Category Archives: Startups

Notion, a startup that operates a workplace productivity platform

Two years ago, Notion partnered with dozens of accelerators and incubators to provide free credits for its work collaboration platform to its portfolio startups. The firm is now aggressively making the program open to all startups.

Notion is launching a new startup program Tuesday to offer a credit of at least $500 to any startup globally to try its product for free — regardless of its size and funding status. Based on the size of the team, the credit could give startups access to Notion’s premium offerings at no cost for as long as a year — if not longer.

When Notion originally launched the program, it was attempting to “make sure that startups around the world adopt Notion,” said Akshay Kothari, chief operating officer of the startup, in an interview.

Things have changed dramatically for the work collaboration platform in the past two years. The startup, valued at $2 billion in its most recent financing round, has emerged as the productivity suite of choice for many startups (Figma, Substack, Modern Health, Mixpanel, Buffer and Headspace to name a few), developers, creatives, and designers among others.

The number of startups using Notion has surged 4x in the last year as businesses around the globe embraced remote working, it said. Over 50% of startups in Y Combinator’s recent batch have a Notion workspace, and 90 of Forbes’ Cloud 100 companies have a Notion team workspace, and about 28% of startups globally listed on Crunchbase that have raised over $1 million are also using the platform.

It’s become quite common to see even startup founders in India — a market Notion has admittedly not particularly focused a lot on — share their pitch decks created and stored on Notion to potential investors. Many are writing announcements on Notion, taking and sharing notes with their teams on Notion pages.

Kothari said as part of the new push, Notion is also developing new templates to remove friction from such use cases. Additionally, it’s also launching what it calls a startup starter pack, which will feature guides, tutorials, Livestream opportunities, customer stories, and frequently asked questions.

“Our goal is to get to a point where Notion becomes a tool that every startup in the world goes to without even having to think about it,” he said.

To reach that level of scale, Notion is also partnering with two infrastructure giants that are widely admired by startups: AWS and Stripe. The two firms will now provide Notion’s premium offerings — to a certain limit of credits — to hundreds of thousands of startups in their programs, Kothari said.

Just as significant AWS and Stripe have become to startups, “we think Notion can become the information infrastructure with them,” he said. “Now that we have launched this, we will continue to look at forming more partnerships.”

“Notion has been a boon for the Stripe Atlas Community, helping businesses of all sizes stay organized and aligned through all of their key milestones, and bringing employees closer than ever before,” said Krithika Muthukumar, Startups Business Lead at Stripe, in a statement. “We’re happy to bring Notion into the Atlas program and explore new ways we can support our community together.” (In a statement, AWS said its customers “rave” about Notion and it will explore more ways to strategically collaborate with Notion.)

YouTube acquires Indian social commerce startup Simsim

YouTube has acquired social commerce startup Simsim, the Google-owned firm said on Tuesday. Neither of the firms disclosed the terms of the deal, but two people with knowledge of the matter told the Indian startup was valued at over $70 million.

Two-year-old Simsim had raised about $17 million before today’s announcement and was valued at $50.1 million in its 2020 Series B financing round.

The Gurgaon-headquartered startup helps small businesses in India transition to e-commerce by using the power of video and creators. The startup’s eponymous app acts as a platform to connect local businesses, influencers, and customers.

The thesis, according to Rohan Malhotra of Good Capital, an early backer of Simsim, is: “micro-influencers are more effective at building a targeted audience (growth), creating entertaining experiences (retention), building trust (higher value) and personalizing messaging (conversion). Consumer social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) cannot meaningfully monetize via advertising-financed models in India; this unlocks the opportunity for more deeply integrated transactional platforms. New internet users in India need an interactive seller-led experience to replicate the offline e-commerce experience this market is used to.”

He, like everyone else, declined to comment on the size of the deal. The Simsim chief executive didn’t respond to a query about the acquisition Monday evening (IST).

“We started Simsim with the mission of helping users across India shop online with ease, enabled through small sellers and brands showcasing and selling their products using the power of content by trusted influencers. Being a part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem furthers simsim in its mission,” Simsim cofounders Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri, and Saurabh Vashishtha said in a joint statement. Bagaria and Vashishtha previously worked together at Paytm.

“We cannot think of a better ecosystem in which to build simsim, in terms of technology, reach, creator networks, and culture. We can’t wait to be part of YouTube and are excited to build simsim within the most admired tech company in the world.”

