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What To Think About As You Launch Your Own Company

StrategyDriven Business Startup Article|Business Start up|What To Think About As You Launch Your Own CompanyHaving your own company is a great achievement but can also be quite stressful and time-consuming. As the business owner, there’s a lot on your plate and a lot that you have to think about and do on any given day.

It’s a wise idea to review the following considerations as you get up and running and proceed with managing a company of your own. Remember that some days will be better than others and it isn’t always going to be a smooth or easy endeavor. However, remind yourself of why you got started in the business in the first place to help keep you motivated throughout the challenges you’ll inevitably face.

Having A Business Plan

As you launch your own company, you’re going to want to make sure you have a business plan in place that you can follow. Trying to wing it or act on impulse will likely leave you feeling confused and with regrets in the long run. Use this roadmap to help you smoothly maneuver through the future and make sure you’re staying on track and meeting your goals and initiatives on time. You’ll likely have trouble securing the financing you need to get started and stay afloat if you’re disorganized and aren’t confident and knowledgeable about how you want to run your company.

The Health & Safety of Your Employees

It’s important to commit to creating a welcoming, healthy and happy company culture at your workplace. This is especially important for recruiting purposes and being able to keep top talent wanting to stay and work at your business. Make sure you not only properly train your employees but that they’re clear that you won’t tolerate any drug or alcohol use at your office. You can read more here and inform yourself about employment drug testing laws and best practices, so you know how to handle this type of situation or behavior at your workplace.

Finding A Mentor

Although you work for yourself that doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. Think about finding a mentor as you launch your company who you can turn to for advice and input along the way. Use this person as a sounding board so you can make wise management decisions and ensure your business takes off in the right direction. Meet with this person often and have them guide and lead you to run a more prosperous venture that will be around for years to come. Come prepared to ask the right questions and take notes so you can go back to the office equipped to implement any necessary changes or improvements.

Building up Your Network

You should also think about how you can begin building up your professional network as you launch your own company. It’ll be nice to have individuals who you can call up to chat about business or go for coffee and share ideas with when you have time. Be willing to put yourself out there and get involved in your community to help spread the word about your business and so you can build more long-lasting relationships with others. Who never know who you’ll meet that’s going to be able to help you achieve even more and will challenge you to go the extra mile and encourage you to overcome your fears.

Offering Superior Customer Service

If there’s one area you should focus in on the most when launching your own company, it’s with your customer service department. Make it a goal to offer superior customer service if you wish to win over more clients and deal with fewer complaints overall. Train your employees so that they understand how to handle a wide variety of questions or concerns and know how to act professionally in every interaction. Also, think about collecting positive online reviews from satisfied customers so you can start to build up a strong brand reputation.

The Possibility of Failing

The reality is that not all businesses that are started end up succeeding in the end. It’s important to face the real possibility that your company may fail one day. Therefore, it’s a wise idea to always have a backup plan in place for what you’ll do or changes you’ll make if you start to see your company heading down the wrong path. It doesn’t mean you should give up or quit trying, but that you should be willing to remain flexible in your management approach and to make the tough decisions that are going to help you bounce back and find success for the long-term. Your best plan of action is to learn from your mistakes and make adjustments as you go.

The Future

When starting your own company, you may be so caught up with the details that you’re only thinking about the present moment. While it’s good to live in the now, you also should be mindful of the future when running a company. Be optimistic and plan for growth so that you’re prepared to handle a large volume of customers and orders should your business take off. Have a plan in place for how you want to see your company grow and expand over the years. For example, what positions you’ll need to hire for, how you’ll innovate current products or services and how you’ll handle the increase in purchases and advancements in technology.

Conclusion

There’s no denying that there’s a lot to think about as you launch your own company. However, it’s important to focus in on the most important aspects that are outlined above so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember that it’s a journey and not a sprint and that you’ll experience setbacks and obstacles along the way. Therefore, you’ll need to use your problem-solving skills to work through these roadblocks. Most importantly, never stop trying your best and putting forth all you got so that you can at least say you did all you could at the end of it all, regardless of how successful you are in the future.

