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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Business Owners: Are You Guilty Of Negligence?…

If you’ve recently started a business, I’m sure you’re quickly discovering just how much goes into making it a success. Your big idea is just the start of it. From there, you need to think about your HR, marketing, IT infrastructure and a whole host of other factors. With so much going on, it’s essential to make sure you don’t neglect anything important. Here are some things that you simply can’t afford to neglect…

Office Data Backup

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Torkild Retvedt via flickr

Office data backup is something that you’ll hopefully never have to use, but you’ll be glad you have it if and when the need arises. Backing up your office data is a great insurance policy against the unexpected. Files can be wiped from your servers, sabotaged by a disgruntled employee, or some kind of freak disaster could damage the servers beyond repair. By regularly backing up all your company’s important data, you’ll be able to get the company up and running again soon afterwards. Despite the massive importance of backing up, a lot of small businesses manage to overlook it completely. If you haven’t already, take a look at your options and set up a dependable system for backing up your files.

The Employee Handbook

Neglecting this part of your business is usually a side-effect of rapid growth. In the early days of your business, when there’s only you and a few employees, any kind of solid HR policies aren’t really that necessary. However, when your business starts to grow and develop as an organization, you’ll need to take on a lot more staff. This means you’re going to need some solid rules in place. A good employee handbook will introduce new recruits to the company’s core values, mission and culture, will tell them what’s expected of them, but most importantly, it will tell them what’s permissible and what’s not. By taking the time to draft an employee handbook, you’ll protect yourself from all kinds of costly litigation and disputes. Whether you do it all on your own steam or reach out to an employment law firm like Ellis Whittam, an employee handbook is an absolute must. Just a few printed words can make all the difference to your company’s future!

A Good CRM

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

CRMs, short for customer relationship management platforms, are great tools for managing your company’s interactions with both current and prospective customers. With one of these in place, your company will enjoy better workflow, will be able to automate various tasks, increase the number of sales leads you’re getting and generally increase productivity. Although these auxiliary programs were once considered a luxury, an increasing number of firms are using them, and they’re quickly becoming something of an essential resource for any modern business. Despite what you may have been led to believe, CRMs aren’t exclusive to big businesses anymore, and the packages on the market are getting more and more cost-effective all the time.

As you move forward with your business, make sure you’re not neglecting any of these and holding your firm back from what it can achieve!

The Future Of Your Business Is Now

StrategyDriven Business Management Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

One of the hardest things any business owner is faced with is the task of keeping their business up to date with all the latest technologies. This doesn’t mean you need to have office chairs that have in-built keyboards and fridges integrated into the armrests or anything. But it does mean you need to be abreast of what technology will help your business boom. It may be that your business isn’t interested in having the latest tablet that has all the design features a graphic artist could possibly want because you own a bakery, or an old school sweetie shop. But there is still software that will make your life easier, and your customer’s experience better.

As such, we have compiled a list of tech that will bring your company up to speed with what is on offer. We will bring your business into the 21st Century.

Accepting Payment

Cash is pretty much a thing of the past. Barely anyone carries cash anymore and certainly not Millenials. It’s all about the card these days. Everyone puts everything on cards. May be it is to do with ease, maybe they don’t see it as departing with cash in the same way handing over notes. Whatever the case, your business needs a credit card reader. In addition to this, it’s all about contactless payments too. The tap and go. The ease of it all. Something that has seen a rise in payments through people smartphones.

Slick Websites

No business can hope to succeed without a slick website. A website is the first impression people will get from your business, whatever that is, because once they hear your name that’s the first thing they’ll do. They’ll check out your website. They may even just stumble across it. As such, you need something that is going to be representative of your brand and provide them with all the information they could possibly want from you. It doesn’t matter if you are a plumber, copywriter, IT support company or into digital learning; a website is your best chance at being found and hired.

