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Seed Investment / The Most Important Points in a VC Term Sheet
« Last post by monowarkamal on June 15, 2018, 05:00:08 PM »
Finance & Accounts / Financial Planning Tips for Small Business Owners
« Last post by monowarkamal on June 13, 2018, 09:35:29 AM »
Financial Planning Tips for Small Business Owners

Small and mid-size business are the core the of the U.S. economy. Entrepreneurship and creativity have been moving the American economy for centuries. In fact, the U.S. has one of the best grooming environments for startups and small businesses.

Business owners spend several years building up their business. They invest a significant amount of personal time and capital to grow their companies. Many of these entrepreneurs will have their family fortune locked in their business. Focused on their business, often the founders of small firms ignore or delay their personal financial planning until they come close to retirement. So here are several practical steps that business owners can follow to establish a successful financial plan.

Balance Business Goals and Personal Goals
The first and most important step in the personal financial planning process is setting your short and long-term financial goals. In many cases, business goals can interfere and clash with personal financial goals. Business goals to expand into a new market or purchase a new factory can negatively interfere with your personal goals such as saving for retirement or college education for your children. Striking the right balance between your business and personal goals is a key to achieving them. Prioritizing one over the other may hurt your own long-term financial success. (For more, see: 5 Biggest Challenges Facing Your Small Business.)

Explore Different Financing Alternatives
Every new business idea requires capital to start. The success of the venture depends on the owner’s ability to secure financing. Sometimes, the funding comes from personal savings or the sale of property. Other times, the owner needs to look for external funding within his or her social circle or even approach a financial institution. The external financing can be in the form of a loan or equity stake.

Another great way to finance your idea is your customers. In fact, your clients are one of the best and most inexpensive sources of financing. If your customers love your product, they will be willing to give you an advance payment, subscribe to your platform or consider a product/service exchange. (For more, see: The 4 Most Common Reasons a Small Business Fails.)

Control Costs
Even the best idea can fail if it doesn’t generate a profit. In simple numerical terms, company revenue should be higher than expenses. Many ventures do not succeed because the company cannot generate enough revenue to cover all costs. Clearly, the first answer will be to generate more revenue. However, many successful companies are notorious with their focus on cost control. Business owners must stay on top of their expenses. They must track and analyze each cost. Owners should look for operational deficiencies and overlaps, result-based compensation, economies of scale and ways to increase productivity.

Manage Liquidity
Businesses need cash to maintain healthy growth. Not surprisingly, prominent investor Warren Buffet prefers to invest in companies generating significant cash flows. The capacity to produce cash from its operations will determine the company’s ability to pay its employees, creditors and vendors. Building a disciplined system of managing receivables and payables and maintaining a cash buffer for emergencies are key.

Manage Small Business Taxes
Filing and paying taxes is a long and painful process. The current U.S. tax law is very complex. Often, your tax bill depends on your company's legal status. Sole proprietors have different taxation rules from C corporations, for example. Speak to an accountant or tax lawyer to find out what legal status works best for you. To avoid missed opportunities and last minute mistakes, you have to prepare for the filing process in advance. Start early. Keep a clear record of all your expenses. Track all tax filing dates. Remember to pay all federal and state taxes, Social Security, Medicare, local permits and fees. Consider using professional bookkeeping software and working with a CPA.

Establish a Retirement Plan
Having a company retirement plan is an excellent way to save money in the long run. Pension plan contributions could reduce current taxes and boost employees' loyalty. There are few alternatives, such as a 401(k), SEP IRA and SIMPLE IRA. I am a big supporter of 401(k) plans. Although they are a little more expensive to establish and run, they provide the highest contribution allowance over all other options.

The maximum employee contribution to 401(k) plans for 2017 is $18,000. The employer can match up to $36,000 for a total of $54,000. Individuals over 50 can add a catch-up contribution of $6,000 for a total of $60,000 in annual contributions. (For more, see: Choosing a Retirement Plan for Your Small Business.)

Build a Safety Net
Creating a safety net is a critical step to protecting your wealth. Many business owners hold a substantial amount of their assets tied to their personal business. By doing so, they expose themselves to a concentrated risk in one company or industry. Any economic developments that can adversely impact that particular sector can also hurt their personal wealth. The best way to build a strong safety net is asset diversification.

Set Up An Estate Plan
Estate planning is the process of arranging the disposal of your assets after your passing. It can involve your family members, any business partners or other individuals and charitable organizations. Estate planning starts with setting up a family trust and personal will and can also affect financial, tax, medical and business planning. You can use estate planning to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of your assets in probate and to maximize the value of your estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can be determined by your specific goals and may be as simple or complex as your needs dictate.

Plan for Business Succession
A successful business will have an impact on various parties such as owners, employees, contractors, vendors, clients, landlords and suppliers. Creating a business succession plan will ensure that all parties' interests are met in the event you decide to discontinue your business or pass it to another person. Moreover, a robust plan will address numerous tax and financial issues which will result from the succession. The complexity of the succession plan will depend on the size, industry and legal status of your business. (For more, see: How to Create a Business Succession Plan.)


Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future performance. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any security. The content of this article is a sole opinion of the author and Babylon Wealth Management. The opinion and information provided are only valid at the time of publishing this article. Investing in these asset classes may not be appropriate for your investment portfolio. If you decide to invest in any of the instruments discussed in the posting, you have to consider your risk tolerance, investment objectives, asset allocation and overall financial situation. Different investors have different financial circumstances, and not all recommendations apply to everybody. Seek advice from your investment advisor before proceeding with any investment decisions. Various sources may provide different figures due to variations in methodology and timing.
Business Incubator / How to Reduce Risks In Small Business
« Last post by monowarkamal on June 13, 2018, 09:33:20 AM »
How to Reduce Risks In Small Business
By Andrew Beattie
All businesses come with risks, but small business owners often face a large number of preventable ones. In this article, we’ll look at some basic ways small business owners can reduce their exposure to risk.

