Before entrepreneurs pushed passed the ordinary to become who they are Today, the world of business was very segregated into specific roles. Whatever the area, every role was defined and curated to fit into certain hours during the day. With technology booming like it has over the last few years, the world has changed in every aspect. Including the way people run businesses. While entrepreneurs are trying to break out of the norm and create a new ground. For entrepreneurs struggling to break through the norm, here are a few things you could do to when running your own startup.
1. Do not disregard ideas from your employees
One of the fastest ways to run your business into the ground is by not listening to your employees. If you want your company to grow, then grow your listening to skills. Your employees are on the front lines and they will tell you the harsh realities, a thing which your numbers won’t. Make sure your ears are always attuned to what is happening around you.
2. Do not have unnecessary meetings
There is no bigger wastage of time than having long drawn meetings. We have all been pulled into meetings for no particular reason and more often than not, they end up just being utterly pointless. In this wondrous age of digital everything, meetings should really only be held when there is a topic that can’t be shared or resolved through email.
3. Don’t take your employees for granted
Do not take your employees for granted. The longer hours they work, the more cranky they get. The end result is not always satisfying either. In fact, there is a lot of research which has confirmed time and again that people end up nosediving if they work for more than 40 hours a week.
4. Do not establish clear cut hierarchies
Some companies like to establish clear and straightforward hierarchies, making productivity an extremely hard thing. Lack of respect at work has all kinds of negative effects like outright hostility and plain disregard. Being approachable has its own benefits and as a result, you are at the receiving end of the profits!
5. Do not ever forget marketing
In a world where everything is digitized, marketing is an essential tool. When it comes to marketing, social media and public relations, don’t judge a book by the numbers. Just get the word out there about your company and your product or service.
As a new business, it is very easy to drive your business to the ground if you do not have things in place. Compassion, understanding and a clear goal go a long way in ensuring your business is a success from the very word go.
The Importance Of SWOT Analysis For A Business
Startups and their incredible stories, do not just happen overnight. It requires extensive research and dedicated hard work to make things happen. As a beginner who is launching a business, one must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of their business operations. Whether it is financial tasks or resources or manpower, a startup should keep a track of what and how and where to invest. Every business must conduct a SWOT analysis timely in order to find out its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A perfect way to find out where your business stands is to conduct a SWOT analysis. From large firms to small firms, every business can follow this analysis to find out its whereabouts in the market and implement the same when required.
The four elements of a SWOT analysis are as below!
Strengths – This element shows the characteristics of a business that give you an advantage over others. In simple terms, your strength could be your Unique Selling Point (USP.) Alongside, anything that adds weight to your business plan such as financial support, effective strategies, first mover advantage or any other internal factor that is your strength comes under this category, Recognize your strengths and use them to climb up the ladder to success!
Example – Nestle Maggie Noodles is the leader in the noodle market and its strength lies in its first mover advantage.
Weaknesses – Weaknesses refers to the areas your competitors have an upper hand when compared to you in the market. It is extremely important to recognize your weakness and work on it before it is too late. Low performance of your team or lagging behind with respect to technology upgradation could be considered as one the weaknesses of a business.
Example – One of the major factors why Nokia disappeared from the mobile phone market lies in its incapability to switch to the manufacturing of smartphones at an early stage.
Opportunities – This domain helps you achieve your objectives with ease. Find out the factors which could help you do more with your existing customers or clients. With the additional information you have, go for an extensive market research. As a startup you can go for expanding your business via social media platforms. Use it as an opportunity to expand your business. Examine your business with questions like, are there any new technological advances we could use to expand our business and reach new consumers? How can we adapt our business to changing consumer tastes and preferences?
Example – IKEA is traditionally famous for its diversification strategies. The company is launching its first ever store in India with its debut in T Hub which happens to be India’s largest incubator for startups, located in Hyderabad, Telangana.
Threats – Threats can be elements in the environment that could be dangerous for a business. Emerging competitors or changing customer attitudes could be major threats. Consider the factors that could affect the flow of your business and its operations. Try to opt for a solution and overcome them. Threats are external factors that you have no control over.
Example- PepsiCo must consider the consumer shifting toward health drinks as a threat and focus more toward flourishing the market with health drinks!
