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4 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Business

4 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Business
Starting a Business: You’ve probably read countless articles about it and believe you’re finally ready to take that big step. A word of caution though: once you step into the entrepreneurial waters, you’ll quickly realize that nothing has really prepared you for it. There’s so much more to it than just a good idea. It takes a lot of research and planning to prepare for starting a business. In this article, we help you save that precious time by bringing you 4 things you need to know before starting a business. Understand the Laws and Regulations One of the most important things when starting a business is to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that affect you. What kind of business permit or license will you have to obtain? What are the legal requirements for starting your business? How much will you need to pay in taxes? Compliance with the law is essential because you don’t want a technicality holding you back once you embark on this journey. There is a lot to consider from filing tax returns and paying your staff to protecting your business with insurance. If you can’t figure out all of these things on your own, seek help from a reputable accounting firm. A professional can guide you through these laws and regulations and help you figure out if you’re ready to start a business. Additionally, a skilled accountant will be a great ally later on in helping you manage your finances and not over-paying on taxes, etc. Is There a Demand for Your Product? Before you spend all your money on developing a product, have you researched the market? Is there a demand for such a product or service? What about the competitors? This might be hard to hear but there is a chance your product isn’t so great or needed so your first step should be to find out whether there is a market for it. Countless new ideas and products are introduced every week, month, year. But how many businesses actually succeed in surviving the first few years? About 80% of businesses survive the first year while only half of all businesses make it to the fifth year. You’ll need all the information you can gather so that you can make small adjustments to your product/service accordingly. Thorough market research will provide answers to the above-mentioned questions and give you an insight into whether it’s worth spending more time on your idea or not. Research your competition carefully. But don’t get discouraged if you discover that there are many other businesses with similar ideas. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be in the same business too. If the market is thriving, surely there is a place for one more great product. Planning Your Business Don’t Spend More Than You Need When starting a new business, most people give up a lot to finance the idea. Many get into debt, spend too much too soon and showcasing poor money management skills. This matter also requires good research. You need to know what to spend on and what can wait until your business grows and brings profit. It may be tempting to get your new office decorated, purchase some new equipment, and software, but don’t rush this. Instead, think about the necessities, what your business needs in the beginning. Make a distinction between what you must have and what would be nice to have. If you hurry up and spend all your startup money on fancy equipment and unnecessary things, you will find yourself in a pickle when a real need emerges and you can’t pay for it. Create a list of the...
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Improving Customer Experience on Your E-commerce Website

Improving Customer Experience on Your E-commerce Website
The success of your eCommerce website is usually pegged on whether customers can buy the products they need quickly and efficiently. If there are any hiccups in this process, customers are likely to leave and you will lose a sale. To ensure this does not happen, it pays to improve your customer experience. This has the add-on effect of increasing sales and profits. Below, we will look at a few things you can do to improve your e-commerce website. Use Clear, Legible Fonts Even though most e-commerce websites are not text-heavy, people still need to read descriptions, directions, and texts like on your privacy page. Improvements in this area come from selecting the right font. You want a font that is not too thin or bold, one that is not too fancy, and one that is easy on the eyes if you have a lot of text on your website. Also, ensure that the font is at least 16 pixels in size as this has been showing to be the best baseline font size. Make Your Website Responsive Mobile visitors have overtaken desktop visitors on most websites, and this might be true for your e-commerce website. If your website is not responsive, these users will have a hard time navigating the website. A simple test is to visit your website on your phone and see how easy it is to navigate. If it is not for you, it might also not be for your visitors. There are also lots of online tools that can help you know if your website is responsive and easy for mobile users to navigate. If it is not, use the reports generated by these tools to make the necessary changes. Make the Checkout Process Easy No one wants to jump through hoops when they are trying to buy something from your website. If you want customers to have a good experience when checking out, make the process as simple as possible. Collect just the amount of data you need to complete the sale and no more as people hate filling forms. You should also ask your web developer to make sure any errors that occur as the user fills the checkout forms are displayed immediately and not after a reload. Diversify Your Payment Options Everyone has a preferred way of paying. Some like paying using their credit cards, some their bank accounts, and others using platforms like Stripe and PayPal. To accommodate everyone, try to use as many payment options as possible. Users who might want to pay using a method you do not support will usually leave without making a purchase. If you do not want to add all these options, at least accept credit cards and PayPal. Reduce Banners and Popups Banners and popups are a big inconvenience for a lot of people. This is because they slow customers down when a business is running a flash sale or other promotion and make them feel like they are losing out on the deals they came for. Although these banners can help alert users to promotions and sales you are running, using too many of them can ruin customer experience. Try to use as few of them as possible. Business owners who want to increase sales on their e-commerce websites should start by improving the customer experience on their website. If you make things as simple as possible for customers, they are much more likely to purchase from you and even become repeat...
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How Artificial Intelligence Can Assist in Recruiting Talent

