Top thoughts in the world of business, Must Read
It’s OK to fail. Start over. Hopefully before you run out of money. Hopefully before you take in investor money. Or, don’t worry about it. Come up with new ideas. Start over.
Marketing strategy is a clear explanation of how you’re going to get there, not where or what “there” is. An effective marketing strategy is a concise explanation of your stated plan of execution to reach your objectives.
Text can only take your content so far. Engaging images, videos and diagrams can reduce bounce rate and increase time on site: two critical user interaction ranking factors.
If you’re looking to generate traffic for business purposes, you’re better off focusing on practically useful content that activates high arousal emotions. It has given me the best results for the last 5 years, and still gives me great results today.
The fact that startups need less money means founders will increasingly have the upper hand over investors. You still need just as much of their energy and imagination, but they don’t need as much of your money. Because founders have the upper hand, they’ll retain an increasingly large share of the stock in, and control of, their companies. Which means investors will get less stock and less control.
You must work on yourself continuously, never be satisfied with yourself. Always know that as you invest the time and effort on you that’s the greatest ability that human beings have above animals.
Before launching a blog, I put thought into the execution. Having passion is all well & good but there’s got to be some sort of method to the madness!
It’s important to acknowledge and appreciate that no one person can handle all of these different roles. It’s about using what you’ve got at your arsenal, to get what you want out of your team building and outsourcing.
Create good, quality content that people actually want to see and increase engagement with your fans. Re-share old content that is highly beneficial to reach different audiences within a short span of time. Make sure the content is relevant to your audience.
Don’t base decisions on fear. All too often people make decisions based on fear and this prevents us from making any real progress. Take smart risks and know that all entrepreneurs make mistakes; it’s how they learn and grow. So jump in and don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.
Drop the “touching base” and “checking in” mentality from your vocabulary entirely. When making follow up calls, become an asset in their decision process. That’s when they’ll really want to work with you!
First, develop your Ideal Customer Profile and research their Desired Outcome (Required Outcome + Appropriate Experience); don’t try to be all things to everyone. This’ll allow you to acquire customers that rapidly get value from what you sell, stay with you longer, buy more over time, and tell their friends.
My strategy is all about creating incredibly useful, shareable content – so if I can’t see myself writing 100 unique articles over the next couple years then there’s a good chance I’m not interested in it enough to invest the time and energy into the project. Don’t get me wrong, maybe you’ll be able to, but for me, this one’s a deal breaker.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is in DNA of all great business people. It’s what you do AFTER you fail that will separate you, a future small business success, from the other 80% of businesses that will crash and burn – for good.
You have to be a little crazy to be an entrepreneur. After all, what sane person would leave a job with a predictable paycheck to start something that has a pretty good chance of failing? I’ll tell you who would do that — the dreamers, the visionaries, the radicals, and the people who see something but who say, “I can make this better!” Hats off to those people — they’re the ones who make the world work. Trust your instincts, even if they’re a little bit crazy.
Always put finances first. Get a handle on all important financial documents before even starting. Offer a barter with a bookkeeper or an accountant so you make sure you have someone watching your finances from day one. Too often, startups waste money by not tracking spending and thinking wisely about financial investments. Don’t let yourself start a business cash poor because of your inability to make the “not so fun stuff” a priority.
If your blog is aimed around professional readers and business people you might have more potential traffic from LinkedIn and Google+. If your target reader is more visual it might make more sense to focus exclusively on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for promoting your blog.
If you want to have success and be successful, you can’t make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work towards being significant and the success will naturally follow. If you have the vision, drive, and determination you can and will accomplish your small business goal!
You wouldn’t set up a physical shop without a business name and logo, so why would you do it online? Your business needs to be identifiable and have a professional look that appeals to the people you are targeting.
Focus on pre-launch marketing & start blogging early. For pre-launch, build a landing page as early as possible and describe your solution for a problem you’re solving for your target customer in as few words as possible. Blogging helps build credibility and trust with your potential customers (& email list).
Some of your content might have been published a year ago but still gets traffic and ranks in search engines. Revisit your older content, update it, make sure it is still relevant and correct.
When it comes to blogging, don’t choose quantity over quality. It’s better to start with one amazing blog post per week and promote it like crazy than five mediocre ones.
Top entrepreneurs spend more time putting the right team in place to accomplish their objectives than they spend on any other components of their job.
The best thing you can do is gather the kind of competitive-intel that you can use to get ahead of your competitors, and to ignore the useless facts that only allow you to ape them.
One option-if you’re on the hunt for a franchise to buy, is to buy an existing franchise. An already-operating franchise business. It’s one way to go, and there are definite advantages.
Find your why. I think once you do that, it just makes doing the work so much easier.
Lots of small towns have old school buildings sitting empty. Harveyville, Kansas, made a creative conference space and artistic residences out of an old school. I’ve also heard of school buildings used as a product warehouse, a youth scout council headquarters, a business incubator with commercial kitchen, and work crew housing.
Use content to tell a story not to promote a product. Before you can sell on social you have to be social on social. It takes time and commitment, but the effort can have a huge payoff.
