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Motivating Employees – Motivating the Challenge Driven Employee

Most good leaders and employees are motivated internally through challenging themselves to improve their own skills, experience, and productivity. Internal motivation is very powerful when present, and can be easily quashed by micromanagement and ineffective delegation. The key to keeping challenge-motivated workers at their best is to develop your company culture to encourage autonomy and professional development across the board.
Building a challenge-motivating culture can be difficult for some entrepreneurs. The same self-assurance and drive to do things right that makes an entrepreneur successful can also make it difficult to trust employees to work on their own. But, if you plan to grow your business, you will have to rely on your staff to do things right on their own. Good employees will not only cover the tasks that you don’t have time for, but will also contribute their own knowledge and skills to drive the success of your venture.
Good leaders are masters of delegation — telling workers what needs to be done but not how to do it. Set clear objectives in the job descriptions for each position, clearly communicate those objectives to your staff, then get out of the way and let them work. Get to know each employee’s individual skills and talents. Assign tasks accordingly and encourage your staff to utilize their skills. Also, find out which areas your employees wish to improve and develop opportunities for them to do so. For example, most people wish they were better at public speaking. Consider starting a lunchtime Toastmasters club for your staff or sponsoring your employee’s memberships to an established club. The better your worker’s skill sets, the more they can contribute to growing the business.
For those employees who are particularly challenge-driven, it is even more important to encourage them to push their limits. Be careful not to burden these workers with too many mundane tasks. Give them assignments that allow them to show off their skills and develop new ones. Let them know how much their skills and willingness to improve are get out of their way!
Building a challenge-driven culture is critical to the growth of your business idea. The stronger your staff is in the skills that drive success, the stronger your business will be. As an entrepreneur, the odds are that you can relate to challenge-driven motivation better than any of the other motivators. Think about the environment required for you to be the most productive, and build your company culture around these ideas.…

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Starting a Business? Why You Need to Know Technology

Of all the fundamentals that entrepreneurs need to know to succeed, technology provides the most new opportunity and the most constant change. Computer literacy is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity. Every business needs a website in the same way every business needed to be listed in the Yellow Pages 25 years ago. The marketing opportunities on the world wide web must be understood and evaluated to ensure the best decisions for your venture. The technological tools and capabilities available to small business are expanding every day, and only those entrepreneurs savvy enough to keep up are going to survive and thrive in the new economy.
You Need a Computer
The ability to use a computer is pretty much a given these days, though there is the rare entrepreneur who is still uncomfortable with the idea. The advent of the internet makes most things much easier, from conducting industry and competitor research to keeping in touch with your customer base. Excellent accounting system and contact management software decrease the time spent on these non-core competencies while simultaneously making related data more accessible and useful than the old ledger books and rolodexes ever could. Email is the preferred form of communication for many, from vendors to customers, so current business owners need to be prepared.
Your Business Needs a Website
A website for your business is an absolute necessity. Whether a simple 3 to 5 page business card site or a full-blown ecommerce store, having a web presence is no longer a luxury, it’s a must. What you need depends on your industry and business model, but failing to represent your business online is likely to become a fatal mistake. However, simply posting a website is not enough. Doing so without performing the appropriate SEO (search engine optimization) is pointless. It is akin to placing a billboard on Mars — if nobody sees it, it might as well not exist. Effective SEO tactics are not particularly complicated, but they take some time and research to ensure you are making the best use of your time.
Get Involved with Social Networking
Social networking is the new frontier for marketing a business. It’s hard to say whether that will continue or if and when consumers will become immune to the constant barrage of messages, but for now it is essential to exploit the opportunities available on these social websites. The contacts you gather through your activity on social sites and from opt-in mailing lists from your own site provide excellent direct marketing opportunities. Email newsletters and promotions are extremely effective, and cost you only a bit of time and effort. Email blasts to your customer base keep your company in mind. Even if they don’t open all of them, they are repeatedly exposed to the business name, a psychologically important outcome!
Consider a Smart Phone
In addition to basic computer operations and internet opportunities, the newest technologies can help entrepreneurs stay organized and manage their time more effectively. Smart phones are not just for twenty-somethings – every entrepreneur should consider investing in one. They can be used to keep up with email and phone calls, sure, but they can also supply your accounting, inventory, employee schedule, and other obligations at your fingertips. They have internet access, GPS systems, cameras, and thousands of applications available to fulfill just about any need for entrepreneurs. They are a bit more expensive than a standard cell phone and much more than a landline, but if used effectively they are worth every penny in the time and stress they can relieve.
Use Technology to Your Benefit
No matter what type of business you are launching, the available technology will play an important role in the success of your venture. It is important for every entrepreneur to be more than familiar with the tools that are out there and how they can support and promote your business. The constantly changing face of technology notwithstanding, the success of small business is intricately tied to an entrepreneur’s ability to use what is available now and to stay abreast of the opportunities in technology as they come along.…

