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How to Avoid Business Failures
So, how do you go about making your business a success? Consider these seven proven methods of creating a thriving business – and avoid the seven most common pitfalls.
1. Create Value
Keep it simple. The best way to attract customers is to create value. Customers want to feel that they’re getting value from your business, and they want to buy from you knowing that they’re getting value. Customers want to feel that they’re paying a fair price, and they want to be able to see, touch, and feel products and services before they purchase.
Think about the online music retailer, iTunes. It sells music downloads at a very fair price, with features that allow you to tailor your downloads to your preferences. Most people buy from iTunes knowing that they’re getting a good deal.
- Be People-Driven
Choose your customers well. Instead of simply creating products and services to fill a need, focus on creating services that people can’t do without. Sure, you’ll have to design and build the products and services yourself, but do it with a customer-oriented focus.
That way, you’ll have to reach out to customers, explain what you’re doing, and then build the best possible product or service possible to ensure that you’ll be successful.
- Understand Your Product
A business is nothing more than a solution to a problem. First, you need to identify a problem that you can solve. Think of it this way: If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you don’t have one particular business. You have many businesses – an equipment business, a retail business, a medical business, a food business.
Before you can create a business, you need to think about how each of these businesses can benefit others, and then design and create a product or service that fits into that niche. When you do, the success rate will be high.
- Be Customer-Satisfaction Driven
Once you’ve identified the right niche, you need to be customer-satisfaction driven, both during the development and implementation of your product or service and after your product or service has been in the market for some time.
Customers will have a myriad of questions, and you need to make sure that you have the answers . After all, you’re not going to sell to your clients if you’re not even ready to sell to your own customers.
- Keep Your Promises
To be successful, you need to deliver on what you say you’re going to do. This means keeping your promises to your clients, as well as to your employees. When you make promises to employees, you need to do everything within your power to follow through on those promises.
Don’t try to be “Mr. Good-to-His-Employees.” Be “Mr. Good-to-Your Employees.”
- Treat your employees with respect.
- Treat your clients with respect.
- Treat your customers with respect.
- Keep Your Customers Satisfied
Nothing you do on a daily basis – from creating a custom product or service to having a conversation with a client or prospective client – will be successful unless it’s done in a positive way.
- Be friendly.
- Be helpful.
- Be personable.
The more positive you are, the more positive you’ll be.
- Create Relevant Products
Most businesses fall into the trap of creating their own “cup of joe” products rather than creating product lines that will create opportunities for other businesses to use and deliver their products or services. No matter what kind of business you have, make sure that you identify your “cup of joe.”
As an example, if you run a medical practice and have a big bag of office supplies that you use all the time, make sure that you identify that as a product line that will be valuable to others.
On a final note, business failure is not an option. Failure will ruin your business’s credibility, and you’ll be left without a penny.
How to Manage a Remote Team
Starting a business is hard. Setting up and managing a remote team is even harder. Join the club, mate.
There’s no manual that spells it out for you – no training course to help you through the nuances and the pains. The good news is that remote working doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, for businesses looking to make the best use of remote working, it’s incredibly beneficial.
Having a team of people working remotely has its upsides and downsides. When managed well, it can be great for your productivity and team culture. But managing it can take a bit of creativity.
Here are my top tips for running a remote team.
Use the Key People
Before you start assigning hours to a remote team, it’s important that you know the type of person you’re going to be working with. You need to build relationships with them. You need to know who is your best resource for information.
You don’t want to be the guy who is always asking people for the latest in tech, or the lady who is never on time. They will naturally expect you to be available 24/7, so if they see you as an interruption, they’ll hate you. So give them an opportunity to be around when you are working.
You’ll find that some people thrive working from home, and some need to be face-to-face every day. It’s important to find out what works for the person.
When someone tells you they work remotely, it’s easy to immediately assume they can’t be as productive as someone in the office. But this isn’t always true. For some people, remote working works out better than a traditional office. If you don’t get to know your team members and see what works for them, they won’t fit.
You don’t want to constantly nag someone because they aren’t available, but a polite request is perfectly acceptable. Make sure that when you are working face-to-face with people, you’re fully engaged. You want them to be aware of your every move.
Have a Good Set of Core Values
In order for your team to gel, it’s important to make sure you have a set of core values. If you don’t, this will lead to friction and a lack of teamwork. Take the time to define your company’s values and stick to them. This helps your team to know exactly what you expect from them and gives them something to aim for.
It also helps you establish your values from the outset, which makes it easier to maintain a team culture when you are working remotely.
Ensure Everyone Feels Respected and Heard
This is another of those personal skills that can only be developed with time and experience. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to work alongside someone they have little respect for. It’s important that you allow everyone to share their ideas, and that the other team members are listened to.
