Essential Things For The Success Of An Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur should be prepared to face all the odds that come their way. They should have all the necessary resources, items, and connections in their arsenal to succeed in their entrepreneurship journey.  We recommend including the following:

Enlisted Goals

Lack of direction can have a serious adverse impact on an entrepreneur’s career. When you lose the sense of the direction you are heading to, you will find it difficult to carry out intentional and disciplined acts that promise high returns and ensure productivity.

In what ways can you maintain a sense of direction? The easiest way is to establish a list of goals, document it, and keep it with you all the time.

Small Business Loans

Life seems to be unpredictable. It isn’t surprising to see someone earning five to six figures in a month go bankrupt overnight. The success and failure of some businesses can be greatly influenced by minor changes in the Google search algorithm or the changes made by Facebook in the way they rank content. These risks are unavoidable, and you have to handle them somehow.

A business line of credit refers to small business loans that can help you handle some risks that are in no way in your control. If your revenue temporarily exhausts due to some reason or you need to infuse capital into something quickly, a business line of credit will be of help.

Disability Insurance

Consider spending money on insurance as the last of all options. You may instead spend money on something that has a direct impact on your growth and revenue. Justifying these actions is quite easy. But you cannot disregard the importance of contingency planning.

Life takes some unexpected turns and you would never want to face a situation where you struggle to provide for your family. Securing a special disability insurance policy for self-employed workers will help you at times when you are not able to work.

Supportive Peers

Entrepreneurship isn’t for people who struggle to handle criticism and insults. You will not be able to survive over the long haul if you do not have serious courage and endurance. But it isn’t easy to manage everything on your own and this is why you require a supportive group of peers.

Every entrepreneur should have a group of three to five fellow entrepreneurs from whom they can have accountability, support, and encouragement. These people will be able to understand the situation you are going through and will give the right guidance with clarity.

Guide

A guide or mentor serves a purpose different from that served by a group of peers. Every entrepreneur requires a mentor as well as a support group of peers.

A mentor is someone who once has been in the place where you are now and then went on to achieve bigger goals. They can understand the situation and also offer insights that your peers can’t give. The mentors have tasted success and failure and know the ways to boost your growth.

A Journal

There will be way too much information spinning in your head in the form of ideas, appointments, aspirations, innovation, marketing, and more. Keeping a physical notebook with you all the time is one way to exert control over this endless flow of information.  Every time a new thought pops up in your mind, write it down. At the end of the day, you can read all of those notes and delegate, schedule, or set them aside.

If you are in search of a more systematic approach, you can try bullet journaling. The system allows you to have ongoing notes to keep your mind clear and stops you from forgetting the important responsibilities and jobs.

Some Important Numbers Of The Speed Dial

Few would be using the speed dial now, but as an entrepreneur, you should have easy access to some contacts in your phone. They include:

  • Notary
  • Lawyer
  • CPA
  • Mentor
  • Insurance agent

There may be other essential names to be added to the list. It all depends on the type of business and your skillset. The whole point of this is to be prepared to face anything that comes your way. You might not be calling these individuals on a regular basis, but when you need them you should somehow get in touch with them.

The list discussed here can be treated as a good starting point, but it won’t necessarily serve all the needs of the entrepreneur. Taking time to decide the items that you should add to your toolkit is worth it.

Launching A Tech Startup In 2020? Know About The Key Factors To Consider

Launch of a tech startup calls for a celebration for all the people involved, as the startup would definitely be the result of a long duration of hard work and planning. Launching a tech startup in 2020 is challenging than ever as the whole world is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence you cannot simply just hurry off into launching your tech startup without studying the current market situation and possible challenges.

Here are some of the factors that you have to consider in order to launch a tech startup in 2020.

Building The Right Team

The primary idea of the startup might be yours but that does not mean that you can do it all on your own. You would need an efficient team if you want to see your dream come true. At times, you may be tempted to head off alone, but realize that it is going to be a daunting task and that you may find it extremely tough.

