Sometimes, running your own business can feel a little bit like you are playing in a one-man band. When you are at the helm of the company and therefore in charge of everything the business does, letting other people in to have their say can often be a bit daunting. It’s no wonder that so many entrepreneurs are self-confessed ‘control freaks.’ After building your business from the ground up (maybe even turning over a huge fortune off the back of one small investment), giving anyone else control over that is naturally a very big step. Of course, you probably have made some mistakes along the way in your business journey; but you are still convinced that you and you alone know best. While that may in true 90% of the time, a little bit of help never goes amiss. By listening to other people, you may gain a much clearer perspective on where you can take your business next, and open your eyes to opportunities you otherwise may have missed. Plus, no one is Superman. As a CEO you will have a lot on your plate, so it’s pretty unlikely that you will be able to be a great leader, a marketing whizz and a super-organized accountant all at the same time! If you try to be all these things, you will notice that you burn out very quickly – and when you burn out, you are more likely to make mistakes too. The moral of the story, therefore, is that you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to business. But just WHO are the people you need on your side in order to push your company to new heights?
Even if you are a running a creative business – even if you are running a non-profit organization – chances are there’s going to be money involved somewhere down the line. If you are not naturally financially-minded, this is where things can easily get messy. You need to be able to keep a recorded track of all your company’s finances, and that means everything that comes in and everything that goes out. If you have employees to pay, you will need to account for them in all your records, and also be aware of things like tax and VAT. Sound complicated? Well yes, it can be. That is why a lot of CEOs hire a business advisor to help them organize their finances. A good business finance expert can help you to manage your various outgoings while working towards a shared financial goal. You could even see if they could help you with your own personal finances, so that you keep them entirely separate from your company, even if you are paying yourself a wage.
Promotion and PR experts
So much of your business’s success relies on how you are perceived in the public eye. A good public image keeps current and past relations sweet, and also holds you in good stead for attracting new clients in the future. However, creating and maintaining this sterling public image is not as easy as you may think. Sticking the odd testimonial on your website and updating your social media every couple of weeks unfortunately isn’t enough. In order to engage with and appease clients, you need to be as visible as possible in the public sphere. Therefore, you should consider hiring an in-house marketing and PR professional who can promote your carefully crafted public image – and hold the fort if anything goes wrong. A PR nightmare can often prove disastrous for small to medium enterprises, but as the CEO, the last thing you need is for it to impact on any current business deals you are closing. A professional PR expert will be able to smooth over any bad press that comes your way, and that leaves you free to focus on the things that really matter.
Human resources is an integral part of any business’s structure. It is responsible for hiring and firing, for organizing and dealing with any problems staff may have. As the business leader, you will soon find that you simply don’t have the time to be sorting out employee holidays, or finding suitable cover for someone’s maternity leave. This kind of thing can often take longer than you expect it to, and when it eats into the time you could be spent actually making money, you know you have a problem. Recruit a strong HR team who will be able to manage your internal team for you.
Your own support network
This isn’t anything to do with the inner workings of your company, as such. But something that is really underestimated is the importance of having a good support network around you. Business can be brutal, and much of the time you might find yourself chasing dead ends and encountering a lot of stress at the hands of your company. It will and almost always does work out in the end – but that doesn’t mean that this ‘in between’ period isn’t any less stressful. During times like these you need to make sure you are surrounded with positive people who will help you through any difficulties you are having. Even if it’s just having an understanding partner who has your dinner prepared when you get home from the office, or your best friend listening to you rant about all the stressful things you’ve encountered recently, it can all help. Even if you are heavily committed to your business, it is never worth losing sight of yourself as an individual. Even CEOs need a work/life balance too, after all! Make sure you are spending enough quality time with friends and family and give yourself a break every now and again. With the support of your loved ones, you can then return to work rejuvenated and ready to take on the next big challenge.
How to Professionalize Your Business From Top to Bottom
You are quite envious of businesses that are well established in their industry. People know and respect their brand because of the decisions they have made over the years. You want your business to follow in the same footsteps, because you are ready to achieve success. You want to improve your business by professionalizing every element from top to bottom.
