Should your startup focus on profitability on the first year?

Unless you are starting a non-profit, the main idea behind start-ups is usually making money. This is why profitability should be in your top priories when studying the viability of your venture. However, what happens when you are so focused on profitability that you move too fast, only to find yourself failing in the long run?

Here are a few things all startups should think of before focusing on reaching profitability.

Your partners

Who you decide to do business with is one of the most important decision you will ever make. When you associate with someone, they represent you and you represent them, no matter what you do. When you start your business, take the time to truly think about who you want to take on this journey with you. Choose a business partner who shares the same vision as you, who have abilities that make up for you weaknesses (you complete each other) and with whom you feel very comfortable with. Do not be so focused on making profit right away that you fail to make decisions that will guarantee your stability in the long run.

Customer/supplier loyalty 

Loyalty is one of the key ingredients to a successful business.  If your customers are faithful to your brand, it will not only provide free publicity through word of mouth but it will also bring in more customers.  This is why you should focus on delivering great customer service. Yes people might get excited about your business at first because it’s new and they love the hype. However, the hype of the beginning does not last and i is not what it takes to create something sustainable. You must focus on the rate at which your customers come back to you for goods/services. Only then will you be sure of stable incomes. Customers are not the only people who’s loyalty should be important to you. It is also very important to develop strong relationships with your suppliers. You will get many advantages such as:

  • Lower costs
  • Outsourcing
  • Credit
  • Better quality control… and more

When you deal with the same suppliers  throughout the years, it benefits your business financially but also, your costumers will be able to trust you more as your products will respect the same quality standard.

Your target market’s buying power

If your target market’s buying power is low, it is important to think of a strategy that will help you bring the cash in. Or this might be a sign that you have targeted the wrong audience. It is important to let your product/service have a testing phase before making big moves. Doing so will give you time to adjust. Sometimes, the idea is good but does not fit the target market. Taking the time to do so will help you make your product even better so that it gets a higher chance to sell in the long run.

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Also read:

3 Ways to know you are ready to start your business

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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5 Lies all women entrepreneur should never believe

Having women in the workplace presents many benefits. However, when women are not empowered, can they truly reach their goals? When these women start falling under the false beliefs that they always have something to prove, that their opinion does not matter or that the whole world (especially men) is after them, it distracts them from reaching their full potential.

Here are a few lies women in business believe that keep them from being great


It is clear that society puts pressure on us (especially with many feminist movements) to prove ourselves all the time. We want to show the world that we are not weaker than men and oftentimes, we tend to take way too much on our shoulders. As women entrepreneur, it is important to learn how to let go and ask for help when necessary. It is impossible to get everything done on your own. It is not that you are not good enough but, by surrounding yourself with the right people, you will be able to build strong partnerships that will increase your business’s chances of reaching success. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help or to ask to be mentored. True strength is shown in your ability to recognize your weaknesses.



Many women are afraid even desire a family life while pursuing their career. As women, we have he right to be successful AND have a family. One does not exclude the other. It is important to stop believing the lie that having a baby or being a wife will make you less of a business woman. Whether you are employed and pregnant or thinking about enlarging your family, you need to know your rights and not allow anybody to make you believe false information. Being a woman with responsibilities at home might even make you a better leader, listener and organizer. Of course this is not the case for everybody but it does give you qualities that can be beneficial in the workplace.


Society has trained us to see people as competition. Whether it is in the workplace or on the market, women often see other women as competition instead of potential partners. This idea that every other woman is after you is false. If we learn to work together instead of against each other, we will become stronger and reach higher goals.


I have heard a saying once while reading Girl Boss By Sophia Amoruso. It said: “When a man takes control he is the boss. when a woman does, she is seen as being bossy.” It is a lie to think that you cannot voice your opinions because you fear what others will think of you. If you have been placed were you are for a purpose, it means that you are fully equipped to add value to the company you work for or the one you own. If you know an idea will benefit your team, do not keep it to yourself. You have the right to share your greatness with the world.


While it is a great thing to give it your all and challenge yourself, it is not a good thing to always feel like you have something to prove. Because women have been seen as “less then enough” for so long, I understand that you might feel like you need to push the limits all the time. However, this is only a source of distraction. When you believe the lie that you always need to be the best at everything, you fail giving your full attention to the things you were always meant to be doing. You start wanting to fed your ego more than you want to make a positive impact and truly feel fulfilled.

