How women can refresh their careers by becoming entrepreneurs

Could your career use a shot in the arm? Are you considering a venture of your very own? For women who feel they have climbed as high as they can in their current role, who aspire to be “more,” or who are simply ready for a change, entrepreneurialism can be an ideal solution.

Options abound

Do you have a clear vision you hope to pursue? For instance, maybe you have unique expertise to offer and could work as a consultant to other businesses, or maybe you have a thriving side gig and it’s time to transition to full-time.

On the other hand, maybe your path isn’t so clearly defined. Perhaps you have abundant leadership qualities, but you don’t have a certain place to exercise them.  People with ample confidence, who love to learn, and who believe in shaking things up often make the best entrepreneurs.

Narrowing choices

Determining a clear path for your business can feel pretty daunting, but sorting out your strengths and interests can help. For example, do you love doing work that makes the world a better place? There are several service-oriented careers to consider and by sorting out your interests, you can lay the groundwork to achieve your goals.  Here are some ideas:

Coaching: You could become a career coach, helping others pursue their hopes and dreams. In this case, unless you currently work in human resources, in an academic advising role, or another related field, you might want to start a side gig to gain experience before you quit your current position.

Continuing Education: Perhaps you have a knack for listening and communication. A career in speech pathology could be the perfect fit, and you can enroll in a master’s program with a bachelor’s degree in another field. By taking online courses, you can complete the bulk of your schooling while you’re still at your current job, which just leaves clinical work to do in person.

Combine Your Skills & Interests: If you love crunching numbers, perhaps you would enjoy freelance bookkeeping. In the role of bookkeeper, you help others not only with tallying their routine accounts, but you can help them find ways to stay on budget, identify places to cut costs, and avoid overspending. It’s easy to become established through platforms that connect freelancers and clients.

Grow Your Own Business: Do you love the idea of doing something research-oriented and creating your own business from that idea? Perhaps becoming a paralegal would be your ideal choice. There are several routes you can take, from earning a certificate to attending a four-year degree program. Once complete, Chron explains you can hang your own shingle as a freelance paralegal.

Identify barriers

There are many things that can hold us back from making a major career change. Do some thinking about what barriers could be keeping you from making the transition you desire.

For many women, financing can be a crucial hurdle to overcome. Thankfully, Hiscox points out there are numerous grants available designed specifically to help women entrepreneurs in their pursuit of success.

Do you lack both funds and an appropriate education? Explore grants and scholarships that are available to women who are returning to school.

Maybe the one thing you lack is connections or customers. If you need contacts with other professionals or need to develop a customer base, grab some solid networking strategies to build your business. Participate in events for founders, establish yourself on social media, attend industry conferences, and go to local events for business owners so others get to know you and what you offer.

There are many great options out there for women interested in starting their own businesses. Think about what you have to offer and what drives you, and narrow your focus so you can develop clear goals. With a set path, you can refresh your career with a satisfying entrepreneurial venture.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Business people presentation

Making sure you safely store your business contracts

Business contracts

When you finalize your business contracts and seal them with signatures and stamps, they are legally valid documents. Unfortunately, business owners often don’t pay adequate attention to storing their contracts safely for reliable retrieval in the future.

Why will you need to retrieve your contracts?

It’s important to keep your contracts in a safe in a place where you can readily access them, should you need to review them in the event of a contractual dispute. Usually, you’ll just need them to remind yourself (or your contractual partners) about the terms agreed upon when you got started. But in exceptional circumstances, you might need them in the case of a larger dispute, such as if the documents were called upon in court.

Businesses often make the mistake of storing an early version of their contracts, rather than the final version that is signed and stamped. Different versions of contracts are exchanged during the drafting process, and they simply store the wrong version. It’s important to avoid making this mistake.

You have a number of storage options

Keeping your contracts in a safe place can give you peace of mind. Ideally, you should store your contracts in three different ways.

