Why Startups Need a Strong Digital Presence When Entering the Next Normal

Entrepreneurs have long been known as a courageous bunch, and this group is leading the pack when it comes to adapting to the “next normal,” whatever (and whenever) that may be. With the coronavirus pandemic, the standard road map to success was erased virtually overnight. It’s now more apparent than ever that businesses must be agile and flexible to survive. That’s a scary concept for some, but it’s downright invigorating for some of the brilliant startup leaders I know.

Over the past six months, consumers have changed the way that they interact with businesses, whether it’s through curbside pickup or via their cellphones. Companies need to meet their audiences where they are, and that’s increasingly online.

Building up a vibrant, seamless digital presence can help a startup or small business weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Successful businesses are continuing to pivot their traditional models to find new opportunities in this altered landscape — like restaurants providing grocery services and karate dojos offering digital martial arts classes.

The “next normal” may take a while to fully materialize, but all businesses should expect a heavy emphasis on building and maintaining a strong digital strategy. When customers are relying on their personal devices to make purchases, your online presence will recast their impression of your brand and determine how they engage with you going forward.


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Now is the time

Digital transformation is a top priority right now for all businesses, but it is especially crucial for the small businesses that make our neighborhoods hum.

Two-thirds of respondents in a recent Salesforce survey felt that small businesses are now more important than ever.

Given the strong desire to support local communities, there’s high hope that small-to-medium sized businesses can adapt quickly.

Here’s a real-life example:

In the past, I regularly bought flowers from one of two shops in my San Francisco neighborhood, depending on which side of the street I was walking down. The one still open has marketed to me, sent me emails, offered discounts for delivery and communicated a contactless pickup option. Its digital efforts worked to engage me, made me feel comfortable, and earned my dedicated business.

The moral of the story?

To survive in the “new” or “next” normal, you must enable digital conversations with customers, proactively monitor social media feedback, and nurture sales by providing information through all of your digital channels.


Related: 4 Benefits Chatbot Technology Can Provide Your Startup

When you set out to upgrade or begin building your online presence as a small business, keep the following tactics in mind:

Meet your customers’ needs in the new or next normal

Customer expectations have changed in the next normal, and they expect to find businesses online. Meeting customers where they want to be met validates your business. If your company is missing from an internet search on the products or services you sell, how can you effectively compete against those businesses that are there? You’d be fighting with both hands tied behind your back.

This idea trickles down to how you interact with your customers, as well. These days, most customers prefer chatbots and self-service to speaking with customer service agents over the phone. You need to offer service the way your customers want it, not how you want to provide service to them. That’s a key distinction that will make a huge difference in your relationship with your customer base.

Utilize platforms to express your stances and build trust

Part of building a strong digital presence is leading with empathy and generating trust. Don’t be afraid to communicate your company’s views on significant issues, such as a commitment to cleanliness and safety to combat the coronavirus, or expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Current and prospective customers want to see their values represented in the companies they choose to do business with, and you can go into as much detail as you please on your social media platforms, website and blog. You can leverage digital channels to methodically build the trust you seek in order to stay at the top of your customer’s mind.

Invest in technology that connects with your customers

A majority of respondents (65 percent) in the Salesforce survey think small businesses need to utilize better technology. Thankfully, that’s an attainable goal; there are a lot of dynamic tools that have improved the ways business can be done.

Think about consultations through video chat. A personal trainer, a wedding planner, even legal services — we used to engage in all of these meetings in person. But video chat services eliminate the need to put on a mask and venture out in public. Using technology in these ways has the added benefit of creating data that can help round out a more holistic profile of your customer. Data can also help you track engagements, prompt follow-up actions and chart when your internet traffic is heaviest. It’s safer to conduct business online, and the residual benefits are invaluable.


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Fold an element of resiliency and flexibility into your plans for the future

COVID-19 has been a true test for every business and made every company on the planet really evaluate its resilience. After you survive the pandemic, will you be ready for the next challenge? What’s your capacity to think differently and be resilient? The answers to these questions should guide a lot of the decisions you make. That’s where adopting new technologies and boldly undergoing digital transformations can be so helpful.

Starting and running a business is not for the faint of heart; it takes courage and determination. The best way to forge ahead and stay afloat is to be prepared, and bolstering your online presence is the surest way of staying relevant in an ever-changing business landscape and a brave new world.

The post Why Startups Need a Strong Digital Presence When Entering the Next Normal appeared first on StartupNation.

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Why You Need To Be Considering To Work From Home

We’ve found out that when your goal is and give people information to what you do and educate them on why 1 does it, here’s what happens: They learn something they did not know before (which is always good). Yet at ease because tend not to feel like they’re being manipulated. They begin to develop rapport with you, which is obviously good, whether or not they are business partners or and not.

