StartupGuy

I am StartupGuy
I start a fire with ice

Born: 29th July 19XX

"Being entrepreneur is a not a child’s play. You cannot sit and crib at the losses and bad experiences; you need to develop a thick skin that keeps you well on the track. Not only for your sanity, but to keep calm and those around you who are working with you to build your vision."

StartupGuy

December 23, 2018 StartupGuy0

 

StartupGuy shares hardcore truth about being a startup entrepreneur

Life is tough as hell …. Life as an entrepreneur is even more tougher. Your only safety net is you. There is no health plan with 25 sick days, no paid vacation … nothing. It’s just you are working, working and working round the clock.

It’s up to you if you are going to make it!!
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And the fight gets better every single day. Every day you are learning a new business lesson – some good, some bad and some, very, very, ugly.

With a lot of youngsters moving towards becoming entrepreneurs, it had struck me to write a quick, informative article to those who are thinking about doing something on their own.

Remember, failure is a part of the journey
There is no success formula without falling; it is as simple as that. You are going to fail and guess what? It is good. Failure gives you direction. With failure, the universe is telling you to do something different. Without failure, how would you know what will succeed, or what your customers want? If you think that entrepreneurs have built their empire without failing, then you are wrong. Fail, learn, and gain the experience of not repeating the same mistakes. That is the winning formula to become successful.

Get a THICK skin
Being entrepreneur is a not a child’s play. You cannot sit and crib at the losses and bad experiences; you need to develop a thick skin that keeps you well on the track. Not only for your sanity, but to keep calm and those around you who are working with you to build your vision.

There should be NO room for negativity
We all know that it is impossible to not to feel down and negative. However, it takes a strong willed person to focus on the positives. If you fall into negativity, you are bound to make wrong decisions for your business. You need to surround yourself with positive people, and positive atmosphere is essential for the growth of good business. This practice really works and you will eventually see the difference.

Get into LISTENING practice
A successful entrepreneur is a good listener. Period!! In order to get your brand noticed and your customer to use your products and services, you need to know how to create value. The only way to gauge this is to learn from your customers. Ask the vendors/clients/customers about how they feel about your products and services. Get the feedback and listen to their requirements. Surely, there is a room for improvement and that is how you succeed in your business plan.

GET a Life
It is obvious that starting own business needs putting in 24 hours around the week. But you have a life beyond that. There is no denying the fact that you are hardworking, letting no stone not turned. But take out time for your family and friends. They are your support system when things go wrong, so make time for them. There will always be a hustle in your life, since you are putting brick by brick for your venture. Having a good support system is immensely important.

This is your game. Plan and play it well and you will see success.



February 28, 2018 StartupGuy0

Starting a business is a tough gig. How tough it is it is up to you. 50% of startup businesses fail within 5 years. How do you avoid this? It’s simpler than you’d think. We’ve picked out four essential tips from Startup Mzansi that give your business a chance to succeed where others fail.

1) Evaluate your idea

It isn’t enough to ask your friends and family whether they think your idea is any good, you must evaluate it objectively. Be honest and ask yourself the following questions:

• Does your service/product satisfy a need or solve a problem?
• Is it disruptive?
• Can you monetise it?
• Can you identify at least 1 unique selling point?

If you can’t answer these questions positively and without difficulty, then you might not have a viable business.

2) Do your research

It’s important to do your research before starting a business. Going into a market blindly is a quick route to failure. You must understand your demographic and niche market, consider whether they will actually pay for your service or product. It’s important to know the shape of your sector too; if it’s in decline then maybe you should reconsider, if it’s on the up then look at who else will be likely to enter it. What does your competition look like? Don’t just think about your direct competition, look at what indirect competition you may have too. When looking at your competition, be sure to deliberate whether your price points are realistic in comparison.

3) Build your dream team

When your business is in its early days of trading, there’ll come a point when you realise that you can’t do everything yourself. It’s at this time that you’ll need to consider building a team. Firstly, think about the structure and hierarchy of your company. You’ll need to adapt your hiring techniques based on whether you seek a co-founder or employees. You may even find that it’s easier to outsource some of the workload. The team you assemble at the beginning of your time in business will play an important part in the overall success of your company. You’ll need enthusiastic, creative, reliable and ambitious people who can help plan and execute your business strategy precisely.

4) Create a long-term financial plan

This sounds obvious but you’ll be surprised by how many start-ups fail as a direct result of not possessing a thorough financial plan. By plotting your long term finances, you can avoid any nasty surprises. You can also be wary of when you’ll actually run out of money, require further investment and hopefully start making revenue. Don’t forget to factor in production and staffing costs, especially if you’re looking to take on further employees. You should always be realistic of the demand you’ll receive in the early days and be mindful that turnover is very different to profit.

Alternatively, you can follow @StartupMzansi on Twitter.


