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Setting Up Your Workspace for a Small Home Startup

So you’ve decided to start your own business, but you’re not financially in a place where you can open up your own office or storefront. More and more, business owners are creating functional home workspaces to accommodate the fact that many startups cannot afford the initial overhead. But just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a functional place set aside for your business.
There are many steps in planning a functional space that every startup business owner should utilize.

The first thing that you need to do is to find a space in your home that will meet the needs of your workspace. Doing handmade jewelry pieces for your company? Then you’re going to need a quiet space with a large work table. Starting an online company with computer services? Then you’re going to need a functional computer and computer desk for your workspace. The key is to select a workspace that works for you and can cater to what you will need in a workspace. And no, this doesn’t mean a cleared off space on your dining room table. You should strive to have a separate workspace, perhaps in a cleared off room, that only serves that one particular purpose.

After you’ve though about what your needs are, then you need to work on planning out the design and features of your workspace – renovating if necessary. And if you don’t have a lot of startup cash, don’t worry – it doesn’t need to be extravagant.
A quick trip to Ikea or Target to get a desk and some organization tools is all you really need to start with. If you do have some funds you’d like to invest in your workspace, then try planning and reworking your workspace, painting it in a color scheme that fits the theme of your business and adding some design flair. That way, if you do have a meeting with your client, you can provide them with a competent business image that will match your product or service.

Now that you’ve got the design and planning aspects covered, now you need to make sure you have all of the tools of your trade. This can mean getting a new computer, or bolts of fabric – whatever it is to make sure you’ve got the equipment you need. You also need to ensure the safety of the materials and products for your business. If your client has provided you with sensitive information or prototypes, you need to do everything in your power to secure them. Having a security system in place may be crucial for many different types of workspaces.

No matter what your budget is, or how you to decide to outfit your workspace, make sure that it properly represents your business. If one of your business mottos is that you strive for cleanliness and professionalism, you don’t want a space that is anything but, as this doesn’t send a positive business message to any of your clients, or people that you interact with in your business.

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Startups and Choosing your Domain

Startups and Business domain

You just start new a business venture and you want your startup to go on line. The best way is to have a website to show the world how good and unique your startup is and try to promote your ideas. Choosing the domain name for your business is very important. A good available domain can be an eyecatcher for many web surfers which can bring visitors to your website hence customers to your business.

Your business can be desinged around a known trade mark such as iPhone apps or Facebook games A good advice is to avoid domains that contain words with trade mark names such as iPhone, or Facebook,etc. Big companies have been aggressive in raging legal battles to secure their trade marks and they are wining their disputes.

Choose a domain that will help your business grow and respect copyright laws. Many startups struggle in the early stages to survive. Startups also face many challenges to get their business above ground and running and the last thing they want to worry about is to fight a legal claim against a big company.

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Betterfly – Find the right person

BetterFly Logo The service industry is changing. New models of business come out daily and the intense competition drives people to search for new ways to find potential customers. Outsourcing has been with us for a long time. Businesses reach out to professionals for tasks like advertising and marketing. Now, if we talk about individuals, people have been using the Internet for a long time to make purchases of products (Amazon comes to mind). People offer their services via websites like Craigslist. Recently I visited BetterFly and their specialty is the service sector.

Make an account on BetterFly and then search through the listing of services. You may be looking for a musician for lessons or a therapist. From teachers to yoga instructors, the website claims to offer services from more than a thousand individuals. On finding one, you have the option to make transactions for services rendered through the website or you can get together and use any other method.

If you happen to use the service, do leave a feedback about the provider so that other people can benefit from it.

What they say about themselves

Betterfly is the first website of its kind to exclude companies, focusing on people instead. Its goal is to make it easy to find the best people to help you learn, look or feel better. Betterfly sets out to make that process easier and more efficient for its users. By catering to individuals instead of companies and by offering a broad but well-defined set of services, Betterfly enables users to compare apples to apples.

Why it could be a success

Finding the right professional can be difficult. Yellow pages are there, but you can’t be sure about the competence of a person unless you hear some positive feedback. All this is provided to you through BetterFly. The website is still beta so I’d give it some time to see how it fares.

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China’s BYD – A Model For Chinese Innovation?

I was surprised to see a TechCrunch article today about the supposed innovative tech hub that is Shenzen in China. Most of us know that the Chinese don’t seem to have too much of an ethical problem in copying software, gadgets, designer clothes and pretty much anything else, so the stereotype is that the Chinese manufacture, they don’t innovate.

It’s happened countless times in the startup world, which is why sites that are popular world wide tend to find it hard getting momentum in China as there is invariably a home grown Chinese copy (I can’t help but suspect this is somehow encouraged by the fiercely protectionist Chinese authtorities).

I’m open to having stereotypes contradicted but this article did nothing to do dispel my belief that China is an extremely efficient copying machine rather than a creative hub of innovative tech entrepreneurs.

The TechCrunch Article mentions BYD as being a shining example of innovation, with Western journalists supposedly agog at their R&D. I think R&D is Chinese for “Copy good ideas”.

For a start let’s take a look at their logo:

Not so innovative.

And some of their designs:

First the BYD S6 – A shameless copy of the Lexus RX

Next the BYD F6 and the spookily similar looking BMW 7:

I’m not so sure that we’ve seen the spark of innovation in China yet. A good start would be to tighten up software piracy laws and properly enforce intellectual property, perhaps then some truly innovative ideas might actually make some profit for their creators. Why spend all that time developing a great business or product when every Chinaman and his dog can create carbon copies faster than you can ship the originals?

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