How do you Retain your Talent the right way? Being Human.

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Question for the start up world.

When you walk into a start up and the first thing they say to HR is “we want a sustainable culture yet, the hyper growth that Facebook or Google went through”. Red flag alert. As the expert, you should already know that these two elements do not happen at the same time. You need to ask them, “Is it Acqusition or Retention?”

This is a conscious effort from your leadership, you simply cannot do this alone. One thing we need to get right is the people in your company defines the future, and this means EVERY SINGLE HIRE you have brought in, and retained.

Acquisition:

You start off with acquisition. Take a company through hyper growth. Hire for headcount show, not for PURPOSE. Your leadership tells you, “hiring slow affects business”. And so, you make it the only agenda in your job to Hire, Hire, Hire, because yes, you were told you can and should do so. They know that it is the talent they have who build their product. It is the talent they have who connects the product to their customers. They know that it is the talent they have who is going to give their customers a better world. So, THEY MUST HAVE IT.

This is the most exciting part of a start up, the expansion phase. Of course it is! You’re selling a great dream every single day. You even end up believing in it yourself. The propaganda.

So now, you think if I can hire all these great people, I can retain them too because we’re all in this together.

WRONG.

Retention:

All these great talent, all of these great people you have just brought in to build this dream are also very smart people. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t have bat an eyelid at them at the first instance. Their experiences are top notch, their technical skills are second to none. But you forgot to ask, “what is YOUR DREAM?”

Every employee has a dream, GREAT employees CHASE their dreams. If you want to retain greatness, must give them the work, life satisfaction they seek.

Because they are human, just like you.

Let’s put it this way, a satisfied employee is an engaged employee. We all know that high engagement brings profitability to the company, because losing people costs you ££. Don’t be daft, of course it does.

Losing talent is not something to be proud of.

So what do you need to do? 2 things.

Empowering your employees:

Oh, did I hate it when Steve Jobs put A,B,C players in boxes and he used to say that Apple is successful because their A players run circles around other B,C rejects from the company. I cannot help but felt how derogatory this is to the majority of people who were never given the opportunity to graduate from Stanford. Great leadership encourages self improvement instead of firing low performers. They listen intently and believe in them. I know this because I’m empowered every day and it’s not a fairytale. Man, am I lucky.

Trust and respect:

Give your employees generous boundaries. Contrary to conventional wisdom, boundaries don’t restrict team members; it means you TRUST them. Let them have autonomy, and let them prove to you they can do it too. No one was born to know exactly what to do with their lives, but they learn along the way. Credible leadership believe in their employees, and let them get on with it.

Needless to say, employees who are engaged shows better performance because they hit your happiness index right at the mark you want them to be. So leaders need to remember, their success is your greater success. Treat them how you want to be treated.

Stop making excuses. Humanise your company now.

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5 Tips for Startups for Achieving Global Reach

Sometimes, your product or service will be such that there’s no practical reason to restrict your operations to your local region. In this situation, it might be more lucrative to aim for global reach. Sure, you don’t have to appeal to the whole world at the same time, however, sometimes it’s enough just to make your product universally available. In order to get the most out of it from the very start, you need to learn how to achieve a global reach with your startup in the simplest, most cost-effective way. Here are five tips that might help you out.

Build a highly graphic brand

One of the first lessons that every startup should take is one made by one of the world’s largest brands Coca-Cola. During their Ramadan campaign, they removed all the labels from their cans, yet all the world was still able to clearly recognize their products. The color of the cans, as well as the iconic curved white line in the middle, is as clear of an indicator for the brand as its logo, however, unlike the logo, it is completely language-independent. Of course, the chance of a startup reaching the same level of brand recognition isn’t that high, however, what you can do is set your mindset in this direction. For instance, you can try to tell your story in images rather than verbalize it and in this way breach the language barrier.

Outsource

In the present-day business world, achieving a global reach is nearly impossible without outsourcing. This is due to the fact that you simply can’t reach that quality of service with your in-house team without some major investments. Subsequently, if you reach a certain level of expertise in your own field of specialty, you will start outsourcing certain features, and in this way more than justifies this deficit. As for the quality of services, outsourcing significantly expands your talent pool. For instance, you get to work with a renowned Hong Kong SEO company, collaborate with customer service experts from India and manufacture products in China. In other words, you get a much higher department cost- efficiency on every level possible.

