A Startup for Startups: The Big Opportunity in Support Services

Jul 19, 2017 by

A Startup for Startups: The Big Opportunity in Support Services

The startup scene in Portugal keeps getting more and more interesting. Startups are entering new and exciting industries and markets at a rapid rate. The recent launch of Sports Accelerator is a good example of how the startup approach can be applied to a wide range of fields.

The rapid growth of startups in Portugal is sparking a new trend: startups whose products and services are geared towards helping other startups succeed. We have a number of these startups already operating on the market, with more scheduled to be released soon. Is the business support services industry the next big thing?

A Revamped Industry

The business support services industry is not an entirely new industry. This is an industry that has been around for years. However, service providers used to focus their offers and efforts on larger corporations with big demands to meet. Large clients were where most of the business came from, so it is not surprising that the entire industry chooses to focus on that market.

The rise of smaller, leaner startups that also need support services changed that. The lively startup scene in cities such as Lisbon attracted more service providers to the market. Instead of offering expensive support services geared towards larger corporations, service providers now cater to small companies that are trying to lower their overhead costs by outsourcing parts of their operations.

Planning and Management

What’s interesting about the growth of business support services in Portugal is how comprehensive the available services are. Startup founders can now rely on third-party service providers for anything from planning to bookkeeping and management.

We’re not talking about basic services either. An upcoming service provider is recruiting people with an advanced project and program management degree – graduates from reputable universities such as Brandeis University nonetheless –to better provide project management services to new startups. Having a team of experts witha masters in project and program management degree will help startups overcome common challenges in the product development process.

After all, overcoming challenges is what the support services industry all about. Instead of having to invest in recruiting experts, startups can remain lean and efficient thanks to third-party services. The overall costs of outsourcing parts of the business operations will also remain low.

The Next Big Thing

The business support services industry is filled with large players, particularly those with years of experience. That, however, is about to change. Smaller, more independent agencies and firms are starting to offer services in various fields. Larger organizations with experiences in offering their services to international startups such as Spark and Incubator are also starting to see the startup landscape in Portugal as a potential target market.

As more players enter the industry, more services will be made available at lower costs. The whole shift will further support startups in this country, offering valuable services at low costs and allowing startups to remain competitive for longer. There is a big opportunity in the business support services industry nonetheless, and it is a development that you wouldn’t want to miss.

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Unlock Productivity With These 3 Awesome Tips

Jul 12, 2017 by

Unlock Productivity With These 3 Awesome Tips

Do you often find yourself struggling with a long list of deliverables? Even after rigorous scheduling and organized to-do lists, you still find yourself easily distracted and procrastinating?

In today’s world, time is becoming a scarce resource; we can never get enough of it. Working 8 hours a day is never enough and it can be a challenge to get things done on time. Moreover, we are often distracted by our countless devices and many social media accounts.

Being productive in this day and age, while challenging, is achievable. To help you get started on your road to greater productivity, here are 3 awesome tips to unlock your productivity.

1. Minimize Potential Distractors

There will always come a time when you become tired of your usual routine and need a change of scenery to be productive. New places bring inspiration and inspiration leads to productivity. Besides, having the same old office can get boring after a while.

Visit your local virtual office for a jolt of inspiration. A shift in your working environment might just be that thing you need to get stuff done. Working in a new space away from the hustle and bustle of your usual workspace will allow you to focus and get your creative juices flowing.

Moreover, today’s virtual offices and coworking spaces come with a variety of room designs to meet your individual needs. Whether you’re looking for a conference room to hold a meeting or a private space for focused work, these places come fully furnished and equipped the tools you need in order to stay productive.

2. Take Occasional Breaks

Do not underestimate the power of mini breaks. Take the time to go for a walk, look at the window, drink a beer with some colleagues, or do some fun activities. Coworking spaces, like Common Desk, are designed to boost productivity by providing facilities for both work and play to help reduce stress and encourage fun in the workplace.

During your breaks, indulge in some stress-busting activities like playing ping pong, relaxing at the coffee bar, napping at the siesta stations, riding a bike, etc. Sometimes, if not often, the best ideas come when you’re relaxed and rested.

3. Prioritize Your To-Do List

Separate critical tasks from the non-critical tasks. Identify one or two things that are absolutely urgent and start with those. Don’t go beyond three because that’s probably more than you can handle at one time. Repeat the process progressively as you go along, and you’ll get the important things done sooner than you realize.

Take 10 minutes at the start of your day to rank your deliverables according to importance. Don’t be fooled by the magnitude and volume of small tasks. No matter how long your to-do list, most of those things can wait.

There are so many little things you can do to make your day more productive. But the most important of all is this: prioritize and focus. To-do lists will always be long with tasks aplenty. The critical things is separating things that can wait from those that need to be done right away. Also, always make time for rest–most things can wait but your health should always be a priority. If you’re tired, just take a break. Step away from the desk, relax, reboot, and come back stronger the next day.

