We all have days when things don't look like they're going to work. Days when the sky is falling, and the universe is punishing you.
The day that feels like a fluke is the day that you have to stop, pause and re-evaluate the plan of attack. If the day didn't feel like a fluke, then you are in no position to make changes to improve your prospects.
As a solo entrepreneur, the fluke will always be fluke. However, it is a sign that you are approaching a place where you can start tweaking and changing the way you do things.
The one thing that you must be able to do is to look at your current plan and ask yourself, "is this still a viable plan?" If the answer is no, then re-consider your options.
If you are alone, then you must make yourself a Board Room. For those of you who don't know what a Board Room is, they are an expert witness (kind of like an attorney, except they sit on the Jury). It is a small room with comfortable leather chairs, where you sit across from the expert witness and ask him/her questions.
In essence, the Board Room allows you to get a third person, a neutral third party, to look at your case, objectively, as if you are sitting across from a judge.
At the end of the Board Room presentation, you will have learned all you could from your presentation in an environment where you were able to ask intelligent follow-up questions.
This may not be the answer you were looking for, but it is the answer you need to get you back on track.
So, ask yourself: do I have a plan? If you don't, why not? If you do, is it viable? Can I afford to take the risk? And then, ask yourself: will this plan change if I have a Board Room?
If you want to start a business, you’re going to need to find a way to get into that entrepreneurial mindset. Getting into the right mindset is key, whatever it is you want to do. Any great business owner will tell you the same thing. If you’re not sure that you’re in the right mindset yet, below you’ll find some pointers that will help you get into the entrepreneurial mindset in no time. Read on and see what you can do:
1. Find Mentors
Find mentors who can inspire you. How do they act? How do they think? You may not be able to pick up on it all right away, but continuously trying to learn from them can help you to adjust your own actions and mindset. They can be people you know in real life who you admire, or people like Tony Robbins. You don’t need to spend a fortune to go to their seminars, unless you really want to. Reading up on their free material and watching their talks online can help you in a myriad of ways, and it won’t cost you anything.
2. Read Books
The more books you can read on the subject, the better. Of course, some will resonate with you more than others. Try to read at least one book per month so that at the end of each year you have gotten through 12 books that have helped you to expand your mind. Books like Think and Grow Rich and Automic Habits are amazing places to start.
3. Get Clear on Who You Need To Be
Your self image can have a lot to do with how easily you are able to get into ‘entrepreneurial mode’. You can do lots of reading and learning, but if you don’t change your self image, you’re unlikely to actually get to where you need to be. So, get clear on who you need to be to achieve your dreams. What do you need to believe? Who do you need to spend time with? How do you spend your days? Really immerse yourself in this new vision of yourself and then try to become that version of yourself each day. Soon, you won’t need to try and your goals will come to you far more effortlessly.
4. Set SMART Goals
Setting vague goals rarely helps anybody. Setting SMART goals can help to give you goals that you can actually measure. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. This way, you know exactly what you must do, can see whether you’re getting to where you want to be, and have a deadline to keep you focused.
5. Work on Your Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are often deeply ingrained in our subconscious, and play a huge part in how we act and what we believe we can achieve. In a way, it ties in with our own self image. Figure out what you believe deep down. You may consciously believe you can be a business owner, but what about subconsciously? If you don’t think you’re smart or cunning deep down, then you may not get to where you want to be. Get to know yourself inside out.
6. Figure Out Your Budget
A budget will help you to see what you need to focus on when you get started. You’ll also be able to approach suppliers and start building relationships with them, which can further help you get into the right mindset. Whether you’re looking at a company to provide a carbon steel butt weld or a company to outsource your accounting to, make sure you consider this carefully. You will need to be frugal with your budget to begin with.
7. Stop Being Self Centred
A good business owner in this day and age is always people-focused. This means remaining focused on both your customers and your team. It’s time to stop thinking about yourself and how you can benefit and instead think about how you can provide value to the people around you. This is what makes an effective business that can stand the test of time.
8. See Failure As A Step Towards Success
Failure doesn’t need to be the boogeyman of business. It can teach you so much about what works and what doesn’t, and should be looked at as a valuable lesson. You aren't going to make it through life without making a few mistakes. Make sure you appreciate these mistakes and learn from them. Don’t dwell on them!
9. Always Keep Your ‘Why’ In Mind
Entrepreneurs have a very clear idea of what their ‘why’ is and what they would like to achieve. If you forget your ‘why’ or your personal mission, you could easily fall out of your entrepreneurial mindset. Before making any decision, remind yourself of your why. Write it down so you can see it every day. Making sure you keep it in mind will inform you in many positive ways.
10. Stay Flexible
Flexibility is key as an entrepreneur, too. You might be able to get into the right mindset fast, but that mindset might not benefit you forever. Things are changing, across all industries, and they are changing faster than ever. Make sure you’re always prepared to learn and do new things, whatever it takes to be successful. A flexible attitude and way of working is a must in 2021 and beyond, so don’t allow rigid thinking or an inflexible way of running your business.
Getting into the entrepreneurial mindset fast might not seem possible to some, but with determination and SMART goals on your side, you should be able to do it in a week or less. This doesn’t mean you’ll never need to work on your mindset again, just that you’ll be in a much better place to start your business venture. It could even be worth changing your idea of what ‘entrepreneur’ means. It doesn’t have to mean a suit wearing, fast decision making, cut throat person who is cut off from their emotions. Anybody can start a business in this day and age!