How Artificial Intelligence Can Assist in Recruiting Talent
  Finding the right candidate to fill an open job position has always been a challenging task, and the fact that the monetary cost of a bad hire can reach up to 30% of the employer’s first-year earnings only adds to the pressure. During the process, you need to ensure that you attract, hire and retain the right talent, so that your company may reap the benefits of having a skilled, engaged and productive workforce, instead of suffering because of bad hiring choices. Fortunately, with all the advancements it brings, AI has also taken the world of recruitment by storm. Many HR experts now leverage AI-powered tools to help them locate and attract potential candidates, build meaningful relationships with high-profile applicants, and make smarter hire choices. Here are the four most important ways AI can assist in recruiting talent. 1. Attract Great Candidates One of the most significant challenges HR departments face is attracting skilled staff, as 87% of HR experts claim that there is a lack of qualified applicants for the positions they are trying to fill. However, the quality of your job applicants largely depends on the initial candidates you’ve attracted to your job posting. To get more applications that match your job posting, and fewer of those who are over- or under- qualified, your job description needs to represent what you’re looking for in candidates accurately. AI-powered tools, such as Textio, can help you come out with a perfect job description that is tailored to address the needs of your potential job candidates. This AI tool analyzes over 10 million job ads each month. Due to its extensive database, and NLP capabilities, Textio gives you suggestions on how to adjust your job description depending on your industry, and offers you alternatives that better match your target audience. If you sound better to your target candidates, you’ll attract more high-profile candidates from the talent pool. 2. Improve the Quality of Recruitment Even though we hate to admit it, the recruitment process is always biased. A study has found that people with no facial flaws are more likely to get a job. When certain imperfections exist, the attention of the job interviewers will mostly be focused on these facial differences, instead of on what the candidates are saying. AI can make the recruitment process unbiased, as it can help you determine objective criteria, and act on these criteria alone when narrowing down choices and making a selection. Besides, during an interview, AI can spot some other vital characteristics that the human eye can’t easily capture. For example, in an attempt to find perfect matches for their open positions, Unilever uses neuro-science based games, as well as facial expression analysis to assess their candidates’ personalities and honesty. After the interview, the algorithm comes up with a review of each candidate, making it much easier for the HR department to make a final selection. Learn the Art and Science of Resume and CV Writing – Job Search Skills, LinkedIn and Interview Skills all Included! 3. Provide Your Candidates With Better Experience The HR department can now successfully use conversational chatbots to engage with candidates during the recruitment phase, and significantly improve their experience with a potential employer. An AI chatbot can be used to answer candidates’ most common questions, to inform them about the status of their application, and update them on all the recent developments. Many companies don’t follow up with their top candidates after the interview, which severely damages their reputation and their chances of making the best hires. AI chatbots can be there to keep the communication lines with the top candidates open, showing them respect and...
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Things to Keep in Mind While Applying for a Business Loan