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February 12, 2018 StartupGuy0

However, finance is one huge deterrent for the majority of the aspirant entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, you need not worry because not every model of business requires startup investment to be in millions.

There exist many business models that can be commenced with low investment, i.e. a seed capital of R10k or less in South Africa.

The aspiring entrepreneur can commence the business model with minimum infrastructure; the business can be started even from home.

Bootstrapping your capitalist period can turn out to be highly rewarding because your seed capital can come from your own savings or from your relatives and friends.

This will spare you the horror of getting a loan for business from the banks and other financial institutes, whose interest charges are skyrocketing.

It is essential to consider every idea that you can get in order to commence the business that will help you get a great return on investment. Below mentioned are the ideas that are guaranteed to work the best for you:

Online store

One of the common and highly observed businesses that one encounters on the virtual platform is the online stores like Amazon, OLX, Gumtree, Bidorbuy, Takealot, and many more and to be the part of them and start something that grows to be bigger than the mentioned sites will only require you to have a domain name, web hosting account and your undivided attention.

In the beginning it may seem like a lot of work but the benefits that site will witness in the long run will make all the efforts and contact worth the efforts put in and the devotion. The investment will be your knowledge and contacts with the sellers.

Social media assistance service

Social media in today’s time is the most important marketing campaign for both big as well small-scale enterprises. This business is an extension to another company’s social networks. In this business, all you will have to do is manage the social links and platforms of the business enterprises outsourcing their social networks to you to monitor the performance.

This business will provide you a direct line of communication with the current and prospective means of marketing as well as customers. The outsourcing business enterprises will appreciate your work and efforts if you come up with new and innovative means of boosting the image of the company on the social platforms.

HR & Recruiting service

It has been observed the business enterprises functioning on the small scale are not able to set up another department for HR and recruiting of the potential candidates.

The small scale businesses are also not able to afford to hire the recruitment firms; therefore, if you have the skill and the ability to track down the right and appropriate candidates for a certain job then you help bridge the gap between the efficient recruitment and the business companies.

The investment in this job is a good connection with the recruiting websites so as to view the curriculum vitae’s of the candidates and a cell phone or landline to easily contact the candidates.

Translation services

The advance in the globalization of both the big and small businesses has increased the demand for translation services. This business also is an amazing and effective tool in discarding the language barrier that complicates the working relationship between the companies and the clients.

Translation is one of the emerging industries in the business world and the person who knows any language that will come in handy for the business operations will never find him or herself without job opportunities.

All you need is the fluency in the language and the proficiency in English is a must to have a common tongue that explains any other language.

Boardroom facilities

This is one of the most interesting ideas in the small investment business startup. There is nothing more to investment than the money because if you have a spare room for which you have no room then that is all you need to start this chain of business.

There are many uses that the spare space can amount to like renting it to the different companies for board meetings, official parties, and presentations of formal kinds.

There are many firms who despite being successful require a formal setting to invite the business officials and have a communication without worrying about the small things as to who is serving the drinks or taking care of the laptops on the tables and much more.

Dietary consultation services

The trend in today’s time is being fit with proper diet and people are willing to pay a large sum of money for advice and dietary plans. The situation in America, i.e. of the huge weights of the people was described as a plague and no one wants to face that scenario in South Africa.

Therefore, the vital investment that you need in this line of work is educating yourself as a dietician whose plans and tips on eating and exercise will only be advantageous for the patients. This will be your source of contributing towards a better and healthy lifestyle of the population of South Africa.

Used car dealership

This business does not require any heavy capital investment which makes it the perfect business to start with the minimum investment. You only need to have a place or maybe not even that to get used cars from the dealers and sell them to the customers who seek second-hand cars or used cars to purchase and use. You are not really a mediator between the dealers and the customers. It is because the used cars are yours to sell and the customers only have to contact you without any permission from the dealers. The commission that you will get for selling the used cars for the dealers will be your extra income.

Mobile garage service

This type of business suits the engineers and the trained mechanics. It is not a fact and not at all true that a mechanic will magically appear whenever a car breaks down. That is where this business of mobile garage service comes into play.

You do not have to have a recreational vehicle or any type of truck to work function this service. A bike and assistant technicians with the right equipment of repair is all that you need to ensure that customers in need of car assistance or any motor vehicle assistance can get your help wherever and whenever possible.

Driving school

Driving has now turn into a necessity for every individual because you need the driving skills to commute to school, work or for travel purposes.

Driving is a lesson that everyone should learn at one point. The investment too in this service is not much because to teach the people the value of being able to close the distance between their starting point and the destination requires only a valid license from your side and the used cars which will help the candidates learn the skills.

These businesses are one of the most expanding businesses in the industry so if you think driving cannot make you any money then think again.