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4 Great Ways To Improve Office Productivity

Jul 12, 2017 by

4 Great Ways To Improve Office Productivity

What is productivity? It’s how much and how well you get things done within the time you’re provided. It’s also a measure of the quality and quantity of work you do when at the office.

Employee productivity is critical to every office. In any business, productivity is the main driver of growth and survival amidst radical shifts in the market and the economy. The more productive a company’s employees, the more work gets put out and the faster the company grows.

The recent interest in measuring productivity has created a niche for businesses like JJ Bender that provide efficient office equipment to help employees stay productive. By improving office equipment, you’ll be able to give your employees the tools they need in order to succeed.

Looking for ways to improve your business? Here are 4 great ways to help you boost productivity in the office.

1. Encourage Your Employees To Take Mini Breaks

It’s been proven that taking breaks boosts productivity. Studies show that employees who take a break once every hour perform better than those who don’t. Taking breaks will allow your employees to refresh their minds and avoid hitting a mental wall.

Studies show that creative ideas often come during downtime when your mind is able to roam and think freely. So, instead of allowing your employees to take only one break in a day, encourage them to take a short break every one or two hours to give them time to relax and recuperate.

2. Invest in Smart Equipment and Furniture

Your office equipment, furniture, and fixtures play a big role in influencing your employees’ productivity. Office equipment, as simple as a commercial printer, when not functioning properly, will end up frustrating the employees – making them more unproductive. At JJ Bender, you can browse through multi-purpose smart printers that you can purchase or lease. Equipping your office with smart equipment will not only reduce time spent in operating the machine, but also the time spent on manual work done by employees.

3. Promote Collaboration And Social Interaction

Weekly brainstorming sessions or open forums will foster collaboration and social interaction in the office. This does not only nurture free flowing of fresh ideas but also improves the wellbeing of your employees. Moreover, this practice also promotes inclusiveness in the organization. Encourage your employees to contribute to the team and reiterate that all ideas are correct. With this, productivity will increase alongside your employees’ morale and well-being.

4. Be Open And Ask For Feedback

There will always be something that you might not notice. With this, open office setup and fostering feedback sessions are important in any organization. This will help both sides air any concerns or suggestions to make working in your office more efficient and convenient. This can be done through the monthly town hall sessions or a brown bag lunch with the team. You can also consider adding a box where employees can drop a note anonymously. With this, you get to boost your employees morale and you will also know exactly what your employees need to make them more productive with their work.

Jumpstarting high productivity in the office can easily be done through simple tweaks in the office and consistent encouragements to your employees. Don’t wait until low productivity levels put you behind your competition.

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What To Consider Before Starting A Small Business

Jul 10, 2017 by

What To Consider Before Starting A Small Business

Starting your company is exciting, but it’s also nerve-wracking. There are lots of moving parts and critical decisions to make throughout the process. It’s important to have an idea of what you’re doing so you come to the right conclusions. Give yourself some room to falter, but don’t stay in one place for too long.

Think about your vision and where you picture your business down the road. Prepare yourself for struggles and successes that you’re bound to encounter. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable with the right attitude and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way. See what to consider before starting a small business.

Business Plan

Design a business plan that plays out your business goals and growth strategy. Have your vision on paper and not just in your head. Document the details and what your future looks like with the company. You’ll want to share it with your leadership team or business partner. Use it as your roadmap that helps you see the different roles and departments in your company.

Product or Service

Make sure you have a solid product or service to offer. Anyone can go into business, but only those with a special creation succeed. Perfect your ideas before going to market and have an idea of how you’re going to make it even better in the future. Think about ways you’re going to innovate and improve your product or service.

Financing

Be realistic about your financing requirements. There are business loans to apply for that’ll help you continue your business vision. Map out a realistic budget and what type of funding you’ll need from the lender. It’s better to be honest about your numbers, rather than to continue in business in denial about how much money you have, and how much each milestone is going to cost. The process is made simple to help you grow your business, but know there are requirements you’ll need to meet to secure the financing.

Staffing

Consider if you’ll need to hire staff to help you build your business. Employees are great for helping with the workload and brainstorming ideas, but remember they come with a price. Figure out how many people you need to help you, the pay structure and where they’ll be sitting and working. Bring them in slowly if that’s what your situation requires at the time.

Location

Put energy into thinking about where you want your business to be located. Ask yourself if you’re going to be working out of your home to start, or renting part of an office building. These are decisions and costs you need to weigh-up as you plan your business’s future: your product or service may require you to be in a specific location to help you sell. Also, consider access to public transportation or the downtown area.

Conclusion

There’s no easy answer for how to start a company. It’s a journey each individual must make on their own time. This is what to consider before starting a small business.

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Don’t Let Your Student Loans Affect Your Future Credit

Jun 19, 2017 by

Don’t Let Your Student Loans Affect Your Future Credit

5 ways to keep your credit score high

If you pay attention to the news, you would be forgiven for thinking that student loans are holding an entire generation back from achieving their potential in business. Article after article decries the crushing debt that university graduates wake up to the day they leave college and join the workforce.

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