The Sure Signs You’re on Your Way to Entrepreneurial Success

If you are keen to succeed in the world of business, it is often necessary to ensure you have a number of qualities. Being able to see a business through to the end you want is hard, but with the right understanding of what it takes anyone with enough dedication can surely achieve it. The truth is that there are certain things you are going to need which will ensure that you can take your business where you want it to go. Some are personal qualities, while others are external influences you will need to harness. Let’s take a look at some of the sure signs that you can expect some entrepreneurial success in your life soon.

Having Access to Strong Capital

Without the financial impetus necessary to drive a business onward, you can’t really be sure that it is going to go anywhere. Having that capital behind you is definitely absolutely necessary if you want to see success in your life, and one of the biggest questions facing you will certainly be how to ensure you get hold of it.

You need capital in a strong and consistent manner, otherwise the future of your business might be inconstant too. Getting hold of a short-term business loan is often a necessary start, and you might also need to have a plan in place for ensuring future capital flow as well. With the money behind you, anything in business is possible.

Image Credit: Pexels

Being Dedicated to the Cause

There is something driving you to business, but what is it? If you want to be successful, it is likely that you will benefit from having a strong sense of what it is that drives you to do so. There has to be some cause which is underlying the business itself, and this is something you’ll need to think about if you want to make sure you are as likely to succeed as possible.

After all, without a clear understanding of your own motivations it is much less likely that you will be able to see the goals through to the very end. Get to the bottom of why you are doing what you’re doing, and you will be able to be more and more dedicated to what you are trying to achieve.

The Right Level of Delegation

Do too much yourself, and you will be in trouble. Do too little, and the same applies. It is often said that a good manager knows how to delegate, and there is definitely some truth to this. The reason it is true is because you need to know how much work needs to be delegated in order to keep the business running as smoothly as possible.

It is therefore a good idea to have a strong sense of who needs to do what if you want your business to succeed and live for as long as you like. Delegate well, and your business will be run more effectively, making it more likely to see the success you want to see.

Having Your Wits about You When Entering a Business Partnership

Some businesses established recently, often find that they need a tugboat in order to get them out of the harbour and out into the big open sea. If the sea is the world of opportunity, then that tugboat is a partner who is willing to help you get to where you need to be. This is why although many small businesses may not want to sell themselves to the highest bidder, but they may want another entity similar to their’s to join them on the journey.

A temporary or even long-term partnership is great for businesses that need each other or simply want to put their rivalry to one side to bolster one another. The latter reason might be because the global economy is spiraling downward or both businesses can spot a sudden spike or interest and buying habits in consumers. However, when you’re entering into a partnership, there are a few crucial things you should remember.

people-having-staff-meeting-over-drinks

Know exactly what you want

Aside from the legalities, the important question is what it is you wish to gain from this partnership. It’s wise not to get involved with a business that is not performing well, and you can see so by their quarterly financial reports. A business that is either on par or slightly more successful than you are the prime candidate.

Do you want to essentially climb on each other’s backs to hoist your flag higher in the market or industry you’re both in? Small businesses that team together to take on a shared opposition, such as a rival but the much larger brand, will find the fight much easier. There may be seasonal shifts, and perhaps you want to have an easier time for periodic sales by sharing consumers.

Whatever your motive is, have a clear idea of what you want before you head into any agreement.

Do your research

Small businesses often have investors who see entrepreneurs and their ideas as the next big thing. It’s a slippery game of snakes and ladders if you don’t properly check who is a holder in the company. What if the business owner, isn’t the only one who has a say because the investor has bought a chunk of the company?

To make sure you’re not heading into an agreement without the full list of other partners beside yourself having a position of authority in terms of decision-making, entrust a detective agency. With the skills and expertise of such an organisation, they can check the background of any business and pull up some vital details.

They can find hidden partners, as in some cases they are may not be permissible even to be mentioned in a negotiation. This is why it’s beneficial to know the underbelly of the business you’re heading into a deal with before you sit around the table.

Having your wits about you when looking to partner with another business is most important before you start wording the agreement contract. Knowing who might be behind any decisions the other party makes is crucial to not having unpleasant surprises flung your way. Equally, you’ve got to really lay down the foundational reasons in what you want from the partnership.