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Remote workers

Aside from working with remote agencies, you can resort to hiring individuals in the same manner, as well. With remote workers, you get to increase your talent pool, which can help you get the most efficient experts on your team, without going through too much trouble. However, aside from this transparent efficiency in productivity, you also get to diversify your operations. In other words, you get to further diversify your company, which may give you a greater insight into a greater number of regions. All in all, in a situation where you decide to include another market to the list, you get the privilege of knowing at least one local professional that you can rely on, even if it’s just an advice you need.

Competition

One of the greatest misconceptions about the competition is the idea that this is somehow an exclusively bad thing. In reality, this is only true if you have nothing fresh to offer. Competitors that come before you can prepare the market for your arrival and even make a contrast in favor of your superior offer. Upon your arrival, the local customer base will compare you to your competitors and, if you have a superior offer, you will be regarded more highly than if they had no point of reference whatsoever. Moreover, a healthy competition indicates a well-developed market, which often turns out to be much more lucrative.

Providing customer support in more languages

Finally, there’s no better way to show the local market just how highly you value them as customers than to address them in their local language. While creating a local version of your website (with a local extension) is a great idea it is even more important to include a customer support in their language. This is due to the fact that such a thing provides a direct value to your customers, which is something that they are bound to appreciate. In the era of chatbots, this can be pulled off even without having to hire local customer support representatives or outsourcing to a local customer support agency.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that each region has its own rules of the game and that sometimes startups have a hard time penetrating their local market, let alone becoming an international trend. Sure, starting a campaign for every single region is certainly more efficient but it isn’t necessarily worth your while. For the time being, establishing a global presence through the above-listed five methods might be your safest bet.

5 Ideas to Give Your Startup a Tech Boost

When faced with a productivity problem, instead of having to expand your workforce, try to come up with a less-risky solution. After all, a workload increase might be just a fluke, which means that hiring more people might not work out for you in the long run. Furthermore, you might be surprised just how many aspects of your business could use a bit of improvement. That being said, here are five ideas you can turn to in order to give your startup an immediate tech boost.

Automated finances

The first thing you can do to introduce your business into the 21st century is automating your financial processes. Namely, you can start by paying your bills online. An average business spends about $12 on paying a single bill, whereas, if done electronically, this can be reduced to as little as $1,5. Apart from saving you a small fortune over the course of years, automating your finances like this will also save you a lot of time.

Apart from this, you might want to automate your payment collecting system which will make it much easier for you (or your accountant) to make financial estimates and projections. A lot of people downplay the importance of doing this in digital form. However, it gives you a greater overview of your company’s incomes and outcomes. In other words, if there is any foul-play in your company or an irregularity of any kind, it will be much easier to notice it. That is to say that, as long as everything is running smoothly, handling your finances will take a lot less effort.

Digital marketing

The next aspect of your business that is in desperate need of digitalization is your marketing. First of all, digitizing your marketing is nowhere near as difficult as you might have assumed. Sure, SEO, PPC marketing and Facebook advertising may require a bit more finesse and expertise, but you can easily establish your social media presence, reach out to influencers and start blogging on your own. In fact, businesses on a budget have so many free tools and resources available, that it becomes plain reckless not to use them to your benefit.

The greatest advantage, however, lies in the availability of reliable learning materials. Never before was it so easy to acquire a skill, whether through independent internet research or by taking an online course. All in all, improving your digital marketing is definitely a tech boost that your company needs and stands to benefit from greatly.

Proper office hardware

In previous two sections, we went to lengths to discuss the way in which your company can benefit from various tech trends. However, the way in which these platforms run and perform greatly depends on your hardware. While renting out office hardware may seem like a growing trend, it is still more reliable to simply purchase your own equipment.

Keep in mind that different laptops have different keyboard sensitivity, screen size and other similar properties, which is why you want to appease the majority by getting their preferred brand. For instance, you can get Lenovo X1 laptop for those staff members who need high-end machines.  

Customer service

When it comes to the general user experience (UX), there’s nothing more important than customer service. This, however, is a double-edged sword. Sure, showing professionalism can do wonders for the overall brand loyalty and help your audience pay more attention to you as a business. Apart from this, it can also make a massive improvement in your damage-control efforts (a sizeable PR boost). However, its absence can harm your brand in more ways than you can imagine.

There are two tech-savvy solutions to this problem. The first one, that is much more popular, is the idea of outsourcing your customer service to countries such as India that particularly specialize in this area. The second, more cost-effective option, is to look into chatbots. Throughout the years, these chatbots have grown much more reliable and sophisticated. Moreover, they respond instantly, which is always a huge plus.