Your team members including the co-founder and the development crew must work according to your vision, all while making their own contributions to the project. The right team resembles multiple moving parts of a machine that work towards a common goal. As all of them are on the same page, they will have a clear understanding of the deadlines that should be met and milestones to be covered in order to make a successful launch.

In order to work as a team, you need an efficient structure that keeps things moving forward. There should be a formal business plan and efficient project management tools.

Time

After all, it is a tech startup that you are going to launch and it is not going to happen overnight because it requires adequate planning and testing. It is advisable that you start small and give time for your idea to evolve gradually. That does not mean that your team should not go for bold moves. You should have the willingness to adapt to the changing industrial environment, innovations in technology, and growing demands.

Start with a technology that addresses a specific problem without stressing yourself out trying to develop something that addresses a wide range of problems. User Experience plays a crucial role in deciding the success of your app. Consider the UX before starting to write the code.

Realize that key parts of your business will fall into place only if you are ready to wait patiently. Take for instance the case of HookedUp that started in 2018 as an online project idea and later evolved into an app. It is through the advancements in design, it transformed into a social networking app. Have an open mind and wait for your original idea to develop into something different and more advanced.

Financial Support

Strong financial backing is quintessential in launching an app in 2020. You will need competitive and expert coders and developers who can produce a streamlined app with a smooth user interface. This would mean that you have to invest quite a sum in human capital.

There are multiple ways available for raising capital like using an equity crowdfunding platform, SBA loans, angel investors, or your friends and family. You will need money not just to launch the initial form of your startup but also to progress to the next step.

Staying Updated

Technology never stays stagnant. Instead, it changes continuously where new ideas take shape with changing demands. Every day new tools and platforms are being introduced into the market. Studying the pace and volume of these changes is crucial for the successful launch of a startup.

It is necessary that you catch up with the latest technology to decide whether or not to include it in your platform. It means that you have to invest a significant part of your time and effort in research and development. You have to find the right balance between the expectations and the functionalities that you can offer. The ideal team constantly keeps track of the technological advancements, all while focusing on the key tasks that should be completed in a time-bound manner.

Strategic Steps to Help Entrepreneurs Mitigate Risks

All entrepreneurs are natural risk-takers in one way or another because they have decided to step out of their comfort zones and invest in their own idea. It takes a lot to build a venture and get it going even when the results are not in your favor. Having confidence in your ideas and business plan alone is not enough though. You need to have a strategic approach to manage risks as well.

You should keep looking for different ways to alleviate business risks, so that you do not leave everything that you have achieved in danger. Below are some steps that you can take to boost security and mitigate risk.

Evaluate the Most Common Risks

The best approach to strategic risk management starts with identifying the common risks that could threaten your business operations. This should apply to the current risks as well as future risks. Evaluate such known risks and see which of the internal and external risks can be managed effectively. This may include eliminating or reducing the risks or transferring or accepting the risks with robust plans that could lessen its negative effects. Understand what will be affected if you proceed with your plans and then figure out which risks you should tackle and how.

You may come across many types of potential risks, a lot of which may be specific to your business and industry. For instance, consider the physical risks like building collapse, health, and safety concerns or injuries from toxic chemicals or falling objects. Then there are environmental risks like natural disasters and instability of political and economic conditions in the international markets.

You should consider the strategic risks too such as competitors in the industry, compliance issues, new regulations, and laws that could affect your business. Moreover, there are always financial risks like increased costs of goods, non-payments from customers, vendor disagreements, and high charges on business loans, as well as operational risks like theft and equipment failure.

Plan How to Manage the Risk

You should create a good plan to manage the risk so that you can alleviate the negative consequences around it. For instance, your risk management plan should allow you to navigate the risk well. This means assessing the current and potential market, performing a SWOT analysis, researching your competitors and consumers, understanding present and imminent regulations, planning sales and marketing approaches, and working on your financial plans. All of this will come handy to determine the steps that you will need to take to deal with the risks efficiently.

