Posts

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article

How To Be A More Effective Leader At Your Company

Being a leader is hard enough, but then you have to worry about being an effective one on top of it, which can, in turn, be incredibly stressful. Your company is counting on you to deliver your best results and you can’t be caught dragging your feet on the job. Being a good leader means you’re willing to step up and put yourself out there with the purpose of benefiting the group.

Always be brushing up on your leadership skills and thinking about what you could be doing better. The minute you start to get comfortable is when you’re going to lose your edge, which may cause you to lose some of your pull too. Your first step is to learn a few tips that will help you be more effective in your leadership position.

Always Make Time for you

Where some professionals get it wrong is that they’re always focusing on their tasks and other people. Remember that being a strong leader comes from inside you. This is why it’s important to put yourself first and take care of yourself. You can’t lead if you don’t feel your best and have the energy to do so. It also includes you taking the time to educate and train yourself on what you need to know to be more effective in your role.

Speak up

Leadership is all about having the courage to speak up and ignite change. If you notice a process that’s in place that’s holding everyone up then address it with the relevant parties. For example, if payroll is failing to provide pay stubs efficiently then tell them to use a company who can provide the service at a low cost and avoid fake paystub maker. Although it’s not your job to implement this change, you’re speaking up and being a leader to help the greater good.

Expand your Circle

To be a good leader you have to step outside your circle and get to know other people from different departments. There’s no room for having clicks and being secretive if you want to take charge at your company. Make time to get to know people in all positions and ask for their feedback regarding how it’s going for them. Have an open door policy and let everyone know they’re always welcome to step in and chat about anything that’s on their minds.

Delegate Wisely

First, you have to know how to delegate, and then you have to do it wisely. This means assigning appropriate responsibilities to others and people seeing you as an authority figure, so the work gets done on time. You must be clear and assertive in your delivery. To be an effective leader you have to be viewed as someone who means business, but also as someone who is easily approachable if there are questions or concerns.

Conclusion

Being a leader is crucial to the inner workings of your company. There’s always room for improving your skills and becoming more effective. The best way to learn is to start practicing new behaviors and getting more experience.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

How to Move Your Business Forward

For any business, there can be times when your market starts to slow down. There could be a number of reasons why this happens, but the important thing is what you do as a business to keep your company moving forward. If you are a new business, it can be a scary experience, especially if this is the first time and you haven’t put a strategy in place. However, here are a few ideas that can help you to focus on the important things and encourage you to keep going.

Fight Your Fear

Seeing the market slow down can be a worrying time for any company. You want to do things to try and boost your exposure, but you are wary of doing something that will cost money. While being cautious is a good thing, you need to weigh up your options and see where your opportunities are. Instead of becoming too fearful, try to analyze things objectively and decide the best way forward. If you find trying to be objective difficult to do, ask a friend in business to take a look for you.

Do Your Research

Before you can start to do something about your company growth, you need to know what areas you have to target. That is why you need to do your research not just on your customers, but also on your competitors. You should also be thinking about what has caused the slowdown in your market. Is it anything that you can work against? Is there a way that you can use it to your advantage? See where your competitors are going and see if there is an area they aren’t currently occupying. That might be the angle you need to start your company moving forward again.

Researching your customer’s feelings are also a good way to see what’s changed. Send out a survey on your social media accounts or try to email your existing customers. Their feedback could be the key to finding out which way to go.

Look Within Your Company

At these times, it can be a good thing to take a look at your operation to see if anything can be changed or improved. Assess and decide if there are any processes that can be managed in a better way or if there are members of staff who would be more efficient in other areas. It doesn’t mean you have to release any staff; it just gives you the opportunity to take stock of the company. It can also be a good time to look ahead and see if there are any ways you can save money, just in case things don’t improve. Look at your suppliers – are there any that could renegotiate their arrangements? Are there any contracts that are losing your company money? If there are, you might have to consider stopping them and putting your resources elsewhere. It also means that if you manage to save a little money without losing staff, you can then reinvest that money in marketing.

Have a Strategy

Once you have done your research, you should be able to think about how you are going to keep your company growing. Why have your customers stopped using your company? Is it the same for your competitors? If your competitors are doing better than you currently, then try to see why that is, what are they offering that your business is not? It may be a simple thing that you can do which will start to grow your customers again, or perhaps you can offer a different service where you see a demand. Try to devise a strategy that can be adjusted to suit a variety of conditions. For example, set limits on the amount you spend on bonuses or overseas trips, these can be raised or lowered depending on how well the company is achieving.

Consider New Approaches

Part of your review of your company may have shown that you need to think about offering a new approach to your customers. If you have always dealt with them in person, then maybe offering an online service would entice them back. Perhaps you need to offer some new additional services that have become popular with other companies. For example, if you are a law firm, then maybe using a Practical Planning System estate program to help people with their will and power of attorney will attract some additional clients. Perhaps you can take advantage of new technology to do more interviews and meetings via video conference instead of traveling to them. Not only will it save you money, but it will also enable you to arrange meetings quickly and increase your productivity.

