Some Important Aspects Every Entrepreneur Should Consider

The Indian market has been booming since the emergence of Globalization. As the Government has stretched out its hands for helping the start-ups, the youngsters are becoming more inclined towards developing their own start-up. Youngsters today are more interested in starting their own business rather than working for MNCs.

As the journey is tough and the possibility of attaining success are lesser compared to other occupations, every youngster should be careful right from the beginning itself.

 Every youngster should draw a clear roadmap of future and should be ready for any kind of situation which they are likely to face sooner or later. To be secured and to ensure success, every entrepreneur should possess a few but very important skills. There are several skills which are considered as important and utilitarian. However, there are 5 top priorities which every entrepreneur should know.

Every entrepreneur should know at least one web development tool and one Programming language

Every entrepreneur needs a website for making the venture’s promotion successful. In today’s world, a website is considered as the face of the company.  If the websites are not user-friendly, the visitors will have a bad experience visiting them, which will result in making the venture’s promotion a disastrous. For example, to build an app or an eco-system it can be said that the entrepreneurs have to run after developers if they do not have the basic knowledge of developing them. The software developers may bargain and try to play the mind game with the entrepreneurs once they come to learn about their lack of basic knowledge on web development or programming. Besides, the entrepreneurs should know at least one programming language, which will help them in negotiating and dealing with the software developers.

While dealing with the web developers, I have realized that they always try to play the upper hand while negotiating with entrepreneurs. They have the tendency of grabbing the lion’s share of profit to be generated by the ventures on the plea that the entire project would only grow based on their coding skills.

My first developer asked for 25% of the company’s share but did nothing significant in 2 years in contributing to the development of the company. Due to his irresponsible nature of engagement, the launch of my product got delayed for about 3 years. As a result, I have lost the money which I had invested in advance to develop the system.

And most of the experienced developers may always deny signing any agreement while developing and building websites or software for the entrepreneurs. They may be working for other companies and therefore they officially cannot work for others except their employers.

An entrepreneur should choose his partners carefully. They should be trustworthy, and equally responsible. The relationship between entrepreneurs and his other partners should be based upon the mutual understanding. They should have a vast knowledge of those fields in which they will work for the venture and should add value to it.

The journey of the entrepreneurs cannot be considered as smooth. It is always tough. It can be a lonely journey. For a successful one, every entrepreneur needs a good team. A team which holds the aspiration to achieve the desired results. They should also be able to minimize the gap between the desired results and the actual results. However, over ambition may bring conflicts amongst the team members which may destroy and ruin the entire dynamics of the team and can play to be the biggest obstacle in achieving success.

My second developer was very knowledgeable, enthusiastic coder. However, his greed for monetary benefits halted the entire project. He started alluring me to take up outsourcing projects to earn more money rather than being patient on his entrusted tasks. He diverted his attention towards clients’ projects and when I got a client for him, he flew away with the client.

My next surprising experience was with a guy who wished to join me as the marketing head and at a certain point of time; he asked for the 50% share of the profit and argued that the entire venture would be successful because of his marketing skills.

“Dealing with such people who made unrealistic demands at the initial stage of any start-up is quite challenging.”

Entrepreneurs should never initiate a business which is completely dependent on funder’s money

The involvement of fundraisers may compel the entrepreneurs in losing their control over the ventures or project they wish to develop. There are possibilities that fundraisers may impose their plans and ideas over the entrepreneur’s, which may drive the venture in a different direction.

In recent times, we have seen several such examples in the market.

Every Entrepreneur should play with their own strength first

Every entrepreneur should know their own skills and expertise.  They can make up their ventures if they have the insights of the business model they are trying to make. It is always recommended to conduct enough market research before starting any ventures. Otherwise, it is quite easy to face setbacks and financial losses.

During the years 2000 to 2010 start-ups in the BPO industries were at their peak. Several entrepreneurs faced monetary losses due to the involvement of either middlemen or agents associated with outsourcing projects. Middlemen used to extort Entrepreneurs’ by taking up fronts for projects and other different ways. Apart from all these factors, the start-up ventures started to take up fake projects, which ultimately led to their failure financially. That heavily affected the BPO industries in those days.

“In business, the entrepreneurs should deal with those domains for which they will not have to be dependent on others.”

Learn to say “No”

Every entrepreneur should be expert in communication skill.  They should learn to say “No” without offending anyone. That “No” may make a lot of sense in a start-up business.

