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Business Trends Office Space

The Advantages of Using a Virtual Business Address

What’s a virtual business address and how is it beneficial to the growth of your company? These are important questions to ask, especially during a time when remote work is happening more than ever.

 

In this day and age, many businesses don’t need physical locations to exist, operate, and thrive – and with the pandemic, more businesses than ever are embracing a hybrid or fully remote organizational structure. For many service-based startups, from SEO and content to software development, there are very few things speaking against this kind of setup – especially in terms of cost. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. People are more likely to trust a business with an existing address – and oftentimes, they want to know that their product or service is being handled by real humans, in a real location.

 

Sadly, it’s getting harder and harder to afford quality commercial real estate, especially when you’re in an industry that doesn’t require physical manufacturing or a dedicated office setup. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of a real business address.

 

You can lead a fully or mostly remote business, and still have a set professional business address to share with clients, customers, and potential business partners. This is where the virtual business address enters the picture.

 

What is a Virtual Business Address?

 

Virtual business addresses are real-life addresses in a coworking space or office space managed and leased out to companies as mostly virtual fronts, designed to interact with clients and customers, redirect mail and communications, and even host meetings when need be.

 

These spaces are real, and do exist, and are usually set up in business parks and commercial or corporate districts. However, all you are paying for is the nominal use of the address, rather than the entire space or office. Because the terms are much more minimal, they are also much more flexible.

 

Virtual business addresses are usually leased monthly, can be canceled at any time, and allow you to legitimize your business through a physical location (rather than a simple P.O. box) without anywhere near the same costs. Below are some of the advantages of working with a virtual business address rather than your own home office address.

 

In short, a virtual business address allows you to put a real-life address to your business, without the associated costs of leasing an office space in an expensive commercial district. Why bother? Because having a professional business address comes with a suite of benefits.

 

The Legitimacy of an Established Business

 

There is more to being successful on the Internet than a pretty façade. The advent of reputation-based marketing, customer reviews, and social media has drastically changed the way companies need to present themselves when vying for clients and keeping customers. Yet despite that, first impressions still matter.

 

Customers are more likely to take you seriously when knowing that your company has a location and address behind its name, one that isn’t tied to your personal home.

 

While it is becoming more and more normal for certain industries to feature 100 percent remote start-ups, and home-based freelancers or contractors, there is a certain reassurance behind knowing that the people you’re talking to are human beings working together in an office, rather than a group of strangers interacting online.

 

True, the latter is a completely misleading take on how remote companies function – but with the information age also comes the overly-cautious customer, warier than ever of scams and schemes. Legitimacy, even if it comes in the form of a virtual address rather than one you own the keys to, can go a long way towards convincing leads that you are every bit as authentic as any other ambitious business on the market.

 

Privacy for Your Home

 

With a virtual address comes an added benefit of not having to name your own address instead. There are still processes for which a business needs an address, such as registering as an LLC, entering a limited liability partnership, or seeking financing.

 

Most of the time, these processes do not accept simple PO boxes as addresses. And for everything else, you should still hesitate to place your home address as the base of operations for your business.

 

Not only will you be eliminating yet another crucial separator between work and life, but you are putting yourself at risk of going through lengths to address the problem of address discrepancies whenever you need to move.

 

Clients who decide to look your business up would also know exactly where you live, which can be more than just an uncomfortable fact – it can be a security risk.

 

Local SEO Benefits

 

While so much of our life has been supplanted or changed by the creation of internet services and social media, we’re still ultimately people living in towns, cities, regions, and countries – and that fact isn’t lost on search engines.

 

Most search engines (especially Google and Bing) place a great premium on location and are more likely to recommend services that are close by. In order to take advantage of that fact and ensure that you’re the biggest fish in your pond, you need Google to know where exactly you do business – and where your company can be found.

 

Even if you specialize in a good or service that never requires a customer to come anywhere near your main office, taking advantage of local SEO can greatly boost your traffic, which translates into relevant leads, and better sales.

 

Choosing a Virtual Business Address

 

Virtual business addresses are usually one part of a larger package, which can include virtual assistant services, receptionist services, email and phone redirection, package receiving and forwarding, and much more.

 

But when you take advantage of something like a coworking space as your virtual business address, you’re paying for more than just an expanded P.O. box and receptionist’s desk – you get an actual space for your company, one you can use from time to time to host important clients, schedule monthly or annual team meetings, and make use of as an onboarding space for new local talent.

 

By taking advantage of the full benefits of a coworking space, you’re not just getting a business address for your company in a prime location, but you’re getting an office space too – for a fraction of the cost and hassle.

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Business Trends Office Space

5 Remote Work Models to Consider

Since the pandemic, it’s safe to say that remote work models are here to stay. But which one is for you and your business? Read below for all the details of the different types.

 

Even as we approach an end to the pandemic, many businesses in and outside of tech have realized the efficiency and potential for remote work – if managed and implemented properly.

 

The pandemic has taught us to diversify and innovate on how we work, whether from home or through coworking spaces, in work cafes, in the outdoors, or in offices with mandated social distancing. We have learned to better communicate and collaborate over great distances, improve our efficiency in the absence of daily physical meetings, better integrate virtual toolsets, and benefit from the flexibility of remote work and its many different forms.

 

Over these last few months (and over the course of the last few years), there are distinct remote work models that have come to the forefront as effective ways to integrate remote work into any given team. While remote work can be approached with complete flexibility, most remote work models can either be categorized as completely remote, split or distributed, hybrid, or virtual/remote-centric.

 

Each of these work models have their pros and cons, and managers as well as business leadership need to take into consideration how their team best functions, under what conditions their core talents thrive the most, and to what degree they might be willing to adopt or invest into any given remote work model. Let’s go over the basics.

 

1. Fully Remote and Asynchronous Work Model

 

A fully remote and asynchronous work model is usually tilted towards teams that operate across the world, with talents stationed in different corners of the globe, collaborating asynchronously through email, group chats, cloud storage, team task management systems, and more.

 

Video conferences or live calls might be few and far between, planned ahead and reserved for moments where the whole team needs to come together to answer questions quickly, solve problems immediately, or come up with a solution on the fly.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

A fully remote team can completely embrace the freedoms provided by a business that operates remotely, through total workplace flexibility. This means that when you’re working in a fully remote team, you can work from anywhere: be that your home office, a coworking space, a local café, or a park. Furthermore, you can live anywhere, and as a manager or entrepreneur, you can source your talents from all over the world without a single care for issues like commuting.

