Love GIFs? Here is how you can create GIFs for free [Collection]

GIFs are becoming the new communication protocol on the web and if you have ever wondered how to create GIFs, this collection is for you !

Here are some of the free GIF creation tools available in the market. I’ve emphasized more on simplicity and individual work to team and advance level. Go ahead and upvote the ones you like (bonus: stay until the end because last ones will surprise you!).

Influencer Marketing: Another Way to Scale Your Startup


While launching a first product, the CEO of a startup aims to make his product reach across millions of users. However, they feel lacking in efforts or strategy which is not allowing to achieve the goal. Continue reading Influencer Marketing: Another Way to Scale Your Startup

Explained: Guide to incorporating company in United States

Recently, we have seen a demand for Indian entrepreneurs increasing through companies such as SaaS and Tech Products whom are interested in registering their companies in United States. So, we have partnered with some of top CPA Firms to help our own Indian entrepreneurs start their business ventures in the US.

Why do so many Indians want to start their entrepreneurship in the US? The answer is simple: it’s because the United States of America is the top number one business hub in the world. Foreign nationals are setting up US Businesses that range from major enterprises to small startups. The most efficient way to expand business worldwide is to register in the US Marketplace. This is seen as the key to success for any business around the world. The USA has proven to be the world’s largest, best, and most integrated market with the lowest tax rate. Registering a company in the USA as non-resident is a simple and 100% online process.

If you are Tech or SaaS Company you should consider these advantages:

  1. It is easier to take International Payments in a US Entity. You have access to Multiple Payment options like Stripe, Braintree and Venmo. These options are normally not available to Indian Companies. These providers have rock solid APIs, and they are loaded with lot of features that can help you to scale the American markets.
  2. Makes it super easy to charge for a subscription which is not available with Indian Payment Gateways.
  3. Makes it easier to take payments from a third party. You can receive checks, accept cash, and get wire transfers same day. You can also accept Bitcoin!
  4. Increases trust in your brand so you can also go ahead and get an EV SSL certificate for your brand. You can get all those trademarks like BBB, Trustee Privacy etc.
  5. As long as the US company is not a subsidiary of your Indian company, you don’t have to worry about the US company’s taxation here in India. Just pay taxes in the United States and relax!

Eligibility:

Any Indian citizen can open a company in the United States. For C-Corp you will need two different directors at minimum.

Options:

LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp

State:

You can choose any state(s) you want to operate in.

We prefer C-Corp in the state of Delaware. Delaware is home to many tech companies and has very sound corporate laws. Delaware corporations allow companies to issue stock to employees, raise funds from the angel investor or venture capitalist, and provides the stability of clear corporate rules and case law. Approximate 60% of the Fortune 500 companies in the United States are registered in Delaware. Delaware also offers lowest tax rate and has very liberal tax laws.

Once you have decided the desired name, ABC., Inc and arranged documents it generally takes 7-10 days to complete the Registration Process. Expect it to take another 15 days to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number), which is similar to getting a PAN in India.

You can then take a virtual address within United States to receive documents, and to be used as a registered address for your business. You will also need a registered service agent to receive documentation on your behalf.

Once you get Incorporation Certificate and EIN you can then apply for a bank account.

We have previously had great experiences with the Silicon Valley Bank. We recommend opening the bank account with the Silicon Valley Bank as they can open it online. However, approval varies on case-to-case basis. In some cases, you may need to visit the bank in person. Banks like the Silicon Valley Bank are interested in startups with a strong product and someone that has a strong vision for their future. If accepted, not only do they provide you with banking facilities, but they will also provide mentorship to raise funds, etc. From past experiences, their support is top notch!

If SVB denies your application then you can schedule an appointment with any other bank, and submit all the papers paperwork to open your account in person.

Once that is done you can sign up for services such as Braintree and Stripe Payment. These payment systems are gateways that help integrate their APIs to accept credit cards and other payment forms. Now it is easier for you to get money from international clients.

A company in the United States will open new opportunities for you and make it easier to do business with international clients. Most of the businesses that are going international in this manner can help their company grow, acquire new customers, and raise their brand equity!

How do you deal with unhappy customers

It is hard to please a customer. It does not matter how good your product is or how good the deal is, you will always come across some guys who would look like you are pulling some sort of trick to device him. Customers are complicated but you need them anyway. So, you need to master the art of dealing with angry customers so that your business does not suffer.

Here, we offer several tips for dealing with unhappy customers.

Get them on the phone

In a digital age, it’s often not enough to respond to a frustrated email or Facebook post with a quick answer. Getting your customer on the phone allows them to really hear in your voice that you hear them and care about their frustration, and that you are going to do something about it.

Even if doing something about it means giving them their money back, you may still wind up having a customer for life because of your great customer service.

Offer them a refund

If your customer is unhappy with some aspect of what they have purchased but generally likes your product, consider giving it to them for free this time. Don’t underestimate how happy they will feel and how happy they will tell others they feel. You might win new customers because of your efforts in turning an unhappy customer into a very happy customer.

