VAT in the UAE in a nutshell

Well, it's already less than 4 month to go until the VAT to get introduced across the Emirates. So, is it good or bad? The official website of Ministry of Finance answers that question and says that it helps the government to provide high-quality public service and reduce dependency on fossil fuels in the future. Therefore, the new taxation policy will be in place starting on January 1, 2018, and the UAE is not alone on this road. By the end of 2018, VAT will have been introduced to all six countries of the GCC.

Ok, what is this VAT (Value Added Tax) and what is the hype about? Why should you care at all? Let me explain what it is in a nut shell and try to fill you in on the subject.

First of all, it's a revenue stream for governments so they can continue to provide public services and get healthy government budget. Extra $3 billion dollars a year wouldn't hurt after all and can cover a certain part of country's expenses, right?

Secondly, those oil reserves under the sand and the sea are not endless and the prices are plummeting. So, it's better for GCC countries to diversify revenues and after tourism, VAT is the first thing on the agenda.

Starting from 2018, if you happen to be in one of the six GCC countries, expect to pay extra % on the shelf-price of the product or service. In UAE it's 5%. That is to say if you see a computer for Dh2000, you will pay Dh2100 and those extra Dh100 goes to government pocket and companies have to report it.

For businesses, if your company's annual revenue is over Dh3.75 million, you have to be registered under the GCC VAT system. You can obtain more information about it on MoF website. What if your revenue is between Dh1.87 million and Dh3.75 million? Then you will have an option to register for VAT. Eventually, all the companies will be registered regardless of their revenues.

It’s better to get prepared for the changes beforehand and you must have a robust, precise accouting solution. Think no other than kpi.com as it’s one of the pioneers of cloud accounting in the GCC.

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KPI.com upgrades for March 2017

Dear KPI.com users,

We are so excited to announce that our latest system upgrade has been done successfully and we have loads of  news for you. Enhancements were made in all Sections of the System : CRM, Project Management, HRMS, Accounting and Finance. We did our best to improve the overall performance of the system relying on our customers' feedbacks and requests. We would like to thank customers for their recommendations and kind patience. Here at KPI.com we will always try to provide the best service, as our customers matter the most!

Let's take a quick look at all the new awesome features that have recently been added:

CRM:


Convert e-mail to lead. Chasing after potential clients has become even easier now. All you have to do is convert an e-mail to Lead and here it is -  your next happy customer



2. Project Management:

Show Estimated hours for the completed projects.  Completing projects does not mean that it is not estimated anymore. Every single hour spent by your employees on projetcs, including completed ones, will be displayed on Resource utilization board. So, keep on working on more challenging and exciting projects and do not worry on estimates. We got them all!

3. HRMS:

Add Payment/Deduction categories to employee Import.  Importing employees has reached the next level now - we have added Payment/Deduction category table which allows you to import and keep more advanced data on employees.

 



Attendance Report Beta. One more useful report for Human resources staff. You can find it in HRMS → Attendance tracking → Attendance report.



 

Customize Self-service and HR dashboards and hide unnecassary fields. Now employees have a chance to decide which widgets and fields should appear on their HR and Self service dashboards.



 

4. Accounting and Finance:

Journal ID added to Account transactions. Managing your Journal Reports will be much easier using our new functionality - you can search and view a certain Journal entry by its Journal ID using date period specifications. Moreover, you can export this entry to PDF and Excel sheets. Thumbs up for that!



Overall Discount. Now you have an option to choose Overall discount for products/services while creating Sales invoices, Sales Quotes, Sales Orders, Purchase Invoices, Recurring invoices and Recurring bills.



Default warehouse. 



Stock Valuation » Beginning and Ending balances are added



These were our latest enhancements which we hope you will find useful. If you have any questions regarding the changes and updates, please contact kpi.com Customer Support Team:

E-mail: support@kpi.com

Skype: kpi.com

Phone: (UK) +44 (0) 207 096 1245

(US) +1 646 844 33 30

(UAE) +971 4 424 3033

 

All the best!

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22 Successful Women Entrepreneurs from Middle East share their Best Time Management and Productivity tips

22 Successful Women Entrepreneurs from Middle East Share Their Best Time Management and Productivity Tips
It’s not a secret to anybody that women entrepreneurs in Middle East are one of the strongest and powerful ones, as they tend to manage their social life, family and their business. All of them, together, at once.

Although the share of women entrepreneurs comparing to men might be lower in Middle East countries, we’ve seen that there has been a huge increase in women taking up the private sector in recent years. Due to the accessibility of all information available via social media and the Internet, there has been a steady growth in the number of women leading the tech-business and startup fields.

Women entrepreneurs in Middle East and North African countries should definitely know how to manage their time and be productive.

That is why we decided to interview 22 women entrepreneurs around UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Turkey to let us in their time management secrets.

We were interested in two questions:

What does the typical day of women entrepreneurs in Middle East look like?
What is the best time management and productivity strategy that every entrepreneur should follow?

We received variety of interesting answers. We learnt from these women that passion and doing what you love is a key to success.

We have to warn you though! Lots of the answers in this article are truly inspiring and actionable! 

So without further introduction let’s dig deep into what experts need to say:

 Esra'a Al Shafei is an influential civil rights activist, blogger and the founder and executive director of Middle-East Youth and number of civil rights projects including CrowdVoice.org. Mrs. Esra'a is from Bahrain. She is a senior TED fellow and according to a FastCompany she is one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business". She is also in the list of 17 bravest bloggers worldwide according to the Daily Beast.  Esra'a Al-Shafei received Berkman Award for Internet Innovation from Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School in 2008. Learn more about Esra'a Al Shafei

1.  What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My typical day usually starts on a flight. I'm constantly traveling, and it never gets less hectic. I'm lucky that I get to do my work remotely, so if I'm home in Bahrain, my day would start checking in with our teams who work across different time-zones (anywhere from Mexico to India.)

Then I'd dive into a meeting with our developers or project managers to outline our week and responsibilities.
In the afternoon, I do my best to take a much deserved break, working out (lifting a 3kg ball is definitely working out) and visiting family.

My day ends with me planning the next day, or checking in for my next flight.

2. Productivity tips from Esra'a al Shafei:

I think reasonable daily to-do lists are crucial to any healthy work ethic. Give yourself a hard stop instead of pushing the limits of your mind and body.

When you can't cram in a speaking engagement halfway around the world, don't do it regardless of the potential opportunities. More will come your way, when you're more ready and engaged.

Never feel guilty for putting your health first. I wish someone told me this in my younger years.

Sahar El-Arishy is the founder of 18.213- an exceptional marketing and event management service that focuses on making your brand unique with creative storytelling and Popup Venues in Cairo, Egypt.  Her startup specializes in the following services: brand storytelling, event planning and management,venue rental, social media marketing and networking. She also has founded a Communications Boutique a brand  that provides innovative image building and corporate communications campaigns for companies that need powerful digital and offline market presence. Mrs. Sahar supports young entrepreneurs in Egypt by providing them huge discounts for her services. Learn more about Sahar El-Arishy  

1.  What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

To choose to be an effective Solo-entrepreneur that juggles between both work and family, you have to build a time management system that allows you to not only achieve your goals but more importantly keep your physical and mental well being balanced.

My day starts with a 15 minute meditation and breathing exercise that helps me center and infuse my mind and body with positive energy and my intentions for the day. It gives me focus.

I then spend 10 minutes journaling and doing a brain dump of all the ideas that I want to explore throughout the week.

I then take a walk around the track for one hour and end my routine with getting on a swing in a playground and going as high as I can.  It helps me to articulate my affirmations for what I want to achieve. I highly recommend to do this for everyone.

Breakfast is crucial to keep my energy in sync so I make sure to have a nutrition-intense meal and then my day at the office can take off.

Before addressing any work, clients, emails I start by watching or reading the stories and insights of inspirational thought leaders so I start my day by learning something new.

I then proceed to deal with my clients and work load. I divide my work systematically to make sure all my deadlines are met and the output of my work is of an impeccable standard of excellence. I love LISTS and to check off all that has been completed.

After working for at least 7 hours I then go home to cook and do any errands that are family related. I share a meal with my family and then if I still have work that is not finalized I go back to the office for 2 -3 hours. I end my day by reading a good book and writing in my gratitude journal with 3 things I was grateful for in my day.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Sahar El Arishy: 

Be FOCUSED and CLEAR  on your short term goals for the day
REMOVE any distractions that could hamper your focus .. namely your PHONE and SURFING on Social Media platforms.
Do what you LOVE and what makes your heart sing because that is the only way you will do your best work.
SURROUND yourself with people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself and what you do.
When you get STUCK... go out in nature .. take a walk... sit in a beautiful space and recharge.
CONNECT with a mentor someone that is passionate and has relevant knowledge that can help you take your business to another level.
Be MINDFUL and PRESENT with each new day and learn from your mistakes if something isn't working just look into why it isn't and PIVOT quickly don't procrastinate and self-doubt and LOSE the momentum.
ALWAYS have an open mind and be RESOURCEFUL in finding and exploring new possibilities for how to do things.  The internet is a school for the best entrepreneurial stories from across the world that you can learn not only from their successes but their failures which are the most important learning lessons for any young entrepreneur.

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Narise Kamber is an entrepreneur and business owner of Saffaron and Jena Café Bahrain. She's also a director and a cofounder of Women Professional Network. The story of Narise Kamber is really inspirational. She has grown her food restaurant and Cafe to four location in just one year. Her outlets are very popular and she has started a trend by serving Bahraini food at local eateries.  The story of Narise Kamber has been featured in a number of magazines including  wamda.com, gulfweekly.com, perle-magazine.com, Gulf Daily News and etc... Narise is passionate about cooking and creating new dishes. She supports women entrepreneurs in Bahrain by sharing motivational secrets in business in Women's Business Events. Learn more about Narise Kamber

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My typical day is waking up with the children. I have four kids, 3 boys and one girl aged 8,12,15,17. We have a small breakfast together, then I drop them to school and then I head to work. I have an office in Manama where I have one of my branches of Saffron by Jena cafe. This is where I spend the majority of my work week.

As soon as I reach the office and in order not to feel I flustered or overwhelmed with the work load, I devise an hour by hour to do list.  It includes everything I need to typically do in a day's work where I address the most important matters first and then create an action plan where I make sure that myself and my team follow up on all things discussed that day.

The list also includes organizational tips for the office and kitchen. You can't be creative if you are not organized and there is always a time to have a short break to breathe. I have a small bite with an espresso while watching a little Downton Abbey because it's important to refresh the mind.