It is not uncommon to encounter a lot of people who are looking for a business that they can start with little money. There are many small businesses that are booming today and tomorrow.
One of the best businesses you can start with little money is the one that is selling goods and services. The goods and services you can be selling are the ones that make life worth living and give you satisfaction. It does not matter though if your business is making money or not - all that matters is that there is a need for your goods and services.
When you think of your business, what comes to mind? Perhaps it is something that you can sell with little money - like handmade bracelets with sentimental value. What about a service like babysitting? You can be a babysitter for children and adults. How about being a personal shopper and selling fashionable clothes?
As you think of your business, you might even come up with ideas for it that go well beyond what I mentioned - like being a wedding planner or a wedding planner consultant. You could sell services like designing logos or logo development or logo writing and print development, or even help people create websites or store websites. So let me ask you a question. Is there a business that you could start with little money that would give you satisfaction and a reason for living? I sure hope that you can answer yes!
"There are no limitations on how much money you can make as a business owner"
"You can earn money doing anything that doesn't jeopardize your health, safety or the lives of others"
- but of course if there were boundaries that would prevent you from earning money doing things that you like, there would be no need for entrepreneurs!
The bottom line is that you have to develop your own business idea. I have already explained why this is a good idea but you have to do more. You have to do research on it. I have given you some hints as to where to start but I have gone further into details on this, including some of the steps that you have to take. You need to do all of this, and more, to learn the lessons that you have to learn in order to become a success in your own business. It will help you become a successful entrepreneur in your own way, but please don't stop there because your own business idea is only half of it.
Now I would love you to answer the question. What business idea do you have?
The most important thing that you can do to ensure that you have a business idea that will give you the greatest chance of making a profit is to do your research. This means that you have to do two things: First, learn as much as possible from other successful entrepreneurs who have already done what you want to do. Second, learn as much as possible from those who have failed before you, so that you can learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same mistakes. There are some great sites to find out more about these lessons and the mistakes of others. I would recommend that you join the CEO community, as this is where I started and have been learning from others who have already been successful in their own business. I hope that this helps.
I've been working with online entrepreneurs for well over a decade now and in that time (and especially during this time) I have learned many interesting lessons and tips of the trade. One of those lessons is the power of having a vision for your business growth and success.
Many of us would much rather "wait and see" what happens than take steps toward our dreams... especially when they're small (like building your own website) and grand (like taking your business from the comfort of home to millions of people looking at your site everyday).
In this day and age where there is more information than ever before, you would think that we would rather listen to someone who can show us HOW to build our business and what tools and resources we need but the sad truth is that too many entrepreneurs listen to someone who has all the knowledge... and quit when they discover that they don't know how to do what they want.
One other very important factor in getting your business started, is having a mentor.
This is not just any old mentor though; in my experience you want someone who has done exactly what you want to do, and exactly how you want to do it... so they will be your sounding board as you learn the skills necessary to get your dream of building your business... going from a hobby into a profitable business.
You want a mentor who knows exactly how your business should sound, and exactly how you can get to that point.
You want a mentor who knows exactly which tools and resources will be the best for your business.
You are going to spend many, many hours working with your mentor and we don't want to find out that the skills and techniques we invest in during our time with them is not what is needed... and you're going to be frustrated because you spent too much time with the wrong tool or technique.
So make sure there is someone who lives your dream as much as you do and has gone beyond what you thought was possible! So many entrepreneurs waste their precious time in an effort to "perfect" their business instead of concentrating on creating a business that can flourish without them.
And you don't need to spend a fortune to get yourself a great mentor... one of my all time fave's are Mike Friesen (author of "Rich Dad" series) and Jim Collins (author of Bestseller... "Lights Out")
These guys are great teachers because they get you working in their business day in day out, not just a one time course where you leave feeling like you've got it all under control.
5. Your passion - what really drives you to become a successful entrepreneur.
I want to tell you about a friend of mine who wanted to be an entrepreneur so bad that he would do anything to achieve that dream. And you know what, he's become one... as well as many other entrepreneurs we know. So his passion is real, it's not just something he creates to earn some extra cash.
There should be something you absolutely love and then there should be something that drives you to become an entrepreneur. Like wanting to do something that is beneficial to everyone and something that gives you a rush just thinking about it, getting you excited and ready to take on the world.
That way you'll get through the first 5 steps easily and then you'll be able to focus on achieving your dreams in the third step.
Now get going and create your business today!
Accepting risk is a part of being an effective entrepreneur, and it is one that is hard to square with the idea that business success is all about making the right decisions. Let’s acknowledge here and now that even beginning to run your own business is an endeavour that is wrapped up with risk. You are putting money on the line with no guarantee of success - because that can’t be guaranteed - and hoping that you won’t be one of the 60% of businesses that fail in their first three years.
It’s tempting to think that you won’t be one of those businesses, because you won’t make the mistakes they did. When you face a problem, or a fork in the road, you will simply apply intelligence and make the right decision. This is a comforting thought, and intelligence is certainly a vital part of doing business the right way, but is it foolproof? Let’s look at some home truths about business that tell us what we need to know about how - and even whether - you can think your way to business success.