Offload Risk Onto Insurers
The most obvious way to address risk is to offload it onto insurers by protecting the business with policies. If there is one type of insurance you absolutely need, it is general liability insurance. General liability can help protect you from lawsuits over employee conduct, product failure and other issues that can arise (For more, see Filling the Gaps In General Liability Insurance.)

A business owner's policy (BOP) can provide much more comprehensive insurance, including liability and business interruption insurance. Of course, the cost of covering those additional risks results in greater overall premiums, but insurance is not an area where being cheap now pays off in the long-term. Small business owners also need to have solid life insurance policies, particularly if their business is illiquid and their family is wholly dependent on its income.

Use Solid Contract Procedures
Legal procedure and advice is another area where the cheapest option may not be the best. A lot of risk can be controlled by having reliable contracting procedures where both parties know exactly what is expected and what is covered under the contract. If you are handling or signing contracts, it is well worth it to have a lawyer review them and explain the scenarios in plainer terms. If you don’t have a lawyer, get one - ideally one who has experience working with small business owners. (For more, see How To Pick The Right Lawyer.)

Take a Systems Approach
Within a small business, controlling risk comes down to systems and record keeping. Taking the time to establish standard operating procedures around critical tasks will allow you to onboard employees more quickly and ensure they receive proper training. Employees introduce a lot of potential risk into a business as they interact with customers or handle products; proper training can help mitigate those risks.

In fact, adding regular risk analysis into all your business systems from sales to hiring to accounting can also help get everyone aware of your business risks and thinking of ways to minimize them. You always want to be asking what the major risks are in an area of your business and how can you address them. (For more, see Identifying and Managing Business Risks.)

For example, an issue many small food businesses face is a product’s shelf life, so over ordering is as much of a risk as being under stocked. One way to address these risks is to have frequently purchase smaller amounts of perishable products and to create a flexible menu that can clear overstock through specials. Lastly, keeping accurate records completes the feedback loop you can use to see whether your attempts to reduce risks is working.

Be Open to Options
The biggest risk most small business owners face is financial. Having cash on hand for several months of operation is universally recognized as a great idea, but for many businesses this is as much of a pipe dream as ensuring you are paying yourself first. Owners tend to get wrapped up in the business financially, for better or for worse. To address this risk, you need to be open to options like finding a partner to bring in capital and share the risk or changing the business structure to one from which you can separate your personal assets. Losing a business is hard, but losing your business and your house is devastating. (For more, see Should You Incorporate Your Business?)

The Bottom Line
It’s actually not a bad time to be a small business owner. For one, the available insurance products have improved, and the package option saves you money over individual policies. Also, there is more awareness about the risks that weak control systems and untrained employees pose. Small business owners have better tools to control risk than ever before, making the whole concept of running your own business a little less daunting.
Entrepreneurship / 5 Ways to Keep Your Business Going in Hard Times
« Last post by monowarkamal on June 13, 2018, 09:31:34 AM »
5 Ways to Keep Your Business Going in Hard Times
By Glenn Curtis | Updated May 17, 2018
For small business owners who are seeing their sales and profits plummeting, the future might look bleak. What can you do to survive through stormy economic times? Unfortunately, there is no set playbook to follow to "right the ship." Every small business is different, and each one carries its own unique risks and rewards. These differences make copying another company's turnaround strategy to the letter a bit unrealistic.

Still, there are some general strategies business owners can follow to help you stop taking on water and start bailing yourself out.

1. Look at the Big Picture
People have a tendency to attack the most obvious problems with vigor and without hesitation. That's understandable, and perhaps the approach makes good business sense in some situations. However, it is also advisable to look at the "big picture" to make a positive and lasting change. It's an opportunity to better comprehend the size and scope of existing problems and further understand a company's business model — determining how its strengths and weaknesses come into play.

For example, suppose that a small business owner discovers that two employees are consistently making mistakes with inventory that cause certain supplies to be over- or under-stocked. While an initial reaction may be to fire those employees, another approach might be to examine whether the manager who hired and supervises them has properly trained these employees, or if the manager is the real problem. Just like in investing, by looking at the issue from a top-down perspective it is possible to reduce or eliminate the chance that these problems will occur again.

Using the above example, a manager might fire the two error-prone employees, or perhaps even the manager, without a second thought. This might damage the business, however, if the manager's relationships with existing clientele have a history of bringing in repeat business and substantial revenue. Some simple training for that manager might be a better alternative than termination.

Taking a top-down approach and understanding the true problems that are holding your business back will help you understand the company's strengths as well as its weaknesses, and prevent change from adversely impacting future sales.

2. Take an Inventory of the Staff
Payroll is often one of the top costs a small business owner has, so making sure the money is well spent makes sense. This may involve a thorough review of the staff — both when a problem arises, as well as during the normal course of business — to make sure the right people are on-board and doing their jobs effectively.

Both small business owners and large corporations tend to be "penny wise and pound foolish" when they hire the least expensive workers. Sometimes, the productivity of those workers may be suspect. Hiring one worker who costs 20 percent more than the average worker but who works 40 percent more effectively makes sense, particularly during periods of crisis. By constantly seeking resumes and interviews from new people, business owners can make changes to staff when needed to increase efficiency.

3. Ensure the Business Has Access to Cash
Small business owners should take steps to ensure that the company has access to cash, particularly in periods of crisis. Visiting a bank loan officer and understanding what's required to obtain a loan is a good first step, as is opening a line of credit in advance to fund possible short-term cash flow problems.

Small business owners should have other potential sources of capital lined up as well. This might include tapping into savings, liquidating stock holdings, or borrowing from family members. A small business owner must have access to capital or have a creative way to obtain funds to make it through any lean times. There is no substitute for having cash at the ready.

4. Start Sweating the Small Stuff
Although it is important to keep an eye on the big picture, a small business owner should not overlook smaller things that may have an adverse impact on the business.

A large tree obstructing the public's view of the business or the company's signage, inadequate parking, lack of road/traffic access or ineffective advertising are examples of small problems that can put a big dent in a business's bottom line.

