Month: July 2019

Entrepreneurial Mindset 101

Their will be many times in which you will want to quit and you will not want to invest any more capital to keep your company afloat. To give yourself the best chance of sticking it through, you must develop a positive mindset. Developing a positive mindset can be acquired by:

  • Listening to powerful gurus or motivational speakers
  • Listening to uplifting music or music that makes you happy
  • Read positive books or quotes
  • Hang around positive people and strong-minded people

Once your mind is conditioned to focus on the positive perspective on any situation, you will be able to get through the tough and negative times easier.

Me personally, I have had my share of negative moments and times I wanted to quit. However, because of my positive mindset, I was able to get through the tough time and start collecting a lot of returns on my investments.

I started out as a broke college student with a dead end job. I worked on week-ends because I was a full time college student majoring in computer engineering. I had to keep my company afloat on the little paycheck I was collecting every two weeks. However, because I hanged around positive people and only surrounded myself with positive quotes on my walls, the negative times did not crush me.

You must get educated. I recommend doing some research and educating yourself on the type of business or industry you will like to be a part of. If you are able to find out all the requirements it will take for you to succeed in your business, you will be able to brace yourself when the tough times happen.


Assess the Impact of a Decision

While you may be inclined to rely on past scenarios to give you a slightly better handle on what to expect or what action to take, keep in mind that no two situations are the same. Because the circumstances and nuances of each case are different, do not let a previous decision be the template for all of your future actions. Instead, let it serve as a learning tool and take new, different decisions as you see fit.

While there is no clear-cut method, here are some steps that may help you narrow down your choices:

  • First, create a list of all possible outcomes.
  • Rank all the scenarios, from the best to the worst.
  • Figure out what actions will result in which outcomes

For each of these outcomes, think about all the other variables that are in play. Is there anything in particular that you can do that will reduce the likelihood of the bad or increase the good?

Also, do not forget to consider people’s emotions. If this decision will impact your employees as well, take the time to view the situations from their perspective. You do not want to take an action that although will benefit you, will isolate your employees. Weigh these pros and cons in your list of possible outcomes.

As you follow these steps, you should be able to eliminate more options and start to feel more comfortable making a decision.

When should you consider hiring a business coach?

If each and every time you have to make a decision, you find yourself procrastinating or overwhelmed, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. It is common to feel nervous or hesitant once in a while, but as a leader, you cannot constantly put off making a decision or avoid the situation all together. A business coach can work with you to understand where your fears stem from and help you overcome them.


Leadership Skill Development

Build Trust

In small business, good governance begins with being trustworthy ourselves and developing a business culture that embodies that trust in our relationships with others. This is accomplished through establishing work environments that build positive connections between people. Relationship building in business is an ongoing dynamic that everyone must be committed to and engage in.

Relationships are built on agreed codes of practice, agreed principles and standards of acceptable behavior. There must be a shared understanding of doing that which is right toward each other. When someone does something right, it must be rewarded. Likewise, when someone does something wrong, it must be addressed immediately.

The successful business owner or manager holds him or herself accountable by way of example in setting this ‘trust’ culture. They make sure that the people in the business are clear about its purpose and that everyone has clear objectives that are well understood by all. Everyone knows what part they play in achieving the business objectives. Where the benefits, accountabilities and responsibilities are shared within strong bonds of mutual trust and clearly defined roles and functions, high performance is the result.

Plan Effectively

Effective businesses have clearly understood planning mechanisms in place. A successful small business plan ensures that the company’s objectives are met. This is because the people within the business know exactly what they need to do.

People throughout the business also have the opportunity of feeding their experience and knowledge into the planning systems. No one, single person within a successful business has all the answers. Therefore, effective business owners and managers adopt a stance of humility, and they are always listening for that new piece of information from the people around them to incorporate into their thinking and planning. This is what gives them the adaptive edge that is missing in a mediocre business. Planning is based on honest and open relationships and two way communication. This ensures that bad news, as well as good news, is talked about and acted on.

Business policy development, systems, procedures and processes all support the objectives and goals of the business. People throughout the business are engaged in sharing their ideas and thoughts and making positive contributions to the overall wellbeing of the successful business.

Measure What You Do

Every successful business that attracts good people is a fun place to work, and it gets things done. One of the reasons that this is the case is that results are celebrated and rewarded. The ‘good’ business makes sure that it has measures in place to mark milestones and achievements. The business performance management process is everyone’s responsibility.

Measures are written into the planning, in terms of key result areas, key performance indicators and benchmarks that make sense to the people who meet them.

When striving toward a vision of what the business can be, employees’ energy, achievement and motivation are all at high levels. This forward momentum is activated by having clear goals, responsibilities and measures clearly spelled out for everyone.


