How do I find a technical co-founder to help execute my idea? I have an idea for a website in the real estate field. I have a non-technical business development background and no funds.

I know that this post reads like an /r/startups circlejerk, but I have a business idea for a real estate website that I've developed over the past several months and believe that there's a good fit in the market for it. I have no technical skills and would like to find a co-founder to help me execute it.

I'm willing to give up ~50% equity to the right person, but I cannot offer any money at this point. I do have a clear path to monetization, but that will be several months after the first version of the idea is up-and-running.

Where do I turn for talent that would be interested in working on a project like this? I know it's hard because developers are in-demand and are compensated well.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

8 Step Process for Evaluating Software Solutions for Your Business

Entrepreneurs are wise to make use of software to automate and streamline day-to-day processes. But knowing which software tool to choose is challenging.


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Here’s a process that will help you decide which tools to add to your list of options and how to evaluate the ones you’re considering.

Decide who will lead the evaluation process

When you’re selecting new software, it’s a good idea to designate who on your team will lead the effort. This person may not be the final decision-maker, but he or she will be responsible for establishing the process for evaluating the software and for collecting testing data. He or she will also solicit input for defining goals and will present the findings along with a recommendation.

Identify which problems you’re aiming to solve

Before any evaluation begins, you need to determine what existing issues you’re looking to solve or what processes you’re seeking to streamline or automate.

Also, decide what your goals are for this new software. Do you need protection from a cybersecurity attack? Are you looking to reduce the time it takes to process your payroll? You need to know your goals in order to find the right software to achieve them.

Identify what users need to accomplish

Once you know the problems you want to solve, it’s time to talk with your team members who will be using the software. Create a list of requirements for the software and make sure you clearly distinguish between needs and wants in a prioritized list, as it will come into play when making the final decision.

Also, consider integration capabilities and whether or not your top picks will work with your current platforms and workflows. This new technology won’t be used in a vacuum and even the best options available won’t stand up if they don’t fit with your current processes.


Related: 13 Digital Tools Every New Business Needs

Research and create a list of possible solutions

Find out what technology solutions are available to solve your existing problems or provide opportunities for improvement. Consider targeted solutions that focus on a particular problem or process, as well as all-in-one types of technology that will solve for not only the target problem but will also improve other processes or boost automation. Identify the pros and cons, especially focusing on integration capabilities and the flexibility of the software to scale with you as your company grows. Also, be sure to look at training and customer support options.

Narrow your options

In some cases, you may find several solutions that meet your needs. If that’s the case, you need to select a manageable number to investigate. Narrow down to five or fewer top picks based on the functionality and the fit, making sure that the chosen options meet the requirements you’ve just prioritized.

Take a look at reviews from current users and see what types of functionality they highlight as well as their overall experience. Is the feedback consistent among users? Do the reviews vary by user type?

This may tell you something useful. Consider both functionality and cost in your analysis and factor in up-front and future costs. For example, if the pricing is based on the number of users, you’ll want to consider this additional cost as your company grows.

Designate your testers

Select a couple of people on your team to go through a trial to fully experiment with the software. A demo is fine to start narrowing down options, but a trial is best for thorough testing and will provide more time to explore.

Supply each user with a form to help them map what they liked, didn’t like, what functionality is missing, and whether they would anticipate adopting the software if it was purchased. Ask them to consider how user-friendly the tool is and the effectiveness of the help options available. Make sure they replicate the same task with each of the options you’ve narrowed down to make sure they have a true apples-to-apples comparison as the basis for their feedback.


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Collect the feedback

Once your team has completed all of their trials, collate the information and identify the best options. It’s helpful to create a grid with the top priorities and the aggregated feedback collected for each, as well as some comments with overall opinions.

Evaluate the options and make your decision

With the feedback grid and comments from the testers in hand, make a final decision. Whomever you selected to lead the evaluation effort should present his or her recommendation and the basis for their choice based on the collected data.