For YouTube, the acquisition will enable the video streaming giant to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers in even more powerful ways, wrote Gautam Anand, VP of YouTube APAC, in a blog post.

The video streaming service, which reaches over 450 million monthly active users in India, doesn’t plan to make any immediate changes to Simsim and the startup’s app will continue to operate independently “while we work on ways to showcase Simsim offers to YouTube viewers,” he added.

Tuesday’s announcement is Google’s latest push in India, where it has committed to invest $10 billion in the next couple of years. The internet giant has also backed Indian startups Glance and DailyHunt, both of which operate short-video apps.

“With over 2500 YouTube creators with over one million subscribers, and the success of YouTube Shorts, which we launched in India first, we’re committed to bringing the best of YouTube to India and growing the creator community by making it even easier for the new generation of mobile-first creators to get started,” he added.

How to increase productivity

Productivity is important for business growth and development. In this blog, we going to take a look at 6 simple steps to increase productivity.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re asking yourself the following question:

How do you Increase Productivity?

We wish we had an easy answer for you. Unfortunately, there is no single strategy to increase productivity.

The path to increasing productivity differs from one business to another, depending on the issues you’re facing.

But, if you’re confused about where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll look at six simple ways to boost your productivity – no matter what your issues are.

We’ll also talk about why improving productivity is important and how to identify low productivity in your team.

Read How to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

Why is it important to Improve Productivity?

Productivity is important for business growth and development.

Why?

Because the more productive you are, the more output you will have. As a result, you have a better chance of increasing sales and growing your business.

How to identify Low Productivity

Several factors can cause low productivity, but there are a few common signs to look out for:

  • You’re not hitting company goals: If your team isn’t meeting organizational goals and things are falling behind, it could be due to a lack of productivity. It’s also possible that your goals are overly ambitious, therefore it’s up to you to figure out where the problem lies.
  • Poor quality of work: If an employee is under pressure to reach an unrealistic quota, the quality of their work may suffer. As a result, you spend time bringing the quality up to the mark and asking them to redo their work. As you can expect, this isn’t good for productivity.
  • Team members seem distracted: More than 70% of employees spend time at work thinking about something in their personal lives. Of those, 41% said it made them less productive.

Talk to anyone on your team who appears to be thinking about anything. You might be able to ease some of their concerns and clear their mind so they can focus on the work at hand.

6 Simple Ways To Increase Employee Productivity

If you’ve noticed low productivity in your team, you might be asking how you might improve things.

Fortunately, we’ve outlined 6 productivity tips for you.

But keep in mind that this isn’t a definitive guide to increasing productivity levels.

It’s a good place to start. However, before you can figure out how to boost your team’s productivity, you must first determine what the problem is.

Let’s take a look at 6 simple steps to increase productivity.

1. Increase Employee Engagement

According to research, high employee engagement has a positive impact on productivity.

It gives employees a personal connection to the organization, motivating them to work hard, be productive, and generate results.

So how can you increase employee engagement?

Here are a few tips:

  • Schedule catch-ups and one-on-one meetings. Spend time catching up with your team one-on-one. This shows that you care about their work and want to see them succeed.
  • Provide regular feedback. Schedule time in your calendar to provide feedback on their performance. Whether it’s a full performance review or simply sharing your thoughts on important tasks.
  • Encourage collaboration. Helping your team’s collaboration is an excellent approach to keep everyone interested by working as a team. To keep everyone on the same page, you might want to consider adopting a work management system.

2. Avoid Unnecessary Meetings

According to an Owl Labs study, employees lose more than an hour of workplace productivity each day due to meetings:

It may not appear to be much, but it adds up. The average employee appears to be productive for only 2 hours and 53 minutes per day, so you’ll need all the time you can get.

So what’s the solution?

The first step is to go over the meetings you currently have. Examine your calendar and ask yourself the following questions to identify an unnecessary meeting:

  • Does everyone invited to this meeting need to be there?
  • Can you shorten the length of the meeting?
  • Is this meeting necessary, or would an email suffice?

You can help your team to increase productivity by reviewing the time, length, and content of your meetings.

3. Set Realistic Goals

There’s a fine line between creating goals that challenge your team and creating completely unrealistic goals.

For employee morale to stay high, you need to tread carefully.

So how do you create the right balance?

First things first, make sure your goal setting follows the SMART framework.