Finding Business Insurance Agent

The first step towards getting the right business insurance is to find the right business insurance agent. A good business insurance agent will understand your business needs and will make sure you go in for the right kind of insurance that suits your business. Some small businesses make the mistake of hiring personal line agents who lack the experience as well as knowledge to get the appropriate insurance package. Make sure the insurance agent has the commercial experience and expertise, access to multiple insurance agencies making it possible to get the best coverage at the best price possible.

Tips to Find the Right Business Insurance Agent:

  • Ask acquaintances, friends and relatives in the same line of business to recommend an agent.
  • Ask your personal line agent to recommend a good business insurance agent.
  • Getting business associates to recommend a good agent.
  • Getting a list of business insurance agents from the yellow pages and meeting prospective agents and selecting the best agent of them all.
  • Doing a search on the Internet.
  • Get to view profiles of insurance agents operating in your area.
  • If your business operates in more than one state, make sure your insurance agent does too.
  • Check if there are complaints filed against the agent or the company he represents with the Better Business Bureau.

The insurance agent you select should be knowledgeable as well as able to convince you he is reliable and understands your company’s insurance needs. The company he represents should also be trust worthy and reputable. These are just a few tips on How to find the right business insurance agent.

Once you have chosen a qualified and capable agent, make sure you choose the best coverage possible at the best price available. It will be better if the agent has prior experience in dealing with a company similar to yours. Make sure you understand how your premium is determined and go for package policies as they work out to be cheaper. Consult a few people and then decide which policy is right for you, do not blindly buy a policy the agent suggests unless it is the right one for you. Choose an independent agent as he has a variety of policies to offer than a captive agent. Be sure to make an informed decision.


Drafting A Good Business Plan

Competitive Analysis

This is necessary to study your competition and ensure that you offer better services or products than they do to capture the market when you commence operations. It will help devise a competitive edge to your products or services.

Determine the Services or Products That You Want To Sell

Extensive market research will give you a better idea of the demand for your product or service. You can design better products or services in such a way as to make your offer irresistible to the customers. Pricing of the services or products you sell also has to be calculated carefully, making sure you are not under-pricing.

Business Plan

The experts cannot emphasize enough the importance of drafting a business plan. A business plan is a valuable performance assessment tool. A good business plan will include a brief description of the business, its history, and a list of the owners or partners. It will describe the target goals and objectives, the services or products that you are offering, the demand for them, the target market, and the strategies to be adopted. It must include cash flow projections, as cash flow too has to be planned carefully. Many are the businesses that have failed because of insufficient cash flow as well as mismanagement. A good plan will identify areas where improvements are necessary and how to achieve them.

Planning a Loan Proposal

It will be necessary to plan a loan application to ensure that your loan is granted to finance your start-up. A well-drafted business plan, cash flow projections, bank statements, articles of incorporation or partnership documents, collateral if necessary, and tax returns need to be submitted along with the loan application. You have to convince them you are a low-risk investment for them.

Planning Effective Marketing Strategies

Advertising and marketing are crucial aspects of a business that have to be planned extremely carefully. Budget your resources carefully and make sure your ads in the newspaper, radio, and other media appear at regular intervals. You can also send out occasional fliers. Make sure your advertisement extols the benefits of using your products or services.


Form The Culture Of Business Startup

Find Your Purpose

Start by thinking about what the vision for your business really is. You need to think about where you where you are headed and where you want to go. Having some direction early on with your business startup will give you, as well as your employees, something to work towards and aim for. The decisions and choices you make should directly support your vision and allow you to drive your company well into the future.

Along with your vision, you need to create the values that your business startup stands for. This is an important step as this will carve out the ideals of your brand and expectations of your employees. Your employees are just as much a reflection of your business as you are and having values that they can live up to can bring a strong reputation and recognition to your company.

Spread the Message

Once you have developed a vision strategy for your business startup, you need to be vocal about it. You can’t expect your team to catch on if they are unaware of its evolution. Spread the message and allow yourself to be transparent about its meaning to you. Allowing yourself to be open and communicative about how your vision and values align with the success of your business startup can create the buzz your company needs to take it to the next level.

Hire According to Your Values

As you add to your team, you need to find the right fit when it comes to your company culture. You want to hire employees that display your brand values as it will be an easier transition into your corporate culture to respect and stand behind what your business stands for.

As you work to select employees to work at your business startup find out what your values mean to them. Look for ways that they already integrate these values into their daily life. A prospective employee that possess experience, as well as your core values, can be a valuable addition to your business startup as they can bring that positivity your corporate culture needs. You can count on them to spread your vision message to others as well as be contagious to other employees that may have not fully onboard with your company purpose.

