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Things To Expect When Investing In A Startup

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startup investment
Making the first move is tough, but it gives you the confidence to lead a crowd behind you and take them along the right path.
Investing in startups is an exciting and challenging process. The investor must choose his area of interest before financing, since it’s vital to understand the business mode,l and you can also help the startup with your strategic inputs. Depending on your investment profile, you can choose the following options to fund a startup business.
  • You can create a profile on global platforms like AngelList and CrunchBase to look out for interesting startups.
  • There are also different deal making platforms like LetsVenture and Venturefund.com that will help you to get connected with the startup community.
  • Crowdfunding is another choice if you want to invest smaller amounts along with another group of investors with common interests and risk appetite.
  • You can also try to establish contact with accelerators to find better startups to invest in.
The startup ecosystem is highly volatile, so before you decide to invest in a startup business, you need to consider many things like the liability, accurate valuation of the firm, your timeline, and your exit strategy. Most of the small-business investment opportunities come from friends, family, or word of mouth. So, before you get into financing a new venture, measure your steps carefully. It’s vital to understand the business model and the revenue generation model.

Understand the structure of the business

There is always a chance that a startup business may fail. So, you need to understand the structure of the business and the risks involved in detail. Many startup businesses shut down within the first five years of operation mainly due to a flawed business model. Hence, if you do not understand the structure of the business, the chances of failure is high. It is important for the investor to limit their liability in the business. So, before investment, drafting the scope of the partnership and the associated liabilities is crucial for an investor.

You may not see profits in years

If you want to invest in startups, make sure that you are not in a hurry. Putting a large sum in a business can be a risky affair, and there are chances that you may not see any returns in years. Set milestones accordingly and understand the potential of the business to break even.

Plan an exit strategy

Investment in a new business venture means taking a risk. There are chances that the venture may fail and your investment is lost. It is good to wait for five years before you can expect some return on your investment. However, this varies depending on the nature of the business and if you need some liquidity before that period, you should plan a proper exit strategy. These clauses should be clarified upfront before investing and should be agreed upon by both parties with a legal stamp.

Homework

There is rarely any match between your expectation from the business and the real scenario. So, before you invest a lump sum amount in a startup, you need to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of the project. The startup should also have a proper business and marketing plan. Stay involved and review the performance of the startup periodically. You may consult a business valuation expert to take the correct decision.Happy investing!

Business

6 Books That Will Change Your Life

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Man reading how to win friends and influence people at park
Whether you're going through a transition in life, starting a new career, ending a career, or simply looking for ways to improve yourself, there's likely a book for that. But today there are thousands upon thousands of self-help books from qualified authors to choose from, which ones do you pick? We've curated a list of some of the best self-help books for you to check out.

Think And Grow Rich

This comes as no surprise to anyone. Think And Grow Rich is one of the best self-help book ever written. To date, it's helped hundreds of millions of people discover themselves. The book is a practical guide that outlines some fundamental laws that govern success and has been released internationally in just about every language.Buy it here

How To Win Friends And Influence People

Dale Carnegie's work was released in 1936, but it still remains a popular choice nowadays. The advice and practical tips suggested applies today as much as it did when it was originally published. To date, it's sold more than 15 million copies and can be found on the shelves of many executives.Buy it here

The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People

Originally published in 1989, Steven R. Covey's work became an instant bestseller and today still can be found in every Barnes & Noble. It's been reprinted and sold over 25 million copies in over 40 languages. The book provides valuable knowledge on how to be a more effective you whether at work or in your personal life.Buy it here

The Road Less Traveled

Over 7 million copies sold in it's most recent print, translated in over 23 different languages, and being on the New York's Best Seller's list for over 10 years, this is a rare gem you don't want to miss out on. Dr. Peck's teaches his reader how to live a full and complete life, how to differentiate dependency from love, and how to find your true self.Buy it here

The 5 Love Languages

Who knew there were 5 different languages of love? Dr. Gary Chapman did and his work has helped millions of people all over the world to renew their intimacy, learn how to love, and most importantly - learn how to receive love better. Beyond simply helping with personal relationships, learning the 5 love languages will also give readers better insights into dealing with people both at work and at home.Buy it here

The Art Of Happiness

Who's more qualified to write a book about happiness than the Dalai Lama? Despite the great loss his country and he personally have suffered, the Dalai Lama remains positive and enthusiastic whenever you see him. Those who have been fortunate enough to be in his presence reported feeling lighter and even happier within just a few short moments. Coauthoring with Dr. Howard C. Cutler, The Art Of Happiness is a book that will arm you with the knowledge and tools to overcome everyday challenges and discover a better version of you - one that is happier and more fulfilled.Buy it here
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Business