Hobby classes

Hobby classes are now a real deal in the business industry because everyone wants to take a break from the fast moving life and do something that they truly like. For instance, painting, singing, cooking, playing musical instruments, dancing, skating, and there is no end to this list.

The only thing that prevents people from actually implying action to their hobbies is the absence of the right platform and you with this business idea can help them find their space.

You just need a room or two or just a playground for that matter to encourage them to do what they really want.

Party planning services

The pressure of hosting a party is too much itself and the hosts are always in dire need of someone who can share the burden or take it all away from their hand. You just need to be creative and innovative in your approach to decorate the venue of the party.

Party planning includes everything from catering to setting the right stage for the guests to have fun. The party planning also can be wedding planning and you do not need much investment in the monetary terms but good contacts will be a requirement so as to get the work done as easily and soon as possible.

Childproofing services

You must have witnessed in many western series and movies the needs of the parents to childproof the apartments, well the concept though fresh in South Africa is not that weird to hear.

It is because the parents being the breadwinners of the family are getting busier day by day even hour by hour and are not always around to keep an eye on their little ones. Therefore, you can be the one to provide them assurance on the security of their children by childproofing the house or the apartment.

All you require are the skills of the mechanics and the products which will help you do the task effectively and efficiently.

Nanny services

This is not the first time that you will hear of the nanny services because there are many agencies already in existence, which provide the services of a person to take care of the children at home when their parents leave for work, trips or for date nights and parties.

Childproofing services are similar to the nanny services in the view of childproofing the children in the shape of an actual physical form. The people who are excellent with children are the actual investment that you need to run this business smoothly and fairly for a long period of time.

Sports coaching

Games are the part of everyday life and what turns them into something professional and concrete are the sports coaches who can convert games into sports.

The right sports equipment and the ground or the indoor space to practice the sport is the total investment that is expected in the commencement of the sports coaching business. People and mostly students are becoming immensely interested in the sports which are the backup that you need to know this business of sports coaching will never go obsolete or cold in any form.

Discipline and the rules of the sports should be your chief knowledge and skills.

Courier services

This one of the traditional business ideas for as long as can anyone remember, transmitting goods as well as letters from one place to another has been going since the ancient times.

Your courier person or the assistants monitoring the requests and orders of the clients need to be highly efficient and true to their job so that the couriered products reach the delivery address on time without any damage to the things in the package.

Your rates of courier services must be competitive and the service needs to be flawless because in a country like South Africa sending letters and gifts to one another via courier will never go out of style.

Carpooling services

It is due to pollution that the young generations are suffering from breathing problems and many skin diseases; you can put a stop to all of that by starting your very own carpool services which are similar to that of the facilities provided by cabs and taxis with one exception and that is instead of one person in the car there will be more who are going to the same or in the route destinations.

This service will be your contribution to making the cities of India clean and green which have been the mottos of every country in the world since forever.

Rainwater harvesting

This service is one of the most demanded services in the industry because the population can use every drop of water that it can get and harvesting the raindrops for re-use on the site is one of the best as well as the eco-friendly activity that one can do for the planet. Plus Capetonians will appreciate this.

The systems of the rainwater harvesting are very easy to install and does not require much investment. The skills of installation and the knowledge to recommend the proper systems to the clients is all you require as inner qualities and the business will flourish to new heights in no time.

Salons

If beautifying the people and tidying them up is all that you wish you could do all day then opening a salon is what you must reach for because there is hardly any major investment.

Your DIY ideas and products will impress the clients and they will choose you every time even when they have to get their nails shaped. Pedicure and manicure are the highly demanded services and the customers always appreciate a good massage and facials.

The testimonials from the customers will be your ladder to opening different stalls at various locations. You need basic products at the beginning which are not going to cost more than the couple of thousand bucks.

Writing services

One of the rapidly emerging businesses right now in the industry is that of blogging and content writing. There are always writers and reputed writing firm required by various websites and different companies who can draft articles, press release or content of any kind of high quality and legitimacy for them.

A computer or laptop or even a smartphone and a good internet connection are all you need to commence the business of writing for a living.

The remarks from the clients and their recommendations regarding your business to other website owners will be the sign of the progress and the key to the expansion of your business.

Coaching centers

What good is knowledge if you cannot impart it to others? Make a good difference and have a positive impact on the lives of many students who are struggling to cope with their academic pressures and requirements.

At first, you can start this coaching business at your own house and slowly make your way to getting an actual place for teaching the students.

Academic knowledge and tricks to score well in the examinations or tests are the real investment that you will have to make in this business startup. Your income along with money will be the achievements made by the students in their respective fields.

The mentioned business ideas have always worked for the people who do not shy away from turning their knowledge and passions into real business just because of the money.

The list is bound to alter the way you think about investments and businesses and will also push you forward to test your own idea that you want to make money out of because no idea is too small to make into an actual living good or service.

