Four Things Your Company Needs To Stay Alive

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article|Startups|Four Things Your Company Needs To Stay AliveThere is so much more to business today than just money, charm and good looks, which means that there is more for you to do to stay successful. There are new startup that are emerging into the business world every minute, and staying up to date with them is not always easy. Only 50% of those new startups are going to survive, which means you need to make sure that you’re in that 50%.

There is a lot of pressure for you to stay relevant, and you need to communicate to others how valuable you are as a business. If you don’t know your value, you’re not going to be able to do better for others, and you’re not going to be able to keep your business thriving and alive for others. So, let’s take a look at four things that your business needs to stay alive.

A Purpose. More than anything, you need to know what you’re doing it all for. Your business should be a solid one, and it can be if you are careful about how you treat people. You need to be able to offer something to society, whether that’s a business that has a good handle on its technology (read more about this here) or a good handle on its finances. What do you have to offer? Ask yourself this again and again. If you can’t come up with an answer, you’re in trouble.

Exploration. You want to make a difference to the world and the only way that you’re going to be able to do that is to keep educating yourself, keep learning and keep exploring what you can offer other people. You want to be able to connect to others and learn from them all in one go, and you can do that when you are open to diversification. Diversifying is going to keep you alive!

Sociability. Are you online? No? It’s a problem. You need to be on social media in the same way you need to save money – your business depends on it. You need to be out there and sharing your ideas with your customers, and you need to get as much engagement going as possible. Without it? Well, you’re going to fail. We don’t mean to sound doom and gloom, honestly. It’s just that your business depends on you – so don’t let the side down.

Feedback. If you are asking your audience what they need from you, then they’re going to give you the feedback that you need to stay current. Always check online forums and review sites to know that you are doing enough for your customers – without them, you wouldn’t have a business at all. Feedback and reviews are what keep your business alive and kicking, and you shouldn’t discount even the negative ones. There is always something to learn, and customers need to feel heard by you. This is the way to do that!

Skills To Look For In A Commissioning Agent

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Commissioning Agent|Skills To Look For In A Commissioning AgentWhen you are undertaking a new building project at your business, you need to decide which building commissioning agent you should work with. In a lot of different ways, the project is going to rest on the shoulders of the commissioning agent. Therefore, securing the services of a premium quality commissioning agent is very important. So, with that being said, read on to discover some of the important skills you should be looking for in a commissioning agent.

Organized – The first thing you need to do is make sure that the commissioning agent is organized. This individual needs to be on top of every element of the project, so that any small mistakes or issues are limited and do not turn into bigger issues. Excellent communication and organization between all of the people involved in order to ensure that the project is delivered efficiently and effectively.

Clear and reliable communication – As touched upon in the former paragraph, communication is also going to be critical, and so this is something you need to look at. A new building commissioning project tends to be an arduous and long process. This is rarely finished without a few unexpected and small bumps in the road, as all business owners. There is also data to collect, tests to perform, materials to secure, contractors to manage, and design work to be done. All of these requires clear communication.

Attention to detail – Aside from this, you need to make sure that the commissioning agent has exceptional attention to detail. Small details that go overlooked can result in big-scale budget overruns at the end thanks to expensive and costly adjustments that need to be fixed. Ask questions to the commissioning agent about how they handle different situations that are probable to arise in order to get a better understanding on this.

Reputation and certification – Last but not least, aside from the skills that have been discussed so far, you need to make sure that the commissioning agent has a great reputation in the industry. You can read the reviews that have been left by others. This is always a great place to start. It is also advisable to see if the agent is certified. You can click here to find out more about the different options available in this regard when it comes to commissioning.

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when you are looking for a commissioning agent. If you think about the different factors that have been discussed above, you can give yourself the best chance of finding the right commissioning agent for the project you are working on.

How To Succeed As A Taxi Company

There are many great reasons why you might want to run a taxi company. Not only is it the kind of business that people are always going to have a demand for, and therefore will prove to be a particularly successful business, but it is also fairly easy to run once you have it all set up. Of course, setting it up properly is the real challenge here, and something which you are going to have to think about well if you are going to have the success you want. In this article, we are going to look at some of the things you will want to consider if you are keen to succeed as a taxi company. As long as you make sure of these things, you will find that is much more likely to happen.

