April 21, 2021

What You Need to Build Resilience as an Entrepreneur

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Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most taxing jobs out there. Not only do you have to go through the trouble of creating an excellent product, but you need to pitch it to other experienced and qualified people. While it can be exhausting, you can build resilience in this field and become extraordinarily successful.

Learn to Take Criticism

It hurts when a professional rejects your product idea. You want it to be valuable to other people—especially if it is something you are passionate about. In these moments you can’t let a disappointing comment get you down. You must learn to embrace these corrections in a healthy way.

Going door-to-door provides plenty of opportunities to practice resilience. People might wave you away, be annoyed with your presence, or might flat out ignore you. This work will prepare you for rejection in the professional sphere. Potential investors will often critique your product, but these can be meaningful development tools. Ask questions and see what they suggest. This is how to handle criticism with poise.

Fail Successfully

Sometimes you fail so immensely that your business can’t get off the ground. If this is you, don’t feel discouraged—this happens to more people than you might expect. Starting a new business comes with a high risk of failure, with 45 percent failing within the first five years.

When this occurs, you might be tempted to swear off the idea of working as an entrepreneur altogether. But it can also teach you essential life lessons that you can implement into future products. Ask other people who have gone bankrupt because of faulty businesses what they have done to pick themselves up. You will no doubt find something useful.

When in Doubt, Work it Out

The worst thing you can do as an entrepreneur is nothing. People occasionally feel so nervous about failing that they become paralyzed by the decisions they need to make to become successful. In these scenarios, one slogan should be on your mind: “When in doubt, work it out!”

Just getting yourself out there is a great way to make some progress in the business world. Once you start, you’ll find that it gets easier with time. Discouragement keeps you down mentally and physically. Don’t let it!

Resilience will go from something you lack to being one of your best qualities. Rejection just opens up new opportunities in the future and allows you to handle problems with ease. It will build confidence and your product’s user base at the same time!

Read this next: How Your Business Can Capture a More Diverse Set of Customers

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How Your Business Can Capture a More Diverse Set of Customers

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Figuring out your niche is important, but when you are trying to grow your business, you sometimes need to expand into a more diverse customer set. Learning how to expand your reach while simultaneously maintaining your current customers is a huge challenge, but it’s not impossible. Doing it right will pay off and give you the tools you need to improve your business and get more out of your everyday business interactions

Offer Broader Products

Your current products and services have gotten you to where you are today, but if you are looking to grow, it is worth the investment to expand what you offer. When you think about expanding, remember that you don’t want to stray too far from your current offerings. Choose new products and services that are related to what you currently have while still being different. This will give you the easiest transition and make marketing your new products and services a little bit easier. Talk to your current customers about what they would like to see added to your company to start getting ideas.

Improve Your Social Media Game

Social media is awesome because it allows you to reach a broad audience without having to spend a lot of money. The more effective your social media presence is, the better you will be at building a diverse audience of potential customers. More than 70 percent of Americans have social media accounts. That means that you can use your social media presence to reach tons of people from your community, in the US, and across the globe. You have this great tool at your disposal, so you may as well learn how to use it appropriately and grow your audience.

Listen to Your Customers

You can’t expand into more customers and more diverse customers if you don’t have a good understanding of where your customers are right now. Take time to gather customer feedback and to listen to what they have to say so you can figure out your next steps. When your customers leave reviews, take the time to respond (whether their reviews are positive or negative), this can help you to learn more about those customers and to set the stage for your future growth. The more you know about your current customers, the easier it will be for your brand to continue growing and diversifying.

When you run a business, it’s important to expand your customer base and add diversity. Doing so can help you to be more successful and work towards a successful future.

For more help marketing your business, make an appointment for some marketing consulting!

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How to Effectively Outsource Your Vital Business Functions

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In a small business, you usually don’t have the manpower to do everything yourself. Outsourcing is a useful method for small businesses to get more done. By paying another company to take care of certain services or production needs, you can focus on the things that matter.

Marketing

An outside marketing firm can be a useful asset in helping your business grow. All you need to do is give them your marketing budget and tell them about your products and services. They can take care of everything. You can set it up so that everything is left up to them, or you can require them to obtain your approval before moving forward with your customized marketing campaign. Although it will cost you, outsourcing your marketing will put the task in the hands of experts with the time to get the job done right.

Customer Service

While the customer may not actually always be right, they think they are. Not being able to answer their complaints could cause serious public relations problems if they decide to make a stink about their issues. However, fielding customer complaints can be difficult for a small business. Fortunately, this is a task that you can outsource. Inbound call centers handle calls coming in from customers. You just need to provide the call center with training on the proper procedures and protocols that you wish them to take depending on the type of complaint that the customer has.

