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News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

ICOs: An Exciting New Way to Finance Your Business Idea Traditional means of financing business ideas now have a new competitor: Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), based on cryptocurrency blockchain technology, have emerged as an innovative form of investment for startups. With banks cautious about extending credit to entrepreneurs due to the high percentage of startup failures (or the individual’s less than stellar personal credit history), and the potential for business ideas and plans to be stolen via crowdfunding publicity, the better options are to either bootstrap your startup (if at all possible) or obtain investment capital through ICOs. The author explains how ICOs work: “Young companies, presenting their white papers, raise capital. They do this by selling tokens, which investors can...

A Guide to the Venue Vetting Process for Booking Your Event

Booking a Venue: Event Planner, Venue Procurement Agency or DIY? Planning a seminar for your SME organization, or perhaps a business to business networking event? One of the first items on your checklist that you’ll need to consider is the venue. There are several ways you can go when choosing a venue: consult with a professional event planner, hire a venue procurement agency, or do it yourself (DIY). Here, we cover all three options so you can make an informed decision. DIY If you’re a hands-on person who likes to be in control of every detail, or you simply don’t have the budget for contracting an event planner or agency, then you’ll want to opt for making the venue arrangements yourself. The caveat with going the DIY route is that there’s more to booking a venue than you might think. It...

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

A Guide to the Venue Vetting Process for Booking Your Event Planning a seminar for your SME organization, or a business to business networking event? One of the first things you’ll want to nail down is the venue. So how do you go about choosing the best venue for your event? There are several options: hiring a professional event planner, contracting a venue procurement agency, or doing it yourself. This guide to vetting the venue that is right for your event or seminar goes over all three options so you can make an informed decision. The Productivity Booster You Have in Your Pocket, But Probably Don’t Use As entrepreneurs and SME business owners, especially those of us who dwell mostly in the digital world, we’re a frazzled lot with all the emails, messages, notifications, alerts, feeds an...

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

9 Science-backed Ways to Boost Your Productivity Here’s an incredible stat for you: studies show that on average, self-employed people only work 2 hours and 53 minutes out of an eight-hour workday. That translates into 37.5% of a 40-hour workweek and 1,300 work hours lost per year. Capturing some of that time by optimizing productivity, even if only by 10 – 20 percent, could in turn translate into a whole lot more accomplished. Here, the author describes nine science-backed hacks to boost your productivity, from working with “ultradian rhythms” to adhering to a stable schedule. Learn to Never Handle a Paper or Email Twice Do you suffer from inbox overload? It’s a natural tendency to filter through a stack or inbox, scan the important messages, and then return to them later to process them....

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

How US Ecommerce Startups Can Easily Expand International Markets Having achieved success at scale, e-commerce startups can largely attribute their growth to their ability to find and target new international markets for their products or services once they reached the nether limits of their domestic audience. For many based in the U.S., it’d make smart business sense for them to look to Canada. Surprisingly, however, Canada often takes a backseat to Chinese and Asian markets despite its clear competitive advantages of proximity, culture, language, and low barriers to entry. Too often, Canada is overlooked due to poor border experiences by U.S. merchants and their lack of understanding about customs and GST/HST costs. The good news for U.S. startups is that these obstacles are not at all d...

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

Changing Needs of Coworking Space in 2018 Coworking office space has evolved from simply shared space at a cost-savings for entrepreneurs and business owners. Now, adapting to the changing needs of individuals and SME businesses, coworking space not only provides a sense of community, but flexible workspaces. Flexible workspace is a hybrid of coworking space that offers practical amenities, such as serviced office space with administrative support. The design of coworking space has evolved as well, with options beyond the open concept office space that include more coworking areas for those needing some degree of privacy to conduct their own business without distraction, while still feeling part of a community. Your Industry Is Probably Ripe for Disruption. Here’s How to Take Advantage The...

Changing Needs of Coworking Space in 2018

Coworking space has evolved to mean much more than simply shared office space. While coworking office space is an accessible and affordable alternative to renting a traditional commercial office space, lower operational cost is no longer its strongest selling point. As noted in our previous article about the changing needs of coworking space in 2017, small business owners and entrepreneurs are now seeking a sense of community with other like-minded professionals. So what makes for a sense of “community”? For some small business owners, it may mean an environment that fosters professional networking, or alleviates the isolation of an individual or home office. For others, it may mean working alongside those sharing an industry or vocation, such as tech development or remote freelancing. For...

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

8 Ways You Can Leverage Data Science in Your Business Big data isn’t just for big business anymore, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Now medium to small-scale businesses can leverage big data solutions to make better informed decisions and achieve greater operational efficiency. Here’s an overview of eight ways your business can reap the benefits of AI and IoT, from empowering business management teams and increasing staff efficiency to formulating low-risk, data-driven action plans and identifying business opportunities. The GDPR, Small Business, and a New International Paradigm The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), legislation that was recently enacted by the European Union (EU) last month, provides guidance on how to prevent, prepare for,...

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

How to Create a Pitch Deck That VCs Will Love (and Why You Should Have More Than One) A VC and former entrepreneur holds that you should have multiple versions of your “pitch deck” (a short, compelling visual presentation in Keynote, PowerPoint or something similar, and shared as a PDF), for specific occasions and their attendant goals: before the meeting, during the meeting, and following the meeting. He shares highly specific tips for each stage, including the number of pages each should be. He also argues strongly for sending a “teaser deck” in advance of the meeting, focusing on rapport during the meeting rather than getting into “pitch mode,” and recommending possible “next steps” after the meeting with your thank-you email. Applications Now Live for YEDI Incubator Track Fall 2018 Ses...

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

Using Google Trends To Find & Assess The Right Keyword To Market Your Workspace So why is there greater interest in the term “coworking” than “office space” in Google search? Regardless of your niche, you’ll want to take a look at this guide by our marketing manager (and SEO expert) on how to use Google Trends to determine how people and companies in workspace markets are searching for and finding office space, then apply it to your own primary keyword. Actionable insights include how to use modifiers in your content to achieve higher visibility for your business in search results, and how to use the Google Trend tool to filter and break down data in several ways to prioritize SEO tasks, identify new audiences, and develop an informed content strategy. How to Grow Your Startup Internat...