  1. Storing physical copies: Not only should you physically save signed originals in a safe place, you should store copies as well. Ideally, the hard copy originals and copies should be in fireproof filing cabinets in different locations. Should something happen to one set of documents, you will at least have the other.
  2. Storing digital copies locally: Your signed contracts can be turned into PDF documents and stored in a safe, password-protected office computer. It’s a good idea to create a couple of backup copies as well to store in different places. Should one drive crash or be damaged, you can access the documents that you need on another drive.
  3. Storing digital copies on the cloud: When you put your documents on the cloud, you no longer need to worry about drives crashing. Professionally run cloud storage systems create enough backup copies to ensure that there is no data lost.

While there may be a few risks to do with data breaches associated with cloud storage, storage companies are generally able to implement security far better than the average small business. Considering that businesses are routinely targeted by hackers for the promise of ease of entry that they present, cloud storage makes a lot of sense.

No matter the size or scale of your business, storing your contracts safely should not be an afterthought. Make sure your business contracts are safe and accessible at all times, and you’ll be better prepared for whatever may arise in the future.

Business contracts

Asegúrese de conservar en un lugar seguro sus contratos comerciales

Business contracts

Al finalizar, cerrar y firmar un contrato comercial con sellos y estampillas, dicho contrato se convierte en un documento válido y legal. Desafortunadamente, a menudo los empresarios no prestan la atención adecuada al almacenamiento de sus contratos en un lugar seguro del que puedan recuperarse de manera fiable en un futuro.

¿Para qué necesita recuperar sus contratos?

Es importante conservar sus contratos en un lugar seguro en el que pueda acceder rápidamente a estos si debe revisarlos en caso de una disputa contractual. Normalmente, los necesitará simplemente para recordar los términos del acuerdo inicial (o que sus socios contractuales los recuerden). Pero, en circunstancias excepcionales, es posible que los necesite en caso de una disputa seria, por ejemplo, si estos documentos se ser presentados en la corte.

Las empresas cometen a menudo el error de almacenar una versión inicial de sus contratos, en lugar de la versión final firmada y sellada. Durante el proceso de elaboración, se intercambian diferentes versiones de los contratos y se conserva simplemente la versión incorrecta. Es importante evitar cometer este error.

Usted cuenta con varias opciones de almacenamiento

Conservar sus contratos en un lugar seguro le puede dar tranquilidad. Idealmente, debería almacenarlos en tres lugares diferentes.

  1. Conservar las copias físicas: No solamente usted debe guardar los originales firmados en un lugar seguro, sino que también debe guardar copias de estos. Idealmente, los originales impresos y las copias deben conservarse en archivadores ignífugos que se encuentren en lugares diferentes. Si algo le sucede a un juego de documentos, al menos le quedará el otro.
  2. Conservar copias digitales localmente: Usted puede convertir sus contratos firmados en documentos PDF y conservarlos en un computador seguro y protegido con contraseña. Es bueno crear varias copias de seguridad y conservarlas en distintos lugares. De este modo, en caso de colapso o daño de un disco, usted puede acceder a los documentos que necesita en el otro disco.
  3. Guardar copias digitales en la nube: Cuando usted pone los documentos en la nube, ya no necesita preocuparse por el colapso de los discos. Los sistemas de almacenamiento en la nube manejados por profesionales crean suficientes copias de seguridad para garantizar que no haya ninguna pérdida de datos.

Si bien pueden existir ciertos riesgos de violación de datos con la nube, las compañías de almacenamiento tienen generalmente la capacidad de implementar medidas de seguridad mucho mejores que las de una compañía pequeña. Si se tiene en cuenta que las empresas son constantemente atacadas por piratas informáticos debido al fácil acceso que estas representan, el almacenamiento en la nube cobra todo su sentido.

No importa la talla o la escala de su negocio, el almacenamiento de sus contratos de manera segura no debe ser una idea por añadidura. Asegúrese de que los contratos de su empresa se encuentran en un lugar seguro y accesible en todo momento. De esta forma, estará mejor preparado para lo que pueda pasar más adelante.

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6 time-saving tools to streamline your business operations

Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur (solopreneur) or you have a full team, running your own business can sometimes seem like a never-ending cycle of documents, tasks and communications.

Thankfully, there are tools available for almost anything you can imagine — and business operations are not an exception. Here are seven simple and proven tools that will allow any business owner to streamline their operations — from project management and marketing to finances and paperwork — saving them valuable time and money.