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-Bound

With SMART goals in place, you’ll have clarity about what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve it, and when it’s due.

As a result, you and your team can define realistic goals and milestones to work toward. This keeps employees motivated and engaged, which boosts overall productivity, as we all know.

4. Encourage Regular Breaks

Nobody can work at 100% all of the time. It’s not possible.

That’s where work breaks can come in handy.

Taking breaks during work hours has been shown in studies to increase energy levels. Productivity and mental health can suffer if these breaks are not taken.

But how can you encourage regular breaks, especially if your team does remote work?

We’d suggest time blocking.

Time blocking is a form of scheduling that helps increase productivity by focusing work on specific blocks of time.

And it doesn’t just have to be for work tasks.

Scheduling breaks during work hours allows your employees to plan and stick to their downtime. They don’t have to feel bad about taking a break because it’s part of the everyday routine.

As a result, when employees return from their break, they are energized, refreshed, and motivated to work.

5. Keep Your Team Accountable

First things first, what is workplace accountability? 

Put simply, it’s when employees are responsible for their actions and performance. 

Holding your team accountable for their work provides them with the motivation they need to get things done. In other words, it encourages them to use their time productively.

So how can you hold your team accountable?

Let’s take a look:

  • Be clear on what you expect: It’s useless to hold individuals accountable for their work if they don’t understand what they’re accountable for. Make it clear what you expect them to do.
  • Ask for updates on progress: Checking in on progress reminds your team that they need to be on top of what they’re doing.
  • Encourage team members to work together: If team members are working together, they have a responsibility to one another. This develops a sense of accountability not only to themselves but also to their colleagues.
  • Using work management software: Implementing a team-wide platform gives everyone visibility into the entire project. Everyone can see what they are responsible for, what their teammates are working on, and how the project is progressing.

6. Manage Time Efficiently

It is not uncommon for employees to feel stress from time to time.

However, with 41% of employees reporting that stress makes them less productive, you may want to consider how you might relieve some of that stress.

So what can you do to reduce stress for your employees?

Effective time management can certainly help.

Time management is a difficult skill to master. However, when done correctly, it eliminates stress and allows people to focus on their work.

If you’re wondering how you can help employees better manage their time, consider implementing a work management software like Restyabaord.

With Restyaboard software, you can easily plan your entire schedule and prioritize tasks. This makes it much easier for employees to stay on top of their workload and be as productive as possible.

Also, read Work Management Software – Why Your Team Needs Now?

Using Restyaboard to Improve Productivity

Restyaboard helps teams be productive. You can streamline your processes, manage your workflow, and keep track of every project — all from one location.

You can customize all of our templates to your liking, allowing you and your team to be as productive as possible.

Let’s take a look at some of these features in more detail.

1. Streamline Your Processes

Whether you’re automating your processes or integrating third-party tools into your workflow, Restyaboard allows you to easily streamline your processes. 

As a result, you can spend more time being productive, and less time worrying about the efficiency of your workflow.

2. Effective Communication

We know how important it is for teams to communicate. As a result, the Restyaboard platform enables users to communicate and collaborate on all of their projects with ease.

You can leave comments, tag users, and even provide team-wide updates on a specific task.

And by collaborating effectively,  teams can be more productive with their time.

3. Track And Manage Your Time

Time tracking allows you to see how your team is spending their time, and whether they’re as productive as they could be.

With Restyaboard, you can easily track time spent on specific tasks and projects.

Using this information, you can help your team manage their time efficiently and be as productive as possible. 

Conclusion

As we’ve already mentioned, the path to increase productivity varies from business to business.

Although we’ve given you a solid starting point and outlined some small changes you can make, you need to do a productivity evaluation to find out exactly what actions you need to take.

And using a work management system like Restyaboard is the perfect place to start.

Restyaboard platform is for teams like yours that want to improve their workflow and help their teams be as productive as possible.

Employees of Templafy

Templafy, a Denmark-born B2B SaaS platform that does business document creation, has raised a $60 million D round of funding led by Blue Cloud Ventures. All previous investors also participated, including Insight Partners, Seed Capital, Dawn Capital, and Damgaard Company. Templafy has now raised a total of $125 million.

Founded out of Denmark in 2014, Templafy helps businesses tightly control their corporate templates, documents, fonts, email signatures, and more, ensuring that employees across departments can easily access them wherever they are. This is perhaps more important at a time when workers have been forced to embrace remote work, meaning that they may be more inclined to use an old document template they have stored on their laptop, for example.