Create a reward or incentive

Did a customer post their frustration about your product or service on Facebook so that all of your fans can see? Show everyone how much you care—first, respond kindly and apologetically for the customer’s trouble. Then, offer a major discount or give them some present for free in order to reward all of your customers, as everyone could have been impacted. This shows all customers the kind of treatment you provide when a customer feels wronged, and the simple act of offering of incentives can improve your customers’ opinion of you.

Offer a free tour of your business

Customers who really like what you do might be interested in seeing how things work behind the scenes. This could also be a really good way for the customer to see why whatever happened to their product happened, and perhaps this will lend to greater understanding about what you are dealing with each day.

Post appreciative letters from customers on your blog, social media profiles, and customer service page

With the permission of the customers who wrote the letters, post some of the positive feedback you are getting from customers on your blog, social media profiles, and on your website where frustrated customers would look for your contact information.

Consumers listen to and trust each other, so when they see that other customers are happy, this can inspire a feeling of trust. This can also wind up lessening the negative impact of a customer who might have been extremely angry and came upon this information before reaching out to you.

Give A Present

Depending on the type of product you sell, perhaps you offer the angry customer a year’s worth of discounted products at your store. This can go a long way in easing their frustration and could really lend to keeping the customer around instead of losing them entirely and having them forget about you.

Some customers will never be happy and will make it their priority to attempt to build a negative online reputation about you. Then it’s time to call in the professionals, because this negativity can be contagious and impact your business significantly.

In short, a happy customer is one who feels listened to and attended to. Make sure to ask questions to ensure that you are getting all of the information you need from the customer in order to make an informed decision. Never underestimate the power of discounts and free product. And know that in cases that go rogue, you can always call in the professionals to help you manage through the negative online press you are getting from customers before it gets too out of hand. Customers often just want to be heard, so be sure to listen.

Ever wondered why toothbrushes for kids are really fat? #DesignThinking

Before 1996, all the toothbrushes sold for kids were as thin as the ones for adults but only shorter in length. But when Oral-B approached the design firm IDEO to design new toothbrushes for kids, the IDEO team said was that they needed to watch kids brush their teeth!

Kids Bedtime Girls Tooth Pink Toothbrush Health

Oral-B executives thought this was a strange request. Imagine going into people’s homes, into their bathrooms, to watch their kids brush their teeth? Everyone already knew how people brush their teeth, right? Or did we?

The designers at IDEO did just that as they needed to see how kids actually brush their teeth, and they didn’t want to make any assumptions.

Turns out, the way kids hold the toothbrush is totally different from adults. Adults have greater dexterity in their hands and tend to use fingers to manipulate the toothbrush with fine movements. On the other hand, kids grab the toothbrush simply in their fist.

One simple insight through observation led to a totally new style of toothbrush: the squishy gripper. It completely changed the kids’ toothbrush space. If you go into any supermarket you see rows and rows of kids’ toothbrushes with fat & squishy handles.

The IDEO designers behind this innovation had a simple tenet, empathy for the end user of their products.

They believe that the key to figuring out what humans really want lies in doing two things:

  • Observing user behavior.
  • Putting yourself in the shoes of the end user.

The folks at IDEO called this process Design Thinking. It’s a creative approach of solving problems that starts with people and ends with innovative solutions that are custom made to suit their needs.

This is the central philosophy of Design Thinking and it involves five phases:

Not just Oral-B, but companies like Apple, Pepsi, Nike, AirBnb, SAP & Intuit attribute their success to Design Thinking. Once learned, design thinking is flexible and can be applied to a wide range of opportunities within your organization.

Image credit

[Learn more about Design Thinking and how you can apply it in your current role by attending a workshop conducted by Productive Weekends. The group comprises of Design Thinking Enthusiasts from top organizations like Citrix, LinkedIn, Amazon, Cypress Semiconductors & MakeMyTrip. All of whom  come from a good mix of backgrounds including Technology, Engineering, Analytics, Sales & Marketing (Register).]

The ABC..Z of Digital Marketing for Startups

In today’s era, it is very important for startups to be present where their audience are and engage with them. You can reach your tech-savvy audience through various channels of digital marketing. To get better results, I had written an easy guideline which will help to meet your business objective more smartly.

A – ALT Tags

  • A line of text used to describe the content associated with a non-text based file, typically an image. Use keywords in these attributes to get high rankings on your pages.

B – Brand Awareness Ads

  • Brand awareness should be the first thing in building advertising objectives. Try local awareness ads on facebook to reach out more audiences. Making people aware that you exist will help you to drive more traffic and thus create a buzz in the market!

C – Cost per Acquisition Ads

  • Try CPA ads and analyse the results from each ad. Keep your CPA less than Rs. 40.

D – Dynamic Retargeting Ads

  • Dynamic retargeting Ads are shown to those users who have already been to your site containing images and information about the exact item they viewed.

E – Email Marketing

  • Email marketing saves your budget & increase brand recognition. Email marketing helps you to stay in touch with your audience on a regular basis, keeping you top of mind and at the tip of their tongue.