Considering and analyzing the numerous factors that bring customers in the door can help to identify some problems. Going through your quarterly expenses line-by-line may also help you isolate and identify problem areas. Owners should not be checking for one-time expenses here (as these items were most likely necessary charges). Instead, owners should look for small items that seem innocent, but are actually draining the accounts.

For example, items like office supplies quickly get out of hand if ordered improperly. Similarly, if your supplier increases product prices, you should consider looking around for a cheaper supplier.

5. Don't Sacrifice Quality
If the problem is an issue with product quality, then it makes sense to attack it head on. It also makes sense to stay on the offensive and get employees on board with changes that are being made. However, owners should be cognizant of not sacrificing quality when making these product changes.

Business owners seeking to improve margins on a particular product should be wary of making dramatic changes to particular components. For example, if a pizzeria is going through a dry spell, the owner could seek to expand margins per pie by purchasing cheaper cheese or sauce ingredients. However, the strategy could backfire if customers become dissatisfied with the taste (quality) of the pizza and sales start to decrease. The key is to make cost and other cuts while retaining or improving the quality of the finished product.

The Bottom Line
Keeping a small business afloat in difficult times is often challenging. That's because there is no set playbook for an owner to follow, and because every business situation is different. However, since many small businesses also come with very passionate owners, some simple attention to detail can help ensure that a business sails right on through to calmer and more prosperous economic times.
Business Incubator / The 4 Most Common Reasons a Small Business Fails
« Last post by monowarkamal on June 13, 2018, 09:28:46 AM »
The 4 Most Common Reasons a Small Business Fails
By Melissa Horton | Updated June 7, 2017 — 11:34 AM

Running a business is not for the faint of heart, as entrepreneurship is inherently risky. Successful business owners must possess the ability to mitigate company-specific risks while simultaneously bringing a product or service to market at a price point that meets consumer demand levels. While there are a number of small businesses in a broad range of industries that perform well and are continuously profitable, a larger portion of companies fail within the first 18 months of operation, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Without the proper tools in place to achieve critical business objectives, small businesses are on an inevitable path to failure.

To safeguard a new or established business from falling into the 80% of failed companies, it is necessary to understand what can lead to business failure and how each obstacle can be managed or avoided altogether. The most common reasons small businesses fail include a lack of capital or funding, retaining an inadequate management team, a faulty infrastructure or business model, and unsuccessful marketing initiatives.

Lack of Capital
Of the vast number of small businesses that fail each year, nearly half of the entrepreneurs state a lack of funding or working capital is to blame. In most instances, a business owner is intimately aware of how much money is needed to keep operations running on a day-to-day basis, including funding payroll; paying fixed and varied overhead expenses such as rent and utilities; and ensuring outside vendors are paid on time. However, owners of failing companies are less in tune with how much revenue is generated by sales of products or services. This disconnect leads to funding shortfalls that quickly put a small business out of operation.

In addition to finding funds for working capital and overhead expense needs, business owners, more often than not, miss the mark on pricing products and services. To beat out competition in highly saturated industries, companies may price a product or service far lower than similar offerings with the intent to entice new customers. While the strategy is successful in some cases, businesses that end up closing their doors are those that keep the price of a product or service too low for too long. When costs for production, marketing and delivery outweigh the revenue generated from new sales, small businesses have little choice but to close operations.

Small companies in the startup phase also face challenges in terms of obtaining financing to bring a new product to market, to fund an expansion or to pay for ongoing marketing costs. While angel investors, venture capitalists and conventional bank loans are among the myriad of funding sources available to small businesses, not every company has the revenue stream or growth trajectory needed to secure major financing from these sources. Without an influx of funding for large projects or ongoing working capital needs, small businesses are forced to close their doors.

To protect a small business from common financing hurdles, business owners should first establish a realistic budget for company operations, and be willing to provide some capital from their own coffers during the startup or expansion phase. Over time, it is imperative to research and secure financing options from multiple outlets before the funding is actually necessary. When the time comes to obtain funding, business owners should have a variety of sources to which they can ask for capital.

Inadequate Management
Another common reason small businesses fail involves the lack of business acumen held by a management team or business owner. In some instances, a business owner is the only senior level personnel within a company, especially when a business is in its first year or two of operation. While a business owner may have the skills necessary to create and sell a viable product or service, he is often lacking the attributes of a strong manager and the time required to successfully manage other employees. Without a dedicated management team, a business owner has greater potential to mismanage certain aspects of the business, whether it is finances, hiring or marketing.

Smart business owners outsource the activities they do not perform well or have little time to successfully carry through. A strong management team is one of the first additions a small business needs to make to continue operations well into the future. It is important for business owners to feel comfortable with the level of understanding each manager has regarding the business operations, its current and future employees, and the products or services the business provides.

Business Plan and Infrastructure Issues
Small businesses often overlook the importance of effective business planning prior to opening their doors. A sound business plan should include, at a minimum, a clear description of the business; current and future employee and management needs; opportunities and threats within the broader market; capital needs including projected cash flow and various budgets; marketing initiatives; and competitor analysis. Business owners who fail to address the needs of the business within a well laid-out plan before operations begin are setting their companies up for serious challenges. Similarly, a business that does not regularly review an initial business plan, or one that is not prepared to adapt to changes in the market or industry, meets potentially insurmountable obstacles throughout the course of its lifetime.

To avoid pitfalls associated with business plans, an entrepreneur should have a solid understanding of her industry and competition before starting a company. A company's specific business model and infrastructure should be established long before products or services are offered to the consuming public, and potential revenue streams should be realistically projected well in advance. Creating and maintaining a business plan is key to running a successful company for the long term.