Learn More About HR Costs

Let’s face it: The cost of creating positive employee experiences quickly builds up and is often overwhelming — especially for small businesses.

For Matt Bentley, CEO of CanIRank, an SEO-ranking software company in San Francisco, finding that balance was crucial to employee retention. So, he implemented an employee-recognition system to improve company culture and allow team members to recognize co-workers’ achievements.

“We use Bonusly, a peer-to-peer bonus platform,” Bentley told me via email. “Employees give each other bonus points, then use their points to cash in on rewards or gifts at the end of each month. It’s fun and keeps morale high.”

Bonusly has also helped the company reduce the turnover rates of new hires, Bentley said. “In fact, we haven’t lost a single new staff member. Even though it costs the company more up-front, it helps to lower our HR expenses in the long run,” Bentley said.

With one cost-effective tool, in other words, Bentley has enhanced his company’s e employee experience and made a work environment where employees want to stay.

Engaging employees with a recognition system is just one way to provide a positive employee experience while containing HR costs. Here are four other ideas for keep your employee experience positive without breaking the bank:

1. Go paperless.

While businesses have gone digital in most aspects of daily operations, they may find it difficult to ditch that trusty pen and paper entirely. But, by critically analyzing the cost of current printing and paperwork, employers will find an opportunity to save.

Related: The ‘Whys’ of Why You Should Consider HR Software for Your Small Business

That’s exactly what David Reid, CEO and co-founder of EaseCentral, a benefits and HR solution company in San Francisco, did by focusing on digitalization. “By digitalizing the experience and using updated technology, we see savings across the board,” Reid told me. “Technology can certainly help augment administrative tasks for HR reps, decreasing costs and increasing overall efficiency.”

After integrating payroll into its employee-facing technology, EaseCentral saved both time and money by centralizing HR and benefits functionalities. This allowed the company to focus even more energy on employee engagement.

Tip: Use an HR platform, like EaseCentral or Zuman, which provides a centralized digital place to keep HR, benefits and payroll. With options like these, employers can eliminate paperwork and outdated processes, using cost-containing options.

2. Employee wellness

Many employers worry about the added expense of employee-wellness programs. But Mark Kushinsky, CEO of MaidPro, a house-cleaning and maid service in Boston, encourages employers to look at their greater team and company benefits.

“At first glance, I can see how one might not see how [wellness programs are] a necessity. However, not only does our wellness program encourage a healthy lifestyle, it also lends itself to a better work-life balance,” Kushinsky shared with me.

MaidPro’s employees are excited about their opportunity to immediately and consistently reap the rewards of the company’s wellness program, Kushinsky said. “On the corporate side, having happy and healthy employees has reduced our costs for employee recruitment, while also increasing our retention,” the CEO explained. “The wellness program costs less than having to recruit, hire and train new employees regularly.”

For example, when one of MaidPro’s employees started having serious back problems, she didn’t take time off for doctors and physical therapy. Instead, she went to a customized class at MaidPro’s headquarters.

“Not only did she have the support she needed from us, but also she was able to continue working during her recovery, which relieved stress for her and for us,” Kushinsky said.

Tip: Employee-wellness benefits come in all shapes and sizes. Before making a move, ask employees what they’re lacking or need in daily wellness measures. As employers implement benefits to help improve their teams’ health, everyone will begin to see employee experience and cost saving improvements.

3. Learning and development

Learning and development is a crucial element in creating engaged employees and positive experiences. Unfortunately, the costs of seminars, webinars and one-on-one trainings quickly add up.

Joyce Wilson-Sanford from Portland, Maine, a retired EVP of strategic organizational development at The Delhaize Group, a global food retailer, said she focused on making her small staff into experts. “I used people who stayed in their primary role to become expert trainers on various topics. Because I only asked for 20 percent of their time for the entire year, primary work didn’t suffer,” Wilson-Sanford said.

By keeping people in their primary roles, Wilson-Sanford’s program cut costs on learning and development and gave new hires an opportunity to dive deeper into the employee experience with superiors.

Explained Wilson-Sanford: “I also created self-managed learning groups.” Setting goals for each person and monitoring progress within these groups resulted in improved engagement in their primary roles, she said.

Tip: Find employees who are not only pros at what they do, but excel in bonding with co-workers. As new hires learn the ropes from an experienced co-worker, they’ll gain a better grasp of the company’s culture.