 

But there are distinct cons to an asynchronous work model, as well as one that is fully remote. For one, it can be difficult to get things done right away. With proper management, you can ensure that your team meets all their deadlines. But if something comes up and needs to get fixed immediately, you will have to wait until your CSS specialist, or your developer wakes up and gets caught up with the situation.

 

In many cases, the boundaries between work and life can blur awfully hard when working in an asynchronous team.

 

While there is an understanding that everyone should take time for themselves and be offline from time to time, it becomes almost normal to check into work at odd hours, stay up much later than usual to resolve an issue because you had to wait for someone in another time zone to show up to work, and there are far more issues with communication and the team’s ability to react to problems.

 

With careful management, and certain considerations (such as ensuring that everyone on the team is online and working together at some point in the day, for at least an hour or so), some of these issues can be alleviated.

 

2. Fully Remote and Synchronous Work Model

 

Another fully remote work model is one that specializes in staying remote but working synchronously. In this case, the team collaborates on a similar or even exact schedule, despite minor (or massive) time zone differences. This might mean that some team members are stuck in a night shift.

 

Ideally, however, remote teams that work synchronously try to source their talent from areas in and around the same time zone, give or take a few hours, to minimize needing to put team members through the stress of long-term nocturnal living.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

Otherwise, the pros and cons are much of the same. Fully remote teams may lack a centralized location, and because it doesn’t make much sense to be both fully remote and have a professional location, many businesses that embrace a fully remote work model lack the means to physically host clients, enjoy the benefits of face-to-face onboarding, or grow a company culture through personal interaction.

 

Some of these cons can be alleviated through a virtual office, which may exist solely to provide a place to meet and talk with clients, as well as intercept calls and relay packages.

 

3. Hybrid Work Model

 

Hybrid work models blend the benefits of a remote work model with the benefits of having an office, usually by having at least a portion of the teamwork from a central location (usually team managers) while individual team members work from home, or from different coworking spaces, nearby or abroad.

 

The exact definition depends on personal preference. Some people maintain that a hybrid work model requires at least 50 percent of a company’s workforce to work from a centralized, commercial office location (regardless of whether that space is a flex space or coworking space or owned/leased commercial property).

 

In many cases, hybrid teams form when a company realizes that it cannot serve its clients solely with local talent. In that case, a company may source remote workers to supplement the main office staff.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

Hybrid teams only take limited advantage of the benefits of remote work, as the majority of the staff is still working from a central location.

 

This may be a popular model for most businesses interested in getting their toe in the water, but it limits the flexibility afforded by a true work-from-anywhere model.

 

4. Remote-First Work Model

 

This is a hybrid work model that prioritizes remote work, with a small subset of employees working from a centralized location. There are many benefits to a remote-first hybrid work model.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

Remote-first work models allow team members to report in from time to time and collaborate mostly virtually. However, it may not be an ideal fit for team members who work best with other people and need a place where they can socially interact with other team members beyond the limits of a computer screen.

 

5. Distributed/Split Work Model

 

In a distributed work model, teams are split up into multiple physical locations, with a few remote team members. Most teams, however, collaborate physically and on-location in offices or coworking spaces around the region, country, or world, and work with the other teams through virtual meetings and the occasional physical event.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

It’s expensive to fund and manage multiple commercial spaces. Coworking spaces relieve a lot of the managerial and financial pressure but stationing multiple teams across multiple coworking spaces is still more expensive than having a coworking hub, with multiple remote teams. But for many businesses, this blend of coworking and remote workspaces helps improve productivity and create a more defined and cohesive company identity.

 

Which Work Model Best Suits You?

 

Finding a model that best suits you can be difficult, and it depends on the size of your business, your resources, where your team members live and work from, and what your goals are for the growth of your company.

 

If you’re interested in ways to expand your team and benefit from both a physical location and a largely remote work model, you should consider leveraging coworking spaces.

 

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Business Trends Office Space

How to Start a Virtual Office Business?

How to start a virtual office business? This is an important question to answer as a virtual office provides many benefits and is simply a valuable option. Read more below.

 

Virtual offices exist to provide a minimum physical space (sometimes with a skeleton crew) for largely virtual companies to benefit from the advantages of a real-life address without necessarily having to occupy that address

 

Virtual offices are particularly beneficial for startups that otherwise cannot afford to finance, set up, manage, and occupy an entire commercial property on their own, but need a place to receive calls and packages, receive and host meetings with potential clients, and provide a greater sense of legitimacy.

 

How to Start a Virtual Office Business?

 

Virtual offices are, despite the name, real physical addresses. However, they are not designed to host a company’s workforce, or act as a workspace. Instead, these offices exist largely on paper, as addresses for other companies to send packages and correspondence, or for clients to call and check out. 

 

Another distinct benefit for a virtual office is that its address is usually in a commercial space, like a business park or an office building. This provides a business with much more legitimacy than if their own available address was a P.O. box or a garage in a residential area. Some clients and customers make a habit of checking a business’s physical location out on their own, even if only through Google Earth. 

 

The basic value proposition behind a virtual office is that it’s getting harder and more expensive to manage viable commercial real estate, especially for startups with employees spread thin over an entire region or country, or companies that operate largely remotely.

 

While having an office of your own has its distinct advantages, there are some benefits that you can spoof through a virtual office. 

 

Setting up a virtual office of your own doesn’t have to be a significant investment. You can create a virtual office for your business without owning a commercial workspace yourself, through coworking spaces

 

Benefits of a Virtual Office 

 

The distinct value proposition provided by a virtual office is that it gives smaller companies and entrepreneurs the advantage over the competition of benefitting from the trappings of a physical space without anywhere near the same overhead. 

 

When setting up a virtual office business, you can manage the same space for multiple different companies. It is not uncommon for multiple companies to share the same address. 

 

Some of the greater advantages of utilizing a virtual office for small businesses and entrepreneurs include: 

 

Having Your Own Mailbox

 

There are a few advantages to having a mailbox attached to an existing commercial space, and not just a regular P.O. box. These include: 

 

      • Being able to receive and forward physical mail from FedEx, UPS, and the USPS. PO boxes can only accept mail shipped through the USPS. 
      • Having a real address to mail things can improve your company’s legitimacy in the eyes of your clients. It is also safer. 
      • Having a physical address to ship to that is distinct from your own personal residential space. If you work largely from home, you may want to protect your privacy by separating your professional life from your personal life. This is especially important if your business may one day stand at the receiving end of some controversy. 

 

If you offer mail forwarding to the client of your virtual office business, then ensuring that their data is kept safe and encrypted and that all mail is processed on the same day it arrives can add an additional critical layer of security and convenience. 