So, if it was money that was being the barrier in between your passion and dreams then it’s time to rethink your decisions and take a step towards doing something real.

 



February 11, 2018 StartupGuy0

Our minds are funny, feeble things full of cognitive biases that have been shaped by experiences, events, and memories.

 In the 1960s, a psychologist named Martin Seligman was trying to understand the relationship between fear and learning when he stumbled upon an unexpected phenomenon.

In the experiment, Seligman gave a group of dogs an electric shock they couldn’t escape. Eventually, they learned to stop trying to avoid it.

He then provided the dogs with an easy opportunity to escape the shock, but much to his surprise, they did nothing. The dogs just sat there and obediently waited for their punishment.

After conducting a series of subsequent experiments (later on with humans using loud noises in lieu of electric shocks) and finding similar results, Seligman coined this curious response learned helplessness.
It’s the idea that we feel helpless to escape certain negative or challenging circumstances, even though opportunities for change are present.

Why we’re all just waiting for the shock

Our minds are funny, feeble things full of cognitive biases that have been shaped by experiences, events, and memories.

Over time, these beliefs cause our brains to draw incorrect or false conclusions that ultimately affect the way we think, what we believe, and the decisions we make. As Carol Dweck says in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success:

“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you live your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”

Much like Seligman’s dogs, we often find ourselves unable to move away from negative situations because our past has taught us that we are helpless to do anything to change how we live.

However, the way we react to these negative situations has a profound affect on how we live our lives.
Let’s say, for example, you were turned down for a big freelancing job.

There are a number of things you could tell yourself:

  • I’m stupid
  • I’m not meant to be a freelancer
  • I’m a terrible salesperson
  • The client is a jerk anyway
  • I had an off day
  • I didn’t prepare for the interview as well as I should have
  • I did my best, but the client found someone who was a better fit

What you tell yourself says a lot about the type of person you are.

According to psychologist Carol Dweck, people with a fixed mindset believe that their qualities are set in stone—that intelligence and personality are permanent and unchanging. They internalize setbacks with responses like ‘I’m stupid’ or ‘I’m a terrible salesperson.’

‘I failed so I must be a failure,’ they tell themselves.

Growth mindset people, on the other hand, believe we can change and grow with effort, application, and experience. They tell themselves that they ‘had an off day’ or ‘didn’t prepare well for the interview,’ and perceive their qualities as temporary and external.

It’s easy to see how years and decades of programming and labeling by our parents, teachers, peers, and even the media teach you to believe certain things about what you’re capable of doing.

I can certainly relate.

I struggle with my own set of cognitive biases and even see these pessimistic patterns emerging in my own daughter, who at five years old, says things like “I’m so bad at drawing,” “ It’s too hard,” “I can’t do it,” or “Can’t you just tell me the answer?” with alarming frequency.

As a parent, I’ve become extremely conscious of the messages I send to my children. I think about how I use praise (effort over intelligence), how I react when they make mistakes, and how I set and express expectations.

But most of us, myself included, didn’t grow up with parents who proactively cultivated a growth mindset in our malleable little minds, so it’s up to us to reprogram our own brains, which, according to Seligman, we all have the ability to do.

His antidote to learned helplessness (if you’re curious, there’s a test to see where you rank on the optimism scale) is called larned optimism.

Seligman argues in his book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, that:

a pessimistic attitude may seem so deeply rooted as to be permanent…[but] I have found that pessimism is escapable. Pessimists can in fact learn to be optimists, and not through mindless devices like whistling a happy tune or mouthing platitudes…but by learning a new set of cognitive skills.

The importance of developing self awareness

Change of any kind is impossible without self awareness. Studies have shown that self awareness is one of the most importantcomponents of effective leadership, because when leaders take responsibility for their weaknesses and shortcomings (while being conscious of their strengths), the people around them benefit.

Self-aware leaders help create a culture of ongoing learning and growth, where people understand that it’s okay to make mistakes and ask for help. It’s this kind of thinking—growth mindset thinking—that leads to innovation and creativity.

To jumpstart your own process of change, start with an honest self assessment.

Make a list of the things you believe about yourself and try to determine why you believe these things to be true:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What triggers stress and anxiety?
  • How do you respond to conflict and adversity?

We tell ourselves that we’re bad at math or public speaking or negotiating, but where did we draw those conclusions from? A series of bad math tests from the 7th grade? An important negotiation that went south years ago?

As you dig through your memories, you’ll likely find that much of the evidence you uncover does not support the assumptions that you’ve been making about yourself.

Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong. More often, people know what they are not good at — and even then more people are wrong than right.

— Peter Drucker

On a regular basis, continue to gather evidence that either confirms or denies your beliefs. You can use a journal to document things like:

  • Successes/failures from the day
  • How you responded to stressful situations
  • How you describe the good and bad things that happen
  • Expectations you have for a particular decision

Regular, honest self critiques provide an opportunity to recognize patterns of pessimism and compare expectations with results.

