Setting up a new company isn’t easy and making it successful is often even tougher and there are numerous things to consider, think about and evaluate. So, here are ten things that entrepreneurs learn in their first year of a start-up.
In The first year, pitches don’t always come to fruition and contracts aren’t often earned – you’ll prepare, pitch and won’t win any contract. However, what you do get is interest, and you let people know your company exists and are doing something of note.
Mentoring is Important
You’re better off having a good mentor for a long term project than a great one off advisor. Simply, the more you meet with each other, the more you can get to grips with each other and delve into the depth of the project.
Talk to customers, clients and employees and always look for feedback – it’s helpful and allows you to see where things are falling down.
Sacrifice is Great….but
Take some time off during the week and relax. Spend time with family and don’t buy into the myth of working 7 days a week. There are negative returns in the quality of work and thought if you don’t take a break. So, work hard, but take some time off to ensure you feel human.
Branding and promotion
You need to be honest with branding and promotion and show people what you’re really about. This means there is no upheaval at a later stage, helps you create trust in people and it’s easier to promote because it’s your brand and your brand alone.
There are all sorts of successful ways to start a business and though a high tech company is often the one people envisage when they think of start-ups, there are all sorts of other ways to begin a business. From franchising to buying and rebranding an already existing company – there are numerous ways to get started and create a buzz.
Getting people to take interest and to put up venture capital will most likely take longer than you expect, so prepare for that. Don’t spend money like it’s falling from the sky – be careful and vet everything you do.
You’re doing something amazing by setting up your own business and by doing so you need to celebrate and let of steam. It’s often hard to find the time to celebrate or get into the mindset of doing so, however you need to. Every little accomplishment is worth celebration, so ensure you do so.
Build a Community
Create a community rather than actively go out there and promote yourself. It’s a great way to foster influence and get people interested.
Things happen, fall outs occur and people can get on each other’s nerves. A start up is a stressful way to go about business and earning a wage. However, if you’re grateful you can be sure that this will resonate with others and this will help you navigate your way through the issues and turns in the road.
So, now you know how you can get started with making that start-up a huge success a little better prepared.
So what is it exactly that everybody is fighting for? A slice of the mouth-watering $627 million that the Pizza market in Australia is worth. The recently begun Dominos–Pizza Hut price war makes it amply clear that both brands are ready to fight spoodle and peel for a bigger share of this great big pizza. Pizza lovers are simply loving the competition to serve them up with cheaper deals on pizzas.
With Domino’s and Pizza Hut slashing prices for their lowest priced pizza to $4.95 a pizza, one might wonder if and how the smaller Pizza businesses are reacting to this price-off. Without the volumes that give these giants the economies of scales to lower prices, it’s getting hot under the collar for the smaller Pizza businesses.
A majority of the smaller Pizza houses simply refuse to get sucked into the price war, saying it’s just not possible to compete with these prices or the marketing clout of the big two. Some others like the Eagle Boys Pizza seem to have taken them head on with its Mad Minutes online promotion, last week’s deals included a 1$ large Hawaaiian Pizza with any Pizza Purchase.
Roll on Pizza fight, the more the merrier.
In most start-up offices, it’s wonderfully rare that anyone should need to use the first aid kit, and for the most part it’s not something that staff needs to think about on a regular basis.
Office emergencies are relatively rare and as such it can be very tempting to forget about making a priority of office safety and taking the appropriate health and safety measures. Even though people in start-ups tend to be young and carefree – first aid is a necessity.
As with anything in life, however, disaster always seems to strike when we’re least prepared, and that’s why the law states that it’s absolutely essential to keep your kit well stocked and ready, as well as ensuring that you and all other employees are well versed in the first aid workplace policies in your area.
We’ve put together a few things you need to know about first aid in the office in order to help you gather all the supplies you need to deal quickly and efficiently with an emergency situation:
Appoint a Health and Safety Officer
If you haven’t done this already, it’s vital that you do; appointing someone in this capacity to ensure that the kit is properly stocked at all times and that everyone is apprised of the appropriate policies and procedures will go a long way toward not only obeying the law but avoiding disaster should a real emergency occur.
Assess the Situation
Not every office has the same needs as far as their first aid kit, particularly as not every office has the same level of staffing, risk and/or activity; perform a comprehensive risk assessment to ascertain the supplies you should keep on hand in order to address an emergency; be intelligent and remember it’s better to be slightly over prepared then left floundering in a bad situation.