Intelligence isn’t just about what you know
If business success was simply a matter of knowing things, then - naming no names here - some of the richest people in the world would never have passed the first hurdle. An important part of achieving business success is not assuming that the world will behave in the way you expect it to. We’ve just spent more than a year in a pandemic having a crash course in the concept of “unforeseen circumstances”, but some people don’t yet realise that not only does the world not act according to rules, it also doesn’t always react in the way you would expect. What you know is less important than how quickly you adjust to new realities.
It’s not about what should work, it’s about what does work
To make the analogy of business as sport, we can all think of teams or professionals who play the game in a beautiful way. Exciting to watch, constantly innovating, and usually losing in the long run to teams and players who are less beguiling to watch but more efficient. If your goal is business success, you will need to be more like the latter. This means that evaluating your strategy isn’t about reading and digesting the works of Sun Tzu (or even Vince Lombardi); it’s about knowing how to set OKRs and achieve those targets. If you’re producing a healthy balance sheet, by all means you can quote all the great philosophers you want to - but don’t assume that the latter will necessarily beget the former.
You can never completely eliminate risk
Some people hold the impression that business is a series of binary decisions, and if you just pick the right choice at each interval, you’ll eliminate the threat of things going wrong. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid risk in business by leaning away from it. Nor can you face it head-on and make it submit - you simply need to accept that it is there and work on ways to minimise it; repeat the things that are working until they stop working, and avoid the things that never worked to begin with. Perhaps most importantly, you should be looking to get far enough ahead of the curve that you can afford a few mistakes - because mistakes will happen, no matter how much planning you do.
Success in business isn’t just about having the master strategy; a lot of it comes down to adaptability, humility and - in some cases - sheer good luck. It’s useful to know a lot, and to think a lot, but sometimes just recognising you can’t know everything is even more important.
A lot of people dream about the concept of being able to go self-employed. After all, it means that they have the freedom as well as the autonomy to be able to work on their very own terms. The growth of the sector alone has been very well publicised over the years and this means that there has bever been a better time for you to take the plunge. If you want to make sure that going self-employed is the right decision for you then you can find out whatever you need to know, right here.
You Know your Product or Service
If you want to go self-employed then you don’t need to have a final or even a polished proposition. You do however need to make sure that you know your product or your service. If you don’t then you may find that you struggle to know whether or not your idea is feasible. You also need to make sure that your product solves a definite pain point, so that you are aware of how best to address your customers.
You’re Ready and Willing
Even though you may be an expert in your field, that doesn’t mean that you can easily deal with all of the other aspects that are involved with running a business. If you want to come out a success then you need to make sure that you are able to deal with your sales, marketing accounts, technology and even legal team. The main problem with being self-employed is that you might not be an expert at everything and you probably can’t afford to outsource either. This is normal, but it does mean that you need to get your head around the basics if possible. If you want to get the best result out of your self-employed experience then eventually it may help you to look into remote onboarding at a later date.
You Want Control
If you are at a point where you feel like your ideas are just not getting the appreciation that they should, then this may indicate that now is the time for you to go self-employed. It may be that you no longer want to be told what to do, or that you just want to be more rewarded for the work that you are putting in. Either way, going self-employed gives you the chance to call all of the shots you need.
You’re Ready to Talk about Money
You have to be comfortable with money if you want to be self-employed. Undercharging is a huge issue for freelancers so you need to make sure that you pitch your services and your products at the right time. Some signs that you need to think about your charges include if your tasks are taking longer than they should be to get done, or if you find that you are continually trying to undercut your competition. It will take some trial and error, but if you take your time then you should be able to set the right prices.
If you’ve integrated remote working options that have been used since March or April of 2020, it’s amazing to think we may have been using those systems for almost a year now.
Of course, in some respects this might become the norm for your business from here on out, ensuring that you always have a possible approach to keeping flexible and always online if necessary.
That said, some form of normality will return in the future, and that can mean in the long run, we are given the chance to consider what needs improving in our office, what workflow we should curate to make this daily process easier to handle, and what lessons we have learned.
It would take many deep investigations and reports to figure out just what changes have been made and what effects have been felt thanks to this change in our working capacity, so we’re going to stick with the most pertinent advice, and show how it’s useful in order to inspire you to action:
Integrating Communication Platforms
It’s overwhelmingly likely that your business has been using a range of programs that are external to your business, in order to make sure your staff can communicate with one another. It could be that fully integrating better and more prominent services based on what you have used and what you haven’t could be important.
For instance, it may be that upgrading to a VPN with unlimited plans and the means to log in securely with a security key can offset those that require you to keep updating staff with numbered logins that they forget and keep having to respect. Integrating a VOIP phone system can work wonders when returning to the office. In this context, we become better at helping our team collaborate with one another.
The Format Of Your Office
Now could be a great time to sell your office furniture and pick up newer, more health-conscious ergonomic models. Why is this? Well, many businesses are downsizing at the moment, or shutting up shop. That’s a very sad state of affairs, but it also points to the fact that we can make use of many of these sales, even if it’s just in the form of a large meeting desk, by scouring these sales and helping those businesses liquidate their stock. IT equipment, office furnishings, it can all make a difference when upgrading your utility and helping the office space seem new upon a return.
