Great Mentors Are Essential For Success, But How Do You Find Them?

Today, professionals are told every day how important it is for their careers to have both mentors and sponsors – trusted advisers in their corner who can guide, support, offer critical feedback, and open doors to exciting new opportunities.

But truthfully speaking, it’s easier said than done. I regularly hear from professionals asking, “Kathy, I understand I need a mentor, but I just can’t find one. All my efforts seem to fail me. What do I need to do differently to find – and land – a helpful mentor?”

The challenge for many is that they are not connected deeply or widely enough to great networks that include people who are willing and able to provide high-quality mentorship. In short, not everyone is cut out to be a great mentor, and many professionals today are so beleaguered with handling what’s on their plates that they are not open to serving in as a mentor.


What to do then? One critical solution involves having access to a top-level web platform where professionals in a vast array of organizations and industries who wish to share their guidance and experience are matched with committed individuals at their company who are hungry and grateful for support and feedback.

Ravi Gundlapalli has launched such a platform and it’s called MentorCloud.

Ravi is a supply chain B2B expert based in Silicon Valley, and led the design and implementation of supply chain solutions for Boeing 787 Dreamliner. He has been an invited speaker at the U.S. State Department and the World Demographic and Ageing Forum and contributor in a World Bank/Kauffman publication for Angel Investor Groups for his vision to build a global mentoring network for professionals and entrepreneurs. As Ravi describes it, MentorCloud is a “global cloud-based mentoring platform that enables members within an organization to collaborate and support one another to achieve their personal, academic, and professional aspirations. Members can easily connect as subject-matter experts, mentors, mentees, and peers, around specific goals and areas of mutual interest.”

I was excited to catch up with Ravi and hear more about this intriguing idea and platform, and why it’s different from other platforms available today.

Kathy Caprino: Ravi, what compelled you to create MentorCloud?

Ravi Gundlapalli: With hundreds of millions of highly experienced professionals due to retire over the next decade (70M in the U.S. alone), organizations are on the verge of losing an immense amount of “tribal knowledge.” It is unrealistic for organizations to expect their seasoned employees to download all of their knowledge and expertise into a book or report to be used for future reference. Instead, organizations need a way to connect their seasoned employees with aspiring individuals to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in the most organic and effective way possible.

My team and I at MentorCloud are striving to do just that. MentorCloud is the first online platform designed to bring together sharers and learners, mentors and mentees, no matter where they are in the world.

Caprino: How did this idea emerge for you?

Gundlapalli: “Mentoring Beyond Borders” was the name I gave in 2009 to this vision of building a global mentorship platform. I wanted to do something big and extraordinary that would help people achieve their life goals by connecting with quality mentors.

I had already experienced first-hand the power of a successful mentor/mentee relationship. In 2008, I attended the “Igniting the Genius Within” conference, held at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India. After delivering the keynote, I was intrigued by one of the students who stood up to share his thoughts on youth leadership.

Srikanth Bolla, a high school student at the time, spoke of an audacious goal to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the top technology institutes in the world. Despite being visually challenged himself, Bolla aspired to succeed in obtaining the best education, become an entrepreneur, and ultimately help the youth of India, particularly those with disabilities, find accessible education and employment.

Inspired by Bolla’s passion and confidence, I took him on as a mentee. Through the process of our mentoring relationship (and aid of my network), Bolla was able to achieve his life goal. He graduated from MIT and has since founded two successful companies, Samanvai and Aasadeep, both working to better the lives of people with disabilities in India.

My experience mentoring Bolla and watching him grow and succeed gave me a sense of satisfaction I have never felt before in my career. I realized that this sort of opportunity should not be left to chance encounters like the one that brought us together. I believed that millions of people have Bolla’s same sort of potential, but lacked the resources and guidance needed to succeed.

That’s when I first began entertaining the idea of building a global mentorship platform. But it wasn’t until February 2009, when a plane I was on nearly collided with a helicopter during a flight from Mumbai to Delhi that I began to feel a real sense of urgency to fulfill this critical purpose for me.