Liked this post? Also read:

How traveling will make you a better female entrepreneur

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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These 3 qualities will make it easier for managers to attain their goals

When it comes to reaching the set goals inside a company, managers have an important role to play. The manager has, not only the responsibility to supervise the results but to ensure that the team is headed in the right direction along the process.

There are 3 essential qualities a manager must have when it comes to managing the stress of reaching the desired goals: Set the proper environment for clear communication, take some distance and manage his/her emotions.



In order to truly be equipped to reach the company goals, it is important to understand the vision and everything that comes with it. It is not enough to set a goal and put it on paper during a meeting. It is mandatory for the team to have proper communication and truly understand the work that will need to be done by each member in order to reach these milestones. Creating an environment where dialogue is welcomed will increase the team’s general productivity. – First, make sure everybody is on the same page regarding why these goals are being set. Set up a timetable and allow each member to give their input. Leave a room for readjustments and negotiations. Remember you are a team and everybody is working together. This is why it is so important to be flexible and allow your team to adjust as they go. Setting goals requires a close study of collected data, your employees’ past experiences and a clear action plan. This strategy will make your team understand that they are an active part of the decision making and important tools for the machine. When employees are integrated in the decision process, it increases their sense of belonging, which will encourage them to put in more work as they feel they are truly a part of the company.



Once you have clearly identified what is feasible and what is not, you will easily develop a management style where you can take the necessary distances and let your team get the job done. Micromanagement has a way of demotivating the team and decreasing the chances of reaching proper results. It is important in this season to carefully listen to what your team has to say. To take a step back from telling them what to do and taking the time to see how they are applying the action points. In order to do so, it is crucial that you understand the space between what has been discussed and the reality and challenges that your team will face as they start taking action. Keep in mind that a good communication system will greatly facilitate you when it comes to taking your distances.



As a manger, it is important to learn when to let your emotions flow and when to separate yourself from them. In order to deal with the pressure and preserve the team spirit and motivation, managing your emotions is a quality you won’t be able to neglect as a manager. Managing your emotions will require that you trust in yourself and in your team’s capabilities. It is not always an easy task as you fall under the pressure of falling behind the deadlines and not reaching your goals. However, it is important to know how to manage this stress as it not only affects you but also the team working for/with you. Emotions are not an easy thing to manage. They often arise out of our control but if we learn to train ourselves to detect them, we will be able to control our thoughts and actions instead of letting our emotions control us.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Reasons your top candidate turned down your job offer

As a recruiter, you post jobs online in he hopes that qualified candidates will rush in, eager to fill in the position. However, it is like a slap in the face when your op candidate kindly declines your offer. As an employer, i is important to understand that your recruiting process is as important as your candidate’s survey and interview answers are to you. When it comes to finding the right candidate, here are a few mistakes hat could cause hem o refuse your offer:


Many times, job descriptions are unclear and fail to truly present the position as it truly is. In order to avoid these kinds of disappointments, it is important for recruiters to make sure hey write proper job descriptions. This means, presenting a detailed description of he tasks and responsibilities the candidates will have o fulfill, the working hours, he millstones ha should be reached and more.


Keep in mind hat work-life balance is one of the top things to consider when planing on hiring a new candidate. Employees, no matter how dedicated and hard-working they may be, will always have a life outside of the office. They have passions, hobbies and people they care about. It is important that you make sure that this position allows them to live this life outside of the office.

Related: 4 Best ways too juggle work and life



If a candidate is applying for this position, they are probably also applying elsewhere to maximize their chances of finding he perfect job. This means that they will find themselves comparing the benefits in order to pick the best option for them.


You either took too long to follow-up, did not offer an easy application process or simply provided a poorly detailed job description. Your recruiting process should make your candidates excited about the idea of working for you. Make sure you make it as easy and simple as possible.

Also read:

5 Tips recruiters can use to attract better candidates


Word of mouth goes a long way. If employees who have worked for you before or current employees keep giving negative feedback about your company or your way of doing business, it will definitely affect the way candidates feel about working for you.

