Start in Business Learn and Start a Business Thu, 04 Jun 2020 04:11:50 +0000 en hourly 1 How To Encourage Your Clients to Pay on Time Thu, 04 Jun 2020 04:11:49 +0000 You work hard to deliver exceptional service to your clients. You burn the midnight oil to complete their projects before the deadline. Obviously, you expect to be paid on time. For freelancers and small business owners, the biggest disappointment is when their clients fail to send the payment on time.

Staying silent, hoping for the mail to miraculously arrive in your inbox will not solve the problem. That said, you are not supposed to pester them with numerous calls or emails either because that strategy may annoy your clients. There are better ways to get your clients to pay their invoice on time.

Here are some proven tactics to transform overdue invoices into payments.


One way of encouraging your clients to pay the invoice on time is to offer them some incentives like discounts. Make sure that your discounts won’t have too strong an impact on your bottom line. That said, your incentives should still be should still be tangible enough to excite your clients.


Some clients respond well to positive reinforcement like discounts. Others are more likely to respond to negative reinforcement like penalties. A late payment penalty will encourage many clients to pay their invoice on time. When you impose a late payment penalty, the message is clear – you want your clients to pay on time. Keep in mind that you should not charge a large fine. If you do so, you may lose your clients.


It is time you stopped sending paper invoices. They take longer to reach your client. They may also get lost in transit. Instead, use an automated invoicing process. You should also give your clients an opportunity to pay online. There is yet another advantage to using an automated billing process. It will continue to send payment reminders until the client pays up. Also, some automated invoicing systems allow your clients to see your payment rates and the projects you have completed. They too will appreciate this data because it helps them to manage their finances better.


If you are busy you may forget to send the invoice on time. And when you send it at a later date, the client may get confused by the different billing dates. This may affect your chances of getting paid. If you use a recurring billing system, you can rest assured that you will receive the payment on time. Since the client’s payment details are stored in the system, your invoice will be paid every time it is due.


The right time to do this is when you start to work with a new client or renew a contract. Clearly explain your invoice payment requirements and payment options. This will eliminate any misunderstandings.


If you make a sincere effort to build a relationship with your client you are more likely to be paid on time. When the client learns more about your business model, they will also understand your need to be paid on time. And when you know more about them and their business, you will also be able to offer payment options that are convenient to them. This mutual understanding will build trust and improve your chances of getting timely payments.


This is a trust-building tactic that you can experiment with new clients. Once you have established a good business relationship with a client, you will probably not want to try this method. Some clients may refuse to pay the total amount in advance. In that case, you should at least ask for a partial payment.


Before you start working with new clients, you need to ensure that your payment arrangements are acceptable to both you and them. Once you have an agreement in place, that is probably all that you need to keep your clients on pace with their payments.


Ask your clients what payment type and time is most convenient for them. This shows that you are flexible. This also improves your chances of receiving the payment on time.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling and asking about the status of your payment. You should use this tactic with clients who are always late with their payments. Over time, they will get bored of repeated emails and calls. This might also encourage them to pay up.


This probably is not the best tactic you can use, but it works in most cases. If you do not deliver the finished project on time because you have not received the payment it might lead to conflict. But by holding work hostage, you are also sending out the strong message that you cannot be taken for granted.

Some clients just want to test the waters. They want to see how you will react if they don’t pay on time. But when you refuse to deliver the project until the payment arrives, they will get the signal. So, use this tactic if nothing else works. After all, when you get into a business contract with a client, both of you are supposed to abide by its terms. You are required to complete the project on time, and they are required to send the payment upon delivery.


Encourage your clients to pay weekly or bimonthly. If you are getting paid on a weekly basis, they will not have to come up with a huge amount every time they press the payment button. This may help clients facing cash flow issues. This arrangement will also improve your cash flow.

Why Being A Generalist Is Better Than Being A Specialist Thu, 04 Jun 2020 04:01:44 +0000 The demand of generalists is rapidly rising in corporate scenarios.

The competition in every industry is soaring towards the sky with each passing day, and to make your mark, you need to highlight your strongest points. That’s why people introduce themselves as specialists or ‘domain experts. In today’s scenario, the world is overflowing with specialists in every possible field one can imagine.