Finding the Perfect Employees by Hiring Without Perspiring

Whatever the nature of your business, you need to know that you’re hiring the right people to facilitate its ongoing growth and prosperity. Many entrepreneurs go it alone, but more tend to go into business with friends, veteran colleagues or at the very least people they already have a good working relationship with. It makes total sense for businesses to be built on the backs of people who know and trust each other, who share the risks and rewards equally. When all the hard work and endeavour pay off, and the business grows, then it becomes necessary to cast the net and recruit a new breed of employees to contribute to the growth of the business and take it to the next level. When this happens, however, it can be difficult for smaller businesses to know how to recruit and retain those top-tier candidates.

Image Credit: Pexels

Outsource your recruitment where possible

One of the hardest lessons for an entrepreneur to learn is when to let go and entrust a facet of their business’ operation to an outsourced company. This is as true for recruitment as it is for IT support or marketing. While, you’ll want to get a personal impression of your new candidates, it’s an uncomfortable truth that you may be less able to discern the best quite as well as an outsourced recruitment agency.

If you would rather not fully outsource the process, employment verification from ClearStar may be a happy medium. This will allow you to perform your own background checks in an easy and accessible way. That said, outsourcing recruitment has some inherent advantages:

  • Reduced costs: Outsourcing your recruitment saves money on advertising the position, venue hire for interviews and the cost of candidate background screening. These costs are borne by the agency and in exchange for an up-front fee, which will generally reduce both your cost-per-hire and time-per-hire.
  • Limits the impact on your productivity: Recruiting a high volume off staff in a short space of time, can devour time and resources (especially if you’re new to the recruitment business). This lost time can be damaging to your on productivity in ways that have a knock-on effect on your output.
  • It’s more effective: Recruitment agencies are not only adept at identifying and vetting great candidates, they also work with the aims and priorities of the business in mind. Most entrepreneurs are ideally placed to identify the areas in which the right personnel can benefit their business, recruitment agencies are better placed to spot the attributes that complement this in their candidates.

But, now you’ve got the right candidates, how do you retain them to make sure they don’t jump ship and swim over to your competitors? One word — onboarding.

Image Credit: Pexels

Onboarding

Onboarding is vital in ensuring that new employees have the best possible start and hit their stride as quickly as possible so that they can bring their skills and experience to bear on your business without a long and frustrating interstice.

Ideally all existing employees should be made aware of the new addition to the team prior to them starting so that they will already have an idea of who the new person is and how they will fit in. They should have the facilities and training to be great at what they do from day one and should turn up on their first day of work with all their paperwork done and ready so that they can get started on the task at hand.

With just a little preparation the right candidates will be part of the furniture before you know it, making real and meaningful contributions to your ongoing business success.

Upgrading from Blogger to Entrepreneur with These 4 Tips

Anyone can have a blog and some people might even be fairly successful bloggers, whether “success” is defined by the amount of subscribers they have or how much money they make from their content. But there is a huge leap between being a blogger and blogging for a living. It’s not just about the number of hours you put into your business. If your website is gaining a lot of interest and you feel confident about taking the next step, here are a four tips to help you upgrade from casual blogger, to entrepreneur.

Image Credit: Pexels

Sort out your finances

Even if you’re not quite ready to quit your day job just yet, it’s a good idea to check on your financial situation before you attempt to become a full-time blogger. If your position is not so secure that you can afford to be without a guaranteed income for a while, it’s best to make a slow transition to your new career.

However, if you have a big enough safety net to get you through a few months, you’re confident that you can increase your blogging income fairly quickly, and you’re happy to take that leap of faith, then go ahead and take the plunge. Neither one of these options is better than the other; it’s more about what’s the right move for you.

Check your hosting platform

When you first started blogging, you might have been content to have a functioning hosting platform free of charge. But if you want to seem more professional, it might be time to pay for a website that doesn’t end in “wordpress.com”.

To get your research off to the right start, you need to read MangoMatter’s managed WP hosting page reviews. This will give you a better idea of which platforms offer the best support, cost, bandwidth, disk space, and are more popular with users. Don’t be afraid to go for a hosting platform that offers better templates and layouts; you might have done well with a simple blog before, but now it’s time to step up your game.