Leave Out Potential Allergens
Depending on how many office staff you have, there are a wide variety of potential allergens in the average kit, from ointment and painkillers to other over-the-counter meds; if someone in the office requires any of these items for health reasons, they should be able to supply them on their own, while keeping them away from others who may be allergic.
Post Your Medical Emergency Plan
Writing and posting your formal emergency plan is a must in any office; information should be posted in a position where it is readily available when required and all employees should be apprised of both its location and contents.
The plan should include the address and phone number of the office, as well as the location of the first aid kits and any staff members who are specially trained to administer assistance; also include any emergency numbers as well as directions to and contact information for the medical services facilities closest to your location.
Keeping employees informed is a vital part of dealing with an emergency quickly and efficiently.
There are a variety of companies who sell prepackaged first aid kits and purchasing one of these handy supplies has a few advantages; first of all, as experts in emergency supplies, they’ll know firsthand the items a company such as yours may require; these kits are also quite conspicuously marked and recognizable to employees, and the items inside are generally of sound quality.
So regardless of how unlikely an office emergency seems at your place of work, always be well stocked and prepared for a first aid emergency; keeping all staff well informed and ready will go a long way toward dealing with a crisis in the most safe and effective way.
Before there was Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there was direct mail. It’s not cool, it’s not sexy, but it works and it works very well. If your printer has been sitting in the corner collecting dust for a while, it might be time to pull it out and put it to good use. With pay-per-click platforms becoming increasingly expensive, it might actually be cheaper for you to physically mail something out to your prospects.
Use QR Codes
QR codes aren’t all that difficult to implement. Most printers can print them – even Lexmark products have this nailed down. How you use it is up to you. Many businesses use a QR code to link to their homepage, a "squeeze" page, or to another promotional page on their site. But you’re not limited to hot-linking.
You can also embed your contact information, order info, a special offer, or anything else you want right into the code. When people scan it with their smartphones, the phone will automatically process the code and do what you want it to do.
Advertise Your Company’s Social Media Pages
You’ve got social media pages – why not use them? Advertising is expensive? Use direct mail. That way, you’re not competing with someone else with a bigger bank account. When you use printed materials to advertise your social media presence, it doesn’t have to be low-tech either. Again, you can embed codes into the link you print out so that you can track everything.
In a sense, you’re merging online technology (tracking) with offline reliability and cost-effectiveness. Facebook, LinkedIn, and even a Twitter presence can be boosted with nothing more than fliers and postcards.
Use Augmented Reality
There are a lot of companies out there that use the same technology but Blippar has pretty much perfected the technology. Basically, you aim your smartphone at a piece of specially printed material, and the camera snaps a photo of that image and adds interactivity through the Blippar app.
It’s an interesting and unique way to add a hidden sales message, special offer or gift, or get people to pick up your flier or postcard and interact with it. The more you get people to interact with your message, the higher your odds are of converting them.
Advertise Your Website
Of course, you can use plain old postcards with a link to your website. A simple "www.yoursite.com" in the body of the postcard, direct mail letter, or flier is enough to get the name of your company out there. Of course, your message should actually say something and entice people to get on the Internet and pay you a visit.
This is probably the most low-tech way there is to transition your online efforts back to offline marketing. Once people are on your website, you can track their movement. Most businesses don’t like just throwing their web address out there because they think they can’t track the user once they’re left. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remarketing allows you to continually advertise to everyone who lands on your site – regardless of how they got there.
Michael Holmes is a business marketing consultant. He enjoys passing on his insights to small businesses through blogging.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported there are over 1 million businesses being run from home. It marks a move towards running your own business and taking control of your own destiny. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) gives you the freedom to work with any PC remotely by just opening a window on any other machine.
It can save your business money and enhance productivity. With telecommuting and remote working becoming more popular, RDP is essential.
Control Your Fleet
You don’t need to have access to a computer to control it. An RDP client for Mac, for example, can have nine RDP clients open at the same time to control nine separate machines. It’s just a matter of closing the window to log off the machine.
It’s such an increase in productivity because you can completely remove the problem of physical distance. An employee can switch on their personal computer and access their work computer from home.
Remote Desktop Services (RDS)
RDS is closely related to RDP. Most companies with a significant number of PCs use RDS alongside RDP. RDS removes the hardware costs associated with buying the computers. It replaces them with single servers accessible from one or two central machines.
