you’ve likely discovered information you had no idea about previously. Someone has pointed out a solution or an issue you were not aware of.
This allows you to go back and refine your hypothesis and the idea itself, at which point you can do another round of customer discovery.
If, however, you’ve discovered your hypothesis was entirely correct, you can move on to product development.
Test out more than one hypothesis, and keep discovering until you are satisfied that you have come up with the best possible solution.
Customer discovery is certainly a lengthy and complex process, but it’s worth all the effort. It can significantly increase your chances of producing a solution that not only works but that is already sought after by a vast number of people. Consequently, your solution will be much more likely to become a success.
Top 6 Cybersecurity Lessons Startups Can Learn From Healthcare Organizations
COVID-19 won’t be here forever, but cybercriminals will!
Leveraging the COVID-19 situation, cybercriminals are targeting SMEs and even large enterprises to steal valuable information. Many reports claim that cybercrimes have doubled in the last couple of months.
The healthcare industry is one of the latest victims of cybercriminals. According to Accenture, the healthcare industry has witnessed around 41% increase in cyberattacks. The report also says that the healthcare industry on average experiences 130 data breaches in a year.
However, as a healthcare IT consultant, I have recently noticed that healthcare organizations are ramping up their efforts to safeguard patient data. And for that, they are deploying many technologies, solutions and unique cost-effective ideas.
The technologies, solutions and ideas healthcare startups are deploying are so effective that other startups can learn cybersecurity lessons from healthcare startups. Today, in this blog, I will share the same. I will list down 6 cybersecurity lessons learned from healthcare organizations in 2020 during COVID-19.
How are healthcare startups avoiding cybercriminals? (Learning from other startups!)
Avoiding cybercriminals or ensuring data security is not a task, it is the process. And a process is always more complicated than a task. But here is how healthcare organizations are streamlining the process, the cybersecurity process.
- Determine the cybersecurity risks level
Not all healthcare startups are on the radar of cybercriminals. Thus, it is a rational idea to determine the possibility of a cyberattack or to determine the cybersecurity risks level. This process enables organizations to know the threat level – whether they are on the radar of cybercriminals or not.
To find the cybersecurity risks level, healthcare organizations simply link the type of data they store to the motive of cybercriminals. For instance, if a healthcare organization stores medical images of patients and not the patient’s personal and financial data, they should not invest more in cybersecurity.
But if a healthcare organization stores many valuable data of the patients, accommodates less-trained staff and works with legacy networks, they should worry about cybersecurity as their cybersecurity risk is high.
Learning for other startups: You should invest only after confirming that you are the potential target! If you do not store any crucial data, you don’t have to allocate your resources to cybersecurity.
- Find the loopholes through technical assessment
A network has many open doors or errors which work as the opportunities for hackers to get access to databases. They usually scan the network and attack the ‘fragile part’. Thus, it is important to find the loopholes in the network and fix it to close the entry doors for the cybercriminals.
Carrying out the technical assessment is the best way to find loopholes in the network. It is designed to yield the vulnerability in the network. A technical assessment does not only aim to find the vulnerabilities, but it also aims to quantify and prioritize the vulnerabilities.
So, now when cybersecurity experts know the loopholes which cybercriminals can leverage to attack, the cybersecurity experts can easily avoid the attack by fixing the loopholes.
Learning for other startups:
This is the best method to avoid cyber attacks. You should find the open doors in your network and close it to prevent the undetected entry of hackers into your network.
- Software configuration assessment
A healthcare organization uses a number of software to streamline operations. They also use a lot of complex software. Sometimes, the poor configuration of these complex software creates easy paths for cybercriminals to attack the enterprise network as cybercriminals are many times using software to get access to the network or a server.
Learning for other startups:
While installing software on a computer device connected in the enterprise network, make sure the authenticity of the software and do not change the installation setting or software setting without the proper knowledge.
- Quick incident response
Regardless of the efforts healthcare organizations put to safeguard the network, cybercriminals many times find ways to penetrate the security measures. In such a scenario, only a quick incident response is hope.
Healthcare organizations always pay extra heed to incident response. They form a team which quickly takes control over the network and close the paths for attackers before they cause havoc.
The incident response team utilizes many security tools to monitor the network in real-time. If they identify any unusual activity or the system alerts them, they quickly put best practices to work to prevent cybercriminals from getting system access.
Learning for other startups:
Always work best but prepare for the worst. Cybercriminals can anytime, anyhow bypass the security of your system. So, be proactive and prepared.
- Train the staff
Generally, staff working in the healthcare organization lacks the knowledge of the cybersecurity which leads them to click on any malicious links or commit any costly mistake. Thus, healthcare organizations are putting emphasis on staff training. They give basic knowledge about cybersecurity and their deployed network to the staff and keep testing the staff’s cybersecurity knowledge after a fixed interval.
Learning for other startups:
If your staff does not follow cyber hygiene, things can easily go messy as staff members have network access and they spend the majority of their time around it.
