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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Wondering if you are too young to start your own business? Here are a few steps to take before you jump.

 

Is there a perfect age to start your own business? How do you know you have acquired enough maturity? These are questions many go-getters ask themselves as they are thinking of taking the leap of faith and launching their startup. Truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect age. Each entrepreneur is different. Some start at 18 and others are not ready until they are 40.

But there are a few things you should think about before jumping

Make sure you have explored all the possible options

Make sure the decision to start your own business is not a fruit of your personal frustrations: not being able to express yourself at work, not finding a job you love… If this is the case, you might simply need to find a job that suits you better. Starting your own business should help you solve an issue that bothers you in your community, your country or the world. It is not a way of escape to your own personal issues and frustrations. If you do not feel comfortable working a 9-5, maybe working as a freelance could be a better option for you, or finding a career that allows you to work from home. The important thing is to make sure you have explored all the possible options and that you are sure that starting your own business is really what you have found to be best for you.

Make sure you have acquired enough experience

Making sure you have acquired enough experience doesn’t mean that you need to work 10 years before starting your business. However, having past experience allows us to better identify what we are good at and what we would rather die than do. It also helps us have a better understanding of the workplace, how to treat employees and more. Having some past experience also increases your chances of having the right contacts. There might be a boss you look up to, people who have been satisfied with your work in the past that can help you with launching your business idea and even mentor you through the process.

Make sure you are passionate about what you do

Make sure you are following your passion. Have you taken the time to study yourself? Sometimes, while we are young, we rush through life, only to discover later on that we took too many decisions based on the person we taught we would always be. Take the time to know yourself and make sure that the decision to start this business aligns with your vision in life, your purpose and long-term dreams.

Also Read:

5 things to do after graduation other than working full-time

Be willing to learn at all times

Being young, we might lack wisdom and think we know better. As passionate as you might be about your ideas, be willing to learn at all times. Do not rush the process and  do not be afraid to change your mind about certain things. The good thing about starting young is that you have more time to learn from your mistakes and start over. Be willing to make your own researches, to take classes if you need to and to ask for help. We can never be over-educated.

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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5 Questions to ask yourself before giving up on your startup

The road to success is not easy. When starting a business, you will experience setbacks and discouragement along the road but it is important to keep going with your eyes fixed on the prize.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when you feel like giving up:

Are you following your dreams?

Did you start this business with a purpose in mind? Is this purpose linked to the core of who you are? If you started this because you wanted to follow a dream deep inside you, then you should remind yourself of this when times get hard. List the reasons that motivated you to start in the first place, put them somewhere you can see them and read them every day.

Will it be worth it in the long run?

Sometimes, we are just too impatient when it comes to starting a business. We want quick results when we should really be focused on putting in the work and waiting patiently for harvest season which comes in due time. Even though you might not see quick results, the work might bear fruits in the long run. Ask yourself if you’ve given your business time to grow. Did you invest wisely in your startup? Do you see potential for the long run? If you do, then you should not give up. Instead, focus on the big picture.

Also Read:

How to start your business with very little money

Can you change your strategy?

Maybe you are doing something wrong. Do not be so focused on one way of doing things that you close your eyes to other possibilities. A businessmen needs to be flexible and open. The market changes, trends changes and sometimes, your idea might just need to use a different strategy to penetrate the market.

Have you given it your all?

Good things rarely come easy. Have you really given it your all? Are do you need to try one last time? Do you know how many times Thomas Edison felt discouraged before coming up with the electric light bulb? How many time Michael Jordan felt like a looser before becoming one of the world’s best basketball player? Sometimes, what it takes is just someone who refuses to give up.

Is it costing you your well-being?

If this is costing you your well-being, ask yourself what you could do differently to make the situation better. Maybe you need to delegate a little, or maybe you started too many things at once. It is important to have a work life balance even when starting your business. Yes, starting a business requires work but you also need to stay healthy in order to do the work!

RELATED: 3 THINGS TO DO WHEN NOBODY BELIEVES IN YOU

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints.

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7 lessons entrepreneurs can learn from the sitcom “2 Broke Girls”

Starting your own business can be challenging! Where to start? What to do? How can we guarantee success? Truth is, there is absolutely no formula but we sure can look around us and take advices from those who started before us. Who says ‘Challenge’ like this cupcake business from the sitcom “2 Broke Girls”?! Max and Caroline, through this sitcom have managed to show us what determination really looks like. As an entrepreneur, you will often find yourself sweating blood and tears before you reach your goals. Here are 6 lessons we can learn form these two go-getters.