Dedication To Your Values
Remember that now is the time for visionary leaders to collaborate with their team, but also to inspire them. In this mindset, it can be important to remind your staff of your values and just what company history they are contributing to. Setting up training that helps you understand these measures once more can help you refocus and reorient your vision. It sounds unnecessary, but you’d be surprised how inclusion to this degree can inspire your staff to renewed effort, and can refocus your dedication to them.
With this advice, we hope you can make the most of your business and level up, despite the inconsistent working expectations of the last year.
The pandemic has hit millions of businesses around the world, causing them to make major cuts in employment, budget, and for some, permanent closure. If your small business has managed to make it this far, then you’re probably looking for ways to work smarter, decrease expenditure, and appeal to your target audience more than ever. Thankfully, even though the pandemic is still at large, many restrictions are being lifted, which is allowing businesses to continue trading. However, staying smart and vigilant is essential to help your business stay on track. Here are some amazing tips on how to work smarter during the pandemic.
Cutting back costs in 2020 might have been a priority for your business, and if you had to cut back on marketing costs and begin tackling it yourself, you’ll know how much time and effort it takes. However, you can have the best of both worlds! While a permanent in-house marketing team would be ideal, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far then you may run into issues. Outsourcing marketing allows you to let an experienced professional create and run your marketing campaigns - but only as and when you need them! Paying a freelancer say, once a month, rather than for every day of the month will save you money and prevent your marketing from falling down the drain.
Look bigger than you are
One of the downsides of being a small business is that quite often, customers would rather entrust their money with larger businesses because they think larger businesses are more trustworthy. While this isn’t necessarily the case, making your business look like a larger corporation may help you attract more customers. You can do this by:
Sell COVID-friendly products or services
Finally, we’re living in an age where anything to help survive the pandemic is something people will want. Find ways to incorporate COVID-friendly products or services into your niche. Whether it’s a branded face-mask, an app to help cure boredom, or even hacks to help stay safe, people will be interested in buying from a company they know and love. Appeal to the COVID market and you’ll notice a considerable improvement in sales!
If you want to survive and help your business to grow, then you need to make sure that you have a steady stream of business clients. In the old days, this was a case of you simply sending out a flyer or even a postcard. You might have even been able to put your ad in a local paper, but right now, things work very differently. You have to make sure that you adapt to what is around you and you also need to make sure that you are willing to figure out the best way to really get your business on the map. If you don’t then you may find that you end up struggling to get noticed and this is the last thing that you need.
Verify Google Business
If you are running a B2B business, then you have to make sure that you are as professional as the companies you are marketing to. Your Google Business Profile is what gives your business the opportunity to show up in search results. It also shows up when someone types in your company name on the internet. Google is getting better at catering to users all the time and this free listing should always be your top priority. Ideally, you would use your business profile to promote your company, not to mention that it also helps to verify legitimacy. You can do this through your very own Google My Business account. When you are able to verify ownership of your company, you can then optimise your listing. This will help you to show up much higher in the search results and it will give you access to much more advertising options. If you are able to show on Google Maps, then this will help you to really make the most out of your local SEO efforts.
Print Leaflets and Flyers
You may think that this is a very outdated way for you to do business, but this is not the case at all. In fact, printing leaflets and flyers is actually a fantastic way for you to make the most out of your marketing campaign, if you combine it with your other efforts. If you are going down the flyer route then you have to make sure that you incorporate your website and you also need to make sure that you add plenty of digital information. This could include your social media handle, for example. If you want to make the most out of your marketing, then it would be wise for you to use large format printing machines.
It’s one thing for you to promote your company, but it is another for Google to promote your company. SEO will ultimately determine your ranking algorithm, so you have to make sure that you put in the work to boost your ranking. If you want to boost your SEO, then you need to add relevant keywords that are based on your location as well as your industry. You also need to make sure that you add them to specific places on your site too. At the end of the day, if you can produce high-quality content with tagged images then this will help you out in the long run and it will also help you to maintain a solid site that brings in business for years to come.
We all want to work less and earn more, don’t we? It’s the dream, the final step towards that ever-elusive ‘work/life balance.’ And yet, until now, most of us have assumed that it’s a myth. After all, you get out what you put in – everyone knows that!
Unless maybe you don’t. According to recent reports, US workers who put in as many as 60 hours each week were less likely than their peers to have received a bonus in the last three years.
Far from being an injustice, this is clear evidence that you don’t have to work yourself into the ground to get ahead. In fact, doing so could be hindering your earnings, and here’s why.
A focus on quantity not quality
When we push ourselves too far to be productive, we fall into a focus on quantity rather than quality. After all, a sixty-hour workweek might sound impressive, but there’s no way you can produce good work for that length of time. Rather, you’re liable to work like a sleep-deprived zombie trudging towards a deadline. And, your efforts will be as flat as your pulse!
By comparison, employees who stick to the forty-hour standard may well come in and boss it on the quality front, meaning that their shorter timeframe is worth more than your long one. Which begs the question, why would you bother to work more in the first place?
An inability to hand over responsibility
If you’re too focused on being the hardest working, then you’re more likely to take everything on your shoulders. This may seem like a valiant effort, but martyrdom is never good. If you’re juggling product development on top of lead generation, you’re more liable to wear yourself down and drop both balls.