 

You can utilize a virtual mailbox service to securely process your mail, forward it to an address of your choice confidentially, and continue to benefit from working at home or via a coworking space.  

 

A Space to Receive Clients

 

Perhaps the greatest benefit of setting up a virtual office for yourself is having the option of physically receiving clients, and meeting with them face-to-face when the occasion calls for it. 

 

A coworking space can act as an excellent and professional meeting room when it needs to, and most coworking spaces are designed with private meeting and conference rooms in mind. 

 

Sometimes, meeting solely over Zoom or Teams isn’t enough to gain a client’s trust. Face-to-face meetings may have been largely off the books during the pandemic, but as inoculation strategies unfold and a potential end to most restrictions is in sight, many businesses are considering how they might safely reintegrate in-person meetings and onboarding processes in safe, ventilated, or open spaces.  

 

Staff to Receive and Forward Calls

 

A successful virtual office consists of more than just space. It also requires a human element. This might be a virtual assistant outsourced to another corner of the planet, or a person present at your virtual office of choice, there to receive and host unexpected visits from clients, receive and forward important calls, and act as receptionists for your virtual business. 

 

In most cases, a single assistant or receptionist is often enough to handle the most basic administrative tasks, filtering through daily correspondence, taking calls, and notifying you whenever your presence might be needed at a physical location. 

 

To Summarize

 

      • The first thing you need when starting up a virtual office is the right location. 
      • You will also want a way to receive and process mail. 
      • Consider hiring staff to manage the receiving of calls and correspondence, and the occasional visiting client. 
      • Finally, consider coworking spaces for the benefits they provide as a nominal space for your business, whether it’s for meeting up with clients face-to-face, or facilitating the onboarding process for new hires

 

Tips for Entrepreneurs

 

Leverage a virtual space to make your life easier. A virtual office shouldn’t just be a placeholder to grant your business more legitimacy – consider taking full advantage of the benefits of having a coworking space of your own. 

 

Coworking spaces have provided a safe alternative for those struggling with feelings of isolation during the pandemic, enabling entrepreneurs and satellite teams to work from anywhere, coordinate virtually, and benefit from the amenities of a fully stocked office without the overhead of expanding the headquarters to comply with social distance rules, or buying up new commercial space. 

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Business Trends Work Environment

How to Develop and Enhance Your Coworking Community

Business trends are evolving, especially after COVID-19. So what role does a coworking community play for business growth? Read below.

 

There can be no coworking space without a coworking community. A successful coworking space offers more than just an attractive selection of amenities, good rates, and a snazzy ambiance. Coworking spaces are defined by the people who decide to work in them, the connections fostered by those people, and the professional relationships that come to be.

 

It is in every coworking space’s interest to enable and foster those relationships and grow a true sense of community. This is especially important during COVID-19, where a true feeling of community can be hard to find.

 

What Defines a Coworking Community?

 

A coworking community is the social connective tissue within the coworking space – aside from the tenants, it’s the administrators, the designers, the managers, the rest of the staff, and the tools they use to create and maintain a feeling of connectedness throughout the working day.

 

From the creative opportunities enabled by a good coffee bar to the way a coworking space can continue to endure and exist online, the development and nurturing of a coworking community is as important for the marketing of a coworking space as it is for the wellbeing and creativity of those in it.

 

Coworking spaces are more than just square footage of office available for a short-term lease. Every month spent at a coworking space is another month spent collaborating and networking with professionals in different industries from different backgrounds, while reaping the benefits of a creative culture and brand identity that changes from space to space.

 

How is Coworking Surviving the Pandemic?

 

Businesses banked on the work-from-home model during the pandemic, to cut down on interpersonal contact and reduce the transmission of the coronavirus. Yet as more and more countries approach a critical level of immunization, large parts of the world are looking towards better alternatives to the home office without a complete return to the cluttered, densified closed offices of the past.

 

The modern workspace is flexible, open to the outdoors on good weather, with isolated private rooms, well-ventilated common areas, sparse seating, and roving cleaning crews.

 

Many coworking spaces have taken on drastic hygiene protocols to enable safe business and provide a professional refuge to employees who were unable to get anything done from home, and either needed a more suitable environment to get their work done, or just wanted some sense of being back in an office environment, even with social distancing and frequent handwashing.

 

Coworking spaces are an attractive alternative because they are:

 

  • Decentralizing large corporate offices.
  • Providing flexible pricing models for both SMEs and large corporations in a tumultuous economy.
  • Focused primarily on attracting tech talent.
  • Existing in a diverse and competitive market.

 

Coworking spaces have more than just survived COVID – they have proven to be a valuable resource in the process of defining a post-pandemic workplace model.

 

Growing a Coworking Community in 2021

 

Community building is important in drawing in tenants, helping employees relate to one another, and create a productive social environment. And because we aren’t in a post-pandemic world yet, safety remains paramount.

 

If a coworking space is simply hosting workers while providing them with nothing but isolated spaces and plastic covers on chairs, it is little more than an office center. The benefits of coworking come from a highly social environment and finding ways to enable that sense of community without endangering the members of the community is each coworking space’s greatest challenge in 2021.

 

Prioritizing the Workspace Experience

 

What is your coworking space all about? What are you offering to facilitate productive collaboration and safe social experiences? Also, what do you offer in amenities beyond the raw basics of a fully equipped modern workplace?

 

Coworking spaces compete for the affections of their tenants through qualitative amenities and a management staff that prides itself on running a tight ship. This means:

 

  • nap rooms
  • drinks and snacks
  • dedicated meeting spots
  • private concentration rooms
  • outdoor spaces
  • plenty of natural light
  • non-distracting plant life
  • art that helps define the workspace culture
  • a consistent design theme and brand identity
  • a prime location

 

Does Your Coworking Community Facilitate Open Communication?

 

There can be no community without communication. Make sure there are multiple accessible channels to communicate concerns and ideas with management and other staff, send in complaints or reviews, make suggestions, and keep the community up to date on management decisions, upcoming changes, and more.

 

This can be done through open chatrooms like Slack, space-specific to-do boards on Trello, a community manager account on Twitter and Facebook, a proprietary app for the coworking space, a mobile-friendly website with a blog and live chat function, and multiple other online avenues.

 

Create an Online Coworking Community for Your Space

 

Aside from basic interfacing, you can create and nurture an online community in the absence of community events and experiences, to help foster a sense of social interactivity and belonging in our pandemic world.

 

You can host opt-in virtual events such as game night via Zoom or on the premises, monthly introductory meetings to help newcomers feel welcome and get a sense for who’s who, and more.

