Everything starts with a great idea, and while you may be excited about a genius concept you’ve come up with, there’s more to starting a business than just the first light bulb.
However, the idea is indeed what’s most important as a foundation. Everything else requires some good financial decision making, foresight, and smart planning.
Here are a few tips on how to launch a startup without going broke and nurturing your seed of an idea to maturity:
1. Have a social media plan
Social media is absolutely essential in this day and age along with a great website. Working with professionals to establish your basic layout along with social media buttons is important, and you can use Website Design by Designhill to do so cost effectively.
With so many smaller businesses today requiring design services, using a company like Designhill is a more flexible way to get the final result you want without going bankrupt. When you’re configuring your website design, you also need to keep social media in mind. Buttons are essential, and by integrating this aspect from the beginning, you won’t waste time and money later to correct it.
You also need to know your platforms. Tweak Your Biz recommends knowing the differences between the sites you’re using, citing that what works on Facebook won’t necessarily fit a different social media account like Twitter. There’s a lot of free publicity and visibility by utilizing these networks in a smart way, as long as you plan ahead.
“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence” – Sean Gardner
2. Plan, prioritize, save
Time management is a skill that you’re constantly told is an asset as a manager or employee within a larger organization, but don’t underestimate its value for startups. The fact of the matter is that it’s hard to plan your time effectively, especially when you’re busy.
Entrepreneur advises to prioritize and address only what matters to continue movement in your business. This is a deceptively simple tip, but it’s very easy to get bogged down in the day to day issues and problems that arise when you’re trying to get a startup off the ground. This is especially true if you already have another job or a busy family life, and you’re in the midst of juggling responsibilities in addition to the ones associated with launching a new business.
One tactic is to try using a digital calendar that you can fit all of your appointments in or cross-referencing your schedule with e-mail. For example, Google offers lots of free tools to assist with time management, and it’s common nowadays for even the most senior level business executives to use them.
These tools have become widespread, and have even taken the place of more costly, less integrated systems of yesteryear like Microsoft Outlook. This is also an example of when you should be using products that are offered for free. Google also offers a lot of free tools that you’ll find useful for a startup, such as a free basic analytics tracker, social media, and financial solutions that can help you prioritize and manage your time effectively.
3. Don’t depend on investors
Investors are nice to have, but don’t let that be the ingredient that means success or failure. If you can get backers, that’s great, but remember that many entrepreneurs can’t and still start their own companies. As you draw up your business plan, take this into account, and don’t assign phantom dollars where they don’t exist.
There’s also no reason to scrap your business idea just because you don’t have the startup capital you think you need. Reconfigure the scope of your plans and try slashing unnecessary costs. For example, if you planned to rent office space, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Real estate is expensive, and having a home office will more than suffice in the early stages of your startup. Aim to have enough of your own capital to get the business off the ground and let it grow.
4. Know how to market
Getting your content and products referenced by major media outlets might seem like a good idea. However, Entrepreneur advises not to waste time trying to get the attention of major news outlets if your core audience isn’t related to theirs.
For example, if you have an online store that deals in vintage clothing, there’s no point in trying to get a popular tech blog to pick up the story. Even if you get mentioned in a high visibility publication, as Entrepreneur contributor Adam Callinan writes, the traffic won’t result in customer conversions.
Launching a startup is a lot of hard work, but it’s not impossible. Always remind yourself of that first “aha” moment you had and why you began down the entrepreneurial path in the first place.
It’s the best way to keep going, and if you make the right financial decisions by sidestepping the unnecessary expenses, you’ll go far.
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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
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