- Always deploy feature-packed security solution including firewall
To ensure cybersecurity, deploying software security solutions as well as hardware security solutions is the basic requirement. But a premium security solution works more precisely and efficiently than an affordable security solution. Thus, healthcare organizations generally deploy premium feature-packed security solutions, especially a firewall.
A feature-packed firewall costs a bit more than the basic firewall. But a feature-packed firewall is worth the money. It does not only safeguard the enterprise network but offers many flexibilities and real-time network data to the admin.
- Admin can know the connected network and find the data usage of each network.
- Admin can know the top sources of threats to a network.
- Admin can know the most affected network.
- Admin can impose content filtering to prevent users from opening irrelevant sites.
- Admin can know every single activity of the users on that network.
Learning for other startups:
An ‘affordable security solution’ is the myth, actually!
In a nutshell:
Cybersecurity is the challenge for any startup serving in any industry. An ever-increasing number of cybersecurity attacks clearly depicts that it is a much bigger problem for startups than COVID-19.
However, there is one industry that is pulling out all dots to curb the coronavirus as well as cyberattacks. In this blog, we have discussed 6 ways of how healthcare organizations are safeguarding crucial patient data.
These ways are,
- Confirm the level of cyberattack risk
- Find the loopholes in the network and fix it
- Do not configure the software without proper knowledge
- Form an incident response team
- Train the staff
- Opt for feature-packed security solutions
CoronaVirus Changes Everything; Your Startup’s Survival Guide During The Pandemic
Nothing will ever remain the same, not even your weight after this pandemic. Maybe your name will, but that’s beside the point. Everything will change; the entire world will change. The market won’t be the same, but change can be a good thing, right? If you’re a startup, then this can be a very challenging moment for your business.
Many industries took a great hit as a result of the outbreak, and a lot of businesses were affected, some of them took a huge loss while others profited a lot from it, companies like Zoom watched their profit skyrocket in such a short period of time. Managing your business is very crucial during these times, and there are a few steps you can take for your startup to survive in this pandemic.
1) Calculate your risk
First of all, you have to evaluate all the risks the pandemic poses to your business and the losses you’ve already incurred. Calculating and controlling your burn rate at this stage is essential for your business to survive.
You do not want to incur losses at this point because the future of your startup after the pandemic is not very certain, and you have to do everything in your power to keep the business going.
2) Efficient Team Management
Your team is very important to your business. You should encourage team spirit in a time like this, reach out to your team members, make sure they’re doing okay, let them know how important they are to the company and to you.
Most people tend to suffer emotionally during a pandemic, which could be a result of the fear of losing a loved one during this period, at this point, you don’t know what the future holds for you. This makes it important you let them connect with one another even on a personal level, encourage them to check up one another, treat them like your one big family, and build a support system. This helps build their focus and creativity and enables them to work efficiently.
3) Digital Communication
You have to set communication standards and tools in other to be able to communicate ideas with your employees and work efficiently. Despite the pandemic you have to stay productive, not being able to meet in person with your employees shouldn’t limit that.
Companies like Zoom has made communication easy, and you’ll find out that your employees don’t even need to show up at work every day to keep your business running.
4) Manage your Resources
You have to analyze the resources you have and manage them because you don’t know how long the pandemic will persist, so try to curtail your expenses in every possible way and evaluate how to make your current resources last for at least a year.
Make a business continuity plan, and it will enable you to use your resources efficiently. Also, consider cutting down on the number of workers you have so you don’t have to spend a lot on salaries.
Work more with freelancers, that way you don’t have to recruit workers when the outbreak is over. Also, consider some good passive income ideas that can help you make money in these tough times. Starting a website and affiliate marketing for digital products are one of the popular ideas.
5) Promote Innovation
This is a step you have to take seriously. The success of your business lies in innovation, introducing new ideas, and implementing change when necessary, and this helps you stay relevant to society at large.
In order to achieve this, you have to create room for your workers to come up with ideas, hold brainstorming sessions, and support all the ideas they come up with. This makes them feel like they’re active members, which of course, they are. Even when they make mistakes, tolerate them, it creates an enabling environment for their minds to create.
6) Protect your customers
Keeping your customers safe should be your priority. The Corona Virus outbreak has made the demand for Hand Sanitizers high. Even the nose masks people didn’t care about so much in the past.
These are basic things your customers need that you can make available to them. No one can protect your customers for you. They’re the ones that’ll keep your business running. It’s time to give back to them in any way you can. You can make Sanitizers and provide nose masks for them. If they’re safe, then your business is safe.
Just as you’re keeping your customers safe, keep your employees safe too. Cancel all social gathering, let them work remotely, so they don’t have to worry about contracting the virus. Educate them on the essential things they need to know about the virus and how to avoid it.
You can communicate from wherever you are, online schedule meetings, and discussion sessions. Above all, keep yourself safe too. Use hand sanitizer always and your nose mask if there is an urgent need for you to go out. If we can survive this pandemic together, we can survive anything.
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