Research, Reading and Respect: How to Be a Well Rounded Business Owner

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Starting Your Own Business|Research, Reading and Respect: How to Be a Well Rounded Business Owner When you decide to start your own business you will be faced with a number of hurdles along the way. You can prepare yourself for the unexpected by establishing yourself as a well rounded entrepreneur right from the very beginning. It will never be easy starting your business from scratch, but as long as you have the passion and motivation behind you it will become clear. Being a successful business owner is not a lateral process, it takes plenty of external work. Focusing on your industry might get you so far in life, but you need to learn about the wider world too. Give yourself the upper hand by prioritizing research and learning to respect your fellow business peers. Understandably, it will take you a while to find your feet in a crowded industry, but with the following ideas you will be set for success.

Don’t Have Tunnel Vision

It can be very easy to become overly focused on one thing for your business. Making money is at the top of most entrepreneur’s list of priorities but this will not bring you happiness. You need to focus on other passions and use this to enhance your knowledge of wider subjects. Whether you are interested in reading about financing of upcoming movies for an upcoming entertainment project or you want to learn more about charities in your local area, knowledge is power. When you can open up your mind and learn about other subjects, your business will benefit it many ways.

Respect Your Competitors

A little bit of healthy competition never hurt anybody; rivalries in the business world can actually help us to achieve more. However, there is a fine line between competition and disrespect to the other people in your field. Whether you’re ripping of their ideas or stealing your customer, this will not earn you a good reputation in the world of business. Strive to be an honourable entrepreneur who people look up to. This will take you a long way when it comes to hiring new employees or building business relationships because people will want to work with you.

Learn From Your Mistakes

It is completely normal for every business owner to make a mistake once in a while. However, you cannot allow this mistake to have a negative impact on your motivation. Pick yourself up, fix the mistake and get on with the reaching your goals again. Sometimes it is a lot easier said than done, but tenacity is a key trait of a good business owner. The more mistakes you make, the stronger you will become.

Never Settle for Second Best

Every business owner wants to be the best in their field; this is completely normal. Keep in mind that you are never going to reach the top spot overnight. It will take a lot of hard work and dedication to get there. As long as you understand that business is a marathon, not a sprint, you will be able to attain your goals without putting too much pressure on yourself.

Stay Motivated at All Times

Motivation is one of the most important personality traits every business owner needs to possess. Without motivation you will never get to where you want to be in life. You will never feel motivated if you don’t love the career you are pursuing, so it is important make decisions based on your passions. The more you adore what you do, the easier you will find the motivation to keep going, even on the most difficult of days.

Change Up Your Strategies if They Aren’t Working

A well rounded business owner will always know what strategies are working for their company. There will never be a one size fits all approach for your business, so you need to use your skills to recognize the success and failure. From marketing techniques to business pitches, there are many different ways you can get the job done. It is your job as the business owner to assess these at all times.

Never Stop Reading and Learning

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about your industry, you should always strive to learn more and enhance your knowledge. Whether you are heading to a local business conference or taking out a new book from the library, there is always so much more to learn. If you are truly passionate about your field you will be willing to put the time and effort into enhancing your knowledge on a daily basis. The moment you lose your passion for learning about your industry is the moment your business may no longer succeed.

Understand Your Place in the Industry

You will always need to earn your place in the industry you have become established in. Never take your top spot for granted especially when there are others right behind you. You should also never become overly complacent or cocky, otherwise you will quickly lose a lot of respect from others. Modest business owners are often the most popular, because they are willing to talk to people and share their knowledge. When people look up to you, this will bring you more fulfillment than money ever will. Consider what is most important to you and strive to maintain that place in your industry.

Running a business can take you many places in life, but you should never take your success for granted. Even if you are the most sought after person in your field, there may be someone ready to steal your top spot the moment you lose focus. You can remain motivated and dedicated to your business by expanding your knowledge all of the time. Instead of adopting a tunnel vision mindset, you can learn about everything and anything in the world. This will serve you well when you need to communicate with your target audience, prospective investors and your colleagues at work. A well rounded business owner will ultimately make for a successful one, so never underestimate the power of learning, reading and respect.

How to Dominate Content Marketing in 2019

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Content Marketing|How to Dominate Content Marketing in 2019Content marketing is constantly changing, and you have to readjust your strategies if you want to stay on top of the game. While some time-tested tactics will still get you results in 2019, others could actually ruin your efforts and have you all the way back to square one. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips that will allow you to dominate content marketing in 2019.