By comparison, outsourcing allows you to hone your time, and clock off at a decent hour. All with the promise of better results. After all, outsourcing managed IT means that you can get cybersecurity right at last while turning to a lead generation company ensures that time you spend converting is time well spent. Far from a failure, accepting that you can’t do it all is fundamental to making the most possible money from your time.
Failure to see straight
It’s also worth noting that, the more you work, the less you can see simple solutions to challenges. And, when this happens, you spend more time developing less satisfactory responses.
Switching your brain off sometimes is the ideal way to solve production dilemmas or close leads at last. Much like when we’re falling asleep, our brains often find answers to these things themselves when left to their devices. By comparison, hunching over a desk and considering things for too long will make it trickier for you to reach satisfactory conclusions, as well as taking ever more of that precious time.
So, you see, it may sound impressive when you state you’ve worked a sixty-hour week, but is it really the right way to earn more? Probably not.
The new year has officially begun which means it's time to think about your business year ahead. We have declared 2021 to be the year businesses make a comeback and and thrive, businesses all over the globe have struggled to keep going, if you are one of the lucky ones that have managed to stay open over the last year then well done, it's now time to start planning to grow and run your business successfully throughout the year ahead.
Make Or Revise Your Business Plan
Every business should have a business plan in place, if yours hasn't been updated or reviewed in a while then take the time to check in and see if you are still on plan. If you are a new business looking to start writing your plan then there are many templates online that you can use. When writing your plan have a time period in mind, whether it be a 1 year, 5 year or 10 year goal this will be helpful to keep you on track to achieving your aims and objectives. Keep reviewing your plan every 6 months to see if your values or end goal has altered.
Grow Your Online Presence
It is essential for any successful business to have an online presence in 2021, so if you don't already it's time to think about creating a website and / or social media pages for your business. If you already have a website then you might want to consider rebranding or upgrading. Ensure your website is optimised for all device types and is easy for customers to navigate. Once your website is up to scratch, it's time to set up your social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the leading social media platforms. Choose one or two main platforms to focus on, having too many accounts running at once can be overwhelming and hard to keep track of. When your social media accounts are up and running you can start using the advertising tools they offer. They allow you to target specific, ages, genders and areas, which will help guide the right customer to your site.
Think About Location
When running you business location is key, if you are a physical business then you might want to be positioned within a busy highstreet so you get organic walk in traffic. If you are located down a side street it might be hard for your customers to find you so ensure you are somewhere more prominent. If your business is online you might not think that location is important, however people have preconceived ideas about the status of a business based on their location. If you are looking to expand where you conduct business you should get a CBD virtual office to help you grow your business outside your usual area. By setting up a few virtual offices will help you gain customers from all over the world.
Now it's time for you to apply these tips to your business and make it a successful year. While you are here check out Three ways you can reduce your workload in your small business.
Starting up a business is no easy feat. Expect financial loss, energy exertion, and heavy competition. With that said, it is important to start your business with the best possible chances. These simple steps will guide you towards developing a successful start-up.
1. Consider the market you are going into
Think about any market niche your business applies to. Gaps in the market will generate higher consumer demand, which you can capitalize on. Familiarize yourself with competitors and find out what they are doing, and more importantly, what they are not doing. Carrying out competitive analysis is crucial if you want your business to succeed.
2. Devise a business model
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You may aspire to one day expand your start-up into a franchise. You may want to offer a subscription-based service to maintain loyal customers. Or, perhaps you are going for a direct sales business model. Whatever the case, modeling your business will fortify your vision and assist with potential problems. The nine building blocks of a business model are customer segments, key resources, value propositions, client channels, key partners, customer relationships, revenue streams, activities that create value, and cost structure.
3. Consider your employees
Once you have established your business model, think about what kind of working environment it will create for employees and how you can implement systems to benefit them and improve efficiency. For example, if you have lone workers or employees that perform paging and alarm management, Motorola radio rental offers specialized two-way systems and communication solutions.
4. Work on your final product
Many start-ups' common downfall is assuming they can offer a wide range of products from the outset. Doing this will deplete the limited resources you have. Instead, pick one or two products you can perfect. New customers will appreciate your service quality and be inclined to positively review, repeat purchase, and recommend to a friend.
5. Gather customer feedback
After launching your business and getting those initial sales, it is important to review your customer feedback. Positive or negative, it will demonstrate where to alter your business. If the reviews are mostly positive, look specifically at what worked well. Recurring themes in feedback signify consumer habits. Analyzing this data may reveal opportunities for expansion within that area.
6. Carry out market surveys
If you are trying out a new product or service, it is a good idea to collect data from your targeted audience before launching anything. You can do this through online questionnaires like Survey Monkey. You could put the question to online forums. Or, you could organize a focus group. Each method has its benefits. Online surveys and forums can target a wider demographic, while focus groups may offer more in-depth feedback on a product or its branding.
It's a given that start-ups need a fair amount of initial planning. But with savvy preparation and research, there is the opportunity to succeed. Remember: start small, think big.
Many people dream of starting their own business, they want to work for themselves, they have a great idea that they know people would use or want and they want to make loads of money for themselves without having to give it to someone else. If you’re one of these people who dream of starting your own business, then what is it that is stopping you?
The answer is nothing, and while you might be able to think up plenty of excuses to keep putting it off, in reality, the only thing that is stopping you from achieving your dream is you. If this year has taught us anything it is that life is short and you never know what is around the corner. Who could have predicted that 2020 would be spent mostly in lockdown, social distancing, unable to travel and in fear of a failing economy? It sounds like a disastrous time to start a business but in fact, this pandemic is not an excuse and is as good a time as any to start your business.
