tech start-up

Business Culture: 3 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Team

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Why is Google still one of the leading tech businesses in the world?

It’s not just due to their pioneering technology, but their business culture which creates environments conducive to creating innovating and pioneering technology.

Typical criteria of success among businesses tend to centre on skill sets, digital presence, marketing strategy, and streamlined financials. But what’s not taken into account as criteria for success, is team happiness.

And getting the best out of your team is directly related to how trusted, valued and empowered they feel.  

So what 3 ways can this be done?

The Hierarchy of Team Productivity

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How do you increase team trust, value & empowerment?

1.    Promote flexible work environments such as  ROWE stands for Results Only Work Environment, where as long as the results are reached, team members can work anywhere at any hours.

This independence and level of trust instils a sense of empowerment in that reassures not only ability but builds passion and willingness.

2.    Make sure you have a top-level resource devoted to business growth and development. Specialist business directional and development coaches are invaluable in gaging where a business is, the direction it needs to go, and how to get there in the most streamlined, leanest way possible.

If business development is managed with organisation, structured goals and specialist knowledge, this will filter through to the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

3.    As well as top-level business management, team management is crucial to avoiding overload, burnout and in time, staff turnover. A national survey from the Employment Engagement Series found that 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout accounts for 20-50% of annual workforce turnover. 

Knowing when to outsource extra resources is crucial to making your team feel valued and empowered instead of overworked and forgotten. Gaging when the resource-to-workload ratio is tipping and outsourcing before it negatively impacts the team's interest, motivation, and work delivery, will reap benefits that will generate sustained business growth. 

The importance of workforce retention and turnover reduction is clear and reinforced by a study from Future Workforce and Kronos that found that 87% of employers ranked improving retention as a critical priority matter.Howto retain workforces, while maximising team productivity and boosting business growth, is high on many agendas and the ways outlined above are examples of proven, practical and effective ways to do so.

For more information on team productivity and how it can impact business growth, visit Three major misconceptions preventing business growth

 

The Best Networking Events to Attend in London for Entrepreneurs, Tech Start-Ups and Small Businesses

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When you are starting a business one of the most important elements for your marketing and promotions strategy should be networking. We can spend a lot of time thinking about our grand ideas, products and plans, but we learn a lot about our business when we speak to others articulately about it and generate interest through our face to face relationships in real time. 

Here are some of our favourite places to find networking events for entrepreneurs, tech start-ups and small businesses in London.

Where to Find Networking Events for London Entrepreneurs

Silicon Drinkabout by 3 Beards

We had to add this to the list. We love the Silicon Drinkabout for its informal structure and its fun crowd of like-minded of entrepreneurs and techies. Plus, they meet weekly in different locations all over the world, so you’ll never run out of new faces to meet on a Friday night, wherever your business takes you.

Your Co-working Space or Serviced Offices

Make sure to regularly check your favourite co-working space for some great events and networking opportunities. You are sure to keen entrepreneurs and business owners with whom you can develop some strong connections. For example, WeWork and The Office Group host fantastic workshops, breakfasts, and events for their members to socialise and meet with others in a relaxed and informal way.

Google Campus Events

The Google Campus is the perfect hub for tech start-ups. Entrepreneurs can attend workshops and classes while also providing the space and events to find your next investor, mentor, founder or recruit. Networking with a dose of digital learning included.

Alumni Events

Graduate from a university? Or maybe you have a friend who has? Perhaps you finished a short course or qualification certificate? We find keeping in touch with your school networks can be a goldmine for building conversations, as you often already have a common link. Find your local chapter and see how you can get involved.

Meetup and EventBrite

We like using Meetup and EventBrite when we are searching for specific industry events to go to. Looking for a networking event specifically for female founders? Or do you want to share a pint chatting with people in your niche industry? There are new meet-up groups popping up everyday and these are great for targeting connection with people just like you.

Local Community Groups

Don’t underestimate the power of networking and connecting with local players around you. You never know how you may be able to help and serve members of your local community with your business and vice-versa.

Remember, social isn’t the only type of networking for entrepreneurs. Sometimes, a business can't be built behind a laptop alone. Get out there and take to real, live people to help build and strengthen your business. And when you need operational support to ensure your start up is running smoothly while you make connections, make sure to contact us at sales@costartupandgo.com to help with your virtual support needs.

Did we miss an event source or do you host a networking event that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments. 