People think that acquiring the ‘specialist’ tag ensures success, but that’s not true for every scenario. You may find it hard to believe but being a generalist instead of an expert can be a smart move.

In fact, the demand of generalists is rapidly rising in corporate scenarios. Why is that? When you have an office full of specialists and no generalist at all, the workflow suffers. It’s like having an assembly of specialists studying a sample of rock.

They will analyse even the minutest detail of the rock, its colour, texture, source of formation, density, and water content; but very few will be able to identify that the rock is actually a piece of coal and they will need a generalist to understand that coal is a fuel, which is used by people in all parts of the world!


If you want to call yourself a generalist, the first quality you need to acquire is to develop a keenness for learning new things. A generalist should be able to adapt quickly according to the demands of the circumstances he is facing at that moment.

There are many instances when generalists are asked to act like specialists to achieve certain goals. Specialists show stringency in their thought process. They are usually not capable of visualizing the big picture since their focus is to grow in only their own field of expertise, which can make them less of a team player. Generalists on the other hand can handle different situations and circumstances at the same time. Their decision-making power is usually superior and they always try to find universal solutions to their problems.


There are several reasons why generalists will soon be considered as an integral part of the corporate world-

RISE OF GLOBAL PLATFORMS – The world is now interconnected like never before and in such a scenario, only the generalists can help a corporation understand developments which may not be directly related to their core area of expertise but may affect them in several other ways.

LESS WASTAGE OF TIME – While a specialist would like to solve a problem by applying a more mechanical solution to it, a generalist could solve it in a much smaller timeframe by offering a diversified opinion.

BETTER UTILIZATION OF RESOURCES – Since generalists are skilled at adapting to different environments, they can ensure better utilization of resources. They do not have a restricted mindset which helps them in discovering alternative resources at any given point of time.

TEAM PLAYERS – Generalists have the talent of juggling several sets of teams at the same time and a generalist manager can bring a strong sense of team spirit in a corporate environment.
So what would it be for you? Do you want to be a generalist or a specialist?

6 Ways to Bluff Confidence Thu, 04 Jun 2020 03:56:17 +0000 There are times when even confident people feel confused or timid. When it comes to confidence, looking confident is far more important than actually feeling confident. Many people who look incredibly confident are not exactly feeling the same on the inside. They have their own worries. They just manage to hide their worries and make themselves appear confident.

You will be able to accomplish just about anything you want if you believe that you are smart, brilliant, and capable. However, if you believe that you are not capable, then you will prove yourself right.


It’s possible to develop your inner confidence. Just like anything else, it requires consistent practice. Even if you are a confident person, you may feel uncomfortable when you are in an unfamiliar situation. Here are six ways to look confident even when you are anything but. Practice these techniques every day and you will soon start feeling confident on the inside as well. And then you will no longer have to fake it.


Hold your head high and stand up straight. This posture will make you look confident at all times. Your body language sends out a lot of non-verbal cues. Sitting slumped with arms folded across the chest leaves a clear impression that you lack confidence.


Look in the eye when you talk to people. Confident people are not afraid of making eye contact with others. Making eye contact is a great way to look and feel confident.


Wear outfits that fit and make you look good and professional. When you appear good, you will automatically feel good and naturally your confidence will increase. Buy a few outfits you look good in. Wear them to interviews or other important engagements. It is quite natural to feel anxious about your appearance when you have an important engagement. An outfit that fits nicely will counteract some of your anxiety.


Looking confident is easy when you have the right tools at your disposal. Look around – you will find a lot of successful professionals who use their spare time to read technology and management books. They want to keep themselves at the forefront of the latest developments in their field. Knowledge is power and ideas rule the world. So hone your skills.


You don’t necessarily have to engage in activities that are related to your job. Do just about anything that you enjoy doing. The confidence boost which you get from doing things that you are talented at will help your performance in the workplace.


Confidence does not always equate to competence. The most confident people can be the least competent. In the same way, the most competent people can be the least confident. Studies have shown that we have an unconscious urge to submit to people who look confident even if they are not supposed to be in charge. That explains why projecting an air of confidence is important. If you look confident, you will find that people are eager to listen to you. On the other hand, if you look timid or confused, you will have no followers even if you possess immense knowledge and expertise in your field.