Believe and Dream special. There is magic in dreaming fantastic. The most successful entrepreneurs dream heavy. Believe in yourself in addition to in your home business idea. Ponder on how the home business won’t only transform your life, but change society. Work it until it is performed right.

Planning my day in advance has been paramount for me personally working successfully at condo. Knowing what deadlines or calls help make at a sluggish start my day keeps me focused terrifying get more work been doing. I also try to do similar tasks in sequence reach a greater workflow. Do not forget to allow some flexibility inside your schedule as we know things happen beyond our control. In the beginning, I wasn’t always so organized and I wasted all his time fluttering around from one project one more. However, I found over time, the system of planning my days works well for me in home business.

The second reason undeniable fact that by using top-tier programs for a fast, cash infusion, you will be gaining a great source of capital make investments in chief business. Because they came from work at home often “spend themselves out of this business” meaning they are spending the money a proper promote their business the player wind up going broke and require quit. With this cash infusion and your new-found marketing skills, your company will grow by a lot.

Get started early with social media. Making sure you know how to traverse on Facebook, Twitter, along with social media sites make sure that you can use them effectively to further your operation. Most people online are members of social media sites, so you’ll have the capability to attract millions of visitors and potential end users.

In fact, a cottage home-based business is a great idea if you’re stay with a caring family mom. that way, like i mentioned be merely stay in your house Mom, you’ll be one substantial work from home Moms, too. Again, you don’t Gordon Gecko to start your own home based business. Do something you enjoy and manage your expectations.

What’s good about working freelance that the time is very much multipurpose. Stay at home moms can attest to your benefit of not dealing a nine-to-five shift and still have more than enough help to make it ends come in contact with.

Great idea! Need help to get the gears moving!

Hey everyone,

I have a great idea that is currently not on the market for those who love the outdoors and more importantly overlanding. This would be a product, let's say a tent. How would I got about getting this in motion. Initially, I was thinking about designing a prototype on illustrator, then finding manufacturers and companies who produce the materials I need to go ahead and make sample batches. However, I do not want my idea to be stolen. Should I make a patent? And now should I go about aquiring money/investors. Thanks! Advice would be appreciated!!

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

I need some legal advice for my start up. How do I know what type of lawyer I need?

I am starting an online business, that mostly entails clients that are in the US and Canada. I suppose the company would be international? I don't know what all registration, taxes and legal documentation is required. I'm thinking of basing the company out of Estonia-although clients would be from other countries. What kind of lawyer would I need? Also, any suggestions for a reliable place that I can find a good lawyer to give me advice?

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

Need advice. Received email from previous employer offering CTO position | No salary | 10-15% equity

Background: ~4 years experience. Was member of core technical team of 2 startups that had successful exits. I have had few startup failures as well from which I have learnt a lot.

Yesterday, I received an email (SEE BELOW) from my previous employer (run by 2 people as a LLP). My year long work contract with them ended ~6 months ago, yet I continued to work without any contract/agreement for additional 4 months.

I was the first and only employee during this time and was paid below market salary for non-technical role (business development). With my connections, I brought in >50% of sales (> $ 100k) myself without which the company would had to shut down long time back.

I was promised financial incentives based on volume of sales I brought in, but was denied of it when asked. They also shit on our clients after all payments were cleared which eventually lead to sour relations with my connections for no fault of my own. I faced verbal / mental abuse almost every month when I politely inquired about late salary / unusual pay cut / rebate for work related travelling, etc.

More than 2 times I have been threatened by one of the co-founders to come to my home to beat me. One time they contacted my friends, family and extended family when I was out of reach on a Sunday (Mother-in-law passed away, so was caught up with that). My heart beats increase and fingers start to shiver whenever I receive a message or call from them. I feel forced to work for them.

5 months into my business development role, I introduced them about building a B2B SaaS product in existing domain. I agreed to build the product with them on the condition that: CTO position, Equity 25-30%, no salary, 3 year standard vesting with 1 year cliff. They agreed as well and were very happy about it.

I began building the MVP in good faith and trust. But I never received any official agreement or contract with my engagement terms despite regularly asking for it. So officially I was developing the product in my existing business development role, not any tech-role which was verbally agreed upon. I continued to bring in sales alongside building the product.

I showed them MVP updates every 2-3 days. They always pushed me to build the full product with core features ("inspired" from other large players in the market), but I was reluctant as I had not received any work agreement. Whenever I asked for the copy of revised agreement stating my terms, they would blow it away by saying I am not working hard enough and want to see whole product. I continued to work even

2 months ago, I just stopped doing any work for them as original contract (business development) had already ended 4 months ago and there is no more contract and no revised offer despite building a validated MVP just on good faith and trust. I began searching for other opportunities and didn't want to waste any more time. I stopped receiving their calls and messages as it gave me severe anxiety.