Also I make sure I visit each one of my branches and address the main issues with the branch's supervisor to ensure a tight service operation. At the moment, I have three Saffron by Jena cafes, each is located in a traditional heritage area in Bahrain.  I also have a bakery/ patisserie (Jena Bakery) in Hamala area.

I leave work by 2.15 pm which gives me enough time to pick my kids from school which leads to my favorite part of the day and that is when the whole family sits together for lunch.

Sometimes it's not possible that we all gather in the same time, as my husband has different work commitments and meetings, and the kids have random activity days. Nonetheless, we have a rule at home, if you are there at lunch time, you have to sit at the dining table with the others for lunch - even if you don't feel like eating.

Then I allow the kids to have a one hour break to play with their toys, iPads ,to watch TV, to rest, to read . Then it's homework time. I try to make this time very concise because I believe that the kids' afternoon - all kids not only mine, should not be wasted doing school work.

They already spend 7 hours a day learning new things academically, so the rest of the day should be about playing and pursuing hobbies, etc. While the kids are busy with their hobbies, I usually rest in my room and watch a documentary or read while having a small cup of Turkish coffee with a piece of chocolate.

I have a small decorative desk in my room that I like to use for different things ,enhancing my language skills (I love studying French and Spanish), making vision boards, exploring new ideas for my business, planning my next trip.... It's my small space to dream , to improve myself, to pursue even more goals.

Just before dinner time my husband comes home and we spend some time reconnecting by asking about each other's day and what new exciting things we have discovered or think of alternative ways to solve work issues etc . Then I make sure that the kids' bags are set for the next day, that they ate dinner, showered and washed before wearing their pajamas and then a bedtime story for the little one, and finally it's lights out for all kids.

Later in the evening, I either decide to eat in with my husband or go out to a friend's house for some tea. When I return home I prepare the next day's clothes ,organize my handbag and make sure I keep money change for myself and the kids for the next day.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Narise Kamber: 

1. Organization. It's impossible for anyone to be creative or successful without being organized. That means that, you should really sit with yourself for one hour and make a list, make mechanisms for how to conduct your day/week/month. My best find is a diary. I have old fashioned paper notebook diary in which I can see my full week, my full month and year.

2.Be ready for challenges and unexpected stuff. Work on yourself. Take courses. Have a fantastic life coach. We are all humans. We all have weaknesses. We have to constantly work on our weakness. Because as humans we always need to be growing.

It's a proven fact that humans grow only in times when they experience discomfort and pain. There has been some tough episodes in my life concerning work. Only because of those tough episodes I became stronger, I grew. You need to have inner strength to meet those challenges. And motivation not to give up.

3.Never think of giving up. It's so easy for someone to feel defeated and want to do something else. And this is the most important advise I can ever give - never give up. No matter how much you feel inside that you are broken. Wonderful things happen exactly at the same time when the night is at it's darkest. When you feel like there's no light. When you feel like "I'm a failure", I can't do this. That's when miracles happen.

As entrepreneurs we shouldn't ever think of giving up. We should keep on fighting. For a very long time, I used to doubt myself. I used to think maybe I am not in the right field. Maybe I should be sitting at home. Maybe I should be doing something else.

I have to say only after a very long time of working on myself I achieved the success. Instead of complaining on weaknesses, work on them. Take courses. Learn what you don't know.

I made it a daily mission to learn something new. To tackle the thing that's scaring me the most. If I was scared to talk in front of people, I would ask myself "Why are you scared to talk in front of people?" And I would take courses to improve that skill.

Constantly learn what you are afraid of and then do it! Your weaknesses should not be an excuse for not doing it.

Gulsum Ciraci directed the Turkey’s first entrepreneurship project with World Bank in 2002. Those years, there was no ecosystem in Turkey and has never been documentary about entrepreneurship. Under these conditions, she has carried out entrepreneurship projects in 3 different regions of Turkey. In 2012, Gulsum established Istanbul Startup Angels that is one of the first turkey angel investors network. Gulsum brought Europe's best acceleration program Startupbootcamp to Turkey. Thus Startupbootcamp has been in the MENA region for the first time and she managed to complete the foundation work in 6 months. Gulsum was the first female executive and founder in all Startupbootcamps. In 2016, ISA started to invest in seed stage startups by initiating Vertical Acceleration programs, first being the IOT-Telco Labs. Within the scope of this program, Gulsum and her team have graduated by investing 6 seeds. They decided to open the second of the program and invest in about 10 IOT Telco entrepreneurs this year. Most exciting news about ISA is the Turkey’s the second best angel investor network according to Webrazzi readers. Istanbul Startup Angels invested in 13 startup project and became as the most active angel investor network in 2016.Learn more about Gulsum Ciraci

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

I have been starting my day with a typical breathing exercises for 3 years. Its helpful for having an open mind and making my day better. During the day, I have a meeting with entrepreneurs and business partners. When the day is over, it is time is for emailing and doing some calm works. I'm trying to do Pilates at least 3 times a week. Work and normal life needs to be separated. I think there will be a balance if you follow the simple rules.

I prefer not to work at weekends unless very very urgent and important things come out. I book weekends for myself and for my child. I have a book at which I'm working on. Sometimes, I work on the book in weekends.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Gulsum Giraci:

Time management is so important. Especially entrepreneurs need to be multitasking because, they have to become up-to-date and handle more than one task at the same time.

Investment negotiations, operations, management, business development, etc. These jobs have to be synchronized, not sequentially. For these reasons, they should be able to follow a few things at the same time.

The recommendation in this regard is to prioritize deadlines for each job. Setting a specific deadlines will help them to create a work discipline.

If little tips are given, quick mail responses decrease the business accumulation or making phone conversations while on the road is saving time.

Decisions taken after each meeting need to be made quickly and dedicated. High number of urgent tasks lead to time management difficulties. It is a productive way to do jobs that want to focus on the most calm day of the day (evening or early morning). This situation brings  a motto the more you work, the more you earn although entrepreneurship is the most difficult part of time management.

Eida Al Muhairbi is an Emirati entrepreneur and inventor who has 100 international inventions under her name. Out of those 100 inventions, 46 are recognized within the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Eida currently works in Zakum Development Company (ZADCO) in Abu Dhabi as an operations financial manager. She is a winner of the 'Shaikha Shamsa bint Suhail Award for Creative Women'. Eida is an inventor of multi-purpose drone and the 'universal car cover' - accordion car cover, which received a Chinese patent in 2012. She also invented 3D phone, a semi-inflatable tyre, a washing machine with separate chambers for cleaning different colour and type clothes at one time, and a disk-operated iron and much more. Learn more about Eida Al Muhairbi

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My day looks like any other person's day.  I'm working in a company, doing my job in the way that I would be satisfied, and providing a helping hand to anyone who needs anything from me related to work or hand-able family needs.

Our teamwork together starts from putting thoughts, running after them until we finalize our project. When we set to work with all our efforts, we achieve the completion of our mission in a reasonable time-frame.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Eida Al Muhairbi:

My advice to the young entrepreneurs to manage their time and to be more productive:

* Focus on the target.
* Put your investment in the right place: time, money, strength, efforts and life
* Start the choice without emotion
* Patience is a key at the initial stage
* Do not stick to the first thing in your life it could be too advanced to your community
* Find out what is missing and how you can collaborate such that you can help your community.

Dunia Othman and her husband Ibrahim Holak are husband-wife business owners of mrUsta.com. It is a UAE startup that focuses on  linking skilful and reliable maintenance and repair workers individuals who need something to fix something in their home or office urgently. Dunia and her husband decided to launch this platform back in 2014. Currently, the platform contains more than 10000 various plumbers, maintenance workers and repairers. MrUsta.com generated about AED1 million revenue since the launch of the platform. The platform sees increase in customers, month by month. More and more people are trusting mrusta.com to find the quality service providers. Dunia Othman is passionate about marketing, business management and technology and her startup. Learn more about Dunia Othman

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

I am not a great morning person and I know that, so I aim to spend the least amount of time in the morning getting ready before getting to the office in order to sleep in. I am also a coffee addict so I would generally pick up a coffee and something to eat either on the way to the office or order it when I arrive.

I like to start the day going over how we did the day before. I admit I am a huge excel fan and I love tracking everything in order to pick up trends and get clear health checks so that tends to be the first thing I do in the morning. I also try to avoid scheduling meetings before 10am in order to be mentally prepared to discuss any topics.

Generally, as we are a start-up there is a lot of collaborative work within the team. Many discussions happen when they are scheduled or simply when certain things arise.

I try to run all my meetings (internal or external) before 2pm (before lunchtime) to give myself the afternoon to do of all other work I need, reply to emails, articles, presentations, working with my co-founders brainstorming features etc.

Most days I aim to leave the office by 6pm and try to pick up some easy ingredients to cook a quick meal. My husband is also my co-founder and the CEO of the company, so we live together, shop together and cook together. Which also means that we are very likely to discuss work as we are cooking or eating (as much as we try to avoid that).

Depending on when we manage to get home and have dinner we try to sometimes go for a walk. Or we go down to the gym and get in some form of exercise after a full day of sitting in the office.

After that I need to have some brain shut-off time before bed. Otherwise, I would be too wired up to sleep. So if there is an urgent work matter, I tend to it after dinner in order to get 1-2 hours or watching TV or reading the news etc.

Roughly:

8-9 - I wake up get ready for, drive to office.
9-10 - I review of yesterday’s traffic and usage
11-2 -  I go to a meetings (internal and external) checking marketing campaigns, discussing with staff if there are any issues etc.
2–2:30 - A quick lunch (mostly at desk!!)
2:30–5:30/6 - I catch up on emails, presentations, content, articles any work that needs my attention.
6-8 - Home and dinner
8–9 - A walk (or light exercise)
9-11 - A brain shut down and get ready for bed
(in some occasions the four of us co-founders would meet after 8 in order to discuss any major issues to mrUsta.com)

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Dunia Othman: 

One thing that I incorporated in my way of working, that has helped me a lot is to cut out double handling, whether its emails, documents, excels etc. You don’t realize how much time you waste. If you open an email to read reply, then and there. Don’t file it in your head and then come back to it again (and sometimes again and again).

If you don’t have the time to reply don’t read it. Same goes for documents, reports etc. Try to touch everything only once and get it out of the way. If need be remove notifications etc. to avoid getting the urge to check and read.

The other advice I will give is understand how you work, when are you most productive focusing on details? After the morning coffee? After lunch? At night when all is quiet? And when are you unable to go as deep in focus, do your emails your light concentration tasks then etc. Everyone works differently and has different styles so don’t try to copy someone else’s schedule it may not work for you.