As much as you might hate having your offer turned down, you should take he time to identify the reasons why it happened. As much as you will feel like taking his personally, don’t. Find ways to make the position more appealing to other great candidates and move on.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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When do you know you should decline a job offer?

Getting hired after a stressful interview is always a very satisfying feeling. What a joy to be selected among many other candidates for a position we want. As exciting as this might be, it is also important to ask ourselves some questions before accepting the offer. When it comes to your career, every detail counts. What seems appealing on paper, might not work so well in real life. Here are a few red flags to detect before accepting the job.



It is not necessary to have all the required skills when applying for a job. The most important thing is to be able to show that you are willing and able to learn fast, to be flexible and quickly become an added value to the company. Many candidates have been hired, not because they had all of the years of experience required in the job description, but because they were able to prove that they could acquire these skills as they worked. If you receive a job offer, it is important for you to make sure you will get the opportunity to learn these missing skills on the field. Some companies simply do not provide an environment where this is possible and easy. They lack the proper integration methods, they do not give the newbies time to assimilate everything, they do not plan a transition period. If so is the case at the company where you are planning to work, it might be a sign that you might think twice before accepting the offer. It does not matter if the company gives you enough training or not. If you do not perform well, it will always reflect negatively on YOU. Take the time to make your own researches about the company’s way of integrating new employees and the tools they make available for growth.



Great performance requires that you put in the necessary time and effort. However, it is also important to be realistic when it comes to accepting a job. How will it fit with your other activities, your personal life, health or else? It is necessary to put everything in a realistic, day to day context and see if it is the best option for you. Truth is, as appealing as the job might seem, if it starts colliding with other important things in your life, it will soon become a weight instead of a benefit. Make sure you have all the information you need about the work schedule, the vacation time and more. When you have a clear picture of how your life schedule will look like after accepting the job, then you will make a wiser decision.



When you accept a job, you become a member of the company. In other words, it is like wearing a sticker of the company on your forehead everywhere you go. If you do not agree with their values and way of doing things, you will not be comfortable representing them, which as a result will negatively impact your productivity and motivation. When you are proud of the company and what it stands for, you will become a better employee. Before accepting a job offer, make sure your values are in line with the company culture.



When considering a job at a certain company, it is important for you to be able to see growth opportunities. This is in fact a question you should ask during your job interview “How can I grow inside this company?” If you clearly see that there is no room for you to grow, it might be a sign that you will quickly get tired of your position and that you should look for better options.



If something doesn’t feel right, it probably simply isn’t. Sometimes, we cannot explain what comes from our gut feeling. If you do not feel comfortable accepting the offer, make some more researches about the company history, the people they have worked with and more.



That is a no brainer. If you get a better offer, do not accept the job because you were very interested before and now feel guilty to decline it. Remember to do what is best for you. However, also remember that the salary is not the only thing to consider when comparing two job offers. There are many other factors to consider. Take the time to analyze and see what is best for you in the long run.

Also read:

Before accepting the job offer


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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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Suffering from writer’s block? How can you overcome it?

Working in writing can be challenging. It requires patience, hard work and most importantly, inspiration. Writer’s block can happen any time and keep you from delivering your best work, or delivering any work at all. Writing, especially when working from home as a freelance can open the door to many distractions. How can you stay focused and inspired while developing your writing career and staying on top of your game?


Sometimes, the change needs to be from the inside in, instead of the inside out. We mostly get inspired by the things happening around us. If words are not flowing, it might be a sign that you need to change what you see and ear. Go work at a café, a quiet restaurant or anywhere you will be able to relax and focused. Some people like to work in nature because this is simply what works for them. Identify what works for you and immerse yourself in an environment that will help you squeeze all the good juice out.



Sometimes, all you need is a little break and some deep breath. Trying too hard is not always the best solution. The mind often needs to be empty in order to be refilled the right way. Taking breaks is actually a great way to feed your creativity and start on the right foot.


You need to be intentional about writing. Do not just expect the words to start flowing without you having to put in the work. Set up a time of the day where you feel most inspired (maybe at sunset or sunrise), sit down on your couch or behind your desk, put on some background music if you need to and start writing. The trick is not to treat your writing career as a part time job. You need to have a time where you intentionally decide to sit down and get the job done. Avoid exposing yourself to distractions such as your TV or kids if you have any. Go to your working room and focus.