Collaboration

At the end of the day, by properly utilizing the trend of telecommuting, you can expand your talent pool and run a more frugal business. First of all, you won’t have to pay for travel expenses (which also reduces the carbon footprint of your company). Second, you won’t have to lease a bigger office, seeing as how a significant part of your workforce will be operating from their own homes. All in all, hiring remote workers and freelancers is much easier if done through specialized platforms. Also, collaboration tools will help you coordinate these teams when working on massive projects.

Conclusion

One of the first things that you might have noticed is the fact that there is a tech solution for virtually any potential problem your company might be faced with. However, whether or not you manage to embrace and enforce it in your office depends exclusively on your own managerial skills, as well as how tech savvy you are. Nevertheless, even if you don’t intend to use most of these trends, just knowing they’re available can be quite reassuring.

Unleash 2018 – The next wave of Digital HR

The formerly known HR Tech World celebrated its re-birth this year in London from 20th to 21st of March after the official rebrand to “Unleash”. Marc Coleman, Founder, and CEO of UNLEASH said, “The UNLEASH community will look to become more open to leadership from across organizations and to engage with the people that are making big differences in the world of work, creating communities that enable disruptive workplace innovation and learning.”

The general set up remained very similar. A jungle full of HR tech vendors including the well-established ones but also many small and upcoming startups that presented themselves. The HR tech market has seen lots of movement over the recent years also welcoming lots of fresh players. Especially technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) but also blockchain will further disrupt the HR market. Having algorithms support companies to find better candidates or having the new contract being issued in a blink of an eye with the help of blockchain technology.

So it came with no surprise that these topics were heavily discussed in the different breakout sessions along with other hot topics such as GDPR, Brexit, leadership, learning 2.0, diversity and inclusion, mentoring and many more.

Keynote speech by Skype co-founder Jonas Kjellberg

Jonas Kjellberg says about himself that it is disrupting an industry that gets him up in the morning. Jonas Kjellberg is one of the co-founders of Skype. He has a successful past in disrupting industries, most famously the telecommunication industry. He described how hard it is to invent in the zeros but that’s what he did with Skype. The highest valued startups such as Uber or AirBnB invest in the zeros as they simply offer a platform but do not own the product anymore. The bottom line of his speech is if a company wants to survive in this highly disruptive market it needs to re-imagine its organization and make innovation the heart and soul of the company’s DNA. This also includes hiring different profiles and giving them the room to be themselves.

The big HR tech vendors all to be found right after the entrance

After making it through the registration and the entrance to the stands that were located right on the ground floor visitors were welcomed by the big players in the HR Cloud market. For Oracle it was all about the new UX this time including its new “newsfeed” landing page. Employees can now highlight the data and details they care about most.

Another big topic of this year’s Unleash was data and people/workforce analytics. HR has been for many years looking in the rearview mirror, rather than looking forward and being able to predict events that will occur in the future. With the help of the latest and greatest analytics solutions, for the first time HR has the chance to really understand who is their workforce and being able to abstract relevant information and match these against business outcomes. Knowing who is at risk, or who should be taken into consideration for a promotion, predicting these events lets companies better plan and develop their workforce for the future.

The startup corner hosted the disruptors of the future

At the end of the main hall the HR startups were to be found. More than 40 startups presented themselves. The common ground for all these companies is that they want to contribute to the Future of Work.   Innovating in their area of HR and leading the way to the next generation of HR.

Next to the Startup Zone the competitions took place. The 5 HR startups finalist had the chance to present their ideas and products to a selected jury. With the help of Unleash the winners will get access to further support and access to influencers.

We are all looking forward to discover other innovative HR propositions and to further uncover the innovation happening in the HR market.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Mats Nemelka – HCM Solution Consultant, Oracle

Mats advises companies in the HR space on how to handle HR transformations best with the help of a cloud software solution. Views are his own. Follow @matsnemelka

5 Effective Customer Service Tools Your Small Business Should Be Using

Customer experience refers to the perception a customer has about their interactions with a given company. These interactions can be direct or indirect. An example of direct interaction is when a customer calls your customer service department. When a customer reads a negative or positive comment about your company on social media, they are indirectly interacting with your business.

You need to acquire the right tools if you wish to improve your customer experience. The best ones help your company turn customer experience into increased revenue and accelerated growth, lower operation costs, and higher customer retention.

Read on and decide if the following tools seem like the real deal.