Marketing Mishaps
Business owners often fail to prepare for the marketing needs of a company in terms of capital required, prospect reach and accurate conversion ratio projections. When companies underestimate the total cost of early marketing campaigns, it is often difficult to secure financing or redirect capital from other business departments to make up for the shortfall. Because marketing is a crucial aspect of any early-stage business, it is necessary for companies to ensure they have established realistic budgets for current and future marketing needs. Similarly, having realistic projections in terms of target audience reach and sales conversion ratios is critical to marketing campaign success. Businesses that do not understand these aspects of sound marketing strategies are more likely to fail than companies that take the time necessary to create and implement cost-effective, successful campaigns.
Startup / Business Startup Costs: It's in the Details
« Last post by monowarkamal on June 13, 2018, 09:26:45 AM »
Business Startup Costs: It's in the Details
By Chizoba Morah
| Updated December 15, 2017 — 12:34 PM EST

There's more to a business than furnishings and office space. Especially in the early stages, startup costs require careful planning and meticulous accounting. Many new businesses neglect this process, relying instead on a flood of customers to keep the operation afloat, usually with abysmal results. In this article, we'll look at how to estimate your startup costs and plan ahead to position yourself for success.

Essential to the startup effort is the creation of a business plan—a detailed map of the new business to be created. A business plan forces consideration of the different startup costs for the business. Underestimating expenses will falsely increase expected net profit, a situation that does not bode well for any small business owner. (See also: The 4 Most Common Reasons a Small Business Fails.)

Startup costs are the expenses incurred during the process of creating a new business. All businesses are different, so they require different types of startup costs. Online businesses have different needs than brick-and-mortars; coffee shops have different requirements than bookstores do. However, there are a few expenses that are common to all business types:

Advertising and promotion
Borrowing costs
Employee expenses
Equipment and supplies
Insurance, license and permit fees
Research expenses
Technological expenses
We'll look at each of these in turn.

Advertising and Promotion
A new company or startup business will never succeed without promoting itself. However, promoting a business is much more than placing ads in a local newspaper or magazine. It also includes marketing—everything a company does in order to attract clients to the business. Again, external companies are often used in this process because marketing has become such a science, any advantage is beneficial. (To learn more, read: Tips For Boosting Your Business.)

Borrowing Costs
Starting up any kind of business requires an infusion of capital. There are two ways to acquire capital for a business: equity financing and debt financing. Usually, equity financing entails the issuance of stocks, but this does not apply to most small businesses, which are proprietorships. For small business owners, the most likely source of financing is debt that comes in the form of a small business loan. Business owners can often get loans from banks, savings institutions and the U.S.Small Business Administration (SBA). Like any other loan, business loans are accompanied by interest payments. These payments must be planned for when starting a business, as the cost of defaulting is very high.

Employee Expenses
Businesses planning to hire employees must plan for wages, salaries and benefits, also known as cost of labor. Failure to compensate employees adequately can end in low morale, mutiny and bad publicity, all of which can be disastrous to a company.

Equipment and Supplies
Every business requires some form of equipment and basic supplies. Before adding equipment expenses to the list of startup costs, a decision has to be made to lease or buy. The state of your finances will play a major part in this decision. If you have enough money to buy equipment, unavoidable expenses may make leasing (with the intention to buy at a later date) a viable option. However, it is important to remember that, regardless of the cash position, a lease may not always be best, depending on the type of equipment and terms of the lease.

Insurance, License and Permit Fees
Many businesses are expected to submit to health inspections and authorizations and obtain certain business licenses and permits. Some businesses might require basic licenses while others need industry-specific permits. Carrying insurance to cover your employees, customers, business assets and yourself can help protect your personal assets from any liabilities that may arise. (For more, see: Don't Get Sued: 5 Tips to Protect Your Small Business.)

Research Expenses
Careful research of the industry and consumer makeup must be conducted before starting a business. Some business owners choose to hire market research firms to aid them in the assessment process. For business owners who choose to follow this route, the expense of hiring these experts must be included in the business plan.

Technological Expenses
Technological expenses include the cost of a website, information systems and software (including accounting and payroll software) for a business. Some small business owners choose to outsource these functions to other companies to save on payroll and benefits. (For related reading, see: The Best Online Accounting Systems for Small Business.)

Additional Considerations on Startup Costs
It is always a good idea to have some extra money set aside for any overlooked or unexpected expenses. Most big companies fail because they lack the cash to deal with unexpected problems during the business season. (For more, check out: How to Keep Your Small Business Afloat During Hard Times.)

It is important to note that the startup costs for a sole proprietorship will differ from the startup costs for a partnership or corporation. Some additional costs that will be incurred by a partnership include the legal cost of drafting a partnership agreement and state registration fees. Other costs that will be incurred by a corporation include fees for filing articles of incorporation, bylaws and terms of original stock certificates.

Launching a new business can be an invigorating experience. However, getting caught up in the excitement and neglecting the details can often lead to failure. Above anything else, observe and consult with others who have traveled this road before—you never know where the best business advice will come from.

(For further reading about starting your own business, see: Starting Your Own Small Business.)

Read more: Business Startup Costs: It's In The Details
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The State and Future Of Venture Capital In Bangladesh With Shawkat Hossain, Managing Director, BD Venture Limited
Future Startup Face to FaceJune 6, 2018 0 
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BD Venture Limited founding Managing Director Shawkat Hossain on the real reasons behind a lack of VC investments in Bangladesh, the state of funding in Dhaka and what determines funding dynamics, the myth of low valuation, the challenges for Venture capitalists in Dhaka, and what’s holding back Dhaka’s digital entrepreneurship ecosystem.

This was a much longer, so we had to break it down into two parts. This is the second and final part. You can find the first part here.

Future Startup

Lack of VC investment remains one of the obstacles towards the growth of the ecosystem in Dhaka. Why do you think VC investments are in short supply in Bangladesh?

Shawkat Hossain

The main reason for that lies in the number of active VC firms in the country. There hasn’t been a significant number of investments recently because there simply aren’t enough active local players.

At present, 11 organizations have the license as VC firms. But if you look at the industry, very few of them are actually active. That’s one.

There are other reasons as well. VC’s usually invest in the later stage of a company. For companies to go from one stage to another, you need to have a vibrant angel investment ecosystem that can support startups in the early stage which eventually makes it easier for VC to take part in the later stage funding. That’s not happening enough. Now, why not enough angel as well VC investments are not happening, it is a good question to explore.