In addition, you should also draft a specific emergency plan for your risk management approaches. This should address all the likely internal as well as external emergencies that could arise when you carry out your risk mitigation strategies as well as detail what your core team members and managers should do in case something goes wrong. Have the steps documented in order and specify which person will be responsible for what action. If possible, add an expected timeline in the emergency plan as well.

You can also have a preparedness checklist for better implementation of your risk management plans. This should include details of all the procedures or items that are required before, during, as well as after a crisis. For instance, you can include things like informational records, training, first-aid equipment, emergency contact information, details of an evacuation site, data backup measures, etc., in the checklist.

Take the Right Measures to Minimize Risks

It is evident that you cannot avoid all kinds of risks when you run a business. Yet again, you can take some measures to minimize the probability of negative results and issues arising due to the risk. For instance, you should focus on creating a safe working environment for your employees. That workspace should be well maintained, clean, and tidy, and located in a safe neighborhood. 

You should also instruct your employees on the things that they should do to stay safe and keep others around them safe as well, such as organizing items properly, using the appropriate safety gear, etc. Training your staff members on what to do in case of an emergency will also help.

Have strict procedures for handling and transporting potentially dangerous goods securely and make sure that your employees use adequate packaging as well as a quality shock recorder in order to protect the items from damages when in transit. You should also have strict policies to alert employees of the potential risks in case the hazardous goods become unstable during transit.

To manage financial risks, you should maintain all the records properly and keep an eye on the cash flow. This will help you avoid any unexpected lack of resources and manage operations when the number of receivable bills starts piling up. Consult with your financial advisors, lenders, and accountants as necessary to stay informed on the related matters and think ahead. It is also a good idea to diversify your income wherever possible.

Seeking the advice of experts to reduce the chances of risks related to your business will also pay off. This is especially beneficial to understand the risks in regulatory, security, and environmental matters.

Secrets of the Most Productive Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs know that running a business is not a piece of cake. The company needs to be as productive as possible for the business to move in the right direction. Rather than going through many months of trial and error, you can always take clues from the productive business entrepreneurs out there. Here are a few tips on how you can boost the productivity of your business.

Reserve Time for High Value Activities       

Most entrepreneurs tend to adjust their schedules to fit their duties and responsibilities. You might have noticed yourself getting interrupted by a phone call after working for just five minutes on a project. Most of the businesspeople out there are unable to focus on a single project long enough to offer extraordinary value, which is an important factor for the success of any business. You will need time to think, plan, make and execute the important items and for this, you need to reserve 30 minutes to 2 hours at a stretch to focus on the much important activities.

Pro Tip: Dedicate a block of 2 to 4 hours a day, per week for the maximum priority and value business activities. You can add this to your calendar and consider it like the other important appointments.

Trim the To-Do List

Most entrepreneurs out there handle many responsibilities, at least during the starting phase of their business. However, this is not a great way to scale a company. It’s important for the entrepreneurs to direct their attention to the things that matter the most. Instead of committing to do everything, entrepreneurs should do fewer things and concentrate on the things that are of high value. In addition, they can set up processes and systems to delegate or automate the tasks. This can help prevent getting bogged by things that aren’t as important and do not generate much value.

Pro Tip: As a businessman, you can make a “stop doing” list that can help you identify the things on which you should not waste your time and focus. After making the list, you can decide to delegate them, avoid them, defer to a later date, or set up systems that can prevent these activities from coming up in the future.

Get Good Sleep

The fast pace of our lives makes us think that we need to be hustling round the clock to be successful. For this reason, many entrepreneurs out there are not getting enough sleep to stay at the top of the business. However, getting enough quality sleep is very much important to promote proper brain function. Getting quality sleep can help us stay focused and sharp throughout the day. A good night’s sleep can support brain health in the following ways.

  • Help brain to perform faster and accurately.
  • Allow brain to easily process and categorize new information.
  • Helps body and brain to get rid of harmful toxins that might have accumulated in the body during the day.
  • Allow brain to store new memories and make connections boosting creativity.
  • Control and regulate hormones affecting body weight and appetite, allowing you to avoid brain fog and stay healthy.