Amira El-Sayed is a business coordinator, jewelry designer and an entrepreneur in Egypt. She is a founder of M.F.A Accessories that designs and builds custom jewelry items from polymer clay to copper sawing. She has a degree in marketing and business strategy. She worked as a marketing specialist and an events coordinator in the past. Amira is passionate about changing things to the better sides. She likes challenges and doing a research. She decided to turn her hobby into a small business in June 2009 and it turned out to be a great endeavor. Currently, M.F.A handmade accessories has more than hundred clients and she never feels tired of doing what she likes practicing her marketing and entrepreneurship knowledge. Learn more about Amira El-Sayed 

1.  What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

Currently, I am travelling to the United States to take my MBA degree in marketing. That puts up a challenge for me to run my own jewelry business in Egypt.

I would say that my typical day wouldn’t be the same as every day because I hate a routine.

I think it will be like studying, meeting new people from different cultures, searching for new techniques to improve my jewelry business. I also attend meetings in my University Student Entrepreneur Center to discuss and plan my new startup idea.

At the end of the day, I like cooking, listening to music, watching movies/TV series. I also plan several activities for weekends. They will be hiking or walking with my friends, going to the gym and finally attending different kinds of entertainment events.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Amira El-Sayed: 

I would advise young entrepreneurs to keep their passion alive. This is what keeps you willing to achieve your dreams.

Find out your prime time and complete your important tasks in it.
Find a place where your mind thinks best in. The place where all your bright ideas come to life.
Go to co-working spaces and attend different startup events in your country, mingle there with others who can add value to your way of thinking. This will help a lot in conducting your startup plan. Brainstorming is always a key.
Search the internet for challenges faced by other entrepreneurs. This will prevent you from falling for the same mistakes others made.
One shouldn’t forget about taking care of their body and soul. Doing new things like meditation, yoga, hiking, skydiving once and awhile will boost your memory and refresh your energy. It will kill the routine and make you more productive.For managing your time, I would recommend that one should set their goals first and prioritize them. That way you will have a clear view about what’s need to be done and when.


Different mobile apps help you manage your time and tasks (e.g. Any.do, excel sheets).
Use the S.M.A.R.T goals technique and update it every month.
Use your time on social media to search for competitors, new ideas and potential customers.
Practice yourself to focus on what you are doing without getting distracted by your phone. This will save time doing your task and make you more productive.

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Nesma Saad is an entrepreneur, real estate agent, wedding planner and much more. What is striking about Nesma is that, being only 22 years old girl in Egypt she manages to combine different types of businesses, at the same time of being active in social volunteering activities and causes. Nesma is an owner of "Live on Top Oikaa" eCommerce company which provides a platform for online shopping that contains exclusive range of products and services. Oikaa took a different route of marketing and distributing products by rewarding its customers with its points. Customers can redeem these points in the future from Oikaa products and services. Nesma actively blogs in Linkedin. Learn more about Nesma Saad

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

I'm only 22 year old, I have much time to do a lot of things at the same time and I love it.

I love exploring more and more that's why I liked to start my wedding planning career beside real estate. A new day for me means a new chance from Allah to reach to my dreams. Every morning I put a plan for current day and try hard to achieve 99% of it.

I don't like routine and traditional life. I love change and love doing this everyday even if it is a little one. My life is like a brisk. I have family, work, friends, shopping, food & drink, meeting new people, discovering more information, trying new things, failure & success, ... and so on.

Briefly, my typical day is very hectic with no room for a routine.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Nesma Saad: 

Young entrepreneurs have more time to learn today and lead tomorrow. Waste your time on learning and trying everything new. It's very good to grow early and to leave a beautiful legacy in people's lives.

Keep going towards your dreams. It's your real life. And always thank Allah for his blessings. Trust Allah and move ahead.

Reshmi Mukherjee is a writer, entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, soul traveller and much more. She is  Co-Founder, Entrepreneur & Creative Director at "The Buzz People" an advertising agency in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Buzz People, is a highly ambitious enterprise conceptualized out of creative and engineering minds looks to provide differentiated value to clients through its key products. Established in 2014, The Buzz People is a group of highly intellectual, motivated and smart-thinking entrepreneurs who want to revamp the consumer purchasing behavior from start to end. Moreover, Reshmi is a blogger and a frequent traveller. She writes about her experience in reshmimukherjee.com. Learn more about Reshmi Mukherjee  

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

The thing most people think about entrepreneurship is that, you can wake up whenever you want and work as per your own terms without worrying about a 9 to 5 format with check-ins, bosses et al. While that might be true till some extent, it is that much harder to stay disciplined and wake up early to start your day without "needing to do so".

My typical day starts off with a cup of coffee and scrolling through my emails. I like to respond to emails/ pending work as and when it comes up. It is a result of being obsessive about keeping your slate clean at all times.

After a quick breakfast, I either head out for meetings at clients' offices or my own office depending on the schedule of the day. Because of the nature of our business, recruitment for projects happen all year long and a large part of my day goes into meeting prospective candidates, interviewing them and fulfilling vacancies in a pretty tight time frame.

If I am out for the entire day, I usually grab my lunch from my favorite Deli, but most of the times, if possible, I try to come home for lunch. The mantra to stay on top of things during a busy week is to prepare for the week in advance.

So, I do a lot of meal prep during the start of the week so that eating lunch at home is quick, easy and nutritious. And the fact that I love to cook my own meals only helps.

After lunch, I try to sit for an hour or so with a cup of green tea to write my weekly blogs. I find this time to be having an extremely calming and positive effect on my whole day.

They say entrepreneurship is hard - I say that it is as hard as anything else that you are doing. It is as hard and as easy as you make it out to be.

But at the end of the day, everyday, it ends up becoming the plant that you've been watering, the baby that you've been feeding and the rise of the sun that you wish to watch everyday.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Reshmi Mukherjee: 

The first advice that I would like to give to young entrepreneurs is to believe in themselves. There will be times when the most stoic believers will begin to lose hope and vision of their own dreams. It's normal, but what makes you into an entrepreneur is the simple fact that you have the knack to wash away these fogs of disbelief and get up stronger.

That's my first advice - believe in your vision, believe in yourself and believe that everything will work out in the end.

The second thing that I would like to tell anyone who has started off their own businesses is that, keep your cash flow very strong. Finance is king when it comes to entrepreneurship . Make it a habit to sit for an hour every week on your PnL (Profit & Loss) sheet. It will help you to see what is going on clearly.

As a young entrepreneur, spend only on what is required and avoid splurging on things just for Instagram. Hire those who can really visualize your dream. And each day, every day - make sales happen. Because while marketing is great, without sales, the backbone crumbles.

My final advice would be about time management. I have always been a big-time planner, and that has helped me immensely while juggling multiple tasks at one time. Being an entrepreneur in a startup, you are the creative, you are the marketing department, you are the finance guys, you are even the PRO.Therefore, if you don't plan your day/week, you will see yourself sinking very often.

Keep a daily planner where you note down everything that you need to accomplish during the day. Keep striking off everything that you have completed in the course of the day. Organizing your day is a key and this is what is going to make the difference.

The pivotal reason you took up the path of entrepreneurship is because you wanted the world around you to be something that you have dreamt of. It is time to wake up, dress up and show up and do it.

Reem BuQais-Rivera is 24 year-old fashion entrepreneur in Bahrain. She is a graduate of New York Fashion Institute of Technology which is the school of top designers like Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. She has a great interest in fashion and clothes. After completing her studies in New York, Reem returned to Bahrain and started her own label Reem BuQais-Rivera. Reem is a well-tailored luxury Ready-to-Wear brand with Latin and Middle Eastern influences as Reem comes from an Arab-Latin background. Reem is also a blogger and she is active in twitter. She has recently won Bahrain’s Top Stylist competition. She has a number of awards for developing fashion industry in Bahrain. Learn more about Reem BuQais-Rivera  

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My typical weekday includes me going to work as I do have a job aside of my business. After my job, I have a lunch. Then I work on my business which includes, designing, creating samples, looking for fabrics for my designs and overseeing production.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Reeem BuQais-Rivera: 

The advice I would give to young entrepreneurs is to be dedicated and passionate about the business they are doing. Because when you’re an entrepreneur, the work never stops. So if you love what you are doing, you will sacrifice the time and effort into your business.

Prioritize your business more than social events, write a to do list of things that need to be done and try to get at least 3 done per day.

Stephanie Khouri Stephanie is an entrepreneur and word aficionado. She is the founder of Gourmet stop - the first Automat machine which dispenses meals in just few minutes in UAE. Compared to junk food, the food vended by gourmet stop is real and healthy. The gourmet stop is located in eight locations and contain eight types of food available each day. Stephanie is also a founder of Nomadic Capital, a company which specializes in importing the latest inventions from around the world as well as developing the new apps. Stephanie also founded the Urban Steel shop, the first official body piercing shop in Dubai. What is inspiring about Stephanie is that she manages so many different types of businesses and never gets tired. Learn more about Stephanie Khouri

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

A typical day is quite a challenge to come by as an entrepreneur, and especially one with a startup. There are so many different and changing moving parts that need to be taken care of.

With that said, I try to start the average day by going to the office, which is a wonderful environment. I catch up with my team who are the best people around!

I then visit our locations, where our Gourmet Stop-an automated food dispensing machine is located, to make sure everything is running smoothly. Meetings are almost daily occurrence. I love Nomadic, it's my passion and even with the hardships that come along the way, that drives me.

Once, the full work day is done, I head home and that's where my second passion comes in to play! I love cooking, it's an art for me and it relaxes me completely. My business partner is also my husband so even when we are at home the work continues!

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Stephanie Khouri: 

Time management and productivity? This is the most important lesson they will ever learn, and it's a tough one. Time management will be your most significant tool, it makes success that much more attainable.

If you do nothing else as an entrepreneur, do this!! Plan your day, stick to your plan, use the hours available to you to the best of your ability.

To do lists will help, it might sound silly but believe me it keeps the things under control. If proper time management isn't exercised at the beginning, it becomes incredibly difficult to fix later on and you will become overwhelmed.

Focus on one thing at a time as much as possible and listen to those who have walked the line before you.

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Rania Badr El Din a humanitarian, social entrepreneur, proud and dedicated mother of three and CEO of Mother & Child, Egypt's trusted source of information for families. She is a participant of TED talks in Cairo, Egypt. She gives lectures about balancing work and life being a female entrepreneur and a mother. Mother and Child is a digital publication  that offers family care advice to young mothers. She also proudly participates in various women empowerment programs in Egypt. Learn more about Rania Badr El Din

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My typical day now is very different from my typical day 21 years ago when I first started my business! I used to run around all day, working extra long hours and relying on others to manage the home.