Don’t know what to write about? Reading is your life savior! Reading has a way if opening your mind to so many things and inspire you to create something of your own. As a writer, I know that you must be careful when it comes to copyrights but reading from other others can truly help you get inspired and get fresh ideas. We do not create anything in life. We simply use what was already there in order to produce something better or simply different. The same thing goes for writing. When you get inspired from what others have already written, it will be easier for you to add your own twist and own ideas to create something great.



The key is to start somewhere. If you are unsure about what to write, simply put things down on paper, knowing nobody will ever read it. Writers often suffer from blockages because they worry about perfection. Knowing that you are starting just for you will give you the freedom to let the words flow until you find a sense of direction.



Sometimes, writers get blockages because they are trying to copy a style that is not theirs. Remember that, not because something looks nice, it means that you should go ahead and do it. It is important for your work to be authentic and trust me, readers can feel it when it is. Staying true to who you really are, will not only help you be more inspired but also will greatly impact the quality of what you deliver.


Looking for a job in writing? Search for the job of your dreams today on Shortstints

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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Ways volunteering will make you a better employee

In my opinion, every great employee needs to have served at some point. Serving humbles us and teaches us so many life lessons. You can serve through community work, interning, helping out and more.


Here are a few ways volunteering will make you a better employee:

Volunteering will teach you how to focus on the work first

Because you will know how it is to work for free, you will be more prone to focus on the job that needs to be done. Getting paid is important but the job becomes easier when you see past the paycheck. Volunteering will teach you to find a sense of purpose in what you do and this alone will make you a better employee


Volunteering humbles you

Volunteering will draw you closer to humanity. Working for those in needs will make you more compassionate. This will make you a better colleague and employee. It will help you see others before seeing yourself. You will learn to compromise, to listen and give the best of yourself.

Volunteering teaches you how to work in team

When you volunteer, you have to follow a team vision . This will come in handy when you will need to work with different bosses and colleagues. Team spirit is something everybody needs to develop in their work environment in order to become better employees.


Volunteering helps you adapt faster

By immersing yourself in new environments more frequently, volunteering will help you program your brain to adapt to new environments, people and cultures. The ability to learn quickly and to adapt is a quality many employers are looking for in candidates. Keep in mind that most recruiters want to lower their employee integration costs . The quicker you can adapt to your new environment and new ways of doing things, the better it will be.

It is a great way to network

By volunteering, you’ll build your network with other people who, just like you want to keep learning and making a positive impact. In the business world, whether you are an employer or an employee, it is important to build a strong network of people with whom you will be able to exchange ideas, the best ways of reaching your objectives and more. Staying inspired at all times is an ingredient that will help you become the best version of yourself as an employee.


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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Shortstints

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5 tips to be the best boss ever

Every boss wants to be respected by his employees. But being appreciated rather than just respected and feared is also important if you want to build on a strong foundation. Your employees are your most important asset and if they are not happy in your enterprise, the negative impact will be felt.

Here are 5 tips you can apply in order to be the best boss ever

Be clear about your expectations

Be clear from the beginning about what you are expecting. Do not try to be the cool boss while staying silent about things that are important to you. It is important for your employees to know what you are comfortable with and what you do not accept in your office. This will help avoid bad surprises and build a relationship of trust between you and your employees.

Plan meetings outside of the office

Planing meetings outside of the office will help your employees feel more relaxed. It is a great way to really get to learn more about their personalities. Many times, the office environment might make some employees feel nervous and put pressure on them to be a certain way. Allowing them to be who they really are will not only create a better work environment but also build stronger relationships between you and your staff.

Ask your employees what they are expecting from you

It is a no brainer to tell employees what is expected of them but it also very important for a boss to ask his/her employees what they are expecting from him/her. This will not only show the employees that their opinion matters but will also make them feel valued and appreciated. When an employee feels valued, he is more willing to give his best and go the extra mile.

Take the time to learn more about their personal life

And by this, we do not mean being nosy but simply making sure you know a little bit about their family and their hobbies. These employees will feel more comfortable telling you the truth when they need a day off to take their kids to a doctors appointment for example. Also, it will bring more conversations to the table! This is crucial if you want your employees to be comfortable around you and not feel awkward as soon as there is nothing left to be said about work.

