Where to Sit in Meetings

Believe it or not, where you and your team or clients sit at a table during presentations plays a factor in the conversation flow and meeting energy. Here's how to strategically plan meeting seating arrangements.

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Outside Investment - Is Your Company a Candidate?

Every entrepreneur needs to raise capital at some point in time, as a business requires a large cash injection to get off the ground and even survive long-term. Crowd-funding, social media and other new avenues to getting media attention and capital make it is easier than ever to launch a startup, but investment capital has become increasingly competitive as a large sea of companies vie for the attention of angel investors and venture capitalists. Crowdfunding platformFundable reports that investors or venture capitalists fund less than 1 percent of startups, whereas 57 percent of startups receive loans or credit, and another 38 percent are financially supported by family or friends. The issue is not that investment firms don’t want to invest in startups, or that they lack the capital, overall the larger problem is that many companies just aren’t a suitable candidate for outside investment. Here’s how to determine if you startup is.

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Here’s Why Business Founders Should Pay Themselves

As a business founder, it may be tempting to reinvest every dollar you make back into your startup. However this is not a wise idea. When business founders make the mistake of paying themselves zilch, anticipating that one day they’ll be able to suddenly draw millions when business is booming, they cause themselves nothing but trouble. The truth is that the magical day when business is booming may not come, especially if you plan to expand your business. There will no doubt always be bills to be paid, investments to make, new equipment to buy or staff to pay. Although for a while you may need to sacrifice your salary, you shouldn’t do so indefinitely. As a business founder you should pay yourself once your company has grown sufficiently. Here is why you need to start taking a salary.

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3 Tips to Successfully Scale Your Business

Every major company in the world, whether it is Apple or Virgin, was a start up once. Even companies that are now worth billions once started with a vision, an idea and only a handful of people. Bill Gates started his business working out of his garage. How did these small businesses turn into profitable multinational blue chips? Obviously hard work, expertise, dedicated staff and timing played a huge role but so did the ability to scale and grow. All companies no mattertheir size need to focus onsustainable growth and on how to scale over time. Only by scaling will you be able to perform under an increased workload and improve profit margins. Here are tips and tricks from the best in the business that will teach you how to scale your business.

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4 Ways your Startup Could Save the World

The world of business has drastically altered in the last decade. Increasingly, startups and firms of all types are becoming aware of the need to have a business ethos that incorporates sustainability as a central feature.

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4 Cyber Security Tools Your Company Needs

In fact, nowadays nearly all businesses who have any reliance on web-based structures are at risk of a cyber attack. Although the public typically only hears about cyber attacks against governments or world famous companies, any kind of business, no matter its size or niche, is at risk from cyber criminals and therefore should get strong cyber security. In order to make sure you protect your business, here are some of the best cyber security solutions available on the market.

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What is the Internet of Things

Information technology is radically revolutionizing products and businesses. Previously machines were composed of disparate, unrelated mechanical as well as electrical bits and pieces. Today our machines have become intelligent, complex systems that can join together and combine their hardware, sensors, data and a whole plethora of other tools, to form a connected network that ensures optimal customer experience and maximum productivity. As a startup or small business, taking advantage of smart, connected products can give you the edge on the competition.

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Should You Hire Based on Culture Fit?

Leading a team that is naturally on the same page will be much easier than trying to guide a group of disjointed personalities. Culture fit is the cement that holds the bricks of your startup together. That’s why, when recruiting, it is vital to seek employees who will be a good fit. Even if you need to hire different personalities for different roles, they all need to share common values and motivations. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the consequences of inadequate culture fit can lead to a high turnover, thereby costing an organization between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary. Therefore, before hiring your startup employees you need to take the following steps.

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5 Tips for Increasing Operational Efficiency

In order for startups to get off the ground and become profitable, they need to do more than just focus on income; they need to be smart about running their business in an efficient manner. Ensuring your startup is running at optimal efficiency is vital in today's markets. It's particularly important for small businesses to operate efficiently, as they usually have limited access to resources when compared to their larger peers. Operational efficiency is predicated upon input vs. your output. Input means everything that goes into the production of goods or service. The output is the end product. To improve your operational efficiency, you need reduce the input necessary to gain the best output. This means streamlining your business operations to ensure that they are running at optimal efficiency. These tips will help you do that.

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4 Low Cost Business Ideas

In today's world it literally pays to be creative and clever about starting your own business. As an entrepreneur there are many ways you can inexpensively start a business and in so doing maximise profit. Here are some business ideas for the cost-conscious entrepreneur.

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Why Founders Should Pay Themselves

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should begin to take a salary, keep reading — here’s why founders should pay themselves.

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4 Key Components of a Marketing Plan

Marketing used to be straightforward. Only a handful of newspapers and magazines used to exist for each marketing niche. There were a limited number of TV channels, radio stations and billboards across the nation. That meant that planning marketing was fairly simple. All you needed was a compelling marketing message. Today, everything has changed. With the advent of the digital age, marketing is far less easy. There are billions of web sites and millions of apps. In the past all you needed to do was discern consumer needs and then push products based on utility. For startups today, marketing strategy is all about creating engaging integrated materials that ensure an immersive and inclusive experience. This article will help you plan a marketing strategy that meshes the best of technology with the tried and tested axioms of advertising.

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Big Time Branding - How Small Businesses Can Brand Themselves Like the Big Guys

It doesn’t matter how good your small business is if people can’t remember it. Your brand identity represents your small business, denoting your offering as well as your vision to potential customers. It comprises a key differentiator in competitive markets. As a small business, you might think that due to the disparity between your marketing budget and a much larger enterprise’s that the cards are stacked against you, but there are many ways that you can successively compete against big businesses by copying their most triumphant branding tactics.

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Building a Multi-language Website

Nowadays, having a multi-language website is key for any startup that wants to promote its products and services beyond local markets. After all, English may be a popular language, but there are well over 6,900 other languages! Chinese is the most widely spoken language of these. Although embedding the Google translate widget in your website is an easy free solution, the tool only provides basic translation and often makes mistakes. This can make your startup look unprofessional. Furthermore, translating articles is only one part of the process. Creating content in several languages adds additional complex layers when it comes to web design. Here is the best way to go about building a multi-language website.

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How to Use your Marketing Strategy to Increase your Market Share

Whether you are a startup or small business, the process of attempting to increase your market share is vital. At all stages of your company's evolution you must keep trying to win new customers, especially in startup mode. Even as you read these words, your competitors are making efforts to win your customers over. In today's economy, to increase your marketing share you need to put in consistent efforts. This article will guide you in just how to do that.

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4 Small-Business Tasks You Can (and Should!) Automate

Technology has allowed small businesses everywhere to automate numerous chores. Doing tasks manually, the old-fashioned way, may be a time-honoured way at your small business but it may also be a waste of time! By adopting the various automated tools recommended in this article you will have more time to focus on the things that matter.

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