Whether you’re overhauling your website or taking a second look at your branding ideas, there will always be a way to upgrade your company. Take some of the following notions into account and you will be ready to improve every element of your business for the better.
Many businesses fail miserably because they are unable to communicate professionally with potential employees, clients and external companies they are associated with. If you think your business could improve on this, there are sources that can help you out. Whether you’re trying to draft the perfect job rejection email or understand how to negotiate well with a potential, big investing client, there are certain protocols you can follow.
As soon as your company starts communicating effectively, you will see a noticeable improvement in your sales and the levels of respect that others show to your business.
Employ People With Excellent Customer Service Skills
Your business is going to thrive if you employees are passionate about what they’re doing. There is nothing more off putting than rude and unenthusiastic workers who don’t have the time of day for potential clients.
During the hiring process you need to make sure every potential candidate is fully trained in every aspect of customer service, so that you don’t have to worry about their performance during the working day. You also need to be able to trust they have the business’ best interests at heart.
As long as you trust your employees you will be able to ensure a professional business from top to bottom.
Don’t Make Marketing Mistakes
There have been many high profile marketing errors made by massive companies in the recent years. You don’t want to be involved in this sort of mess that ruins your reputation, so make sure you think carefully about every marketing choice you make during your business career. It’s always best to enlist the help of a marketing expert so that you don’t land yourself in any unnecessary hot water.
Check over the wording and concept of every campaign before you set it free into the world and you will never have anything to worry about.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
If you are obsessed over the quantities associated with your business, you are never going to get as far as you might like to.
Focusing on the quality of your products, the quality of your social media followers and the quality of your returning customers is much more important than any of the quantities. Of course, you want to achieve huge sales and earn a tonne of money, but that’s not always the most important thing in business.
Realign your priorities and you will feel much more fulfilled and professional.
Upscale Your Website
Every super professional business has a wonderful website to go with it. If your customers are greeted with a site full of glitches and errors, they aren’t going to want to part with their hard earned money. Enlist the help of an expert web designer and they will be able to help you create a smooth and slick website to be proud of.
Respond to Queries Quickly
There is nothing more annoying than waiting around for a company to reply to your important and pressing query.
Not only does it make you feel reluctant to spend your money as a customer, but the business owner may come across as rude or ignorant. You need to learn how to reply quickly and appropriately to queries from potential customers, so that you don’t have this effect on the people who are trying to communicate with you.
Obviously, you need to take the time to find the correct response to their question, but you need to prioritize this on a daily basis. If you allow your inbox to pile up, you are going to lose a lot of custom along the way.
So instead of longing for business success, why not do something about it? You don’t have to watch other companies thrive whilst you are sitting on the back burner waiting for great things to happen. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond to attain your goals, so make some much needed changes and enjoy the results as they roll in.
The Comeback of Books: How to Make Yours Stand Out in 2019
The innovation of electronic books has changed the reading world. Now that phones, tablets and other portable devices have the option to browse and buy books, bookworms can read anywhere they go. The percentage of adults who read has shown an increase since this convenient technology has blossomed.
Publishing your book as an e-book would be the best way to catch the attention of a reader. With as much time as we spend online and the increase in mobile readers, it is a path to success especially if you self-publish. Self-publishing has led many authors to having a best seller by saving them time and energy.
As the online world continues to open opportunities through innovation of the internet, it is possible for people to learn and do things independently – things that might not have been an option before. Self-publishing is something that has become much easier with the use of the internet.
As an author it can be exhausting finding an agent and a publisher willing to give your book the time of day. Free self-publishing websites now allow self-sustaining authors to upload their stories or non-fiction online to have it published within just a couple of days. The success of it depends on the work put in before, during and after the publishing.
The first part of making sure your book stands out is quite obviously assuring it is well written. Writing a book is way more complicated than just picking up a pencil and letting words flow out. There are techniques and processes that only the most experienced writers have perfected. But what are the chances you could learn from a best seller?