Human Resources

Human resources are all about finding, onboarding, and managing the talent in your business. This can be an extremely difficult job. Not everyone has an aptitude for running quality interviews and picking the good candidates from the bad ones. Fortunately, you can easily outsource this task to an HR firm. But that’s not the only task you can outsource. You can outsource job and safety training as well as more delicate issues like workplace bullying and harassment management. You can also outsource payroll, attendance, and benefits plans. Outsourcing human resources can help alleviate the burden of organizing and implementing these tasks.

When you stop and think about it, you can outsource just about every task related to running your business. Outsourcing allows you to keep costs under control, increase efficiency and focus on the parts of your business that you enjoy and are good at. Just make sure that you don’t compromise on quality when you outsource.

Read this next: How to Get Customers to Keep Coming Back to Your Store

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How to Get Customers to Keep Coming Back to Your Store

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Building up your client base and getting established regulars is the key to any successful business. It can be hard to translate your first sale to a customer into a pattern of returning, but with the right business strategies and attitude, you can make it happen.

Create a Points Program

Loyalty programs are a great way to build up your customer base and keep getting customers coming back. A points program is one great way to make that happen that will help your customers develop a positive habit of returning to your location. You must have a good understanding of your goals for your points program and your customer’s needs so that you can create a system that benefits you both and brings your customers back to your store regularly. Your points program can also help discourage customers from frequenting other stores instead because they know they will get rewards they love from your business.

Offer Store Cards

Though many rewards programs focus on offering discounts, offering rewards that feel more concrete can be a great way to generate return traffic. Offering gift cards is also a great way to increase sales. A gift card feels like money to customers, so they don’t want to waste it. This desire to come and spend their gift card will help get them back through your doors sooner rather than later.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

If you make your store the kind of place where people want to spend their time, they will want to come back again and again. Having good customer service is the key to providing the kind of environment that customers want to be in and return to. When customers know that your employees will treat them with kindness and respect, they will want to frequent your store and return with their friends. Establishing the kind of customer service that is remembered positively takes time, but it will save your business in the long run. 

Getting the first sale from a customer is a big step, but when you can get customers to come back again and again, that’s when you’ve made it. With the help of these tips for developing relationships with your customers, you should be in great shape to get your customer to return to your store and even become regulars.

Read this next: How to Get Customers to Trust in Your Brand

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How to Become a More Trusted Business

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The trust between a consumer and a brand is just as important as any other relationship. When a brand is able to make a genuine, truthful connection with a consumer, it’s able to create brand loyalty. This connection provides the basis for a solid, mutually beneficial consumer-brand relationship.

Follow Through on Promises

Following through is the act of carrying out customer requests. This is an important part of quality customer service. Words without action are simply words. Customers want to see action, results, and proof that their requests have been heard and handled appropriately. Following through is essential to keeping customers loyal. If you are constantly promising your customers something, then they’re going to expect you to actually do what you’re promising. They won’t return to your business if you don’t follow through with your actions.

Protect Customer Data

Customer data is like currency in today’s information-based economy. Regardless of your industry, you probably collect, store, and share information about your customers. Keeping this data protected will ultimately help protect your business. Even if you don’t face legal action, your good reputation could be significantly compromised by data security breaches. Security breaches can erode consumer trust and ultimately hurt your bottom line. Popular wisdom may hold that large businesses are most at risk for identity theft and fraud – but that’s not the case. Cyber liability insurance can protect your business in the event of a data breach.

Offer Excellent Customer Service

Your customer service is key to your business’s success. It has a major impact on customer loyalty and retention. This means it’s absolutely essential to have dedicated support staff and to set high standards for the speed and quality of your service. It’s hard to earn trust and loyalty when your customers feel like they’re being treated like numbers.  Instead, your goal should be to offer efficient, consistent service with a personal touch. Satisfied customers become devoted buyers when a business is trustworthy and provides good customer service. Loyal customers will also provide positive endorsements and good online reviews that can help businesses strengthen their brand.

Trust is not just something you hope for and expect to receive without any effort on your part. It takes work, time, and a few tricks up your sleeve to get the consumer trust you want. Following through on your promises, taking steps to protect customer data, and offering excellent customer service will help you to create a business your customers will trust.

Improving your business on your own isn’t easy. Contact me to see how I can help you develop it so you can find greater success.