Early-stage startups typically have limited funds, so it’s especially important to use all resources wisely. Using technology to improve process efficiency through automation is a great way to make wise use of resources and having a methodical approach to evaluating options will help you make the best decisions for your business.

The post 8 Step Process for Evaluating Software Solutions for Your Business appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

Spotlight on N. Macedonia: 10% income tax, high business ease and in the heart of the Balkans

How does it sound to start a business or scale up in a country where locals do their best to make you feel at home? If we add here the fact that Skopje is not only home to a close-knit startup community but also ranks first for cost-effectiveness in the Financial Times 2020/21 ‘Tech cities of the future’ ranking, the prospect of starting up in North Macedonia becomes even more inviting. 

In this article I will provide you with local knowledge about the country’s business environment, including the necessary steps for setting up and running a business. 

Macedonian business culture in a nut shell 

The booming startup community nurtures values which speak for empowerment, support, learning, and fast growth. 

Macedonians are warm, polite, and welcoming to foreigners. In their communications, they are usually direct, and don’t hesitate to speak up. At a business meeting, you will be welcomed with a smile and a strong handshake (unless it’s a pandemic). In most circumstances, they are proud of their country and will do their best to represent it in the brightest way. Local partners, collaborators, and employees will usually invest their time and effort not to only deliver high-end services but to show you around and help you immerse in the Macedonian culture. 

Moreover, an increasing number of big companies and startups are seeing the importance of social impact, and Skopje has witnessed an expansion of environmentally and pet-friendly initiatives and apps. Moreover, businesses are becoming more socially responsible than ever before and help vulnerable groups in various innovative ways.

The rise of startups in the country is dictating new trends, where flexible working hours, casual dress code, and working environments with many perks are available. Moreover, working remotely or from the comfort of a co-working space is becoming the new-normal and many founders say that they plan to stay remote even after the pandemic is over. The minimum number of paid vacation days is 20. There are 11 national holidays and a certain number of religious holidays applying to members of different religions.

Speaking of punctuality, Macedonians cannot brag about being punctual like the Germans or the Swiss, although many people are trying to change this. You shouldn’t be surprised if a meeting or an event is 15-20 minutes late. Buses and trains are rarely on time either. Luckily, more and more young people start to rely on bikes and e-scooters.

Team buildings are quite popular among startups and IT companies, which have ‘exploring North Macedonia’ as a task on their to-do list.

Conditions and benefits of opening a company in North Macedonia

Ease of doing business 

In the World Bank’s latest rankings, North Macedonia is ranked 17th in the world for the ease of doing business. This high ranking reflects that the regulatory environment is more conducive to the opening and operation of a local firm. The country scores over 80/100 for trading across borders (93.9), starting a business (88.6), paying taxes (84.7), dealing with construction permits (83.5), protecting minority investors (82), and getting electricity (81). Moreover, for its ease of doing business, North Macedonia holds the best position in the Balkans and exceeds countries such as Estonia (18th place), Finland (20th place), and Germany (22nd place).

Multilingual and highly-skilled affordable talent

Even though North Macedonia is a small country with a population of only 2 million, it has a large pool of educated and highly-skilled professionals, with a satisfactory number in the field of ICT. The country is awash with various learning, networking, and career growth initiatives and events, which only show the aspirations of the country’s talent to keep on track with the most developed European startup communities. Moreover, there is a growing number of private education centres, in addition to the existing universities, which are teaching and training staff on the newest skills required by tech companies and startups. In terms of the English language, North Macedonia is known to have a high rate of English proficiency. If we add to the bargain the fact that there is a great quality-price ratio, it’s no wonder that many foreigners decide to run their businesses from this sunny country.

One of the main challenges though is hiring senior developers. On one hand, there has been a boom of IT outsourcing companies and, on the other,  the trend of brain draining is present. As a result, the companies try to offer as many perks and benefits to the software engineers as possible to attract and keep them. Luckily, the number of students in the field has been enormously increasing and the situation is changing. 