7 Truths Of Entrepreneurship No One Tells You

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Founders sitting around outside table
Being an entrepreneur is a high-risk and high-reward journey that only few can withstand. Nowdays, becoming an entrepreneur seems like a worthwhile pursuit. Afterall, you get to be your own boss. You make lots of money, right? And best of all, you get to wear the much sought after badge of honor - that you're a part of the 1%. Much of that is fiction and the reality of entrepreneurship is hardly anything like what the media and entertainment industry portrays. Everyone knows entrepreneurship is difficult, but very few know just how difficult and what the journey is actually like. Here are the 7 Truths about entrepreneurship that very few people will tell you.

1) No One Cares That You're An Entrepreneur

lonely entrepreneur facing wallOne of the perk of being a self proclaimed "entrepreneur" is that you're among the special few. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once you become a recognized "entrepreneur", you'll realize just how many of you there are. And no one really cares about one another. No one thinks about you, cares about you, or believe your idea is special. At least not yet. As hard to swallow as it is, people don't care that you're an entrepreneur as much as you think.

2) You Never Escaped The 9-5

Store open signAnother common reasons people become entrepreneurs is to escape the traditional nine to five work week. I hate to disappoint you, but that's literally the complete opposite of what will happen. Not only are you not going to escape it, you end up having to work the ten-to-two in addition to the nine-to-five. You'll miss the days where you get to relax and stop thinking about work after 5PM. And you'll certainly miss only having to work 40 hours a week.

3) Someone Already Did It

Female founder workingYou became an entrepreneur because you thought you were doing something unique and cool. And you also thought that you were the only one in the known entire universe that's ever thought of that idea. Oh boy, you couldn't be more wrong. Little did you know, you've been typing in all the wrong keywords on Google to find your competitors. The moment you begin to seriously research your competitors, you start to find them. And you'll also realize that in many cases, your competitors are older than you, more experienced, and have more funding. Prepare to be demoralized.

4) No One Wants To Give You Money

Founder pitching to investorsTo make matter worse, no one wants to invest in your idea at this stage. If you're just starting out, you likely have very little to show for. And savvy investors want to put their money where they will have the highest chance of getting a return of investment, and you're just not it, not yet at least. But along the way, you'll realize just how difficult fundraising can be. For most entrepreneurs, it takes anywhere between 6 months to a year to secure their first round of funding. For some, it will take even longer. So if you're in need of capital, be prepare to play the long game.

5) You Stopped Loving It

Frustrated founderAnd the tragic truth will seek you out one day. One day, you'll sit at a coffee shop waiting for your next meeting to show up. You've hardly slept the night before. You can't even sort out all the tasks you haven't done this week. As you're sitting there, you can feel both your energy, hope, and aspiration dwindling. That's when you realized you no longer love what you do. You started this journey because you believed that it was something you loved and that you could spend the rest of your life doing. After all, that's what everyone's been telling you, that you need to pursue your passion. And here you are, out of money, out of luck, and out of fuel.Every entrepreneur will eventually come to the point where passion no longer fuels the journey. This is the most critical point in your entrepreneurial pursuit. Because this is where most people get up and walk away. The ones who succeed recognize they need to seek out something more than just a passion, they need a real purpose.

6) Everything Works Out As Long As You Stay In The Game

Successful businessman And for those with unbreakable will and perseverance, you'll be rewarded in the end. You'll soon realize that as long as you stay in the game long enough, you can succeed. Sure, there's likely to be a lot of pivoting and changing your business plan. But that's all a part of growing and evolving your company. One day you will get the funding you want. One day, your product will finally find a place in the market. And one day, you'll be living the life you once dreamed of.

7) It's All Worth It In the End

Business people fist bumping at tableThis is what every successful entrepreneur will tell you. And that it's all worth it in the end. You'll realize it's called a journey for a reason. It's a long, tough, and challenging journey that's meant to break even the bravest adventurers. You'll look back and miss all the fun and excitement of figuring things out. And you'll laugh at all the silly failures you didn't see until much later. If you stick with it until the very end, you'll find out that it was worth every ounce of sweat and tears. 
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Business

How To Get Online Reviews For Your Business

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The minute you ask your client to review your business, there is a strong chance that the person will claim that they know how to write a review, but that fact of the matter is it’s difficult. Asking your customers to review your business is easy in theory. As soon as your client sits down to their computer, they will either:
  • Forget about the review entirely
  • Not remember which websites to submit a review to
  • Be confused as to how to write the reviews
We want to give you a few tips on how to get more reviews for your business. Here is a clear cut strategy that you can “copy and paste” and send it directly to your clients to make it even easier to submit that precious review.

