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Things you need to start a business that are not money related

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All that glitters is not gold and all that makes a startup sparkle is not money. Every time you start your company, you think money is the most important thing to begin with, right? More often than not, there are a lot of things one needs to get done apart from going down the road of securing finances. Here is our list of things you must have in place (other than money) before you start your business!

1. An understanding of the market

You have an idea and you want to turn the idea into reality, which is all well and good. However, what most people who want to start a business do not realise is the necessity of understanding the market as well. Understand the competition, analyse what makes your peers work and realise what you as a business need to do to stand out from the crowd. Get your analysis in place and make sure you have your unique selling points outlined loud and clear!

2. Self discipline

Often times, people get side tracked during the beginning of a business. Running your business requires a lot of control, focus and effort into achieving your end goal. Decide your goals early on in the beginning and every day, make sure you complete all the things on your list before the day ends. Even if you feel like you are wandering off the track, take a break and get yourself to stick to the straight road.

3. Time

Ever felt like you don’t have enough time on your hands? Ever felt like there is too much happening around you and you just do not know where the time goes? Just like it is important to have your goals in place, it is important to keep a check on the time you take to finish these goals as well. When you structure your time according to the things that are important to you, then you know where your time is going and how you can make the most of the 24 hours you have. Schedule the morning hours for the important things you need to get done during the day and then work your way toward achieving your goals.

4. Secure a team

More often than not, not a lot of employers realise the value of having a strong and loyal team in place. Get all the people you need in your corner with you and when you do hire the first round of people, make sure you give them all they need to stay on with you to the very end. A loyal team helps in giving your business the backbone for a strong future and honestly, no business can work without a strong team. 

5. Be sure of what your business’s vision is

While this point seems like an obvious one, it just has to be mentioned here. With a market that is already fragmented and diverse,it is important to have a vision for your startup. Having a vision for your business is essential to help you understand what is to be done to achieve not just the short term goals, but also the long term goals. A business vision also gives you a direction as to what you should and should not invest in to grow your business.

Only after you dot the i’s and cross the t’ can your business grow. What is your checklist? Comment and let us know!

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How To Master Self Discipline

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In the world of entrepreneurship, people with strong self control seem to succeed and achieve great success.  These are people who are able to do everything and excel at their life goals. Fortunately, the habit of self control is a taught one and one can master the skill with determination.  Here are five tips which can help anyone master the art of self discipline.

How to master self discipline

1) Set a clear goal

It’s easy to get distracted or discouraged if you don’t have a particular goal in your mind.  In order to master self discipline, one should have a clear idea about what your end result will be.  It is always better to have an end goal in your mind and a clear set of steps which will keep you motivated to achieve the goal.

2) Remove temptations

An important step to master self discipline is to avoid temptations.  Having temptations, however small or big, will always urge you to overlook your long term goals.  The best way to improve your self discipline is to remove the greatest temptation from your environment.  For example, if you want to improve your productivity at your work and get good results, turn off your phone or mute the notifications on it to concentrate on your work.

3) Small steps

The process of self discipline may seem difficult to achieve at the beginning.  It requires you to find your weakness and working on improving it. It can be pretty overwhelming to let go of your weaknesses all of a sudden.  Therefore, it is a good idea to start with baby steps. For example, if one of your goals is to save money to start your own business, start by cutting down unnecessary expenses, one step at a time.

4) Eat regularly

According to researchers, not eating regularly can affect your mood and willpower immensely.  Skipping your meals results in low blood sugar, which weakens the resolve of a person. It also affects a person’s ability to concentrate as well.  A weakened willpower will result in you compromising your progress, be it in your work or personal life. Hence, it is always best to keep yourself fuelled throughout the day with healthy food.

5) Reward yourself

Lastly, rewarding oneself for achieving one’s goal is a good way to stay motivated and move forward.  Having a reward in your mind drives you to work harder to reach your set goal. Once you reach a goal and collect your reward, it will motivate you further to work on a new goal. 

 

It is really important to have self discipline while starting or running a business.  It gives you courage and keeps you motivated to achieve big things. 

If you think we missed any tips about how one can master self discipline, comment below and let us know.

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How To Avoid Entrepreneurial Burnout

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Entrepreneurship can be a very satisfying job.  Owning your own business and working on your idea is fulfilling to many people.  However, being in charge of a company comes with many difficulties, especially if you are just starting out.  One of them is occupational burnout, which comes from unresolved, work related stress. Hard to diagnose, burnout is very common among entrepreneurs and if neglected, can lead to other serious problems like mental and heart diseases.  Let’s look at some ways in which one can cope with entrepreneurial burnout and still remain productive at work.

