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Want to sell your startup next year? Make these 5 Changes TODAY

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1. Stop Resisting Change

The world is moving faster than ever, and in the business world, if you stop you die. If you have been resisting changes around the office or your business, now is the time to let go of your reservations. If anything in your business is running on anything other than the most recent versions of Mac, Windows, or Linux, get rid of it or upgrade it. Paint that wall. Allow employees to work from home. Drop international calling if you never use it. Anything that has been “in the works”, bring it to head. Modernize. 

2. Consider Rightsizing

Can your work be done better and cheaper by freelancers than your current employees? Are their duplicates of positions? Could you do without an executive assistant? If the answer to any of these is yes, then it may be time to consider rightsizing your company. Maximizing profits and minimizing expenses should be your top priority before you try selling your company. You want your core staff to be dedicated, and you want your work to be done quickly and effectively. 

3. Start Saying Goodbye

This is your company. You raised it, you loved it, you taught it, you learned with it, it was yours. But if your reading this article, chances are, that sometime soon it’s not going to be yours anymore. This means getting used to the fact that things are going to change. Maybe this means that you need to teach yourself to act like a visitor in what was your home away from home. Maybe this means that you need to work on your language so that you stop calling it “your” business now, so that in a year when it’s not yours, it’s already out of your head.

Regardless of what it means for you, you need to start the likely painful process of separating yourself from the company, because changes will happen, and some of them you’re not going to like. They are going to be stupid, and shortsighted, and you’re going to have to fight the urge to call the new management and berate them for changing to Great Value coffee cups instead of the industrially compostable ones. Starting to say goodbye now will reduce the urge in the future.

4. Preemptively Change

Changes are coming to your startup. No matter what, new management will almost certainly want to shake a few things up. What you can do now is preemptively change things, which will make your startup more attractive for business, and can help your business run better in the meantime. Is their a Zen garden that you installed three years ago that no one uses? Scrap it now. Are you paying for super expensive business calling through one of the big cell phone companies? Start looking into MNVO’s. Try to anticipate changes and make those that will save money without adversely affecting your employees. Because trust me, most people will never know the difference between T-Mobile and Ultra Mobile. Your wallet and your budget on the other hand, definitely will. 

5. Correct Any Surprises NOW

Do you know what investors and prospective buyers hate more than anything else? Surprises. Not the “oh we forgot that the office building is built on an untapped oil reserve and we own the mineral rights” surprises, but the “oops, our CFO has been robbing the company blind for months” sort of surprises. You want there to be no surprises, nothing that come back and bite you during the sales process. You want to know anything and everything that the buyers may discover or bring at you. 

If you can afford it, hire an outside CPA to conduct a full internal audit of your finances. If you have an IT department, have them do an audit. Check emails, check files, check SSD’s and check cloud storage. Collect, centralize, and organize 100% of your records going back to the beginning of time. Ensure every cent is accounted for, every debt is recorded, every reimbursement above the board, every mistake catalogued, every firing justified. Now is also the time to have a “come-to-Jesus” meeting with management and C-level executives. Let them know that a full internal audit is going to be done (whether it’s true or not) and offer them a chance to tell you anything that you should now before the audit finds it. Reiterate to your employees your open-door policy for misconduct, and encourage reporting.

If you can’t actually conduct an audit, considering offering your management and C-level executives Queen for a day, meaning they have a limited period to tell you something and not be fired for it. If you truly intend to sell, you can pass the info along, and they can fire the person. If it is serious enough, you can still seek legal action, and regardless, you can stop what was happening, or take steps to correct it, which is sometimes the better than losing an employee and is almost certainly better than it coming out right before a contract is signed and getting blindsided. 

Regardless, be fully aware of every skeleton in your companies closet. Nothing is private, and prospective buyers WILL investigate. 

***

No matter what you do to prepare, the change and sale of your startup are going to be a process. What you can do, however, is start preparing, so that you and your company are ready for the long journey. Take the changes and growth in stride, and enjoy every day working somewhere you helped build.

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Should I create my company all alone or with a business partner? 14 steps to know

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The thought of starting your own business is scary and daunting. There are endless doubts and numerous considerations to ponder upon before you begin your journey. Out of all the factors, an important one is whether to start alone or with a partner. Is your business vision just yours, or is it a vision of a complete team?

Well, both situations have their pros and cons. Where having a partner can help you in the expansion of business with a dynamic approach, starting alone will offer you wonderful control over your journey. Thus, to make the decision easier, we have summed up the benefits and downfalls of both situations. This will help you in getting a clearer vision of what you want and how you wish to do it.

Benefits of starting alone:

So we will start by analyzing the process of starting your business, all alone. What does it have to offer? Let’s dig in.

You can follow your vision solely:

We all want to be entrepreneurs, so that we can follow our vision solely, without any compromises. And this is exactly what starting up alone offers. This is helpful for starting up as you will focus on one vision only, and it will boost focus too. This strong commitment is essential for success, and you can get higher probabilities by starting alone.

Flexibility:

Starting your business alone helps you with flexibility. You have your working hours and creative control. You can work as much as you want and increase your potential to earn as well. Flexibility is crucial for growth, and it has a positive impact on your business and the team too. Without partners, you can put together anything that you consider the best. 