Things to Keep in Mind While Applying for a Business Loan
Money is essential to run a successful company. Often the capital invested may not be adequate for the company. A corporate loan is the most reliable possible option for a company owner in such situations. We define business loans as the money obtained for business investment. Getting a business loan is a simple process. While it is collectible from all institutions, an owner of the business must apply with a specific provider to obtain a business loan. Loan seekers must also follow the minimum requirements of this particular lender when submitting the form. The loan documents will only be accepted once the application gets organized and completed. A business loan could be a significant income source; however, the variety of loan options to small business people can be challenging to manage. The forms to which small businesses are entitled are SBA loans, traditional bank loans, and digital cash flow loans. Happily, to keep things simple for loan applicants, there has been a range of reasons to check to ensure that the applicant gets the appropriate type of loan. A business loan is hard to obtain with poor credit history. However, it is not impossible to apply for a small business loan with bad credit as many substitute creditors provide financing options for people with poor credit background. In the following write-up, we will give you things to remember when applying for a business loan. DIFFERENT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE APPLYING FOR A BUSINESS LOAN The concept of a business loan is appealing; it requires more than you could imagine at first. It is quite crucial to understand your need for cash so that it may appear vividly in the application of a loan. Furthermore, knowing where to spend enhances the capability of how efficiently you spend the acquired amount. TIME OF APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS Many businesses regard SBA loans as the right choice. Clients who have prior experience of using this loan are entirely satisfied with the terms and conditions implied, i.e., the seamless application process. Having said that, while trying to apply for a business loan, we must understand what is offered out of the procedure. Once you apply, lenders will still need to handle it in its entirety. At least one month will be consumed to prepare for the paperwork. This is the fundamental step if you are thinking about your company’s future. For the moment, you might be very eager to get the money and invest in your estimated plan. But, rushing can cost you your precious opportunity. Calm and composed behavior allows you to see those possible mistakes which you may ignore unintentionally. VALID AMOUNT TO APPLY It is necessary to be optimistic about the amount of cash your company requires if your request is to succeed. Do not expect far too much, and often do not ignore the taxes and fees. In other words, when you want a loan to buy new facilities for your company, see precisely the actual cost of the equipment, sales tax implied, delivery charges, storage, installation, or any necessary permits for its use. Lending institutions choose to cooperate with practical, accountable borrowers who have accurately calculated the amount needed to attain their objectives and expand their business. CONSIDER THE EARLY PAYMENT CHARGES Concerning the subject of expense, advance payments may be a risk for a careless borrower. It may seem like a tempting idea for paying the loan back before time. But there will be charges included while you are doing so. Since the early payment charge is not fixed, it is approximated to be equivalent to one or two month’s interest amount. The earlier you decide to pay back the...
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Social Media and Security: Keeping Your Business Safe  

Social Media and Security: Keeping Your Business Safe  
Social media security should be taken seriously if you want your company to thrive, your customers to remain safe online, and your brand representation to remain on top form. Unfortunately, there are people out there that may impersonate your brand or hack your social media accounts. If you want to keep your business safe, read on to find how to do so and what can happen if you don’t. Potential Threats The main threats that can harm your reputation and business are: Fake links which look like your website, but are actually a downloadable malware Impersonation accounts which could sell fake products to potential customers, leaving them unhappy with your brand Impersonating profiles of staff members to gain private and personal data Communication of wrong information which could affect the stock price Hacking of your social media profiles to gain confidential data or post false information The above threats can happen to any business, even small businesses, so you should never believe your business is immune to threats. Instead, you should follow safety advice to ensure your social media is safe from hackers and trolls online. The Cost to Your Business Unfortunately, social media scams such as the ones above can damage a company’s reputation and may lead to financial loss. Any customers who have fallen for this scam will have less trust in the company and will be likely to inform others, meaning many more people are less likely to trust your real profiles and website. You may even deal with negative press over the issue. If you haven’t taken the necessary steps to keep your social media accounts safe, you could be liable for paying back disgruntled customers. Best Social Media Safety Practices There are several simple steps you can take today to implement a safer and more secure way of working with social media, here are a few ideas to get you started: Change passwords regularly, and make them randomised Form a company social media policy that must be signed by each employee Regularly search for your brand name on social media to ensure there are no fake accounts Never list vacation times of management on any social media accounts, whether this be your own personal account of your business account Update your privacy settings regularly, especially if employees have left the company Permanently delete unused accounts Inform your customers if you are aware of any dangers or fake accounts associated with your company If you want to keep your business safe from fake profiles, consider using online brand protection services for businesses. FraudWatch International can protect your company by detecting and removing impersonating profiles from social media, as well as in many other ways. Check out their website for more information on how they can help you to keep your business safe. Being safe online is important for all businesses. Social media is a fantastic, free tool that can drive sales and improve customer retention. Follow the above steps to maintain safety and your company’s...
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