Image Credit: Pexels

Increase your presence

You’ve already established your brand, and you’ve generated enough interest to consider doing this full-time. Most of the hard work is already complete, you just need to appeal to a larger audience. Reach out to other bloggers and ask if you can collaborate on a project, or get in touch with retailers an offer to promote some of their merchandise through affiliate marketing.

Create a page on Facebook, and separate profiles on Twitter, Instagram, or anywhere else that might be relevant. You’re no longer promoting your hobby on your own social media pages, you’re promoting a business that needs its own platform.

Improve your content

Content is king; it’s what got your readers interested in your blog, and it’s what got you into your current position. Now it’s time to step up your research, style, and topics for a fresh audience. The more successful you get, the more your content has to improve.

Giving Your Struggling Business a Facelift!

Has your business hit the proverbial brick wall? Regardless of how far along you are as a budding start-up or experienced business, we’ve all hit problems and the roadblocks to better progress to the next level. The signs of a struggling business includes declining revenue, lower customer retention, higher employee turnover, and decrease in product/service quality. So what can you do to effectively revive your company?

Take the First Step

You need to reevaluate the situation you are in. So look at the key aspects that you feel are severely lacking in your business, for example, the business strategy. Do you feel the business has a clear direction anymore? Do you know why the business exists in the current market and does it solve any problems for customers or any gaps in the market?

If you feel that your business needs a lift, these might be the right things to change. From there, you need to look at the people. Do you have the right people running the company? Are these people committed to the success of your organisation, and are they actually incentivised properly to do what they can for your business?

Motivation is a massive part of why people work well — remember that!

Are You Surrounding Yourself With The Right Tools?

Productivity is a massive part of why businesses can go down the pan quickly, so if you’re not able to make the most of the tools you have, it might be time to re-evaluate and to bring in better ones. Whether this is using better technology and network support services to help prevents catastrophes occurring on a technological front especially if you have been suffering from a lot of system issues recently.

The right IT company can give your productivity a big facelift, and it’s also vital that your staff and workers are working with the right tools and while it’s a cliché that a shoddy workman blames his tools, you do require the most up-to-date technology for your business to succeed.

Read also: MasterCard Remakes Its Well-known Logo for the Digital Era

Does Your Business Require Rebranding?

As we all know marketing is a massive part of the success of every business. If you’re not able to market ourselves effectively to the right demographics and target market, this might be the reason your business is lagging behind.

If your business is dying a slow death it can have a big impact on your brand and customers will start to lose face in your brand, and their trust in what you are able to achieve will wane as negative word of mouth spreads faster than wildfire.

So you don’t need to necessarily make a complete change in how you present your brand, this really needs to be a last resort, but if you can give your business a new brand identity with some new marketing strategies, this will help to present a new and more dynamic image which then will instigate more customer interest.

So take the right steps to evaluate, check your tools, and check your image before all hope is lost!

5 Vital Entrepreneurial Skills and Abilities You Should Possess

If you are someone who likes to think of themselves as something of an entrepreneur, then you are by no means alone. There are many entrepreneurs out there and they all work in a number of distinct and different ways.

However, that doesn’t mean that they are entirely different. As it happens, there are a number of skills and abilities which most have in common.

If you are looking to become the best entrepreneur you can possibly be then studying the habits and attitudes of others is always going to be a good idea.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top entrepreneurial skills and abilities. Do you have them all?

Image Credit: Pexels

Good Eye For Detail

There are so many occasions in business when it really pays to have a good eye for detail. This is something that can be quite hard to develop if you do not already have it, but nonetheless there is always something you can do to improve your observation skills.

When it comes to applying this particular skill to a business, the best way to practice is to just make sure you do it at every possible opportunity. That means always being on the lookout for every minor and tiny thing which might be of relevance.

At first, it is difficult to know whether you are looking at the right details. But over time, you gradually get used to it. Eventually, you will develop a keen instinct for what i likely to be important, and what can probably be ignored. This will serve you well in the future of your business, for certain.