To some extent, Templafy competes with PandaDoc. However, founder Christian Lund, said: “The platform that we’ve built is very enterprise-focused, so it is agnostic to use case. It’s really about helping employees produce pretty much any type of business document or content that they need to have, allow them to start from any application where they work. It might be Office or Google but it could also be Salesforce or teams or slack. Others are very vertically focused against particular use cases for example around sales. We are horizontally focused and helping out on a series of use cases across large enterprises.”

Mir Arif, Managing Partner at Blue Cloud Ventures said: “Templafy is solving an all-too-common, yet frequently overlooked problem for organizations: disconnected content. While the term may be new, the problem itself is not. When company content isn’t integrated into the applications where employees work, organizations experience disconnected content which can cause several damaging issues including loss of compliance, a drag on efficiency, and ultimately a negative impact on business performance. The ambition to solve disconnected content for all enterprises combined with a ripe market, an operationally strong team, and a powerful, user-friendly platform makes Templafy an exemplary partner.”

Templafy’s Series C round of $25 million was 14 months ago.

BYJU’S Becomes Second Highest-Valued Indian Startup
  • The Series F round was led by MC Global Edtech Investment, with participation from B Capital and others
  • Collectively, all the investors have collectively acquired a 3.53% stake in the company in this round
  • Media reports suggest that BYJU’S will raise about $700 Mn in this round, reaching the valuation of $15 Bn

Bengaluru-based edtech giant BYJU’S has now become the second highest-valued Indian startup, trailing only digital payments giant Paytm, after raising INR 3,328 Cr (about $460 Mn) as a part of its ongoing Series F funding round.

The funding round, which valued BYJU’S at a whopping $13 Bn, was led by MC Global Edtech Investment Holdings with participation from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and others. Tiga Investments, TCDS India LP, Arison Holdings, XN Exponent Holdings, Baron Emerging Market Fund, and Baron Global Advantage Fund also participated in the round, together with picking up a 1.21% stake in the company.

According to the ministry of corporate affairs filings, BYJU’S has approved the allotment of 1,40,233 Series F compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) at a face value of INR 10 and a premium of INR 2,37,326 per share. Lead investor MC Flobal has invested INR 1,628 Cr (about $225 Mn) for a 1.73% stake in the company. B Capital participated in the round through two entities, infusing about INR 561 Cr (about $77 Mn) in exchange for a 0.59% stake in the company. The round was first reported by Entrackr.

Read Tiger Global invests $200 Million in BYJU’s in Jan 2020

The development comes a week after reports emerged about BYJU’S looking to raise another $600 Mn to $700 Mn from new and existing investors, at a valuation of $15 Bn. Reports added that the company is in talks with the investors and the round could grow even further than the stated amount as the talks continue.

BYJU’S doubled its valuation last year, from $6 Bn to $12 Bn in less than 12 months, which included multiple acquisitions. The latest round represents a 2.1X or 116% increase in the company’s valuation from $6 Bn at the end of 2019 to around $13 Bn now. In case, the company manages to hit a $15 Bn valuation, it would represent a 150% increase.

Besides being the highest valued edtech startup in the world, BYJU’S also has a sizeable number of users. The company had added 25 Mn new students to its platform between March 2020 to November 2020, growing its user base to 75 Mn students, including 4.2 Mn annual paid subscribers.

The company has also been relying on impactful and big acquisitions to get a deeper control of the edtech market in India. Last August, it had acquired coding for kids startup WhiteHat Jr in August 2020 for $300 Mn. This year, the company is said to be in the advanced stages of talks to acquire Mumbai-based K12 rival Toppr and test prep giant Aakash Educational Services, which has over 200 physical coaching centers for engineering and medical entrance test prep.

The acquisition of Aakash would be the biggest acquisition in the Indian edtech space and would help BYJU’S make a mark even on the traditional and offline education ecosystem.

How to run your business more productive

In this blog, we going to see the top 5 tips to run your business more productive.

When it comes to success, productivity is the name of the game for many business owners. After all, when the business is organized and your employees are satisfied, it’s easy to keep up with the tasks.

Will you want to improve your productivity? We’ve put together a list of five tips to run your business more productive to help you in achieving your goals. Trust us: the business will be smooth sailing with a few rapid changes and some fine-tuning.