Today, and through the years, I have managed to turn things around so that my days are more relaxed and I have more time for myself and my family, while delivering even greater value to my customers. A different mindset, a focus on what matters most, delegating more, and the transition of our publication from print to digital have made all of these possible.

My typical day starts with spending an hour or so with my husband at a nearby coffee shop after our 10-year old daughter has left to school, followed by several hours of working on my laptop from home and managing my team remotely.

If I have a work meeting, I will drive over to that and then back home in time for my daughter's school bus to drop her off. Alternatively, I may have one of my weekly meetings with a member of our management team or our full team meeting every two weeks at the office.

In all cases I tend to spend many hours each week working from home, where I manage to focus better while being more hands on around the house and getting some quiet time for myself. Some mornings, I will take out some time to catch up with a friend. I might also do charity or community work. Or I can attend a school function.

Evenings are spent with my daughter and my husband. Weekends are for family and fun and relaxation. Even though, it happens that I always do manage to sneak in some work here and there as needed. I tend to reply to emails or messages - without disrupting the peace.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Rania Badr El Din: 

First and foremost, decide what's important to you, not just in relation to work but with regards to life as a whole. Decide what you really want out of life and what values you want to live by, and let those guide you.

Second of all, love what you do and see the value in it.

Third of all, surround yourself with the right people, at work and outside of it. I could go on, but when these 3 things in particular are in order, it's surprising how much more productive one can become.

We tend to be more productive when we are clear about what we are trying to achieve and how we intend to achieve it. When we have right people around to help us achieve it. Besides, of course, loving what we do means that, we can find more joy in our days and not just in our evenings and weekends.

 Haneen Dabain is a co-founder of pricena - a comparison website that gathers best prices of various electronic products across the stores inUAE. Pricena compares prices of electronics, appliances, fashion and other products to help shoppers find the best prices online. Haneen has an IT education background and she managed several tech startups before. In June 2015, Pricena partnered with Daxx and hired mobile developers who helped build Pricena’s iOS and Android apps. Haneen Dabain has been featured in entrepreneur.com and khaleejtimes. She eagerly shares tips about launching a new company and starting a new startup in various events of UAE. Pricena was recognized as the "Online Startup of the Year" by Du Enterprise Agility Awards. Learn more about Haneen Dabain

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

I start my day by having coffee and going through my emails. Then it's time to have a meeting with the team to discuss progress, tasks for the day, questions or concerns, and risks and mitigation plans to make sure we meet the deadlines.

We also frequently have a founders' meeting to discuss the products road map,  future  plans, and brainstorm ideas about new features.

2.  Productivity tips for entrepreneurs from Haneen Dabain: 

Team communication is a key. There are  plenty of tools to help make the communication efficient. We use slack and we like it. It definitely made my team discussions a lot easier.

Elissa Freiha  an Emirati of Lebanese-American decent that was born and raised in Paris, France. Elissa is a co-founder of WOMENA - a Dubai-based women-only angel group that empowers and educates women investors. It provides a supportive, professional network and dependable guidance to invest in new companies in the MENA region and facilitates the investment process from deal sourcing to close. She was recently named as one of Forbes' Middle East's Inspiring Business Leaders of the UAE. She has been featured in BBC for creating change among women entrepreneurs. She is included Arabian Business’ 100 most powerful Arab women and Arabian Business’ 100 most influential Arabs under 40. Since launch in December 2014, WOMENA has invested in four UAE companies and has educated and empowered hundreds of women to invest. Learn more about Elissa Freiha  

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My typical days as an entrepreneur are very hectic and never seem to have enough time.

I wake up, shower, listen to the podcasts on the way to the office, have breakfast at the office, morning meetings, lunch at my desk, internal office meetings, admin work, evening pitch events.

I then go home and try to spend some time on overarching business strategy that gets overlooked while taking care of admin. Then I watch a show and sleep, wake up and repeat everything over again.

2. Productivity tips from Elissa Freiha:

Be honest with yourself about what you like to do. You're the boss so you have the luxury of choosing where your skill set should be applied. Outsource or delegate the rest.

Doaa Adel Hosny is a recognized professional  makeup artist since 2012. In 2013, she started her own workshops. Putting art, creativity and talent together made her workshops to standout and recognized by some talented popular makeup artists in the world. Doaa has started her private sessions as she found that this will be much more beneficial for the customers to learn more about how to do a daily makeup for themselves. In the last few years, she has been attending most of the fashion events to keep herself updated about the latest trends in Makeup field.  To make her business even more professional, she studied an Image Consulting and  started her career as a certified Makeup artist and Image Consultant. We can see that Makeup and Fashion will always be Doaa's passion as she believes that "Beauty is her Duty". Learn more about Doaa Adel Hosny

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

I start my day at 7:00am and this is the first secret. Early morning is the best thing to live a positive day. Besides, you can manage your time depending on what you do in the first hours of your day. My first hours would be like:

10 mins for coffee, 10 mins for meditation and praying, 10 mins for writing my plan for today and sports. I give myself at least 45 mins to listen to a music to recharge myself with a positive energy. Then, I take a shower. Then, I start my day.

After that, I am busy with doing my work very well like checking emails and making the meetings. I  train my team and motivate them. Then, I head back to my family to listen for their problems and what they achieve during the day.

2. Productivity tips from Doaa Hosny:

Try to develop yourself with a course or reading a book. It is the best thing can help your to grow fast
Consistency helps to achieve your dream.
Write down your dream or goal every day
Relax
Make a wish list and everyday. Write down how can you achieve every one of them
Find at least one hour with someone whom you love to tal to
Find time for yourself everyday to filter your day and your goals
Your vision board is the best thing to achieve your goal

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Maria Kalenskaya is an entrepreneur, the founder of Mashoonya Gifts ecommerce shop based in Dubai. Maria has started her ecommerce business with a unique idea. Mashoonya store includes all the products that can be presented as gifts to your loved ones. The products in the store are both hand made and from factory. She has a huge experience in marketing and customer service. She worked for big brands in the past. In May 2016,she decided to start her own small business based on the experience gained from the biggest brands. Currently, Mashoonya has more than 500 products and a constantly growing database of customers. Learn more about Maria Kalenskaya

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

As a young single female entrepreneur, perhaps, my typical day is different from that of many others who are settled in their lives. If anything, my typical day is far from routine. Generally, my day begins with updating myself on regional and global news and light breakfast.

Being a person who is more active at night, I often sleep very late working on my business. My day could be decided into overseeing execution of outstanding tasks on priority basis, engaging with my vendors , clients and attending to my marketing and business development activities.

Before I call it a day from work point of view I also review my revenue and then prioritize my tasks for the following day. I must add that as an entrepreneur, I am engaged mentally 24/7 in my business. So there is no end or start of my days.

2. Productivity tips from Maria Kalenskaya:

Planning, prioritizing and timely execution is fundamental. Reviewing and rectifying on an ongoing basis the shortfalls in all the above.

Sirine Fadoul is an Incubation Manager at DTEC Tech Startup Incubator, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. She is a founding member of Girls in Tech Middle East and a Mentor and Coach for The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women Program. Sirine is also the founder of Generation Disrupt, a nonprofit product design educational program for children. She works closely with a portfolio of 14 tech startups providing them with strategic and operational support in addition to assistance with follow-on funding. She is a founding member of Girls in Tech Middle East and a Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women Programme Mentor and Coach. She has more than 12 years of Marketing, Business Development, Management and Entrepreneurship experience between Europe and the Middle East. Learn more about Sirine Fadoul

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My day starts and ends with either reading the news or/and listening to a podcast or audio-book. I try as much as possible to maintain a sense of urgency and plan my day in a manner that allows me to achieve tangible results rather than react to issues that arise. On that I share an article I recently published www.entrepreneur.com/article/287904

Every day is different but what is absolutely vital to me is having at least one brief conversation with a colleague or a client.

2. Productivity tips from Sirine Fadoul:

Focus, focus, focus. It is very important to stay focused on what yields results and delegate what should be delegated. There are many productivity tools out there that are easy to use and affordable, read about them and pick the ones that suit you and add value to your startup.

Don't shy away from asking for help. Seek a mentor or an advisor to guide you and support you.

Andrea Antal is an entrepreneur, founder of  Andrea Antal Communications, brand management and marketing agency located in Dubai, UAE. Andrea is originally from Toronto, Canada. She started her career in the hospitality industry, working with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts for over ten years. As her career path took shape, she discovered her passion and natural ability for marketing and public relations.  In 2013, she recognized the opportunity to start her own marketing and PR business when a number of business owners asked her to help them start, boost or save their businesses. Over the years, her marketing and PR services have developed razor-sharp focus, committed to delivering the strategies and tools that work best in today’s competitive landscape. Learn more about Andrea Antal

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

Each day, I wake up and get my son ready for school. I manage to get ready during the short time while he's having his breakfast, and then we're out of the door by 7:45 am. I need to pick him up at 1pm, as he's only in nursery half a day. This is the only constant in my schedule, so everything else pretty much revolves around that.

On the professional side of things, the fun part about being a marketing consultant is that each day is different. Working with different types of businesses, I could be creating new campaign strategies on one day, and on other days, I'm working on implementing them or analyzing campaigns that are already in action.

My services range from email marketing, social media, webinars, direct mail, search engine optimization, advertising, business advisory, product development, customer retention, PR, etc. Therefore, there's never a boring day. I absolutely love what I do!

In the evenings, I try to log out at a reasonable hour (7pm on average) so that I can spend time with my family and catch up on everyone's day before bed. I think it's important to stay grounded and in touch with your personal life. Because the days may be long, but time certainly flies, so I don't take that for granted.

2. Productivity tips from Andrea Antal:

Deal with small tasks immediately. If a task takes less than two minutes, get it done and cross it off your list instead of saving it for later (which often never comes!)
Don't let distractions to slow you down. Avoid checking your personal social media accounts until you're finished working. The average worker spends 55 minutes during a workday checking Facebook. It's a major time-suck and can be hard to get back on task.
Prioritize your tasks in order of importance.Making the most of your day involves completing crucial tasks. Feeling productive is very rewarding and motivating.
Set realistic deadlines .I always say, "under promise and over deliver." Always give yourself a little extra time to complete tasks so that you have a little extra breathing room. Finishing a task earlier than expected is always a great feeling.
Get organized Using lists and tracking your progress is a must if you want to stay on course. Entrepreneurs have a lot going on, and often feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, so the best thing you can do is stay on top of your daily activities.