Low cost of living

North Macedonia is extremely attractive to international entrepreneurs due to its low cost of living. Take Skopje, for example; this capital doesn’t lag behind other European cities in terms of the lifestyle and high-quality commodities it offers, and yet, all is affordable for much less than in almost all other European startup hubs. Other cities such as Bitola and Ohrid, which are abound in cultural heritage and natural beauties, are even cheaper. To provide some numbers, you can rent a modern apartment in the Skopje city centre from €250 a month and, as one German visitor once said to me, you can get the “best meal ever” for only €10. 

Supportive startup community

Skopje is the biggest startup hub in the country, with several other cities showing great potential too. However, regardless of whether you are in Skopje or Bitola, the startup community is extremely supportive and moves at a fast speed. New co-working spaces, associations, hubs, and accelerations emerge continually and, most importantly, new founders are welcomed with the warmness of the existing players who clearly understand the importance of empowerment. For entrepreneurs who want to test the waters first, there are programmes such as Entrepreneurs in Residence, which have enabled a number of foreign entrepreneurs to get a first-hand experience of the business climate.

Favourable tax environment

One of the biggest advantages of running a business in North Macedonia is the favourable tax environment. The country has one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the world which is only 10%. The personal tax is also 10%, while the General Income Tax is 18%. Moreover, the government offers a 10-year tax-free operation for investments made in the Free Economic Zones where highly productive clean manufacturing activities are concentrated and new technologies are developed.

The growth of ICT and its key verticals

ICT is the fastest-growing sector and it plays an important role in the economy as a provider of jobs and generator of exports. Hence, North Macedonia has a solid ground for startupers interested in launching a business and conquering the world from a small but supportive country.

Verticals such as e-commerce, digital media, fintech, gaming, blockchain, IoT, tech in agriculture, and edtech are evermore present in the country.

Favourable geographical location and time zone

As a country located in the heart of the Balkan peninsula, North Macedonia benefits from a strategic geographical position at the crossroads of two main European transport corridors linking Central Europe to the Aegean and the Black Sea. The country has two airports, one in Skopje and other in Ohrid, and it is a 2-hour flight away from most of the European cities. Furthermore, Skopje is just a 2-hour drive from Thessaloniki, which is the main port hub for the Balkans and Southeast Europe and connects Europe with Asia and China. 

North Macedonia falls within the Central European Time zone (GMT + 1) along with cities such as Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. 

A downside here is the lack of good transport infrastructure which often impedes the businesses from networking and distribution of products and makes the travelling less pleasant. 

Leisure opportunities: great travel destinations and outdoor activities

It is not unusual for foreign founders who run businesses in North Macedonia to combine their business trips with some leisure. In addition to the lively nightlife, people don’t miss the opportunity to visit Ohrid, a lake city which once had 365 churches and has been referred to as a “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. Alongside its attractive beaches and medieval heritage, people often jump on different tours such as riding horses in the mountainous village of Lazaropole, paragliding in Krusevo, skiing in Mavrovo, or cave exploring in Makedonski Brod. If you are here for business, don’t hesitate to ask a local to show you around (they will gladly be your guide), or just check this local startup for more ideas. 

Setting up a company in North Macedonia 

Open a company in 1 day

Just like in most European countries, the limited liability company (LLC) is a preferred business structure, especially when it comes to startups. The process requires only one day for completion and you don’t need to be present in the country. All you need is to find an authorised agent. The agent submits the required documents signed by you in the Central Registry and the company is established. A North Macedonia LLC can be entirely foreign-owned, with no restrictions on foreign shareholders. 

One should bear in mind that the minimum share capital for this entity is set at €5K and can be deposited in a Macedonian bank account. 