Let’s see the top 5 tips to run your business more productive.

#1: Delegate Tasks

Delegate tasks are one of the key tips to run your business more productive. We know that it’s tempting to do it all by yourself. However, no matter how productive you are or how hard you work, you will never be able to complete all of your tasks. Delegating tasks to the employees is part of running a successful business. Assess the workload to see if you can better delegate responsibilities. There’s no need for you to do it alone!

Delegating not only eases the workload but also encourages a sense of teamwork in the workplace. Employees would feel included and respected at work if you encourage them to take on responsibilities. It’s a win-win situation for everybody!

Read Top 5 Task Management Tools Of 2021

#2: Focus on One Task at a Time

Multitasking has become an expectation in today’s world of busy workdays and instant access to information (especially when your employees are working from home). You may believe you can research products, respond to emails, and take phone calls all at the same time, but trust us you’ll be much more productive if you focus on one task at a time.

If you focus your attention on the task at hand, you are much more likely to complete each project. Instead of having several half-finished projects all up in the air, you can review your to-do list and move on to the next task.

#3: Integrate Software Tools

If you haven’t already upgraded your business software, integrating new tools would significantly improve the productivity of your business. This is one of the important tips to run your business more productive.

Here are several great ways to integrate technology into your business:

  • Accounting Tools – Instead of hiring an accountant or keeping track of paperwork stacks, update your business with an accounting tool. Accounting Practice Management Software streamlines the results, so it’s all in one place. Plus, you can view all of your information at once to get a complete picture of your finances.
  • Social Media Management – Consolidate your social media accounts into an easy-to-use dashboard. Schedule the posts, see the interaction and respond to the comments, all without missing a beat.
  • Project Management Software Project management software improves the team’s productivity by enabling you to easily delegate tasks, outline projects, and schedule deadlines.

Also, read 3 Must-Have Project Management Tools for Startups

#4: Automate

When you integrate software tools into your business, you will have the potential to automate more tasks. This means less time spent keeping track of small information and more time focused on your goals. When you automate monthly to-dos including payments and invoices, you’ll streamline your finances and avoid hours of tapping through pay stubs.

Also, automate your digital marketing for increased customer engagement with clients. Schedule email alerts or news updates for best times without the need to set a million reminders for yourself. Your clients will engage with your brand in this way, and you won’t need to think about handling emails.

#5: Communicate With Your Team

Not surprisingly, clear communication between team members is a key element of any efficient business. It’s easy to get things done when everyone’s on the same page!

  • Talk Over Video Chat – Whenever possible, have a face-to-face meeting to clarify your responsibilities. We know that face-to-face meetings are challenging these days, so use video chat to update team members about your expectations.
  • Keep Meetings Frequent and Brief – It’s a good practice to check in with your team. However, long, aimless meetings are not conducive to productivity. Instead, give priority to the points you discuss at each meeting and try to hold meetings for less than ten minutes.

You may read 15 Productivity Tools for Your Remote Team

Create a Team-Oriented Environment

No matter how you approach increasing your business’s productivity, one thing is certain—a strong relationship with your employees is vital when it comes to running a tight ship. When you communicate your needs, delegate tasks, and integrate new software, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!

Project manager at office

In this article, we going to see the 5 important Project Management Skills for every Project Manager must-have.

With the sudden change to remote work forced as a result of the outbreak of COVID19, the need for effective project management has increased significantly. This has increased the responsibilities a project manager usually handles.

Handling a remote team and coordinating multiple projects becomes challenging when the project manager has to work on specific deadlines. To achieve all this and ensure quality results, the project manager must have certain project management skills.

Here are five important project management skills a project manager must have:

1. Time Management Skills:

Time management skills are a must for any project manager to effectively handle multiple projects without delaying them. Effective project managers use project management tools to manage tasks well and deliver projects on time.

The best project management software comes with in-built time tracking tools to help managers understand exactly how much time a certain task takes. This helps to create a clear timeline for team members to achieve the project goals within a given timeframe.

Read Project Management Challenges And Ways To Overcome Them

2. Organizational Skills:

A project manager needs to be able to perform multitasking effectively without confusion within the team. This needs strong organizational skills to prioritize tasks. Keeping all aspects of a project organized means designating tasks and documenting processes for future reference.