Caprino: What does MentorCloud do that other mentoring organizations or online platforms don’t?

Gundlapalli: MentorCloud transcends organizational and geographical boundaries to facilitate the convergence of experiential knowledge and expertise with aspiration.

MentorCloud supports the belief that mentoring has the power to change people’s lives in five significant ways:

1. Transferring the advantage of hindsight. We all know that hindsight is 20-20. With mentoring, another individual’s hindsight becomes your 20-20, helping you make the right decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

2. Setting expectations. Good mentors serve as “forward-view mirrors” by giving you a perspective on what to expect ahead.

3. Providing clarity. A mentor can help you identify what core strengths and weaknesses you possess that you may not have seen on your own.

4. Sharing networks. By opening their networks to you, mentors provide you with the conduit you need to build lasting connections that will accelerate your growth and success.

5. Recognizing potential. Just like my encounter with Bolla, a knowledgeable and caring mentor can be the one thing that transforms a spark of potential into a great success story.

Organizations are more global than ever before, and experts and learners need to be more tightly connected across divisions if the organization wants to increase productivity and innovation and remain competitive.

It’s not enough to recruit good talent, a process that many organizations have mastered. In order to be successful, organizations need to address the issues of employee retention and engagement. When employees learn and grow, they tend to stay. When they feel stagnated, they tend to disengage or look for other opportunities.

By offering a strong mentoring framework, MentorCloud fosters learning and development, which in turn improves productivity, engagement and retention. Organizations that are serious about attracting and developing top talent should look at MentorCloud as a way to organically build a strong talent pipeline and brand by enabling their employees to guide and inspire future workers.

The benefits extend far beyond the organization itself; employees who participate will realize significant rewards as well. Unlike traditional mentoring platforms, MentorCloud creates a social community of sharers (mentors/experts) and learners (mentees), where the sharer and learner both benefit. Sharers get recognized as knowledge-hubs and highly valued employees; learners get recognized as engaged employees and rising stars. Mentoring interactions are enriched with curated content that helps mentees learn and achieve their goals faster. With MentorCloud,the overall culture of the organization becomes one that fosters teaching and learning, sharing and growing.

Finally, platforms like LinkedIn are a great place to learn more about people and receive advice from mentors through discussion forums, but the interchange is not confidential. The advice is also not specific to the individual user, which is a drawback for many to build trusted meaningful relationships with their mentors.

Caprino: So how does it work exactly, and how does that help the typical professional wanting mentorship?

Gundlapalli: MentorCloud is private-labeled to a particular organization so members, whether they are employees at a company or entrepreneurs/mentors at an accelerator, or alumni/students of an academic institution, need to be invited to their respective private networks. Users can import their LinkedIn profiles and express their preferences for sharing and learning. They can search for suitable mentors/mentees and the platform also has a recommendation engine. All interactions are online and private, and integrated to users’ email so it becomes effective and easy for both mentors and mentees to keep in touch.

Users can also share insights and tap into the collective wisdom of their community. Roundtables allow experts to share their wisdom with multiple people at the same time (group mentoring).

The platform provides rich analytics and dynamic reports for organizations to easily identify knowledge-hubs and rising stars in their organization for leadership planning and talent mobility.

Caprino: What’s next for MentorCloud, and what excites you most about the next chapter?

Gundlapalli: We are truly humbled by the momentum and interest we are seeing from all over the world, and the people who are rallying behind MentorCloud. We are excited to launch a new version of our platform in a few weeks. I am reminded of a quote from the former President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam which I paraphrase – Dreams are not what you see when you are asleep. Dreams are what keep you awake. I stay awake thinking about what else we can do to quickly help 100 million people achieve their fullest potential.

AGNI Energy Claims Nuclear Fusion Isn’t As Far Away As You Think

On Feb. 22, 2016, Bill Gates said, an ‘energy miracle is coming and it is going to change the world.’

He was talking about nuclear energy.