This kind of clarity then allows you to identify ways to replace the negative thoughts and reactions with positive, effective responses.

Fake it ’til you become it

Conscious self-reflection also allows us to be aware of optimism and pessimism all around us. We begin to notice the way people perceive themselves by the way they talk about events, obstacles, and accomplishments.

According to Seligman, this kind of observation is important because in order to effectively change self-perception we must make an effort to emulate the behaviors of the optimistic, growth mindset people we admire.

In other words, fake it ‘til you make it.

Or, as social psychologist Amy Cuddy prefers to call it, “Fake it ’til you become it.”

Cuddy’s research shows that small tweaks in body language change not just how others perceive us, but how we perceive ourselves.

In a series of experiments, Cuddy found that the people who were asked to assume ‘high power poses’ for just two minutes saw increases in risk tolerance and testosterone, and decreases in cortisol (the stress hormone), while the people asked to assume ‘low power poses’ saw the opposite reaction in their body chemistry (low dominance, high stress).

Similarly,  the self-perception theory states that if we want to think of ourselves as confident, creative, or successful, then act how confident, creative, or successful people act.

Just as we draw conclusions about other people based on their behavior, we create beliefs about ourselves based on how we behave in various situations.

Visualization is another tool that receives quite a bit of attention, thanks to the self-help community and massively popular books likeRhonda Byrne’s The Secret.

The brain can’t tell the difference between something real or imagined, they say, so picturing future success is an excellent way to rewire our brain and serve as a powerful source of motivation.

This is not to say that visualizing yourself nailing an interview will guarantee you the job (as much of the self-help industry will have you believe).

But spending time imagining yourself as confident, articulate, and prepared will eventually affect your self-perception (and is infinitely more productive than ruminating on all of the reasons you’re not good, smart, or capable enough to get the job)

Many of the world’s top performers  swear by the power of visualizationon performance, and studies have shown how similar parts of the brainare activated when you perform an action (i.e. lifting your arm) as when you imagine doing it.

Researchers Heather Barry Kappesa and Gabriele Oettingena, however, argue that there’s a downside to visualizing success.

Overly positive fantasies sap (and not fuel) our energy and motivation because we’re focusing on being on Easy Street–and not the difficult process of getting there.

I believe that the difference lies in how visualization is used. We can focus on the process (my preferred method), like a golfer visualizing his swing and form as he chips a shot out of a bunker on a windy day.

This mental rehearsal forces us to recognize and incorporate the hard work, challenges, and obstacles into our mental pictures.

We can also imagine the fantasy (or the end result) like Arnold Schwarzenegger who would picture himself on the podium hoisting the Mr. Universe trophy high above his head.

He found the emotions and sensations of victory and success energizing, which motivated him to spend the long, grueling hours at the gym.

There’s nothing easy about changing the perceptions and beliefs we’ve hung onto for years, but we owe it to ourselves to reject the idea that our shortcomings and flaws are innate and permanent.

That’s why we have to get out there and find the strategies and techniques that work for us. Maybe visualization is the answer. Maybe it’s regular journaling or imitation or something else completely.

What matters is that we keep taking action and keep testing ways to change how we think.

Because when we change our mindset, we change our behavior, and ultimately change the way that we work and live.

This post originally appeared atCrew, which publishes regular articles on creativity, productivity, and the future of work.




February 10, 2018 StartupGuy0

Whether you are a big company or a small company, you should understand just how important the media is in the promotion and success of your company. Not only can it drastically improve your image and your sales, but it can also hinder them if you don’t use it wisely.

There are many ways that you can use the media to your advantage, here are some of the most popular ways.

 

Local Media

If you are a small company, then this is even more important to you. The local media can promote your company if you use it in the right way. Having the support of your local community is an important factor to achieve and maintain success.

Try supporting local events or charities with sponsorship and giving people merchandise to show at the event. You can liaise with the local radio and newspapers to invite them to the event, and tell them what you are doing for the community. A popular way of promoting a company is to sponsor a local sports team. They will wear your logo on their shirts in return.

Social Media

Using social media to promote your company is now one of the most popular ways for businesses to appeal to audiences. So many potential customers use social media that it makes sense to get your company in front of them.

You can do this in many ways; you can try paid advertising to show your advert at certain times of the day. It will show up in the users’ feeds, or you can post to your own social media account. Just remember to let your customers know how to interact with you; you can do this on your website, on your packaging and on your advertising. Once people know where you are, you can start showing your products and organizing competitions to pique interest.

Television

Although it can be an expensive way to advertise, there is no doubt that using the television or other media such as streaming sites does increase your presence in people’s minds. As with local media, you can also try sponsoring a show or an event on the television to boost your profile even further.