 

Coworking spaces may fulfill a crucial role in the current climate as interactive workplace communities for those unable or unwilling to return to a typical office setting, either because of the lengthy commute, a lack of space, or the financial impact of the pandemic.

 

While some of us were immensely grateful for the opportunity to fully embrace the home office lifestyle, not everyone is set up or cut out for working from home. There are distinct disadvantages to being a completely self-reliant worker, and some struggle under the isolation and loneliness it breeds, while others have no space bereft from distraction due to their own personal circumstances.

 

Even a post-pandemic world is more likely to see a move towards work-from-anywhere policies than a move back to company headquarters.

 

Some employees thrive and are most productive while working from home, while others need the camaraderie of working with the rest of the team, and others yet like to collaborate with different professionals and soak in the professional-casual atmosphere of a coworking space, a happy medium.

 

Companies keen on maximizing the potential of their hires will want to offer multiple options to ensure that everyone doing their part can do so as effectively as possible.

 


Read More:

What is a Virtual Office and Why You Need It Today

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Business Trends

How to Inspire Your Employees to Become Creatives

What does it mean to become creatives? This is a question to seriously think about, especially during a time where creativity is needed now more than ever. Read below for details.

 

As we collectively reach nearly a year of working under the circumstances of a pandemic, many of us have had to reinvent boundaries and find ways to halt or slow the inevitable melding of home life and work life and struggle to find ways to remain productive or even creative.

 

Some of us have been faced with crippling social isolation for months, while others have lost friends and loved ones to an unrelenting and uncaring virus that no one was equipped for.

 

As we continue to brave each day, we are faced with new and recurring challenges at work, the boldest of which is the challenge to remain steadfast in our duties and uphold our responsibilities as workers and employers – and continue to deliver fully on the 30, 40, or even 60-hour weeks we spend on a collective vision.

 

It’s important for us to recognize that this pandemic has had a significant and understandable impact, one we need to learn not only to accept but adapt to. Some of us haven’t been able to face that issue, scared of falling behind and losing out on a precious work opportunity that not everyone is privileged to.

 

Employers must give their employees the courage to openly speak out about their personal struggles – and understand that these causally relate to their professional and creative struggles because, in a COVID-era, the personal and professional have too often become one and the same.

 

This is the first step towards helping and inspiring your employees to become better creatives and find that spark that might have fizzled or gone out in the face of the pandemic. From there, it’s all about creating a better and more positive environment – even remotely.

 

Set the Right Environmental Factors

 

It’s a huge cliché to see your employee’s creative potentials as flowers waiting to bloom, but the simple fact of the matter is that environmental factors are really important – but not just at work.

 

As the pandemic has forced us to redefine the workplace and accept remote working concepts into our business, many have found themselves falling in love with the idea of working from home forever – while many others struggle to draw the line between work and home and try to compensate with ever longer hours, and an ever-greater threat of stress-related burnouts.

 

Building a stronger creative team starts with building the factors that nurture and support that team. Encourage stricter boundaries between work and home.

 

Help employees with flexible work schedules and nearby coworking spaces find safe and hygienic remote solutions to try and create a physical barrier between work and home, via a shorter, safer, more accessible commute to a coworking space.

 

Help those who can afford it create a home office and work with them to develop a schedule that allows them to balance and split their responsibilities to their work, and their responsibilities to family.

 

Encourage simple routines and rituals to begin and end the workday, cut short unnecessary or distracting meetings, and ask employees to identify their greatest daily blocks and distractions, and find ways to mitigate them within reason (there’s very little anyone can do about the needs of a new-born, but it’s important to explore other options where organization and flexibility can help forge better boundaries).

 

For employees who are at work, be sure to address both the physical and organizational factors that help forge creativity – such as:

 

      • Better natural light
      • A clean office space kept tidy and organized
      • Art that isn’t too distracting but provides places for the eyes to linger during brainstorming sessions
      • Private spaces where employees can withdraw to think alone or rest their eyes, or simply get away from the noise

 

When creating a supportive organizational environment, ensure that you aren’t encouraging or tolerating behavior that is potentially silencing other creative voices in the room, such as picking one idea before hearing the others, shutting someone down before they finish, or critiquing one person’s idea before everyone had a chance to present.

 

Cooperation is a more effective approach to creativity than competition, and creatives will generally thrive in a safe space that allows them to explore any and all possibilities without being crippled by self-doubt and constraints created by other people’s immediate reactionary opinions. Each idea can be refined and rejected once it has had time to develop. But shutting an idea down in its incubatory phase keeps it from getting to a point where it might have become the right one.

 

Provide Clear Guidance

 

The worst thing you can do as a manager or director is to simply give the command to “get creative.” It is your job to present guidance and provide limitations for the rest of the team to work around.

 

Talk about what pointers you have been given by the client and provide further direction by discussing the basics – such as deadline, budgetary constraints, and what you know isn’t in the books. And then exploring what else you know about the project, such as its origins and style, details about the client and their audience, and any other information you can provide to paint a better picture.

 

Give Everyone a Real Breather

 

True breaks are hard to come by in the pandemic age, but wherever possible, encourage creative employees to pursue meaningful breaks into nature – from something as simple as a brisk walk in the park to a weekend trip up into the mountains.

 

Studies have shown time and time again that we think much better when surrounded by open skies and the smells and sensations of nature, and a few hours spent among the trees will do far more for a creative type’s headspace than another weekend spent indoors.

 

Harnessing Creativity Demands Creativity

 

Finding ways to create a constructive and nurturing environment both physically and remotely will require a huge amount of creativity. Especially as most managers are constrained by very specific limitations that might keep them from helping their employees unleash their best creative potential.

 

To that end, you will have to accept that these limitations, wherever they cannot be overcome, will serve to impede or prevent some from being as creative as they could be.

 

Never Underestimate the Importance of Creativity in Success

 

Every conceivable business that offers a product or service needs creativity to help reiterate concepts, renew ideas, and adapt to a world that is evolving and changing faster than ever.

 

It’s the creative employees who came up with the concepts that helped save countless businesses during the early days of the pandemic, from developing unique ways to continue to provide a product or service while maintaining social distancing, to finding new ways to offer a face-to-face service remotely. And it is creatives who will continue to find ways to increase your value proposition and make your business the one that stands out above the rest.

 

The biggest value in creativity is its ability to find solutions to problems. That is the true definition behind every creative type – a problem solver who finds new ways to answer both old and evolving questions.

 

 

Categories
Business Trends

The Ultimate Business Plan Checklist You’ll Need

Taking action with your ideas should be fun, not stressful. So to ensure you have everything you need, follow this ultimate business plan checklist.

