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Taking the Leap from Engineering to Entrepreneurship

Taking the Leap from Engineering to Entrepreneurship
Every engineer who’s invented some new technology or is adept at coming up with innovative solutions believes that the hard part is over and the step to take that solution to market as an entrepreneur should be easy. And many engineers are in for a shock. In reality, that seemingly short step from engineer to entrepreneur means significantly more risk. In fact, a survey conducted by Duke and Harvard of over 500 technology companies found that only 37% of leaders had any background in engineering or computer science. Engineers should definitely think twice before they assume that they have an advantage when it comes to being an entrepreneur, no matter how great the product they’ve come up with is. The good news is that there are many great resources out there to help engineers make the transition to entrepreneurs. Krishna Uppuluuri’s book, ‘Engineer to Entrepreneur: The First Flight’ is a good start. The book identifies the main business perceptions most engineers have, along with providing a workbook approach to provide a quick start on various business lifecycle topics. Here’s what to keep in mind if you are considering making the transition from engineering to entrepreneurship. A Great Product Doesn’t Always Make a Great Entrepreneur: The old adage ‘if we built it, they will come’ tends to be a common misconception amongst engineers who are considering starting their own business to sell a product they developed. In reality, simply building a solution alone won’t magically make it connect with customers, manage the competition, or communicate the offering to the industry. Today, we’re definitely in an era of information overload. Selling and marketing skills are absolutely crucial to ensure your product takes off, no matter how awesome it is. Thinking that your product alone will act as a customer magnet is a dangerous mindset to have. So, before you make the leap from engineer to entrepreneur, it pays to develop some skills that you can use to put your product in front of the market, promote it, and connect with your target audience. How do you do this? Enroll in a relevant training program or degree: Online learning and online degree programs have made it easier than ever for you to gain the relevant skills you need before transitioning to entrepreneurship, without messing up your already busy schedule. If you want to keep things engineering-focussed then you can find degree programs that combine both engineering and management at Kettering University Online. Or you could opt for a learning program from Kettering University Online that walks you through the basics of business and building the skills necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. Network: As an engineer, you’re probably no stranger to networking; it’s just as crucial in this industry as it is in the business world. You probably already network to keep your engineering knowledge current and stay in the loop about new projects or job opportunities. Switch your networking focus to the business world and connect with people who can offer valuable advice and support. Even better if you can find a network of successful engineers turned entrepreneurs who you can learn from. Get a mentor: Business mentoring is a fantastic idea for anybody new to entrepreneurship, whether from an engineering background or not. Choose a mentor who is able to be honest with you and tell you how it is; you’re going to benefit a lot more from that compared to somebody who won’t stop you in your tracks when you’re on the brink of making a huge mistake. Don’t Rely On a Cool or New Idea to Sell Itself: Similar to the above, just because something is cool and...
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How AI Can Improve Employee Engagement

How AI Can Improve Employee Engagement
How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Increase Employee Engagement Employee engagement is crucial to the success of your business; without engaged employees,  your business will have a tough time expanding. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are actively disengaged in their workplaces. Disengaged employees are less effective at their work, and can contribute to a drop in company revenue over time. Here are some ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help keep your workforce engaged and working at their full potential. Robotic Process Automation Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a great tool to remove repetitive tasks from your employees every-day routine. RPA harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence by using digital software robots, or “bots”, to automate existing business processes. The Artificial Intelligence aspect of the bots enables them to work with “unstructured data” without hitting snags or complications. RPA can be applied to almost every industry and can help you become more efficient and save money in the long run. RPA has the power to increase employee engagement in a number of ways, the first being an increase in their mood. An IBM study on “The Financial Impact of a Positive Employee Experience” shows that “organizations that score in the top 25 percent on employee experience report nearly three times the return on assets compared to organization in the bottom quartile.” Making sure that your employees are happy and engaged can prove helpful for your bottom line. Removing repetitive tasks can also lead to an increase in creativity for your employees as they are being tasked with more challenging and thought-provoking work. Additionally, removing the monotonous work with RPA can provide more opportunities for upward mobility for workers, as more jobs now requiring a higher level of skill and insight. Picture Courtesy: Zibtek Professional Development & Predictive Behavior Artificial Intelligence shows great promise for being able to help in the personal development of current employees. Using AI, companies are able to create personalized training programs for employees, which can align the material with different employees’ learning patterns and behaviors. Using this, employers can then target the specific needs of employees, instead of having to create blanket training that can often be repetitive to many. If a training program is largely computer-based, then AI can actually serve as the instructor for the course, creating more time for other training. AI technology has proven useful in its predictive behavior aspect and can be used in businesses to gain detailed information on why employees leave the company, enabling them to take preventive measures in the future. Picture Courtesy: Docebo Artificial Intelligence helps human resources develop more personalized feedback on an employee’s work, and more personal responses to any issues they might be having. This helps employees feel more valued at a company and can increase their engagement. Employee training programs are crucial for keeping an employee engaged in their work. If an employee is confused about any part of their task, and feels unable to ask for assistance, they will be less engaged in their job. In addition, you can use AI to help train employees on newer aspects of the company to keep furthering their development and open up new opportunities for them. AI can help identify factors that push employees to leave a company, allowing employers to address issues before an employee reaches the point of exiting. Team Collaboration Teamwork and collaboration are part of every business, and Artificial Intelligence can help take some of the stress and planning out of this assignment. AI can improve team collaboration by using employee data it has gathered to recommend which employees would work best together...
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8 Habits to Keep Yourself Motivated with A Strategic Online Business