Future Startup

Many startups complain that local VC firms often appear with stringent term-sheets and valuation of businesses. As a result of such conservative measurement, when a significant percentage of equity of a company gets diluted at the very first round of an investment and the entrepreneur is left with, say, a scant share, s/he is bound to be demotivated. The skin in the game for the founders reduces making the entire venture a risky affair. The outcome of such a deal does not bode well for either party. Many people tend to suggest that if you want to build big businesses, valuation should follow accordingly. What’s your opinion about it?

Shawkat Hossain

I don’t think this sort of complaints is unique to Bangladesh market. Even in mature markets, VC investors keep a conservative attitude during valuation. So, an expectation gap always looms around between the entrepreneur and the investor. I don’t think this is an intrinsically a bad thing.

This is a business and as a party, in the game, VCs will always try to get more for themselves. That should be the logical way of it.

In the context of Bangladesh, another reason for the expectation gap is a lack of business acumen on the part of the entrepreneurs. The future projections of income and expenditure they come up with often don’t match with the reality.

If we are to get the expected return on our investment, the supporting performance predictions definitely need to be authentic and realistic. Otherwise, how can we hope to keep our own performance up to the mark as VC firms? We also raise funds from investors and have to maintain accountability, do we not?

What I hope is that as the market matures, the gap reduces. In this business, both VC and entrepreneurs are interdependent partners. If entrepreneurs don’t succeed, VCs have no business. While there is a competitive dynamics in this relationship, it is purely because of business. The goal for both parties is same – making the business a success.

We need more original businesses. There are too many ‘me-too’ businesses right now in the market.

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Future Startup

What challenges do you face as a venture capitalist? Or what are the major challenges for VCs in Dhaka?

Shawkat Hossain

Investment readiness of the potential companies is a concern.

For instance, recently we have been contemplating to invest in an enterprise that has an excellent performance record. They have also successfully integrated state-of-the-art technology in their business. But the problem was that they do not have proper account books.

As a result, we can’t readily invest in the business and have to wait till they pitch again with proper records. This is not a unique problem.

We have also discussed the problems with valuation earlier. Since the market is still in an embryonic stage, the expectation gap between the investors and the entrepreneurs persists.

Add to that, there is an absence of effective instruments as well. For example, we could make investments more conveniently and accurately if we could transact convertible bonds. In that way, it’d be easier to meet interests of both parties. But due to the lack of regulatory frameworks, it is not possible. Once we have these flexibilities, it should not be a problem.

What I hope is that as the market matures, the gap reduces. In this business, both VC and entrepreneurs are interdependent partners. If entrepreneurs don’t succeed, VCs have no business. While there is a competitive dynamics in this relationship, it is purely because of business. The goal for both parties is same – making the business a success.

Future Startup

What are the reasons you generally decline investment proposals?

Shawkat Hossain

Investment readiness which I was just describing is one. Many a company get rejected due to their weak market research. Take, for example, the ride-hailing/sharing market. After the success of Pathao, ride-sharing companies are springing up in hundreds, regardless of the scope of the market.

Contrarily, we have recently been pitched by a company that aims to expedite the process of locating an address in Dhaka. To do that, they have been physically visiting localities inside the capital and cataloging addresses. This type of serious efforts really pays off in the long run. We need more original businesses. There are too many ‘me-too’ businesses right now in the market.

Apart from the technical aspects, we need to be mindful of maintaining integrity as well. VC investment is especially dependent upon trust between the related stakeholders.

As an entrepreneur, if you do not feel honestly committed to your business, you should better not opt for venture capital. Since the industry is still nascent, it is particularly essential for participants to cultivate an environment of credibility. It’s not only about a single breach of trust; it’s about reliance among the industry insiders in order to build a strong, conducive ecosystem.

Future Startup

A recent white paper from Banglalink suggests that some of the key challenges for Bangladesh’s digital ecosystem have been a dearth of IT professionals, difficulty to raise seed investments and to investing in foreign markets. What is your opinion can be done to tackle these challenges?

Shawkat Hossain

First off, I do not think that startups need to think about international or regional markets from the beginning because the local market is pretty huge. If you consider the education sector, the market comprises of at least 20 million students. Although many students (in effect, their parents) have less spending capacity, the sheer number of pupils can ensure the sustainability of a business.

Secondly, there’s no denying that lack of IT professionals is a huge obstacle to technological advancement. In this respect, I think universities are failing to meet the industry demands. They are still following the old-fashioned curricula whereas the present skill-needs of the industry are totally different.

If the academia doesn’t pay heed to the real business world, we could have a serious crisis up ahead. Similarly, there should be well thought-out plans from the industry as well. A concerted effort can provide a solution to this stagnation.

As for the seed investment situation in Bangladesh, I think information gap is a more critical problem than the lack of enough angel investors. We have no formal network of angel investors here. The absence of such an organized community actually deters a potential early-stage company to meet a desirous investor.

Apart from the technical aspects, we need to be mindful of maintaining integrity as well. VC investment is especially dependent upon trust between the related stakeholders. As an entrepreneur, if you do not feel honestly committed to your business, you should better not opt for venture capital. Since the industry is still nascent, it is particularly essential for participants to cultivate an environment of credibility. It’s not only about a single breach of trust; it’s about reliance among the industry insiders in order to build a strong, conducive ecosystem.

This story is made possible in part by our friends at Dhaka Bank, whose generosity enables us to publish premium stories online at no cost to our readers. Dhaka Bank has introduced an excellent mobile banking app, Dhaka Bank Go. Dhaka Bank Go gives you secure access to your Dhaka Bank Accounts and Credit Cards and other exciting facilities from your mobile devices anytime, anywhere. Explore and enjoy the infinite opportunities. Learn more here.