You have the time
One of the biggest reasons people give for not following their dreams or one of the things that people complain they never have enough of is time. But this pandemic has given us time. Whether you have been laid off, furloughed, working from home or carrying on your job as normal, it has still meant that there has been less to do and far more time spent in the house. While it looks like there is the hope of a vaccine now, it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over so if there are more lockdowns then perhaps it's time to use them wisely to work on your business.
You have the resources
The other thing available right now is a talent as well as other businesses who need work. For example, there are small business owners who could help you out, from electricians to logistics consultants, there are people ready and waiting to get their teeth stuck into something good and help you get your business off the ground. There are also so many talented people who have lost their jobs and are looking for work and could be an asset to your business.
There is a demand
While the world has changed significantly and some things are no longer as important as they once were, on the other hand, there are things such as face masks, PPE, virtual meetings and deliveries which have never been so popular. If your business can help to meet the demand that the pandemic has caused then it's the perfect time to start.
You can adapt
The great thing about starting your business now is that you can adapt to the new world straight away. You won’t need to make changes as you can have the restrictions and guidelines in place from the off. Your business can be something that doesn't just exist in a post-covid world but can thrive and help people adapt to a new way of living.
We all take pleasure when our ideas come to fruition. We’re even more pleased when the ideas have an impact by improving motivation, innovation or productivity, among other areas. The spread of an idea can benefit many, but that popularity can also alter and distort the original. You can read more over at Entrepreneur Europe...
In an age where we have unlimited access to pretty much everything you can imagine, it’s easy to become tempted to learn as much as possible.
Maybe you feel as though becoming an expert in many fields will benefit your career or business prospects? And in some ways, you’re not wrong to think that- having knowledge in several areas will set you aside from the crowd as well as giving you the personal gratification of learning something new.
However, there are several reasons why it’s often good, and not self-limiting to become a hyper specialist.
Here are some of them..
You get to become an expert in your field
One of the best reasons to focus on one or two areas of expertise is that the more you invest in your knowledge the better.
Imagine if an athlete decided that they wanted to spread themselves across more areas of the athletics industry. They decided they want to train, coach, advertise sporting events, and run the ticket desk, too. While all of these things are jobs that are related to the athletics field, the more this athlete does that will take them away from their training and participation in events, the less time and energy they have to focus on the things that set them apart from the others.
It’s the same if you’re in marketing. You decide you also want to try your hand at the web design, content writing, accounts, and sales as well. You’ll be spreading yourself too thinly and potentially missing out on some key aspects of the ever-evolving world of marketing. Staying focused on this one area will mean you get to invest all of your energy in becoming the best.
You can offer something unique
Imagine you’re at a restaurant and the server gives you a 10 page menu to choose your meal from. Not only are you more likely to end up plagued by indecision, but the choice you make may not result in the best quality meal for your time and money. It’s the same in business. If you offer too much, you’re not going to offer the best quality out there.
However, if you head to the sandwich bar three doors down the road who offer one meat, one vegetarian, and one fish option with only three kinds of bread, you know that you’re going to get something a bit more special. This expert specialism is what keeps people coming back. Sure, not everybody wants a sandwich all the time, but when they do, they’ll know exactly where to go.
It can get even more specific than that, even. Medifit Design and Construct are a great example of a business that takes something that people look for (design agency) with a specialism (for healthcare practices). People looking for those particular services may be able to find a company that will do a good job designing their medical practice, but perhaps none as good as one that will be able to deliver the same attention to detail as a specialist company.
This is why becoming hyper specialist isn’t limiting.
Starting your new business is a journey that will take you through many ups and downs. That said, it is exciting and one which is extremely rewarding. Plus, many people say working for themselves is the best thing they have ever done. When starting your business, there are many things to consider: branding, finances to websites, and funding. Below is an overview of a few things you should consider when starting your own business.
Creating your website
Will you be making your website yourself or hire a professional to make one for you? Depending on your requirements, a website will help bring in new customers to your business and allow you to appeal to them in a different way. Before starting your website, make sure you put a plan together of what you will need on it and the type of website it will be, whether eCommerce, or a brochure-like site.
When running your business, it is important to stay on top of your finances. Using an account package, you will be able to track how you are doing instantly through a click of a button. Not only that, but you will also be able to send invoices and keep an eye on your expenses. By using digital accounting, you can easily allow your accountant access to your books without having to visit them in person. This will enable them to log in and see how you are performing without leaving their office to meet you; it can all be done over a phone call.
How will you brand yourself?
Logos, brand colors, and marketing materials should all be thought about before launching your company. Your logo is important, as everyone will see first and give them the first impression of your business. Done cheaply, it can be detrimental to your brand. Brand colors can portray a lot about you; if you are a luxury brand, you may want more gold’s and silvers used instead of bright funky colors. By hiring a graphic designer, they can help you with all of this.
Testing your idea in the real world
If your idea is completely new, how do you know it will work? Before investing heavily in your idea, it’s worth creating some prototypes and seeing how people respond to it. This is a great way to get actual feedback and to get other people’s opinions. Take note of what people are saying is you can use this to develop your idea and make it even better.