4. Benefits

The cost of benefits and perks can be too much for small companies. However, when the right benefits that are affordable and effective are chosen, they help attract and retain employees, lowering recruiting costs.

Kevin Busque, co-founder of TaskRabbit, and current CEO and co-founder of Guideline, a 401(k) company in Burlingame, Calif., said he believes benefits are most effective when HR gets younger employees involved.

“If we are spending the money to provide those benefits, we want employees to maximize the value from them,” Busque told me via email. “In the process of starting Guideline, I’ve learned one way to reduce costs without hurting your employee experience is to be super strategic with the benefits you offer and the partners you choose to work with.”

Tip: After establishing a budget that fits your company’s budget, create a survey to give employees a voice in benefit choices. Without increasing HR costs, leaders can enhance the employee experience by including them in the process

Some Money Habits That Could Cripple Your Business Over Time

No entrepreneur starts off a business with the intention of having it shut down in a few months’ time. But the reality remains that 50 percent of businesses fail within the first five years. On the flip side, there are lots of businesses that have gone well beyond the ten-year mark and are still doing well. One thing that these businesses have in common are the wise business success habits that smart owners live by.

There’s probably little surprise in the fact that those habits have to do with money and that how well your business will do over time has a lot to do with your money habits today.

That doesn’t mean those habits are formed early: Sadly, schools don’t really teach kids how they should handle their finances, and that’s why as adults we have problems in this area.

But if your business is doing well with sales and turnover yet your finances aren’t particularly encouraging, it’s pretty obvious that you are practicing the wrong money habits. Perhaps you’ve been doing so for years; but don’t lose hope. You can still make that U-turn to success. Here are those poor money habits and what to do about them:

1. Not having regard for “little money”

As a consumer goods entrepreneur, I’ve had to make some sales many times that were just above a dollar. At the time of the sales, I didn’t really regard those proceeds as “money.” But I usually got surprised when I added up all my income for the day and those dollar sales ended up constituting the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars I had.

Related: Five Common Financial Mistakes Startups Make- And How To Avoid Them

I had to learn that it is an aggregate of small sums that make huge sums.

Similarly, if you spend smaller denominations mindlessly because they are small, then: newsflash! You will not get very much built up in the long run and your business will have less and less access to actual working capital.

2. Not diversifying your business’s income stream

The average millionaire has at least seven streams of income, according to recent research. While it is true that focus is a big part of business success, many business owners have misinterpreted “focus” to mean running a solo business a certain way and trying something else.

Focus is not the same as being blind to opportunity. You can still be diverse within your area of expertise in the way you offer your service or goods and perhaps in your decision to offer allied products and services.

Diversifying is the most potent way to get a large market share and to subsequently raise income.

Disabusing yourself of the “focus myth” will open you up to observation, and consequently to a new world where opportunities can appear in any transaction and any conversation.

3. Not saving

This is supposed to be common sense, as saving is the most basic form of increasing the amount of money that you have. Sadly, though, very few people keep aside money for savings. Most people would rather give excuses. In fact, roughly half of Americans are saving less than 5 percent of their income.

When you’re running a business, you should commit to save some money no matter how much the sum. In my experience savings always come in handy, especially when an unexpected business opportunity comes knocking.

4. Not taking steps to reduce your credit card balances and debt

Business credit card usage usually has some risks attached. So it is not enough to decide to get a card; you equally need to learn how to use one responsibly. If you can, pay off those credit card debts as soon as possible and avoid using them so you can at least avoid the high interest rate they carry. You don’t have to pay off everything; just start with the smallest debts on your credit card bill, and work your way up consistently and without fail.

5. Not maximizing tax deductions and write-offs

There are certain legal avenues for tax relief as well as deductions available to you Not taking advantage of these things is unfair to your business. The sad truth is that many small business owners are unaware and unenlightened about how these deductions work and often feel that tax planning is a way to evade the system, or as some would say, “game the system.”

The truth is, it is perfectly legal and not even that complex to use tax deductions and write-offs to significantly reduce what you pay the government. How do you think large businesses with significant taxable assets survive? You may need to consult a tax professional to get guidance.

6. Not keeping yourself on a “salary”

You may not need to use the term “salary,” but the fact that you are a business owner does not mean you should treat all revenue as personal profit once you subtact your staff payments and capital expenses. Taking home regular pay at regular intervals is a way to show respect to your business