Properly preparing would also include taking classes to learn about the self-publishing process. Websites that offer online courses can be the easiest and cheapest route to getting basic information needed to make your publication’s popularity skyrocket. Veteran self-publishers often check out MasterClass for access to lessons taught by the best in the industry.
This bold move turns an outdated and all too tedious process entirely around 180 degrees. Instead of wasting time finding a publisher, who are notorious for rejecting manuscripts without even looking at them, you can comfortably manage the editing process yourself.
The responsibility to take the steps required for publishing fall on you when you decide to do it yourself. Unlike the standard procedure, there will not be an agent involved to handle the actual process. Following the proper guidelines for self-publishing will put you in the best position to release a best selling book.
Once the book has been published and priced, your job is not over yet. You are responsible for launching the book in a way that will set it up for success. Just releasing the book online will go right under the radar while having launch promotions will make yours stick out. Hold a few days where it is on sale or free and have your team spread the word!
Utilizing supporters and fans of the book, have them write reviews or influence your book. This will help get the word out and give interested buyers a chance to see what others have thought about the book. Social media’s huge impact on marketing can also help with reaching as many readers as possible.
The key to making your book stand out in 2019 is making sure you are in charge of the whole process. Who would work harder than you, the author, at ensuring your work becomes a bestseller? That’s right, no one!
Get A New Career Without Leaving Your Own
The worry that people have when trying to find a new career, is that they’re going to have to leave their own. The problem with leaving a career that you’ve been so settled in for so long, is that you’re not too sure of what the outside working world is like. Not only that, but you’re risking a lot.
If you’re leaving your current job, you’re most likely going on the hunt for more money or a better working environment. But that’s not to say that the place where you would go to next would be able to offer this for you. Often you will find that a career is fake to begin with.
During the interview process and the first week or so, they will do anything they can do to impress you and make their company stand out, because they believe doing so will bring you into their company.
Once you’re locked in, the true colours start to come out, and you wonder why it was that you ever joined the company in the first place. But enough with that, because you don’t necessarily have to leave the company you’re working for to find a few job, and here’s how!
Train On The Job
The biggest mistake people make is aiming for a role that they’re underqualified for. Because if there’s one thing we all know that a company wants, it’s either experience or education.
Lately you will find that a lot of jobs are demanding both, which can be hard for some people who just can’t afford to drop out entirely and go back to education. But this is where the power of the internet comes in handy.
There are so many online courses that you could take that would boost your knowledge and understanding of the career that you perhaps want to go into, and give you recognised qualifications that would make you more than qualified to apply for the role. One career that’s becoming more popular at the minute is border control, because it’s just such a stable career to have, and it’s well paid.
You can take a border diploma course online that would easily put you into that spectrum of being employable, and will put you a cut above the rest of any applicants.
What’s even better, you’ll have such a good knowledge and understanding of the role and the components to it, you’ll feel more than confident to try and go for the career! The same applies for pretty much any job you can think of out there, there’s always going to be a course that can push you towards it.
Do Your Research
If you’re going to go to a new career eventually, you really need to do your research. This is where we feel a lot of people fail. They’re so desperate to get out of the role they’re in, they jump to another one that is just as bad. So, get to know the line of work that you’re going into to begin with. Know everything that the job is going to demand from you, and figure out whether you would be up for the task.
You’re going to have to be hard working as it is to cope with training in a new job, but can you handle all of the tasks that come with it? You then need to find out what it’s actually like to work for the company you’re intending to work for.
You should be able to find plenty of reviews on the internet left by staff, and if not customers. If you find out what the level of customer service is like from there, at least you have a starting point to go on! But employees reviews are going to be the best time find if you can do.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
This is the important one. As we said, a lot of you might rush to leave the company you’re working for because you think the grass is greener on the other side, but this isn’t always going to be the case.
It might be best for you to try and progress through your own company to a role where you’re in a position of power, so that you don’t feel like you’re being bossed around all of the time.
More responsibility brings more money as well, which is always something good to go by! You have to figure out what is going to be the best decision for you financially, and mentally.
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