Gates formed a nuclear engineering company a few years back, in Bellevue, Washington, to design and build a game-changing reactor that can burn old reactor fuel, and get ten times the energy from it, without making waste that is hot for thousands of years. Gates recently partnered with the China National Nuclear Corporation to get it off the ground.

But Demitri Hopkins has taken this idea to another level. Co-Founder of AGNI Energy Inc., a startup company out of Olympia, Washington, the 25-year-old Hopkins is something of a physics and mathematical savant. He won the International Science Fair in high school and was invited to meet President Obama. At that time, Hopkins recognized global warming as an existential threat having no practical solution.

The AGNI reactor is unique, shooting a beam of fusing atoms onto a solid target, solving several... [+] physics problems and generating energy without generating a lot of neutrons.


So he set out to create one, originally enlisting the help of engineer Eric Thomas. Graduate students Aidan Klemmer and Neil Leonard joined Hopkins a year ago to form AGNI Energy. Their reactor design combines the stability of magnetic containment with beam to target inertial fusion.

AGNI is in good company in Washington State. The Pacific Northwest seems to be a magnet for innovative and traditional nuclear power. Gates’ TerraPower is only an hour drive from AGNI.

Energy Northwest, in Richland, Washington, has been the most reliable generator of electricity in the Pacific Northwest for decades, with nuclear, hydro, wind and solar generating well over 9 billion kWhs each year, and has the best safety record of any business within a thousand miles.

NuScale Power in Corvallis, Oregon, is on track to build the first small modular nuclear reactor in America faster than expectedGeneral Fusion, based in British Columbia, is not far away either, and recently fired-up the world’s largest and most powerful plasma injector at its facilities in Vancouver, ten times more powerful than its predecessor.

Helion Energy in Redmond Washington is also pursuing fusion technology and is focused on developing small scale, efficient and near-term units. And CTFusion in Seattle is developing a fusion reactor as well, using a process called imposed-dynamo current drive, spinning off from the University of Washington’s Aerospace Department.

Columbia Basin Consulting Group in Kennewick, Washington, is developing a Lead-Bismuth fast reactor that gets ten times the energy out of the same amount of uranium and has a much easier waste stream to deal with.

And Premier Technology, a manufacturer for the nuclear industry, just broke ground on an expansion of its facilities in Blackfoot, Idaho.

In addition, Oregon State University and Washington State University have two of the few research reactors in the country.

Not to mention the big Department of Energy sites and national laboratories at Hanford and Idaho Falls, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory.

All of this and more was covered in animated discussions this week at the American Nuclear Society‘s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

A successful AGNI commercial fusion reactor would certainly change things. Fusion is the process of building up simple atoms into larger more complex ones. This process occurs every day in the sun and every other star. Fusion is the opposite of fission, which is the process of breaking down atoms. Both release energy under the right conditions. For fission, the bigger the atom, the more energy is released. For fusion, the opposite is true – the smaller the atoms used, the more energy that is released.

For this reason, most efforts towards fusion concentrate on hydrogen fusion, the smallest of atoms, to release the most energy. There are many ways to get there, some include:

– inertial confinement fusion aims to compress hot ions (plasma), heating them to conditions where fusion reactions are more likely. Specific approaches  include – laser fusion, beam fusion, fast ignition, and magnetized target fusion.

– magnetic confinement fusion aims to contain a hot plasma in a device with immensely strong magnetic fields. Specific approaches include – tokamakstellaratorz pinch, and reversed field pinch.

Each method has their hurdles.

– inertial confinement struggles with efficiency of reactions for the energy put in as the laser or ion beam require huge amounts of energy to be generated.

– magnetic confinement struggles with controlling and containing the plasma and keeping it stable long enough to sustain fusion.

AGNI Energy borrows elements from each of these fusion methods for use in their device. AGNI focuses a beam of ions, which is half of the fuel, onto a solid target which is the other half of the fuel.

The AGNI fusion reactor uses both electric fields and magnetic fields, giving the nuclei a very... [+] short flight time before they hit the solid target, so the nuclei don’t need to be controlled very long before the fusion occurs.