 Randa Ayoubi is a cofounder and CEO of Rubicon Holding Group. Rubicon Group Holding, is a diversified global entertainment and production powerhouse devoted to the creation of outstanding innovative entertainment experiences and interactive educational content across all media platforms. RGH has a team of several hundreds of employees in four locations Amman Jordan, Los Angeles United States, Manila Philippines and Dubai United Arab Emirates. Ms. Randa Ayoubi founded Rubicon Group Holding Limited in 2004. Ms. Ayoubi serves as Chairperson of Red Sea Institute for Cinematic Art and Board Member of Children's Museum of Jordan. She received Business Woman of the Year award from CEO Middle East Awards. She ranked 11th on the list of most influential woman in the Middle East (Economist Magazine 2007) and 12th most influential woman in the MENA, according Arabian Business 2010. Learn more about Randa Ayoubi

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

My typical day starts with 45-60 mins of yoga and meditation, followed with coffee. I meet with my mother every morning, then head to the office. I typically have 4-6 meetings a day besides the regular management duties including follow up work on projects and clients. Most evenings, I spend at home with my family.  We watch a movie, play a game or visit or receive friends.

2. Productivity tips from Randa Ayoubi:

Segment your day so that you can give all of your focus and attention to each segment.  Go into each segment passionately and leave it where it should be when it's time for the next.

I always find that doing whatever you are doing at the time passionately, without worrying about what you still have to do or haven't yet done, increases productivity and enhances life's quality.  Live passionately in the now of each moment.

Eman El-Koshairy is a cofounder of AlMakinah,  UX Training and Consulting Specialist, freelancer, and UXD & Design Thinking Evangelist. AlMakinah is a programming bootcamp that aims to produce production-tier software developers in a short amount of time. She loves teaching and sharing knowledge. Although AlMakinah is relatively young programming bootcamp, it already has a number of successful students and customers. Eman also loves blogging and helping others to learn programming. She is still making sense of my world. Eman El-Koshairy is passion & coffee driven person as put in her own words. Learn more about Eman El-Koshairy 

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

Our startup AlMakinah is still in it's early phases. We still don't have an office, everything is pretty random here right now. Before I get to how a day would look like, I will tell you how we structure out our days:

We have meetings early in the day and later in the afternoon. We try to squeeze them on the same day back to back so they don't interrupt the work flow of the day.
As we have many tasks, we found it's best to have them done for the day they are supposed to be done. We don't keep on doing too much context switching each day. This way, we stick to a deadline.

A typical day outline would look like this:

I start off my day with a cup of coffee and a good breakfast. Then I get dressed and off to my work destination for the day (a coffee place most of the days)
I take a minute to organize my day and what I need to get done
I usually have an important task in the morning that is to some extent finite, meaning that I can complete and finish it before lunch. This gives me a sense of  achievement for the day and keeps me motivated.
Then there is a lunch lunch time. I do some unwinding and some calls this time
Then I go to the next chunk of tasks. They could be more open tasks, whatever which needs more creativity or discovery. This way, I give them more time to get done. I already got something major out of the way in the morning, so I am more comfortable working on them.
I usually leave some mindless - easy tasks for the end of the day, more emails, answering fb page, or reviewing stuff.
I usually allow myself some unwinding at the end of the day. I watch TV shows. I have a chat and meetup with a friend, etc...

2. Productivity tips from Eman El-Koshairy:

I come from design thinking background and one thing I have learnt from it is the power of iterations and feedback! I used to look at the task and think that when it was done it had to be perfect from the first attempt, before I showed it to anyone. I usually take a task on different stages with different levels of fidelity. In fact, I found out that this is more efficient in many ways. I start off with the core of the task and I seek feedback. I use this input to make the second round of work and enhancements. As an entrepreneur you need to be quick, be flexible and eager to learn. That means that, you need to be very efficient in getting things done, and having perspective on spending time on the things that will matter the most.
If a task feels too big, and you have been procrastinating it for some time, look up the Pomodoro technique. It really works!
Use tools and automate tasks. You don't have to do everything manually.  Work smart, find smart ways to do things faster!
It's easy to feel that u need to be there 24/7. It feels like there is always more work to do. It never seems to end. However make sure you give and allow yourself a break time. I do that every weekend. I spend at least half of a day completely free of work. I do it without feeling guilty, and I do it no matter how busy I am. It's important to avoid burn out and it's really important to have legitimate guilt free off time. Believe me, it does wonders and helps you energize and avoid procrastination!
There is no one size fits all. You have to try different methods and approaches to managing your time and tasks, until you find the right balance that works for you!

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 Yasmine Helmy currently works as a growth marketer at instabug.com. However, she has lots of entrepreneurship projects in her profile. She is a national director of Hult Prize Foundation. Hult Prize is the wold's largest social entrepreneurship competition aimed at students creating sustainable solutions for the most pressing challenges. Each year, a global winner receives $1 million USD sponsored by Bill Clinton to work on their social enterprise. Yasmine also worked in many other startups as a business development manager and a director. Learn more about Yasmine Helmy

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

I usually prepare food a day before to make sure I don't rush myself in the morning. I typically plan my meetings as soon as I reach the office to coordinate with the team and set a to-do list.

I then zone out to read my emails and get things done. I usually do so by listening to indie music and sit in a quiet room. In thesecond half of the day, I dedicate it to revisit the to-do list and finish everything that needs to be done before the end of each day. I then go to the gym right after work for about 45-60 mins to re-energize.

2. Productivity tips from Yasmine Helmy:

It took me a long while to figure out a routine that actually worked and didn't feel like a typical routine. I used to struggle to wake up early and maintain a social life after work. But planning ahead made it easier to know what's on my daily plate and what needs to be finished faster. Using a personal to-do list like Wunderlist and Trello for work life helped me in setting deadlines and priorities.

Also, working out made a huge difference, because it releases the negative energy and increases the stamina levels. I suggest you try out a routine and stick to it for about 21 days. According to a some research, you are more likely to stick to a habit of you do it for 3 weeks straight. You can then see if it sticks with you as it did with me.

Try to put yourselves a personal weekly goal so that you have something to look forward to.

Ola Allouz is an entrepreneur who is passionate about photography. Ola believes that being creative is defined by a unique way of thinking.  Ola has a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the College of Banking and Economics in UAE University. She has a practical experience in the banking field. Currently she is an e-commerce entrepreneur and a Professional Network Marketer. The world of photography wasn't introduced coincidentally to Ola. Rather, she was encouraged and motivated by the Emirati artist Dr. Najat Makki, who gave her enough determination to pursue her career in photography. Learn more about Ola Allouz

1. What does your typical day look like as an entrepreneur?

For me being an entrepreneur means time management. I have 24 hours a day to do a lot of things. I can achieve them only by managing my time and tasks.

I am an e-entrepreneuer, as I do my work anywhere and I mostly prefer to do it at home. It's good that I can do my work and the same time be at home with my family. I choose to be an entrepreneur after a 7 years of being an employee. I now have more time for my passion, which is photography.

Doing what you love is the best thing one can ever do, as you will never get bored!  I think everyone should do more of what they love. It will keep them going to the right direction in life.

2. Productivity tips from Ola Allouz:

My advice to young entrepreneurs is to enjoy what they do, and to be successful in it. They have to plan it well, as planning is the most important element of success in any field.

Having a planner and writing your to do lists with specific deadlines can make a difference in what you do.

Last advice: NEVER GIVE UP!

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Kpi.com Upgrades For January 2017

Dear users of KPI.com  Cloud SaaS Business Management Software,

We are glad to announce you about our latest upgrades in the system. We made enhancements to almost all modules including Project Management, CRM, Accounting&Finance, HRMS and Payroll.

Thank you for your continuous feedback and for your patience while we are improving the system. We are proud to serve you.

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Accounting and Finance Enhancements:


Expense Claims Multi-approval: currently, you can setup multiple levels of approvals for your expense claims. Go to Settings >> Automation Settings >>Approval Process and setup the approval workflow. Once done, your employees will be able to to choose multiple approvers for their expense claims.



Over Payments to Invoice - you can now add over payments to invoice. Once you register more than required amount of payment, the leftover will be recorded as pre-payment and it will be saved in customer's balance.
• Debit/Credit columns have been added  to customer balance. In order to view the balance, go to Customer Center and click on the customer balance column.   

Then, you can view the customer balance with debit and credit columns:



You can now view sub company transactions in customer balance. If your customers have additional child companies, you can now view them in customer balance report:



Kpi.com is now integrated with Magento! If you would like to connect the kpi.com with Magento, you can now do it seamlessly! Just contact kpi.com support team by emailing support@kpi.com.
You can now choose separate accounts receivable accounts for each customer and save the choice. As you might know, before January upgrade you had to choose different accounts receivable account every time you are creating an invoice. Right now, you can save your choice, and next time your customer will be billed to the chosen accounts receivable account.

Go to Sales Invoice >> Add New Invoice and chose the customer balance in top right corner:



CRM Upgrades:

Add Lead form has now country code list. In order keep phone numbers on the same format we added a new option that inputs country code when country is selected while adding phone number to lead form.



You can now add a case from contact list. You can create cases directly from contact list using Add Action button on action list.



Hot keys for Cases and Emails - ALT+A, ALT+F,  ALT+R. You can now work with cases and emails through shortcuts.

ALT+A - reply to all
ALT+F - forward 
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Project Management Upgrades

Import Project with Multiple Assignees. You can now import a project file with multiple assignees in csv format

Payroll

Payroll now supports multi-currency payments. You can now issue payments in several currencies within one company.



HRMS

You can now export filtered results in Attendance Tracking Report.

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Benefits Of An IVR System, And Why You Need One

Most of you must be familiar with the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) because most of the times you hear this lovely voice telling you to “press 1 for sales”, and 2 for a different thing. The IVR system performs different functions like identification, segmentation, and routing. It transfers your call to the most appropriate agent in the company.

The IVR system has many benefits as well: it is much more efficient and has very little costs. Many companies still don’t recognize the importance of the IVR system and they haven’t still installed proper IVR system in their customer care service. According to a research by JD Power & Associates, the IVR is a 27% of the total call experience.

Here is a list of some benefits of IVR system, and some reasons why you need one.

Increase in the First Time Call Retention

It is obvious if the customer care agent is taking too much time to answer the question or problem of the customer, the customer will lose interest. It happens because the customer care agent wasn’t qualified enough to answer that particular question. Had the call been transferred to the person who knew something about the particular question, the call wouldn’t have been dropped by the customer.

IVR systems build up categories and transfer the customers’ call to the most appropriate customer care agent in order to provide the best help possible.