RDP doesn’t just connect to another computer. It’s more than capable of connecting with a server and accessing the data from there.
It’s also a boost for productivity if your company has multiple network servers. Seamlessly switching between servers saves time and ensures you can access the files you need quickly and simply.
As an employer, you want to make sure your employees are doing everything possible to increase company productivity. RDP gives you access to all other computers in your business. You can monitor what they’re doing in real-time, and even take control of them.
Since you access separate computers through a window on your machine, you can print screenshots of your employee’s activity.
It gives employers more control over their workforce. Administrators can watch their workers for a period of time and inspect processes which could warrant improvements.
Control on the Move
The rise of the smartphone in Australia and around the world has made staying in touch with everyone else easier than ever before. RDP also works with smartphones. All it needs is a local wireless Internet connection to work. With powerful Wi-Fi in most Australian cities, this makes it easy to send commands to your computers wherever you are.
As a decision maker, you might need to send something to a computer in the middle of traffic. For those decisions which just can’t wait, RDP can really save your hide.
To have every worker on a computer in the same office costs money. Physical real estate in Australia isn’t cheap. Small businesses can reduce the amount of space they take up with RDP. It makes remote working and ‘hot desking’ a viable option for the first time.
You know you can see what they’re doing and they can keep in contact with you and each other at any time of day.
We often hear stories of people who set up their business with no start up funds, reinvest the income in the business and grow organically.
Enter the two women who run DIY publicity
Founders, Jules Brooke and Simone Heydon, started Handle Your Own PR in Australia three years ago. And now they are a global business! In 2010 they opened an office in the US and recently started operating in the UK. Handle Your Own PR: Jules Brooke and Simone Heydon. Set up for small businesses and individuals who want or need publicity but don’t have the funds to pay an agency
“We truly have a passion for small business” founding partner Jules Brooke says. “We have a full service PR agency and felt awful turning away potential clients who simply didn’t have the funds to pay for a campaign when we were aware that the media would probably love their story.”
Small business Publicity
Now running in three countries, Australia, the USA and England, (www.handleyourownpr.com.au, www.handleyourownpr.com and www.handleyourownpr.co.uk) Handle Your Own PR is one-of-a-kind. Nowhere else in the world has someone set out to inform and facilitate how to get publicity for small businesses. These two women saw a niche and went for it.
HYOPR is a do-it-yourself publicity business, helping small businesses and entrepreneurs generate publicity without the use of a PR agency. The Australian, UK and US websites are particularly useful for those businesses selling online and are able to post internationally.
Jules and Simone are entrepreneurs with an Australian online business success story. They found a gap in the market and a solution when it was at its lowest. Consequently, Handle Your Own PR was born.
Guest article part of the “new small business start up series”
Related Links Start up
An exciting fresh concept that has already been available in the market has now been introduced by a trusted player Samsung phones. Projector phones have been widely available in south Asian countries like Singapore , china and India but now Samsung has just released a new projector phone called “Beam”.
New projector Beam phone By Samsung released
In addition to its 8 megapixel camera , Dual core
processor and HD RECORDING , this amazing Samsung Beam Projector phone can project the videos , Photos and documents on the phone to any surface just like a projector. This feature can be particularly useful to the education industry and also in the meeting rooms and also handy to trainers. Due to its size and form presentations or documents can be emailed to the phones and projected to a surface or meeting room on the go.
Video of samsung Beam phone in action
This Beam projector phone boasts a built-in, 15 lumen pico-projector sporting a 640 x 360 16:9 nHD resolution.
Samsung claims that with the device’s large 2,000mAh battery can provide around three hours of projection time. The display sizes can be maxed up to 50 inches.
Quick SPECS FOR Samsung I8530 galaxy beam
Dual-Core 1 GHz Processor
5MP Camera with Flash
802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
768MB RAM, 8GB Internal Memory
MicroSD (up to 32GB)
Standby Up to 760 hours (2G/3G)
some of the features the camera boasts are Auto focus, Smile detection, Exposure control, White balance, ISO control, Geo tagging, Panorama, Scenes, Effects, Self-timer. View the full specs over here at phone arena
An increasing number of businesses are making the move to the cloud in order to gain mobile access to email and documents. For Australian businesses, Google Apps, Google’s cloud service platform, is quickly becoming a top option thanks to the platform’s communication and collaboration capabilities.
