Tech Tools for Small Businesses

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Starting a new business can be tough, as obstructions you never imagined crop up. Limited time, manpower, and budgets can all be a factor as the workload starts to pile up and the bills come rolling in. With the right tools, small businesses can reach their potential. Below is a list of tools that small business owners can utilize.

1. For organization and productivity –

    • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere–on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
    • Trello – Visual project management system
    • Expensify – financial services startup that provides an online expense management service for customers worldwide.
    • Evernote – A suite of software and services that allow users to capture, organize, and find information across multiple platforms.

2. Cloud storage –

      • Dropbox – Provides a home for users’ most-important information.
      • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere — on the Web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
      • Apple’s iCloud – a mobile- and Web-based application that enables its users to store their information.
      • Microsoft OneDrive – A storage application that enables users to store and share photos, videos, documents, and more.

3. CRM tools –

  • Salesforce – A global cloud computing company that develops CRM solutions and provides business software on a subscription basis.
  • Act! – To organize customer details, increase productivity, and drive results.
  • SugarCRM – enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative CRM solution in the market.

4. Email marketing/marketing automation –

  • MailChimp – an email marketing service that helps businesses with newsletters, automated messages, and targeted campaigns.
  • Constant Contact – provides email, social media, and event marketing tools to help small businesses grow their customer base.
  • Emfluence – lets you create, deploy, and track multi-channel online marketing campaigns from one place.
  • InfusionSoft – provides sales and marketing automation software for small businesses that combines CRM, email marketing, and e-commerce.

5. Social media and content tools –

  • TweetDeck – A Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engaging on Web and mobile devices.
  • Sprout Social – provides a platform for businesses to manage social media engagement, publishing, and analytics.
  • Buffer App – helps users share social media content by scheduling online posts throughout the day.
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Turn Your Expertise into a Business

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Subject matter specialization is an important skill set to call someone an expert in something. If you are an expert in something and you want to convert it in to business, you need to be accepted for your expertise. People need to see you in action. They need to see results. And, people should decide to buy the product or service you are willing to create out of your expertise. You need to set a plan of action. And, as always it all starts with a well-planned business strategy.

Do you know enough?
You have an expertise and want to start a business. Do you know enough about the industry? With industry background and know-how, you’ll be ahead of the curve. If you have a great idea, but aren’t familiar enough with the field to get started, use your network, speak with people who’ve started businesses in your industry to help you get up to speed quickly.

Surround yourself with people who share your idea
Hire people who share similar interests, if not passion! You can expect long work hours and hard days in the beginning, so personal drive and similar values with your colleagues will take you through initial turbulence.

Business Funds
You need funds. Smart fund allocation and streamlined spending is crucial for any business process. In reality, any kind of skill set can be streamlined to produce regular profits. While quantity matters a great deal to produce regular profits in any business, quality is crucial to attract regular and loyal customers to your service. Successful businesses never compromise on quality.

Time
Quality is achieved by investing the required amount of time. You will never achieve anything by rushing. Consistent and scheduled work culture is crucial for the success of any business process. Overworking and under working are both harmful for any kind of business. Overworking can lead to attitude saturation and eventual productivity mess up. Under working can kill profits.

Easy ways to turn your expertise into a business:

  • Consultancy services – If you have vast know-how and skills in a particular field, you can be paid lucratively by sharing your expertise with others.
  • Start a blog – If you have specialized knowledge about a particular topic, you can start a blog or a website on that subject. You can join affiliate programs or use advertisements to earn money from your blog/ website.
  • Teach what you know – If you have vast knowledge about a particular topic, you can offer lessons at a fee. You can begin by teaching at seminars or hire yourself out as a tutor.

Turning your expertise into a successful business not only allows you to be profitable while doing something you love; it helps set you up for lasting success. Most importantly, passion is central to making decisions that are in the long-term interest of the customer and the company, which will help you, establish sustainability and longevity for your brand.

How To Get Hired in Silicon Valley?

Your resume is perfect, you are qualified, you have applied to hundreds of jobs in Silicon Valley, and yet you are not getting hired, right? Well, if this is your problem, then you are not alone.

If you want to fulfill your dream of being an employee of the most sought after region for techies, here are tips:

  • The easiest way to open yourself doors of top tech companies in the Silicon Valley is to enroll in some of the graduate schools. San Jose State University, UC, Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State University are among the top universities in the US from where the tech talent is placed by the hottest companies. So, if you have degree from one of these schools, you are in demand!

  • Most of the candidates want work for Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. But the reality is for every open position, they get around 250 applications. The competition is fierce for getting into these companies. So, you need to look beyond these companies. Consider start-ups which have started receiving funding. You can contact them directly and send them your resume. Remember, start-ups are not getting 250 resumes for every open position they have.

  • Make your resume tells the recruiter only the important points – your contact information, education and work experience. Don’t include your other interests, hobbies in resume. Resume should have action verbs like “Designed”, “Developed”, “Created”, “Sold” to describe what you have done so far that could benefit his/her company.