5 SEO Basics for Start-Ups

seo basics for startups

Are you building a start-up and need to know the basics of how to grow your business online organically? Do you have your website and maybe you’ve set up Google Analytics, but you are wondering why your ideal customers aren’t coming to your site and buying your products or services?

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is still one of the most important factors to making your site search engine friendly and getting customers to your site. We love the guides from Moz, SEMRush, and Kissmetrics – but sometimes, it’s good to just have the basic fundamentals for your start-up – without too much technical jargon.

Optimising your website doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s an ongoing process that is essential to growing your business and it is constantly changing. So whether you choose to adapt to the waters and keep up to date with SEO or hire someone to do it for you, let’s take a look at the crucial elements for SEO for start-ups. 

Search Engine Optimisation for Start-Ups

Keywords

When doing keyword research, think about search intent, rather than just search terms. And then make sure that your site actually uses the words that people are searching for. Know your niche and stay relevant in it. We like using Google's AdWords Keyword Tool and Keyword.IO when doing keyword research.

A blog is an excellent way to stay relevant for both your audience and for Google bots as you are constantly updating your site and staying fresh in your industry. Moreover, there is an opportunity here for harnessing rankings for long tail keywords that your audience wants to know more about.

Using a combination of keyword research, Google suggest and related search, plus your customers’ questions and comments can help you in creating a regular content calendar that keeps your brand on the top of the Search Engine Results Page.

Content Creation

One of the keys to SEO is creating and scaling keyword-targeted, valuable, and unique content. It needs to be relevant, helpful, unique, and user-friendly.

This content can be in the form of blog posts, branded images, social media updates, email newsletter, infographics, white papers, e-books, downloadable PDFs, podcasts, video, webinars, workshops – any type of content that a consumer can engage with and consume. The first step in this is to know your audience and how they like to engage with your industry. Then create a funnel that takes your customer from discoverer of your brand to buyer.

And remember, once that content has been created, don't just hit publish. Share it, promote it on a rotating schedule, analyse it, expand it, make it better, mention it to influencers, etc.

Accessibility

Another important factor in improving search traffic is to simply make your site search friendly and accessible to search engines. Search engines are limited to how they can crawl the web and your site, so making your content indexable is an easy way to ensure visibility.

What does that mean? Images should be assigned relevant alt tags, audio and video should have transcripts, Flash content should have HTML text, URL links should have crawlable structures, images should be compressed, pages should load quickly. Does your start-up’s site pass these tests? See what we mean? Quite a bit of work, but worth it to have your site structured in the right way (Let us know if you're stuck here - we can help you).

Also make sure to use Webmaster Tools (Search Console) to make sure your site and its new content are being indexed regularly.

Inbound and Outbound Links

Make sure to link to authoritative and respected sites in your industry to show your brand’s trustworthiness. And in turn, you want other sites to link back to you. Guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and sharing on forums are all great methods for providing this social proof.

But let’s take it one step further. Instead of simply thinking about buying (which Google may penalise you for) or building links, Google is more interested in how your website can earn links editorially. In other words, your website needs to be seen as an authority by other well-trafficked and reputable sites, and you have to earn your stripes with your content and partnerships.

It’s so much more important today to take the time to build relationships with influencers and sites who are willing to amplify your message and content. This can take time, but it’s also where an integrated PR, publicity and content strategy, both online and off, comes into play.

Social Media

Use social media to amplify your content. Schedule consistent social media updates at specified times throughout the day at a schedule that works for you and your audience. It’s not about spamming your customers or readers, it’s about sharing relevant and timely information to your audience and making your brand trustworthy and significant in your industry.

Quick tip - make sure that you are building relationships on Google+ and sharing your content updates there. It may be the outlier in terms of social media, but Google's algorithm makes it a must-have in your social toolbox. 

Do you need help with your site's SEO?

In 2017, great SEO encompasses so many different areas – including email, mobile, links, crawl, user experience, localisation, rankings and much more. Let's face it, a great content strategy takes time and investment.

If you’d like some help in improving and maintaining your SEO for your website, feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation to discuss the value we can bring to your startup and we can create a customised quote for you. Email us at sales@costartupandgo.com

The Best Cities For Tech Start Ups

Where once start-ups were the purview of Silicon Valley, the tech start up landscape has now gone global. As our scope of technology and communication expands, our physical limitations contract, and hungry entrepreneurs are finding more stomping grounds to build ideas and opportunities.

