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Weekly Business News Roundup

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

How using slang improved my team’s productivity and creativity

The CEO and co-founder of Lending Express discusses his belief that company culture “boils down to words”, as “the words and expressions that dominate an office impact not only company culture but also influences how creative (and productive) its employees can be.” He then shares his company’s defining words – slang – that “capture the essence of the entire startup nation’s ethos”: b’zitkur for getting to the point and chutzpah for some nerve. He then discusses integrating slang in a business, and advises leaders to think about which terms or slang they use “and share the lingo with your employees.”

This CEO Has a Near 100 Percent Employee Retention Rate. Here’s the Fascinating Reason Why

The world’s leading college admissions agency, CollegeWise, has succeeded in achieving an employee turnover rate of nearly 0 percent for the past four years. Citing research, the author says the annual turnover rate for companies is around 19%, and that the cost of turnover costs a business a full 20% of a person’s salary to replace them, while other studies indicate it can cost as much as 40% for an entry-level employee. So how does the organization retain employees? The author says that its CEO “models a different kind of one-on-one meeting – and encourages his managers to do the same.” This model is to come to the meeting with only questions and to learn from the employee.

Starting a Business? Ask These 5 Essential Money Questions First

Would you believe that 10 years ago, the average cost of starting a business was about $31,000 (USD)? And while 42% of respondents to the 2018 Inc. 5000 CEO survey indicated they used less than $5,000 to start their first company, there isn’t any one answer for how much you’ll need to scrape together. Here, the author details five questions that can help you in establishing your startup budget:

1. What kind of business do you want to start? Are you selling a product or a service?

2. How many people do you need to run your startup?

3. Where are you starting your business?

4. How quickly do you need to get your product or service to market? and finally,

5. How long can you afford to live without a salary?

As Your Team Gets Bigger, Your Leadership Style Has to Adapt

The V.P. of design at Facebook describes how she came to realize that as her team grew, her old way of doing things wasn’t working anymore, saying “as soon as I figured out a better process, a few more people would join and the gears would get clogged once more.” She continues, “the only way to stay effective was to constantly change and adapt.”

She then illustrates the five “most striking contrasts between managing small and large teams” in sharing her experience and advice: going from direct to indirect management; people treat you differently; context switching, all day, every day; adjusting to picking and choosing your battles; and lastly, people-centric skills matter most.

Is mind over matter a real thing?

Fast Company’s latest weekly episode of “Secrets of the Most Productive People” features neuroscientist Tara Swart, who discusses three things you can do “to harness the power of your brain to do things that you might not think you’re capable of” (and dispelling “neuro-myths” along the way): focus on enjoying the process; practice in low-stakes situations; and give yourself no choice but to do it.

5 Unexpected Business Decisions You Should Negotiate

The author begins with “Cash flow problems kill small businesses every year.” Research from CB Insights found that 29% of companies fail because they simply run out of money – sometimes because they didn’t raise enough investor capital, but more often because they paid too much for the necessities they need. Here the author shares how to make the most of every investment and when – and how – to negotiate better prices so your startup has room to grow.

The unusual areas where business owners “can save significant amounts of money” are: rental space leases; employee benefits; supplier packages; loan terms; and finally, debt settlements.

4 Pieces of Software That Can Improve Your Business

As a startup, you will likely be competing with established brands. The good news is that you can compete effectively with four pieces of software. Here, the author discusses them in some detail: accounting, security, project management, and customer relationship management (CRM).

Yes, you’ll fail. This is how you’ll actually learn from it

The subtitle of this article captures the author’s discussion: “Embracing failure isn’t easy. But approaching it as a process can help you become stronger overall.” She notes that we are supposed to fail forward and fail fast, but according to the CEO of an executive coaching company, “the idea that we should embrace failure, and that failure is a great teacher, is in many ways in direct conflict with the way we actually respond to failure.”

Citing experts throughout, the author discusses how to deal with failure in several “established steps”: manage the emotions; map out what went wrong; create a failure-prevention protocol; and finally, share what you learned.

Is It the Jockey or the Horse?

Written from an early-stage investor’s point of view, this article discusses the conundrum that angel and VC investors face: “Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)?” He is candid in his answer, sharing how he has “bet on the entrepreneurial jockey numerous times and been blindsided by after-investment behavior that completely reversed my opinion about an entrepreneur’s ability to manage growth to breakeven.”

Nonetheless, he says he tends to bet on the jockey because it’s rare that a business plan “did not change again and again seeking a successful model in the marketplace.” His advice? To focus on building a world-class team that investors can trust, “fronted by the strongest possible leader,” even if you need to take a back seat to realize your vision.

Funding Circle Announces Expansion to Canada with Office Located in Toronto

Funding Circle, the leading small business loans platform in the US, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, announced that it will be expanding its operations to include Canada in the second half of 2019. Its office will be located in Toronto. Since its launch in 2010, the company’s online platform has helped more than 60,000 small businesses worldwide to connect with financing. The managing director of Funding Circle Canada, Tom Eilon, is quoted as saying “We have been evaluating options for expansion over the last year. Canada’s stable, growing economy coupled with good access to credit data and progressive regulatory environment made it the obvious choice.”

 

 

About Laura Crest

With an educational background in journalism, Laura began her career as a professional writer and editor 35 years ago with an internship for a magazine while an undergraduate at Michigan State University. After the advent of the internet, Laura transferred her skills from print to digital with a small online consulting business specializing in SEO and content strategy. Since, she has also served as the blog writer, managing editor, and content curator for several small online businesses before joining Telsec Business Centres, where she continues to apply her expertise in content discovery and curation for small businesses.

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