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How Becoming a Mobile-First Business Can Increase Your Sales

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While people still use computers for a variety of tasks, more and more things are being done from the comfort of a smartphone. By making your business materials optimized for mobile users first, you can improve your business and take advantage of the technology available to you that relies on mobile platforms.

Attract Younger Consumers

While most companies have a mobile app at this point, sometimes those apps aren’t really optimized, and often the mobile version of company web pages are simply copies of the traditional versions. Young users are more likely to use a phone for most of their purchasing, which means focusing on the mobile end of things can help you target the younger audience. By making sure your mobile site and apps are optimized first, you can make sure that you are engaging your younger customers and building your customer base for the future.

Add a New Layer of Convenience

Optimizing your mobile services can also simply make your business more convenient for all of your customers. All of your customers will benefit from the convenience of your mobile offerings and will be able to appreciate that benefit. Offering contactless payments can lead to a better customer experience. The more convenient you make your business, the more likely your customers will be to return and use your services and buy your products. Every additional aspect that you make possible from the smartphone, the easier it will be for your customers and the more you will stand out from your competitors.

Reach a Wider Audience

Mobile offerings will also help you to reach a wider audience base. For some people, their phone is their main way of accessing the internet and finding new products and services. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile users, you are missing many potential clients. You want to ensure that the mobile experience of your site is at least as great as the usual version, so people accessing it from their phones don’t experience difficulties. Even for people who do use a computer frequently, mobile sites are often what they use when they are on the run or in a hurry, that means that you may be missing even more business by not being mobile-first. 

Becoming a mobile-first business will benefit your business and make you more accessible to potential customers across the world. The easier your site is to use, the better it is for you and your business.

Want help taking your business to the next level? Schedule coaching with me!

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How People in the Financial Services Industry Can Avoid Falling Behind

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The world can be pretty fast-paced, and the financial services world often is as well. If you are in the financial services industry, then you know you need to stay on your toes to keep up with the changes in the field. There are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself up to date and knowing a few places to start can help you on your way.

Stay Compliant with Regulations

One of the most important things you can do to stay ahead in the financial services industry is to make sure that you are always compliant with regulations. Lack of compliance can lead to major consequences that can set you back and cause problems for the future of your career. Regulations in the financial sector are broad and far-reaching, it can be hard to take care of them all, but if you make it a priority, you can protect your business. When you are compliant with all regulations, you have one less thing to worry about as you manage your career in the financial services industry.

Keep Up with New Developments 

When you’re working in such a fast-paced industry, you must keep track of all the changes that are occurring. One of the best things you can do to stay on top of new developments in the industry is to attend conferences and events. There are several benefits to attending conferences in your industry in general. When you take the time to immerse yourself in the community, you can make sure that you always know what is going on and what the future looks like for the industry.

Don’t Be Afraid to Innovate

Once you’re on top of current trends, you are in a good position to start innovating yourself. There is always room for growth and change, so as you pay attention to trends, think of new ways to address those changes in new and innovative ways. Sometimes innovation can be as simple as something that makes the process a little bit easier for clients. So, do what you can to think about how to address small and large issues while improving your work all the time.

Making it in the financial services industry is about staying on top of industry trends and making moves with the future in mind. By doing the above things you can help make sure your business continues to grow and succeed.

Read this next: How to Transition to a Business While Still Working a Full-Time Job

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How to Get Customers to Trust in Your Brand

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Developing customer trust is essential to your company’s noticeability and retention. For example, bad marketing and advertising that unintentionally deceive customers may score you some easy purchases, but those customers won’t be coming back. For this reason, you should be aware of better marketing tactics to establish a solid base.

Be Responsive

Reliable communication will make your customers feel in control of their purchases. Hire an employee to respond to customer inquiries. If you receive questions from customers regularly, you should quickly listen and respond. Add an FAQ section to your website so they can find answers to their questions when your business is closed.

Respond frequently to reviews of your business—positive or negative. When you aren’t responsive, it can make your business look shady or secretive. This isn’t a good look. More communication can help resolve customer problems and show that you truly care about people’s experiences with your company.

Earn Reviews

Not only is it important to respond to reviews, but you need to go above and beyond to earn online reviews. More than 80% of people trust online reviews to guide their purchase decisions. If your company has a 4+ star rating, new customers are more likely to give your business a chance.

Encourage customers to review their experience. Offer discounts or other rewards to customers who give your business advice. Not only will this motivate them to come back to your business, but you can also see what your strengths and weaknesses are. A business that strives to improve is a business that people will patronize.

Use Social Media

Getting involved in social media is essential in today’s digital environment. Social media can be a great way to casually update people on business plans, rewards programs, and company standards. Post in a way that is conducive to your target audience. Doing this will solidify your place in their mind.