Last night I received following email from them:

Dear <my name>,

You are hereby informed that the Co-founders of <company name> has decided to provide you the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and allow up to 10-15% of Equity on the right basis to the Product which (we includes) <Co-founder name 1>, <Co-founder name 2>, and <My Name> are developing held by the existing shareholders on the date of this offer as per the detailed terms and conditions as mentioned, in PTC hereunder:

As a shareholder on the aforementioned date, we are pleased to inform you that you are entitled to abide by all details as mentioned in the enclosed application form.

Kindly note this is a rough draft for our reference this is not exhaustive mail.

PRINCIPAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS (These are some of the important points and more of which will be added in the legal document later.)

  1. Dilutive shared should be offered to existing investors first and then to outside investors pro-rata to maintain the proportionate ownership.

  2. Exit Criteria

i. You can sell your shares only after 5 years from the date of agreement not before that.

ii. You are cannot transfer your shares to competitors or any individual who has been in the travel domain or any similar business for more than 1 years’ time span.

iii. The right of disposal of your shares would be given to the company Co-founders first. The Co-founder if they use their right to refusal then by prior initiation and approval of Co-founders you can sell your shares to an investor.

  1. Tag-along right

  2. Staggered ESOPS

  3. CCPS (the company can issue, not partnership firm) and conversion terms

  4. Pledging of shares will be strictly prohibited.

  5. Equity percentage will be on business from the Product and new clients which will (not include <company name> bounced clients) enroll after the product is in the market.


I need advice on below:

1.) Any good reason to take the offer?

2.) I lost ~1 year of cliff period due to delay in the offer made. What vesting terms shall I seek ?

3.) I badly want to finish the product with full core functionalities and see it through. But if working for them severely affects my mental health, is it okay if I reject the offer?

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

I need a technical confounder who will spend 200+ hours building my entire product for 10% of my company and no salary. Why can’t I find anyone?

I don't want to learn to code, I want everything handed to me because that's how I think the world works. I also have no idea how difficult my idea would be to implement but will grossly underestimate the time and effort it would take to complete an MVP.

Can anyone help?

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

Need help defining growth strategy for launch of new tech business

I'm working as a consultant to launch a company and am trying to better define the verbiage for our strategy and hoping this group can help. It's a database and indexing company, their commercial strategy is to launch with demand gen to build pipeline for a limited feature, pseudo-trial version of their product and then upsell them to a full commercial version of the product. Is there a named strategy for this sort of approach? I'm building out the path to purchase and buyer and customer journeys but am having a hard time finding other companies who have had success with this strategy that I can look to for help.

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

Newbie in need of guidance.

Hi! Made this throwaway because I don't want this traced to my actual life atm, particularly in the event that this crashes and burns.

I'm an attorney with a full-time day job and am interested in tinkering with the development of an app/system. I'd prefer not to divulge the details here, so nobody poaches my idea and beats me to it. For conflict-of-interest purposes, the premise has no relationship to my day job.

The perk of being an attorney would be that I can probably sort out all the legal aspects of developing an app/biz. This, plus the idea (which I believe has the potential to thrive further during current times) makes me think that the plan could be feasible.

The downside is that I have little-to-no idea of where to begin. I would assume, start with a market research study independently and figure out if this thing actually has potential? I listen to a healthy amount of How I Built This, and I noticed a lot of founders seem to have solid networks to begin with. I don't believe that I would. I don't know how app development or software development works, and I sure don't know how it would gain traction. I just have had this idea in my head for years, and it seems more relevant than ever in covid times and I'd like to take at least a stab at putting it out there. When running a basic search, it doesn't seem the idea is out there in concrete form yet.

Someone help a novice! Please! Any resources, books, podcasts, etc to help me wrap my head around how to proceed would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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

Everything You Need To Know About Business Loan Defaulting

A business loan can help you fuel your startup business or scale your existing business to the new height. But the trouble arises when you cannot pay your lender dues. Defaulting your business loan is not a good situation, and there are a plethora of ways it can affect you financially or mentally. Understanding what to do and what not to do while applying for a business loan can assist you to avoid this situation.

What Exactly Is Defaulting A Business Loan?

Defaulting a business loan is the failure to fulfill a loan. In this situation, the loan has not been repaid for a certain period of time. Additionally, when you are deemed in the default list of the lender you can depend on the lender. For example, you may be regarded in default after your first missed payment or your lender may miss about 6 months of missed payments first.