Pro Tip: Most entrepreneurs have issues getting a good night’s sleep due to stress. To counter this, you should create a bedtime routine that is calming and relaxing. You may also make your bedroom much comfortable, and limit screen time before bedtime to have a good quality sleep.

Limit Work Hours

This can sound counter-intuitive; however, you need to find time to get away from the daily hectic schedule and recharge yourself. Otherwise, you won’t be able to come up with new ideas and perspectives for your business. When you have a hard stop at the end of every business day, you will be able to focus your time you spend to make maximum business profit. Moreover, when you leave the work at your office, you will be able to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy life. This can also recharge you to perform better in your office.

Pro Tip: You need to be intentional about your time and for this, you can put a hard stop on weekly work hours. In addition, you can commit to taking a vacation to help you rejuvenate and recharge.

Getting Your Company Off the Ground

It might be very much exciting and daunting for you when you launch your own business. As an entrepreneur trying to get his/her business off the ground, you will have to do your part on unappealing work; however, it will be worth it in the long run. Here are a few steps you can take to help you get your business off the ground and running.

Love What You Do

It is never an easy task to get a business up and running, but if you are very much passionate about your business, you are surely going to achieve great success. This is the reason it’s important for you to launch a business that lets you do what you love. As per the business experts, most of the business people spend more than half of a day working. Therefore, it is important that you love what you are doing in order to grow your business.

Pay Attention to Details

While starting a business, you will have to do much more than offering great products and services. First things first, you will need to write down a business plan explaining why you care, finding the purpose of the plan, and documenting all the aspects in order to offer an understanding of your plans and the way to operate it. In addition, it can improve your chances of raising funding for your business. You will obviously need money to fund your startup so never let money stand in between you and your business dreams.

If you are wishing to start your own business, but do not have the funding, you can still work on getting it off the ground. You can always visit your local bank to find out your available funding options, seek help from friends and family, or secure your funds from angel investors, venture capitalists or crowdfunding. Moreover, understand there are numerous ways to get a business loan, even with bad credit, no credit or bankruptcies. You’ll need to have a full understanding of the market and to develop a powerful and influential message. Understand your strengths and skills, and surround yourself with mentors and advisors, who can always extend the necessary help and support.

Know the Legalities

You’ll also need to seek the help and advice of an attorney who is experienced with handling business matters. Also, choose a business name that is not too similar to any other business names. An attorney will be able to make the necessary documents that are needed to set up a federal tax ID and apply for LLC.

Insure Your Business

Make sure to buy insurance to protect your company from theft, vandalism, accident liability, fire, etc. Always find time to research and understand insurance plans for you and your team. You need to decide whether to offer insurance to your staff or wait until your company gets a little older. Also, do not forget to start a checking and savings account for your business.

Have Fun

Make sure to have fun with your employees along the way even though you have many important things to do. There are many challenges to entrepreneurs, like the uncertainty feeling while embarking into unknown terrains, and the stress of managing everything. However, in between all these challenges, make sure to cultivate a work environment that motivates your team members and keeps them happy. You can consider team outings and other bond forming events. Business experts claim that an engaging and funny environment will help strengthen your business team.

Consider Customer Satisfaction Important

You need to find out what or who your competition is. This can help you figure out ways to deliver a more emotional connection with your customers. Experts claim that if you are able to make your customers happy, you can make them supporters for a lifetime. It is the loyalty of the customers that leads to business longevity.

A business plan and a product idea are great ways to embark on the journey of starting a new business. However, do not stop there. Make sure to incorporate the above tips in order to finish the required tasks and get your business up and running in no time.

How to Scale Your Company to Make More Money?

It is every entrepreneur’s dream to grow their company, to make their services or products available to all people. To grow a company, you need to scale it to accommodate and support all the new users and orders. However, scaling needs a good set of skills and concrete plans in place.