It is important that you have a strong brand for television, so ensure your branding and your logo are top notch. You can use sites like Adobe Spark to design your logo if you don’t already have one.

You can also advertise on streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon. More people are watching their television content via these platforms, so there are a lot of potential customers.

Cinemas

Cinema advertising is another good way to show your company in front of a captive audience. They will be there waiting for the movie so that they will be looking at the advertising as well. Cleverly thought out advertising in this setting could make a big difference to your brand image and your sales, and surprisingly it is not as expensive as you may think.

By using all these different avenues to promote your business, you can easily start to grow your customer base and build a reliable and strong brand.



February 10, 2018 StartupGuy0

1. Know Your Company and Your Product

Before you can begin, you must first know what business you want. What does your company stand for, what does it seek to achieve? You must know what your company’s goal is, what it’s vision is, and what you want to achieve. You must also know about your product – why should consumers purchase it? What value does it bring? Once you know this information, you will be able to start setting up your business.

2. Know the Industry

Before you can begin, you need to know the industry that you are going in to. Who are the big players? Who are your competition? What techniques and practices do the successful companies use that you should adopt? You can learn so much just be researching your competition, which is why it should be your first step after you have determined who and what your company is.

3. Know Where You’ll Get Funding

There will always be start-up costs to your business, which is why you must always consider where you will get the funding. If you have been working in the industry for years, you could have both the know-how and the savings to start your business yourself. If you don’t have the savings, however, you will instead have to look at loans or other options. Know where you will get funding before you start, otherwise you’ll have a hard time getting your business off the ground.

4. Set Yourself Up Online

A great way to gauge interest and increase awareness is to create free online profiles for your company before you launch. You can easily sell people the idea of your company and get presales, interested (and potentially loyal) customers, and in some cases even funding. Get your company out there before it launches so that you can drum up support, funding, and publicity before you even begin.

5. Have Contingency Plans

Know that some things will go wrong. In some cases, nothing will go right. Know the realistic setbacks that you could face and have contingency plans. Many businesses, for instance, should know about MySQL data repair services. You want to know how to fix problems before they even begin.

Being prepared and knowledgeable before you begin financing your business is a great way to be begin. Not only will you know how to succeed by studying your competition, you will also know how to market yourself better and will be able to succeed faster



February 10, 2018 StartupGuy0

Don’t get caught up in what you haven’t accomplished or what you failed to do last year. Look ahead with a positive attitude and desire to achieve more. Be patient with yourself and know that it won’t be easy to do, but that you have the ability to create change yourself and your lifestyle.

Be good at setting goals this year. Don’t rely on having to repeat yourself each week and struggling to remember what it was you wanted to do. Come up with attainable goals and write them down. Make notes about why you want to achieve these and how you’re going to get there. Display your goals somewhere you can see them each day and be reminded of what you set out to do.

Take more Time for you

You can’t improve yourself if you’re focused on your job or everyone else. You have to turn the attention on you and make yourself a priority. If you work a lot, this means reducing your hours and increasing the time you spend relaxing and doing what you love. For example, go to the movies, try a new workout or play games online. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it makes you happy and gives you a break from your everyday demands and responsibilities.

Manage your Stress

You’re going to instantly improve yourself if you get your stress under control. This is usually the one roadblock holding you back from greatness. Make it your goal this year that you’re not going to allow stress to take over and change your mood or alter your health. Put actions in place that help you cut your stress in half. Go for walks, read or talk to a professional counsellor. When stress gets the best of you, it starts to impact your relationships, self-image and wellbeing negatively. Don’t give stress a chance to step in this year. Get ahead of it and set yourself up for success early.

Be Adventurous

You can’t become a better person doing what you’ve always done. Be adventurous and step outside your comfort zone often. This could be the year you change jobs or you go on that expensive vacation you’ve been saving up for. Shake up your life a bit and witness how good it feels not to be tied down to your rules and negative self-talk. Be active, get involved and start enjoying life again.

Conclusion

The New Year is the perfect time to revisit your life goals and work on yourself. Keep a positive outlook and hold yourself accountable as you make new changes. Get excited about all that could be if you stick to it.



January 24, 2018 StartupGuy0

Lack of sleep is injurious to health. One must sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a day. Especially for entrepreneurs sleep is compulsory in an allotted time period. Improper sleep affects mood and increases health risks to life. It leads to psychiatric disorders and depressions and cardiovascular diseases and lowers the immune system of the body. So, doctors suggest some of these Sleeping Habits.

Avoid alcohol consumption

Today, drinking is a passion for most people. But, it causes severe damage to the stomach and liver. An entrepreneur must abstain from drinking excessive alcohol as it causes depression and lack of concentration. Alcohol consumption can lead to waking up in the middle of the night and disturbed sleep patterns. Some doctor prescribes that entrepreneur must avoid drinking within three hours before going to bed. If a person consumes alcohol, it may trouble to get back to sleep. It is one of the important Sleeping Habits of a Successful Entrepreneur.