To focus and control the beam in a way that is scalable, this reactor uses both electric fields and magnetic fields. Unlike the typical magnetic confinement, these ions have a very short flight time before they hit the target, so the ions don’t need to be controlled very long before the fusion occurs.

Rather than just squeezing the plasma, which is like grabbing smoke with your hands, they just fire it straight at the target, using some interesting quirks of physics to boost its energy on the way there. With this approach, AGNI may overcome the hurdles and eventually reach breakeven fusion.

Hopkins and Thomas’ design was originally based on an inertial design of nozzle fusion, but altered to replace the negative electrode with a solid state fuel target. Magnetic ring confinement increases particle energy and density at the target. This process was originally tested with heavy-water ice in a small inertial design, and ran for about 10 minutes.

The AGNI reactor uses several types of fusion fuel in order to take advantage of different energies and the fusion-ion heating of aneutronic fusion, in which neutrons carry only about 1% of the total released energy, as opposed to 80% in traditional fusion reactions. Successful aneutronic fusion would greatly reduce problems associated with high neutron radiation such as ionizing damage, neutron activation and requirements for biological shielding and safety. The amount of waste is also greatly reduced even for fusion.

In this reactor, the ion beam contains a mixture of deuterium and helium-3, deuterium being the dominant component of the beam. The target plate contains Lithium-6, Tritium, and Boron-11. Because of pre-target fusion, there are more final products interacting with the target plate then Deuterium and Helium-3. Of note, Deuterium—Helium-3 fusion produces protons that can then fuse with the Boron-11 to produce three Helium-4 ions (see figure).

This fusion approach uses a series of five rings, capable of varying the degrees of freedom involving the electrostatic source diameter, the Z-axis position of each ring, and variable output of magnetic intensity and electrostatic intensity. The method of containment is focused around shaping beam dynamics towards convergence at the target plate, with the intent of the plasma generating a strong internal magnetic field as seen in kink oscillations to increase the likelihood of surpassing the coulomb barrier in the target plate materials, necessary to fuse.

The aneutronic fusion heats the ion beam towards critical temperatures, and the end product produces high energy neutrons that can be used in standard nuclear technologies for harnessing energy from neutrons. This was designed both for the higher level of energy output and the stability of energy harnessing from a steam turbine, avoiding the possibility of micro-instabilities causing issues on a commercial power grid.

We’ve always been told that fusion energy is 30 years away. But after some small tests of this system, Hopkins quickly realized it’s not 30 years away any more.

When is National Daughter’s Day 2022

In 2022, September 25, Sunday is going to be observed as National Daughter’s Day to tribute to all the daughters. That prove to be the blessing of God and a source of pleasure for their parents. Every year the day is celebrated with great zeal and fervor to honor the princess of a father and coolness of a mother’s eye. A few countries celebrate the day every fourth Sunday of September. But in the United States of America, September 25 is the only day to set all the daily hectic activities aside and pay exclusive heed to your daughters.

For every couple, having a daughter is the greatest blessing of God. She brings a lot of joy and excitement to her parents’ life. Contrary to boys, girls are affectionate, loving, jolly, and curious, and they very easily fill the house will laughter and beauty. As the parents start growing old, nothing is dearer to them than their daughter because she lets them recall the memories and beauty of their youth. Though daughters are associated and attached with their mothers a lot, none in this world can love a daughter more than her father.

The birth of a female child proves to be a game-changer for her father and transforms him completely. Since her birth, the father gets the chance to step by step witness how a little girl turns into a woman. Mothers play a significant role in raising a daughter and making her prosperous, empowered, and morally cultivated. But there is always a strong and supportive dad behind every successful and confident daughter.

National Daughter’s Day gives a chance to put their tough routine and hectic tasks aside, spare quality time with their daughters, and show unconditional love to them. The special day acts as an impetus behind reviving a healthy relationship of parents with their daughters. Though the sons prove to be the financial supporters of their families, for all the aging parents, daughters maintain a level of connectivity and commitment that keep the families united.