Change Your Marketing Strategy

Another way that you may be able to get the jump on your competitors is to refocus your marketing strategy. There may be nothing wrong with what you are currently doing, though by adjusting it to other areas, you may increase your reach and obtain more leads.

Take a look and see if there are any areas that you are not currently advertising. It could be that you have never placed an ad on television before, but it might be a good idea, especially locally. This is where you need to be brave and think about the long-term benefits of advertising. Try a limited run, to begin with, and see how many new leads it generates.

Another good idea is to email your old clients and see if they need your services. It might seem unlikely, but there may be people that have been putting something off until the time was right. Your email might be the nudge they need to get it done.

It can be easy to think the worst and try to downsize your company when the market begins to slow down. Though that can be a good way to save money, it doesn’t help attract new customers and drive the market once again. If you begin to panic, it’s important to think about all the things you haven’t done yet and give them a try, but be decisive, because the sooner you get moving, the quicker you will see the results.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Small Business Myths Debunked

In the rest of this post, I will share with you some of the most common myths about starting a small business. A lot of first-time entrepreneurs can get started on the wrong foot if they believe in these myths, which is exactly why such should be debunked.

You Need a Lot of Money

This is one of the most common myths that need to be debunked. Even without the luxury of financial resources, you can start a business. Common Desk can provide offices at reasonable rates. The internet also provides an attractive platform to outsource services that will replace traditional employees. There are also financial institutions that will help you to start your business idea.

There is No Need for an Office

The truth is, even if your business is small, you will benefit from having an office. It will provide a conducive space where you and your employees can carry out basic job functions. To add, it will make a great impression amongst potential clients, especially when you are setting up a meeting with them. Luckily, offices these days do not have to be expensive. For instance, https://thecommondesk.com/ offers an office rental at a price that will be affordable for most people.

Low Price is Better

A lot of new entrepreneurs may be tempted to offer their products and services at a cheap price to attract buyers. While this can work, there are also be significant repercussions. Nonetheless, take note that low price is not the only concern of customers. Many are willing to pay a premium if they know that a company can deliver products with top-notch quality and customer service that is unrivaled.

It Can Let You Live the Lifestyle of your Dreams

If you think that having a small business means lazing around and waiting for money to come, you are totally wrong. You have to be involved and you will have to exert a lot of effort. You will have exhausting days and tiring nights. You will have little time, or none at all, to be lazy. The first few months will be the hardest as you need to get established.

No Need for Marketing Plan

Some of the reasons why your small business needs a marketing plan include having a well-defined guide, being able to estimate the costs, and forecasting. Your plan must stipulate the things that have to be done to get the word across, creating an awareness about the products and the services that you are offering. It will provide a detailed guide on how you will be marketing your business, including the costs that are involved in doing so. Consulting with people who have marketing expertise is necessary for creating this plan.

Starting a small business is never an easy feat. There will be a lot of challenges along the way, but you should remain steadfast to achieve your goal. Do not believe the myths that have been mentioned above and it will be easier for you to have a good start.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Crucial Investing Tips for 2018

In the early days of 2018, it’s a good time to consider what’s the same and what’s new as the new year unfolds. With investing specifically, some basic principles remain unchanged, but there are some new kids on the block to pay attention to as well.

Let’s dive right in with a few investing tips for 2018.

Crypto Currencies

Everyone is curious about crypto currencies right now. With the sudden rise in Bitcoin during 2017 and other digital currencies being discussed like Ethereum and LiteCoin, there’s certainly good speculative money to be made. The old idea of “buying on the dips” is likely to prove useful to handle the ups and downs of these internet currencies.

Just be careful about the fees involved with each purchase as small batch sizes sometimes, especially in the case of Bitcoin, become quite expensive to complete. Be aware of how you’re buying the bitcoin and where it’s being stored too.

While it’s common to use an intermediary to make the purchase, it’s possible to hold a balance in a digital wallet like Electrum which is open-source and cross-platform (they have multiple desktop client and mobile apps too). This way, it’s not tied to a digital wallet provider and not at risk from the digital currency robberies that have taken place previously; this is the way Bitcoin was originally intended and set up where an intermediate was not required.

Fast-moving NASDAQ Technology Stocks

NASDAQ stocks are primarily technology based. They’re often quite expensive, but they go through periodic price adjustments where there’s often good opportunities to pick up bargains. At stateschronicle.com, they cover NASDAQ stocks that have recently fallen in price and are worth researching ahead of a possible purchase. Obviously, always perform your own due diligence before diving in.

Re-balancing a Portfolio

When setting up a portfolio, you create allocations for each planned asset class. These are based on your level of equity exposure that you’re comfortable with along with a sensible mix of non-correlated assets where some zig when others zag in the markets. Balancing a portfolio in this manner helps to mitigate steep moves upwards (or downwards) and smooths out the bumps.