Organizing the workflow for best results is crucial to ensuring the processes run smoothly. Without organizational skills, the team will not be able to prepare and deliver work successfully. They may also find it difficult to face any unexpected challenges.

3. Leadership Skills:

Project managers assign tasks to a team that is working towards a common goal. To lead and motivate a team, a project manager must show strong leadership skills. They are vital to ensuring that everyone is motivated and performs to the best of their abilities.

Leadership skills come with the responsibility of setting goals for every team member and ensuring that they are accomplished faithfully. This makes it essential for a manager to walk the talk and not just dictate. While leadership skills come with experience, project managers must keep giving their sincere effort towards learning it.

4. Interpersonal Skills:

Often known as social skills, interpersonal skills allow managers to communicate with their team members and develop strong working relationships. These skills test the manager’s ability to deal with a social environment through verbal and non-verbal elements.

Interpersonal skills are essential for a project manager to build a healthy working atmosphere. They require personal interaction as each team member is different from the other. These skills also help to promote collaboration among team members leading to a united workforce.

Also, read 8 Steps To Improve Project Collaboration Between Teams

5. Risk Management Skills:

Having risk management skills means being able to foresee, analyze, and mitigate the effects of a risk that could adversely affect an organization’s financial situation or reputation. A manager must possess risk management skills to combat all possible risks that their team could face during a project.

Having risk management skills means being able to predict, analyze, and reduce the probability of a risk that may adversely impact the financial condition or reputation of an organization. A manager must have risk management to combat all possible risks that the team will face during the project.

Conclusion:

Conflicts in a team are inevitable. Apart from all the skills mentioned above, the project manager must also have conflict management skills to ensure that remote team members work together and deliver quality work. It ensures that the project is performed from beginning to end with more efficiency.

Common challenges of Project Management

In this blog, we going to see the 10 most common Project Management Challenges faced by every Project Manager and the ways to Overcome them.

A Harvard Business Review study found that almost 70% of IT projects face delays in completion. One of every six projects costs more than 200% of the planned amount.

As a project manager, you must manage and balance various project elements—time, scope, money, and people. In other words, project management is not a cakewalk. You need to ensure good communication while also anticipating potential risks, among other things.

To assist, here’s a list of the 10 most common Project Mangement challenges faced by every project manager and how you can overcome them.  

Most Common Project Management Challenges

Challenge #1: Keeping Teams on One System 

One of the major project management challenges for every project manager is to ensure that all team members remain aligned. Moreover, with the increasing remote working culture, it has become more difficult than ever.

To run smoothly, the project manager needs to know how every individual is working on and what they need to remove the possibility of duplication of work.

How to deal with it?

It’s essential to keep your whole team on the same page. You can do this by bringing all the project communication to a single platform.

There are many project management tools, such as Restyaboard, Trello, and Asana, that allow managers to assign and schedule tasks to every employee. Project managers should have a clear view of the calendar and stay at the top of the schedule.

Challenge #2: Lack of Clear Goals 

A study showed that 30% of projects failed due to a lack of well-defined project goals and objectives.

Clarity is one of the main criteria for the successful completion of the project. Without clearly defined goals, project managers and other team members may not know exactly what to expect from the project.

How to deal with it?

The best approach is to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Practical, and Time-bound. The project manager has to come up with a way to measure the success of the project by setting various goals.

Challenge #3: Inadequate Team Skills 

In simple terms, the success of the completion of the project depends very much on individual ability levels. You can create an ideal working atmosphere for your team members. But if they are not qualified enough to perform assigned tasks, the development of the project will be put at risk.

Most frequently, tasks are assigned based on availability and not based on their expertise. This is a huge project management challenge that can be overcome with experience.

How to deal with it?

For the first time, the professional project manager decides the core set of skills required to fulfill the workload. They would then assess the strengths and limitations of the available workforce. This allows them to decide whether they need additional staff or need the training to develop their skills.

Read 3 Must-Have Project Management Tools for Startups

Challenge #4: Team Work Challenges 

To effectively manage teamwork, equal participation from each participant is required. However the team is made up of various personalities, and meeting the needs of each individual can be a challenge for the project manager.

With so many individuals participating in the project, certain differences are bound to occur. It will have a negative impact if it is not properly treated.

How to deal with it? 

As a project manager, you need to find ways to help your members communicate. For example, you can schedule a happy hour meeting every week for the sole purpose of encouraging members to get to know each other.