Interview by Ruhul Kader, Transcription by Rahatil Ashekan

গুগল এডসেন্স কি ? কিভাবে এডসেন্স দিয়ে আয় করা যায়?
 December 13, 2017  Aminul Islam  Internet & Money
গুগল এডসেন্স কি এবং এটি কিভাবে কাজ করে? আপনি কি এডসেন্সGoogle Adsense কি ? কিভাবে কাজ করে বাংলায় থেকে টাকা ইনকাম  করতে পারবেন? খুবই কমন কিছু প্রশ্ন।

আপনার গুগল এডসেন্স এর জন্য গাইড নিন এবং জেনে নিন এডসেন্স এপ্লাই করার পূর্বে জেনে রাখা আবশ্যক পয়েন্ট গুলো।

গুগল এডসেন্স আয়
আপনি যদি ব্লগিং শুরু করে থাকেন এবং অনলাইনে নিয়মিত ঘাটাঘাটি করে থাকেন, আপনি গুগল এডসেন্স কি তা সম্পর্কে শুনেছেন। গুগল এডসেন্স হলো বিশ্বের সবচেয়ে জনপ্রিয় আডভারটাইজিং মাধ্যম, যার মাধ্যমে আপনি আপনার Website এ গুগলের বিজ্ঞাপন দিয়ে টাকা ইনকাম করতে পারবেন। উপরের চিত্রে লাল অংশটুকু হলো গুগল অ্যাড

এই পোষ্টে আমি আপনাকে এডসেন্স সম্পর্কে একটি সংক্ষিপ্ত ধারণা দেয়ার চেষ্টা করব। গুগল এডসেন্স কি এবং কিভাবে এটি আমার ইনকাম এর একটি উপায় হলো তা শেয়ার করব। আপনিও ঘরে বসে ইনকাম করতে পারেন।

গুগল এডসেন্স কিভাবে কাজ করে?
ধরুন আপনার একটি ব্যাবসা আছে। ব্যাবসার প্রসারের জন্য অনলাইনে বিক্রয় বৃদ্ধি করতে আপনি গুগলে বিজ্ঞাপন দিলেন। গুগল আপনার ওয়েবসাইট প্রচার করবে আমার ওয়েবসাইটে। আপনি হলেন অ্যাডভারটাইজার আর আমি হলাম পাবলিশার।

গুগল প্রকাশক বা পাবলিশার এর সাথে, বিজ্ঞাপনদাতা থেকে প্রাপ্ত রেভেনিওর (লাভের) প্রায় ৬৮% শেয়ার করে। এর মানে হল যে কোন বিজ্ঞাপনদাতা তার বিজ্ঞাপনের প্রতিটি ক্লিকের জন্য $ 1 প্রদান করে, অ্যাডসেন্স পাবলিশারকে $0.68 প্রদান করে এবং নিজের জন্যে $0.32 রাখে।

Google Adsense কি , কেন এডসেন্স সম্পর্কে জানবেন?
গুগল এডসেন্স ছাড়াও আরো অনেক নেটওয়ার্ক পাবেন মার্কেট গুলোতে যারা ৭৫% পর্যন্ত রেভেনিও শেয়ার করবে আপনার সাথে। কিন্তু গুগল এডসেন্স কি , তা বিবেচনা করবেন নিচের কিছু পয়েন্ট এর কারণেঃ 

এটি গুগল (বিশ্বের আইটি জায়ান্ট) এর মালিকানাধীন। আপনার পেমেন্ট নিশ্চিত।
এটি গুগল এর আয়ের একটি বড় অংশ তৈরি করে। গুগলের মাসিক আয় সম্পর্কে আপনার নিশ্চয় ধারণা আছে। এই আয়ের কিছু অংশই গুগল আপনাকে দেয় প্রকাশক হিসেবে।
এডসেন্স বিজ্ঞাপনগুলি মোবাইল ডিভাইসগুলিতেও দেয়া যায়।
গুগল এডসেন্স এর শর্ত পূরণ করে এমন যে কোনও ওয়েবসাইটের সাথে যে কেউ অ্যাডসেন্স প্রোগ্রামে অংশগ্রহণ করতে পারে।
Google Adsense এর কঠোর নিয়ম আছে যা কোন কারণে লঙ্ঘন করা উচিত নয়। একটি এডসেন্স প্রকাশক হিসাবে আপনার দায়িত্ব এবং নিয়ম অনুসরণ করাও আপনার গুরু দায়িত্বের মধ্যে পরে।
গুগল এডসেন্স ডেস্কটপ ওয়েবসাইট, ভিডিও, গেমস, মোবাইল অ্যাপস এবং আরও অনেক কিছুর জন্য উন্মুক্ত।
এডসেন্স বিজ্ঞাপন টেক্সট এবং ইমেজ সহ বিভিন্ন বিন্যাস এবং মাপ থাকে।
গুগল এডসেন্স প্রকাশকদের Google Inc. দ্বারা পেমেন্ট করা হয় যা সম্মানের ভাগীদার
গুগল এডসেন্স পাবার শর্ত
আপনার ব্লগ বা ওয়েবসাইট নুন্যতম ৬ মাস পুরনো হতে হবে। ব্যাতিক্রম হতে পারে যদি আপনার ওয়েবসাইট ক্যাটেগরি একক হয় এবং আপনি সুন্দর করে সাজাতে পারেন তাহলে ১ মাসেও সম্ভব। এই ওয়েবসাইট মাত্র ২০ দিনের মাথায় অ্যাডসেন্স ছাড়পত্র পায় 🙂 কারন হিসেবে বলা যায় ইউনিক ক্যাটেগরি/ Unique Niche- আমার কথা
মিনিমাম ৩০-৩৫ টা ইউনিক পোস্ট থাকতে হবে আপনার সাইটে। অবশ্যই আপনার ওয়েবসাইটের ক্যাটেগরির সাথে মিল থাকতে হবে।
বেসিক এসইও করুনঃ বেসিক সার্চ ইঞ্জিন অপটিমাইজেশন জরুরী। এটা গুগল কে বোঝাতে সাহায্য করে আপনার সাইট ভিজিটর পেতে তৈরি।
ওয়েবসাইটে সকল পোস্ট/আরটিকেল ইউনিক হতে হবে। কোথাও থেকে কপি করে দেয়া যাবেনা।
অন্য কোন নেটওয়ার্ক এর এড আপনার সাইটে থাকলে, এডসেন্স আবেদনের পূর্বেই তা স্থগিত রাখুন। গুগল সাধারণত ফ্রেশ ওয়েবসাইট পছন্দ করে।
Adult/Hacking রিলেটেড Web Site হওয়া যাবেনা।
হোম পেইজ/লেন্ডিং পেইজ সিম্পল রাখুন। সাইট লোডিং টাইম ৩ সেকেন্ডের মধ্যে রাখুন। কারন গুগল স্লো সাইট পছন্দ করেনা। আপনার সাইট স্পীড টেস্ট করুন।
এডসেন্স কোড আপনার সাইটে সঠিক ভাবে বসান।
সকল শর্ত মেনে এডসেন্স আবেদন করে থাকলে গুগল সাধারণত ৭-১০ দিন সময় নেয় সাইট রিভিউ করার জন্যে।