Where does the opportunity live on a global playing field?

San Francisco & San Jose

These two cities have long been the dominant players in the tech start up world. Home to giants like Google, Apple and Facebook in Silicon Valley, there are several other US cities, like Austin, Boston and Philadelphia that continue to make their mark are a hotbed for young talent and innovative ideas.

London, Paris & Berlin

Tech innovation is now pumping through the European economic ecosystem as its lifeblood. While these cities have always sat at the table of global thinking, there is a renewed push for innovation in the online sector. Some of the more formal barriers to new business are dropping, allowing a more connected and less traditional approach to entrepreneurship to filter through these global cities.

Beijing, Singapore & Moscow

There are a rising number of entrepreneurs and funding finding their way in the East. With a high quality of engineers and manufacturers, these cities are eager to build partnerships with start-ups that may have previously only thought of outsourcing manufacturing there.

Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal

With a growing number of venture capitalists, tax credits, and funding, these Canadian cities offer an impressive incentive for entrepreneurs to build their tech start-up. With ample room for networking and growth on a local and global scale, these cities are quite attractive.

Tel Aviv & Cairo

These young, hot cities are producing educated and willing millennials ready to test out their mettle and ideas on a global stage. Perfectly placed between emerging and established markets, tech start-ups based here can rely on an open, creative, and collaborative start-up scene.

Mumbai & Bangalore

The start-up scene here is focused on engineering and tech development and is hungry for good business and design counterparts. With a long history of tech innovation, these Indian cities are forward facing with a global outlook.

Sao Paulo & Santiago

While there are still some barriers to entry due to big business, both cities are excellent breeding grounds for new entrepreneurs and are eager for young talent to test their ideas and launch on an international scale. With stable economies, the governments are also working to attract international and talented entrepreneurs to boost their industries.

5 SEO Basics for Start-Ups

seo basics for startups

Are you building a start-up and need to know the basics of how to grow your business online organically? Do you have your website and maybe you’ve set up Google Analytics, but you are wondering why your ideal customers aren’t coming to your site and buying your products or services?

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is still one of the most important factors to making your site search engine friendly and getting customers to your site. We love the guides from Moz, SEMRush, and Kissmetrics – but sometimes, it’s good to just have the basic fundamentals for your start-up – without too much technical jargon.

Optimising your website doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s an ongoing process that is essential to growing your business and it is constantly changing. So whether you choose to adapt to the waters and keep up to date with SEO or hire someone to do it for you, let’s take a look at the crucial elements for SEO for start-ups. 

Search Engine Optimisation for Start-Ups

Keywords

When doing keyword research, think about search intent, rather than just search terms. And then make sure that your site actually uses the words that people are searching for. Know your niche and stay relevant in it. We like using Google's AdWords Keyword Tool and Keyword.IO when doing keyword research.

A blog is an excellent way to stay relevant for both your audience and for Google bots as you are constantly updating your site and staying fresh in your industry. Moreover, there is an opportunity here for harnessing rankings for long tail keywords that your audience wants to know more about.

Using a combination of keyword research, Google suggest and related search, plus your customers’ questions and comments can help you in creating a regular content calendar that keeps your brand on the top of the Search Engine Results Page.

Content Creation

One of the keys to SEO is creating and scaling keyword-targeted, valuable, and unique content. It needs to be relevant, helpful, unique, and user-friendly.

This content can be in the form of blog posts, branded images, social media updates, email newsletter, infographics, white papers, e-books, downloadable PDFs, podcasts, video, webinars, workshops – any type of content that a consumer can engage with and consume. The first step in this is to know your audience and how they like to engage with your industry. Then create a funnel that takes your customer from discoverer of your brand to buyer.

And remember, once that content has been created, don't just hit publish. Share it, promote it on a rotating schedule, analyse it, expand it, make it better, mention it to influencers, etc.

Accessibility

Another important factor in improving search traffic is to simply make your site search friendly and accessible to search engines. Search engines are limited to how they can crawl the web and your site, so making your content indexable is an easy way to ensure visibility.

What does that mean? Images should be assigned relevant alt tags, audio and video should have transcripts, Flash content should have HTML text, URL links should have crawlable structures, images should be compressed, pages should load quickly. Does your start-up’s site pass these tests? See what we mean? Quite a bit of work, but worth it to have your site structured in the right way (Let us know if you're stuck here - we can help you).

