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Management

Key Lessons New Entrepeneurs Need To Learn Fast

As a new entrepreneur, you’re going to face a lot of pitfalls. However, it comes with the territory. You’re trying to make waves in a new environment. It’s only to be expected that you’re going to make mistakes. Some are going to be worse than others. But it’s crucial that you don’t make a serious error when you’ve only just got out of the gates. If you trip up too soon, and you could stumble with an injury that puts you out of the race completely.

CustomerAs a new entrepreneur, you’re going to face a lot of pitfalls. However, it comes with the territory. You’re trying to make waves in a new environment. It’s only to be expected that you’re going to make mistakes. Some are going to be worse than others. But it’s crucial that you don’t make a serious error when you’ve only just got out of the gates. If you trip up too soon, and you could stumble with an injury that puts you out of the race completely. That’s why we think there are certain lessons that entrepreneurs need to learn, fast. Most startup companies are going to fail; that’s just a fact. But yours doesn’t need to be one of them, and if you take our advice, it won’t be. Here are some of the lessons we hope you’ll take on board.

Content Isn’t King, The Customer Is

Content might be the king in the marketing world. But in the business industry, the customer should always be your main concern. You need to make sure that they are happy with your business and what you are offering to them. You may think that your investors are your top concern. But if your customers aren’t happy, you’re not going to be making profits. Then we’ll see how much faith investors have in your business model. Hint, it won’t be a lot. So how can you ensure you’re offering what your customers want and need.

You need to start thinking about this before you open the doors of your company. Understand that it’s not about whether you can make a profit. It’s about whether you can introduce a product or service that they want to buy. If you can, by all means continue with your business plan. If you can’t, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. A big part of this is your target customer. If you don’t think that your industry has a target customer, or you think your product could appeal to everyone, think again. Every industry has a target customer audience. Within that audience, there are consumers looking to buy the product you’re selling. You might think your product appeals to everyone, but it doesn’t nothing does. You could take something simple like ice cream. Ice cream is delicious, and lots of people love it. But some people don’t, others are allergic. As well as this ice cream is a seasonal food. You won’t want it in the middle of winter. You see what we mean. No market is universally appealing.

Once you’ve found that target customer, you can start marketing towards them, and that brings us to our next point.

You Better Believe Marketing Isn’t Free

There’s a myth floating around the web that online promotion is free. If you want to market your business, just open social media accounts. Make sure you’re adding keywords and links to your site. Oh and don’t forget about adding hundreds of articles to your blog, right? After all, the more content on your site the higher your rank will be. We don’t know where to begin with these misunderstandings so let’s just jump right in.

First, marketing is free but only if you do it yourself. However there’s a problem because if you do it yourself, you’ll still be competing with companies paying for the best. Not to mention penalties. You might think marketing is easy, but it isn’t. If you do it yourself, you better make sure you’re not using blackhat techniques. An example would be adding lots of content to your site. If you add high-quality content, that’s great. But if you add rubbish and junk you’re going to be hit with a penalty. Even if you did add lots of content, the amount you’d need to get a ranking increase is astounding. Particularly, because for content to have an impact it needs to be shared and read. Two things you can’t guarantee but a marketing team can. The lesson here is, don’t be fooled by the idea of “free marketing.” You’re better off paying for marketing and promotion that’s good value for money. If you want to cut the costs of this, try outsourcing this issue. Do that instead of hiring a team of marketers within your company.

Don’t Write Cheques You Can’t Afford

A big problem in the startup game right now is entrepreneurs making a living on loans. They borrow massive amounts of money to fund their business. They then hope they get the support of the investors to pay off those costs. But the truth is that most don’t. Instead, they have to pay off those costs with any revenue they make. You should be able to already see the problem with this. As the company stays open on the market, the cost increases, made worse by businesses being run inefficiently.

A simple way to even out the costs your business has gone through opening is to make sure your company is efficient. You can do this in simple ways such as making sure you are using paper efficiently. You’d be surprised how much using excess paper could cost you. If you’re struggling with this, a business such as Scope BI could help. They’ve got plenty of ideas how you can make copying more efficient, and that’s just one example.

Introducing new tech in your company could also save you a lot of money in the long run. While the first fixed cost will be expensive, it will make your business more efficient. You’ll get a lot more done and reach far greater levels of profit.

Running A Company Isn’t Easy

The final lesson is perhaps the easiest to learn. But it seems that many entrepreneurs are overestimating how easy it is to open a company and make it a success. To be clear, opening a business is easy. You can get a business loan online right now. Within a couple of hours, you’ll have everything you need to start your company. But making it a success is a whole other story. It takes hard work, dedication, and considerable endurance. To paint this picture more clearly, here’s an example. You might have heard that professional bloggers can make thousands a day and millions a year. While this is true, it only accounts for about one percent of the bloggers online. The rest don’t earn enough to even make a living. But it’s not because it’s not possible to earn a living as a blogger. It’s because they underestimated how easy it would be.

Management

4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace

food

foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.

Conclusion

Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

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Management

How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

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Management

4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.

Visuals

One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.

Whiteboard

When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.

Conclusion

These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

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