Build Reviewing Into Your Sales Process

If you want to get serious about your reviews, build online reviews into your sales process. Take a look at your sales process and find a way to add online reviewing to help your online footprint. The strategy does not have to be invasive. We found that customers do not have a problem writing the reviews and testimonials, but are confused about how to write them. Using template emails is a great way to get your customers an easier time to write the reviews you’re looking for. Here is a template that has an 80% success rate that you can send to your clients.Hi [CLIENT NAME],Thank you for being a loyal customer to (BUSINESS NAME) thus far. We are excited about growing our relationship. At (BUSINESS NAME), we take your feedback seriously. So, we would like to ask a quick favor.We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes out of your day to post a positive review on our Google business page. This will help us spread the word about our services online.If you have never posted a review on Google (ADD OTHER REVIEW SITE) or may be unsure of how to do it, here is how:(COPY INSTRUCTIONS)Thanks again for your business and we appreciate you taking the time to do this. Your time means the world to us.PS: This Google review process works best on a desktop computer at the moment

It Helps Your SEO

As you know, more people are searching on their smart phones than ever before. We Google things like “Insurance Company in ______” or “Design Company” and expect to see the results that are local to that search.Google has stated that reviews are a factor in ranking a business locally. To learn more about this, our friends over at YOTPO have written a detailed article about the SEO Benefits of Reviews. By getting more reviews throughout these channels, it can assure your business the opportunity to rank higher on Google. Of course, there are other factors in ranking, but this is a great start.

Give an Incentive

If you’re building the online reviewing process into your sales process, this could be a great way to bring your customers back. Loyalty is everything if you're a small business. Add incentives like:
  • Discounts
  • Swag items
  • Consultation Hours
  • Design
  • Coffee
  • Food (Because who doesn’t like food)
  • Toys
  • And if you’re trying to WOW me personally, I’d like a drone. 🙂

Don’t Let Your Employees Leave a Review While Working 

In theory, this may seem to be the easiest way to expand your review count. Have a staff meeting and tell all of your employees to write awesome reviews about the business. Sounds great right? WRONG. See, Google and other websites throughout the internet are smart. They track your IP address, which basically means that they know where you are, when you post, and how you’re posting. If the review website sees a considerable amount of reviews from an area directly related to that business’ location, they may either ban your account or delete the reviews themselves.Save yourself the hassle and DO NOT ask your employees to review your business in the office. Outside the office, on the other hand, is a different story. Our rule of thumb is to let it happen organically. There is much to be said about a business that is able to grow naturally. Let your customers do the talking on major sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. If you want your employees to review your business, we have something for you.

Online Review Sites

  • Google Business
  • Go on Google Maps
  • Search for the business on Google Maps
  • Click the name of the business you would like to leave your review on
  • Look at the business name on the left hand side
  • Scroll down until you see the words “Write a Review”
  • Write an awesome review about the business
  • Submit

Facebook

  • Log onto Facebook
  • Search for The business name
  • Click on the Business page and look on the left side under the logo
  • Click Reviews
  • Click the star you’d like to give the company and wait for the popup to appear
  • Write review and hit submit

Yelp

  • Go to Yelp.com
  • Type the name of the business on the top search bar
  • On the top of the listing, there is a red button that says “Write a Review”
  • Complete the review process after clicking on the red button

Angie’s List

For Members
  • Go onto Angie's List Website
  • Search for the business
  • Once you search for the business, there will be an option in the middle that will allow you to write the review
  • One you click on the review, it will need to be submitted to the Angie's List team for review.
For Non-Members
  • There is a specific page that you have to go to, to submit the review. You can find this at this non-member review here.

Glassdoor

  • Search Business on the top of website
  • Find business and in the middle of the page, there is a blue button that says “Add a Review”
  • Submit review and be sure to be as detailed as possible upon submitting the review.

Better Business Bureau

  • Search for business by location
  • On the left hand side, click “Submit a Customer Review”
  • Write review by filling out a lengthy form
  • Accept the terms and agreements
  • Submit Review

Amazon

  • After you receive your product, you will have an opportunity to submit your review. The process is simple. Be sure to check your email after your purchase has arrived
  • You can also submit the review after you received your purchase upon logging into your Amazing account
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