8 Habits to Keep Yourself Motivated with A Strategic Online Business
8 Habits to Keep Yourself Motivated with A Strategic Online Business The online clothing business is growing in its reach for a great many reasons. First of all, individuals are living a busy life, and shopping online saves a significant amount of time. Also, the ecommerce industry is a growing culture, and conventional retail therapy is a dying breed. That is why the clothing brand that you have developed deserves a robust online outlet so that it can get its true admirers on the internet cloud. Here are a few habits that will help you reach success with online business and help you win the online shopping sphere. 1. Online Entrepreneur and the Balance of Success: The Internet is a unique realm where overnight success and endless failure are both equally probable. The main factor that differentiates the successful online entrepreneur from a failed online seller is the fact of tricks up their sleeves. The entrepreneur who has cracked the code to online success will achieve success beyond belief while the one who struggles with grasping the main concepts shall falter. In a word, that trick has to be named as ‘effectiveness’; the reason being that the online strategies that you implement have to be useful for your online plan to be effective. So here are the habits that will increase your effectiveness in creating an online sales and marketing strategy. 2. Improving E-Commerce Experience: Any online marketing and sales venture are only as good as the experience that the customers are getting from the rand. E-commerce like Linen clothing for women sold online is an endless venture where customer complaints, order deliveries, and other issues crop up on an everyday basis. Make sure that you have a smooth and continuous process to ensure that the customer service that you provide is going smoothly. Whether you are managing e-commerce yourself, or have people in place, make a habit of sticking to your customer engagement regularly. Word of Mouth: The online community is the new local community. A right word of mouth and an honest review from the customer is the key to a successful trust-building exercise online. The more satisfied and trusting customers you have, the better your brand will perform. Strong Brand: The brand that has a reliable customer service also has a robust online identity. The customer service representatives also feel energized to work in the brand if they know that they are closely supervised and are held accountable. 3. Know Your Business: Many businesses are launched online without any need for more in-depth knowledge. The reason being that as long as you have a consumer base and the product in hand, all you need is a shipping option, and you are good to go. Your product will take off, and your company is ready to sell its products. But that is no reason not to understand your funnel process thoroughly. Make sure that you know all the minute details of your business and keep in touch with current and upcoming technological and marketing options for your product type. This will allow you to experiment frequently and expand your business when the time is right. Network: We cannot emphasize this point enough; networking in your field is crucial to success in the ventures you are undertaking. There is a great need for ensuring that you have proper connections in your industry because they are continuously needed in business conduction. 4. Business Evaluation Metrics: The metrics that are commonly used in the evaluation of the business are crucial to the success of the market itself. These metrics are scientific methods devised to ensure that the company is objectively...
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5 Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners

5 Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners
5 Productivity Tips for Savvy Small Business Owners Starting your own business is an exciting journey. You’re the boss! You make the rules…and you are largely responsible for setting your own hours, keeping your own workspace organized, and making sure your company reaches scheduled goals. Keeping your employees on track – not to mention staying productive yourself – can be a difficult task. These helpful tips show you how to make a few small changes which will dramatically increase your business’s overall productivity. Set Work Hours – And Stick to Them! Once you step away from the “normal” 9-to-5 workday, you run into a problem: deciding when to work. With the entire day available to you, it’s surprisingly easy to fall into the trap of “I’ll do it later”. Many small business owners find themselves struggling through the difficult early days of company growth working late into the night, battling endless distractions and adopting unsustainable sleep schedules. Avoid this by setting a schedule and stick to it. Work in 3 to 5-hour chunks with time blocked off for breaks in between. Once the workday is over, log out of your business accounts to avoid the temptation to keep working ‘round the clock. Office administrators often do all the behind the scenes work to help your office run smoothly, even in times like these where everyone is fully remote. To show your appreciation for all the work they do to keep things running smoothly and everyone in good spirits, consider getting them a gift for Administrative Professionals Day on April 22nd. There are plenty of remote gift ideas like sending them new home office tools or signing them up for an online meditation class to help them destress. For more inspiration on how to celebrate your office admin remotely, head over to Wikibuy’s blog post. Learn to Love Mornings You may be surprised to find that the average human is much more productive in the mornings. Our brains are awake, we’ve just gotten plenty of sleep, and distractions are less frequent as our friends and family are generally also working. Even if you’ve never been a “morning person,” you should give it a try! Wake up an hour – or even just a half hour – earlier than usual and spend that time working. You might be surprised to find out just how much you get done before lunchtime. Those formerly miserable morning hours can turn into prime productive, business-growing time! Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate Another productivity-destroying trap many small business owners get caught in is the desire to “do it all”. Wanting to be aware of everything that goes on, they waste time struggling through small, tedious tasks such as entering data, fussing with payroll details, and even keeping track of every employee’s schedules. Delegate some of these tasks to partners and employees within your business. This will give you, as the owner, more time to focus on the big picture: setting goals, securing funding and building relationships with clients and customers. This will benefit the entire business – workers will have clearly defined tasks and goals as well as be given chances to develop their own initiative, leadership and organizational skills. Introduce Productivity Tools Today, a wide variety of productivity tools are available, ranging from websites to smartphone apps to good old-fashioned journals and calendars. Take advantage of these tools to keep yourself and your employees organized and on track at all times! Set up a chat client so you can stay in touch with your team without needing to exchange endless emails. Have employees set up to-do lists on a shared web site or app so that you can...
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Getting Out of Debt: A Guide

Getting Out of Debt: A Guide
Debt can be an incredibly destructive force in your life – ravaging your finances, your investments, your family and your reputation, and threatening to eclipse all the hard work you’ve done in your life. In recognition of just how difficult debt can be for ordinary consumers, this guide I have designed will help you to find your way out of debt by whichever means possible. By using some of the tips outlined below, you’ll be able to take control of your financial situation, bringing to your life a sense of stability that debt can often destroy. Loans If your debt is only small, and easy to manage for a week or a month, then you may wish to look to a loan to bolster your finances for the period ahead of you until the next paycheck you receive. These loans can be incredibly helpful, but you need to remember that not all loan providers are ethical, and many are hoping that you slip into further debt as a result of your exchange with them. As such, be very careful to vet any loans company that you interact with in order to know which you can trust. Cashing In Your second option is to cash in on some of your wealth and your assets in order to service your debt. Depending on the size of your investment portfolio, you may well have a choice of what you can sell to make the biggest impact on your debt while also not losing valuable possessions or investments. So, whether you choose to divest in your car and stocks, or release some equity from your home, you can make use of your assets in order to avoid larger spells of serious debt in your family finances. Lawyers Another option, if you find yourself in a predicament in which you feel injustice is being practiced, you may wish to find a lawyer to represent your interests in court. If you choose to go down this route, be sure to pick lawyers that you can trust, and those with a track record of successful comparable cases. You can seek great help with a debt lawsuit by searching for representatives online. Only turn to lawyers if you feel you have a decent chance of winning your case – otherwise, your loss will only result in further debt for your family. Making Sacrifices Finally, debt is usually the result of financial mismanagement. Sometimes it’s just bad luck, and often it’s related to socio-economic class – but most working families should be able to avoid debt in the modern era. If you do fall into debt, you will have to realize that sacrifices need to be made. These might include cutting down the food and drink that you love the most, selling some of your possessions, downsizing your home, turning to public transport, not personal transport, and dipping into the savings you’ve accrued for other purposes. Sacrifices, too, can get you out of debt. These four tips are crucial to help you get out of debt, whatever your particular financial scenario and however much you find yourself in...
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