What Sets Ultra Successful People Apart Thu, 04 Jun 2020 03:47:49 +0000 These ultra-achievers do not do different things, instead they just do the same things we do, but in a different manner. So, what is it that makes them what they are? Can we learn their attitude, their approach, and become like them? Maybe we can. Let us see some points that set these ultra-successful people apart.


No one is born with a formula for success. There is no divine intervention. Successful people live and grow in the same world as we do. Whatever knowledge they possess, they have gained it from the people around them. They have asked questions, no matter how silly the questions might appear when asked. And they have listened to all the answers, intently. This one simple approach can be a great help to build an attitude that can take you places. So, when in doubt, ask questions. And then pay attention to all the different answers you receive. Some answers might not make much sense, but there’s no harm in gathering different opinions. It will only broaden your perspective of the world around you.


Never regret your mistakes, learn from them. To err is human. Accept that golden fact and embrace it. Once you pick this attitude, you will gain a learner’s wisdom. No one can teach you as well as your own mistakes can. Don’t shy away from them and accept what they have to present. That’s what sets apart achievers from others.


Don’t hold on to knowledge and experiences. You will only limit yourself. Sharing is the key. The more you give, the more you receive. But do not share with the intent of receiving more. At times, even if it comes to charity, do it with an open and selfless heart.


There is nothing more harmful than being stagnant. A wise mind is not the one which is flooded with knowledge, but the one starving for it. Learn new languages, crafts, and art. Learning new things will never let your mind age. No matter how busy your schedule or daily life has become, make time to educate yourself further. You never know which part of your knowledge base might come handy someday. Nothing that you learn ever gets wasted. You always get an opportunity to make something out of it.


Whenever you receive any sort of help, assistance, or guidance; acknowledge it and express gratitude. People whom you thank for their help will not only appreciate your gratitude but will also be willing to keep contributing in future. Even a simple “Thank You” when expressed genuinely, can build a place for you in others’ hearts.


Give serious commitment and dedication to what you do, but don’t take your efforts and the end results too seriously. Once you start taking everything seriously, you end up being suffocated and burdened. Go easy on yourself and life. Be it failure or success, never take it too personally and seriously. Focus on what you can do. What happens next is not and will never be in your control. All you can control is your current actions.


Staying focused on work and giving your 100% matters a lot. But so does taking rest and rejuvenating. The human body works on energy. You need to keep recharging “you”. Don’t push yourself when you’re stressed. Take a break, it is only going to make you more focused.

Simple things, aren’t they? Might be simple to read, but not too easy to implement. However, keep working on these aspects, and soon, all of these will be a part of you. It’s all about attitude and approach. Now go and be ultra-successful.

Efficient Ways of Motivating and Mentoring Your Sales Force Thu, 04 Jun 2020 03:38:24 +0000 Today, most of the organizations pay extreme attention to marketing and customer service required to survive the growing competition. But what about their sales force? What about the team, which is responsible to convert interested parties into customers, and keep bringing in business? How do you manage to get the best out of your sales team? Read on, our business experts have offered tips to help you groom, mentor, and motivate your sales team.

Focus on the individuals within the team

A sales team is not just a bunch of well-dressed and sharp executives but it’s a group of intellectual individuals. They need to be treated as one. You must let them know that each one’s contribution matters to you.

While meetings, training sessions, and even during briefings; you have to encourage active participation. Do not just let the top performers speak all the time, put questions for the rest of the team too.

Of course, you cannot accept all the opinions, but you can listen to them. Sales executives must feel that the strategies you create are derived out of the suggestions and ideas which they provide as a team. During group activities, show them that you appreciate those ideas and inputs more which are given by them collaborating with one another.

Pay attention to the individuals’ opinions and voices, and they’ll easily work as a team.

Review their performances and ‘coach’ them

There is an old saying, ‘it’s not what you say but how you say it’. While reviewing your executives’ performances, do not give them the impression that you are ‘judging’ them. Avoid giving them direct examples or instant comparisons with other better-performing members.

This never allows healthy teamwork. It’s best to coach them on the best practices and provide the top-performing members’ techniques as references.

Try conducting mock sessions where each member gets to display their sales-conversion skills. Here, highlight the ideas and approaches (instead of the individuals) which you like the most. Every member learns something by viewing how their fellow colleagues tackle similar situations. Sometimes, they not only learn what to do, but they also understand what not to do.