Stay focused

Max and Caroline sure faced difficulties! The road has been anything but easy. They have experienced losses, setbacks and discouragement. However, despite all of these obstacles, they remained positive and focused on their goal. This is an attitude for winners. As an entrepreneur, you will inevitably experience setbacks but what matters is how you react to them and get back on your feet. do not unpack on your failures and throw a pity party. Instead, remind yourself of why you started.

Think outside the box

These two girls always tried their best to find new ways of doing something basic: Selling cupcakes. Even when competition threatened their business, which is inevitable in the business world, they focused on innovation in order to propose something new and attractive! As an entrepreneur, you will need to be flexible and respond to the market’s changing needs and wants. Plus, they seized every possible opportunity to find new clients. Whether it was this lady they were babysitting for or other important personalities, they never for intimidated and always took a chance!

Don’t get discouraged by humble beginnings

Beginnings can be tough! Beginnings will test how much you really want it. If there is something we can learn from Max and Caroline, it is to never get discouraged because of our humble beginnings. On the contrary, we need to keep dreaming big and keep our eyes on the prize.

Find yourself a great partner

Despite Max’s pessimism, Caroline always found ways to encourage her and make her believe in herself. even though they are two different individuals, with unique abilities, they have managed to complete each other and pushed each other to be the best version of themselves.As an entrepreneur, you will need to find that partner who will motivate you and walk with you in the direction of your dreams.

Embrace the detours

The road to success is rarely a straight line. Max and Caroline found ways to find the beauty in the detours. As an entrepreneur, you will experience detours, curves and everything in between. How do you respond to them? It is important to embrace every step of the journey and make the most out of them.

Have a support system

As an entrepreneur, having a support system can make a world of difference. Thanks to their support system, Max and Caroline have been able to stay positive through it all. Your family, your friends and colleagues can become your most loyal clients!

Have fun

Having fun along the way is a must. Learn to laugh at your failures. Have fun with your partner and create memories along the way.  What is the use to reach success if you do not any good memories along the way? Find ways to make the job fun. Live, laugh, love. Life is better when we have fun with it.

 

The journey to success can be a long road but do not get discouraged. with some motivation, a good attitude and the right environment, you can make great things happen.

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Thinking about upsizing your business? 3 steps to take before hiring new employees

 

Upsizing is an inevitable phase of a growing business. Growing should be a part of your business strategy, no matter which sector you are operating in. Therefore, there must be a system in place to ensure that you are able to expand with the strict minimum on activity interruption.

There are many reasons to upsize – You could find yourself needing more staff to match your growing demand or when you are no longer in the launch phase and decide to hire the number of employees you really need…

As your business grows, you will have to create more roles for your staff to be able to fulfill the different responsibilities. You will need to post a job on websites like Shortstints, or even partner with temp agencies.

What are the necessary steps to take when you are thinking about hiring new employees?

Identify the areas you want to expand

Take the time to identify the areas where you want to expand. Do you want your sales to double? Is your goal to acquire 40% more clients this year? Are you going to move to a bigger office? It is important to understand that, not all areas of your business need to grow all at once. By identifying the areas you actually need to expand, you will be in a better position for the next step: Evaluating the needs.

Take the time to evaluate the needs

As your business expands, it is necessary for your team to seat down and evaluate the direct impacts of this growth. Will you need more sales representants? Will it require more marketing? Will you need a new web designer to change the face of the company? Will you need more writers or another accountant? – As you answer these different questions, it will be easy for you to see which roles will be needed. Write down clear job descriptions for each role so you have a clear idea of the skills and experience that will be needed by each candidate. Doing this will also facilitate the recruiting process as you will increase your chances of hiring the right people.

Analyze your budget

It is not enough to know which new roles will be added, it is also important to know what your budget allows you to do and what you cannot do. Take the time to talk to your accountant about the business growth and how it will affect your numbers. This will allow you to evaluate who you will hire full-time and who you will hire as a freelance. Of course, hiring a full-time employee comes with the benefit of security but not all employees need to be in the office 7 days a week from 9 to 5. Some can even work from home and show up once in a while for meetings. By taking the time to do so, you will save yourself a lot of money. Consider hiring freelancers, interns and contractors, especially for creative projects. Not only do they cost less money but they don’t come with any extra expenses such as annual leave entitlements, superannuation and holiday pay.