Make sure you practice your eye for detail at every possible opportunity, and you will be able to be a much more capable manager within your business, and much less prone to making mistakes.

Fairness

The way that you treat other people says a lot about your style as an entrepreneur, and this is something that is always worth looking at and working on. Above all, the people you deal with want to be treated with fairness.

This runs over into most everything you do, from hiring and firing people in your business to dealing with partners and traders. Although you want to get the best possible deal for yourself and your business, you should also make sure that you are always making an effort to be as fair as possible as well.

Fairness comes in many forms, but overall it is a quality which tends to just leak out when you have it, and be quite obvious when you don’t. In order to develop it fully, you have to really care, and to put it into practice at some of the hardest moments in your daily work life.

Reading guides such as The Nice Guy’s Guide To Firing Someone will give you a good start on knowing how to be fair in difficult circumstances, as will taking courses in being personable and friendly.

Be sure to develop this if you want to be respected and taken seriously in your work life.

Foresight

Nobody ever knows for certain what is going to happen in the future, but some people do seem to have an uncanny ability to predict events strangely accurately. If you have this skill, you will find that it serves you well for a long time to come. If you don’t, the good news is that it is the kind of thing you can most definitely develop.

If you do want to develop your foresight, you should make an effort to learn how the markets work, what kind of changes affect them and so on. There is a certain mathematics to it, and once you start to gain an understanding of it you will find that your ability to know what is coming next improves dramatically.

It goes without saying that the ability to have a strong foresight will serve you well in any business venture, so this might be one of the most important qualities to try and develop in yourself.

Image Credit: Pexels

Confidence

People often make the grave mistake of thinking that confidence is something that you either have or don’t have. However, this is not the case.

No matter how confident or not you currently feel, you can always find ways to improve it — and if you want to get ahead in the world of business, you probably should work on your confidence as much as you can.

One of the best ways to develop your confidence is to go out of your comfort zone a little every now and then. It is by doing this, and proving to yourself little by little that you are capable of achieving things, that you can develop greater and greater confidence.

This is the best way to get ahead with your confidence levels, and you will find that it just naturally improves as time goes on. This will easily bleed over into your work life, and your business is bound to drastically improve in many ways as a result of this internal change within you.

Persistence

In the world of business, all sorts of things can happen to uproot what you already have in place. This is just the nature of it, but it can easily lead people to become disillusioned with the whole practice of running a business.

This is why the quality of persistence is frequently quite such an important thing for entrepreneurs to have. As long as you have the ability to carry on despite whatever might have gone before, then you will find that you get ahead much faster than those who don’t have this quality.

Of course, this is hard to learn if you don’t naturally feel this way inclined. But if you do want to become more persistent, try to see setbacks not as failures but opportunities.

This simple change of mind will make everything much easier, and help you to carry on when times get tough.

At the very least, it will keep you happy and sane in the process.

Don’t Neglect These Three Key Things in Business

Business is complex, there’s so much more to it than simply having a good product or service. Getting your name out there, building up loyal customers and ensuring you are delivering an excellent service every time is easier said than done. Here are three things that are easily overlooked but necessary to get on board with, if you’re serious about making your business a success.

Branding

Branding is crucial when it comes to business. It’s much more than just a logo or website (although these are of course important). It’s about tapping into the psychology of the customer. Once you work out exactly what they want, your brand can essentially sell them a certain kind of lifestyle — not just a product.

Work out your unique selling point and go from there, aim to give customers something they can’t easily get elsewhere. There may be a thousand companies selling carpets out there for example, so how is yours different? Maybe you offer a payment plan, or offers for those on a low-income. Perhaps you specialise in luxury or budget carpets.

Whatever it is, use that to help you create your brand. Customers trust brands because they are seen as credible and reliable, they know you have a reputation to uphold. Branding is incredibly powerful, and definitely not something to overlook as an entrepreneur. You could have the best product or service in the world, but it’s not necessarily going to sell itself.

Being able to captivate people and grab their attention is key to your success in business.

Business Cards

Now that just about everything is online, it’s easy to overlook traditional methods of promotion like flyers and business cards.