1. Freshdesk

Freshdesk helps you categorize, prioritize, and assign tickets. It ensures you do not lose track of conversations. It features a team inbox that enables you to handle incoming support tickets from multiple channels efficiently. It makes sure no two agents accidentally work on the same problem. The tool lets you set deadlines for ticket response and resolution. It also enables you to split complex, multi-stage issues into smaller tickets called “child tickets.

Freshdesk supports the discussion of specific parts of a ticket among your company’s top experts, leading to quicker resolution of complicated issues. Also, this tool supports live chat, lets you integrate your Facebook page, and Twitter handles, allowing you to manage them from the same place. Most importantly, Freshdesk offers a customer service portal and a website-related knowledge base that provides helpful information to visitors. Additionally, it allows customers to view ticket status and even share or vote on ideas.

2. Office 365 Business

Office 365 Business is a complete cloud-based office suite. Think of this tool as an online ecosystem in which you can run applications, access remote data, exchange information, and collaborate on documents and files. Two of the most useful services that Office 365 Business offers are Microsoft Bookings and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Scheduling appointments with existing and prospective customers is critical, but it can be time-consuming. Sending emails, talking on the phone, and reminding people about meetings can take a huge chunk of your time. In the end, you do not give your core business the attention it deserves. Microsoft bookings offers a unique web page that allows customers to schedule appointments. Based on your availability or that of your staff, the customer selects the service they want and chooses a day and time, effectively booking an appointment.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers integrated solutions that enable you to track leads, automate field service, improve operations, and drive sales. You accomplish all these activities using cloud-based mobile, enterprise-ready business applications. The beauty of this service is that you can use the apps even when offline. Reconnecting to the internet leads to automatic data.

3. Zendesk

The tool allows you to provide your customers unlimited support. It is useful across a wide range of vertical markets such as media, retail, technology, government, and other small and large businesses. It is scalable whether you are a small or large organization. Zendesk enables you to serve your customers no matter where they are using live chat and short messaging service.

It features forms, a customer relationship management system, and other tools that add extra data to your customer support tickets. Implementing Zendesk takes minutes, and it is accessible across multiple devices. It becomes for you a flexible support center that grows with your team. It allows automatic addition of the features you need as situations change.

4. Conversocial Software

The Conversocial software is the perfect tool for managing all your company’s social media interactions. It intelligently prioritizes issues and tickets, ensuring the team does not delay or overlook the important ones. The software compiles onto one screen each customer’s interactions with your business. Customer support agents have their workflow simplified; the compilation helps them improve their effectiveness. If you are in retail, banking, healthcare, telecommunications, or utilities, this tool is a perfect choice.

5. Live Chat Software

Live chat software is a versatile tool that helps you improve customer experience and grow sales. You will need to implement this useful tool on your website. If you are looking for software that offers both efficiency and quality, this is a great option. It allows your customer support agents to multitask. Typically, live chat suppliers allow agents to engage up to ten customers at a time.

Your agents need training and must possess multitasking ability before they can handle several live chats concurrently. If you own an e-commerce site, this is the tool you need to help you quickly answer your visitors’ questions that could lead to a sale. Most online shoppers, especially the younger generation, prefer live chat to the phone. Live chat improves CX by satisfying customers’ immediate need for quick response to issues of concern.

9 Actionable Tips for Hiring Employees for Your Home Office

Consider yourself lucky if you have the good fortune of being able to run and build your business from home. When the business is new, you might be the only person working for it. However, as it begins to grow and expand, you might need to hire employees. Hiring an employee for your home office is as challenging as finding the right roommate. The following tips can help you sidestep a lot of issues.

1. Discuss With Your Family

You never know how your family might react to the prospect of having a stranger share their private space. It is important to discuss with them from the get-go so that they know what to expect. Have them understand that the person is an employee and not a guest. Be sure to mention that they will not need to feed the person or have to make other inconveniencing arrangements.

2. Opt for Full Disclosure

You do not want to have prospective employees wondering whether they got the wrong address. Full disclosure presents you as a person who is straightforward and considerate. You do not want a potential employee weighing whether or not they want to work from someone else’s home as they walk down the hallway. Non-disclosure might have them thinking you have something to hide.

3. Interview Your Candidate

You will need to watch how candidates behave once they arrive at your home office. Do they look comfortable and at ease? Do not hesitate to ask them how they feel about it all. Attentively listen as they answer, understanding what they say and what they leave unsaid. If you had told them about it right off the bat and they seem uneasy during the interview, hire someone else.