As a company grows and expands , you may find it’s easier to be more selective in your management style. It’s important to do this. If your team are feeling lost or unsupported, they’ll either become disgruntled or leave.
You may have a high-flying sales team and a business development team who are heavily involved in conferences, client lunches, and networking opportunities. But this shouldn’t be at the expense of people at home.
It’s important to find ways to ensure that you are consistent with your communication and that you’re treating everyone fairly. If you want a team working on your project to have the same amount of visibility as their counterparts in the office, make sure they are as active online as they are in the office.
Incorporating these tips will ensure that you manage your remote working team effectively, allowing you to achieve maximum productivity and success from it.
All in all, remote teams seem to work well. The best part about working with a team like this is you get to live, breathe, and work.
Common Mental Health Disorders
In fact, only 1 in 5 people with mental illness receive treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Most people do not realize that many mental health conditions begin in early childhood. People are more likely to develop any of the disorders listed below before they reach adulthood than after their early teen years, the time when most mental disorders normally begin to manifest. While some mental disorders emerge as the result of an individual’s stressful life events, others are genetic and cannot be passed on.
- Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder (MOD) is the most common mental illness, affecting an estimated 16 million people in the United States, or one in 10.
Depression is a common psychiatric condition, affecting about one in eight Americans. Some people get depressed for a number of reasons. However, the majority of cases of depression result from an imbalance in the brain’s neurotransmitt ers. Many types of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, are involved.
Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness or loss of interest; low energy; trouble sleeping or concentrating; and a loss of interest in things once enjoyed. The most severe and disabling types of depression are chronic, and the condition may last months or years . While most people get better, others may need to take antidepressants long term.
- Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar I disorder, also called manic depression, is a mental health disorder characterized by two distinct periods of depression followed by periods of mania or hypomania.
People with bipolar I disorder may cycle between periods of depression, usually lasting weeks or months, and periods of mania or hypomania, lasting months or years.
In their manic states, people with bipolar I disorder experience elevated mood, energy and overall well-being, which can make it difficult to function normally.
Other symptoms of bipolar I disorder include:
- A sudden or very high increase in energy;
- A sudden and severe loss of energy or the ability to sleep or concentrate; abnormal body rhythms;
- Changes in appetite or eating habits; and
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms that includes depression, anxiety and impulsivity.
People with BPD are impulsive and often display difficulty following social rules, including inhibition of aggressive behavior. They may impulsively act on their urges, which can include impulses to run away or cut themselves, or, in some cases, engage in risky, illegal or self-destructive behavior.
If untreated, BPD can lead to severe depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other problems, as well as suicide. Most people with BPD have another mental disorder, such as depression, for which they receive treatment.
Signs and symptoms of BPD include:
irritability or feeling “frantic” for no apparent reason;
adjusting well to situations quickly and then suddenly and frequently switching rapidly between adaptive behavior and destructive behavior;
exhibiting poor self-image or lacking a sense of self-worth; being hypersensitive to their environment; and
exhibiting aggressive or threatening behavior.
- Antisocial Behavior Disorder
People with antisocial behavior disorder (ASBD) often display violent, aggressive or antisocial behaviors.
The disorder is characterized by reckless behavior that affects personal relationships, school or work. ASBD causes problems for school, work and relationships and often involves acts of assault and aggression .
The average age at which a person with ASBD will be diagnosed with the disorder is 12 to 15.
ASBD is often linked to aggressive and criminal behavior, but it may also result from conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, anorexia nervosa, depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
To summarize, mental health treatment for these disorders can help people lead full, happy lives.
6 Ways to Make Extra Income
Many companies offer employees the opportunity to earn money outside of the office. Using this method of making money from home can be a great way to add additional income streams to your company. Here are some great ways to find extra income .
The internet has made it much easier to find a wide range of freelance writing jobs. While the field may seem challenging at first, there are a number of sources that you can use to find work and to practice your writing.
Sites such as Upwork and Amazon Mechanical Turk will put you to work writing articles and other content for their readers. You could also go the route of internet writing by trying to write and submit articles and blog posts for other websites and biogs.
If you have some knowledge about HTML and CSS, there are a number of freelance marketplaces that you can use to market your own blog posts. This may be something you need to do on the side for a while as you get yourself established in the freelancing world. The more articles you write and submit, the more chances you have to get hired for these assignments.
Rewarding yourself with extra money is a great way to boost your self-esteem. Many companies have programs where you can get extra cash from the company if you do a good job. These programs can range from bonuses to product discounts to a cash bonus just for completing a task. The possibilities are almost endless.