IVR Provides Freedom to the Customers

You may have heard the notion that the customer is always right, and same is the case with customers who want to direct themselves as soon as possible to the live agent. According to a survey, 75% of the respondents said that the self-service is the most appropriate and convenient way to address the customer issues.

An IVR system saves the callers from unlimited strings of call transfers and enables them to decide for themselves what they want.

Increase in Employ and Organizational Efficiency

If the call is directed by the IVR system to the live agent, it is certain that the customer care representative will be qualified enough to answer that particular question. It will improve the efficiency of the agent because he knows how to answer that particular question, and hence the overall efficiency of the company will also increase.

Apart from efficiency, The IVR systems also allow you to track certain metrics to ensure that the efficiency is really increasing. The IVR systems also record call abandonment rates, hold times and customer satisfaction score etc. By getting all this information, you can work specifically on the targeted areas making the efficiency of your company much higher than it previously was.

Reduction of Operational Costs

You must agree with the notion that time is money, and so is the case in this scenario. If you are using manpower, it is obvious you will be paying a large amount of money to them. On the other hand, if you use an IVR system, the amount of manpower will reduce and you will have to pay very little. According to one research, it can cost $6 to $12 to a company who hires a man for chat interaction, and this is the price for one chat interaction. On the other hand, if you are using an IVR system, it will cost you25 cents per interaction.

Initially, the installment of IVR systems cost you a lot of money, but nowadays these systems are becoming cheaper and cheaper.

Greeting the Clients More Professionally

Now, by installing IVR systems, you can greet your clients more professionally than ever. Whenever a customer or any potential partner calls you, he will be influenced by the first impression and if you have installed IVR system, it might be good for further partnerships. With the help of IVR systems, the clients are provided with messages that are efficient and highly professional. This way, even if you have a small business, it will look very big and professional.  The IVR systems can also help small and startup businesses prosper more quickly.

These are all the benefits that you will get from installing an IVR system in your organization.

This article is written by Lisa Myers who works at Coupon Goo. She is a software engineer by profession.

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July 2016 Upgrade of KPI.com – Lots of Awesome Enhancements

Dear users of KPI Software,

We are glad to announce you about our latest upgrades in the system. Enhancements were made in all Modules of the System: Project Management, CRM, Accounting&Finance, HRMS and in overall performance of the System. We put our best efforts towards improvements of the Software, taking into consideration our customers’ feedbacks and requests. We highly appreciate your patience, understanding and recommendations on the improvements of KPI System and would like to thank you for choosing us as your business partner. As we always try to perform the best service for you.

 

Project Management:

Automation Timesheet filler – now it become time saving for task owners. Each evening the system automatically fills timesheet hours, from Recourse Utilization Estimates, in case you forget or did not have time to do it yourself. You need only to check “Fill in with estimates from Res Util” checkbox, which is in:

            Settings >> Project Management Settings >> Timesheet Settings


 

HRMS:

Include Day-off’s to Leave Request – Managers can manage their employees’ Leave Days from the new added feature in the KPI system. In:

           HRMS Settings >> Leave Reasons
          you can “Edit” any Leave Reason and check “Include Day-offs” or/and “Include Holidays”  checkbox,                   and the system consequently will do it.



Finger Print – Would you like more advanced attendance system for your company? Than “Fingerprint Setup” section in HRMS Settings is there for you. You need only to enter Employees’ unique codes from Fingerprint device and the system will automatically match codes and record attendance time.

 

CRM:

Copy Contact Address to Account – another useful feature for your CRM Accounts. You can not only copy Account Address to Contact Address field, but also do vice versa. There is “Get Contact Address” checkbox in “Edit Account” window. By checking the box, the system shows Contact’s address in Account’s Address Information field. In case, if there are a number of Contacts under a certain Account, the system brings out the Primary Contact’s Address.



Convert Opportunity to Sales Order and Request For Quote – additional two more options are now available in your Opportunity section of CRM Module. You can convert Opportunity to Sales Order and RFQ from Action Drop Down Menu or from “Opportunity View” tab.



Fetching Start Date – option in Message Center gives you the opportunity to choose desired (future/past) dates of fetching of your e-mail account with KPI Message Center.



Company Name Color in PDF Templates – Your favorite colors are not applicable to PDF extracts of the KPI system. You can select the color from:

                 Settings >> Company Settings >> Company PDF Logo
 



 

Accounting and Finance:

Multi-Suppliers to Products – now you can add a number of suppliers to a single product. It is available in Product/Service section in Accounting and Finance Module. Moreover, while Importing CSV files of Products, the system will generate all suppliers with a same product as a single line item.



Link Expanse Claims to Suppliers – Expense Claims now can be directly linked to Supplier Balance. A new field is added to the “Add Expense Claim” tab.



Due Date or Terms – For Accounting users there is one more convenient feature is included. While adding Quotes, Orders and Invoices you have option to select “Validation Date” type. Whether you can set it by default from: Accounting&Finance >> Settings >> Invoice Settings



 

Closing Financial Year End - Another useful feature for our users is now, there is no need to close Financial Year Manually, as the system will do it instead of you. You can use this feature from Balance Sheet. After go to Retained Earnings row and click on the amount, and it will lead to Retained Earnings Transaction Window, where you will able to see the Retained Earnings for each year separately. If you want more detailed Report of a year just click on the Transaction Link and it will show you Profit and Loss Report of that year.

 

These are the last but not least upgrades made in the KPI system. If you have any questions regarding the changes and updates, please contact to kpi.com Customer Support Team:

 

E-mail: support@kpi.com

Skype: kpi.com

Phone: (UK) +44 (0) 207 096 1245

(US) +1 646 844 33 30

(UAE) +971 4 424 3033

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System Upgrades for April 2016

Dear kpi.com users,

We are glad to inform that KPI.com has launched its monthly upgrades. Improvements are made in Project Management, Accounting, CRM, HRMS, Payroll, Reporting modules, as well as in the overall performance of the system. Our team puts the best effort to develop existing features of the system and add new features according to our customers’ feedback and requests.

We greatly thank you for your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do our best to improve the system overall, implement new features, and resolve the appeared issues as soon as possible.

 

Workspace

Meeting Minutes - you can add CRM contacts to Recipients field.



To add CRM contacts, tick the “Send notification to attendees” box and the “Recipients” field will appear.

 

Project Management

Timesheet Settings - “Validate Against Day Offs” option added



On order to avoid employees to fill in the timesheet beforehand or over time. To activate the feature, go to Settings >> Project Management Settings >> Timesheet Settings >> Timesheet validation block, tick the “Validate Against Day Offs:” box.

 

CRM

“Merge” contacts option added. Select a contact and click on “More” at the top of the contacts list.



Convert lead alias custom fields to account. When converting Custom field values in lead will be moved to the corresponding fields in Contact, Opportunity and CRM Account (only for unqualified) based on the Custom Field Settings.

Multiple file attachment is now available on sending an email at once.
“Opportunity” has been added to workflow automation engine. Go to Settings >> Automation settings >> Add new workflow and now pick “Opportunity”  in dropdown of the Module field.



SMS integration with “Our SMS” provider. From now on you can send SMS from this provider inside the system.

Accounting

Import Journal Entries - a is new import feature for journal entries. To access it, go to Accounting & Finance >> Transactions >> Manual Entry listing page. Now users can import journal entries from an .csv file rather than entering them manually.

Payroll

Multi approval for Cash Advance - users can set multiple approval levels for cash advance as they want.
Added “Cash Advance” Report and “Salary Reports” in the Reports tab of the Payroll section. Fill in the fields and view the reports. 



Leave and benefit payment settings added to "End Of Service" Setting - this feature will allow users to add "Left Leave days" and left benefits to End of service gratuity payment

 

HRMS

Organization chart renamed to "Supervisor structure". Supervisor chart shows people in the Company as a structure. When the Supervisors are set to employees, the Supervisor structure displays the hierarchy as a tree.



You can set a Supervisor for your Employee on the Profile edit page and from Employee listing by double clicking on "Supervisor" column.



New Organization chart is more specified for Department tree. When setting parent departments from Edit department page they will also be displayed on the page as a company tree. There is an option to show department employees in Organization chart view.

You can also quickly build department trees by clicking on little triangle in Department boxes, using "Set department" option.



Employee list - option to update Positions from the listing. Double-click on the position in the list and you will be able to open a dropdown to choose a position from the list



Employee documents datepicker - years are now shown in cell editor



Candidate list - added “Filter By Project” option


Candidate - email and last name made optional,

You can now hire a candidate right from listing, by clicking on the “Action” option dropdown.


 

Reporting

PDF version orientation changed to Landscape

 

Overall system optimization changes.



If you have questions related to the upgrades, please contact our customer support team.

E-mail: support@kpi.com

Skype: kpi.com

Phone:

(UK) +44 (0) 207 096 1245

(UAE) +971 4 424 3033

(US) +1 646 844 33 30

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March 2016 System Upgrades

Dear kpi.com users,

We are delighted to announce that KPI.com has launched its monthly upgrades. Improvements are made in the Project Management, Accounting, CRM, HRMS, Payroll modules, as well as in the overall performance of the system. We put our best effort to develop existing features of the system and add new features according to our customers’ feedback and requests. We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do our best to improve the system overall, implement new features, and resolve the appeared issues as soon as possible.

 

My Workspace

Holiday and Timeslot history log on My/Peer updates added;

History logs boxes added to Workspace to see the latest changes that have been made.



Note List View "Download as PDF" Button fixed.

Meeting Minutes

"Project name" and "Next Meeting" date fields added;

Now you can mention what project your meeting is related to and add the next meeeting date.



Option to Add Custom Fields added;

To add a new custom field to Meeting Minutes you need to go to Settings -> Custom Field Management Settings -> HRMS Custom Fields ->  New Custom Field.

Relates to: select “Meeting Minutes” from the dropdown;



After saving new custom field will be available in the Meeting Minutes tab.

Project Management

Contracts list - option to export to PDF/Excel added;
Column name changed from Comments to Notes in the Contract List View;
Resource Utilization - dropdowns changed to lookup. Now it is easier to find department/employee/project. Start typing and find what you need straight away.
Task document upload fix in Documents menu.

CRM

Convert lead address to account feature added. Company data of the lead will be converted to a CRM account;
Office 365 email integration copy from vCard contacts import/export option added. You can export your vCard contact list, if integrated with Office 365;
Transfer related contact when converting opportunity to project - contacts that are related to the opportunity will transfer to the project, when converted;
Added Sales Invoice, Sales Quotes and Sales Orders activity can bee viewed in Latest Activities.



Accounting
New features and options added.

