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Reasons Why Your Startup Needs An Incubator

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Business incubators have been gaining huge popularity in recent times because of the number of benefits they provide for startups.  From providing idea valuation and mentorship to finance, a business incubator can do it all to ensure your startup reaches its goal.  Keep reading to find out why your startup needs the hand of an incubator.

 

Reasons why your startup needs an incubator

 

1) An ideal environment

Business incubators provide you the perfect environment for work.  Being in the midst of other entrepreneurs and highly ambitious people will boost your morale and get you ready for work.  Here, you are away from all the distractions you may have if you work from home or other less professional environments. Sharing your ideas with other entrepreneurs and interacting with them on a daily basis could prove to be extremely rewarding for your startup.

 

2) Professional office space

An office space is something you will need but may not have in the initial stages of your startup.  Renting out a space for your office could be considered, but it is expensive. Business incubators provide you a professional office space with all the necessary office supplies for a far less amount.  This office space could be extremely useful for meetings with clients, investors, partners, or for interviewing people.  

 

3) Mentorship and networking

Having a mentor is extremely important for an aspiring entrepreneur.  Mentors themselves are successful entrepreneurs who have already been on the journey you are about to experience.  They can help you with several aspects of setting up a business. Finding an ideal mentor is a challenging task and an incubator can help you with just that.  An incubator is a medium through which mentors and mentees can meet. Apart from mentors, you also get to network with a plethora of other people like investors and capitalists, who can eventually form your professional network. 

 

4) Professional services

To launch your business successfully, you will need a variety of professional services.  From marketing experts, engineers, designers and accountants to professional coders—you may need them all.  A good business incubator will give you access to all these experts, who can ensure your business has a successful launch. 

 

5) Financial help

Lastly, an incubator can open doors to various funding opportunities for your startup.  Investors are usually keen to invest in incubated businesses. Incubators have partnerships with various angel investors, venture capitalists and banks.  Sometimes, an incubator itself can provide you seed funds to set up your business.  

 

When you get help and advice from business experts and professionals, the chances of you making mistakes reduces.  Studies show, 75 to 87 % of incubated businesses cross the 5 year mark. This means the success rate of incubated businesses is higher than others.  

Will you consider enrolling with an incubator?  Comment below and let us know.

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Traits To Look For In A Co Founder

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When starting a business, it is always better to have a co founder.  Finding a perfect co founder is a very important task, as your company’s future and fortune depends on that person.  Let’s discuss some specific traits one should look for in a co founder.

Traits to look for in a co-founder 

1) Complementary skills

Not all founders who start a business have all the skills required to transform the business into a success.  Hence, it’s always better to have a co founder who has the skills you lack. For example, if you are a programmer, it is a good idea to find a co founder who is good at marketing.  This way, one founder can work on creating the product while the other can work on selling the said product. Therefore, a partner who complements your skills is perfect for your startup.

2) Honesty

When it comes to business and handling a startup at a founder’s level, there are many ways to embezzle funds from the company.  Apart from money, there are many ways a person can violate ethics and rules which can damage the business permanently.  Hence, it is wise to find a partner who is one hundred percent honest and whom you can trust with every aspect of your business.

3) Shared passion

A co founder who is honest and has complementary skills is quite important.  However, another important trait your co founder should have is the same passion you have towards your startup.  It is important to find a co founder who understands your passion behind your company and shares the same vision towards the future of your startup.  It can be quite expensive to share a huge percentage of your company with someone who can lose interest in it quite easily.

4) Adaptive and flexible

Running a startup can be quite stressful.  One may commonly face many rough times in this field.  So, it is good to find a co founder who is comfortable with conflicts and can adapt to any kind of situation the company faces.  The co founder should also be flexible and be able to do anything required for the company at any given period of time.

5) A desire to learn

Lastly, the perfect co founder should always have an eagerness to learn new things.  People who excel in the field of entrepreneurship are the ones willing to learn. The desire to constantly improve is a strong skill, when it comes to the growth of the company in the right direction.

 

Starting a company can become difficult and having a co founder can make it less stressful. 

 

What other qualities are important in a co founder, according to you?  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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