 

With the onset of a new year, it’s time to reflect and strategize, taking into account the lessons of 2020, and how they shape your company’s or idea’s path forward. When taking stock of your business (or concept) and both it’s short- and long-term goals, the most important thing is to create a quantifiable and actionable plan.

 

Business plans are both the ideal way of quantifying an idea, as well as reflecting on past progress or failures and how they changed your company.

 

Why Bother with a Business Plan?

 

Business plans are usually thought of as the first step towards turning a spark into a business, but they’re also worth revisiting and revising, particularly after the challenges of last year.

 

As managers and entrepreneurs enter the new year, it’s important to take stock of a company’s strengths and weaknesses, take the opportunity to explore and study the competition, and consider how or where the company might be able to attract new clients, funding, or investments. A solid business plan acts as the distilled essence of what your business is, what it’s done, and where it might go.

 

But to create a solid business plan, you need a solid structure, and a foundation built on data and research.

 

Your Business Plan Checklist

 

Like any lengthy document, a business plan needs structure.

 

First, you should identify what audience you’re trying to target with your business plan – is it an internal document for management? Is it going to be primarily used to inform existing investors and secure new ones? Is it an elaborated mission statement to attract clients?

 

Then, you will need to address questions that your audience might have. These would be the individual sections the business plan will consist of each clearly answering a potential question with clear data. In general, a business plan checklist would look like this:

 

      • Describe Your Company and Industry

 

Depending on your audience, the first section of the plan will consist of an overview of the company’s purpose and its role in the current industry, as well as general information on the industry to help provide context for the company’s state and future.

 

      • What Are Your Prospects in the Current Market?

 

After going into detail on what the company does, it’s time to go into detail on the state of the market, and how your company is adapting to recent changes or aims to improve in light of sudden developments.

 

With the pandemic, countless industries have had to rapidly shift towards remote services, safe delivery mechanisms, rapid digitalization, and better software integration with mobile devices, among other concerns. How has your company adapted, and what are its prospects in the current market?

 

      • What is the Competition Up To?

 

No business plan is complete without an unbiased and objective view of the competition, particularly how it serves customers and clients in your area, and how you can further differentiate your business from other successful businesses around you.

 

      • How Are You Operating?

 

The next critical part of the business plan is a concise and comprehensive overview of its management and production, from how individual teams and departments are managed, how the organization itself is structured, how workplace policies such as remote work, coworking spaces, and work-from-anywhere policies have been implemented as a result of the pandemic, and how delivery mechanisms have been changed or implemented to ensure safety.

 

Another question is scaling – if your company is growing rapidly as a result of the shift towards digitalization, how are you planning to keep up with growing demand or a wider audience?

 

 

      • How Are You Marketing Your Products and Services?

 

The marketing portion of the business plan should report on the success of previous campaigns and tactics and plans in light of how the market has changed, and how demand is shifting.

 

Who are your customers, and what are they most likely to want? Can you identify what it is that they might want that they themselves aren’t aware of? And if yes, how can you leverage that to gain more sales?

 

      • How Healthy Are Your Finances?

 

How have your sales and revenue been holding up as a result of the pandemic, and what kind of growth are you projecting for the new quarter? A financial overview is often the most critical portion of a business plan for many investors who want to see raw numbers, and want to know how you’ve been holding up over the pandemic, and whether you have the potential to continue to grow your business.

 

      • Create Your Management Summary

 

The last thing you should work on should be the first thing in the plan – the executive or management summary, providing a concise overview of the contents of the document, the state of the business, and the purpose for this plan.

 

Essential Rules for a Well-Written Business Plan

 

It’s easy to go overboard with the jargon and flourish and turn your business plan into a wordy brochure. But shareholders and investors are people too, and their eyes glaze over just as easily as any other customer or client. You must keep your audience in mind when writing your business plan, and understand that there are a few key rules to follow:

 

1. Stay Concise

 

Avoid repeating yourself and avoid the use of industry jargon that might not make any sense to a general audience of investors and financiers. Save the flourish for your marketing campaigns, and focus on short, simple bullet-point answers for critical questions that you imagine the reader might ask.

 

Source your information heavily with references based on real market research, but don’t drown the reader in unnecessary data – keep it informative, and in the service of an actual point (such as explaining the potential demand for your niche or product based on market trends and surveys).

 

2. Focus on Your Differences

 

When describing your business and how it fits into the industry – especially when considering your competition and other similar companies – focus on what differentiates your company or idea from others and focus on the specific niche that you’ve carved out or plan to carve out for yourself.

 

In a world where modern technology gives us access to products and services from all over the globe, focusing on what sets you apart from the competition is more important than ever.

 

3. Provide Authoritative References

 

Regardless of whether your business plan is written to attract investment, reassure or maintain investors, or just to give you an updated overview of the company and its direction for the near future, it’s important to provide trusted references for the information you’re including in your plan.

 

We tend to try and focus on the positives when discussing an idea we’re fond of, or we tend to lean towards defending our practices and business, even when the writing is on the wall that a change of direction is long overdue. Reliable data is important to back up your belief in your business and provide readers with more than just a sense of your passion for the company.

 

Conclusion

 

The ultimate business plan serves as a referential document used to reflect on the company’s progress. In addition, to give a thorough insight on its unique purpose in your industry, as well as provide direction for the future.

 

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Business Trends

New Year, New Goals to Set as a Solopreneur

Surely as a solopreneur, you’re ready to take on the new year with new goals to set! Below are tips to keep in mind when planning your 2021!

 

Goal setting is both very difficult and very important, especially for a solopreneur. When you’re pursuing your dreams and working on projects alone, every minute of the day is immensely valuable – and you can’t afford to waste time rushing into the wrong trajectory.

 

Smart and effective goal setting attempts to align our actions and intentions with our dreams, so we can continuously move towards them. What sets good goals apart from bad goals is scope and achievability.

 

A goal is meaningless if it’s too lofty, or too grounded. While solopreneurs need to set high expectations for themselves in order to motivate themselves, astronomical goals will often just further contribute to the feel in that you aren’t getting anywhere, and lead to burnout.

 

This 2021, set your sights on goals that don’t waste your time and move you in the right direction.

 

1. Clean House and Cut Excesses

 

Retrospection should always be the first step towards any meaningful change. As solopreneurs, we’re often too busy thinking about our next steps to take a moment and reevaluate our failures and shortcomings. We tend to barrel forwards, taking along bad habits and maladapted coping skills.