You might have noticed many teams fail while scaling due to the absence of a good plan in place. If you are planning to scale your business in a productive and sustainable way, it is important for you to have a strong capability and capacity. Below are a few ways you can take into consideration when designing a strong infrastructure of system and people to allow evolution and scalability in your business.

Always Start with the Right Team

It is always important to have an initial core team before starting any scaling processes. You need to have remarkable employees to build the company of your dreams. Ensure that you have brilliant people, who can represent different things such as the various department leaders. Make sure that the core team of your business encompasses people who are ready for the long haul. As your business grows, the roles will become more and more specialized and your team members should be able to keep up with the changes.

Assign Necessary Time

All businesses will be motivated to continue their growth. However, planning to scale very early can devastate your business if you do not have any methods in place to help avoid confusion. Like all engineering problems, starting with a complex structure or system while planning to build will lead to failure. The architecture should be solid and straightforward and be able to support much more complex systems. There are many examples where growth has caused a company to fail. For example, businesses hire new employees to support new users but might not have the financial stability to support them. This can lead to confusion, resulting in faltering support and service, inefficiency, and miscommunications, eventually leading to the failure of the system.

Make Use of the Global Tech Talent

There can be numerous reasons for why you hire global tech talent to help you with the process of scaling your company. One of them is cost efficiency. Additionally, it has become more efficient to hire developers who can help with implementing replicable systems as your company grows. In addition, it is a must to have diversity inside your team, as it can help make your team more flexible and strong. Moreover, the more diverse your team is, the more creative it will be. Therefore, it’s important for you to set the diversity bar from the start.

Generate Advancement Opportunities

Hiring your tech team is important, however, retaining them is another issue. As per the LinkedIn Job Switcher report, approximately 45% of the people left their jobs because they felt that there is no room for advancement. Therefore, you need to add to offer growth opportunities to your employees, as part of your scaling process. Understand that if your company is growing and your employees are not receiving any benefits from the growth, you are making a lot of resentment among the employees. People are in search of ways to evolve their careers and for that, you can promote your staff internally or create new supervisorial and lead roles.

Stay Updated

Keep in mind that the old and outdated systems that you use won’t cut it especially when scaling. This is particularly true in the case of technology. Keeping your tech updated will help you work in an efficient way and save money. Many companies these days have multiple systems and when these systems aren’t communicating with each other, the workflow can be negatively affected, thereby worsening the problems in communication. Before starting to scale, ensure that you put new systems in place to avoid these problems.

Never Be Afraid to Change Course

Always keep refining your methods and processes, shifting and refining to suit your business needs as you scale. Scaling can make or break your business. However, with the proper foresight and planning, you will be able to make your business scale efficiently without any problems.

Tips to Foster Smart Decision Making Skills

Do you run a business? Then, you’ll have to make some smart decisions to manage your enterprise. Needless to mention, this requires a real sharp mind and sound judgment. Note that smart judging ability is extremely important if you are the owner of a small scale business since your company is about to grow based on your decision-making skills along with your gut instincts. This task will not be as easy as it sounds. If you’re wondering about the secret to smart decision making and meeting your business goals, check out these brilliant points below.

Take your time

The first rule to smart decision making is ‘never rush’. Rather, take your time and think rationally before reaching any conclusion. When you make choice hastily, it will be more like making some costly mistakes that can even ruin your business. To tackle this, always consider the advantages and disadvantages of every scenario.

The best way to do any task is to write it down on a piece of paper or a gadget. This will allow your brain to get a hold of the realities and prevent you from doing something that you will regret later. Some entrepreneurs may skip this analysis blaming their lack of time. However, note that poor time management skills are one of the main challenges that most small business owners face which is likely to cost their business. Therefore, always think well about your decision before you pass any judgment.

Seek advice

Running a business is not easy and hence it is absolutely fine to seek advice or suggestions from others, especially the veterans in the field. At times, you are likely to make some challenging decisions. Note that having a trustworthy colleague or friend in the field to turn to will be a great relief since they can help you make the right choice.