Google Adsense কি ? প্রকাশকদের জরুরী পরামর্শ
CPC-Cost Per Click : গুগল এডসেন্স থেকে আয়ের সবচেয়ে ভালো উপায় হলো CPC. এর মানে, আপনার ওয়েবসাইটের ভিজিটর যতবার আপনার অ্যাড এ ক্লিক করবে আপনি টাকা পাবেন।  তারমানে এই না, নিজেই নিজের অ্যাড এ ক্লিক করা যাবে। প্রকাশক নিজের অ্যাড এ ক্লিক করা কঠোরভাবে নিষেধ। গুগল এডসেন্স কি, জানার প্রথম শর্ত, আপনাকে গুগল এডসেন্স এর শর্ত মেনে চলতে হবে।

গুগল আমাদের সবার চেয়ে অনেক বেশি স্মার্ট। গুগলের সার্চ এলগোরিদম এতটাই শক্তিশালী, এটাকে ফাকি দেয়া অসম্ভব। আত্মীয়স্বজন দের দিয়ে অ্যাড এ ক্লিক করানো কৌশল করবেন না। গুগল ধরতে পারলে আপনার একাউন্ট বাতিল করে দিবে।

CPM- Cost per thousand Impression : ভিজিটর আপনার অ্যাড যতবার ভিউ করলো। প্রতি এক হাজার বার ভিউ এর জন্যে গুগল আপনাকে টাকা পে করবে।

CTR-Click Through Rate : আপনার কত শতাংশ ভিজিটর অ্যাড এ ক্লিক করলো। সাধারণত CTR ২-৫% হওয়া ভালো।

আপনি যদি বেশি CPC কিওয়ার্ড দিয়ে আর্টিকেল সাজাতে পারেন তবে ২-৫% CTR দিয়েও খুব ভালো ইনকাম করা যায়।

CTR ১৫% এর বেশি গেলে আপনার একাউন্ট বাতিল হয়ে যাবে। গুগল মনে করে ২-৫% CTR স্ট্যান্ডার্ড। এর বেশি মানে প্রকাশক নিজে বিভিন্ন উপায়ে অ্যাড এ ক্লিক করাচ্ছে যা গুগল এর নীতির বাইরে।

PPC-Pay Per Click : বিজ্ঞাপনদাতার উপর গুগল এই মেথড ফলো করে। এর মানে আপনার ওয়েবসাইট এ যে বিজ্ঞাপন গুগল দিবে তার উপর প্রতি ক্লিকে গুগল বিজ্ঞাপনদাতা থেকে যে অর্থ নিবে সেটাই PPC।

গুগল এডসেন্স থেকে কত ইনকাম করতে পারবেন?
ইনকাম আপনার আর্টিকেল লেখা এবং ওয়েবসাইট প্রচারের উপর নির্ভর করে।

আপনার সাইটে যত বেশি ভিজিটর আসবে তত বেশি আপনার CPM হবে।

আর CPM বাড়লে CTR এমনিতেই বাড়তে থাকবে।

সর্বদা CTR খেয়াল রাখবেন। প্রতিদিন একবার হলেও আপনার এডসেন্স একাউন্টে লগইন করে দেখে নিন আপনার CTR

CTR ১০% এর বেশি হয়ে গেলে এড অফ করে দিন। ১ দিন দেখুন CTR রেট কমে আসলে আবার এড ডিস্প্লে করুন।

CTR এবং ভিজিটর ডিটেইলস পেতে গুগল এনালাইটিক্স ব্যাবহার করবেন। গুগল এনালাইটিক্স অত্যন্ত শক্তিশালী একটি টুল ওয়েব মাস্টারদের জন্যে।

বাংলায় সাইট হলে কি করবেন?
এডসেন্স দিয়ে যদি ভালো কিওয়ার্ড রিসার্চ করে আর্টিকেল সাজানো যায় এবং মাসে হাজার ডলার ইনকাম করা যায় সহজেই।

আপনার সাইট যদি হয় বাংলায় সেইক্ষেত্রে আপনাকে একটু বেশি এডভান্স হতে হবে। কারন বাংলায় ভালো CPC কিওয়ার্ড পাওয়া কষ্টসাধ্য।

বাংলায় আপনার সাইট হলে অবশ্যই সোশ্যাল মিডিয়া তে আপনাকে ব্যাপক শক্তিশালী হতে হবে।

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন?
এডসেন্স এপ্রুভ হবার পর প্রধান কাজ তা সাইটে ইমপ্লিমেন্ট করা।

ওয়ার্ডপ্রেস দিয়ে যদি সাইট বানিয়ে থাকেন তবে প্লাগইন ব্যবহার করুন।

‘Advance Ads’ প্লাগইন টি ব্যবহার করতে পারেন।

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ১
আপনার এডসেন্স একাউন্টে লগইন করুন। My Ads>New ad unit এ ক্লিক করুন।

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন প্রথম ধাপ

এডসেন্স কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ২
‘New add unit’ এ ক্লিক করলে নিচের উইন্ডো ওপেন হবে। যেকোন একটি টাইপ সিলেক্ট করুন।
গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন দ্বিতীয় ধাপ

এডসেন্স কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ৩
টাইপ সিলেক্ট করার পর, এড উনিট এর নাম দিন (এড যদি হয় হেডার ব্যানার তাহলে নাম দিন Head Banner)