For instance, in 2017 U.S. stocks had a banner year having risen over 21 percent. However, investors who put an equal amount into international stocks would have enjoyed over 27 percent return on their foreign investments. A 50/50 split would have achieved 24.5 percent return pre-costs.

 

Rebalancing a portfolio is a semi-regular action that sells down investments that have risen in price and buys more of what has been in the doldrums. While it may seem counterintuitive to sell your winners, the idea is to keep reasonably close to your planned asset allocation while avoiding any whipsaw with inflated investments coming crashing down. By rebalancing, the accepted risk levels of a portfolio are maintained too.

Investing in 2018 isn’t much different to other years except there are more opportunities for smaller investors to buy different types of alternative investments including dabbling in digital currencies. Keeping a sensible eye on maintaining a proper balance to your portfolio avoids overdoing things.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Keeping your small business in the green

One of the biggest worries you’ll have with running a small business is keeping it afloat. Will you get all those contracts you’ve forecast? Will clients pay on time? Will you have enough funds in the pot to further expand and develop your company, to take on staff and to create new products and services? It all comes down to running a strong company, planning and strategy – and adapting where you need to. Particularly, if you’re starting with relatively little cash in the bank in the first place.

Feeding the cash monster

Running a small business, on the face of it, may seem straightforward – including with the finances. You make a sale, you take the payment. Simple? Not necessarily. How you run your cash flow is vital in determining the success of your business. There can be lots of costs associated with running a venture, some you may not encounter until they are staring you in the face. Effective financial planning is very important.

If you had some start-up capital to kick off your business, make sure you don’t blow it. As part of your business planning, you need to look at the priority areas for spending – and stick to your targets and goals.

If you’re putting some of your own money into the business to get it going, think carefully. Make sure you’re leaving enough to cover all of your personal bills and expenses. You may want to think about consolidating your finances into one personal loan, to free up a little more cash to invest. Have a look at an online platform like Bonsai Finance, to see what’s out there.

When you’re running a small company, you need to leave yourself some wriggle room. By that, you need to have some cash in the bank all the time. Why? Because your clients may not pay on time, or contracts may get cancelled. But, you still have the bills to pay – and you don’t want to find yourself in a predicament.

Do you need an office?

When you start up your business, have a think about where you are going to be based. If your company doesn’t need a storefront, do you need to have an external office? Could you work from home to begin with? If you have a spare room, why not convert it into an office? If you sign up to a serviced office, for example, you could be locked into a contract for months. And what happens if your venture doesn’t work out? It could be a costly mistake.

If you do need a storefront or other trading premises, make sure you do your homework. Not only into how much it’s going to cost you and for how long, but also the location and nearby facilities. If you’re relying on customers dropping in to buy your products, for example, have you picked the best area in terms of your target audience? Is it the most visible location? Will your location bring in the revenue you’re looking for?

Know who you’re selling to

You would know that selling ice in the Arctic probably isn’t the most profitable business venture. But, joking aside, you really need to know your client base – to keep up your revenues, and to stay in the green.

For all companies, it’s vital that they have a profile of their customers in mind in everything that they do. They are real people, or real companies, and you need to understand their personalities, needs and desires. And, when you have them, you need to look after them – so that they come back time and time again.

This isn’t just about you and your business planning. It’s about equipping any staff you have with the skills and knowledge that they need to sell to your client base.

As with all things now, trends are changing all the time. Make sure you keep up with your marketplace. Your customer profiles and wants may change, depending on all sorts of circumstances, make sure you keep up with them and adapt your approach accordingly.

Get social

A great way to connect with your clients, and new potential clients, is through social media. If you’re running a small business, you need to make sure that you not only have a website, but profiles on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Get your follower numbers up and spread the word about how great your company is.

Social media can be a useful marketing tool, to promote new products and services – and to highlight promotions and incentives. Think about adding some photos and videos now and then. But make sure the standard is good.

With social media, you need to make regular posts to make an impact. You need to be adding content most days, if not every day. Your profiles can also help drive up traffic to your website, so make sure it’s all connected up.

Stand out from the rest

Running a successful business is all about moving forward, not standing still. As well as keeping up with your customers’ changing needs, always keep an eye on the competition – to see what they’re offering. And always think of new ways to win new business. Could you refine some of your existing products or services? Are there some new ones you can offer? And are there any add-ons you can create?

If you’ve been running a small business for a while, is it worth having a re-think about your company branding and image? Does it look tired and out of date? Has your business developed down a different path? Has your client profile changed?

If things have changed, consider updating your website, logo and overall branding. You need it to reflect what you do, and it needs to look great. Don’t think you’re all alone with this. If you don’t have a marketing person in-house, then think about hiring in a consultant for a few days to give you some top tips and advice – it could make the difference when it comes to future sales!