 

Take the new year as an opportunity to make a clean cut from 2020 and previous years, and analyze your decision-making, your work processes, and your day-to-day operations. What’s holding you back? What could you be eliminating to make it easier for you to work? What habits did you subconsciously develop that you should confront and eliminate in the new year?

 

A couple of simple examples include:

 

      • Installing and adhering to monitoring software to cut down on unnecessary doomscrolling and social media consumption.
      • Setting boundaries and limits around communications and lengthy meetings.
      • Cutting down on unnecessary subscriptions and email notifications.
      • Consolidating different services and monthly costs into smaller or simpler packages and reviewing your toolset.
      • Eliminating tools you don’t really need.
      • And more.

 

Where are you spending money with little to no return on investment? And more importantly, where are you spending time with little to no return on investment? Answer and act on these questions before tackling any other goals and intentions.

 

2. Identify Your Greatest (and Least Useful) Time Sinks

 

There are very few tasks the human mind can focus on for hours on end. Even though many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs find themselves working well over the standard 40 hours a week, they cycle between tasks and activities, or take breaks during the day to freshen the mind and think new thoughts.

 

Some of these breaks may run a little too long or become unnecessary distractions. Identify and separate work-appropriate restorative activities from private hobbies, and unhealthy time sinks.

 

Sit down and formulate an average weekly schedule, taking into account your own personal productivity levels throughout the day, identifying your best hours, your biggest typical daily slumps, and techniques that have helped or hindered you in the past. Try out new ways to improve your productivity, manage stress levels, and avoid bad working habits.

 

3. Announce Your Intentions Selectively

 

Setting goals and keeping them to yourself may be a good idea, as announcing them to the world can sometimes give you satisfaction similar to having already achieved them – taking some of the edge off, in a bad way.

 

However, announcing them selectively to your greatest friends and supporters can be a great way to ensure that you’re holding yourself accountable to your word, and showing real commitment towards your goals.

 

It also acts as a sort of additional level of clarity, giving you the opportunity to consider whether your goals really are achievable, and whether they accurately reflect the commitments you want to make this year.

 

 

4. Leave Room for Mental Sustainability

 

Putting too much on your plate is not a sign of strength. A wise solopreneur knows that the path towards success is best run as a marathon rather than a sprint, and young hustlers stretching themselves too thin usually end up burning out before their big break. If you want to hustle sustainably, you need to leave room for mental health.

 

That might not mean therapy or yoga sessions, or in-depth personal meditation. Maybe your coping habits take on a different shape or form, and that’s fine – so long as you find something that works for you. Sometimes, it’s not just what you do, but what you don’t do – and who you don’t talk with. Cut out the toxicity, separate yourself from both the naysayers and the yes men, and put your health first.

 

5. Find the Workspace of Your Dreams

 

The global pandemic has changed the way we work and communicate and relegated many to the home office – with mixed results. While many Americans embraced the change, others struggled with a poor transition, feelings of isolation, and endless distractions.

 

Coworking spaces provide an alternative for many to continue working with others and collaborate in a safe environment, without further expanding their own office space or relying solely on virtual tools.

 

Coworking spaces have adapted to COVID through novel hygiene protocols, strict social distancing measures, and by catering towards companies and entrepreneurs looking for ways to leverage space to create satellite offices for workers who cannot risk a lengthy commute.

 

6. Define and Refine Your Skillset

 

After a particularly difficult 2020, it’s time to stop spreading yourself too thin and focus on what you know. It’s good to learn and branch out but try to consolidate your efforts into projects that carry a personal value or are specifically within your area of expertise and knowledge.

 

Doing something daring can pay off, but there’s a time and place for such risks. Consider utilizing 2021 as an opportunity to hone your skills in a direction you’re comfortable with, define healthy boundaries, set achievable goals, and come out stronger than ever before.

 

Final Solopreneur Tip

 

Most new year resolutions fail and fall apart due to their excessive scope and vague nature. Take the time to identify targeted goals that matter to you, are specific to your personal and professional interests, and allow you to grow as a person and as an entrepreneur.

 

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Business Trends

9 Virtual Meeting Etiquette Tips Everyone Should Know

Surely, we are all still getting used to virtual work interactions. That said, be prepared for your next virtual meeting by following the virtual meeting etiquette tips below.

 

Virtual meetings can be productive, time-efficient, and fun. Or they can be a source of endless frustration and watercooler memes. If you’re in charge of your monthly or weekly virtual meetings, knowing the difference between good and bad meetings is critical. A big part of that difference is simple etiquette.

Be sure to follow these virtual meeting etiquette tips to avoid unnecessary time loss and turn the bane of everyone’s day into an important and effective cornerstone of your remote operation.

 

1. Dress Right from Top to Bottom

 

It’s very tempting to ignore basic dress rules and focus on what’s visible most of the time. But even a fraction of a second spent looking at a coworker’s PJs or underwear is a fraction of a second too long.

 

You don’t have to “show up to work” in your home office dressed in a full suit and tie, but keep things at least business casual, from the toes to the hairline.

 

2. Keep the Background Simple and Professional

 

A chaotic or unseemly background can be massively distracting, whether real or virtual. You might feel tempted to start playing around with (or without) green screens and meeting backdrops for a little bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. While it’s certainly an effective icebreaker, there’s a time and place for it.

 

Be sure to have a clean and professional background ready when it’s time to drop the green screen or joke background. Avoid clutter, eye-catching artwork, or too many personal items – such as family pictures, children’s toys, collectibles, and figurines. A bookshelf, a plant, a simple picture or drawing, or even a blank wall will do.

 

The same goes for noise. We’re all limited by what we have available, and there will always have to be a little leeway but avoid holding a meeting in the basement even if it’s where you have the best connectivity. Consider purchasing a long ethernet cable, powerline adapter, or WiFi extender to retain quality connectivity in a separate room.

 

If you have no way of hosting or joining a meeting at home and can’t reasonably get to the office (due to distance or social distancing measures), consider a nearby coworking space instead. Coworking spaces make for excellent satellite offices and can serve as an ideal in-between for those unable to return to the office, yet unable to concentrate or work efficiently from home.

 

3. Beware of Your Lighting and Eye Level

 

You don’t want too many shadows on your face, or to have the camera facing directly at a source of light (especially when that light is behind you). Make the most of your natural light by facing a window during your call or utilize a lamp to illuminate yourself and your surroundings properly.

 

Furthermore, consider the angle of your face to the camera, and adjust it to be around or at about eye level. Too far above or below can make things particularly awkward, affecting how you and your communication are received, especially when interacting with clients.