Pick a niche you both love and know well that is also profitable, it will make the whole process a lot easier for you. The more specific and focused your niche is the better. Trying to be broad and appeal to “everyone” actually usually leads to you appealing to no one.
One of the best tip i can give for growing your business is to listen to your customers, analyse their behavior, see what they like and adapt your business accordingly.
I have met many entrepreneurs who fall into the success trap. Once they start making real money, that’s the most important thing to them. Don’t let money or success change you; neither will give you peace or make you happy.
Blog. It’s a fantastic, organic way to drive traffic, build trust with your audience, and market your products and services.
Your first marketing dollars should be spent understanding who your users are, and what they find valuable – don’t guess or assume. This step is key to defining and executing successful marketing campaigns; both digital and traditional.
Never let the business become more important than your health. Have set work hours. Get yourself in a schedule that you can live with (emphasis on the “live). The number one mistake I see new entrepreneurs make is that they sacrifice their lives and their health for this thing they’re trying to create. Be smarter than that.
Commenting on other blogs in your niche is a great tactic to increase the visibility of your own blog. For example, you get to connect and build relationships with other writers, tap into a new audience, and create opportunities for guest posting.
I think it all comes down to four simple words: Start. Listen. Execute. Improve. So many people get hung up on things being perfect so they never start. Get started…start talking to your customers and really listen to them. Make progress everyday. You’ll make a ton of mistakes and that’s okay. Just focus on getting a little bit better each day.
Get the right offer for the right audience first. You can have mediocre marketing and content as long as you have something your audience desperately wants. But even genius marketing can’t save a crappy offer your audience doesn’t care about.
Here is the undeniable truth: All success is the result of a process. Here’s another one: Whether you want to believe it or not everything you do is a process.
Encourage your customers to share photos or updates about being at your business or using your products, then reshare or repost! Social media users love attention like this! Resharing also bolsters your brand, it’s the best and most authentic kind of social proof there is, and simultaneously encourages more of your customers to share even more images or posts too!
Focus on collecting emails as your #1 goal. Put it over traffic, put it over sales even. Email is your 2nd chance at making the sale if you fail at converting the first time.
While this may be the best time ever to start an online business, it’s important that you’re putting the right measures in place to ensure your business is ready for the future.
If you find marketing hard, you’re doing it wrong! Small business marketing success is all about implementing strategies that you find easy, effortless, and enjoyable. Because those are the ones you’ll DO. And only action creates results.
Focus on 5 things first. Who is your ideal customer? What is the problem that you are solving for this ideal customer? What is their perceived notion of how this problem is solved? How does the rest of the world tell them that this problem is solved? How do YOU believe this problem is solved? These 5 questions get to the core of your business, your purpose and will guide you in completing your most basic marketing plan.
Look for the people who are already talking about topics similar to yours in forums, blogs, and Meetup groups. They don’t have to be famous, just passionate, talkative, and curious.
When you’re setting goals for yourself, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like.
If you’re going to set up an accounting system for the first time then cough up a few bucks and involve a CPA. He or she will advise you on the necessary accounts. This way you can be sure that it’s done the right way and the system will grow with your company. Remember – do what you do best and bring in experts to do what they do best.
When funding your new or growing business, don’t invest or raise money until you’re sure what your profit model will be and how your product will generate revenue. If possible, try not to rely too much on outside funding. Bootstrapping is usually more effective in the long run, because you retain complete control and you always know where your revenue stream is coming from and how long it will last.
Spend time on crafting and defining your company’s Value Message. Not so much *what* you’re offering, but *why* you’re offering it. Your business should have a clear narrative as to why it exists, that your target audience can embrace. This is as much to use as the essence of all customer-facing value moving forward, as it is for you to personally use as a kind of internal business compass.
One founder is not ideal, unless you are ready to make a herculean effort. Two is best, as we learned from Jobs and Wozniak, Larry and Sergey and Yang and Filo. Anything over three is almost always too many. It’s true you could have four, five or even more, but you’ll end up pulling your hair out trying to make collective decisions.
We actually can’t sell anything to anyone. We need to be there when people are ready to buy. This is why a systematic and ongoing sales and marketing process is critical.
Finding a trustworthy, business-savvy banker to work with you while launching your business is a great idea.
Spend the time to define the foundational elements of your brand, including your brand mood & personality, exactly what you’re brand is all about, and who your perfect reader/client is before you try creating a unique brand identity. Branding really boils down to knowing exactly who you are. A killer signature style + consistency = brand recognition and online visibility. It’s all about setting yourself up for success, baby!
Leverage social media prior and during your grand opening. There’s already a natural curiosity that comes with a new venture being started, especially for local brick and mortar businesses. Leveraging social media during your grand opening provides a major opportunity to not only generate additional buzz but also gain your first loyal customers.
Build a solid web presence. This includes having a professionally designed website with a blog (WordPress is a great platform option), plus social media integration. You don’t need to leverage ALL of the social media sites, but most businesses can benefit from a presence on two or more (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook are the top three for most).
Working for a company that makes a difference helps staff members to feel happier in the workplace, achieve more job satisfaction, build cohesion amongst their co-workers, and improve motivation.