4. Perform a Background Check

Experience and skills matter a lot, but character and integrity carry much more weight than these two qualities. It is better to hire someone worthy of trust even though they are inexperienced than hire an experienced person about whom you have trust issues. Be sure to conduct a thorough background check on all candidates. Ask people you trust for recommendations. You can always train a person, but you cannot induce character.

5. Set Up a Suitable Workspace

Your employee needs privacy; you must spend some money to create a bit of privacy around their work area. Offer them an atmosphere like the one they would expect in a traditional office. Provide them with a desk, a chair, as well as the tools and technological devices they need to work efficiently — a computer, wireless connection, a phone, and so on. The office needs to be well-lit, too; consider hiring a professional to help you design the office. Finally, have your family understand that the office is off-limits.

6. Add a Separate Entrance

Invest some money in designing an office having its own entrance. The less likely it is that employees will meet someone from your family as they enter the office the better. Also, it creates a sense of professionalism, making everyone feel comfortable. While you might need to spend some money to achieve this, it is worth it in the end.

7. Invest in Housekeeping Services

You are the boss, and you do not want your employees to come across dirty dishes in the kitchen. It makes perfect sense to hire a housekeeper. Having someone who does your dishes, vacuums the carpet, and cleans the bathrooms makes the home office a nicer place for your employees. Also, such an arrangement makes you feel confident.

8. Define Your Terms

This is a job, and you have expectations just like they have. Make it known right from the outset that you expect them to respect and follow all the rules and deliver results. Giving them an employee handbook demonstrates that you take your duties as a manager seriously. The manual should carry policies on office rules, working hours, use of office phone, sick days and any other relevant matter.

9. Set Your Boundaries

Being clear about the boundaries relating to their presence at your home is critical. They need to know from the beginning the rooms they can enter and those they cannot. Can your employee use your kitchen to prepare their lunch? Do you want them to leave during their lunch break? What about bathroom arrangements? Ensure you have a bathroom for office use, too.

In Conclusion

Being able to work from home is an exciting opportunity. However, it can be daunting if you have no idea how to handle hiring employees to work in your home office. Do background checks, tell candidates and family what to expect, set rules and boundaries, and build an office with own entrance. These simple tips should help you to hire the right person and keep them.

Top 10 Algorithms of Machine Learning

In this modern world technical revolution has taken place thus artificial intelligence and machine learning has come into existence because of its accurate predictions. However day by day it will gain more attention in industries. Thus first of all as an engineer’s we should be well known to these advanced techniques of machine learning and its algorithms.

Importance of Machine Learning: Machine learning is a field of Artificial Intelligence, which is allowed to software applications for making accurate results. Algorithms are built through which input is received and after statistical analysis output value is predicted. Because the algorithms are trained from dataset and thus learn from data finally improved results are predicted. Machine learning algorithms can be supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning. Let’s discuss them one by one: 

Supervised learning: In supervised learning algorithms training of model is done using some previous dataset. It requires humans for providing input and output. With some previous dataset training of model is done. After completion of training, algorithm applies the learnt things for prediction of new data.

Unsupervised learning: For more complex problems unsupervised learning is used. Interferences of dataset from input data is drawn. It is done for unlabelled data so cluster analysis method is used i.e from data it finds patterns from unclassified data. 

Reinforcement learning:  This type of learning is based on self-learning process. Machine learns its behavior by using feedback from the environment to maximize its performance.

10 algorithms of Machine Learning:  There are some machine learning algorithms for beginners available. These algorithms are:

  1. Linear Regression: For statistical technique linear regression is used in which value of dependent variable is predicted through independent variables? A relationship is formed by mapping the dependent and independent variable on a line and that line is called regression line which is represented by Y= a*X + b.

Where Y= Dependent variable (e.g weight).

X= Independent Variable (e.g height)

b= Intercept and a = slope.