Shut your electronic gadgets before bedtime

Many health specialists recommend successful entrepreneurs to shut off their electronic gadgets before going to bed since it leads to damage to neurotransmitters and keeps them awake at all times. Electronic gadgets force the brains to stay active when they really need relaxation time to distress before bedtime. So, doctors recommend using the hour before bed to do something relaxing and enjoyable like reading a book or having a chat with one’s partner. This relaxes the mind and soul and leads to sleeping automatically. Using gadgets at night time may cause severe damage to eyes and brain.

Don’t worry about failures

Don’t keep all bad things happening during the day in mind. It creates stress and disturbs relaxation. So, keep worries away from the mind and listen to music. Thinking about worries at
night time brings discomfort in sleep. It adversely affects health and reduces the immune level. You can choose options for swimming and listen to songs. These will relax the mind and make the mind happy.

Keep environment cool, dark and quiet

The best environment for sleeping is cool, dark and quiet. If the environment is cool, it leads to cooling the body and relaxing the mind. If the environment is dark it makes the brain feel lonely and thus, shuts off the mind. If the environment is quiet then it switches the mind off and keeps it calm. So these three factors are a must for a good sleeping environment. Switch off the lights before you go to sleep. Avoid sleeping in a bright place as it disturbs the eyelids. Avoid sleeping in hot places as it raises the temperature of the body and increases body illness.

Do exercise regularly

Exercise promotes healthy sleep patterns by releasing serotonin and dopamine. Healthy food sets a happy mood. Doing regular exercises in the day will help to improve the mood and increase the ability to deal with the demands of work. The people who have a habit of doingexercise regularly have a peaceful and constant mind. They don’t worry about little things and they just kick it like a lion and then go to the next work.

Avoid junk food at night

Don’t eat oily and in digestive food at night time because it creates stomach disorders and disturbs relaxation time. The doctor suggests that eating protein and fat is good when compared to food containing starch or sugar. Because protein and fat have very low glycerin levels which means they will give a steady release of energy throughout the night.

These are the 6 main Sleeping Habits of Successful Entrepreneur.


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January 24, 2018 StartupGuy0

I’ve been in business for a year now and boy has it been one exciting journey. I remember before starting my small business, I anticipated immediate growth. I was so excited I already imagined spending money on necessary company assets to further grow the business. I was excited at the opportunity to employ people, already had great people in mind, their packages and even imagined how they would love me for being the most amazing boss in the world….Figured I would have a nice office with a picture of my beautiful wife on the desk. Yup, this is what happens in the first year of a new business. I really thought this is what my first year would be like and it sure sucks to be wrong.

I started the business knowing I would do things differently compared to my unknown competitors within my industry. I knew I had what it takes to make my company a success. What I did not know was that growth takes time no matter who you are or what your idea or business is. Unless you’re a 17-year-old kid who developed an app that…I don’t know…. helps toddlers tie their shoe-laces whilst preventing them from falling over; moms are just jumping for joy at this app and you instantly needed huge offices with developers, designers and an expensive coffee machine… growth takes time. As with anything in life growth takes time! I most certainly never thought that I would lose three clients within my first year of operating. Three clients!!! That’s like losing a million rand if you’re a small business owner. Let me just explain that me losing those clients was purely because my clients had no budget left to continue with my services. And this I also did not anticipate. So yes, after just one year of being in business I not only believed I did not grow but that I shrunk too.

I own a digital marketing agency and we assist start-ups and small business owners with digital marketing strategies that help accelerate their growth. This allows the business owner to focus on sales and operations, basically everything else whilst we focus on their marketing. My job is to help small businesses increase their brand visibility so that the company can attract more customers via communication platforms that promote this. Many small business owners in South Africa, not all, have amazing businesses but lack the help and time it takes to grow the business, and marketing is definitely one of the cornerstones to any business. It helps keep the roof up, if done right. Heck, if done at all!

This is amazing, right??? That’s what I thought! I still think this. I love my business. It’s a passion! I’m good at it! The thing is… I am not the only person or company doing it, so does this mean I should let go of this passion? Does it mean I can no longer continue with my business because there are many other key players I must contend with? Does it mean I now have to pursue another venture or seek employment again? Absolutely not! I have invested 378 days of my life to my business and most of those days to our clients. I have made sacrifices, mistakes that I care not to ever remember again nor to let you know about in this article because of its embarrassing nature. I have learnt what to do and what not to do in my business and industry and this is not taught at a tertiary level. This is practical learning, ‘On the job learning’ as it is better known. I have held my breath in anticipation of a phone call from a potential client. I have sent thousands of emails and made hundreds of phone calls to secure client meetings and new business deals. I have raised my standards of what I will accept in my business and what I will not accept. I have turned potential clients down, not due to arrogance but in an attempt not to do business with other businesses that aren’t in line with what we do or offer and to protect my name and that of my business. I have decided that my business will deal ethically always, no matter the cost! I have made difficult decisions for the sake of my brand’s reputation and personal sanity. I have celebrated signing new clients and have triumphed over losing clients. And after having invested just one year of my life, which I am sure you can agree with me that this is a long time to do all that is necessary and learn all that I have learnt, for me to just turn my back on it, growth or no visible growth, I simply cannot do.