Alternatively, you can find solutions to your business issues online. Here, you are likely to face the learning challenge, though. For example, if you are researching online on how to make money on Amazon, the results provided might likely offer step-by-step instructions to follow, tricks and trades you will have to master, the advantages and disadvantages in running the business, etc.

Adopt active listening skills

One of the efficient ways to make the best decision for your company is to know the maximum facts associated with it. For this, you must be an active listener. Of course, the task will never be easy, especially when your plate is full. However, just sign out of your email, put your phone in silent mode and listen to what the experts, your team members, and customers are saying for a while. This will give you a clear picture of your current choices and the impact of each one on your business.

Let your brain lead you

Some people make decisions when they’re emotional. Note that if you are looking to expand or grow a small business, the golden rule is to always follow your brain rather than your heart. However, this will not be an easy job since decision making is usually driven by emotions.

For instance, consider you have a staff who has been with you for years but is not that productive or can’t meet your expectations. You have to decide whether or not to keep that person. If you think emotionally, you may feel obliged to him/her. Nevertheless, always remember that this obligation may sometimes hinder the growth of your enterprise.

Check out your business plans

When you decided to start your venture, you would have outlined a business plan that includes your visions and core values. When you find it hard to make a decision or are confused about something, just check out this plan and analyze whether your judgment or decision complements your vision.

Oversee prospective outcomes

After making several business decisions that turned out to be the best decisions you’ve made, the task will become easier for you. You’ll know whether or not to follow your gut instincts and whom to look up to at the time of a crisis.

As you make every decision, keep notes of the entire process such as whether your instincts were right, who helped you with the right suggestions, and all other pertinent details. This way you’ll always know what was in your best interest when you were in trouble which can ultimately help you make the right choice when you encounter similar situations in the future. In short, the ability to evaluate the risks involved using the right tools is the key to nurture smart business decision making skills.

How to Remain Motivated As a Startup Business Owner

It’s important to have motivation for operating a successful business. Motivation is the one thing that is common among all successful business owners. Many start with big ideas and lots of energy while working tirelessly in order to reach their business goals. It is still important to maintain that motivation throughout the lifespan of your business. There are going to be ups and downs. It’s not always going to be smooth sailing, so you have to stay motivated most of the time. Here are some essential tips and traits for staying motivated as a business owner.

Always Keep Reminding Yourself Why You Started

In order to become successful at what you do, perseverance is the main trait you will have to develop during your business journey. To persist with that journey even when the market is not favorable, clients are not forthcoming, and statistics do not seem encouraging enough, you should keep reminding yourself why you are in business.

This could be the fuel you need to push yourselves further towards achieving your goals. On perseverance, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche stated, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” To know your why is just to know the core reasons you wish to accomplish the goals you have set out to achieve.

When you know those reasons that pushed you to start a business, these will help guide and propel you even when you lack the eagerness to go forward. When you tell yourself why you are the founder of your business and not some other person and understand why your business is alive, giving up will no longer be an option.

Keep Reading and Watching Inspiring Stuff

As a startup owner, you’re going to be looking for external sources of inspiration most of the time. Develop a habit of reading biographies and books about successful people each day. Besides, watch videos of people sharing their success stories and the effort that went into it. An example is a TED talk, where people share everything from traveling around the world with no money to building a long-lasting business. Most people who speak in this event are charismatic and know how to take the audience along for the ride with them. Watching these talks will expose you to new ideas, which are relevant to an international audience and are supported by evidence.

You may not find both the above activities to be productive immediately, but it will pay dividends any time in your journey. Many such materials will have motivational guidelines and thoughts that will occur to you when you go through similar situations. These materials will help you understand what to do and what not to, how to make tough decisions and take advantage of opportunities others do not see.