Added multi currency selling price option;
Invoice payments now can be merged and splitted;
Convert Sales Quote/Sales Order to Sales Invoice, Purchase Order to Purchase Invoice now is made with fixed exchange rate;
Progressive Invoicing is made with fixed exchange rate;
Sales order listing - "Net Total" column added;
"Export to Excel" feature added for products with multi selling prices;
Added "Generate Receipt" option on Credit Note Summary View;
Adjusted discount number in more subdivisions (18.00% to be 18.0124%). Here, added option to change number format: default 0.00 can be changed to 0.0000 or 0.000, etc.;
Stock Adjustment & Transfer Forms - Edit Option added;
Add Bank Account Code to Bank Name in Receive Payment option added;
Inventory list - Import button added, you can import from a CSV file;



Accounting Homepage dashboard - Year to date - select a period to view the graph.


Payroll

Leave encashment & leave deduction (implemented timeslot):

Leave encashment is an amount of money that an employee can request if he/she didn't take his/her vacation as a compensation.

Leave deduction if employee takes extra leaves, company will deduct the payment from salary for the extra leave days. Here, taken leave days are calculated and compared with employee time slot (working hours);

Single Payrun PDF changes.


HRMS

HR Dashboard PDF export option added;



Holiday widget turn on/off option;
Certificates list - added Filter by type;



Certificate list - employee code, search by employee code option added;
Employee Incidents list has been added, you can add incidents by clicking on the "Add Incident" button.



Organizational chart has been added as a home menu;
Candidate - option to add Expense claims agains candidate;
Onboarding step can be integratied with Candidate;
Added Employee/Candidate Code for Onboarding Steps;
Email addresses with 7 symbols in domain name are allowed (for e.g. admin@be.network);

Fixes, interface changes and improvments:

Widget Charts color scheme changed;
HR widgets empty profile image style changes;
Annual leave allowance columns show/hide issue fix;
Vacancy list project filter issue fix;
In/Out widget status font changed;
Employee Documents search improvements;


Overall

Recaptcha Upgrade on sign up form;



Recurring's issue with editing & deleting fixed;
Overall system optimization changes.



 

If you have questions related to the upgrades, please contact our customer support team.

E-mail: support@kpi.com

Skype: kpi.com

Phone:

(UK) +44 (0) 207 096 1245

(UAE) +971 4 424 3033

(US) +1 646 844 33 30

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Three Reasons Why You Should Care About Data On-boarding

What is Data On-Boarding
Data on boarding is transferring all your offline data about customers to digital world -either to your CRM system or to your marketing databases.Although data on boarding is not a new topic, most of the concepts and its applications to a real life is not yet understood well by most of the marketing experts and entrepreneurs.

Finding out customers offline purchases and matching them with online marketing campaigns made sense to the first eCommerce platforms. When a customer just bought something from you, it doesn't make sense to make an online ads that target the same product which they bought the next day. The smart marketers use offline data to learn about habits of retail customers and create smarter marketing segments.

However, data on-boarding has also become very essential for companies who do not deal with retail and physical selling too. Data on boarding is essential in both CRM and marketing activities of your own company. Although it may seem that data on boarding is complex and involves a lot of technology, it is not the case. Most of the customer data is already stored online. And for offline databases such as call centers there are already ready-made solutions available in the market.

If your customers use a mobile device, you can analyze what kind of websites they visited before encountering an article in your website.  Mobile applications are able to identify a key associated with the hardware. Your online behavior can also be identified by your ip address and geo location. On boarding systems match your offline(mobile and web) activities with the associated customer and then remove a customer's identity for privacy concerns. You can then be able to analyze users behavior before landing to your website.

Last year, Google has launched  Google’s custom audiences solution which allows advertisers to upload email lists of the leads and customers to google and to target them with specific ads. This was a huge move towards making data on boarding topic number one importance again. Before google, Facebook already had a solution available to attract custom audiences through Facebook advertising platform.

There are other solutions available in the market, like LiveRamp which you can use to segment your audiences. You can upload customers information like email and physical address to a platform, then, the system matches the identifier information with information in mobile devices, with its own offline databases and then the identifier information is removed for privacy. You can then use the data for intelligent segments and targeting your audience.

There are several types of data which you can onboard: offline data about the customer and online data about your prospects and leads.
What kind of data is worth being onboarded for small businesses?
Event Transactions - if the customer has made a purchase from you, most probably it is recorded in another system, or offline. If you recorded it from different system, you should ask vendors to export it for you.

Phone Conversations - if you are not recording phone conversations with customers, you should. If you do not have technical resources to record every call you have with a customer, you should take a note of customer service calls and record it in your crm system.

In person demos and presentations - personal demos are powerful, because they make you to understand the customer, their questions and their concerns while you are presenting them your product physically.
Three Reasons Why Smart Marketers Should Care About Data Onboarding
Offline data is bigger than you think

If you are in retail business, 90% of all transactions go offline.

If you are in consulting service business, all your interactions with customers including phone calls and meetings happen offline

All important trade-shows and conferences happen offline. Thankfully, nowadays, most conference attendees are scanned, swiped, badged, and ID’d before the entry.

If you want to create a buyer personas for your marketing campaigns, there is no way to analyze the behavior of the customer without seeing the offline data. When offline data is on-boarded, you can see the broader picture about the behaviors of your buyers.

You need to analyze the source of the conversion

If you have ads both in online and offline medium, you will have to analyze which medium was effective before making the most marketing decisions.

Smarter marketers analyze the data from different segments including offline and online.

Switch product goals with customer goals 

Smarter marketers analyze the users behaviors that is covered beneath the surface. Knowing what kind of business goal or a personal goal your potential customer is trying to achieve before encountering your solution is a huge asset for marketers. Offline data helps to create need based segments from users point of view.

Slack is a good example of a company which tries to achieve users goals with a software. When users just signup for a free trial, instead of providing some training and demo videos, it asks what functional and personal goals users are trying to achieve with a software. Users learn to use slack at the same time answering questions about their goals and expectations.

 

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4 Things SME Owners Should Consider

Running a business in such economic volatile period is tough. You have to keep many things on mind and do activities which will be give ultimate results. Here are 4 points which I am sure will benefit you. Here we go:

Purify Your Intentions.

Once Andrea Bocelli said on importance of intentions: “All that counts in life is intention”. I am sure it implies with any belief people choose. Number second book in authenticity in Islamic world after Quran is “Sahih Al-Bukhari” and it starts with hadith on purifying intentions. If your business is simply exporting clothes, put aims like “To create high quality products in reasonable prices to all”; “To create many working places to the people”, “To serve people in their need for clothing”. Spiritual motivation keeps you working till the end.

Set Your Clear Business Goals

They should include and be SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Action, Realistic, and Timeline. Let’s say If your intent to provide Accounting software you should ask yourself why my future customers should use my product? Who they are? Why they should stop using their current software if they have any? What would be your products advantages? Would it be more user-friendly? Cost effective? Will you more care about customers’ specific needs? Settings specific goals will help you to structure your core business model and find your niche in the ruthless business world.

Be Social

Running a small business is completely different from what it used to be 10 years back. According to statistics dated by 2013 93% of marketers used social media for business, 70% marketers used Facebook to successfully gain new customers according to Search Engine Journal. A friend of mine found more than enough leads for his training business in less than 3 days just for less than 100 USD in Facebook.  People are using social networks not just for connecting but also to find good products and services and good votes and testimonials give new insight and growth to your business. Social media boosts your business and encourages you to do better. Well, on this point I think no one said better then popular author Erik Qualman: “We do not have a choice on whether we DO social media but the question is HOW WELL WE DO IT”.

Use Software

There many SaaS software available online today. SME Owners should focus cost effective and all inclusive ones. Where CRM should help to track their sales and marketing activities, they should also have to easily do orders, quotations and invoices through Accounting features. All in one SaaS software helps to reduce IT costs, paper headache, and multiple software jungle.

 

Abror Khasanov

Director of Sales in Kpi.com

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Most Comprehensive KPIs in Sales and CRM

KPIs in Sales matter not less than in any other field of business activity. Measuring and analyzing the right Key Performance Indicators is very important if you want to succeed, because they indicate how a business or team is performing against its goals. With this information you can make decisions and plan further actions. If you haven’t read the previous articles on KPIs, let me provide a definition, given by one of the famous best-selling business author, Bernard Marr.
“In simple terms a KPI is a way of measuring how well we as individuals or how well entire companies or business units are performing. KPI is short for Key Performance Indicator. A KPI should help us understand how well a company, business unit or individual is performing compared to their strategic goals and objectives.”
In this article we are going to observe what KPIs are considerable and need to be measured in the Sales Department, what KPIs in Sales you need to measure and analyze. To reveal what KPIs in Sales matter most, first of all, let’s define that sales department is the division of a business that is responsible for selling products or services. In some small companies there is only a sales team, not a whole department.



Lead Flow.

This KPI essentially needs to be measured by all sales departments as it shows the quantity of people that are interested in the productservice. This indicator needs to be measured each month/quarter/half-year/year. Another criteria is where these leads came from. For example, how many of them came from social media, or by referral, newspaper or other channels. This way you can analyze and decide what channel is providing you more leads and focus on it.
Extra: If you need the detailed analysis of leads, you can also track how many leads converted to customers and which channel brings more customers. It is obvious that more leads = more customers, but if you want to emphasize on the leads tracking, you will definitely need this information. This will be another KPI in sales, it is called Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate. It is measured in percents. Calculation is simple: the number of new customers divided by the number of qualified leads. This way you will know the rate at which your leads become customers and analyze what actions you need to perform improve your lead-to-sale conversion rate.

 

What is a qualified lead? A qualified lead is more than just contact details. It includes further information on the person or the company they represent, information that qualifies them for a certain product.



Customer/Sales Flow.

Similar to Leads Flow this KPI shows how many customers the firm has gained during the current month/quarter/half-year/year. It helps you evaluate company’s success, as one of the biggest goals of every firm is maximizing income which can be achieved by increasing the number of customers/sales.



Cost per lead

Also called CPL. Every action you commit in order to attract new leads has its cost. It can be, for example, the cost of the landing page web design, social media advertisement or TV commercial. You can calculate the cost per lead performance indicator by summing up all your monthly (or any other period needed) marketing and advertising expenses and divide them by the number of monthly new leads. Don’t forget to include the salary of your marketing workers (according to the appropriate period of work). The lower is the indicator - the better is your current situation.

Extra: Again, if you need more detailed information, you will need to measure another key performance indicator - Cost Per Conversion. Just as CPL it indicates everything you spend to convert lead to sale. It will be much higher than the previous KPI.