History of National Daughter’s Day:
National Daughter’s Day has originated in those nations, where the birth of a female child is considered a stigma. Though the day is observed in the USA on every September 25, the actual concept behind this day has gained momentum in India. As per Hindustan Times, “Unlike other countries in the world, there has always been a certain stigma attached to being a girl child in India, and while this may no longer be the case in the big cities, it is still quite widespread in India. When a woman gives birth to a girl, she is penalized.”

Along with India, many other developing countries consider daughters a burden. But this mental bankcrupcy is not only associated with developing countries. Even in the USA, women have been facing unbearable obstacles. The daughter’s Day is also viewed in the context of MeToo movement because from the very beginning, various societies have viewed women as inferior to men. Nowadays, all the developed countries raise slogans in the favor of woman empowerment and feminism. But in all those countries, till 1920, women didn’t get even the right to vote. And till 1960’s wives usually stayed at home and their husbands used to work to feed the families. Still after making tremendous progress, women in the USA are facing gender discrimination.

In all these circumstances, the emergence of National Daughter’s Day proves to be a whiff of fresh air for all the daughters, who are facing inequality, gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual & child abuse, and child marriage. In patriarchal societies, women are in severe plight; they are not sent to schools, and even they don’t have a right to live. Mentally downtrodden people mostly kill their daughters in the desire of sons. Therefore, the United Nations came forward to bridge a very deep gap between boys and girls in society, and the first time October 11, 2012 was celebrated to serve the purpose. But now, the day is observed on September 25 worldwide and on every fourth Sunday of September in India.

How To celebrate National Daugher’s Day?
In various countries, NGO’s play a very significant role in holding rallies, seminars and processions to deliver speeches and change societal mind regarding daughters. But the important thing is to be united as a family on Daughter’s Day. The parents should do everything to let their daughters feel empowered, special, and inspired. Throw a party in their owner, share good ideas with them and have healthy discussions to let them achieve their dreams.

Take your daughters your daughters out and have a festive lunch or dinner with them, ask them about their goals, and discuss about their future plans. Though daughters are associated with their mothers a lot, fathers should have a strong bond with their daughters. This step will certainly revive your relationship, the girls will trust you, and share their feelings with you. If a daughter has a strong relationship with her parents, especially fathers, none can deceive her and deteriorate her integrity.

When is National Son’s Day?

National Son’s Day:

September 28, Wednesday is celebrated on National Son’s Day to acknowledge the sons and give exclusive prestige and consideration to them. Since 2018, the day has been celebrated to reveal societal views about sons, who are going to be future fathers, leaders, role models, and financial supporters of their families.

History of National Son’s Day:

The idea of National Son’s Day originated in 1990, for some people wanted a day similar to “National Take Your Daughter to Work” Day. In 1998, National Son’s Day led to the emergence of “National Take Your Sons to Work Day”. Later on, both the days were merged in 2003 to be celebrated as a single event. But in recent years, the credit goes to Jill Nico, who resurfaced the observance of National Son’s Day in 2018. He aimed to honor the sons and their families that are raising their male children to make them responsible men and useful citizens of society. In numerous countries, the boys are also spotlighted on March 4, but most commonly, the day is associated with September 28.
In different societies, the birth of a male child is considered more pleasurable than that of a female child. But raising a son well and making him a purposeful, honorable, and ambitious personality is a very hectic task for both the parents, who play a contributory role and make tremendous effort in the physical & emotional development and moral cultivation of their boys. A lack of attention and even a single mistake from the parental side can lead to developmental issues in later years.
The Day guides that parents must make their sons responsible, kind, and morally cultivated. And both parents should strive to have a good relationship with their boys and end the generation and communication gap among them.

How To Observe The National Son’s Day?