1. Manage your projects

Time-Saving Tools Trello

Businesses of all sizes often struggle with project management, prioritizing and keeping on top of tasks.

Trello is a versatile and collaborative online tool that allows you (and your team) to monitor and prioritize not only the big tasks, but to manage the finer details and assign responsibilities. With both free and paid options available on desktop and mobile app, Trello is the perfect project management tool (and to do list!) for solopreneurs and teams alike.

Price: Paid options from $9.99 to $20.38 per month

Trial: No trial, but a free version is available

 

2. Save time with templates and automation

Time-Saving Tools PitchBox

Whether it’s blogger outreach, pitching or link-building, there are a plethora of tools to help you save time in your sales and outreach.

A tool such as Pitchbox helps here, by integrating with your email account and contacts, supporting outbound communication campaigns. Part email management tool and part CRM, Pitchbox manages your outreach by matching incoming responses to your opportunities, allowing you to prioritize your responses.

Pitchbox also has an automated follow-up process, which allows you to set rules and messages for those who don’t respond to your initial contact. By prioritizing and taking the time-consuming follow-up process away, you have more time to focus on the other parts of your business, safe in the knowledge that outreach campaigns and outbound communications are covered.

Price: Upon request

Trial: You can book a demo

 

3. Bring your documents and paperwork online

Time-Saving Tools Google Suite

Another brilliant digital tool is the Google Suite — otherwise known as G Suite. Not only does it include your Gmail and calendar functions including Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, you can benefit from the sophistication of Word, Excel and PowerPoint without the hefty price tag.

Cloud-based and digital, your documents on these programmes save automatically as you type, cutting back on the time spent by repeatedly saving and sorting through version histories. (And say goodbye to losing unsaved changes!)

Google Drive stores all of these documents in one secure place. Accessible across all devices, you can even invite others to collaborate on these documents, track changes and share with others. With Google Drive, no longer will you have to rely on printed paperwork and multiple collaborator versions, saving you critical admin time.

Price: From $6 to $25 per user per month

Trial: 14 days

 

 4. Manage your marketing in one place

Time-Saving Tools Loomly

If social media is critical to your sales and marketing strategy for lead generation or brand awareness, it’s essential to use a content management tool. Curating and posting organic content across three or four platforms each week can become extremely time-consuming, and that doesn’t include the time spent on creating additional advertising content.

Loomly is an innovative social media management tool that not only allows you to manage your content and keep on top of all your social channels, but that also gives you tips as you create your posts including ideas, subjects, optimization tips and a preview function.

With Facebook post sponsoring and audience targeting available within the tool itself (goodbye Facebook Business Manager!), Loomly is a collaborative and useful resource to save you time on marketing.

Price: Starting at $20 per month

Trial: 15 days

Related: Just starting out in social media and not sure where to begin? Get these smart social strategies here. 

 

5. Automate your reporting

Time-Saving Tools DashThis

Reporting is critical to your role as an entrepreneur, providing a top-down view of your business. Whether it’s marketing, financial or cash flow reporting, it’s critical that you have the right systems in place to be able to quickly identify your priorities as a business owner. You may also want to gauge the effectiveness of your social strategy, as well as the growth and engagement on each platform.

A tool such as DashThis includes key reporting such as channel overviews, periodic dashboards and campaign dashboards to monitor the effectiveness of any given campaign. With widgets and templates, it lets you customise your social media reporting and to share this data with collaborators or clients.

Price: Starting at $33 per month

Trial: 15 days

 

6. Soar higher with automated reporting

Time-Saving Tools Kyte

If you sell products, the Kyte app is an excellent resource for automated reporting. As a business owner, you need to know what sold, which are your best-selling products, revenue and, of course, your profit.

Kyte gives you a dashboard on your chosen device that is simple to understand and accompanied by intuitive and detailed reports. This app also works as a Point of Sale (PoS) system and as an online catalogue for your customers.

Price: Pro version $4.99

Trial: No trial, but a free version is available

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Recent Fundings – June 2019

Financiamientos Recientes – Junio 2019