Calculation: Sum of all your monthly marketing costs divided by the number of monthly new customers or sales.

Here, you can measure the Average Conversion Time KPI, in addition. How much time it took for a lead to become a customer.

 

Customer turnover rate

Customer turnover rate stands for how many of your customers refused to use your product/service. Also called as churn rate. Company should analyze the reasons why customers quit using their services. Was it because of the high price, bad customer service or a greater deal from your competitor.

Calculation: Number of customers that left / Total number of customers * 100%



Sales volume

Sales performed can be measured by a specific period of time, for example: year. half-year. quarter, month, week, day. This is the most informative key performance indicator for the sales department. Analyzing this indicator we can reveal answers to important questions as “How to improve sales results” or “How to increase sales”. By looking through the growth/recession of sales during the specific period of time we can find out what actions, made by us led to the growth or downturn of the sales volume.

 

In conclution, here are some interesting and motivational statistics that may help sales managers:



Think about that, good luck in your business!

 

Image credentials: http://www.hoopla.biz/#!motivation-station/c1g4s

https://www.nasp.com/

 

 

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February 2016 System Upgrades

Dear kpi.com users,

We are glad to announce that kpi.com has launched its monthly upgrades for February 2016. Improvements are made in the Project Management, CRM, Accounting, HRMS, Payroll modules and the system’s overall performance.  We put all our effort to improve existing features of the system and add new features according to our client’s feedback and requests. Thank you gratefully for your patience, understanding and goodwill,  we do our best to add new features and resolve the appeared issues as soon as possible for your comfort and convenience.

Workspace

Meeting Minutes tool. Now you can send email notifications to Guests, set up email templates

Project Management

Contracts - added document attachments option. Now you can upload your documents and import them from Google to add them as attachments to your contracts.

Contract list - added Notes and Start/End columns showing the contract start and end date.



CRM

Import contact from CSV is optimized for speed and performance. 



Accounting

Purchase order receive type field has been added. Now you can receive purchase order by quantity and by amount. 

Once you click on Receive button total quantity of the purchased item will be added to Receive field. In the Receive field you can change the quantity of received items that allow you receive partial amounts, or even more than ordered.



Added discounts into add/edit product form - shows discounts list from Accounting settings, wich makes it easier to access the discounts page and set up discounts.



Added new Currency Widget

Added multi currency option into Balance Sheet report, now you can choose a currency from the dropdown menu.



Payroll

Manage sending notification to employees

HRMS

Employee list - option to quickly change or add phone numbers. Double tap on the phone number to edit it. Click on the check mark to save. 



Employee leave allowance - option to select previous years added.

Certificates - option to attach employee image docs to certificates added.

New certificate templates added:

Employment certificate
No objection certificate
Job offer letter
Salary certificate
Salary transfer letter
Contract termination letter
Employee warning letter



Existing position names can't be saved to avoid duplication.

Attendance report - PDF export option added.

Customize Recruitment Countries and Embassies option added.

Vacancy form - country, embassy, gender, contract type etc. fields added

 

If you have questions related to the upgrades, please contact our customer support team.

E-mail: support@kpi.com

Skype: kpi.com

Phone: (UK) +44 (0) 207 096 1245

(UAE) +971 4 424 3033

(US) +1 646 844 33 30

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Our Unique Experience of Operating as a Cross-Cultural Diverse Team

There are a lot of whitepapers and scholarly articles about managing diverse multi culture teams in multinational and multicultural cities. Managing diverse teams has its own benefits and advantages, as well as challenges. Having culturally diverse employees is more fun in software development companies like ours.

In this post, we will share how we manage multi-cultural teams. Although we are considered a relatively small software development company, we have employees who operate from different parts of the world. Namely, there are our employees who work for us in US, Canada, Uzbekistan, UK and UAE. Our main operational office is located in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. All strategic decisions are made in Dubai office in UAE and London office, UK. Our Dubai office has employees from different cultures and backgrounds. Even in our main operational office in Tashkent, you can see people from different backgrounds and from different parts of the country, some of them speak only in one language, which is not the official language in the country.

It is generally considered that cross-cultural and cross national collaborations often fail. Especially when you operate in different time-zones, with different legislation and different understandings of what is good and what is bad. We agree that it is tough to operate business from all parts of the globe. And here is what we do to manage cultural differences:
Making hiring processes transparent and formalized
By this we mean that when hiring people we are looking for some of the essential skills that employees should possess. Those skills include ability to work in teams, ability to work with others from different backgrounds and ability to manage conflicts. We formalized our hiring process so that we hire not only a good person with good skills but also a person who can communicate well and work with others as a team.
By creating a clear specific employee on-boarding scheme
After hiring process is finished, we make sure that employees pass some on-boarding time. Different teams have different on boarding activities. When an employee is hired to a new team, the team leader of that team is responsible for introducing the employee to everyone and making sure that they have everything that they need. The team leader is also responsible for introducing some ground rules of the company, including the dress code, filling out time-sheets and some other ground rules.

On-boarding new employees is essential when you need to deal with hiring a lot. But on culturally diverse teams, on-boarding makes even more sense and it becomes even more essential.


By making the communication more transparent
In our company, we try hard in order to create a friendly working environment for everyone.

However, communication problems and misunderstandings are sometimes unavoidable. When communicating a  real message from our customers we try to use simple words. When making presentations to several group of people we prefer to use images to explain our point more clearly.
By making teams more agile and autonomous
Autonomy is a real power to motivate teams with diverse people. We killed 2-3 level approval processes and before doing something, manager should approve it behavior. Instead, we made teams more goal-oriented and independent.  When teams are goal oriented, they forget about cultural differences and try to work together to achieve that goal.

By making teams agile we enforced frequent learning culture and iterative/incremental development to achieve our goals. We make sure to try different stuff together until we find out what works for us.


Conclusions
Theses are just the small tips we can offer to diverse companies. We are by no means perfect. We have our own struggles and issues in our company related to people and the company strategy. However, by implementing those small changes, we were able to greatly reduce some conflicts and work better.

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Some Examples of Great Customer Service Reps from Tech Companies

We were excited to read about Len's laundry experience at groovehq.com. Leaving the everlasting first impression is essential for all companies, but when it comes to tech companies, we have an impression that customer service reps can't do a lot. We  tend to think that the software/technology should be great, it's all about the interface, tech, delivery, everything, not about reps.

So I decided to search for some amazing customer service reps in It/Tech industry. Customer service reps can do a lot, and here is how. These companies have hired some great people to deal with customers and we should learn from them.

Amazon always had a great customer service, this time is not an exception:

2. Great customer service example from AT&T



3. Buffer is also a great company that values customers. Buffer's cofounder Leo Widrich responded with a real help to a user's critique. 



4. Dreamhost even goes beyond offering totally free accounts for non-profit companies. The company treats all issues/requests from non-profit companies as paid ones.

5. My favorite one is Rackspace. It is a company which has hired really great people for serving customers. During a troubleshooting call, the customer said that he was very hungry. The rep from Rackspace ordered him a free pizza during the call.



 

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Key Performance Indicators: Intro [Infographic]

Key Performance Indicators: Definition, Types, Search Criteria, Visualization


“Measurement is the first step that leads to
control and eventually to improvement.
If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it.
If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it.
If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
― H. James Harrington

 

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Companies use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching their goals.

Key Performance Indicators can be measured in different fields of your business from sales, marketing to financial and accounting departments. Each department has certain indicators that need to be measured and analyzed.



Every area of business has specific metrics that should be monitored, measured and analyzed – marketers track campaign statistics, sales teams monitor new opportunities and leads, and HR managers control the turnover rate.

Not all metrics are necessary Key Performance Indicators. And not all KPIs need to be measured and significant for the company. Various determination methods help us to define what Key Performance Indicators we need to take into account in our specific area of activity.
S.M.A.R.T. Key Performance Indicators criteria


To evaluate the relevance of a KPI is to use the SMART method. The letters in the acronym stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timed. In other words, they should answer the following questions:

Is your objective Specific, is it specified?
Can you Measure the progress towards that goal?
Is the goal real, is it Attainable?
Is the goal Relevant to your organization?
What is the Time limit for achieving this goal?

KPIs can be divided into Lagging and Leading.



Lagging KPIs are focused on the past. They measure the output. For example, in HR the “Turnover rate” is a lagging KPI. Lagging KPIs tell us story about the current state of your HR, but they don’t tell you how to change this state. While leading KPIs are focused on the future. Leading KPIs measure the input that should be introduced to achieve better results. KPIs are important for analysis and monitoring: they tell you different stories about your objectives.

Different types of performance measure: KRIs, PIs, RIs, KPIs.

The relationship between these four performance measures can be compared to the structure of an onion - multilayered. The outside layer describes the overall condition of the objective. The inner layers show the performance and result indicators, and the core is where the Key Performance Indicators are.



When we have the Key Performance Indicators measured, the data itself can be difficult to percept and analyze. This is the reason we need to use data visualization which makes the process simple and understandable, increasing efficiency of the received data by focusing on important items, revealing trends, tendencies and allowing to trace over time changes.

Waterfall Chart. A waterfall chart is a form of data visualization that helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values. The waterfall chart is also known as a flying bricks chart or Mario chart due to the apparent suspension of columns (bricks) in mid-air.



Sparkline Chart. A sparkline is a very small line chart, typically drawn without axes or coordinates. It presents the general shape of the variation (typically over time) in some measurement. Sparklines are small enough to be embedded in text, or several sparklines may be grouped together as elements of a small multiple.



Bar Chart or Bar Graph is a chart that presents grouped data with rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values that they represent. The bars can be plotted vertically or horizontally.





Bullet Graph. A bullet graph is a variation of a bar graph.It serves as a replacement for dashboard gauges and meters. Bullet graphs were developed to overcome the fundamental issues of gauges and meters: they typically display too little information, require too much space, and are cluttered with useless and distracting decoration.



Also, Pie Chart. A pie chart (or a circle chart) is a circular statistical graphic, which is divided into slices to illustrate numerical proportion. In a pie chart, the arc length of each slice (and consequently its central angle and area), is proportional to the quantity it represents.



Tips for KPI Data Visualization

Avoid too many data points in a singular chart;
Use effective color schemes;
Avoid attempting to compare too many indicators in one chart;
Don’t use dark backgrounds;
Avoid overcrowding;
Try to keep them simple, without 3D effects.

 

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<a href="https://www.kpi.com/blog/2016/02/03/intro-to-key-performance-indicators-infographic/">Key Performance Indicators Infographic</a> by<br /><br /><br />
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