To make the day memorable, pleasurable, and effective for your sons, you should have some new ideas to spend quality time with your male children.
In this fastest-growing era of technology, everyone is striving to make money. Therefore, none has sufficient time to give special attention to his/her family, exclusively the children. So National Son’s Day is the perfect day to tell your sons that they have a significant position in your life. On that day, power off your mobile phones and turn off your social media notifications. Get up early in the morning, have breakfast with your sons, and plan a lavishing and a full-day tour with them. Ask about their daily school routine, know about their friends and company, find out their problems, and try to resolve them as much as you can. Bridge the gap between you and your sons and prove to be supportive for them to revive their lost confidence.
Appreciate the aims, favorite activities, and hobbies of your sons. Play games, watch movies, and go shopping with them. Share the old memories of their early life and acts of mischief with them. In short, just prove to your sons that they are the beauty and the source of happiness in your life. Tell them that you are striving to give them a better future. All your efforts are to make them successful men and give them a luxurious life. Your meeting with your sons should be a combination of fun, humor, and pieces of advice. And you should share some practical life skills to make your sons more confident and morally cultivated. At the end of that day, you will experience that you have revived your relationship with your son(s).
To conclude, I can say that National Son’s Day is the best opportunity for the parents to infuse a new spirit in their sons.

10 Secrets to Saving Even More Money at IKEA

Swedish meatballs! RASKOG carts! Crazy-cheap picture frames you didn’t even know you needed! It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of IKEA and fill your cart with 264 things you hadn’t planned on getting. But there are also ways to avoid that — and to actually get some decent savings at your favorite assembly-required home store.

1. Keep your eyes peeled for the shortcuts.

IKEA is literally a maze of inexpensive and decorative temptations. So here’s a surefire way to keep impulse items out of your cart in the first place: Instead of following their meandering path (which, you guessed it, is designed to trick you into buying more), take as many shortcuts as possible — you’ll see them marked in signs hanging above the pathways.

And come armed with the IKEA store app, too — it lets you can access a map of your store whenever you need it.

2. Or, just skip the maze entirely.

If you really can’t resist temptation, use the IKEA website to find the exact warehouse location of the furniture you know you want – you can literally create and print a shopping list with all the info you need. Then, enter through the exit and skip the Marketplace section entirely (the cheap kitchen accessories section especially is many shopper’s Kryptonite!)

IKEA Shopping List

3. It’s free to join their loyalty program — and it comes with a bunch of nice perks.

The IKEA Family program gives members special access to discounted prices on a rotating array of products every month. “Right now, there’s a great comforter that’s usually $69, but members get it for $59, just because,” says Lori Felix of& More With Less Today.

Members also get free coffee or tea, extra time at Småland (the kiddie play area), regular chances to win gift cards, buy-one-get-one frozen yogurt (yay!) and more. Not too shabby for a free program.

4. The Family program also ensures you’ll always pay the lowest price.

Sign up (for free, remember!) and you’ll also get IKEA’s 90-Day Price Protection guarantee. So if a previously purchased item goes on sale, you’ll get a price adjustment if you bring in your receipt.

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5. Take those “last chance” tags seriously.

Those yellow tags emblazoned with the words “last chance,” are legit warnings. They’re used for items that are discontinued or for the last products in a limited edition collection (sad face). But the good news is that a discount usually comes with the tag. “The amount of the discount varies, and is set by the local store,” explains Janice Simonsen, an IKEA spokesperson. “The typical range is 15% to 50% off.”

6. Tell them you’re moving.

IKEA has a moving program, which gets you a $25 discount on a $250 purchase (so really just one or two pieces of furniture). You’ll have to sign up with some information (your old address and your new one) and then you’ll also get access to shopping lists, checklists, and inspiration boards.

7. There’s likely an optimal day to visit the “as-is” room.

Stuff in the “as-is” room has been returned, used as display products, or is slightly damaged. But all that gentle use translates into better savings. We’ve seen people get sofas for just a couple hundred bucks, tables for half off, and $5 slipcovers — some stores even have fabric remnant bins.

Even better, stores typically run bonus specials one day a week — it’s often Wednesday, but that could vary by store, so ask employees for the scoop. For example, the store in Draper, Utah, cuts anything priced $20 or higher by 25% on Wednesdays. The same day, the Canton, Mississippi, store knocks off 50% from built and boxed as-is items.