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Find A Good Location

Probably the most important thing of all is that you can find a location which is going to work out well for you. That means somewhere which has a need, and does not already have too much in the way of competition. You will probably find that this is one of the harder elements of all, as there are not going to be many places left which have that kind of goldilocks status. However, with enough research you should be able to make sure that you are finding somewhere good to operate, so it is something that you will find it is worth spending some time on. Remember too that you are competing with companies like Uber these days, so you need to think about that as well. If you can find somewhere they don’t tend to go, you might have better luck.

Track Your Vehicles

Ultimately, you need to make sure that you have a good level of control over your vehicles. If you don’t, then you don’t know what kind of money you might be losing out on without even being aware of it, and that is obviously not the kind of situation you want to find yourself in. so make sure that you are tracking your vehicles as closely as you can. The best way to do that is to use technology like TripLog. It’s simple enough to install, and you can check on the mileage of any vehicle just by looking at your phone. The more acutely you track your vehicles, the stronger a position your business will be in.

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Focus On Customer Care

People really care that their taxi drivers are caring for them, so this is something that you are going to want to think about too. The more that you set your business apart as a taxi company that shows a great deal of customer care, the more you will find that you have a good chance of people really respecting you. They will then use your service more, and recommend you to more people too, so this is an important consideration to think about as early on as you can.

Why You Need Both Knowledge and Wisdom

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Why You Need Both Knowledge and Wisdom

If just being the smartest person in the room was enough, then no smart person would ever fail.

But failure lurks around every corner for all of us. It’s hard to believe in our youth, but time reveals how little ‘d’ democratic failure can be. It stalks all of us sometimes, and it finds us often in life unless we figure out how to thrive and how to avoid the land mines.

It takes wisdom to figure that out. And though a handful of us get wisdom early in life, most of us acquire it from a struggle or two or ten. Many times, these difficult moments are of our own making. As we successfully work through those trying moments, wisdom imprints itself and becomes a guard rail against ever failing like that again, whatever it may be. There is safety in wisdom.

When we studied wisdom for our new book, we found many interesting qualities that it has versus knowledge. For example; Knowledge may change as times change, right? What we learned in college may not apply anymore in the current business environment. New technologies and new leadership styles are needed to succeed and win. Those changes are moving at an ever-increasing pace, and so knowledge can be quite fluid. It requires us to chase it and try to catch it to keep from falling behind.

Wisdom, on the other hand, turns out to be static and true in all generations. Get wisdom and you can use it for a lifetime.

So, how do you get knowledge and wisdom?

The knowledge part is easy. Your childhood and young life are filled to the brim with school of one kind or another. You are taught by people who know more than you and who most likely care about you. You go to college and we are surrounded by doers and achievers who understand the competitiveness of the world and how to win by outdoing other doers. You listen. You make notes. You read books. You get knowledge.

Then, you leave college, go to work, and use your knowledge to start making money, usually without a great deal of wisdom and foresight. For example, nobody in college told you that money and power can be dangerous if you let them become your primary focus. See also ENRON. A room full of the best and the brightest decided to take their chances and ignore the sirens going off in their heads. The carnage of that decision was strewn across the media. Billions of dollars lost. Suicides and jail time. Bad things tend to happen when we only have knowledge without wisdom.

Our research regarding wisdom took us back to purportedly the wisest man in history, Solomon. As we studied his life and teachings we wondered over and over again why he is not mentioned and written about more often. He was a smart businessman. He was historically wealthy, probably in real money the richest individual ever on this planet.

If you remember the story, Solomon was offered anything he wanted by God himself. He didn’t choose money or fame. He chose wisdom. And, interestingly, the other things he didn’t ask for just came as part of the deal with that request. He got very famous and rich. And wise.

As we read through the book of Proverbs that he penned we found a lot of wisdom, not surprisingly. Though written millennia ago, most of it sounds like something you would say this very day to someone you were counseling to keep them from making a big and costly mistake.