As easy as it may sound, SWOT requires a lot of considerations with regards to your business, your competitors, your work environment in the best possible way. So, when you are starting a business do not forget to conduct the SWOT analysis! Swot away your obstacles with a successful analysis!
How To Talk To People You Cannot Avoid
There is always that one person with whom you do not know how to break the ice. Even the most out going person could find it difficult to speak to strangers. However, every workplace has different people and sometimes, it just comes to a point where you have no choice but to initiate conversation; also known as small talk!
1. Begin with an anchor
An anchor is essentially the starting point of every random conversation. It helps to set the tone and gives you an idea of what the other person is thinking. I usually start off with something like, “Oh, the weather is so nice today, I do not feel like working!” The best part about these openers is both you and the person to whom you are talking to know the statement is for the purpose of small talk and the awkward ice can be finally broken!
2. Reveal something about you
The best way to fill the gap in those minutes where the conversation becomes awkward is to say something like, “this job is quite exciting. I have not done such a challenging role before!” When your colleague knows the struggle is real, the conversation flows easily and quickly.
Listen, because it is important. When you say some of those superficial line fillers, you never know what kind of a conversation it may trigger. For instance, I had a bad day at work and a colleague happened to ask me how I was. In all fairness, the question was just a simple opener. I took it to be a real opener and offloaded onto a stranger. What makes listening work is you can always learn something about the other person! On a side note, this person and I are really close friends now!
4. Know when not to talk
Okay so there are times when you are engaging in random conversations, you hear things you do not entirely agree with. If these conversations are with people you do not know, then it is best to really keep quiet and not say things you regret later.
Small talk is quite a task and usually, in an informal setting, the ice can be broken over shared interests. At work, that is a little harder, even for an extrovert like me! I have used these tips in the past so I truly hope they help you too!
5 Ways To Promote Your Business On LinkedIn
If you are not promoting your business on LinkedIn then you are definitely missing out on something big!
LinkedIn could get you a massive potential audience for your business and boost your business to another level. At present, LinkedIn is the third most popular social networking website. From finding jobs to finding customers, this commercial website is widely used by everyone. This platform is the modern day lead generation software. According to stats, around 255 million people visit the site each month, ranging from individual employees to leaders of business.
Here are 5 ways to promote your business on LinkedIn
Create an effective company profile
Start off by creating an effective company profile on LinkedIn. The profile needs to be precise and unique which could differentiate you from others. Create a company profile that includes information about what your company does, how long you’ve been doing it and how interested clients can contact you for more information.
Post content actively
At this point, content marketing plays a vital role in any and every business. Of course, content is the queen! You have to post as much content as possible to keep the audience hooked to your company’s whereabouts. The content you add in your company summary section to news updates or to your own personal profile need to be targeted and optimized. Do not forget to use keywords that emphasize your speciality. Writing clever and brief content that shows you’re an expert in your field. You can also share your highest performing blog posts or articles. Alongside, do not forget to post interesting videos on LinkedIn. Provide links to relevant content on your website and attract the audience toward your business.
Boost your company’s SEO on LinkedIn
Optimizing your company page on LinkedIn is very important. I repeat, very important! When people are searching on LinkedIn, a well optimized company page pops up first. So, an effective SEO can help you gain immense visibility. You can insert relevant keywords in your company’s profile information. Apart from this, you can link your company page which is essential for boosting your ranking in search.
Join LinkedIn groups
Groups help you connect with professionals as well as customers. When you join the right groups, you have the potential to be targeting major decision makers that could become your clients. However, you may already be a part of several groups on LinkedIn but taking it as an opportunity to uplift your business is what matters. Each time you participate in a group, your photo and name are included, plus you can add on a short signature with your company information on your posts for added promotion. Isn’t that cool? Add a catchy signature that could grab the potential audience’s attention which in turn would take them to your company profile. You could also make a collaboration based group which can be created and managed by your own company. It can be an outstanding way to get your company name out there and recognizable. Isn’t that what every business wants as a beginner? You can promote your business indirectly on LinkedIn by providing a perspective in group discussions.
Interact, Interact and Interact
One of the greatest things about LinkedIn is that it helps you interact with the right people by showing you networks of connectivity. Browse through profiles of your connections and see who they’re involved with and you might discover a valuable lead. Sounds interesting, right?
So, the next time you are trying to promote your business, do not forget to consider LinkedIn.
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