 

4. Run a Pre-call Tech Test

 

The last thing you should do is wait until the very last second to run a test call. You don’t want to have to spend the first ten minutes of a meeting fiddling with your setup, troubleshooting your mic, or trying to reinstall the right drivers for your camera.

 

Be sure to run a quick test of your mic, headphones, camera, and connectivity, to make sure everything is working properly, and to save yourself the trouble.

 

5. Consider Push-To-Talk or Keep the Mute Button Handy

 

Knowing where the mute button is isn’t just handy for when you’ve got to sneeze or talk to someone outside of the call but can also help you greatly reduce background noise and buzz. While we’ve come a long way with microphone technology, it’s still extremely difficult to filter out simple background noises (including interference, air conditioning units, or fans) during a live call.

 

Simply hitting the mute button when you aren’t talking can make it much easier for everyone else to hear each other, especially when you have half a dozen people or more on the call.

 

6. Don’t Split Your Attention

 

It’s not only rude to check your email or start messaging someone else in the middle of a virtual meeting – it’s also a sign that you’re likely not being efficient with your time. Meetings should be goal-oriented and quick, and not a time or place for multitasking.

 

7. Please Don’t Snack

 

This should go without saying, but it’s still a rule that is sometimes ignored or not considered: stop eating during a meeting. Even if you mute your mic, the sight of someone eating during an important call can be distracting or unprofessional, especially when it isn’t a lunch meeting or explicitly some form of culinary get-together. This rule is obviously flexible when the meeting is designed to take place during lunch or act as a sort of company meal.

 

8. Keep a Consistent and Clear Audio Level

 

No one likes a mumbler, and no one likes a screamer. Most video conferencing tools and VOIP software give you basic audio levels for your microphone, so you know at what volume you begin peaking. Run a test call with a friend to figure out how loud you should be speaking and project your voice consistently.

 

Consider speaking slowly as well and be prepared to repeat yourself. Virtual meetings will be hindered by whoever has the weakest connection, and chances are that you may be asked to repeat yourself more than once if at least one of the people in the call is struggling with connectivity issues. Don’t get louder or become annoyed – just repeat what you said calmly, and slowly. Sometimes it is what it is.

 

9. Be Patient

 

There will be issues, grievances, and problems. Be prepared to deal with them calmly. A lot of the problems and hang-ups with virtual meetings can be solved via proper etiquette and preparation, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be perfect. You will have to prepare yourself for some frustrating moments.

 

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Business Trends

How to Onboard New Hires in a Pandemic World

Onboarding new hires look a little different now as we work in a more virtual setting. So what’s the best way to welcome them to the company? Read below for details.

 

The onboarding process is very important for establishing a positive bond between a new employee and their employer. In addition, helping new hires learn everything they need to know about a company’s culture, day-to-day structure, and organization.

 

Successful onboarding can help new hires feel at home and massively boost their productivity in both the short-term and long-term, by ensuring that they become a part of the company from day one.

 

A poor onboarding process – or having none at all – can be a surefire path towards high employee turnover and low worker engagement. Companies that fail to connect with their employees are wasting talent and potential. Moreover, sinking substantial resources into a working relationship that is ultimately subpar.

 

The recent COVID pandemic has thrown a wrench into onboarding processes everywhere. Its has left companies at a loss for how to effectively help new hires feel like they are truly part of a greater family of talented individuals and passionate workers. It’s hard to get a sense of how a company works or what kind of culture it propagates when working purely virtually.

 

However, that doesn’t mean onboarding is impossible in the peri-pandemic world. With adjustments to account for each crucial element of the process, companies can continue to build strong and qualitative relationships with new and existing hires and make the most of the talent they bring on board.

 

The Elements of the Onboarding Process

 

In order to make the most of the situation, it’s important to dissect the onboarding process. In doing so, figure out how to adapt each element into a remote concept that is safe, effective, and scalable during the ongoing pandemic.

 

Onboarding consists of incorporating a new hire into the following:

 

1. Culture and Social Elements

 

A company’s culture is entirely dependent on the people in it, and the way they engage with one another socially. This can make conveying company culture remotely very difficult. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

 

New hires could be introduced to a company’s culture through a welcoming gift, such a collection of notes from each existing employee. Safely bringing new hires to a satellite coworking office to interact with staff and get a sense of what people are like at their new workplace can also help new employees feel less distant to the company they’ve started working for.

 

Consider an early adjustment period wherein new hires are brought to a physical coworking space to work and train with mentoring employees before continuing remotely, or through other coworking locations.

 

2. Communication and Day-to-Day Workflow

 

While helping employees fit in and better understand who they’re working with, helping them work efficiently and incorporate their talents effectively is still the top priority of the onboarding process.

 

New hires might feel tremendously left out and confused as to how to best leverage their abilities when given as few details as possible or onboarded purely remotely.

 

A short face-to-face onboarding process facilitated through a safe coworking environment can help bring new hires up to speed. This allows them to begin quickly and adapt to the needs and requirements of their new position.

 

Aside from introducing new hires to their workflow, setting expectations for how tasks and projects are managed and completed, troubleshooting the basics, and providing detailed on-location mentoring through a safe facilitating office location like a coworking space, companies should continue to help these employees adjust to their role in the company remotely.

 

Examples for doing this include daily virtual mentoring sessions, and an individualized testing process to ensure that new hires have fully acclimated to their respective duties and responsibilities.

 

Part of enabling this involves helping new hires with acquiring and setting up all the appropriate hardware and software, walking them through the use of company communications and collaboration tools, helping them understand and properly navigate company security, and learning the basics of how to interact with company tools and information, and who to ask for more specific instructions.

 

 

3. Organization and Company Structure

 

While not as urgent as helping a new hire feel comfortable with their co-workers or become aware of their responsibilities and expectations, understanding how a company is structured is still part of the onboarding process. This helps new hires understand who to come to for work and department-related questions and considerations, and who to speak to when confronted with very specific issues and problems.

 

Once a new hire is familiar with each of these three critical elements, they have been successfully welcomed into their new work family. Ensuring the line of communication remains open at all times is very important. The onboarding process doesn’t just stop after initial orientation is done.

 

New hires will certainly come up with questions they might not have had initially or run into unexpected roadblocks in their first few weeks at a new position. Ensuring that the door is always open for them and their questions can help them feel welcomed and cared for, and can help speed up their integration, further improving productivity.

 

Addressing the Primary Challenge

 

Ultimately, the greatest challenge when onboarding new hires during the pandemic is distance. Virtual communication tools such as screensharing and instant messaging allows for near-seamless interaction and collaboration and can help facilitate a virtual mentoring program. But it is still no substitute for a face-to-face onboarding process.