You see, growth in a business does not always mean that your turnover and profits will be in a positive this is not the only way to measure growth in a company. This is obviously a sure sign of growth but to a small business owner who still has to realise this, it is not and can’t be the only measurement for growth. Being successful in all your daily activities, achieving all your set weekly and monthly goals leading up to your first year in business is a sure sign that your business is growing. Deciding to plant a seed in the ground comes with the expectation of growth. One plants a seed in fertile soil, it’s fertile if you’ve made sure that it is good for planting and you are sure of the fact that this seed will get enough water and sunlight throughout its lifespan and that it will grow to be tall and strong. It wasn’t planted as a fully-grown tree, it grew to become a fully-grown tree and the same is true with your business. You as a small business owner can’t see the end from the beginning and with the right amount of perseverance, determination, courage and most of all FAITH, your business will grow. It might not seem like it, the same way the seed in the ground doesn’t seem to be growing after having planted it, but time and patience will reveal the truth. Then after having done all things necessary to make sure that the plant survives i.e. keeping your business doors open and in operation, you realise that growth was in fact subtly taking place all along.
Ruben Chavez said it so “Remember, growth is a process. You may not be exactly where you want to be but you’re closer than you were yesterday and that’s what counts”

Article by Shannon Rosenberg, director and owner of Eighty6 Marketing (Pty) Ltd
www.eighty6marketing.co.za
info@eighty6marketing.co.za
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January 23, 2018 StartupGuy0

Not new by any means, but entering the ‘blogosphere’ could still provide a start-up opportunity for those seeking additional income…

Blogging platforms have advanced in recent years and there’s now a multitude of free hosted-blog web services with user-friendly functionality so that now anyone with access to the internet and a laptop can become a publisher.

This opportunity isn’t just limited to starting a blogging site and there is inspiration to be taken from South Africa’s recent trend of blogging aggregators.

Blogging business opportunities

Blogs cover all sorts of verticals – from fashion, to finance, to food, there are many different routes you can take into the blogging industry.

A low-cost business model, a blogging business can be run from home and there are several revenue streams available in order to monetise your blog. Pay Per Click advertising and affiliate links are two of the most popular methods bloggers use to create steady revenue but there are other income-generating strategies you could implement.

To get started you need to buy hosting and a domain name, ideally one that explicitly says what your blog is about.

Choosing a platform to launch your blogging business is also of primary importance, the most widely used being WordPress, but there are many other similar platforms on the market so shop around to find the right one to suit your business needs. If you want to create a unique, customised blog you might want to look into a hiring a web developer to assist you.

To start a blogging business you will need to be committed to regularly publishing new content in order to attract visitors to your site and you should utilise social media networks to drum up traffic.

Sandile Shabangu, founder Startup Mzansi says:

“2018 will be a great year for blogging. A new wave of platforms have appeared to help rejuvenate the industry and it’s a great time to start a blogging business. While some markets seem to be a bit saturated (tech & music blogs largely), there is still room for growth in all areas, especially parenting, travel and even fashion.

“Thanks to the advent of platforms to connect bloggers and marketers, writers have the ability to generate early revenue partnering with brands. The only thing missing up to this point has been a better way to connect social media with blogging, or to make blogging more social. To me, this is pretty straightforward—and completely necessary.

“With StartupApp, we’ve created a platform that combines the best of both worlds, allowing people to blog and connect with each other in a really simple way. For business bloggers, this will mean increased exposure and an intimacy with their audience they won’t find anywhere else. I’m really excited to see how we continue developing as more and more businesses sign up and get creative with their Startup blogs.

“The way we blog is undergoing a transformation, a social transformation, and the time is now for entrepreneurs to use their blogs to forge closer relationships with their audiences.”

“The internet has changed many things; how we shop, how we socialise, how often we see funny pictures of cats, but importantly it has also given us access to a pretty limitless supply of information. Bloggers were among the first to respond to this trend, harnessing and sharing their passion for topics as diverse as cooking on a budget, gender equality, and 21st century crafts.

“If 2018 is the year you’ve decided to test your creative or entrepreneurial spirit, writing a blog might be a good place to start. And let’s face it, along with all the other benefits, blogging is also one of a very select group of activities that you get to do in your pyjamas.”