Do not forget birthdays!

Forgetting birthdays is a big NO-NO.  Make sure your accountant puts some money aside to buy a cake and some balloons for employees birthdays. Celebrating your employees will bring them closer and create a sense of belonging to your enterprise. Put up a board with each name and their birth day so nobody forgets!


You will never be able to be the perfect boss to your employees but by applying these tips listed above, you will make sure you do your best to create an environment where employees feel valued and are not afraid to approach you.

Learn more tips today on Shortstints!

Ann-Sophie Ovile, writer, Shortstints

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How can you get your employees to learn faster?

Employee integration can be a tiring process for you and also for the newbie. It is all about finding a balance between getting them to be on track and on top of the game, and letting them learn at their own pace. Truth is, as an employer, you want your employee to learn as quickly as possible so they can start delivering results. Here are a few ways you can help your new hire learn faster:

Hiring someone who already matches your company’s culture will make it easier for them to blend in and catch up to the speed. It is important that new employees feel a part of the company’s mission, vision and way of functioning.

There are many things you can do to help your new hire feel integrated: Let your employees know a newbie is joining the team, create activities that will promote bonding, take them on a tour around each department…The more integrated he feels, the more he will be able to embrace all of the novelty that comes with joining a new company.

Find ways to empower your employees and make them feel valued and appreciated. It is all about showing them that you believe in their talents and aptitudes by pushing them to be the best version of themselves.\


How to build a strong team of employees

Take the time to clearly tell your employee what you are expecting from them. Being unsure brings confusion and lower self-esteem. When your employee knows exactly what is expected from him and what the company’s goals are, it will be easier for them to direct their efforts towards reaching these goals.

Employees love to feel like they are walking towards a goal, something better. Create clear incentives that will encourage them to make more efforts. When it comes to new hires, use goals and outcomes as the standard for performance reviews. Outcome-based reviews conducted regularly throughout the new employee’s transition can help keep him or her on track and focused on developing skills needed for the position

Most importantly, remember that each employee learns at his/her pace and needs a certain time to adapt and truly understand the way things work. Some employees will learn more quickly than others and that is OK. Just make sure you always provide a safe environment for the, to express how they feel, ask questions and grow.

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How can introverts get more involved in the office’s social life?

Being shy can be a handicap, especially in the workplace where colleagues tend to pair up easily. If you are not the type to approach people and be open, you might quickly find yourself eating lunch alone while others giggle and talk about how fun their week-end was. Work can be a fun experience when the environment is pleasant, and getting along with your coworkers is definitely something that will help you reach that goal. However, it is always easier said than done. As an introvert, it can be very hard to come out of your little bubble and reach out to people. These simple things will make it easier.



Take the time to observe so that you know each of your colleagues’ roles and responsibilities. Do not be so focused on your own little self that you never take the time to learn more about the ones around you. Ask questions about their tasks. This will, not only help you immerse yourself into the company culture and way of doing things, but it will also give you the opportunity to break the ice and start a conversation with your colleagues.



Share a little bit about yourself. Do not simply expect people to come to you and know you. It is up to you to make a little effort to share more. This does not mean that you should force yourself to approach people you do not feel naturally attracted to. However, it means that you should find occasions to help them know you more. For example, at lunch break, if your coworkers are talking about something you are passionate about, it could be a great opportunity to start bonding over this topic.



Get involved in your office’s activities. If they are planning a party for a coworker, get involved in the planning process. Go out to the supermarket with them to buy some food or order the cake. Get involved into meeting planning. It does not really matter what the activity is. The point is to make sure you can somehow participate in the day to day activities of the company.



I am not asking you to go to every possible happy hour but it is good to go out with your coworkers once in a while. It is a great way to bond and get to know them better. You might be surprised to realize that some people are every different outside of the office. They will be more relaxed and more themselves, which will help them communicate and bond better.


5 tips to survive as the newbie at work

Above all, remember that it is not about forcing yourself to magically become an extrovert. You can be an introvert and STILL be very comfortable and involved inside your company! It is all about being comfortable in your own skin and finding easy ways to express yourself better.



Learn more tips today on Shortstints!

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