As a business owner, you should be networking effectively, and that means having your information on hand to pass over when needed. If you’re at a convention or event with lots of entrepreneurs and potential clients mixing, it would be foolish to expect or rely on people remembering your information.

You can design and print cards on this website and many others. It’s inexpensive and could be exactly what’s needed to snag you those all important clients and customers.

Blogging

Business is highly competitive, and your company is a small fish in an enormous pond. You might have a professional, well put together website, but really it’s floating out in cyberspace and is very difficult for people to find.

One way you can make it a little easier is by writing a business blog. When you write a blog, you begin to gain a loyal following. Blog posts attract social shares, so if you put useful content out there people will basically advertise it for free by sharing it.

You can use your blog to promote your product and services, and over time it will help to boost your page rank in search engines too.

 

Had you overlooked any of these regarding your business? What important factors do you feel shouldn’t be overlooked to ensure success?

Business Hooks While Balancing The Books

Stress, it’s a big thing, and when you own a business, you’re going to run into your fair share of it. Of course, this mainly stems from money worries. Trying to squeeze every penny across expanding departments and attempting to increase your online presence requires a lot of investment, so what can you do to minimise spending while maximising your business potential?

Image Credit: Pexels

Get Freelancing

Outsourcing to freelancers is not such a dirty word anymore. Every business is feeling the pinch, and it’s a very natural part of the process to hire outside sources to take over the vital components of your business. From getting web/graphic designers to give your site a makeover to IT Support services. It’s a very cost-effective measure.

Many IT support services can be affordable, and on a monthly payment plan, so you can get the most suitable infrastructure for your budget. The start of any business means getting a lot of little tasks complete, and you can make the most of the job websites that hire out freelancers.

When you’re at the point where it’s all hands on deck, freelancer sites are a lifeline to get those last important bits ready to go.

Advice from Influencers

Never underestimate the advice from people who were once in your shoes. We all make mistakes, and you will make a lot more when trying to realise your vision, but the advice doesn’t cost anything, and you can learn from other people’s mistakes very easily.

Aligning yourself with the key influencers in your industry from an early point should be part of your whole entrepreneurial ethos. It’s a common misstep of many startups that fail to see and leverage the value of networking. It can be a big obstacle to overcome, especially for those who are still trying to find their feet as a leader.

However, by networking with key influencers, you will have an opportunity to learn lessons quickly. You never know, you could end up becoming an influencer in your field, which will only help to increase your business connections.

UK Entrepreneur James Caan | Image Credit: LinkedIn

Make the Most of Your Image

Contrary to popular belief, you can make the most of a business image without much money. When one of the UK’s most successful Entrepreneur James Caan started his recruitment firm Alexander Mann, he could only afford a renovated broom cupboard.

On the upside, the location was in a prime part of London’s City Centre, so the correspondence gave out a good impression before anything else.

He conveniently held meetings in rented spaces to avoid being found out, but the proof was there. He built up his business image before doing anything else that made the clients and customers come in droves.

Make the most of your image in this way because operating a business out of your residential address does not look good. Instead, make the most of the virtual office services; which, as part of the package, is a professional address. It’s simple, cheap, and it will do a lot for your reputation right from the start. Cheap ideas do not have to be cheap in quality, and the best ideas come from nothing.

What Red Bull Can Teach You About Effective Branding

Red Bull did the seemingly impossible.

Founder Dietrich Mateschitz started from practically nowhere in the mid-1990s to become the only successful new entrant into the soft drinks market for more than a generation, baffling experts in the process.

Red Bull grew its sales from six to 300 million cans between 1996 and 2006.

It makes for the perfect case study to examine, piecing their story together and learning lessons from their successes in branding.

various-cans-of-red-bull-on-display

Of course, Red Bull isn’t the only company to try to enter the soft drinks market. Virgin attempted to do the same with its brand of cola 20 years ago.

But despite having the genius entrepreneurial backing of Founder and CEO Sir Richard Branson and a well-established marketing and logistics infrastructure, the company wasn’t able to break the market.

It’s competitors, the Coca-Cola Corporation and PepsiCo, continue to dominate to this day.

Although Red Bull’s target market was more open than the cola market — it was making energy drinks rather than direct Coca-Cola substitutes.