Selling Your Services
There are a number of different ways you can find a source of extra income by offering your services to others. Some people like to work for groups or businesses that need a specific task completed. The pay can range from a set fee to hourly to flat rate fees.
If you do some research and ask around, you’ll be able to find a source for additional income that can give you some additional cash without you having to leave the house.
If you’re an interior decorator, you might be able to sell your services as a “design consultant.” If you’re a chef, you might be able to build a small business by offering your services at a discounted rate. There are a number of different ways to make extra money without having to spend much on marketing or advertising.
Create a Network
The best way to find work is to make a strong network of contacts. Attending networking events, joining groups in your community, and joining trade organizations all contribute to building a strong network of like-minded professionals.
This network allows you to build relationships with business owners in your area and find potential clients. You’ll be able to find opportunities to do consulting work that you otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
The best way to network is to participate in paid networking events. These events are free to attend but there is usually a fee to participate . You might have to pay to participate in the forum discussions but many people are willing to pay to find a new business associate.
Take advantage of this and use your network to build a client base. This will also allow you to work towards building your own business.
Add Ecommerce to Your Portfolio
One of the best ways to find extra cash is to offer your products or services to online marketplaces. There are several ecommerce platforms that will allow you to sell your products or services at a discounted rate. This could be a great way to earn money while you’re home.
However, online marketplaces aren’t the only place you can find additional sources of income. If you have some knowledge about coding or graphics, you can create your own ecommerce websites. This will allow you to sell items to potential clients using your creative talents .
There are also freelance marketplace sites such as Fiverr, Elance, and Guru that can provide additional ways to monetize your skills and talents .
Find a Niche
There are a number of ways to make additional income by finding a niche.
Finally, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money without having to get an office job.
Content Marketing: The 8 Principals
By following these eight content marketing principles, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of creating great content that is (very importantly) also useful, shareable, and continually readable.
- Be Interesting and Useful
If you’re serious about writing great content, you have to make it truly useful to your readers. In order to stand out from the vast majority of content, the content needs to be useful and give real value to your readers.
For many business owners, this can be difficult – you can’t just wing it and hope to stand out. You need to focus on creating well-constructed content that has value for your readers.
- Write for Your Target Audience
Often, content marketing is just that – marketing content for marketing marketing content’s sake. You don’t have to write marketing-related content, but if you do, you have to write it for your target audience.
You can’t make content that just happens to be useful to people who aren’t interested in your product or service. You also need to understand who your target audience is in order to write for them, but you don’t want to look like you’re talking down to your customers. That’s what dead, boring content looks like.
- Pitch Your Ideas
Writing great content is hard. So hard. If you haven’t done it before, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the content that’s out there. Don’t worry, there’s no such thing as a bad idea. The key is to know your target audience – what questions they have and what they’re looking for.
Have an idea? Think of the biggest questions your target audience has about your industry. Then, either create an infographic about the topic, write a blog post on the topic, or design some other type of content that answers these questions in a creative way.
- Test and Learn
You may not have thought about your target audience’s needs when you created your content. To learn more about your audience, take the first step and set up a free account with Growbot. Sign up, and Growbot will send you a real time list of the top questions and issues being discussed in your industry.
This information is often the best indicator of what the majority of your target audience is interested in, so don’t dismiss the insights you’ll gain from this free analysis.
- Consistency is King
You want your readers to have a good impression of you. An attractive website is just the beginning. Consistency is key, and all of your content needs to reflect your unique voice. The best way to consistently deliver useful content is to use the same formula for each piece of content you create.
Always give your audience a chance to see you in action. If your video takes you more than a minute to tell a simple story, don’t let your viewers wait that long before getting to the point.
- Don’t Just Repeat
Never repeat yourself. Always create unique content that differentiates you from the competition. Use a fresh, new voice. Give your readers an inside look at your product or service in a new way.
- Know Your Yarget Audience
If you don’t understand who your audience is, you’ll end up making content that’s not only stale, but even offensive to the audience you’re trying to reach. Knowing who your target audience is also means knowing where they’re based, what they do for a living, and what their biggest pain points are.
- You Don’t Need a Degree to Write Great Content
For many content marketers, writing a great piece of content is what they love to do the most. But it doesn’t have to be a costly, lengthy undertaking. You can learn how to write powerful content – often you need only a few hours of dedicated practice to learn a process.
If you’ve never written anything, don’t feel like you have to invest in a writing program. With only a few hours of practice, you can learn the mechanics of content writing, and you can get started on some of the most popular content-marketing principles like crafting landing pages and creating engaging blog posts.
In conclusion, content marketing is not a complicated process. In fact, you only need to master a few principles to start producing quality content.