Reward and Appreciate

It’s always nice to offer your employees perks, but as a business startup, the funding may not be there to give a lot. Recognition of your team goes a long way especially for those that display your company values in the work that they do. Develop a reward system to appreciate those that are incorporating the vision of your business startup with customers or in their work responsibilities and choices they make on a day-to-day basis. This small act can boost your corporate culture and make your business startup a company that employee value and cherish.

Think About The Past

With a focus on the future it can be easy to forget about your past, but how your started and where you came from is the very foundation that shaped your business today. Think about your history and the hard work that took to get where your business startup is today. Allow your employees to also understand the story behind your company and what it took to get it to its beginning stages.

Your past is a significant part of the strength of your business and most likely is what you drew your values from. Your employees need to understand the motivation and drive that propelled your business startup forward. Be upfront about your history and embrace it with a furry as it is the sole reason you are in the position you are today. When your employees see your roots, this will impact how they feel about the company and the vision that you have created to take it into the future.


Skills Needed As An Entrepreneur

Stay Focused

You have to be ready to give it all it takes, when success in the business is your priority, you will find yourself ready to tackle any kind of challenges along the way. After setting a goal, knowing how to “laser focus” on the very next step to get closer to the ultimate goal. There are so many distracting forces when trying to build a business that this skill is not easy to master.

Productivity

This is a sensitive topic, the fact is there is no one right way to be productive that works for everybody. Learn about your peak energy times, your routines, and the productivity tools that work for you in order to create your own plan for success.

Sales

Some entrepreneurs get stuck here, every entrepreneur is a sales person whether they want to be or not. They are either selling their ideas, products or services to customers, investors or employees. They work to be there when customers are ready to buy. Alternately, they know how to let go and move on when they are not. If you’re always nervous about selling, try enrolling in a sales workshop to learn this much needed skill.

The ability to manage people

You need to know how to manage people well. Early on in your business, you will be everyone’s manager, so it pays to be effective. Entrepreneurs should know how to motivate and encourage the employees. Only by learning to leverage employees, vendors and other resources will an entrepreneur build a scalable company. They need to learn to network to meet the right people. Entrepreneurs strive to guarantee they will get honest and timely feedback from all these sources.

Adapting to change

Change they say is constant! Successful entrepreneurs realize they don’t know everything and the market is constantly changing. You have to be willing to go with the trend or change. You know what brilliant entrepreneurs does? They stay up to date on new systems, technology, and industry trends.

Strategy implementation

You need to dedicate your time to simply dreaming about what you want for your business. Where would you like to take it? What’s your vision for it? Now, how can you get there from here? Set your goals, and then develop an actionable plan to make them a reality. Then, don’t forget about those goals. Keep them at the front and center to everything you do.


Businesses In Difficulty

The Solution

The way to cure a patient is by diagnosing the disease and subsequently treating by the right medication. Treat your company like a patient.

Run Through

Have a close look at your business. Have you been avoiding it? Are all the key decisions left upon managers? Do you know each and every minutest detail related to the function, if no, then the reason behind such difficult position can be attributed to the lack of apt management and close monitoring.

In fact the first guide to drive your business out of difficult times is to know the root cause of such positioning which can be clearly assimilated only by engulfing every detail about your enterprise.

Now that you are aware of the details of the hour, plan a course of action to deal with it. Two simultaneous plans, one in long run to deal with the key issue and one in the short run to improve cash flow, run parallel.

Long Term Course

The root cause has been deciphered, the key term here is root cause (do not focus on the upfront issues rather dig for more crucial factors back stage), now sit back and make a strategy to deal with it in the long run.

Make sure that all the points have been thoroughly considered and based upon the analysis a plan has been made. The same can be implemented once the cash flow situation has been improved by various immediate steps as entailed in the short-term course.

Short Term Course

Deal with the immediate cash flow crunch. It is time when you should be especially careful towards your creditors. Deal them with patience. Remember, at the end of the day they too are interested in their money. So just squeeze a little more time.

Quick note: Never let a single creditor or a specific group of creditors own more than £750, as if otherwise it gives them an opportunity to take you to court and wind up your business.

Improve your cash flow positioning by

  • Trim your assets and working capacity
  • Have a leaner structure and cut management costs.
  • Deal with your debtors on immediate basis, if required sell off the loans to third parties.
  • Sell un-required machinery and other assets.
  • Look out for cheaper sources of cash
  • Bill at the earliest, raise all your pending or due bills
  • Re negotiate with suppliers for better payment terms.