Healthy competition

Competition is a driving force for improving performance. Hold contests focused on criteria which most of your sales executives struggle with. The intention should not be to find the ‘number one’ and applaud for them. But instead, the motive of these contests should be to help the team take efforts to improve their skill sets and benefit from healthy competition.

Float ideas such as reading marketing books and checking educational seminars during these contests. With the desire to win contests and get appreciated, your team will not just willingly accept such suggestions, but they’ll also make the most out of it.

Also, during these contests, remind them that their true competition is with the teams of your business competitors, and the contests held by you are the opportunities for your team to sharpen and improvise their skill sets.

Reward and recognition

Recognizing and rewarding efforts are instrumental for motivation. Not just cash, but trophies, plaques, and other gift items can also act as rewards. You need to let your team know that it is not only about the business they bring in, but it’s also about the initiatives they take and the efforts they put in. Thoughtfully chosen rewards items show your genuine sentiments behind the appreciations.

Also, make sincere efforts to equip your sales force well. If you are purchasing or upgrading CRM and sales tracking tools, check if those are handy enough to work with. These tools should not add unnecessary burden on your team. Whichever applications and tools you select for them, it must make their work reasonably easier.

Recruiting and hiring skilled salespersons is important. But it’s also equally important to nurture and mentor them, to create a strong sales force for expanding your business’ profits and prospects.

Major Faux Pas You Need To Avoid In Social Media Thu, 04 Jun 2020 03:29:02 +0000 Social media can help you gain followers, generate leads, and grow your business. However, you must approach the platform in the right way. There are some social media faux pas that you need to avoid. Some of these were once considered as best practices. In this article, we will look at some ‘social’ blunders that can damage the reputation and credibility of your brand.


While the Twitter’s automated messages are a harmless way to connect, they are abused ad nauseam. Sending an automated message when someone follows you on Twitter is overkill. It doesn’t sound genuine. At some point this was considered a best practice, but it has long lost its appeal.

If you really want to greet your followers, send them a personal message. If you have a large number of followers, this is nearly impossible. However, even if that is the case, there is no point in sending automated messages. If your brand is serious about establishing personal connections with potential consumers, you should not put them off with automated messages. Remember that there is no such thing as an automated, personal response. A robotic personal message is neither personal nor genuine.


If you add too many hash tags, your tweets become difficult to read. Your tweets must be as concise as possible. This will ensure that there is more room for RTs. If your message is short, you don’t have to fill the space with too many hashtags. Also, un-researched or unfocused hashtags can make your tweets look silly.

A hashtag is a clickable item and allows users to take part in the extended conversation happening around that term. If there are no other discussions, there is no point in using a hashtag. It simply gives the impression that you don’t know what you are doing. That is not a problem if you are a new user who is simply testing the platform. But if you represent a brand and you are trying to present yourself as an authority on social media, adding irrelevant hashtags to your tweets can make you look unprofessional.


Some people buy fake social media followers. They believe that having a large number of followers will make them look more important. It probably does. Influential people tend to have several followers. But just because you have followers, you won’t be considered influential if a majority of them are fake followers.

People who are new to social media will probably not be able to see through fake profiles, but experienced users are capable of doing that. The huge disparity between the number of followers and the number of follows is a red signal. By simply running a profile through Twitter Audit, you can see how many fake followers they have.

Bogus followers will ruin your credibility. When people realize that you bought followers to inflate your popularity, it will erode their trust in you. Even if other information in your profile is correct, how can anyone trust you?

If you are a big brand or a celebrity, it may be possible for your “follower to following ratio” to be abnormal, but for the rest of us, it is not possible. Also, people can quickly spot this.


This is a relatively new technique. While this can happen with various social media platforms, let’s see how this happens on Tumblr. Your posts on Google+ have their own URLs. So, when you post some content there, you get a URL. You can share that URL with people.

While there is nothing wrong with this practice, some people use this as a technique to increase their Tumblr engagement. They will post a link to one of their articles on Tumblr and then share the URL of that Tumblr post with their followers. When the followers click on that link, they will be taken to their Tumblr page. They will have to click on that link on the Tumblr page to be taken to the article. As a result, they will get an additional click on Tumblr.