 

ALSO READ:

When do you know you need to hire

 

Upsizing does not have to be a headache if you do it right and plan properly. Shortstints helps recruiters and job seekers find exactly what they need. Post a job for FREE today and find the right candidates for you!

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Tips to nail your elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. They should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. They also need to explain what makes you, or your organization, product, or idea unique. The goal is not to talk for a long period of time but rather, to present your cleared and detailed idea in a short period of time. The main idea behind this is that many entrepreneurs, investors and sponsors do not have a lot of time in hand. It is important to be able to make the most out of the time they give you and convince them that your business idea is worth listening to.

Here are a few tricks you can use to nail your elevator pitch.

Use an attention-getter

Add an interesting fact or stat to use at the beginning of your speech. Your goal is to immediately engage someone so that he or she is intrigued and wants to learn more. Make it short an simple so that you can go straight to the point of your presentation.

Use the WHY method

If you watch TED TALKS I suggest you watch Simon Sinek’s video on why we should always start our pitch with our WHY. As Sinek explained, many entrepreneur can tell you what they do, how they do it but very few will say WHY they do it. The goal of presenting your idea is to convince people of the sole purpose and deeper goal lying behind WHAT you do. Truth is, no matter how cool what you do seems, people are mostly interested in the reason behind it all. How did it all start? What was the motivation to make the first step? What problem is your idea resolving? When you have a WHY, then what you do has a reason to exist.

Engage with questions

The point of this is not to actually conduct a questionnaire but rather, to make your audience think. You might be presenting s solution to a problem they have never even thought of before. It is important to insert short and strategic questions that will help them align their thoughts and idea in the direction you want to take them.

Set up a draft

Put your ideas on paper. This will give you a clearer idea of the order you want to use to present, identify examples and illustrations you could use to back up your ideas. The draft will help you get a clear map so that you can ordain your ideas.

Practice

Take the time to monitor yourself. If you realize that your pitch is too long, make sure you review your main ideas and eliminate things that are not really necessary. Videotape yourself, observe your gestures, your posture and your pronunciation. This will help you identify repetitions, things that are not relevant yo your pitch and things that you should absolutely add.

Take the time to craft your elevator pitch. There are Online tools available for you that will provide clear and practical examples on how to go about writing your pitch.

Also learn more about how to cope with your fear of speaking in public here!

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Becoming a silent partner in a new business: How

A silent partner in a business is an individual who invests capital in a business in exchange for a share in the profits (or loss) of that business.

 

Becoming a silent partner in a business allows you to set it without having to worry about it. – You might have identified ways to help a business strive by bringing them the right clients, the right technical assistance or just something that will make a huge difference in the business without you having to be stuck there but still receiving money from their profits!

You might not have a direct say in the way the company operates but it sure gives you advantages:

  • Passive income : You earn profit on your small investment when the business makes profit. The % you get will depend on the kind of arrangement you made with your partner.

 

  • Less responsibility : Startups usually require a lot of work. While active partners will often work long hours under a lot of stress, a silent partner suffer from way less pressure as he is not involved in the day to day activities of the company.

 

  • Less risky investments : A silent partner risks way less when investing in a business. While active partners have more pressures to understand exactly how the business is functioning, a silent partner is way less concerned with the day to day tasks and projections. Of course, he understands that his paycheck depends on the success of the company so he will make sure he does his part. However, a silent partner is probably juggling multiple sources of income and will be more relaxed in times of trouble.( which can become an issue depending on the relationship the active and silent partners have developed)

 

Becoming a silent partner can turn out to be an excellent investment if the concerned individuals take some time to do their research and think things through. Understand that not every silent partnership turns out as expected. Ending a partnership might even cost money and clients to the company. Just keep this in mind as you make your way through this path.

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Crowdfunding: Pros and Cons

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount.

Although crowdfunding has its challenges, it is a great way for small businesses struggling to stay afloat, to showcase their business and projects to the entire world.

Advantages

  1. It is free marketing as it allows you to pitch your project or current business through the platform.
  2. Sharing your idea to experts is a great way to receive valuable feedback, ideas and even find a mentor.
  3. It gives you a chance to find funds with no upfront fees.
  4. It allows you to test their reaction towards your product or service
  5. It is a great way to get customers! People might not directly fund your project because they realize that all you need is a little boost. They will gladly become, or send you customers! And sometimes, it can be just what you needed.
  6. It is a great alternative for those who have been unsuccesful with traditional funding.