 

Safe working environments outside of the main headquarters, such as a satellite office utilizing a coworking space, can help facilitate face-to-face onboarding. New hires would be provided with their own sanitized workstation and can maintain a safe distance from their co-worker(s) while still being introduced to some of the people they will primarily be working with, especially in the area.

 

Benefits of Coworking During the Onboarding Process

 

Coworking spaces have emerged as a unique solution for companies looking for safe spaces to enable remote employees to collaborate physically without violating social distancing, eliminating or mitigating many of the issues surrounding prolonged remote work. This includes the feeling of being isolated from others, and remote work-related burnout and stress.

 

Coworking spaces can act as satellite offices for companies who have reopened their main offices, but are only allowing a skeleton crew in their headquarters to ensure every employee maintains a safe distance and doesn’t need to share any of their physical equipment.

 

Via a hub-and-spoke model, companies can leverage coworking spaces to help co-workers physically collaborate in mutually near locations. This makes it a viable option for businesses with employees spread across an entire region or country.

 

The onboarding process is a perfect example of how companies can leverage such spaces to enable face-to-face collaboration and reap the benefits of a safe coworking environment during the pandemic.

 

Categories
Business Trends

5 Essential Startup Resources You’ll Need for Success

Sure, there are plenty of startup resources to look into, but which ones will you need for a path towards success? Read below for the details on the 5 important ones!

 

The modern-day startup is defined by its resourcefulness and adaptability, and the spirit of global connectivity. Competition is fiercer than it has ever been. But the opportunities for collaboration and remote connection are greater than ever to boot.

 

To outperform the competition, reach the most people, and dominate the local market. Startups today must leverage existing and upcoming technologies, and manage a global talent pool.

 

Any aspiring startup in today’s climate will also have to deal with the century’s greatest economic challenge: an ongoing pandemic. In times like these, it’s important to focus on what works best, and shed what’s non-essential.

 

Here are our five startup resources you’ll need for success.

 

1. The Right Workspace

 

The completely remote business model works for many companies, especially in the digital and tech industries. But these models aren’t applicable to all businesses. There are still many startups that rely on face-to-face business, and there are companies that see benefits in working from an office that cannot be mimicked in a completely remote setup.

 

Working alongside one another can improve performance and efficiency in communication, allow for spontaneous collaboration and interaction, make it much easier to train newcomers, help stave off burnouts caused by isolation, and speed up project ideation, planning, and execution. While remote work will absolutely play a greater role from now on for both productivity and safety reasons, some tasks are still best coordinated in person.

 

But any old office setup would be unsuited to the challenges and dangers posed by the coronavirus, which is why new ideas are necessary to help prepare the workplace, and those who work in it. Once workspaces are retrofitted to accommodate their workers, there’s still the issue of limited space. Social distancing and dedensification play a critical role in minimizing the effects of the virus.

 

Coworking spaces are ideally suited to implementing all necessary safety precautions while providing the perfect environment for small teams to return to work together. They include combining remote collaboration with face-to-face communication, acting as spokes to the hub in a wheel, and ensuring that startups can leverage existing safe spaces to get back to work without endangering their team.

 

2. Remote Collaborative Tools

 

Any lean startup seeking to make the most of the challenges and limitations of this year will rely heavily on remote collaborative tools. This is of course to communicate between on-site teams and workers staying at home.

 

Collaborative tools are the connective tissue of any aspiring startup. In addition, enabling instant communication across oceans and making it possible to collaborate on projects regardless of physical distance.

 

Whenever face-to-face collaboration isn’t possible, it’s time to turn to tools like OBS for screen capture. Also, Microsoft Teams for documentation and ideation, Trello for planning, Zoom for meetings, and so on.

 

3. A Feature-Rich Helpdesk

 

Customer service and support are critical. Especially for startups where early experiences between a company and their first customers can result in thousands of new sales, or a ruined reputation.

 

Beneath viral social marketing, glowing customer reviews, and an enviable following online lies the nitty gritty legwork of swiftly and efficiently addressing customer complaints and problems. In addition, troubleshooting errors, and conveying – as best as possible – that you care.

 

Managing all this without the digital infrastructure to do it efficiently can be soul-crushing work. Not to mention resulting in countless wasted hours. An effective helpdesk and customer support solution is a critical investment for any startup looking to create a long-lasting and loyal customer base.

 

4. Designs and Designers

 

Startups need consistent quality branding and marketing material that is up to snuff with the competition – or better yet, beats it.

 

There are plenty of platforms and resources dedicated to promoting designers and artists skilled in creating entire design suites for startups. Being in contact with a designer you know, someone who you feel best encapsulates what your company means to you in a visual sense, is an important resource.

 

5. Market Research Tools

 

Analyzing and capitalizing on data is critical for any startup trying to get a leg up in today’s market environment. That’s where market research tools become really important. From analyzing trends for content and marketing purposes, to drafting, sending, and compiling data from surveys to the customers and potential customers you serve and will serve.

 

Identifying and recruiting testers is just as important. Especially when you want to make sure your product is developed to suit your target audience, and not flop on day one. There are many different platforms and services to help you get as much insight into your customers as possible. These include free tools like Google Trends and Crunchbase to paid local surveys.

 

 

Other Startup Resources

 

Concrete startup resources vary greatly from industry to industry, and business to business. You might need more people at work and hands on deck. You might need to focus most on better equipment, or a hygiene plan that lets you operate better during the ongoing crisis. Or a plan that attracts critical investment. Perhaps you need more immediate financing to help your business off the ground. Or, what you need most is to focus exclusively on promoting your business locally. And attracting clients currently dissatisfied with the services that are available to them.

 

Identifying what you need the most and investing in that need requires a keen eye and a tactical mind. As well as a knack for leadership. Especially now, when many are worried about their jobs and the prospect of surviving this crisis as a smaller company.

 

Even more important is the ability to reflect on the one thing that never truly stops growing: experience. Do you have the capacity to sit back and analyze your failures? Or are you going to repeat them?

 

Running a business is never easy. And neither is weathering the negativity and opposition constantly in place against you and your dreams. That’s why the two most important resources, past even experience, or reflection, are motivation and support.

 

Never forget the humanity behind your business, and the importance of promoting that human element in everything you do. From inspiring your coworkers, to forging that human connection with your clients and customers, and finding fulfillment in the everyday process between a startup’s early days and that first taste of true success.

 


Read More:

Employer Branding: What Is It and How Can It Grow Your Business?