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Questions To Ask Before You Take On A New Business Partner

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When it comes to entering into a new business partnership, it is extremely vital to know who you are getting in bed with for the rest of your life (if things go well.) While most things may seem great and you may click with your partner right away, you can never be a 100 % sure of the other person. Knowing how difficult it is to make a decision like this, we have a list of questions you could ask before entering a new partnership!

1. “What is your goal?”

Picture credits: entrepreneur.com

People who are setting out on their own often know what they want from life. While you may know who the other person is, it is important to know what makes them tick. Like Jonathan Mead from Playboy said, If you’re going to do business with anyone, you need to get clear on the why. Knowing where you’re going is great, but if you don’t know why you’re both going there, then you’re screwed. Always start with why, and let the circle expand from there.” Almost 32 % of CEOs say most of their partnerships failed because they did not do a thorough research about who their partners were. When you know what your partner’s goals are, you know how far they can go to achieve them. Make sure you understand everything about your future partner’s ideas, dreams and passions.

2. “What are you looking for from this partnership?”

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One of the primary reasons you are looking for someone with whom you can partner is because they have a different perspective on things. While you do need someone who is similar to you in most ways, you also need someone who can bring new ideas to the table. When you are looking for a new partner, understand the other person’s strengths and ask them for what they are looking from this partnership. Maybe you have the strengths they do not have. One of the primary things which you should consider before forming a partnership is, your potential partner and you have a shared goal. Your ideas and thought processes have to be aligned and you have to have see the same end goal together. Only if your ideas match, can you start working toward the bigger picture.

3. “How are you placed financially?”

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Financial stability is extremely important when it comes to entering a new business deal. Get a clear understanding about the kind of financial commitments your partner has and make sure you have a clear picture of how much they can put into the business. While it may be tough to ask this question upfront, it is extremely important to get to know these details from the very beginning.

4. “How much time can you put into the business?”

Picture credits: telegraph.co.uk

Business partners come in different forms. There are certain partners who are hands on and completely involved and there are others who are only part of the deal financially. In order to get clarity about your partnership, ask your partner for what kind of partnership your partner is looking. Moreover, apart from knowing the kind of partnership you are looking at having with your partner, it is important to know how much time they can put into the business. Whether it is full time or part time, getting clarity about these things is extremely vital. Asking this question in the beginning helps you avoid confusions later on during the journey.

5. “What is your long term plan?”

Picture credits: ncat.com

There are several reasons as to why people enter into a partnership. While some may be motivated money wise, others are pushed forward for different reasons. However, while they may enter the deal with a certain idea in mind, they almost always have an exit strategy in place. Make sure you ask the person for how long they want to be in the partnership and what they seem to get out of the deal. Talking about this will help you get a clear idea about not just the business you are getting into at this point, but during the later years as well!

When it comes to partnering with a new person, there are several things you can do in order to have a fruitful and long partnership. If you think we missed out on any other questions like these, 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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