First steps for registering a company

  • Pick up a name
  • Choose an address – you can use the address of a rented/owned office or you can obtain an address from companies that offer virtual office services 
  • Choose a CEO and split the equity
  • Choose an authorized agent of the Central Trade Registry (attorney at law or accountant) to submit your application
  • Get all necessary documents ready and signed

Before you start any activities with your company you need to apply for a company seal, activate a bank account, register for VAT, and apply for registration of the foreign investment within the Central Registry. Additional administrative activities may be required as well, and it is always a good idea to request a list with all required documents and steps from your agent. Most of the banks offer online banking, so before you make the choice make sure to do your research and see which bank would best fit your requirements. And, finding a good accountant or accounting company is a must.

If you want to get a work or residence permit, the procedure takes up to 15 days and you can consult your agent about all the requested documents. 

Just bear in mind that although the Macedonian government is working on digitalising its services, many of them are still not online. 

Supporting organisations

If you decide to start or expand your business in North Macedonia, these are some of the supporting organisations you may want to check.

Another tip is to search LinkedIn for like-minded professionals based in Skopje – they will undoubtedly give you a heads up.

For more information, check out our article North Macedonia: Skopje’s startup ecosystem at a glance.

EU-Startups

Six Items Are Reminders You Internet Business

They do buy from you, or they arrange to work with you in a legitimate income opportunity relationship. Usually this is really because they are far too timid or even otherwise assertive enough to say no. So they agree avoid a confrontation. Then they don’t get satisfaction of one’s product or service and/or they never do what necessary duplicate in the actual. You’ve wasted your time with an individual who wasn’t serious and someone else feels like they got burned. Everybody loses.

People sometimes work at home when they are laid off, too, or have actually a paid position. The income out of a work at home job is recession proof, which is the reason work within your own home jobs can be extremely great during bad stretches. If you get laid off, you will still have income. Or, if your income is not good enough, can perform compensate for what you make in order to conserve a standard of living that need your name.

Running a home business won’t let you off the hook either. Case of fact, may possibly be more pronounced. Most home business proprietors don’t have a four hour workweek, and also that do usually took years of hard work to get special point. Online work isn’t needed to know about leisure, no matter what some people say.

Below are some of the most common work-at-home exercises or work outs that you should attempt doing. Remember, sitting and dealing in front of the computer for eight long hours will negatively affect not only your posture, but also your health in prevalent. So try out these exercises and slowly generate a daily exercise routine.

So, for anyone who is wondering or even a the connected with person to work from home publicize your enterprise a success, then suggestions questions you answer prior to taking the push.

Being small business is like running a marathon. People that do not need the perseverance and attitude to succeed will quit altogether. These quitters usually the individuals who go around telling others that internet marketing businesses are scams considering that did not work for these guys.

Block social networking sites. If you cannot discipline yourself, block it. I’m serious! Are already really bad distractions! Should you not want to close them, minimum have them blocked when you work. You will discover a great tool for Mac called the Anti-Social that blocks social networking sites while might be turned high on. I didn’t need to use if you decide as Employed to be able to discipline myself but you could find it very useful. For Windows, I heard that PureSurf Desktop is often an application wireless.

What are the methods that you or someone else have used to validate a business idea?

Currently, the only way I know how is to go out and sell the product before making it.

However, that's not a very scalable or unbiased way of validating a business idea. Are there any less biased or more data driven ways. OR, perhaps you know a super biased and unscalable way that just seems to always work. Please share some of these methods here!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Top 10 Tips As Part Of Your Legitimate Internet Business Jobs

A great home based business tip you can have is perform as professionally as hand calculators. A website seems unkempt and unprofessional may drive customers away. Get ideas business professional sites, so the remote feature how to produce one.

Before where you will work from home, you have to look by your strengths and weaknesses. Have you been able to control on very own? After all, any business hold its pros and cons. You need to be strong enough to experience it all your style.