  • Network with the people who are already working there. Ask them how they got the job, which skill sets are in demand in their companies, hiring process etc. Most of the times it is easier to get interview calls if you apply through employee referrals.

  • When you go for an interview, show your passion for that company. The interviewer should see your excitement to work there.

  • Generally, Silicon Valley companies don’t hire management trainees. They want their employees to be productive right after they join. This doesn’t mean you have to have at least 5 years of experience to get hired. But, during interview you have to show your ability to grasp things quickly and get started immediately. You cannot expect a long term training program before you start contributing here.

  • Regularly browse through the job search sites such as TheGongzuo.com to know what the Silicon Valley tech companies are looking for. You get a fair idea about which skills to pickup to increase the probability of getting hired.

Success Tips for First-Time Entrepreneurs

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There are thousands of people who are working on or have just launched their company, but are worried about making wrong decisions. While you are working on building your team and designing marketing strategies, getting advice from successful business owners does help in avoiding mistakes and ensuring that you are on the right track!

The following tips are a summary of advices given by experienced businessmen that will help you navigate across the unseen world of entrepreneurship:

  • Do what you know and are passionate about

    Don’t jump into a business just because profit margins are high or because the business idea seems trendy. Do what you really love. Businesses built around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. It’s not only important to create a profitable business, it’s also important that you’re happy managing and growing it day in and day out. Pick something that excites and motivates you.

  • Take that leap

    There is never a perfect time to launch a start-up, so follow that famous advice and “just do it.” Take the first step to building your business, even if it’s only part time while you still have a paying job‎.

  • Don’t be afraid of failures

    In fact, look forward to failure. This is how you learn to succeed. There is plenty of time to get it right – so go ahead and just do it and get it wrong.

  • Take care of your finances – You are running a start-up! So, learn to be frugal. Forget about stylish offices and expensive business lunches. Watch every dime and triple-check every expense. Maintain a low overhead and manage your cash flow effectively.
  • Study your competitors

    Make sure you are thoroughly researching competitive products or services in the marketplace, and keep yourself updated about new developments and enhancements from your competitors.

  • Build the right team

    You need to hire employees who have the relevant background and experience. They need to fit into the company culture you are trying to build. They need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in start-ups often have to function in multiple roles‎.

  • Focus on customer service

    One way to be successful is to provide outstanding customer service and support. Getting customer referrals early on will immensely help you in growing your start-up. Go the extra mile to make your customers feel valued and when they refer your name to their friends or family, show your appreciation.

  • Learn from other business owners

    You are surrounded by experts in different areas. Talk to them, ask them questions and leverage their hard-earned knowledge. Along with the success stories, also learn about what didn’t work with them. You can learn as much by others’ failures as you can from the success stories.

If you also have jitters about starting up a new business, we at TheGongzuo.com are here to help you at every step of the way. Register at our website and share your business idea with us. We will connect you with our investors and mentors to guide you, so that you launch your business with confidence.

Starting a Job? Bid Farewell to Bad Habits

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Negative thoughts, and certain actions or sayings, can prevent you from accomplishing a goal. They steer you away from the bigger picture, deterring you from whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Some bad habits cause more trouble than others. Shedding these habits will increase your productivity and allow you to enjoy the positive mood that comes with increased self-control.

  • Being late to work – Punctuality is critical when you are working. Forget your college days when you enter the classroom while it is already in the session. The professional thing to do is to arrive on time and be ready to do what is expected. Being on time for meetings is even more important. Keeping people waiting in the meeting can be construed as inconsiderate, rude, disrespectful or arrogant.
  • Negative attitude – Responding in pessimistic way or always finding problems in the suggestions given by co-workers is considered being uncooperative. Complaining too much about work culture, colleagues, bosses is another negative trait. These things will make you look unprofessional.
  • Spending time on social media – Being on Facebook or even texting all the time when you are at work does create bad impression. Don’t spread bad things about your organization or co-workers through social media while being in the office. You could get fired if caught. Same thing applies when you are attending a meeting. Even when you feel meetings are extended beyond limit or discussion is going off-topic, don’t let your mind wander. Other people, especially your boss will catch you if you are not paying attention.
  • Unprofessional looks – Again, remember you are not a college student anymore. Even if you feel comfortable in those pair of jeans and flip-flops, this is not the place where you wear these. You want to look like you take your job seriously when you walk into work. When you go to meet with a client, you represent your company and you should present yourself professionally.
  • Using foul words/language – This is one of the worst habits you got to get rid of. Vulgar language an indication that an employee is not ready for promotion. You may be taken to the HR for serious discussions if you are caught multiple times using foul language.
  • Using company phone/supplies for personal use – Making long distance frequent phone calls from your desk phone is easily traceable. Don’t commit such mistakes for saving few dollars. Similarly taking home office supplies such as notepads, folders etc. or using photocopy machine for personal use beyond a limit show your cheap behaviour.
  • Unnecessary noise – Be considerate toward your co-workers as much as possible. Many people have habit of tapping toes or fingers while working or thinking. Maintain silence when at the work. Similarly, keep your phone or computer on silent so that each text message, email or IM won’t create any annoying sound that may disturb others.