Make Sure You Have the Basics Down

Before you go to the chalkboard, you have to take a look at your current strategy. This is the time to gather your team and look at what worked and what needs to be adjusted. Examining your content strategy will allow you to quickly see if your previous plans are still relevant today.

You also need to have a clear and documented content strategy and make sure that everyone is aware of it. In a recent study by CMI, it was shown that businesses that had a clear content marketing strategy written down had five times more chances of being successful. Conversely, only 39% of B2B marketers said that they had one.

A good content marketing plan starts with identifying the main challenges that need to be addressed and the steps that will be taken to overcome them. Some points of interests such as SEO and lead generation are a great start, and you can start forming your strategy around them depending on what objectives you’re trying to meet.

Stay on Top of Recent Trends

You also have to be able to stay on top of recent trends and make sure that you incorporate them into your strategy when possible. For instance, live video is set to take off this year, and unless you have a strategy that will allow you to engage your audience directly, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities. Live video and webinars are a great way to build authority in your niche and increase brand awareness.

Voice search is another major trend that you can’t afford to overlook in 2019. The vast majority of users use their smartphones to look up business-related content these days, and the advent of smart voice technology has made voice search more popular than ever. And it’s showing no signs of slowing down. That means that you’ll have to learn how to incorporate query-based keyword phrases in your on- and off-page content to take advantage of all this juicy traffic.

So, make sure that you’re aware of all the latest trends and see which ones could be the most beneficial and easier to implement. If you want to learn about some of the biggest content marketing trends for 2019, you can check here for details.

Improve the Way you Distribute

The way we distribute content is also changing and many of the channels we used to use are slowly becoming obsolete. Creating good content is all fine and well, but unless you know how to distribute it properly, all of your efforts will be in vain.

First, you have to ask some specific questions to tell which distribution channels you should focus on. How do people get to your site? What devices does your audience use the most? What are your best performing acquisition channels? What content promotion frequency seems to work the best? What’s the ideal time to push content?

These are all questions that will allow you to fine-tune your distribution strategy and get better results. You’ll be able to adjust your distribution to fit your audience’s needs and become more efficient.

Focus on Your Best Performing Channels

You should also make sure that most of your efforts are towards your best-performing channels. Then you’ll be able to test the waters with other channels. And just because all of your competitors seem to be successful on one particular channel, it doesn’t mean that you should be there as well. If your competition is killing it on Twitter, for instance, it might be because of other factors that you may not be aware of. So, keep doing what works for you, and try studying what others are doing that makes them so successful on channels that might be underperforming for you.

However, always make sure that you’re aware of new channels and set some of your time and budget strictly for experimentation. Being ahead of the curb with new channels and technologies could give you a serious edge over the competition once they catch up. Whether it’s Facebook live, AI, or Snapchat, you have to leave space for trial and error. While you may fall flat on your face with some of them, you could also be at the forefront of innovation and already be ahead of the race when your competition comes in.

Narrow your Audience Down

Narrowing your audience down allows you not only to create a tailor-made marketing strategy that speaks to them but also allows you to stop wasting time on audiences that you’ll never be able to reach. You shouldn’t try to always reach the widest audience by any means necessary. It’s much better to concentrate your efforts on an audience that has more chances of actually converting later on.

If you narrow down your niche and learn how to deliver the kind of content that makes them tick, you will waste less time and money and will be able to increase engagement and your return on investment.

You also have to constantly put your core audience first and adapt to their needs. Look at advanced data and analyze their behavior. If their needs seem to be changing, these changes also have to be reflected in your strategy. New technologies, trends, and products can drastically change your audience’s habits, so making sure that you adapt will ensure that they stay engaged.

Conclusion

Dominating content marketing is possible if you have the proper plan in place and are committed to focusing your efforts on the right channels. Also make sure that you always keep track of results, have clear objectives, and constantly work to improve and embrace new strategies.

2019 Cyber Security Statistics

Cyber security challenges are not just limited to large banks, credit bureaus, utilities, or other critical entities, they effect all businesses.

The infographic below, presented by techjury, reveals the cyber security statistics for 2019.
 
Cybersecurity Infographic | Tech Jury | Cyber Security Stats – Infographic
 
Republished with permission from techjury.