They also get an opportunity to introduce people to their Tumblr page. This will probably increase their chances of connecting with them. While this cannot be considered a faux pas, it makes the process of sharing a bit too complex. Additional click-through may benefit the person who shares the content; however, It is annoying for the audience. Unless there is a valid reason to funnel your content through another platform, you should simply give your followers the direct link to your content. They will appreciate it.


Most online marketers have accounts on both platforms; however, this does not mean that they have to connect the two. The rules for content formatting are different on Facebook and Twitter. The use of the hashtag is also different. Facebook allows you to remove a URL. Also, on Facebook, you can write longer posts. There is absolutely no point in having your tweets coming up on your Facebook newsfeeds. There may be a few occasions when this works; however, in most cases, it does not.

Your audiences on both platforms are different. Their preferences may be different. If you want to make best use of these two platforms, you have to post separately to each of them.


The social media platform keeps changing. What was considered best practice one or two months ago, maybe frowned upon today. It is important that you change your strategies when you are required to. This will allow you to represent your brand in the best possible way on these platforms. When used properly, social media will help you build your brand and increase the list of your subscribers/ followers. When you adopt bad practices, it will seriously affect your credibility. So, keep yourself abreast of the developments. See how other people are using these platforms and master the rules of the game.

Perfecting Your Instagram Strategy Thu, 04 Jun 2020 03:14:48 +0000 Instagram is a great social media tool to use. Even if your target is B2B, you could still benefit from a company Instagram account.

The user base for Instagram has grown exponentially over the past few years. It’s not too late to utilize this huge user base of active users.

Check the infographic below for more information on how to make an Instagram strategy that is right for your company.

5 Secrets to Attract Customers – Win Their Hearts with Simple Tricks Thu, 04 Jun 2020 03:08:40 +0000 So, you’ve launched a brand new small business. Your product is better, cheaper, and faster than that of your competitors. Obviously, you expect it to be a bit hit. You have already let the word out, posted it on your Facebook fan page, and launched some ad campaigns. You now expect to be bombarded with customers.

Unfortunately, nothing happens. Nobody calls or places an order. What could have gone wrong?

Fact – just because you have got a great product doesn’t mean that customers will make a beeline to your door. They need motivation, and that ain’t easy.

Motivating customers to make a purchase have always been difficult. It becomes even more difficult when you are a brand-new business. Customers hate change. They simply don’t want to switch providers. They are also wary of new products and new companies. So how can you lure them into buying from you?

First of all, you should launch an aggressive campaign to promote the product. People should at least hear about you. Expose them to your brand and product repeatedly. No matter what platform you choose to advertise your product, you will need to spend some bucks to spread the word.

Even after exposing customers to your product, you should still offer them an incentive to make a purchase. Here are five tips to attract more customers.

Give it Away

Who doesn’t enjoy trying something if it is offered for free? Consider the case of several popular cloud-based services. They offer a basic package for free. Consumers who seek more features can sign up for their premium services by paying a fee. You can try this method even if you aren’t offering a cloud-based service. Offer your service free for one month.

Let Them Sample Off

Offer free samples of your product. This works for just about any product that is not overly expensive. By giving potential customers an opportunity to try your product, you are introducing your product to them.

Make Them Beta Testers

Before launching your product, you can ask customers to beta test it. Testers can always become your first purchasers as they develop an interest in it. And then you can always offer them a discount – lure them even more.

Sell It Cheap

Sell your product a little cheap in the beginning. This will attract potential customers to you. Supermarkets sell turkeys cheap before Thanksgiving. They won’t make any profit on the turkey, but it does attract you to their store and they will make money on all other products you purchase.


If you are offering an innovative or cutting-edge product, consider running a pre-launch campaign via crowdfunding. While crowdfunding is typically used to raise money, it will also allow you to introduce your product to people.

So, there you go – five simple secrets that small and large companies use to lure customers. Try them and win some hearts!

Grow, Because There Is No Other Choice Thu, 04 Jun 2020 03:00:57 +0000 Growth is basically a choice. Yes, every business owner wants growth, but many of them simply choose not to grow.

They may be satisfied with their company’s size and hence decided not to grow any more. Solo entrepreneurs, for example, may enjoy working alone and don’t want to take on the responsibility of paying an employee.