Create a one-sentence description of your business. Sounds simple, but it’s not. Starting a business means telling everyone you know (and many you don’t) what you do. Start a sales conversation by a clear, descriptive, and short sentence about what you do. The purpose of this sentence is simply to pull people in to a sales conversation by creating a very small foundation on which to build.
Conserve your cash and bootstrap as much as you can. Your business can’t survive without cash flow. If you don’t have cash flow in your business, you don’t have a business. Here are five things you must do to manage the cash flow in your business. 1. Understand how cash works in your business. 2. Don’t sell yourself short. 3. Remember, you are not a bank. 4. Save cash for a rainy day. 5. Prepare (and use) a Cash Flow Budget.
Mental toughness helps us push through those moments we’re not sure we can keep moving forward. That is when we have a breakthrough, and when we do, we grow and learn a lot more about who we truly are and what we are capable of doing.
Separate your business life from your personal life. This means setting up a separate business bank account and having a separate business credit card. Doing this makes recordkeeping easier, enabling you to know how well (or poorly) your business is doing and to report your income and expenses properly for tax purposes.
If you want to own a business (and not let the business own you), you need to create a process for everything. Every task you perform, big and small, should be documented. When you have processes in place, you can build a team of people to execute the work….giving you the freedom that entrepreneurship provides.
You may hate your job, you may hate what you do, but don’t start a business if you don’t have a passion for it, because it’s going to be hard and you are going to have to love it to grow it.
Manage your time. No one else will. Set yourself a strict schedule of when you will work. As well as when you will not. Initially you may do much of the work yourself. Sooner than later you will need to prioritize and that means delegating tasks to others. Determine what you do best and do it. Delegate everything else.
Sales success tends to be built on a foundation of saying “yesö to customers in order to garner those initial sales. But as a salesperson develops a relationship with the customer and becomes engaged in larger and more complex opportunities, always agreeing and continuously saying yes poses a challenge. It’s difficult to continue to add value simply by agreeing with everything the customer says.
Research is crucial, but don’t waste your time researching the things that won’t make or break your business. Spend your time learning your numbers, but make quick decisions when it comes to things like web hosting, and email providers. Too many people starting do it the opposite.
We recommend that the first step for most entrepreneurs is to sell something. Put in place the minimum amount of infrastructure that you can get by with and focus on generating revenue.
Interview members of your target audience and ask them what keeps them up at night. Pay attention to what they say–if you can find a way to help them with the problems they mention, you’ll have all the customers you want.
A right-thinking, creative frame of mind is all it takes to achieve anything you desire. Being persistent in business will only make it easier to achieve your goals. Business is a domain that is unpredictable, but so is life. We don’t know the end result, but if you have a clear vision of the journey and what it is that you want out of your business then you are pointed in the right direction to achieve that success.
Do your homework to understand what issues or concerns are already being covered (about your topic) and, more importantly, what’s not being answered. You’ll quickly have 100 blog topics and then, when you post to Twitter, for example, you can tag who gave you the idea for the post.
Listen to Your Inner Voice. Consistency and authenticity in all you do to include values and principles for conducting business need to be seen and heard. This is the essence of your personal brand. Your unique ideas will transform into a branding program designed to attract your desired clientele.
Sell your offering first then create it. Too often new business owners spend all their time on creation only to find that their target market wants something slightly – or entirely – different.
There are three critical tasks for mgmt of a startup: the First prototype, First Customer, First outside $. In seeking capital, understand the investors objectives and focus on your exit. This puts you in the high potential entrepreneur category. Persistence wins.
Know your ideal customer. Discover who they are by talking with them, one-on-one. Everything about your marketing – attracting customers, upsells, consumption – depends on this single step. Get it right and your business grows, get it wrong and you’ll struggle to attract the success you want.
Many people believe that the best way to find customers is to look for them or do it the old-fashioned way by picking up the phone and calling them. That’s a mistake. In the digital age, customers from around the world should find you. And they can, provided you create a sustainable positive online presence.
Understanding your market – who they are, where they are, what motivates them to spend – will help you feel more confident in building your business. It’s also an integral part of your planning if you do decide to become an entrepreneur.
Start with real human needs. Emerge with empathy. Design in collaboration. Tell the story like your life depends on it. Repeat.
Every business is unique. I don’t expect others to tell me what to do, but I always get references. I read about what and how are other business owners doing. Blog like BizHumm.com is very useful where there are a lot of takeaways. Then I start testing things out and decide which is best to my business. From there, I grow bit by bit.
Research your market, your competition, your ideal target market and validate your main value proposition. Getting fast and real feedback will save a lot of time, money and will allow you to make changes to your product quickly. Most new entrepreneurs spend a lot of time trying to build a business just because “they” think is a great idea.
To be successful in business you first need to be able to lead yourself successfully. Start with the person in the mirror and you will thrive in life and business.
Don’t fear failure. Often people are taught that failing is bad. Yet without failure few entrepreneurs would know the way to success. Entrepreneurs seldom get it right the first time. But having the ability to keep moving by making adjustments improves the odds of success.