How Small Changes Can Optimize Your Business Profits

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Profitability|How Small Changes Can Optimize Your Business ProfitsWhen you run a small business, your focus is primarily on working towards increasing profitability by maximizing sales; finding new customers, running successful marketing campaigns, sourcing better products and so on. With all these strategic goals to focus on, it’s unsurprising that a lot of the smaller influences on your bottom line slip under your radar. However, neglecting smaller matters can make your primary role a great deal more challenging, so it’s worth spending a little time and effort on smoothing out any rough edges in your business.

The saying “don’t sweat the small stuff” has wisdom, because worrying about trivial matters in your life can cause you to forget the bigger picture and make you unnecessarily stressed. However, in business, you should keep an eye on the everyday ins and outs of how your business runs, for there’s very often useful information to find or improvements in processes that save time and money.

Embracing Balance

What you need is a balance; you don’t want to spend a lot of your valuable time carrying out mundane tasks like checking the stocks in the stationery supply cupboard. On the other hand, you could be spending far more than you need to on supplies because one of your staff members is helping themselves. A quick spot check on the stationery supply chain should highlight any discrepancies, saving you unnecessary expenditure, and putting a stop to dishonest practices.

Your Role

Another angle to this scenario is your role as supervisor to your employees. If you have a member of staff who is responsible for all the stationery supplies, you want to be able to trust them to do a good job. On the other hand, however good they are at their job, now and then a review of how they’re carrying out their responsibilities is wise because everyone benefits from a fresh pair of eyes on their work. For example, you might see the potential for cost savings or ways of streamlining the task that hadn’t occurred to your employee.

Equipment & Tools

It’s also sensible to check that every member of staff has all the tools they need to complete their work to the highest possible standards. That could mean replacing standard keyboards with ergonomic versions, updating the office chairs, or providing better break facilities. Small changes like these improve the working environment for everyone, and staff who are happy and well cared for are far more productive.

For employees who don’t work at a desk all the time, there are other considerations to make. For instance, do they have safe and sensible storage solutions for their tools? A scatter of tools on a workbench makes unnecessary clutter, and it’s harder for employees to find what they need, wasting time every day. Using a well-organized storage system protects tools and ensures they’re readily at hand when needed. You could also combine the function of storage with the workbench, saving space and making it easier and quicker for staff members to carry out tasks. Check out this product to see how the concept works in practice.

Regularly Reviewing Processes

As well as staff facilities and activities, reviewing your processes can highlight opportunities to make savings and optimize productivity. How long is it since you compared what you’re spending on essential goods and services with the prices other suppliers are charging? A quick review of your bills and a comparison to what you’d be charged elsewhere can save you hundreds or thousands in costs every year. You don’t need to spend ages seeing the whole process through, simply delegate the nuts and bolts of the task to a responsible member of staff.

On the subject of staff, their performance is influenced by far more than their equipment and facilities. If you’ve been concentrating on strategic matters, you may have fallen into the trap of failing to provide positive reinforcement to your staff. The boss who only notices their employees when they do something wrong is a familiar stereotype, but there are still many of them about. Examine your own behavior to see if you’re communicating well with your staff. Do you always greet them warmly, give them your attention, and ask after them personally? Or has it become your habit to mutter a quick salutation before disappearing into your office?

Pay Attention to Small Gestures

It’s understandable that the big issues in your business take up your attention, but not stopping to converse with the people around you causes resentment and lowers productivity. Small gestures that show you care and appreciate the work they do are highly motivating for staff and can yield results way above the input required. The same is true of relationships with suppliers. A little time spent building relationships can reap rewards when you need stock in a hurry, or you have a problem with a product.

There are probably many other small influences relevant to your business that don’t get your attention, but that could be affecting your profitability. For example, if you have a store with a window, keeping the displays fresh and attractive is essential for drawing in customers. But have you been so absorbed in what should go in the window that you’ve forgotten about tasks such as cleaning the window glass, so it sparkles, or sweeping away any cobwebs?

These little points can make the difference between you attracting customers to come into your store and seeing them wander off to your competitor’s store. There are cycles in all things, so if you’ve got some aspect of your business perfectly sorted today, don’t forget that in six months or a year, that area will need to be reassessed. Everything changes over time, but being aware of how to monitor these changes and keep in sync with them gives you an advantage over your competitors.

It’s vital to spend the bulk of your day engaged with the matters that need your expertise and supervision, but in your efforts to manage the big picture, don’t neglect the smaller elements that play such a fundamental role to your business success.