Don’t be discouraged by start-up costs because tend to be an a part of doing smaller business. Just be knowledgeable of what you really getting into. The most common mistake people make is only having enough money to obtain started, and not enough to begin the associated with building that business and finding homeowners.

Proper Equipment Needed: It isn’t business cards, product brochures/dvds, leads, and gas as part of your car which need commence your home business. You need two powerful tools which usually are right at your fingertips: pc with use of the Internet and your phone. Clearly! Handing out brochures and dvds does very little for business if these materials growing in a bad hands. Travelling about town to appointments will undoubtedly waste of both and also money fit prospects never have asked you for details your product/service. Just imagine getting planet path of prospects in which already trying to find your solution, your offer albeit your product or service! That’s what you will want to learn.

Excellent insurance is an absolute must have for any company enterprise. Remember, this is very important if you’ve planned on having people visit you in your business. Could involve allow to be able to be protected in case something was to happen to someone on residence.

Get rid of make it a little easier to work at home will be create a suitable working environment for on your own. Create a workspace where you can have some privacy level. Make sure that you can avoid the things that will distract you contrary to the task out there. To work at home effectively, you are going to need to recreate examples of things typically associated along with a traditional work environment. For some people this means setting up a full office within home. It is advisable to remember how the benefit of ones work at home career is not working all over your laptop throughout the couch, although that can be a nice side benefit. Crucial to remember benefits on the business arrangement where you choose to work at home are such as extra family time, no commute to the office and no direct forex broker. You do still need to function and succeed.

In an authentic job, in case the boss provides you their private home phone number, experience no reason to fully investigate that phone mobile number. What if your boss is Mister. Barney Rubble, and you made the decision to learn everything reverse-phone searching, and discovered his telephone number seems to belong along with a Mr. Billy Mountain, an additional state.

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Start a Business to Sell Your Expertise (Episode 94)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares insights from a guest on this past weekend’s StartupNation Radio show: Steve Rundell is a stakeholder in a company called Explico, and his company performs forensic accident investigation.

During the interview, Steve talked about how anyone can start a business to sell his or her own expertise.

Tune in to this morning’s Business Beat to hear more from Steve and Jeff: 

“At the end of the day, we’re selling expertise, and if you have expertise to sell, then that can be the seed to start a business.”

– Steve Rundell

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

You know, it never ceases to amaze me just how much opportunity there is out there to start a business. And I’m the startup guy. I’ve heard it all, right? Nope. And that’s the beautiful thing. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to interview a fascinating guy who is a stakeholder in a company called Explico. His name is Steve Rundell and his company does forensic accident investigation.

Now Steve’s got degrees in engineering, including a Ph.D., and he puts his skills and education to work in the highly specialized field of forensic investigation. He and his colleagues at Explico investigate accidents and try to piece together just what happened, and they’ve made a highly successful business by doing it.

But here’s the really interesting part. At one point during the interview, I stopped him and I said, Steve, what you do is really amazing. And you’re obviously highly skilled and qualified, but our average listener out there who might be wanting to start a business for him or herself, probably isn’t saying, “That’s a field I can jump into tomorrow!”

But wait, Steve told me you can actually start a business to sell your own expertise. Take a listen to Steve:

“If you can show, and you can demonstrate that not only do you have the expertise, but you can convey it simply and concisely to a jury and not lose your cool when getting grilled by an attorney, and if you can have a combination of expertise and ability to communicate it and a cool head on your shoulders. Yeah. There’s a lot of accidents that happen in this country. So, you could make a whole national practice out of it. At the end of the day, we’re selling expertise, and if you have expertise to sell, then that can be the seed to start a business.”

Examples of such expertise includes that from an auto mechanic to a trucking logistics expert. So, if you have expertise to sell, here’s an opportunity to start a business and profit from it.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Start a Business to Sell Your Expertise (Episode 94) appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

Where to start with a business idea and what to consider

Hi there,

I am currently looking for some help on where i would start with a business idea. I honestly have no experience in my own business or how i would fund this but was hoping the good people of reddit would be able to give some guidance and share any experience they have of owning their own business or any tips on where to start with this idea.