Surround Yourselves with the Right People

Everyone has a bad day at the office, but working alongside a team of highly motivated individuals will help you overcome challenges. Try not to impose yourself on anyone as that will prove to be detrimental to your efforts. Understand that running a startup is all about teamwork, and that team is all that matters ultimately. It’s important to have the right individuals around us to have a sense of fun each day. When your team is fun to work with, your journey will be fun and exciting, and when that happens, motivation will follow naturally. To create opportunities for fun, just have entertainment zones at your office where you can all get together and chill out. This will help take your focus away from work for a little while and help refocus. All these are possible when your team is a bunch of fun-loving and self-driven people.

Do What Makes You Feel Better

Money can bring us happiness as long as we spend it wisely. However, can money alone help you stay motivated in business? It is not always just about profits. Even if money is your motivation, that kind of motivation is unlikely to last.

Do the things you love to do outside your business. Is it exercising for many hours at the gym that brings you a great deal of satisfaction? Do you play a musical instrument? Are you into fine arts? Do you love to travel? Whatever you like, just find time to switch off from work and switch back on. If all of those seem repetitive, try doing something new. Try to make whatever you do a goal-oriented activity. For that, set a goal for each activity, write down your progress in it, and upgrade your goals whenever you achieve that. Achieving one goal will make you feel motivated to pursue another. This goal-oriented mindset will eventually cause you to be motivated as a person, which will benefit you wherever you are.

Celebrate Your Success

So we are back where we started: success. Whenever you reach a milestone or accomplish something new in business, make sure you celebrate it with your team. It can be quite tempting to jump into the next thing, but try not to do that. Instead, find time to pat yourself and your employees on the back. Perhaps host a success party for everyone or plan a short trip to someplace you have been waiting to go. Celebrating your business achievements will not just keep you all working toward new goals, but it will also help you all enjoy the ride slightly more.

Coming Up with Startup Ideas in This Digital Age

All ambitious entrepreneurs want to make their startup a grand success, and it all starts with an idea. Every business person was in your shoes before becoming successful in their endeavors.

One should approach the startup idea generation process with the same level of dedication as in any other business-related task. The startup idea may or may not occur to you when standing at the grocery store line or during sleep. That type of idea is perhaps a nice sentiment, but even to build on that, it takes organization, creativity, research, and planning.

Where the Best Ideas for Startups Come From

Today’s digital technology simplifies our life. The internet plays a major role in helping people meet their demands, whether they’re small or big. It can be a great source for inspiration, too. Start by reading online content about successful startup ideas. Several businesspeople share their stories online, which offer strategic advice that you can consider for your startup. Note what has worked for them and what has not.

The Best Ideas Originate From Problem Identification

What we know about business ideas is that most products or services are solutions to latent problems that exist in society. This is especially the case when the solution to that identified problem itself serves as a unique product or service. Powerful observation often results in the identification of such a problem.

Look For Trends in the Fields You Are More Interested In

Being a potential startup owner may likely banked on your experience, future scope or both to develop a niche. Take your time to learn more about the intricate details of that niche when developing your passion. Some niches might be trendy enough to be realized into a full-fledged product or service.

Expand Your Network

Consider the last occasion you’re part of a collaborative meeting held for lead generation. If every person in that meeting came prepared with some ideas, then you would walk away with one viable opportunity to say the least. Take part in as many networking events as possible. The more you discuss with like-minded individuals, the more you are likely to be aware of their pain points. In one of these events, you could also find a potential business partner who is on the same page with your idea.

Which Questions to Ponder Over

Launching a startup sometimes involves risk-taking, or simply going ahead with your plan with a come-what-may attitude. There are still questions you can think about to prepare and find out whether your idea has the potential to gain some traction. Some of those questions are as follows.

What is your range of skills?

Do you possess strong skills in writing, or is it sales and marketing where you excel? If you do, you may think about starting a freelance business by talking with other businesses about their marketing efforts. Consider teaming up with other like-minded business owners. In addition to that, think about developing a business website or blog to show off your skills.

What is missing in it?

You may feel that a business idea has a great scope, but does anybody need that product or service? Is there a tweak you can do to it that fills the gaps you see between the idea and requirement? Think about this from the perspective of a customer. If you have prior experience working in some fields, which service or tool do you think would have facilitated in your work? Brainstorming can be a powerful tool in idea generation, but the same goes true for a look at one’s own life, be it professional or personal, for ideas.