  1. Logistic Regression: In logistic regression we have lot of data whose classification is done by building an equation. This method is used to find the discrete dependent variable from the set of independent variables. Its goal is to find the best fit set of parameters. In this classifier, each feature is multiplied by a weight and then all are added. Then the result is passed to sigmoid function which produces the binary output. Logistic regression generates the coefficients to predict a logit transformation of the probability. These machine learning algorithms are mostly used for Stock market Prediction systems.
  1. Decision Tree: It belongs to supervised learning algorithm. Decision tree can be used to classification and regression both having a tree like structure. In a decision tree building algorithm first the best attribute of dataset is placed at the root, and then training dataset is split into subsets. Splitting of data depends on the features of datasets. This process is done until the whole data is classified and we find leaf node at each branch. Information gain can be calculated to find which feature is giving us the highest information gain. Decision trees are built for making a training model which can be used to predict class or the value of target variable.
  1. Support vector machine: Support vector machine is a binary classifier. Raw data is drawn on the n-dimensional plane. In this a separating hyperplane is drawn to differentiate the datasets. The line drawn from centre of the line separating the two closest data points of different categories is taken as an optimal hyperplane. This optimised separating hyperplane maximizes the margin of training data. Through this hyperplane, new data can be categorised.
  1. Naive-Bayes: It is a technique for constructing classifiers which is based on Bayes theorem used even for highly sophisticated classification methods. It learns the probability of an object with certain features belonging to a particular group or class. In short, it is a probabilistic classifier. In this method occurrence of each feature is independent of occurrence another feature. It only needs small amount of training data for classification, and all terms can be pre-compute thus classifying becomes easy, quick and efficient.
  1. KNN: This method is used for both classification and regression. It is among the simplest method of machine learning algorithms. It stores the cases and for new data it checks the majority of the k neighbors with which it resembles the most. KNN makes predictions using the training dataset directly.
  1. K-means Clustering: It is an unsupervised learning algorithm used to overcome the limitation of clustering. To group the datasets into clusters initial partition is done using Euclidean distance. Assume if we have k clusters, for each cluster a centre is defined. These centres should be far from each other, and then each point is examined thus added to the belonging nearest cluster in terms of Euclidean distance to nearest mean, until no point remains pending. A mean vector is re-calculated for each new entry. The iterative relocation is done until proper clustering is done. Thus for minimizing the objective squared error function process is repeated by generating a loop.
Final results of the K-means clustering algorithm are:
  • The centroids of the K clusters, which are used to label new entered data.
  • Labels for the training data.
  1. Random Forest: It is a supervised classification algorithm. Multiple numbers of decision trees taken together forms a random forest algorithm i.e the collection of many classification tree. It can be used for classification as well as regression. Each decision tree includes some rule based system. For the given training dataset with targets and features, the decision tree algorithm will have set of rules. In random forest unlike decision trees there is no need to calculate information gain to find root node. It uses the rules of each randomly created decision tree to predict the outcome and stores the predicted outcome. Further it Calculate the votes for each predicted target. Thus high voted prediction is considered as the final prediction from the random forest algorithm.
  1. Dimensionality Reduction Algorithms: It is used to reduce the number of random variables by obtaining some principal variables. Feature extraction and feature selection are types of dimensionality reduction method. It can be done by PCA, Principal component analysis is a method of extracting important variables from large set of variables. It extracts the low dimensionality set of features from high dimensional data. It is used basically when we have more than 3 dimensional data.
  1. Gradient boosting and Ada Boost Algorithms: Gradient boosting algorithm is a regression and classification algorithm. AdaBoost only selects those features which improves predictive power of the model. It works by choosing a base algorithm like decision trees and iteratively improving it by accounting for the incorrectly classified examples in the training set. Both of algorithms are used for the boosting of the accuracy of predictive model.

In the nutshell, we can say that machine learning is one of the top-rating technologies these days. Machine learning as a service is in trending. In this article, we have discussed 10 basic algorithms of machine learning for the beginners. By using these algorithms we can develop machine learning applications within few hours and days.

5 Tips While Transitioning from Being an Employee to an Entrepreneur

Deciding to leave your day job and become your own boss is a huge step in your life, which is why you need to take it with utmost care. It’s a huge leap of faith but, if you do it properly, it can be rewarding and completely turn your life around.

However, merely thinking about following your dreams and actually starting your own company are two very different things. It’s not without its share of risks, and it can be very challenging but, if you’re sure that you are ready to do it, the first step you need to take is to forget about the fear of uncertainty and embrace the opportunity for success.

Fear can hold you down, so you need to believe in yourself and your vision, and fully embrace the change. However, switching from an employee to an entrepreneur still requires much more than that, so take a look at the most vital tips that will make your transition smoother and improve your chances for success.

Make a Plan before Quitting Your Job

Before you bid your boss and co-workers farewell, you should make a detailed plan for your new business venture. It takes time for start-ups to properly get off the ground, so planning everything at least several months before you go and quit your job is something that you should not underestimate.

You may have a clear vision of your future company and have it all figured out, but planning every single step that you are going to take in great detail will help you know exactly what you should do to start a successful company.