How to avoid entrepreneurial burnout

1) Set realistic goals

In the entrepreneurship field, the result of a new venture is uncertain.  Sometimes, setting very high and unrealistic expectations for oneself and one’s company can easily lead to disappointment, if the entrepreneur fails to achieve the goals.  Disappointment leads to stress, which eventually leads to burnout. Setting some realistic goals is necessary to remain focused on the task and avoid disappointment. For example, launching a product in just 2 months when it requires 6 months to get ready is unrealistic and will lead to overworking and stressing out.

2) Maintain a balance between professional and personal life

Many new entrepreneurs fail to draw a line between their professional and personal lives, which results in them getting burned out pretty fast.  Establishing a boundary between these two is important to work efficiently. A break from professional responsibilities helps in getting some relaxation.  A balance between your professional life and personal life can be achieved by setting up some rules, specifics of which vary from person to person and following it religiously. 

3) Change your routine

Following a similar routine day after day will inevitably lead to burnout.  Having to deal with a similar task and similar people on a daily basis can sometimes become frustrating and stressful.  Entrepreneurs can avoid this by making some minor changes in their daily routine, like working away from their normal setup or handing away certain tasks, which are stressing them out, to someone else.

4) Talking things through/venting out

Sometimes keeping all the stressful things bottled up inside can lead to more stress and frustration.  Venting them out in a healthy way to one’s family, friends or therapists is a good way to cope with burnout.  Venting your frustration out is good to take pressure off one’s mind and keep them relaxed.

5) Taking a break

While the thought of a break from  work can be tough for many entrepreneurs, it is the ultimate solution to avoiding burnout.  Sometimes taking a temporary break from your work and spending time doing things which relax you is a great way to avoid burnout.  Read a book, play sports, or cook—whatever it is which helps you calm down, take a break from your work and do it to ensure you stay refreshed and are not burned out.

With burnout becoming increasingly common among entrepreneurs, it is important to cope with it or avoid it all together to remain interested in your work. 

If you have any other tips about how to avoid entrepreneurial burnout, comment below and let us know.

 

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How To Strengthen Cybersecurity Of Your Startup

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With the rise of malwares nowadays, it has become very important to have a strong cybersecurity plan, especially for startups just beginning their journey in the business world. As a report suggests, almost 43 % of cyberattacks are focused on startups and small businesses as they are more vulnerable to security breach than big corporations.  If your startup is working in such an environment and has limited resources to protect itself from security breaches, these tips can help you secure your data online.

Tips to strengthen the cybersecurity of your startup

1) Start with the right plan

It’s always easier to start with the right plan and to get your basics right to help you secure your startup.  By identifying the important information valuable to your startup and keeping it separate from public information, one can avoid losing important information due to major security breaches.

2) Securing cloud storage

Startups use cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive to store important data about the company.  Sometimes, they fail to recognize the risks of backing up data in this manner. Even though the cloud services take extra steps to secure all the stored information, it is not completely secure from hackers.  Installing advanced and internal firewalls as well as intrusion detection system are some simple steps one can adopt to protect their startup’s data. Some of the best cloud firewalls in the market right now are CloudFlare WAF, Amazon Web Services WAF and Sophos XG Firewall, which are easy to use and offer multiple security features. 

3) Use stronger passwords

Sometimes, instead of using advanced software to hack into a startup network system, hackers just type in passwords to get access.  It is wiser to set up passwords with multiple special characters and to avoid using the same password for multiple platforms, to keep your network system protected.

4) Two factor authentication

Using multiple factors to log in to the system is a clever way to protect your account and information from security breach.  Two factor authentication helps in verifying the identity of a user, usually through password and a second factor like SMS verification.  Two factor authentication can be used anywhere from protecting your email accounts to your Dropbox account and more. Many Companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft provide this service, which can be used by any startup to ensure its online security. 

5) Educating the employees

It is a good idea to put the employees of a startup through a cybersecurity training.  The training can be about how cybersecurity works and in which direction it is headed and most importantly, how the employees can contribute to protect their organization from security breaches.

With the cost of data breaching expected to increase to $ 150 million by 2020, it is important to take every precaution available to save startups from losing money and time.

If you have any other tips about strengthening the cybersecurity of a startup, comment below and let us know.

 

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