You might also ask what day the “as-is” room gets replenished. For instance, some savvy IKEA shoppers report that heading to the section on a Monday will get you the best of what’s been returned over the weekend.

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8. Research location-specific deals before you head to the store.

Live within driving distance of two IKEAS? Before you pick one, head to each store’s local page on to see what specials are being offered. For instance, when this article was reported, the Brooklyn, New York, store had holiday decorations marked down by up to 50%. And the Paramus, New Jersey, store was offering a TV unit for almost $80 less than regular price. IKEA Family specials also differ by store.

9. Try to hold out for the kitchen sale.

IKEA typically throws a big kitchen sale three or four times a year, and you can get up to 20% off during it. “Savings depend on the size of the kitchen, but we would see our clients saving anywhere from $500 to $1,500,” says Matthew Hamel of Kitchens by Design, which specializes in Ikea kitchens.

Unfortunately, recent sales have been canceled, but Simonsen says they’re not going away for good: “While we don’t have an update on when we will have the next kitchen sale event, you can check-in with your local IKEA store or check your local IKEA website to stay in loop.”

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10. It’s not that pricey to let IKEA handle the delivery.

Don’t have a truck (or the muscle) to carry a BJURSTA sideboard? No biggie. IKEA offers same-day delivery, starting at just $59. Prices only go up based your home’s distance from the store — not the size, weight, or number of your items. “My daughter moved into an apartment last summer with two roommates and they bought a lot of furniture at IKEA,”says Felix. “They had all the furniture delivered for $59. Divide that by three and it’s a very good deal.” Even divided by one, it sure beats dealing with cumbersome boxes yourself.

Need Office Space? 4 Options for New Startup Founders

In the early stages of building a new business, founders must be able to put every dime they can into growing their startups. One main way to accomplish this is by saving as much money as possible on monthly expenses. When founders must put a great deal of money into equipment, monthly office space rent, and employees, there’s less money left over to spend on marketing and networking.

“These days, some of the best startups are built as distributed workforces,” says Tom Serres, Founder of DVTorque, an entrepreneur-in-residence program in Silicon Valley. “At the end of the day, you build to win – where you are and how your office looks matters only in the sense of achieving strategic goals for success.”

See more:

A dedicated office space will cost $10-$50 per square foot each month, depending on the cost of living in the city where the entrepreneur is located. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on rent, there are alternatives new business owners should consider.

1. Home Office. Most small business owners start at home, generating ideas and interacting with potential clients using personal equipment. With so many tech tools available to disguise the fact that they aren’t working in an office, a business owner can easily work from a home office for years before making the switch. Businesses can hire virtual receptionists, set up a local mailbox, and even arrange to use a shared conference room center for client meetings. For best results, set a daily work schedule and stick to it, letting others in your life know that you need to keep structured work hours to be successful. Join local networking groups to fulfill your need to interact with others to help get the word out about your business.

2. Coworking Spaces. As technology has made it easier to start a small business, coworking spaces have arrived to fill the need for affordable workspace for new businesses. Fees are more affordable than traditional office leases and some coworking spaces allow business owners to rent space for a certain number of days each month, rather than committing to daily use. These spaces usually offer conference rooms, break areas, and occasionally even amenities such as fitness center access. Best of all, participants usually have access to other startup founders, with whom they can network and possibly even form partnerships to help each other grow. Some coworking centers host networking events and workshops to encourage a sense of community among members.

3. Executive Suites. Executive suites are custom-built for the needs of small business owners. Depending on the location, business owners will often find that the rental of one small space gives them access to a wide variety of amenities. In addition to sharing conference rooms and break areas with other small business owners, renters often have a lobby with a receptionist who can take phone calls and greet guests. In some locations, administrative help is available with data entry, mailings, and other day-to-day duties. For a new business owner who can’t yet afford to pay a team for administrative support, these amenities could be a huge help. One of the best things about executive suites is their scalability. Often businesses can easily move from a small space to a bigger space as their needs change.


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