You need to set clear directions for your start-up and make a business plan that will include your company’s structure, objectives, vision and goals, your target market’s needs, your ideal customers, your unique value proposition, your marketing plan, financing, budget, and everything else that you and your team will do on a daily basis.

Connect with Other People in Your Niche

Building relationships with other people in your niche before you launch your start-up is extremely important because they could potentially become your clients, investors and even partners. They can provide you with expert advice and help you realize your vision.

Go to conferences, local meetups, and seminars where you can connect with thought and industry leaders, and don’t forget about online networks and forums, as they can also provide you with outstanding opportunities to interact with professionals who will support you once you launch your business.

If you have a good relationship with your boss and feel like you can share your plan with them, you can ask them for advice. You never know – maybe you end up collaborating in the future, so don’t burn any bridges when you decide to leave your job.

Get the Funds You Need

Financing your business is one of the most important steps to take, so make sure you get the funds you need well in advance. If you don’t have enough savings to fund your business on your own, there are many ways to finance your business, such as crowdfunding or getting a bank loan, for instance.

Whatever you choose, make sure you take into account the salaries, marketing expenses, equipment purchases, and all the other expenses that your budget will need to cover.

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Start Small

Before leaving your job, you can start your company on a small scale, so that you can test everything and see whether or not your ideas are actually realizing the way you want them to. This is an excellent opportunity to get customer feedback and make proper adjustments before you scale up.

Think about Outsourcing

Is outsourcing ideal for start-ups? The answer is definitely yes because it is very cost-effective and can bring you many benefits. However, you need to know which processes to outsource for the best outcomes. For instance, you can stick to outsourcing marketing and payroll functions when you’re just starting out, and work out outsourcing other business processes as you grow.

These are the most important steps to take when you decide to take the plunge and transition from an employee to an entrepreneur, but remember that the transition is much more complex and requires plenty more steps and challenges. Regardless, if you do everything right, it will be exceptionally rewarding, as you will do something that you love, and nothing is more important than that.

 

How Can Good SEO Help Potential Customers Find Your Startup?

SEO might not be fast or easy, but it’s still necessary in today’s business world. And if you’re just starting your business, it’s definitely worth your time.

It will allow you to generate new leads, attract new customers and ultimately, increase sales by boosting your visibility in search engines. But let’s start from the beginning.

What exactly is SEO?

In short, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and many people consider it the main digital tactic companies use to attract new customers online.

The first thing you need to know about SEO is that it isn’t a short-term tactic. It’s better described as a “collection of tactics” that you can use to improve your presence on the Internet.

Search engines – we’ll mostly be taking about Google, since it holds more than 90% of search market share – rank sites based on their relevance and quality.

You can use SEO to improve your rankings by optimizing your site and using certain tactics that Google deems useful for users. Now let’s take a look at how SEO can help small businesses attract new audiences.

SEO for small-to-mid-size businesses

If you opt for SEO, your main goal should be to use a number of different tactics to improve your rankings. Search engine visibility is crucial for your success, since most customers research their purchases on the Internet before they make a decision.

As we said, SEO is a collection of strategies and techniques that work together as a part of your overall marketing strategy. Its main aim is to improve your position in organic search results – not paid results, that’s a completely different thing – and some of the most important SEO strategies include:

  • UX and site architecture
  • Content creating and marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Analytics and keyword research
  • Link building and outreach

Before we start talking about these tactics in more detail, let’s see why this is so important for your business and what results you can expect from a successful SEO strategy.

Why is SEO important for your site?

In this day and age, a small business lives and dies by its marketing efforts and as we established before, SEO is an important part of online marketing efforts.

Look at it like this, if a potential customer can’t find your site on Google, you practically don’t exist to that customer. And if you think SEO is only important at the moment, you’re terribly wrong.

The practice has been around for more than two decades at this point and according to Market Dive research, more than 80% of marketers see SEO as becoming even more effective in the future.

How to create a successful SEO strategy

The main goal of any SEO strategy is to generate more leads and increase your customer base in the process, not just increase your rank in Google. If you want to do things properly, it would be smart to hire an SEO consultant company. Preferably a reputable one, like this New York based SEO company.

If not, you can actually try do everything on your own. However, you have to be prepared for a ton of work and mistakes along the way.

  • On-site SEO tactics:  Every piece of content on your website, from blog posts to images, needs to be properly optimized for Google, or any other search engine you plan on focusing on.
  • Off-site SEO tactics: Link building is one of the main aspects of off-page SEO and it includes reaching out to various sites and influencers who might find your site and content useful.
  • Mobile-friendliness: A vast majority of people today browse the Internet on their mobile devices. That’s why you need to optimize your site for mobile and make sure that everything works perfectly on all devices.  