More Productivity:

Working alone can boost your productivity in several ways. You have a complete say about what you want, and you make your decisions on your own too. The time for team meetings and votings etc. will be saved, which will give you more time to spend on what matters. You make your own decision and do it the way you want it to without wasting any time. If you think that you require manpower, then hiring employees can boost your productivity even more.

Disadvantages of Starting your business alone:

Now, there is always a risk involved in everything in life. And there are cons of starting your business alone too.

Financial Risk:

Business is all about finances, and losing money is the biggest fear and risk involved. Start-up costs and material buying all sum up for a hefty budget. A lot of people start their business through a loan. Thus, the biggest wish every entrepreneur makes is to get successful and not go into loss. When you stay alone, you are the only one who has to bear up with the finances and deal with loss (if there is any). With partners, every finance is shared, and you don’t have to give in your all.

Time Commitment:

Starting alone demands a lot of time commitment. You certainly have the freedom to work at your ease, but you do know that you are the only one who has to get everything done. And no matter how much you manage, you have to give in a lot of time. You might have to work 15-18 hours per day even.

Benefits of Starting with a Partner:

Some people consider starting a business with a partner, as a much safer and better option. And we cannot deny the fact that it does have some meaningful benefits to it. Here are the benefits of starting a business with a partner:

Spread the Risks:

The risks are not yours all alone when you start a business with a partner. You will have different sources of cash flow, which will help you in starting up and growing your business incredibly. The risks and losses will be spread between your team or partners, which will make you feel less burdened then being the only one to deal with all the losses. This is a huge pecker to consider while starting up.

Diversification of Expertise:

 You cannot be an expert in all areas. Maybe you are good at designing, photographing, and managing or leading. And you need someone to be good at accounts and merchandising. This is where you can pick partners from different expertise and create a magical team.

More hands to work:

Entrepreneurs are like jugglers. You have a ton of tasks at your hand that needs to be done. With a partner, you can divide the juggling. You split tasks, and everything gets done faster. This also allows you to tackle more issues at a time.

Disadvantages of starting with a Partner:

Here are some cons of starting your business with a partner that needs to be considered before you make a decision:

You are not the SOLE decision-maker:

As an entrepreneur, you need complete control over your business, but with a partner, you will have to split that up. You cannot take all decisions independently. You have to make decisions with your partner and make sure that you both are on the same plate. Otherwise, it will raise arguments which are unhealthy for a business duo.

Profit is Split:

This is obvious, isn’t it? If the losses are split, the profit is too. And with partners, it is always on a perfect 50/50 note. People who start up alone, take all the profit, and that seems very attractive. But when you start up with a partner, all types of finances are divided.

TAKEAWAY: WHAT IS BETTER?

The question is, what to do? What is better?

The answer is with you by now. You know what you want and how much you can juggle, and everyone has their own set of requirements to deal with, which becomes the basis of your decision. If you don’t want to split your vision and you are okay with dealing with all the financial burdens, then starting alone will be amazing for you. On the other hand, if you don’t have a good budget and you are not too good at some things, you can partner up with someone who might be willing to share your vision.

Entrepreneurs these days prefer starting alone, and then they gradually built a team, hiring employees. This is because everyone can’t understand your vision and what you are aiming at. However, at the same time, starting alone requires a lot of time commitment and endless juggling and effort. Therefore, make your smart pick and start your journey.

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The Importance Of Backlinks And How To Get Tons Of Backlinks For Your Website

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First of all, let’s define a backlink. A backlink for a particular website refers to a link of that website on another website. For instance, if you an article on your blog and you link a particular website within your content, that link is referred to as a backlink for the website you have linked. Backlinking is some form of digital citation and can be seen as a vote of confidence to the website being backlinked. As a small business, getting backlinks will help you get more traffic and also build trust among your website visitors. Backlinks have many positives that they can bring to your business. In this article we are going to discuss some of the benefits for getting backlinks and how you can get backlinks for your website.

  • Backlinks build trust

When someone views content on a particular website and they find a link to your website within the content, they will most likely see your website as one they can trust based on the context in which your website was linked. At the end of the day, such a user could keep coming to your website looking for content that is similar to what they were reading about on the website your backlink appeared. This will in the long run increase traffic for your website

  • Backlinks improve your website’s ranking in the search engines

It is no longer a secret that search engines favor websites with backlinks. This is because search engines look at websites that are backlinked as authentic and to be having content that users are looking for. So, getting backlinks from good quality websites will surely see you get higher in the ranking of most search engine algorithms. However, it should be noted that most search engines are now able to detect fake backlinks. So, you will only be ranked higher if the backlinks are from authentic websites with quality content

  • Backlinks will expand your audience

Getting backlinks will help you get some traffic from the website where your site was linked. If you get backlinked on several websites, your audience will start to grow in the long run. This is because in most cases a website that puts your link in their content will often have an audience that looks for content related to yours. So, at the end of the day, you will get the right traffic for your website from such backlinks.