Blogging

A website is good, but without a decent SEO strategy you may not get discovered. That’s where blogging comes in. Blogging is the most effective way of improving your hopes of getting found on search engines. The best way to do this is to add links to your other blog posts as well as external sources, while always considering what keywords search engines may pick up on. Another great tactic is to link your blog to your social media pages as well, so that every time you post, your social media gets updated too. This will also improve your chances of being shared online, thus bringing in more viewers. The most epic thing that could happen on this front is for something of yours to go viral. How incredible would it be to wake up one day and see that 100,000 people ha liked a blog post that links back to your website and thus your business. Amazing.

Mike Glauser

9 Keys to Success Strategy Guide

1. Start with a Clear Purpose.

Successful entrepreneurs are driven by a purpose bigger than themselves. While they realize they need to make money to be sustainable, none of the 100 entrepreneurs we interviewed mentioned money as a primary driver. It is not what motivates them. Instead, they want to do something they are passionate about, solve a problem that intrigues them, create jobs in their town, provide phenomenal customer service, and change the world in their own way.

2. Build on What You Know.

Successful entrepreneurs build companies in industries they understand. About one-third of the entrepreneurs we interviewed worked in the industry in which they started their business. Another third had worked in a related industry. The remaining third were serious and frequent users of the products, so they understood the industry from the customer’s perspective. The better you know your industry, the greater your chances for success.

3. Launch Opportunities Not Ideas.

Ideas and business opportunities are not the same thing. Our business failure rate is high because people launch ideas. A true business opportunity meets the conditions of the NERCM test: (1) Need, (2) Experience, (3) Resources, (4) Customers, and (5) Model. Your chances for success go up significantly when you prove there is a need for your product, you have adequate experience, you bring together sufficient resources, you have customers committed to buy, and your business model is sound.

4. Develop Your Supporting Cast.

Successful entrepreneurs thrive on the experience of others. They recruit talented individuals to fill in the gaps in their skill set. They build teamwork at three levels: (1) they create a “Brain Trust” of mentors with expertise they need, (2) they build a core team of partners who join them in the venture, and (3) they develop strategic partnerships with individuals and companies who can help them grow their business. Talented teams can go further and faster than any individual working alone.

5.Maximize All Available Resources.

Effectiveness is achieving important company objectives. Efficiency is doing it with as few resources as possible. Successful entrepreneurs are masters of efficiency – they have a real knack for finding and utilizing a host of resources other than money. They borrow rather than buy, defer compensation, partner with their first customers, negotiate excellent terms with suppliers, and use someone else’s plant rather than build one – they think resources first, cash second.

6. Work with a Zealous Tenacity.

Successful entrepreneurs are high energy people. They have two related and vital qualities: (1) a tremendous zeal for their business, and (2) a dogged tenacity to win. Zeal is the fire that fuels the venture, and tenacity is the trait that produces the results. These two qualities combined get you through the challenges of building a business and dramatically increase your chances for success.

7. Build a Community of Raving Fans.

Customers approach companies with preconceived notions of how they should be treated. If their expectations are met, they are basically satisfied. The problem is, satisfied customers are not always loyal customers – they will patronize competitors’ businesses as well. Giving customers more than they expect to receive will set you apart from your competitors and help you create a community of raving fans that love your business.

8. Pivot to Multiple Revenue Streams

Winning entrepreneurs continue to seek out and develop multiple streams of revenue. They do this by (1) offering related products to their growing customer base, (2) finding new markets for their growing product line, and (3) utilizing their growing resources to create new ventures. Over time, they end up juggling a reasonable number of projects in the same or related industries. Having multiple revenue streams reduces the vulnerability of a single product line, and increases the chances for long-term success.

9. Serve Your Broader Community

Successful entrepreneurs are intimately involved in the fabric of their communities. They are using their resources to assist individuals and organizations that need their skills, experience and expertise. They are addressing issues in education, literacy, health care, and the environment. Their communities end up saying, “This business supports us, so let’s support this business,” even though this was not the original intent of the service offered. Serving communities is good for everyone.