This would help to minimize any issues or negative consequences between them, encourages a healthy workplace environment. Building trust among team members can go a long way.

Challenge #5: Unrealistic Deadlines

In this world of heated competition, clients and stakeholders are also seen to be setting unrealistic goals on the part of their employees. As a result, most project deadlines fail due to an unrealistic schedule set for completion of the project.

A well-disciplined project manager would know the strengths of the project team. They should discuss the project schedule accordingly so that the quality of the work is not affected.

How to deal with it?

The best approach is to take input from all stakeholders and to collectively decide on a deadline. This project management challenge can be solved with careful planning and alternative analysis. 

Challenge #6: Resource Deprivation

Another reason for a backlog of projects is the shortage of resources in general. It could be about money, resources, or even time. Most project managers consider financial problems to be one of the main hurdles to the completion of the project.

Management must have adequate resources to run the project effectively.

How to deal with it?

A proper planning procedure must be followed by the project manager. Avoid making any unrealistic assumptions to avoid overruns of costs and aim for better results.

Challenge #7: Risk Management

Projects rarely go as they were expected. One of the essential aspects of project management is foresight in detecting potential risks. Risk management is one of the most common challenges faced by managers in handling projects.

These risks could be in the form of hidden defects in the project plan or fluctuating market demands. But these unknown factors will have an impact on the success of the project.

How to deal with it?

It is difficult to predict every potential risk, but with strategic planning, the risk can be minimized. Also, it is the responsibility of the project manager to formulate new strategies if the projects begin to spiral out of control.

Many risk management solutions collect and evaluate both past and current market data to help detect and mitigate risk.

Looking for Project Management Software? Check out the Top 10 Project Management Tools in 2020 

Challenge #8: Project Quality Management

Project managers are also often seen struggling to maintain the quality of the project established. They have a hard time keeping track of the success of every team member and ensuring that they comply with quality standards.

How to deal with it?

Luckily, there are many quality management tools available on the market. The trick, however, is to choose the right technology for your project team. Well-designed quality management software ensures that you are completely aware of all your tasks. It also sends out immediate warnings in case the quality of the work drops from the pre-defined level.

Challenge #9: Lack of Communication

Often lack of communication, or miscommunication, may get in the way of delivering projects on time. If you are giving instructions or finding information, there is always a challenge to maintain open and clear communication.

Good communication is key to a successful project. Deloitte found that 32 percent of professionals described communication as the most important issue in project management.

How to deal with it?

To prevent any problems or delays caused by miscommunication, the project manager must create a clear communication line. They can rely on a collaborative platform to ensure that all information is communicated to all involved, without misunderstanding. 

Challenge #10: Lack of Accountability

Accountability is very essential, but there are just a few teams. When team members feel accountable and try to take responsibility for the tasks assigned to them the project team will perform well as a whole.

How to deal with it?

This challenge of project management can be easily overcome by clearly identifying the roles and responsibilities of each individual. Once the tasks have been identified, it will be easy to trace the accountability of the completed task.

Conclusion

Project management is much more than just the goal of completing the project on time. It is a skill that needs patience and perseverance. Effective project management skills can be acquired with experience and appropriate training to help evaluate and improve one’s skills.

Primer, the fintech helping merchants consolidate the payments stack, raises £14M Series A and The round was led by Accel, who I understand was very aggressive in persuading Primer to take the money from the VC firms.

Gabs and Paul, Co-founders @ Primer

Primer, the UK Fintech that wants to help merchants simplify their payments stack and easily support new payment methods in the future, has raised £14 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Accel, who I understand was very aggressive in persuading Primer to take the money from the VC firms.

The young company wasn’t aggressively fund-raising, having quietly raised 3.8 million pounds of funding announced in May. Instead, the team set out to build up the product and woo potential buyers by hosting technical workshops and in-depth Zoom interviews with 100 merchants—an activity that didn’t go unnoticed.

Existing investors are also participating in Series A: Balderton, SpeedInvest, and Seedcamp, who was joined in the round by the new backer RTP Global. Sonali De Rycker, partner at Accel, will join the board of Primer.

Founded by former PayPal employees – via the acquisition of Braintree by PayPal – Primer wants to offer one payment API to hopefully) rule them all with the clear aim of bringing greater transparency to the merchant’s payment stack.