In most of these cases, the lender will give you an opportunity to recover late payments before you default on the loan. This is known as patience. When any commercial loan default occurs, that is the money lost to the lender. Therefore, they can give you some leeway so you have a good chance to catch up to lessen potential losses.

What Are The Direct Effects On Your Business Of You Default On Your Business Loan?

Drop In Credit Score

Defaulting on your business loans or missing your loan payments negatively impacts the credit score of the business. In addition to this, your personal credit score may be affected which depends on the type of business structure that you’ve in place.

Increased Rates Of Interest

The interest rates of your business (and probably personal loan interest rates) may rise if your credit score dips or credit history is not good. Depending on the loan agreement, a higher amount of interest rate could influence the loans that you have at present, as well as your future loans that you plan to seek.

Seizing Or Foreclosure Of Collateral

Foreclosure of your property may be the most severe repercussion owing to a loan default. You may have assets used as collateral to get a quick cash loan for your business. The defaulting of your business loan allows lenders to recover losses from the defaults of the loan. In such a situation, your moneylender will have the full right to take ownership or control of your collateral that you have incorporated in your loan contract. In addition to this, they normally will sell your property by a public auction or privately, depending on the margin of profit.

What Does The Business Loan Default Mean For The Future Of Your Business?

Difficulty in getting new business loans. Once you default on one business loan, it’ll make it much difficult to find a new business loan. Besides, if taking business loans is the major way of financing your business, you will be running into some complex hurdles. In addition, you may like to start looking into various other methods of funding the business.

Bankruptcy

If your business can’t repay its loans, you are required to file for bankruptcy.

6 Tips To Avoid Default In Your Business Loan

1. Know Your Due Dates

It is pretty significant to know the dates of your loan EMIs. This is especially easy when you receive any notifications on your phone regarding the dates of payment and the amount is automatically deducted through ECS from your account.

However, knowing your dates is crucial if you ensure that your account remains sufficiently funded. In addition, this is useful when you have to totter your money flow when you have more than one loan which is running. It is also crucial to know the expiration dates of each of your installments and how much you need on hand. Although goofing an installment automatically doesn’t mean that you have defaulted on the business loan, it’ll attract fines and penalties for ricocheting a loan repayment.

2. Maintain A Sufficient Balance In Your Account

Your bank account must have a sufficient amount in order to ensure that you are not at risk of defaulting on a business loan. Besides, you run the risk of being defaulted on your business loan if you do not pay within 90 days of the due date, and it is ideally advised for companies to keep 3 months of installment as reserves to address repayments of the loan.

Businesses all across the globe can be cyclical or an unforeseen event can cause disruptions. In such cases, it is always advised to have enough margin in order to ensure that your business loan payments are never missed.

3. You Can Contact & Take Help From Your Lender

If you are having trouble making the payments of your loan, you should contact your lender right away immediately. Your lender may extend the term of your business loan, arrange a payment plan with you, or defer some payments. In addition, if you are able to maintain an open line of communication, your lender is more likely to comprehend and avoid your collection efforts.

For more relief, you can consider having a no credit check collateral loan where any of your unencumbered assets are used to secure your loan. This will help you pay off the other loan with some sense of interim relief. The best things about such loans are they don’t do any credit check and you have the option to pay it at the end of the loan.

4. You Should Continue Paying The Minimum Possible Amount

Even if you cannot pay the full payment of your business loan, making smaller payments will help you avoid the overall default. The lender, seeing that he or she is making a good faith effort to repay the business loan, may be willing to make a repayment plan for your business loan.

5. You Can Consider Consulting A Debt Counselor

If you are struggling under a heavy debt load, you should consider making an appointment with a debt counselor. These are professionals and can give you a debt management plan that helps you strategize for paying off debt.

6. You Can Consult A Bankruptcy Attorney

Sometimes when the owner of a business defaults on a loan, bankruptcy is not far behind. The bankruptcy of the business can have even greater implications than the default for your finances and credit. If you are regarding filing for bankruptcy, you should contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney in order to see your options.

Let’s Wrap Up

I hope this article helps you know everything about business loan defaults. It’s better to manage your cash flow and finances in your business so that you never have to default on your business loan. And in an unfortunate situation, if you have defaulted your business loan and still need emergency funds for your business or any other requirements, you can think of collateral loans.

 

 

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StartUs Magazine

Need help in finding idea validation service.

Hey guys,

I usually look to validate new ideas which are mostly web-based. Most of them require a back-end and a front-end. Does any of you know any service where I can swiftly set up a disposable container running all these services to validate the idea and once it is validated I could migrate the data gathered onto a more appropriate server setup? It would be a plus if they could provide front-end development services since I am a backend developer.

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