Of course, tracking your SEO campaigns is always time-consuming and at times, it can be quite stressful. So, if you want to track the performance of your SEO activities, you should try using a professional digital marketing dashboard that will give you a view of how all your marketing activities are performing.

Conclusion

In the end, you’re probably wondering how much all of this will cost you. This is a tricky question, because the line between digital marketing and SEO is pretty thin. Some companies out there are even combing their marketing budgets with their SEO budgets.

In order to determine how much you should spend on search engine optimization, here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:

  • How much do you expect to make this year?
  • What’s your chosen industry?
  • How many competitors do you really have?

If you’re able to set aside around five percent of your overall revenue for long-term SEO efforts, you’ll definitely be able to see an increase in sales during the first year of your business venture.

7 Tools That Will Help You Start a Home-Based Business

The traditional method used to start a business was to rent an office space and get down to work. However, the overhead associated with supporting an office right from the start was challenging and even detrimental in many cases.

The good news is that technology has evolved over the years to make it much more functional and practical to run a home-based business and even to grow your business substantially in a cost-effective way. As wonderful as running a home-based business can be, keep in mind that there are still obstacles that you will need to face and overcome.

Here are several effective tools that can help you better manage and grow your home-based business.

Basecamp

Whether you want to keep yourself focused on relevant tasks for practical efficiency or you are trying to manage a remote team in the most time-efficient way possible, Basecamp can help.

This app is an excellent resource for planning and scheduling, organization, accountability and more. You may never have to worry about meetings taking too much time or missing deadlines when you and your team maximize the benefits that Basecamp can provide.

Google Hangouts

As soon as you add your first remote employee to your team, you need to find an effective way to communicate. Google Hangouts gives you text and voice communications in one platform. There is even a video communication feature.

You can use it on your desktop and mobile devices seamlessly so that you never miss important communications with your remote team. Logs of conversations are also maintained to help everyone remain accountable. Because this is a free tool that you can start using immediately, it is ideal for small businesses that have two or more workers.

Freshbooks

Small business owners can spend an incredible amount of time on financial management and accounting tasks. However, this is an area that you need to excel at if you want to properly manage your money, budget for growth and more.

Freshbooks is a user-friendly application that has robust capabilities. It’s a perfect choice for managing your home-based business’ finances. It has easy functions for invoicing, tracking payments, creating reports and more. Because it is designed for small business operations, you may find that it has more applicable features that are relevant to your specific situation.

Wagepoint

Processing payroll each week can be time-consuming and stressful. This is a task that needs to be completed within a specified amount of time, and you can’t afford to make costly mistakes.

Wagepoint is designed to help small business owners simplify this task in an affordable way. It also ensures compliance with all relevant government agencies and can help you to process tax forms and more. Employees can even access their own compensation information to save you additional time when questions arise.

Close.io

Sales is a critical component to most small businesses. You understandably need to track leads and follow up with all potential customers in a timely manner, but you also need to close deals.

Close.io is a CRM tool that is designed specifically for small businesses like yours. You can manage conversations and email messages so that you never drop the ball. You can also set reminders, create reports and more in one convenient and streamlined platform. With applications available for multiple users, you can easily track the efforts of your growing sales team as well.

CoSchedule

Effective marketing for your small business requires you to create and execute a detailed, robust marketing plan in a timely manner. With CoSchedule all aspects of communications about your marketing plan can be stored in one convenient location. You can create marketing materials within this platform, manage your marketing team and create an on-going marketing calendar so that you never miss a beat.

Remember that timely delivery of marketing content is critical to generating superior results. Because this is a collaborate solution, your entire team will stay organized and aligned.

Groove

Customer service is essential for your customer satisfaction rating, loyalty, future sales, brand reputation and more. Groove helps you to streamline many aspects of your customer service activities.

For example, through this platform, your agents can create tickets based on phone calls, social media posts, email and more. You can track the tickets, analyze them and ensure that everything is tended to in a timely manner. This is an excellent tool that can help you and your team to stay on track so that nothing slips through the cracks.

Final Thoughts

Handling all aspects of your business operations properly and efficiently requires considerable effort, but you do not need to handle tasks manually. Technology is now available that can streamline and simplify many aspects of your operations from day one. Regardless of whether you have a one-man shop or a growing small business with several employees, these exceptional tools are wonderful resources that you can begin implementing right away.