How to get backlinks for your website

After knowing the benefits of getting backlinks, the next question I am going to answer is how do you get these backlinks. There are several ways you can have your website talked about on other sites. The strategies below are what you can use to get quality backlinks for your website

  • Guest posts

Some blogs do accept guest posts. As a website/blog owner, you need to search for these blogs and start creating guest posts there.  Within the content or right at the bottom of the content, you can add a link to your website. This will not only grow your reputation as a content creator, but it will also increase traffic for your website.

  • Use internal links within your blog posts

While writing a blog post, it is always important to add links to your previous articles that can further explain the topic you are tackling in that particular post. Internal links may not directly increase your search engine rank, but they will make your website visitors stay longer on your website. This will in the end indirectly increase your rank is the search engine algorithms. This is because search engines will see your website as one that has quality content due to the time visitors spend on the site

  • Request popular blog owners in your niche to backlink your website

If your website is new, it may be hard at the start to have your site linked on other websites organically. You may have to get out of your comfort zone and get in touch with journalists and popular bloggers and request them to link your website in one of their future blogs. Some of them may ask for a fee, so you should be ready to pay some money. For better results make sure the link you provide to the influencers is for one of your best articles so that readers are not bored when they follow the link.

  • Get interviewed

Look for possible interviews within your niche and share with those responsible for the interviews what you can contribute. This way, you will be able to have your website link mentioned somewhere in the interview.

Conclusion

The power of back-links can never be underestimated. This is because a good percentage of traffic to the various sites always comes from other websites. It is not a common scenario in this era for someone to punch your website URL direct into the browser. Unless those who are already aware of your website and have liked the content, you create. To get traffic, one of the most tested ways for growing your traffic will always be getting backlinks. At all costs, you have to find ways of getting quality backlinks for your websites

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7 Steps To Manage A Conflict As The Company Leader

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The workplace has a lot of dynamics that we have to deal with on a day to day basis. As everyone on the team is trying to work towards achieving the goals of the company, there will always be those who clash along the way for one reason or another. It is at this point that you as a leader needs to come in and put things back to order when such scenarios come up. You may opt to ignore the conflict and let those clashing to sort it out themselves, but this is dangerous in the long run. If conflicts are not resolved in time, they may reach the extent of the people having issues getting into a physical fight.

As a leader, it is important to resolve any form of conflict as soon as you hear about it. There are many reasons why workers may conflict. Some of these include; unfair treatment by their seniors, stress, poor communication, lack of respect for one another, etc. Looking into these issues ahead of time could save you the burden of having to deal with the conflicts. But when the conflicts come up, you have no option but to resolve them and also find solutions on how to avoid them in the future. In this article, I will share with you how you can resolve conflicts that may arise among your team members.

  • Examine the cause

The first thing you always need to do as a leader is to examine the cause of the conflict. The best way to know the cause of the conflict is to sit with each of the members involved individually and listen to their side of the story. It’s from the information they give you that you will know what went wrong between the members involved in the conflict. When deciding the way forward, you should ensure both parties are present and explain to them the basis of your final decision.

  • Listen with empathy

When resolving a conflict between your team members, always make sure you listen to both parties with empathy. This means you have to put yourself in their shoes so that you clearly understand their argument regarding the cause of conflict. Listening with empathy will help you not to take a biased decision that could further intensify the conflict instead of solving it.

  • Tackle conflicts proactively

As a leader, you should be knowing the common causes of conflicts and tackling them ahead of time before conflict becomes real. For instance, if the roles of each worker are not properly defined, conflicts may arise from misunderstandings of who is supposed to do what. That’s why every member on your team should be aware of their roles and responsibilities before they get started with work.

  • Ensure everyone understands the company code of conduct

As a company, you need to have a code of conduct. This code of conduct should include how workers are supposed to behave while at work and also how they should relate with other team members. In case of a clash, the basis of your decision as a leader should be from the code of conduct. This will avoid scenarios of a leader having to take biased decisions

  • Choose the right team leaders

One of the major causes of conflict is members being treated unfairly by their seniors. In situations where one of the team members is always favored by the team leader, it will always be hard for that member to be in good terms with the rest of the team. To avoid such scenarios, make sure the team leaders you choose can manage their teams with fairness and no favoritism. 

  • Have training sessions for team leaders

Your team leaders should frequently be trained on how best to manage their team members to avoid any chances of conflict. When you have trained leaders on the ground, it will be easier for them to foresee what could cause a conflict and resolve it before the conflict materializes.

  • Be careful while hiring

Even though conflicts always happen at workplaces, it is always important to make sure the people you bring on the team are not the type who will create conflicts. That’s why you should be critical during the hiring process to make sure you look out for any form of characters that don’t match the culture of your company. It also recommended that new workers work for about 6 months on probation before being fully confirmed as part of the team. This will help you to monitor then and learn more about their personalities beyond the interview session

Conclusion

As we have seen from the above strategies, avoiding conflict at the workplace starts straight from the recruitment process. Recruiting workers that don’t sync well with the culture of your company will always lead to disagreements among your team especially regarding how work should be done. Always make sure you bring in the right people. Also, ensure that you and your different team leaders manage all the team members fairly without any form of favoritism.

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