What I want to do

My idea in the simplest format is opening a retro arcade bar/restaurant. I feel there is a niche for this kind of business in the place that I live as we don't actually have anything that fits this genre. Apart from one place but this is actually very limited with the arcade machines that they have and i wouldn't totally consider it a retro arcade bar/restaurant. I think there is a good opportunity that is being missed here I also think you could host lots of different events through out the week and the weekends that would attract guests of all kind. I have been browsing place's online and have found a couple of places that I think could work for this idea.

Questions I have

What things do i need to consider?

How does rent work when leasing somewhere per annum, do you pay this at the start of the year or the end and is there some kind of deposit that comes with this. Are there hidden fees i'm not considering? (the rent i was looking at is £60,000 pa)

When leasing somewhere will they let me renovate the inside or will i have restriction because i don't own this place?

Are licences expensive to serve alcohol?

How do you find out what business rates you would have to pay?

How would i acquire the arcade machines? Would i lease them or buy them?

Do i need a licence for arcade machines?

What kind of insurance do you get is there just some standard business insurance that covers you or is it specific due to the machines etc?

I have some capital, could i go to a bank and get loan with some sort of business plan for the rest or would i need investors?

How do i start with a business plan when i haven't actually even got a business?

Where would a good place be to start planning all off this?

I know this isn't just as easy as coming up with an idea and it happening over night but i needed to start somewhere and get some advise as i truly believe this is an idea that would be worth pursing. Thanks for any help you guys have.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

A Home Based Business Guide For Bloggers

You must be dedicated to eat a successful home business. You need to learn the laws within your area governing places of economic. You may find you really need to build an independent building about your property to accommodate your business, rather than having customers enter your own. This also assists you to make new break between the home and business daily life.

Try supporting a short walk in the morning. Eat your lunch away from your own personal desk. Develop a phone call to someone or family member that isn’t work linked. Watch a short TV show from the afternoon along with a cup of coffee or tea just before back to operate.

As effect of this huge interest in home based based businesses, there are lots of scams and less than reputable offers being pushed. When you do your due diligence, do if you watch and investigation needed to be assured that you’re most likely choosing the home business.

If an individual might be in a household where you share the boss responsibilities more evenly then you may find this kind of is the hardest type of relationship to a home based business. Under these relationship conditions, people go to an organization Idea believing that it end up being easier anyone have to attain that another boss will likely have expectations of equality potentially more evenly shared level of responsibilities.

I found most maybe we do not to keep their current job to find a technique begin earning a better living from home, on a part-time basis, so that they’re going to provide a healthier lifestyle on a self-employed basis and children. If that is the case, you must remain looking in your legitimate work from home job career. In other words, you need to consider a business you can start out house.

When you work at home i know it can go in either case. You could very well get fixed in working every minute of on daily basis or become distracted from family members, pets and any one day activities.

Carpe diem much? No, of course not, none of us do. However, despite the impracticality of living each day as if it’s your last, you can’t always live like it’s your first. Most people have a business idea that we’re convinced could work if we simply had likelihood. Well, if you’re breathing you do take advantage of the chance, so seize the following. The only thing worse than failing is not trying.

[BriefCam in Business Wire] BriefCam Takes Innovation to the Edge with Analytics for AXIS Deep Learning Camera Series

BriefCam, the industry’s leading provider of Video Content Analytics and VIDEO SYNOPSIS® solutions, today announced significant new capabilities to its product portfolio with v5.6.1 of its innovative and extensible video content analytics platform. The new capabilities will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and support the safe and responsible re-opening across the globe.

Read more here.

The post [BriefCam in Business Wire] BriefCam Takes Innovation to the Edge with Analytics for AXIS Deep Learning Camera Series appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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