F – Fun

  • To engage with the audience on social media don’t bore them. Did you know 97% of the content shared on facebook are entertaining?

G – Geo-targeting Ads

  • Use geo-targeting ads to reach your potential customers by their physical location. The major search engines now all offer the ability to geo-target searches in their Pay-Per-Click campaigns by viewing their IP addresses.

H – Header Tags

  • HTML heading tags are critical components of SEO, as often times both are graphical, thereby unreadable to search engine spiders. Page titles should be included to define the page’s purpose and theme. All of the header tags should be used according to their relevance, with more prominent titles utilising <h1>, subheaders using <h2>, and so on.

I – Instagram Ads

  • Instagram offers three different formats for advertising on the platform. Photo Ad, Video Ad & Carousel Ad where you will get a good number of reach in less budget as compared to facebook reach.

J – Javascript

  • AdWords scripts provide a way to programmatically control your AdWords data using simple JavaScript in a browser-based IDE. You can use scripts to automate common procedures or interact with external data—for one to many AdWords accounts.

K – Keyword Research

  • Be sure to play detective and research keywords for each platform you’re using because audiences can vary from platform to platform.

L – LinkedIn Ads

  • Advertising on LinkedIn is important because it targets a more professional realm than other social media sites. There are also different advertising formats that you can choose from. You can advertise with image ads, video ads, or with a simple text ad.

M – Meta-Tags

  • Also called meta-data, this information found in HTML page headers used to be the bread and butter of SEO marketing tactics.

N – Natural Listing

  • Natural Listings also called “organic results” is the non-advertised listings in Search Engines. Some search engines may charge a fee to be included in their natural listings, but most of them are free. Website ranking depends on many factors and natural listing is one of them.

O – Outbound Links

  • Links on any Web page leading to another Web page, whether they are within the same site or another website. Outbound links are important as they will help you to reach wider audiences.

P – Pop-up Ads

  • Pop-up ads are forms of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to attract web traffic or capture email addresses. It will help you to capture more email addresses, which will be important for generating good contact lists and customer data.

Q- Quality Score

  • Quality Score in Google Adwords used to calculate ratings of your keywords. If your Quality score is less than 5 then change your keyword or bidding accordingly.

R – Retargeting Ads

  • Google Adwords and Facebook Ads both will provide you with the option of retargeting, retarget your user using these two channels. You will always have competitors when it comes to startups, but retargeting can help you be one step above everybody.

S – SEO

  • Search engine optimisation or SEO, in short, is a set of rules that can be followed by website (or blog) owners to optimise their websites for search engines and thus improve their search engine rankings. It will lead you to increase your organic conversions.

T – Twitter Ads

  • Twitter now offers a lot of advertising ads, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Keyword Targeting in Timelines. Twitter is very different as compared to facebook when it comes to targeting.

U – UAC Campaigns

  • If you are new to Google Adwords try running UAC campaigns. Universal app campaigns run ads across the Google Search Network and the Display Network, including Google Play, within other apps, and on YouTube. These campaigns generate your ads based on your app listing in the Google Play Store, a few independent lines of text, and an optional YouTube video link.

V – Viral Ads

  • Every founder or co-founder has a dream to make startup going viral. But the truth is you never know what could go viral these days, the internet is weird like that.

W- Website

  • To list your startup at #1 in Search ranking, it very important to optimize your website properly. The majority of search engines users are more likely to choose one of the top 5 suggestions in the results page so to take advantage of this and gain visitors to your website or customers to your on-line store you need to rank as higher as possible.

X – XML Sitemap

  • XML Sitemaps are important to crawl your website and indexed by search engines. Based on your website data, search engines include pages in their search index, which means that page can be found by users. Website crawlability is its accessibility for search bots. You have to be sure that search bots will be able to find your website pages, obtain access and then “read” them.

Y – Youtube Ads

  • YouTube has become an extremely important component of digital marketing.YouTube has an important role to play in terms of discovery as well as in the final stages of a buying decision.

Z – z- Index

  • Using the z-index property of CSS allows you to better control the positioning of overlapping elements. This element is sometimes used for black hat SEO purposes.

Seeking advice : commission on selling price + VAT

Hi. I am just wondering if i can get some advice on this issue which is on the back of my mind for quite long now. As you know all online selling companies (be it Food Ordering Platforms (FOPs) or ecommerce majors) charge a certain percentage from the seller on selling price. Now in some (i guess in most) cases the commission is being charged on selling price + VAT. For example if an item’s selling price is rs. 100/- and VAT (say 10%) is 10/- so the commission would be charged on 110/- instead of only on rs. 100/-. Apart from this commission, seller is liable to pay the entire VAT as well. So these companies are eraning from a source which is not someone’s personal income and actually is govt’s money.

As I said, most companies are following this practice however I dont agree with this and think they are taking advantage of some loop here (i guess our law is quite on this issue).

What do you people think? All major companies are doing so, so it’s fine? Is there any law which allows them to do so? Is it illegal as I am taking it? What does our law say about it?

Please share your thoughts.