Will you need investment?
Will your business plan require you to need significant investment, or can you gradually grow your business? If you need investment, have you considered how you are going to raise funds? Make sure you do your research and put together a solid business plan to explain each step of your journey and how the money will be spent. Angel investors, bank loans, competitions, friends, and family, there are many ways for you to pitch and bring in some funding for your idea.
Financial uncertainty has prompted many to start thinking about a Plan B to help supplement their existing income, while others have spent lockdown pondering whether the career they thought they wanted is right for their long-term future. Entrepreneur Europe caught up with one CEO to find out how she runs her business in 3 hours at night!
Launching a product is a milestone event in the life of your firm. Even if you’re a relatively mature firm with a product library, each new addition to that family counts. For this reason, knowing how to launch with style, and get noticed, is important. It can serve as a refreshing point for your brand, while also giving you the chance to grow further and with confidence.
But simply hoping to do this well is one thing, and achieving those results is another. For the most part, there are many variables that contribute to your success here. Cultural trends, price fluctuations, competitor activity, all of this can influence your end result, and it’s almost impossible to predict this with complete accuracy.
However, launching with style, and launching effectively need not be opposed. There’s every chance of hitting this out of the park, if only you took the time to understand what you have to offer and how you could best promote it. So, how can we get started? With the following, worthwhile advice:
Excellent video production can help you design a snappy advertisement, or a promotion for your social media fields, or an unveiling that works for you. Visual mediums like this can help you express your product in its full glory, with all the bells and whistles. Furthermore, this can help generate hype, as the use of flashy imagery and music can bring a larger-than-life quality to just about anything. When you take the time to collaborate with a studio offering this kind of utility, you’ve taken the strongest, most exciting first step.
Influencers are all the rage and show almost no signs of slowing down in modern times, which means that they serve as a great brand opportunity. For instance, energy drink companies are partnering with high-profile video game streamers to give a sense of energy and enthusiasm to their brands. Social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram and others have their own form of advertisements through which you can promote, and you may even simply take out ads with these platforms to raise your profile inteh first place. Launching a product through this avenue could help you generate more hype and buzz than you had ever imagined possible.
Celebrate your product! If you can’t stand behind it, no one can. It’s important to really show what people can appreciate about your product, how it can work, and why people should get excited alongside you. This can be seen in your promotional material and copywriting, your branding, or just when and where you decide to release. For instance, throwing an event can be a means in which to bring people together and show them why they should support you, or it can generate hype that may ultimately end up being covered elsewhere. Real celebrations work, because everyone loves to celebrate.
With this advice, launching a product with style will be a great use of your time.
Running a business from home certainly has its advantages but without the credibility that larger businesses possess, it can sometimes be difficult to get taken seriously.
Still, this doesn't mean a home business owner can't find success, and this doesn't mean the business won't have the capacity to grow. Just look at Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, for example, two entrepreneurial luminaries who eventually grew out of their homes and into (for want of better words) the big leagues!
So, if you're working from home, in whatever capacity, here are some tips to help you get taken seriously. You might then experience the growth that those now running multi-million companies have attained or, at the very least, make yourself a tidy income from whatever type of business you are running.
#1: Benefit from a virtual office address
If you are using your home address on your mailouts, your clients and customers might fail to take you seriously. Especially if you are trying to convey a professional image, it will be a direct giveaway that you are probably working from home in your pj's. This is where a virtual address comes in handy as it can give the impression that your business is bigger than it actually is. You can also benefit from a telephone answering service with the services of a virtual office provider, and again, this will do much to convey a more professional image. Follow the previous link for one example, and consider the benefits for you.
#2: Be careful with your video calls
If you're speaking to clients through Skype or any other type of video communication tech, be sure to dress well before making a call. While working from home can give you the opportunity to wear your pj's or slacks, your dress sense will reflect poorly on your image. Dress smartly then, and consider wearing a suit for those you are really trying to impress.
Be sure to make your calls in your home office too. This is far more professional than chatting with your clients in your living room, and it can also convey the image that you're not working from your home. We have some tips on designing a successful home office, so have a read of our article.
And finally, take note of this BBC news interview that was conducted with one esteemed professional. If you want your clients to take you seriously, be sure not to let your children interrupt you when you're having a serious business conversation!
#3: Brush up your brand image
Enlist the help of the professionals if you need help with this regard. A web designer will give you a professional-looking website, a photographer will give you the quality photos you need for your website and other promotional materials, and a copywriter will provide with you the written content you need to give that excellent first impression.
Be sure to ask your customers and clients for testimonials for your website, and ask them to leave reviews on business review sites as well. And have a separate social media account for your home business because your personal account just won't do if you want to be taken seriously, especially if some of the content is for friends eyes only!
By taking these steps, you will improve your brand image and improve your credibility.
We wish you every success with your home business!
If you are in a position where you are starting to think about working from home, that is a great opportunity that you are going to want to make the most of. It could be that you have started a business which you will run from home, or that you are trying to work from home more as a result of covid. Whatever it is, part of the process is going to be designing and building a home office which you can use and which you are likely to enjoy. Let’s take a look at what might be involved in that process.