Social Entrepreneurship

Finding a viable business project, which will be both sustaining and profitable, is inherently difficult. Coming up with the most suitable business that not only turns a profit but also assists a wider community, without negatively impacting on environmental and social issues are what lead to failure. It is pointless taking a failed business and trying to turn it into a success. What is needed is a new idea with new, sustainable markets, that will take people out of poverty and engage them in keeping up the program for the long term.

Get a big idea that is not local consumer based. Focus on setting up a product or service which has a more powerful end-user, such as government or industry. By creating a problem solver for business, such as software which calculates dirty factory emissions, the business not only helps the company and workers but also gets cleaner air to the surrounding population.

Harness market forces for social enterprise. Create a positive knock-on effect in society.

It is not a difficult proposition when you head straight to the government to find out what their social needs are. Often there are social problems such as alcohol or substance abuse. Investing in these areas can be a little tricky. It is more likely that a big business project will create an upliftment of the socio-economic group with anti-social behavior and substance dependency.

Giving money to charities operating within your business location or neighboring area is another method of sustaining people in dire need of financial or physical assistance. Once could argue that making a tithe to the community charity chest is an excellent way to combat hardship.

The social entrepreneurship, however, is not coming to the fore with handouts. Engaging the group needing the financial assistance is a better way to take them out of hardship. The micro-finance scheme mentioned earlier is one such method. Another is to create an environmental project which includes the population.

Cleaning up streets and neighborhoods, planting trees and gardens and assisting those people who are living in poverty by helping them address their slum-like conditions of life, is one of the most uplifting projects to undertake. It can also be one of the most challenging and involves the formation of a business type platform for successful operation.

Back again to the subject of lending to the poor to enable small entrepreneurs to get ahead and make long-term changes to their lives. Kiva International, based in San Francisco, runs a successful micro-finance business.

One of the challenges facing the poor is their inability to do anything about their environment when making purchasing decisions. Inscrutable suppliers flood the market with cheap and nasty goods. We won’t mention the primary offender here, rest assured that they are a world player when it comes to flooding the third world with junk and need to be stopped.

Setting up a business in an impoverished society is harder than setting up in a first world, especially when that group is in a far flung third world country. However, providing the funds for a small business enterprise which makes soap and washing powder, which is environmentally safe, can and should be done.

Think back to the West African Ebola outbreak of 2013 to 2016. The disease might not have taken hold if the villagers had access to cheap soap for washing and hygiene.

The market for free trade items is growing. The first world is becoming more aware of the environmental impact that their products and services are causing in the poorer countries, giving social entrepreneurs in the first world the biggest opportunity. By setting up a business in the third world which manufacturers and sells products such as coffee and clothing that are partly organic and environmentally neutral.

The point is, make a difference with your social enterprise. Find a market where every industry is harming the environment and capture a market share by offering a better alternative. Governments and NGO’s around the world are seeking ways to combat poverty. Often it just takes one energetic entrepreneur to have an epiphanic moment and come up with a “magic bullet” business solution.

Don’t think that setting up and leaving the enterprise is the done deal. Remember, the people you have come to help are not business savvy and marketing their products will become one of the primary functions for the social entrepreneur. You wouldn’t leave money on the table in a typical business environment. Keeping things going for a social enterprise is just as important. Make profits, nothing wrong with that. Doing your bit for society will make an effort seem like child’s play.


Measure Business Success

Profit Margins

How are your profit margins compared to the rest of your industry? Do you know where your business stands when comparing it to complementary businesses? This is an important thing to know so that you can work on being even more successful.

Customer Satisfaction

Send out a survey to your customers occasionally to find out how they are doing. One way to do this is through your follow-up autoresponder messages. Make it a habit to send out surveys to them on a scheduled basis so that you can regularly know how your customers feel.

Your Personal Satisfaction

It might seem strange, but business success is not only defined in the numbers but also in your own personal satisfaction. Check in with yourself to make sure you’re enjoying your life and feel good about what you’re doing. No amount of money can make up for feeling unsatisfied personally.

Your Competition’s Success

Where do you stand in comparison to your competition? Not just on income, but in all factors? Keeping tabs on your competition is a great way to not only inspire yourself to do better but also to know where you stand as a business within your direct industry.

Profit Growth through Time

It’s one thing to make a profit, but how is your business growing over time? Are you making the profit growth over time that you wanted to make? Is your profit decreasing? Did you have too many expenses that didn’t pay off, or is everything going well?

Leads Acquired

How many new leads have you acquired over the past quarter or year? What was the cost and how did they convert? Knowing this information is a good way to measure your business success.

Conversion Rates

How many prospects convert to buyers based on your efforts? Look at all types of conversion rates, including subscribers to email lists, conversions to buyers from being on the list, direct buys, and so forth.