For example, be careful what kind of company you keep. Bad company corrupts good morals. Did your mother ever tell you that? I’ll bet she did, and she was right. Groupthink is a real thing. It’s why gangs can get their members to kill other gang members and rot in jail for it. It’s why a terrorist can be talked into blowing themselves up for a cause. Bad decisions don’t usually come upon us like a tsunami. They happen by inches. Hang out with people who consistently tell you a lie and pretty soon you start believing it. The business pages are filled with cautionary tales about this one piece of wisdom alone.

Solomon talked about money corrupting us, too. He understood firsthand the perils of great wealth and the pitfalls that had to be avoided. Bottom line: It’s OK to have money. Don’t let it have you.

And, the same can be said for power. Being in charge is an opportunity to do good, to serve others in your organization and community. It’s not there for you to use and take advantage of for your own gain. People don’t follow narcissistic leaders unless they are forced to. But they will follow a servant leader into hell and back every time.

Get the picture? We spend a lot of time and money getting educated and acquiring knowledge. We should spend at least that much effort acquiring wisdom because together the two are the jet fuel that leads to a great and profitable life.

About the Authors

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Drew HissDrew Hiss launched his outsourced payroll and HR technology solutions company, Checkdate Solutions, in 1994. He merged Checkdate Solutions with payroll industry leader Paycor, stepping away from the company in 2008 and serving on its board for eight years.

Drew founded Acumen in late in 2015. Acumen is a catalytic iron-sharpening-iron environment forged from the fiery furnace of entrepreneurial battle, marketplace survival and integration of the timeless wisdom of the ages.

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Dan CooperDan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003 and was its CEO until selling it in 2012. He then took his leadership and technology experience to work on and in the Sparklab startup business accelerator as well as leading change management and profit building initiatives for mid-market companies.

Today, he is the President and partner of Acumen, an accelerator community experience built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. Dan is also a certified Executive Coach credentialed through the International Coaching Federation.

Dan and Drew are the authors of a new book, Sharpen: A Guidebook for Business Ownership and Adventures in Leadership.

Industry Insights: What are the Top 4 Obstacles That Prevent Business Growth?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business Growth|Industry Insights: What are the Top 4 Obstacles That Prevent Business Growth?You can never stand still in business or you risk being left behind by your competitors, but there can often be some obstacles that are blocking your path to future prosperity, all of which are often negotiable if you know how to get around them.

Being able to get what your business needs in terms of new equipment is just one challenge that you have to find a way to face up to and if you can learn from others that have been there before you it could give you the vision to succeed.

Here are some pointers on how to clear some common hurdles that might be stunting your business growth.

Coping with change

As your business evolves and attempts to grow it will become abundantly clear that you can’t always rely on the same format that has got you to this point so far.

Businesses tend to become more complex as they grow and that means you will have to implement strategies that deal with challenges such as communication problems when there are more people in your team.

Innovation can be harder to implement when you have a rigid system that hasn’t changed from how it used to be in the beginning and this is why you need to consider ways to pull everyone in the same direction if you want to enjoy a smoother path to growth.

Not keeping an eye on cash flow

A growing business is always going to be hungry for cash and if you don’t plan for the financial strain that you might be under as the company expands it could easily derail your plans in a very short space of time.

Cash flow issues are a primary cause of business failure and it doesn’t have to be a lack of turnover that causes your cash crisis, as growth spurts are equally challenging to your survival if you don’t manage them properly.

Make sure you have an accurate cash flow forecasting system and use it to predict exactly how much cash you will need at any time to fund your growth.

When you need more equipment

Whether you are running a manufacturing business or operating in the service industry it is likely that you will need to acquire more equipment in order to cope with increasing demand and a growing payroll.

Look at efficient ways to get your hands on these new items and to upgrade your old stock. This could be achieved by browsing auction sites to see if you get the equipment you need for less, and sell what you no longer need.

You might also want to look at arrange equipment finance to help fund your growth plans.

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail

There is a lot of truth in this old business adage and the bottom line is that you can’t expect to overcome any obstacles in your way if you don’t create a viable business plan that shows you how to navigate your way through these stormy waters.

If you set some realistic goals and produce a credible blueprint for success you should find that your path to achieving business growth has a few fewer bumps in the road.