Consequently, they will not take more work than they can manage. Small business owners who employ 2 – 10 people might assume that they can’t manage any more people. Some people may be earning enough to meet their professional and personal goals. They too may decide not to grow. Growth, after all, is quite challenging. It involves assuming different roles and taking on new responsibilities.

So if growth is difficult, why should you decide to grow? Well, as a business owner you have to choose growth because if you aren’t growing, you are actually shrinking. If your small business does not grow, you will have to deal with the following situations.

Loss of customers

No matter how well you serve your customers, you will still lose some of them every year. People may drift away as their needs may change or your competition will snatch them.

Changing preferences

Things change over time, and so do your customers’ buying patterns. If your business does not evolve, you will lose customers.

Increasing costs

Costs keep rising and the trend will continue. And if your sales remain the same, your profit margins will decline. This won’t be a good thing.

New competition

When new businesses emerge, you will have tough competition. This will also reduce your income. There are also some economic forces that can wreak havoc with the financial stability of your business.

Some businesses want to make more sales, but they don’t want their size to grow. But that still involves engaging in activities which will expand your customer base.

Even if your business enjoys the patronage of your customers, it will still go through trying times. Here are some situations where you have to choose between growth and decay.

  • You have just started out and want to build a customer base. When you start out, growth is not a choice. It is the only option you have if you want to survive.
  • You’ll have to take on more work, and thus employ more people.
  • You have to launch new products to retain your existing customers.
  • You have found a great opportunity, but you will need more resources/people to handle it.
  • Or you may have to deal with aggressive competitors who are trying to snatch your customers.

Many small businesses decide to stop growing when they reach a point where they have more people on their payroll than they can manage. When you employ several people, you will probably have to hire a manager. This might feel like a loss of control. If you can get around that mental block, you will be able to lead your business to growth and glory.

How to Make Your Company’s Brand Presence Visible Online Thu, 04 Jun 2020 02:43:36 +0000 In today’s competitive markets, the big corporate houses focus a great deal on maintaining their online presence. So, can small-time businesses afford to stay behind by sticking to old marketing strategies? Certainly not! You must pay great attention to the constantly upgrading web tools and evolving strategies to ensure that your online presence is clearly visible to most consumers.

Check the following tips and suggestions shared by marketing strategy experts and improve your company’s online visibility.

Make it easy for potential customers to spot and identify you.

Access the services offered by popular search engines and their tools to promote your company as a popular brand. The more visible your company is – news, latest updates, promotional offers, and pictures of recent events – through renowned and trusted search engines; higher are the chances of customers identifying your company as a well-known and famous brand. While searching for your company, important information such as contact, and location should be instantly and easily available.

Accessibility across all platforms

Accessing information through smartphones is extremely common now. Companies are working with the latest technological aides to ensure that their websites are comfortably accessible on phones and tablets along with laptops and PCs. The response of your web pages, images of products, and other important aspects such as viewing contact information needs to be compatible with all kinds of gadgets having different screen dimensions. Your website needs to be smartphone friendly. You can visit sites that have adapted to responsive web design techniques.

Check popular blogs and sites for feedback on your services and products

A lot of consumers are known to instantly share online their experience with a new product or service. You have to visit blogs and social sites related to your business where people often post their review and exchange comments. In recent times, such sites have proven to be the best source to get customer feedback. Plus, it is free. You only have to put a little time to check the different sites and go through the contents to see if there are any complaints floating around related to your company. Responding to these complaints online shows the other customers that you care for their feedback. And if there are comments praising your competitors, check the reasons for it and understand how or why the customers are mentioning positive things about them. Adapt some of their service techniques with your own. Listening to customers has been vital for businesses from ages and today you have the easiest means to do that.

Also, regularly visit forums and blogs to provide information and updates related to your industry. Customers often put queries related to certain products of their interest. You can answer the queries that fall into your domain. This is another good way of helping people connect with you and identifying your business expertise.

Being on the primary list of search engine results

These days, there is hardly anyone who uses any other option other than the net to search for a required business.? And the inquiries through the net are received by companies listed in the top search results. If you believe that you have invested enough for a strong online presence and still you are not on the primary list of search results, then this means that you are receiving way fewer business inquiries than you should. In such scenarios, getting yourself introduced to SEO (search engine optimization) techniques will greatly benefit you. It will improve your rank on the search listings.





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