If you receive any feedback about your habits, take it seriously and correct them. At the same time, develop good habits like actively looking for a job on TheGongzuo.com. We have hundreds of thousands of job listings for different positions within IT. Your chances of getting hired multiply when you register yourself at TheGongzuo.

12 Tech Startups With Women Founders

Women population in tech world is low, but a positive sign is that they are taking action! Many aren’t waiting for companies to give them leadership roles; instead they are launching their own businesses.

Here is the list of tech start-ups owned by females:

  • AdmitSee – This start-up seeks to bring transparency to the college and grad school application process. It makes easier for students to get admitted to college. Students can find the profiles of other students, see where others have applied and got accepted, strategize their own applications and can even get access to successful college essays. AdmitSee transforms an overwhelming, time-consuming grad-school admission process.
  • Dot Laboratories – Dot offers diagnostic tests for endometriosis. Dot is creaking a path for early awareness; their technology will arm women everywhere with the knowledge they need to make critical health decisions.
  • FINDMINE – FINDMINE runs product catalogues and retailer looks against user data. They then match your goods to shoppers’ tastes. This means shoppers see their perfect outfit on the website, in ads, in emails, etc. It leverages the power of data! Retailers use data to cater to customers and personalize marketing.
  • Give InKind – A platform dedicated to providing comfort for those who need it, from organizing meal delivery to products to advice articles. Taking the hassle out of providing care for loved ones is a great concept.
  • Indian Moms Connect – This is an online community for Indian moms. They share stories, tips, recipes, you name it. It’s all user-generated content, which creates an immediate sense of community. Plus, they have great product suggestions embedded within their content.
  • Pace Match – Pace Match helps you find a running partner who lives near you, and whose speed matches yours. This was the result of a developer using her spare time to play with a runner’s API—and she realized that speed was the ultimate data point.
  • ResultCare – An app dedicated to evidence-based medicine. It factors in cost so that clinicians can make smarter decisions. Healthcare is begging for innovation and the fact that this app takes costs into account is the key.
  • Stilla – The smallest security system that fits into your hand. It can link to anything—a door, a bag, a laptop—and it will alert you if the object moves. The ease-of-use aspect here is fascinating. You can use the system for the objects you need, when you need it.
  • Vidcode – A JavaScript coding platform targeted to teens. Platforms like this, that teach code in a fun, respectful manner, are in high demand.
  • Hitlist – Hitlist lets you build wish lists of places you want to travel to. When there are fare deals for those places, Hitlist will send you an alert so you can buy tickets cheap.
  • Control – Control helps businesses manage the payments they receive online from customers. Businesses can manage multiple accounts with Control on different devices (mobile on iOS or Android, or with the desktop web app).
  • Shippo – Shippo wants to shake up the shipping industry by making it cheaper and easier for online marketplaces and merchants to send you your stuff. Shippo’s software lets e-commerce companies connect with different shipping providers to get better rates and labels at a low cost.

If you are one of those women, who dream of starting your own business, but hold back due to certain reasons, get inspired by these women. We at TheGongzuo.com will help you launch your dream. Register at our website for free and let’s get started!

9 Technical Skills in Demand

It’s a perfect time to be in Information Technology field. In the US, unemployment rates in this industry are lower than other industries. There are plenty of opportunities for IT professionals.

Here are the top IT skills in demand today in the US:

  • UI/UX designers/developers – User experience and user interface (UX/UI) designers are going to be in high demand to help make software interfaces as intuitive as possible. Consumers won’t settle for anything less than a quick, seamless and painless user experience.
  • Web and product developers – Web developers, especially skilled in Java, JavaScript, PHP are in high demand.
  • Network engineers – Networking is the foundation of web and streaming technologies. For digital businesses as well, networking professionals are in high demand.
  • Security professionals – Actually there is a shortage of this particular skill in the US. Hackers are creating threats to breach systems, so businesses and governments are scrambling to find security talent.
  • Mobile engineers – Mobile is the most heavily used digital platform. There is a major market for mobile application developers.
  • Business analysts – Business analysts play a critical role, as they are liaison between IT department and business. They ensure IT projects are meeting business needs and meeting strategic goals. Organizations need them as they speak both the languages – language of business as well as IT.
  • IT project managers – With an increase in IT spending to pursue new innovation, IT project managers are in great demand. Managers who specialize in one particular field, for example banking and financial sector have the best chance to get placed.
  • Cloud architects – With the continued shift toward public cloud infrastructure and hybrid cloud adoption, IT pros skilled at setting up, performing integration and securing cloud deployments remain in high demand.
  • Data scientists – Companies are currently struggling to handle the overflow of data they’re receiving – everything from user data, customer behavior data, purchasing data, sales leads, marketing data etc. Professionals who can develop solutions to capture, process, analyze and interpret data continue to be necessary for an organization’s success.

If you are an expert in any of the above mentioned areas, please log on to TheGongzuo.com to find which employers are looking for your skill sets and apply today to get hired!