Also make sure to use Webmaster Tools (Search Console) to make sure your site and its new content are being indexed regularly.

Inbound and Outbound Links

Make sure to link to authoritative and respected sites in your industry to show your brand’s trustworthiness. And in turn, you want other sites to link back to you. Guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and sharing on forums are all great methods for providing this social proof.

But let’s take it one step further. Instead of simply thinking about buying (which Google may penalise you for) or building links, Google is more interested in how your website can earn links editorially. In other words, your website needs to be seen as an authority by other well-trafficked and reputable sites, and you have to earn your stripes with your content and partnerships.

It’s so much more important today to take the time to build relationships with influencers and sites who are willing to amplify your message and content. This can take time, but it’s also where an integrated PR, publicity and content strategy, both online and off, comes into play.

Social Media

Use social media to amplify your content. Schedule consistent social media updates at specified times throughout the day at a schedule that works for you and your audience. It’s not about spamming your customers or readers, it’s about sharing relevant and timely information to your audience and making your brand trustworthy and significant in your industry.

Quick tip - make sure that you are building relationships on Google+ and sharing your content updates there. It may be the outlier in terms of social media, but Google's algorithm makes it a must-have in your social toolbox. 

Do you need help with your site's SEO?

In 2017, great SEO encompasses so many different areas – including email, mobile, links, crawl, user experience, localisation, rankings and much more. Let's face it, a great content strategy takes time and investment.

If you’d like some help in improving and maintaining your SEO for your website, feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation to discuss the value we can bring to your startup and we can create a customised quote for you. Email us at sales@costartupandgo.com

Ultimate Social Media Hashtag List for Tech Startups, Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

social media hashtags for entrepreneurs

For an online marketer or social media executive to maintain a healthy social media presence, a strong hashtag list is indispensable. Your posts with hashtags are 2x more likely to receive engagement than without. And if you want to help grow your start-up or small business, having a handy list of hashtags is essential for staying on top of your basic social media interactions.

Here's some social media 101: hashtags help you classify your content by theme or idea. More importantly for those starting out and as you build a brand, they enable you to expand your reach to audiences that are not already following you in your network. So while you lift your voice and your content, you are also helping to grow your social media following with people who are interested and who are already following the topics that you are posting about. Here's some more detailed information on how to use hashtags to your business advantage.

If you have a social media executive to help build your presence online or if you are an entrepreneur doing your social media marketing yourself, make sure to bookmark this list  of 75 hashtags for entrepreneurs and start-ups for reference. And if you don’t have a social or online marketer on your team, then engage a Virtual Assistant to help you with your social media marketing, an often time consuming task that requires consistency in relationship building. PA&GO offers these services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses.

75 Hashtags for Entrepreneurs

GENERAL THEMES

#startup

#entrepreneur

#tech

#techstartup

#fintech

#smallbiz

#smallbusiness

#leadership

#founder

#foundr

#BeYourOwnBoss

#entrepreneurship

#discount

#success

#networking

#economy

#global

#innovation

#AI

#socialbusiness

#socialbiz

#socbiz

#collaboration

#productivity

#management

#IT

#mobile

#apps

#smb

#mindset

#meditation

#wealth

#hustle

#businessowner

#onlinebusiness

 

DAYS OF THE WEEK

#MondayMotivation

#TechTuesday

#techieTuesday

#WednesdayWisdom

#ThirstyThursdays

#ThursdayThoughts

#ThrowbackThursday

#tbt

#followFriday

#ff

#FridayFeeling

#SmallBusinessSaturday

#SmallBizSat

 

CHATS

#brandchat

#B2Bchat

#smallbizchat

#seochat

#semrushchat

#socialchat

#contentchat

#worktrends

 

EVENTS

#events

#conference

#eventtech

 

MARKETING

#marketing

#mktg

#social

#seo

#brand

#digitalmarketing

#socialmedia

#giveaway

 

RECRUITMENT

#recruitment

#recruiting

#hiring

#newjob

#resume

#cv

#linkedin

#opportunity

#jobs

The Best Networking Events to Attend in London for Entrepreneurs, Tech Start-Ups and Small Businesses

networking around a table

When you are starting a business one of the most important elements for your marketing and promotions strategy should be networking. We can spend a lot of time thinking about our grand ideas, products and plans, but we learn a lot about our business when we speak to others articulately about it and generate interest through our face to face relationships in real time. 