The view is that larger merchants, particularly those operating in more than one geography, need to support a variety of payment methods that carry significant technical overheads, poor user interface, and lack of transparency.

Primer, now described as a “low-code” platform, carries out a lot of this heavy-lifting on behalf of merchants while remaining steadfastly payment method agnostic. By doing so the idea is to minimize friction by introducing new payment methods as they come onto the market and to be able to provide more visibility into things like how well each checkout option is performing.

As well as payment service providers (PSPs), the platform has connectors for fraud providers, charging systems, subscription billing engines, BI tools, loyalty, and reward platforms. Both payments and non-payment services can be “seamlessly connected to checkout experience and payments flow via workflows, enabling merchants to unify their fraud migration activities, create sophisticated transaction routing, and solve complex flows – all without a code” says Primer.

Primer says that additional funding will be used for the growth of international business and the expansion of its team. Billed as a remote-first company, Primer has 23 employees across six countries and says that it has already gained traction across mid-market and large e-commerce enterprise merchants across Europe.

You may read: Fundraising, productivity critical this year for co-working startups

Comments Paul Anthony, Primer’s co-founder and Head of Product and Engineering: “During our time at PayPal, we saw first-hand the technical burden that online merchants face in trying to provide the best payment experience to their customers worldwide. Our low-code approach enables merchant payment teams to control and extend their payment ecosystems and maintain a sophisticated payment logic with a familiar UI workflow.”

In the meantime, the new investment takes Primer’s total funding to £17.8 million and comes just a few weeks after the initial launch of the company’s platform.

Small business technology

To produce better results, the use of technology in your small business will do wonders.

You can get good returns at minimal cost and small-maintenance with smart use.

Controlled technology implementation is the right step forward. Here, we cover five must-have cost-effective technologies for SMBs:

1.Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps SMBs attract new clients, increase sales, and assist in marketing. You can make use of features such as customer service, data analysis, database management, etc., all under one roof.

You get an organized interface that means you know about business procedures, financial projections, customer demographics, and more. Advanced CRM software also comes with an integrated attendance management system that lets you keep track of your staff’s regularity. You can receive sales reports, create team performance charts along with business suggestions that can help you scale your business.

2.Contactless Payment 

Convenient payment options are always a benefit. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the concept of payment convenience. You need to establish social distances at all times. This forced tech vendors to optimize contactless payment options.

Contactless payment is robust, secure, and simple for users to access these applications. Payment wallets, bank-to-bank transfer apps, etc., offer valuable merchant collaborations. Provide trouble-free payment services to your consumer-base and experience the magic of seamless transactions.

Read 10 Tools to start a Small Business

3.Chatbots 

The implementation of chatbots is a perfect example of the proper use of technology in business. An AI-driven chatbot is a software program that is compatible with websites and mobile applications. It supports users during their on-page time and resolves queries instantly.

You can also collect contact details from the visitor and integrate the chatbot with your CRM to conduct an in-depth analysis of the results. It also opens the doors to email marketing campaigns and other strategies that involve direct communication.

Chatbots run 24×7, making it a must-have technology for small business owners. They are effective because they manage most of the queries without human interference.

4.Data Security 

Digital breaches can cause severe trouble for business owners. So, include an up-to-date server and data security tool to safeguard your other business assets. End-to-end encryption programs, robust firewalls, cybersecurity solutions, etc., comprise worthy data security for small businesses.

Digital breaches can cause severe problems for business owners. Include an up-to-date server and data security tool to safeguard the other business assets. End-to-end encryption programs, robust firewalls, cybersecurity solutions, etc., provide valuable data security for small businesses.

5.Team Collaboration and Management

Miscommunication between team members can occur during the execution of the project. But SMBs can use team collaboration tools to fix this problem. You can manage attendance, share a list of daily activities, and evaluate your daily performance.

Work-from-home has been the norm of 2020 because of the constraints imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19. It’s tedious to monitor the whole team over phone calls and messages. Using the office management software to track daily progress, while also providing valuable feedback on work in the same application.

Conclusion

The needs of small business technology are cost-effective and efficient. You don’t have to go crazy with technical solutions by investing huge amounts of money. Instead, spend more time in analysis and customize the best resources of your business without compromising your budget. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has increased the use of contactless payment options and team collaboration tools. Cybersecurity and CRM software remain vital to secure and well-organized business functioning.

What technologies do you use to make your business work more efficiently? Let us know in the comments section.