Cloud computing catches on in Business
When it comes to moving your business to the Google cloud, you can purchase the Google Apps for Business product suite through Google, itself, or through a local Google Apps Authorized Reseller. Enlisting the help of a Google partner ensures increased training as well as more personalized migration and support. In July 2011 having help with your Google Apps migration became even easier when Cloud Sherpas, a Google partner based in Atlanta, Georgia since 2008, opened multiple offices in both Australia and New Zealand.
Here in Australia, Cloud Sherpas works closely with Google and has a headquarters in Sydney in addition to offices in Melbourne and Brisbane. After its summer 2011 launch, Cloud Sherpas quickly became a premier Google partner in the region, serving all types of businesses (small and medium-sized businesses as well as enterprises).
So what are Cloud Sherpas and Google Apps doing to improve the day-to-day functions of Australian businesses? From the initial Google Apps setupand everything that follows, businesses that make the switch to the Google cloud network have premier communication and collaboration tools at their fingertips.
Google Apps in the cloud
Because Google Apps runs on a 99.9% uptime guarantee and provides users with mobile access, it ensures that businesses will always have access to information – whenever and wherever necessary. With this guaranteed access, businesses can take full advantage of features like Gmail, Google Documents, Google Sites, and Google Groups to improve their communication and collaboration. For example, Gmail allows for storage that is 50 times the industry average, includes a Google-powered search function, and has instant-messaging and video-chatting capabilities. With Google Documents, users can create, edit, and store documents in the cloud and easily share these files with co-workers or customers. Google Docs even allow for real-time collaboration so multiple users can edit a file simultaneously, regardless of location. Applications like Sites and Groups enable larger groups of people to work together and communicate with one another easily by providing users with a central location to post files, deadlines, tasks, and other information (Sites) and by allowing users to communicate as one, cohesive body (Groups).
In addition to improving the communication and collaboration of businesses, Google Apps can also lower IT costs. Since Google Apps is an entirely cloud-based platforms, it runs without any additional hardware or software. This lack of equipment, combined with the fact that Google automatically sends out any updates, cuts down significantly on time and money spent on IT concerns. And businesses can also rest easy knowing their important information is safe, as Google Apps is verified in SAS 70 Type II audit.
As a result of the enhanced communication and collaboration tools – in addition to guaranteed universal access, cost-saving measures, and security – available through Google Apps, this cloud service platform is quickly becoming the top choice for Australian businesses of all kinds and sizes.
Cloud Sherpas is a leading cloud service provider and was named the “Google Enterprise 2011 Partner of the Year.” As one of the first Google Enterprise partners, Cloud Sherpas has migrated over one million users across a variety of industries from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps, helping organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. A Google Apps Reseller in Atlanta, GA, Cloud Sherpas has regional offices in locations including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Austin and Sydney, and has more Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists than any other partner in the world.
As The NBN gets launched nationally Australians are getting better broadband speeds and more people now are changing the habits rapidly to check the Australian news online rather than picking up a print newspaper or magazine. The advance in technology with the help of new gadgets like Ipads, Netbooks and Smartphones have made news easily available on the go and Australians no more need to reach out to the nearest deli or newsagent or then the telly to get the latest news.
Business Newspapers Australia
In fact according to IBIS revenue to Australian on-line retailers is expected to increase to a staggering 8.6 %per year over five years to be worth a whopping 10 Billion. Internet acess and speed have increased and will increase further with the teh NBN making it possible fopr the larger part of the population to go online and read newspapers or shop online.
The older methods of getting the latest breaking news like the TV and the Newspaper will soon become a thing of the past.
Below is a list of some of the “major Australian Newspapers” that have managed to get a sizeable online presence in this changing market.
Sydney Morning herald (SMH) – Sydney and Australian News @ www.smh.com.au
The Australian – www.australian.com.au
The Age – Melbourne & Australian News @ www.theage.com.au
Heraldsun – -Victoria and Australia News @ www.heraldsun.com.au
News Portal – www.news.com.au
The Australian financial review
Other than newspapers having online presence there are other dedicated online Business journals that have a had a major online presence since a some time back like the www.brw.com.au/ ( Business review weekly )and local players like www.wabusinessnews.com.au ( for WA business ) and the Business spectator at www.businessspectator.com.au/
The Business Review Weekly