Posting creative content can also be a great way to find new customers. Social media offers you a platform to share fun content that can help your business seem relatable. Work with your digital advertising team to see what is working for the social media crowd.

Brand trust can be grown in a myriad of different ways. The most important principle that business owners should implement into their company is that communication matters. Frequent messages, updates, and responses are great. Social media and other digital platforms provide you a resource to make this happen.

If you need help growing your business, we can help! Contact us today to schedule some coaching!

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How to Transition to a Business While Still Working a Full-Time Job

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Having entrepreneurial goals and aspirations is great, but until your business takes off you may find yourself stuck in a full-time job. That can make it tough to make the transition to owning your own successful business. While difficult, it’s not impossible. With careful prioritization and discipline, you can successfully make that transition.

Continue Your Education

Depending on the business you’re building and the industry you’re operating in, it may be necessary to obtain occupational licensing or certifications. Earning these usually means taking courses to get the necessary knowledge and training to do the job properly and then taking an exam to prove you’ve learned what you need to. Since you already have a full-time job, you may find the flexibility offered by online courses to be a good fit for your lifestyle. Succeeding in an online course will require you to set goals for yourself. Be disciplined in sticking to them.

Start Small

Businesses don’t tend to be successful or able to sustain themselves right from the start. It takes time, work, patience, and diligence. Start small until you feel your business can sustain itself and you, enabling you to step away from your full-time job and more fully into the role of a business owner. As your business picks up, you may need to reduce your full-time hours to part-time hours. If your job offered benefits, those may have been contingent upon your full-time status, so make sure you know what your 401(k) options are and you’ve made arrangements for health insurance.

Keep Your Job Entirely Separate from Your Business

It may be tempting to use whatever downtime your job allows you to work on your business. Sending a quick email about your business using your employer’s computer isn’t hurting anyone, right? Not necessarily true. Using your employer’s property to move your own business forward can lead to legal issues down the road. Plus, you should never assume emails are private when sent using company property. This could lead to being disciplined for not using company time properly, even costing you your job before your own business is ready to support you fully.

Making the transition to owning your own business while still working a full-time job can be a real challenge. Be disciplined in how you use your time and prioritize your education. Be patient with yourself and your business as you work to make it self-sustaining. Remember to keep your full-time job and your business separate. It’s a lot of work upfront, but making this investment in your future now can pay off down the road.

Read this next: How to Put your Business in a Better Position to Weather Hard Times

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How to Put your Business in a Better Position to Weather Hard Times

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Even the very best businesses and business models are susceptible to hard times. They can come about due to pandemics, market crashes, bad publicity, political climates, and many other factors. How your business may come to face a hard time may not be clear. However, you will face hard times. Here is how you can prepare yourself.

Build Cash Reserves

The novice business owner will take all their profits as payment. Unfortunately, this leaves their business entirely unable to handle any unexpected expenses. A much wiser approach is to build up reserves of cash. That way, if the business goes through a period of low profits or faces other troubles, they will be more prepared to deal with them. One way that this may happen unexpectedly is through pivots. A business pivot is when a company changes direction in response to the changing industry. Pivots cost money. If a business has cash reserves, it can successfully pivot in a hard time to stay afloat. If a business has no cash reserves, it may be unable to make a pivot and go bankrupt when major industry changes occur.

Creative Customer Incentives

When the general economy is facing a hard time, most consumers will stop spending on their wants and only focus on their needs. This tends to further increase the economic difficulty. Offering creative incentives is a great way to entice your customers back to your stores. For example, rewarding loyalty can improve sales and keep your customers happy. Another option is to offer bulk discounts like, “Buy 1, get 1 half-off”. These bulk discounts will appeal to your customers’ frugal mindset as they try to weather the economic downturn.

Business Insurance

Insuring your business can help compensate your business when things get tough. You can insure your business against potential lawsuits, natural disasters, and in some cases loss of profits. While you can’t insure your business against your poor business management, some insurance companies offer policies that will compensate you if your business loses its ability to make a profit due to circumstances that are deemed outside of your control. You may find yourself thinking that you don’t want to pay insurance costs, but you’ll be glad you paid insurance costs if you ever find yourself needing help from your insurance company.

As mentioned earlier, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your business is going to face challenges and hard times. Now is the time to prepare for these things. Don’t just put it off for another day. Being caught unprepared could cause countless hours of your hard work to be destroyed. On the other hand, by being prepared, you can be in the prime position to turn tough times to your advantage.

For more tips on how to better run your business, sign up for some coaching!

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