Disadvantages

  1. More risk for your business reputation. When an investor decides to finance your business through crowdfunding, it is because he/she sees a potential in you and your idea. Not being able to fulfill your targeted objectives has to potential to have negative effects on your business because it will change the way people who believed in you now perceive your project.
  2. It might require more work than traditional funding. There is a lot of work to be done so you can make your project appealing to potential funders
  3. More pressure to protect yourself. Crowdfunding exposes your idea to so many people dying to find a good projects and make their way on the entrepreneurship path. If you are not well protected (copyright etc…) you might have to deal with copycats.

 

Keep in mind that there are still ways to Start your business with very little money . Crowdfunding might not be the best option for all entrepreneurs and that is more than ok. Take the time to analyze and see what you can personally do to start right.

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3 common mistakes new entrepreneurs make

Starting the journey to entrepreneurship can be exciting. Often, entrepreneurs get carried away by the joy of seeing their vision come to life, working under their own terms or signing their own pay-checks.  However, there are common mistakes that entrepreneurs should be aware of.

RELATED: 5 reasons why startups fail

Moving too fast

Moving too fast may cause entrepreneurs to fall quicker than the time it took them to take off and fly. When you start a business, there is a time frame for everything. Some things cannot be started before the business is mature enough or before you have a team that is big enough. Take the time to let your business grow and evolve.

Expecting too much from new customers

Customers need time to develop a relationship of trust with your brand. Expecting quick customer acquisition or loyalty will cause unnecessary frustration. Take the time to develop your brand, your services, your image before you see progress in your customer database.

Spending too much

Spending too much money at first will cause your business to stumble. Make sure you analyze your goals before investing. Do you really need to rent an office now or can you start by using your basement? Do you really need to hire 5 people now, or can you start with 2 people until your cashflow reached the objectives? These are all useful questions that will keep you from spending too much money.  RELATED: How to start your business with very little money

 

Success is not made overnight. It takes time, perseverance and sweat. Be patient and ask for advice. Slowly but surely Good things come to those who do not give up.

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Top 3 cities to start a business

Starting a business requires good preparation. You need to think about the finances, culture, the cost of living and so much more.

Here are what we think are the top 3 cities to start your business:

RELATED: TOP 9 CITIES WITH A COL BELOW 100

San Diego, CA

Many people have been leaving the Bay Area to move to San Diego. San Diego is home to the fifth-bets rated business community in the country. With more than 400 startups launched annually for the last two years, San Diego County now ranks in the top 10 metro areas nationally for startups and fourth statewide. Google Maps Bay Area companies are attracted to the San Diego region because of the strong Millennial labor pool, comparatively lower office rent growth (9% less), lower cost of living and great quality of life. an Diego region is No. 4 nationally for venture capital per capita.

Denver, CO

U.S. News & World Report recently named Denver the best place to live in America, beating out hyped-up cities like Austin and Portland. A counterpart to the boom in restaurants, craft breweries continue to pop up all over Denver. The flood of new spots helped the state’s craft beer industry add $1.15 billion to the Colorado’s economy in 2014. The state ranks third in nation for number of breweries with nearly 300 in operation. From a strong job market and low unemployment rate to a thriving restaurant scene, Denver has become a cultural hub. At $53,060 per year, Denver’s average annual salary sits higher than the national average of $47,230. Denver’s unemployment rate also beats the national average. Only 3.1% of Denver residents are unemployed, compared to 4.9% of all US citizens.

Austin, TX

Austin scored No. 1 in the CNBC Metro 20: America’s Best Places to Start a Business. The ranking looks at how cities fair in categories such as environment for small-business success, the cost of doing business, quality of life, labor force and diversity. With a population of 885,400, this city in central Texas punches outside of its weight class when it comes to entrepreneurship, leading the pack in areas such as its labor force, the net company creation rate and speed of population growth. Starting a business in Austin, however, does come at a cost. The city’s lack of affordable office space, high labor costs, and high corporate taxes land it a dismal No. 118 ranking in the final category.

 

LOOKING FOR A SHORT TERM OR TEMPORARY JOB IN THE CITIES LISTED ABOVE? SEARCH HERE! 

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