Find Your Spot
First up, you need to find the spot in the home where you are going to have your office. Ideally, this will be somewhere that you don’t use for anything else. If you have a spare room, a basement, or even a garden shed, any of those could be ideal for a home office. It should be somewhere away from the general hubbub of the home, and where you are not going to be disturbed - or disturb anyone else in the home either. It also needs to be of a decent size, so that you can comfortably work there.
Build A Desk
Chances are, you are going to want a desk to work at. You can build one yourself easily enough. Anyone with even a basic understanding of woodworking can achieve this, and it is one of the easier projects you can hope to complete. Or you might decide that you want to get hold of one premade and simply install it, which can work just as well. In either case, you will then want to make sure that it is ready to work at, which might include fitting out electrics like a mains neon indicator, ensuring that everything is in its right place, and so on.
Although it might not be completely necessary, there is something wonderful about decorating the home office. It helps to make it a more enjoyable place to work, and it generally means that you are going to have a much better time of making the most of that spot. You can of course decorate it however you wish, but it might be worth bearing in mind just how different colours affect your productivity. Do your research on this and you should find that you can make the right decision.
Stock It Up
Finally, you now need to stock up your home office with everything that you will need to do your job well. As long as you have a place for everything, it is going to be much more the kind of place you hope to work, and you should find that it makes a huge difference to how the office feels to work in. All in all, building your own home office is simple enough, so consider doing it if you are thinking about working from home or starting a business to run from home as soon as possible.
No matter how strong our business plans, at some point we are going to run into a problem. Often this will be something that wasn’t of our creation, such as a recession or even the recent COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t get through life without hitting a little turbulence on the way, but we can control the severity of impact if we are prepared.
Regular crisis planning can help your business to avoid tricky situations and will prepare you for anything that crops up. The military uses a great strategy called the War Room Technique. Essentially they sit down in one room with all the critical personnel in the business. They discuss all possible threats and then work through all the potential outcomes. They then create a plan for each and every one of these. It can take some time, but the results will leave you with a set of solutions and actions, regardless of the situation.
If you have a small business, then you could outsource to help you highlight any potential issues. Look at IT support companies, specialist business accountants and PR consultants. These people can come to your business annually and work through all the areas of your yearly business plan that could be an issue.
For IT, you could utilise the experience of an ethical hacker. This is someone who operates like a criminal hacker, but they are on your side. Their job is to expose any issues within your online setup. They will find weaknesses and then come back to you with a report to show you what they were able to access and how. They can then work with an IT company to reduce your risk and help you stay one step ahead of any cyberattacks.
A PR consultant will run through your marketing plans for the next year and help you create a PR crisis plan. This will include a list of questions that could be asked of your company in the event of a crisis. Having this list pre-prepared with answers allows all of your key staff to speak in the same voice. It will help you to overcome any tricky media or consumer enquiries regardless of the crisis.
Finances are essential for your company, so speaking to your accounts team or outsourcing an independent business accountant could help you prepare for any unforeseen issues. Many businesses invest profits back into the company or into assets. This is great for growth, but in the event of a crisis can be a mistake. Your business should always have accessible savings to help secure the company in the event of an unexpected situation. Be this a cyber attack which takes you offline, a pandemic which causes you to close, a fire on your premises or even ill-health.
Building a strong crisis plan and reviewing it annually will help ensure you are prepared for anything that life throws at you, even through unprecedented times or unchartered waters.
A business launch takes a huge amount of time, effort, and planning, so for most entrepreneurs, plans usually stretch months if not years into the future. Such measures are entirely sensible; taking the time to ensure everything is in place prior to launch and that the business will be starting off on a strong footing is absolutely advantageous. However, for those planning to launch a business in the latter half of 2020, the landscape onto which they planned to launch has now suddenly changed beyond almost all recognition.
The impact of coronavirus
Much has been said about the impact of coronavirus on businesses, even with many country’s governments doing all they can to shore up support for companies. What’s more, the problems look to be far from temporary, given the scale of the recession that most financial experts seem to predict.
The vast majority of the focus, however, has been dedicated to established businesses; very little has been said about the fledgling businesses that were still in the planning phase at the time of the coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, businesses in the early phase of life face the same challenges as established companies - and more still, given they do not have name recognition or an established customer base to lean on.
So is cancelling a launch the only option?
Many prospective business owners may assess the ongoing situation and assume that there is little point in opening their business under the current circumstances, and shelve their plans with the intent to wait for better times.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. While businesses connected to the most affected sectors - such as travel and hospitality - could potentially benefit from a delay, other businesses remain viable even in difficult times. In fact, some aspects of launching a business are easier during difficult economic times: borrowing, for example, is cheaper than it will ever be, high fluidity of employment can mean businesses can attract great candidates to roles, and commercial rents can be cheaper if there’s a sudden surplus of properties as a result of a recession.
As a result, unless a business idea is in one of the industries that have been particularly impacted, moving forward with a business could still be worthwhile.
Quick tips for getting it right
If you decide your business is still viable for its launch this year, here are a few tips that can help everything goes smoothly:
Launching in 2020 is certainly still possible for many businesses, and the tips above can help to ensure the venture is as successful as possible.
Isn't life just hectic? Non-stop from the minute you climb out of your pit until you collapse into bed? BBC Worklife have a feature about 'how to reduce 'attention residue' in your life!
Entrepreneurs are everywhere now, creating a bedroom business into a multi-million pound global giant can happen! The Mirror has a list of 8 ideas for businesses this year!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.