Which service can you offer over a big corporate rival?

Small businesses have tasted success many times in forming lasting relationships with clients. This personal touch can also make a huge difference, particularly when you are working in your community. For instance, if you are considering working for events, it is important to have that direct contact.

Think about what that investor might ask you when your startup reaches that level. What differentiates your idea from many others out there? Is there a growth plan in your mind? What sort of assistance are you seeking? Thinking this through at an early stage can help determine whether your idea has a scope.

The Best Startup Ideas Are Simple

No matter whether you’re looking to turn your passion into a full-fledged startup or a side hustle, it’s best that you start small. Consider some areas in which you could fill the gap.

Coming up with an idea may seem challenging, but it’s just the first step in a long journey. Trying to turn that startup idea into a real one is where several business people meet roadblocks. Consider how many potentially successful businesses fail to get funding on programs such as Shark Tank. In most cases, those startups are well past their idea phase.

That said, taking your time to develop several strong plans can help you narrow down to one or two with potential.

The Real Meaning of Work-Life Balance for SMB Owners

For several people, starting a business is a long-held passion. Many think about it pretty all the time they work on a job and eventually, start using ways to give wings to their dreams. This is especially the case when it comes to a 9–5-type job, which typically gets more mundane with each passing day. In a recent survey, several of those who have become owners of small and medium-sized businesses have revealed the reason why they left their jobs.

To Have No One Bossing Them Around

Owners of a small business love the idea of running things on their own. In fact, they even abhor the idea of staying on in a corporate environment as an “intrapreneur”. Unlike a businessman who works from within an organization or under someone and makes a secondary earning using whatever resource is available to them, an entrepreneur is someone who has the requisite freedom and resources to make things happen on their own. In other words, a small business owner does not have anyone controlling them or their venture.

The survey authors deduce that novices into entrepreneurship are likelier to consider going back to the comfort of corporate life the more they learn the ropes; some simply place unrealistic hopes in entrepreneurship, to begin with.

Working Relatively Comfortable Hours, Especially at a Stretch

When you pay attention to the time aspect in your work life, it generally pays to be an SMB owner, because that group of people is seen to strike the best balance of all. Most of them end up working a lot fewer than the 40 hours which a typical employee slogs through each workweek, with about 55% of them even working less than 30 hours each week. Out of those, you have over half working anywhere between 5 and 20 hours weekly. This does not mean all SMB owners follow a part-time system though – over a quarter do spend 40 hours or longer each week working, with 9.4% even stretching their weekly work time past 60 hours.

The study did find discrepancies in the answers it got from new business owners, and more experienced ones. People who have owned a business for under a year were found likelier to work significantly less time than ones who are relative veterans. That could point to the general scenario of an established business requiring more input in terms of work hours.

To Have Better Work-Life Balance

The survey asked about the time small business owners get to spend with their family and friends each week. Over fifty-five percent of respondents said they got five hours or less for this, while some gave a figure between six and ten hours, and others over eleven. They also responded to questions regarding working patterns outside business hours. Over 90 percent of SMB owners admitted that they occasionally or often worked on weekends, with more than 35 percent of them spending over six hours a weekend on their work.

Even when they are not working, most entrepreneurs in the survey think about their business. Fewer than half of them take time off from that. Around 26 percent said they do not stop thinking about it at all, and around 23 percent said they stop it only after they fall asleep. This is not surprising, given that small and mid-sized business owners say their priorities are to grow their business, find time to get all goals accomplished and acquire new prospects while they are at it.

Finding the Right Balance

All of this makes it seem that SMB owners typically fail to achieve good work-life balance, although 91.6% find the matter to be important personally. This is still subjective, but most SMB owners said they would use any extra 10 hours which they got off work doing the following.

  • Growing the business
  • Educating themselves and building their career
  • Being with friends and family        
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Finding time for hobbies
  • Training staff to substitute for them task-wise