About the Author

Mike GlauserMike Glauser is an entrepreneur, business consultant and university professor who has built successful companies in the retail, wholesale, and consulting industries. His passion is helping people create successful businesses, gain financial freedom, and live the life of their dreams. His latest book, Main Street Entrepreneur: Build Your Dream Company Doing What You Love Where You Live (Entrepreneur Press), is a roadmap for doing exactly that. Learn more about Mike at: www.mikeglauser.com.

The Entrepreneur’s Roadmap to Success

When speaking with groups, questions arise on how and where to get started on going into business for ones self. Often times a new entrepreneur feels he or she has done their due diligence only to learn later that they barely scratched the surface. They checked out the market, discussed the business idea with friends and family and feels they can come up with enough capital to set themselves up for success.

Unfortunately, often the amount of working capital needed to fund the project is simply not enough to account for all the expenses that arise with a new business. It seems that most businesses fail, not due to the validity of the idea, but rather that the project was under capitalized or underfunded from the start. The simple fact is that if you cannot preserve your working capital, “You won’t make it”. We have all seen great business ideas go down in flame because of working capital issues. Too often, the unforeseen – which were not budgeted for, will consume the cash that the business was relying on to bridge the gap between idea and implementation. If nothing else, budget and plan for the unknown – because if something can go wrong – it will.

Being in business for yourself, according to many entrepreneurs, is the greatest job most individuals will ever have . In doing so you have the potential to impact other people’s lives in a positive way while leading an organization to success. This can be both a blessing and a curse. If you are confident enough in what you are doing, and you have truly done your due diligence, you can have a prosperous business. If you don’t put in the time and effort to cover all your bases, you are not only setting yourself up for failure but you are doing yourself a disservice. A successful entrepreneur not only plans for the unexpected, but anticipates that it will invariably happen.

Ask yourself, “Why do I want to go into business for myself?” The first answer most of us give is that we want to be our own boss. A great perk is that most entrepreneurs can live and work wherever they want. Entrepreneurship, if done correctly, can not only be rewarding from a financial perspective but also from a quality of life perspective.

How someone with a limited amount of experience and resources thinks they can go into business and be successful is beyond me. Furthermore, what financial institution would ever loan this type of person any money? Does this mean there is little or no hope for young adults to make it as budding entrepreneurs? Not necessarily. Since most young entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury in making a lot of mistakes, they must go about this very differently. Having a partner with the experience and resources to make this idea or business a reality is a route these young entrepreneurs must take. Finding a business mentor can be the difference between success and failure. You may have to give away more ownership in this type of arrangement than you wanted, however, if successful, it should be well worth it.


About the Author

Randy Steele, author of The Entrepreneur’s Roadmap to Success, is a lifelong entrepreneur and has had tremendous success in the financial service business, real estate, real estate appraising, greenhouse growing operations, and the mortgage industry. Through these experiences, the knowledge he has gained is invaluable to someone wanting to start a business or someone wanting to take their business to the next level.

Ron Carson

Have You Found Your Passion that Pays?

What are you deeply passionate about? At what can you be the very best in the world? What drives your business’s economic engine? Many people know what their passions are, but that’s as far as they go. They have many passions, are generalists about all of them, and don’t strongly commit to one or two. As a result, they never become really exceptional at anything – and this holds true for their businesses, as well.


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About the Author

Ron CarsonRon Carson is the founder and CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group, one of the largest wealth advisory firms by assets under advisement in the country, serving clients through holistic financial planning, disciplined investment strategies, and proactive personal service. He is one of the most celebrated and respected financial advisors and executives in the industry and is a sought after speaker, thinker, and investment strategist. Ron’s book, The Sustainable Edge: 15 Minutes a Week to a Richer Entrepreneurial Life, was written for business owners who are seeking a fuller, more rewarding work­-life balance.