Today, it’s still lauded as a shining example of what is achievable in competitive markets on a small budget.

Red Bull showed that it was possible to enter the energy drinks market — just like Elon Musk demonstrated that it was possible to get into the automobile market and win with Tesla Motors.

Before long, others followed with energy drinks (Monster, Rockstar, NOS, AMP, etc.) and a whole new segment of the market was born.

For marketing companies, like AMW Group, none of Red Bull’s success is surprising in hindsight. The company essentially did what many modern marketing gurus today would recommend: forget about the product, just do something interesting and it’ll advertise itself.

For small business owners and entrepreneurs, this sort of thing might seem counterintuitive, but in the case of Red Bull, it worked.

Remember, Red Bull’s core product was little more than a fizzy cup of coffee in a can. The company knew that if it was going to get recognition, it had to go beyond the drinks and sell something else: an idea of what it meant to be a customer of Red Bull.

Red Bull decided that to make a name for itself, it had to literally give itself “wings” and so it started putting its branding all over extreme sports, including the spoilers of Formula One (F1) cars.

This set off a chain of events in the minds of its consumers and admirers (followers).

People witnessed stunning acts of heroism, like the best pilots flying planes around obstacle courses, jumping off mountains in wing suits, and smashing up against the crash barriers at the Monte Carlo race course.

They then associated the brand with incredible feat of athleticism, daredevilism, and fearlessness. This, in turn became associated with the drinks themselves.

Red Bull’s product was a shortcut — a quick fix — to achieve the same level of concentration and ability required to do what their favorite daredevils were doing in competitions, on TV and across the web.

If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s worth taking some time to do what Red Bull did.

First, think about the psychology of your target market/audience. Ask yourself, what is it that they really want? Is it the product itself? Or is it something more fundamental than that like an experience and a lifestyle?

If you get the formula right, like Red Bull did, you stand to make a lot of money.

Fun Fact: Founder Dietrich Mateschitz has led by example, learning to fly classic airplanes and even encouraging his employees (10,997) to do the same.

Is Your Business Ready for a Factory?

Business growth is a hard thing to control. You can’t exactly stop customers from buying your products, but it’s difficult to tell whether your business is currently just a fad company or if you’re actually providing products to a growing audience. Whatever the case, your business growth needs to be taken seriously and if you aren’t preparing your workplace and assets for that growth, you could become and irrelevant business within just a short and painful week.

Preparing for a factory

A factory is one of the biggest steps a business can take when moving on from a small startup to a large corporation. First, you need to think about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your production as opposed to buying or building your own factory. Then you have to think about advanced machinery, tube conveyor systems to ferry goods around your factory, and even hiring a foreman to help the operation run smoothly. It goes without saying that there is a lot to think about, but there are some simple steps to help you break it down.

First, identify if your business is going through a legitimate growth or if a famous celebrity recently tweeted about your company and you’re just going experiencing a short uptick in social media engagement and popularity. If your products are being sold to a variety of customers and you’re actually providing something useful to your customers, then it’s a safe bet that you need to grow quickly. If you’re just selling your products because it’s a trend (fast fashion, for instance), then you might want to hold off on expanding to a factory.

Switching to a factory isn’t an overnight process and it’s nothing something that can be negotiated within a month, so you have plenty of time to decide if it’s worth the extra work and effort. However, if for that month or so of negotiations you’re unable to cope with orders, then it’s a good sign that you should be expanding your operations.

black-braun-watch-against-black-background
Image Credit: Pexels

Deciding between outsourcing and building your own

Let’s not take this lightly; building your own factory is extremely expensive and you’re going to need a lot of professional help in order to make it work. The only time you should seriously consider making your own factory is if you plan to diversify your products and make something new, or if you need total control over all of your production.

If you don’t need that much control or if you’re only focusing on a single product, then consider outsourcing your production instead. You’ll need to negotiate with the factory owner and you might even run into some logistical problems due to the location of the factory and how you plan to source the raw materials, but it’s a great way to get large batches of a product ready to sell.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to monitor the production line no matter what option you chose. The last thing you want is to mass-produce your famous product, only to find that the production line has compromised quality for the sake of speed because you might lose more than just a few customers.