‘Ad Type’ সিলেক্ট করুন, শুধু টেক্সট এড চান নাকি ছবি সহ তা মেনশন করুন।

এড সাইজ যেটা দেয়া থাকে ‘Responsive’ সেটা রাখাই ভালো। তাহলে আপনার সাইটে সকল এড ই আসবে,

‘Save and get code’ ক্লিক করুন (একদম নিচে)

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন তৃতীয় ধাপ

Google Adsense কোড বসানোর স্টেপ 8
গুগল আপনাকে আপনার সাইটের কোড দিয়ে দিবে। এখন কোডের উপর ক্লিক করলেই কপি অপশন আসবে।

কোড কপি করে নিন। এইবার কোড আপনার সাইটে বসাতে হবে।

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন চতুর্থ ধাপ

এডসেন্স কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ৫
আপনার ওয়ার্ডপ্রেস ড্যাশবোর্ড থেকে Advance Ads>Ads ক্লিক করুন।

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন পঞ্চম ধাপ

এডসেন্স কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ৬
আপনার এডস এর ভিতর থেকে “New Ads” এ ক্লিক করুন।

(নিচের ছবিতে কিছু এড দেখাচ্ছে, আপনার সাইটে প্রথম এডসেন্স বসানোর সময় নিচের এড ডিটেইলস গুলো থাকবেনা)

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন ষষ্ঠ ধাপ

Google Adsense কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ৭
‘New Ads’ ক্লিক করার পর নিচের উইন্ডো পাবেন। আপনার নতুন এড এর একটি নাম দিন। একদম নিচে অ্যাডসেন্স এডস এ টিক দিন।
গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন সপ্তম ধাপ

Google Adsense কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ৮
নিচের ছবিতে মাঝের খালি জায়গায় এডসেন্স থেকে পাওয়া কোড টি বসান।

‘Get Details’ এ ক্লিক করুন। দেখবেন আপনার পাবলিশার আইডি এবং এড ডিটেইলস চলে আসবে।

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন অষ্টম ধাপ

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ৯
সর্বশেষ ডান দিকে ‘Publish’ বাটনে ক্লিক করুন। একটু সময় নিন। দেখবেন আপনার এড তৈরি।

গুগল এডসেন্স কোড কিভাবে বসাবেন ধাপ ৯

Google Adsense কোড বসানোর স্টেপ ১০
১৫-২০ মিনিট সময় দিন। তারপর আপনার ব্রাউজার দিয়ে সাইট ভিজিট করুন। আপনার এড দেখবেন চলে আসছে সাইট এ।

ওয়েবসাইট এ গুগল এডসেন্স এড

কোন কারণে যদি এড না আসে তাহলে আরেকটি এড তৈরি করুন একই পদ্ধতিতে।

কিন্তু এইবার স্টেপ ২ তে ভিন্ন টাইপ সিলেক্ট করুন। এবং একই স্টেপ গুলো ফলো করুন।

তারপরও যদি এড সাইটে না দেখায় সেই ক্ষেত্রে Google Adsense Help Forum এ পোস্ট করুন। কোন এক্সপার্ট আপনার সাইট দেখে একটা সলিউশন দিবে।

গুগল এডসেন্স কি, কিভাবে কাজ করে, Google Adsense কি ভাবে একাউন্ট খুলবেন? কোন তথ্য বা পরামর্শ জানতে ইমেইল করুনঃ

আরো বিস্তারিত এবং কিভাবে কোন মেথড ব্যাবহার করতে হবে তা আমাদের সাইট এ আপডেট ভার্সন পাবেন শীঘ্রই।
Partnership / 7 Tips for Making a Business Partnership Work
« Last post by srejon on June 05, 2018, 12:50:00 PM »
7 Tips for Making a Business Partnership Work

To ensure your business partnership stays on course, follow these tips.
1. Share the same values.
Don’t write the first word of your business plan until you know that you and your partner have the same dreams, goals and vision for your new business. Does your partner dream of starting the next Starbucks, while you envision a part-time catering business that gives you plenty of time with your family? You and your partner must share the same core values, goals and work ethic if you want the business to succeed.

2. Choose a partner with complementary skills.
When you and your business partner have different strengths, you'll double the power of your startup team right off the bat. For example, a shy tech expert who wants to start an Internet business would do well to find a partner with sales, marketing and people skills. This way, both partners can focus on doing what they enjoy and are good at.

3. Have a track record together.
Succeeding as business partners doesn’t require having run a business together or even having worked together before. It does require a track record of going through similar challenges together successfully. Look for a partner you’ve handled conflicts with, achieved common goals with and survived tough times with in the past.

4. Clearly define each partner’s role and responsibilities.
An informal organization where each partner does what’s needed at that moment may work in the very early startup stages, but not in the long term. Defining each partner’s job title and duties helps eliminate disagreements by giving each partner control of his or her domain. Employees and customers also benefit from knowing which partner handles what aspects of the business.

5. Select the right business structure.
You can organize a partnership as a general partnership, limited partnership or limited liability partnership. However, you can also organize it as a C corporation or S corporation. Each form of business has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of liability, taxes and continuity. Talk to an attorney or other experienced advisor to help determine which form of business is right for you and your partner.

6. Put it in writing.
Even if you're starting a business with your best friend from kindergarten, you need to draw up legal documents regarding your business structure, capital contribution to the business, how decisions will be made and disputes resolved and what happens if one partner wants to leave the business. Thinking through all the things that could go wrong and how you will handle them makes it easier to deal with any difficulties that do arise.

7. Be honest with each other.
Soft-pedaling your true feelings because you don’t want to hurt your business partner will cause more problems than it eliminates. In order for your partnership to work, both of you must feel comfortable openly sharing your opinions and hashing out any disagreements that arise. Sweeping your concerns under the rug only leads to bitterness and resentment which can destroy your partnership—and your business. 

These can be tough issues to discuss, especially when you’re excited about your startup and can’t wait to get going. But unless you take the time to lay the foundation for a lasting business partnership, your new business may never get off the ground.

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