Here are some of our favourite places to find networking events for entrepreneurs, tech start-ups and small businesses in London.

Where to Find Networking Events for London Entrepreneurs

Silicon Drinkabout by 3 Beards

We had to add this to the list. We love the Silicon Drinkabout for its informal structure and its fun crowd of like-minded of entrepreneurs and techies. Plus, they meet weekly in different locations all over the world, so you’ll never run out of new faces to meet on a Friday night, wherever your business takes you.

Your Co-working Space or Serviced Offices

Make sure to regularly check your favourite co-working space for some great events and networking opportunities. You are sure to keen entrepreneurs and business owners with whom you can develop some strong connections. For example, WeWork and The Office Group host fantastic workshops, breakfasts, and events for their members to socialise and meet with others in a relaxed and informal way.

Google Campus Events

The Google Campus is the perfect hub for tech start-ups. Entrepreneurs can attend workshops and classes while also providing the space and events to find your next investor, mentor, founder or recruit. Networking with a dose of digital learning included.

Alumni Events

Graduate from a university? Or maybe you have a friend who has? Perhaps you finished a short course or qualification certificate? We find keeping in touch with your school networks can be a goldmine for building conversations, as you often already have a common link. Find your local chapter and see how you can get involved.

Meetup and EventBrite

We like using Meetup and EventBrite when we are searching for specific industry events to go to. Looking for a networking event specifically for female founders? Or do you want to share a pint chatting with people in your niche industry? There are new meet-up groups popping up everyday and these are great for targeting connection with people just like you.

Local Community Groups

Don’t underestimate the power of networking and connecting with local players around you. You never know how you may be able to help and serve members of your local community with your business and vice-versa.

Remember, social isn’t the only type of networking for entrepreneurs. Sometimes, a business can't be built behind a laptop alone. Get out there and take to real, live people to help build and strengthen your business. And when you need operational support to ensure your start up is running smoothly while you make connections, make sure to contact us at sales@costartupandgo.com to help with your virtual support needs.

Did we miss an event source or do you host a networking event that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments. 

Why Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a Good Investment for Your Tech Start-Up or Small Business

coffee shop meeting with virtual assistant

As a business owner, it takes time to build a brand, develop systems and processes, and deliver excellent results for your clients and customers. For entrepreneurs, having a business idea is only the first step. The real work is in the execution, and that is where so many businesses fail. Investing in your business with the right operational support from the beginning can make or break your entrepreneurial efforts.

What is a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant can be an essential step to entrepreneurial and start-up success. When you are starting out, having a capable, flexible and lean support system allows for huge productivity and forward movement in your business.

PA&GO takes that support system one step further by providing a consultative approach that moves beyond administrative tasks or project work. PA&GO becomes a one-stop shop for a quality team of operational and business support – all at affordable rates. We care about your business success for the long-term. 

There are so many areas of setting up and maintaining a business that is near impossible for one person to do everything by him or herself. That is where your virtual support comes in.

How a Virtual Support Service Can Improve Your Business

Being able to delegate and outsource your work will dramatically reduce the time spent on certain tasks for you as a business owner and increase the time you can commit to growing your business on a large scale.

Offerings like Freelancer or UpWork or hiring a virtual assistant from a traditional recruitment agent only cover part of the equation. They may be able to complete administrative tasks or projects – but when you need a comprehensive ongoing system that works for you in real-time and people who not only fulfil requests, but offer up solutions to work smarter, that’s when a company like PA&GO comes in.

Whether it’s task-based project work, part-time ongoing work, or more custom and specialised support, your virtual assistant or virtual support system should be able to adapt with you when you and your business needs it. 

What a Virtual Assistant Can Do For Your Business 

When implementing an operational support system, you are able to focus on the tasks that matter the most, streamlining your work to help you get off the ground or expand your business to the next level. Hiring a virtual assistant will:

  • Reduce Labour Costs
  • Provide Lean Office Structure
  • Reduce Employee Training
  • Give Access to a Wider Resource Pool and Network
  • Provide Flexible Operations for Founders
  • Allow You to Gain Your Time Back
  • Capitalise on Business Growth

All in all, investing in a Virtual Assistant is a critical method to move your business forward in a strategic way. Delegating your business support work to a virtual company allows you to commit to your business growth.

If you are looking to invest in a virtual support service, contact  us at sales@costartupandgo.com now and we can set you up with a Free Consultation today.