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  • 6 Things Business Startups Should Invest in From Day One

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    For every start-up leader, picking the right investor for a thousand dollar ‘secure’ investment is important. A bad outlay can significantly cripple a business’ progress, affecting its ability to grow. Raising capital is, undoubtedly, a time-consuming process. Therefore, it’s essential for you to use these valuable hours to take in resources from the ‘big dogs’.
     

    Aligning investments with business goals

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    Skill and determination alone are not enough to run a business. From technical to creative, there are many aspects of a business that need to be addressed constantly. Before making any kind of speculation as a small organization, there are many entities you should consider with your line of work. To begin with, you can reevaluate your business goals, debt load, financing and marketing plan. Rather than supplementing it, investing should be a way to boost income.

     

    As a rookie entrepreneur, if you’re feeling a little shorthanded in the financial area of your start-up, it might just be the time for you to consider spending a little cash on relevant corporate-ventures. Mentioned ahead is a list of things every start-up should consider investing in from day one.  

     

    1. Coaching and mentoring

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    Over the years, coaching and mentoring has helped many developing businesses. You can either use an in-house consultant or hire an exclusive, independent professional coach to help you define your brand and satisfy your clientele. A coach will always be objective and will tell you what will work in your business’s favor the best, consequently helping you succeed. He or she can see your company from the view of an owner, employee and customer; fulfilling company goals and meeting all personal needs of the workers.

     

    Mentoring on the other hand can cultivate a definitive relationship between your employees and organization, resulting in higher productivity and lower employee turnover.

     

    The entrepreneurial movement, Endeavor, is supporting more than 1,000 entrepreneurs over fast growing businesses in 20 countries. Alongside connecting founders with investors and conducting employee training sessions, they have cultivated more than a thousand mentoring relationships between experienced executives and start-up leaders. These individuals have helped guide many companies under the Endeavour network, reaching average growth rates of over 60 per cent per year.

     

    2. Go mobile and embrace payments

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    It has been predicted that by 2017, shopping from tablets and smartphones will hit $114 billion, up from just $18 billion in 2012.  However, as things stand right now, most start-ups can miss out on mobile. This is mainly because 93 per cent of small-business websites don’t work on mobile devices. As a striving start-up in the current industry, you need to invest in ‘responsive’ websites, which will allow your site to operate from any computing – from a cell phone to a desktop computer. Since there are dozens of readymade responsive designs available on the online market, you need not make a huge investment.

     

    -          Mobile payments

    Cell phones have already been equipped with a small device to handle credit card swipe. With swiping being replaced by the wave of a smartphone terminal, 15 per cent of money mobile users worldwide have the prospect of being big spenders. Many big to small businesses are diving into mobile payments. However, the industry is still very fragmented and hence may not be suitable for start-up investments. So, as an entrepreneur, invest in the advanced services with caution.

     

    3. Invest in a good website design

     

    As you establish your small business, consider taking the services of a web design consultant to help you develop the main brand model. Your website will probably be the first product-encounter for many of your clients. Therefore, to make a good first impression, your website must be functional and user-friendly. Keep in mind that your company’s online domain may be the only way you can attract customers or bring in profited revenue.

     

    Moreover, communicate your vision to the audience, briefing them with the services you provide. Potential and current customers should be able to fathom what you’re selling within just a few seconds from the point they access your site.

     

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    Careem, since its opening in July 2012, has been in the thick of things. Initially cofounded by Mudassir Sheikh and Magnus Olsson, the start-up hasn’t looked back ever since. With a bit of vibrant green and white layout, Careem makes its services look hip, hop and happening, making it an eye-catching prospect for the visitors.

     

    4. Business Outsource

     

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    It’s common sense to develop good business relationships early on. While this aptly relates to your brand’s funding process, investing in good suppliers and service providers is also essential for your company’s longevity. All dedicated servers for business influence the quality of the products you offer.

     

    Here are a few things you need to consider for a good business partner:

     

    • Can they offer a competitive yet reasonable rate without compromising quality?
    • Have you tapped into their history to determine their ability?
    • Is the potential partner’s business acumen at par with yours?

     

    Scott Chacon, the CIO of Github, met the GitHub CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath, at a Ruby meetup in San Francisco. The founders asked Chacon to work as a consultant on an outsourced basis, recognizing that he had the basic understanding of Gits. He then went on to write the backend of Gist – a sharing feature inside Github. In a nutshell, Chacon had all the qualities required for a business partner and the company may not have nailed Git without his assistance.

     

    5. Invest in apt cybersecurity

     

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    The 2013 report from Verizon  showed that in the same year, many of the 63,000 data breaches were directed at the world’s largest companies. The most popular type of attack is probably the one that affects small businesses directly and significantly. Between 2011 and 2013, point of sale intrusions – when a thief steals a credit card number from a card reading advice – jumped to 31 per cent. Card skimmers also faced a 14 per cent jump between the two years. On the other hand, misuse of credit data by insiders was just 8 per cent at hospitality compared to 4 per cent by retailers.

     

    6. Big data isn’t just for big companies: CRM

     

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    By examining all the information that you have collected in your business, can you connect the dots and see what patterns match purchasing calls? Can you use it to predict your business’ future investment opportunities? At Merchant Cash and Capital, they have invested a reasonable amount of money and hundreds of hours into systems to gather data on start-up-funding needs. It has also helped them to grow substantially. Thus, as an entrepreneur, one of your New Year resolutions should be to identify key data for your business and ponder upon how you can utilize it by understanding it better. Invest in CRM if your company does not already run on a digital database.

     

    All in all

     

    The 6 systematic business-avenues mentioned above apply to every start-up. A salon, for instance, may choose to invest in a booking app that generates reminders and collects reviews. Try one specific area that you think would suit your business best. Start small, aim big. Good luck!

    6 Things Business Startups Should Invest in From Day One

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