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New Age Entrepreneur – Overcome These 6 Obstacles

Entrepreneurship has been growing in popularity the world over. The benefits in my opinion far outweigh the cons so I’ve written this article to overview my personal opinions in hopes of helping others. Procrastination is probably the number one defeating tendency that cripples many would be entrepreneurs before their journey ever even begins.
I’ve created my own top Six List to help others overcome what can hinder success as a budding entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship Obstacle One: It’s Easy.
Its human nature to make assumptions and it’s no different when an individual judges an entrepreneur on a superficial level. They dont necessarily recognize the hard work and perseverance that a person may have gone through on their journey to success. When we recognize a successful business lets use a restaurant for a hypothetical we immediately tend to think of the obvious. We may simplify it believing if we had a good chef, great food along with a busy location presto instant success.
This is looking at the potential opportunity at its most basic level as an entrepreneur you must learn to dig deeper into the mechanics of the operation to determine what actually makes it tick. A great example in staying with the same hypothetical would be to consider the HR skills to acquire great people, followed by the training requirements needed than onto marketing and learning how to get people through the front door in the first place.
Negotiating a lease on the commercial space required in addition to the kitchen equipment. Setting up payroll, employee benefits and more are just some of the mechanics that make the business you’re seeing successful. By understanding what it takes and what’s happening behind the scenes is what sets entrepreneurs apart.
Obstacle Two: Entrepreneurship is Hard.
The term contradictive may be running through you mind just about now but let me explain and define what it is I’m conveying here. Entrepreneurism is like architecture and it does require a valiant effort and the right building blocks to really achieve great success. Writing and following a properly structured business plan will be worth its weight in gold. Remember failing to plan is planning to fail so a business plan should never be overlooked or ignored.
Achieving success comes down to executing a well thought out plan. Taking predetermined steps that will guide you through the tough times and allow you to thoroughly enjoy good times. Many will immediately dive into the exciting aspects of starting a business then become intimidated with all that’s required on the backend.
The reality is that it’s only as difficult as you choose to make it. There have been countless successful entrepreneurs and if you have a willingness to learn and follow the proper steps you can easily find yourself among there ranks.
Obstacle Three: Most New Businesses Fail
Most of the stats will indicate that an enormous amount of new business start ups will ultimately fail within the first 5 years. True Entrepreneurs do not focus on such negativity if they did how many new businesses would even bother making the attempt. If you’re among those fortunate enough to have children would you ever tell them not to bother trying because they will only fail. Of course not so dont let yourself be shackled by the same short sighted limiting beliefs.
Your success and your failures will all be a learning experience building on your confidence to ultimately succeed. You success will not be predetermined by some run of the mill statistic that’s been a common household quote regarding new businesses for decades.
Always remember that the number of people succeeding will always be less that the volume of people failing. Negativity travels 4 times faster than that of positivity so bad news seemingly is always recalled first and in turn becomes an obstacle you must mentally overcome to succeed.
Your only focus should be on positioning yourself within the 1% of entrepreneurs who achieve success and forget about the other 99% in other words only focus on your most desired outcome.
Obstacle Four: The Risk is High.
The word risk has many different meanings and will be interpreted very differently from person to person. For example starting your own business is not going to kill you but how many of you even think twice about jumping in your car when driving is actually far more risky if we were to sit down and label it. We as entrepreneurs can not eliminate risk it comes with the territory but we do our best to minimize it through proper research and development and following a business plan with the greatest chances of achieving the success we desire.
Risk if often times mistaken as fear of the unknown. When you understand how to accomplish something you dont see much risk in …

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Advice for Starting a New Business

Starting a new business can be very scary. For a new business owner, it can be very difficult to know where to start. If you are looking for advice, then you have come to the right place. This article will help you get started and give you tips for where to go next.
The first step to any successful business is a business plan. You need to make sure that you have one of these laid out. Throughout the life of your business, your plan will adapt and develop as your business grows.
Your plan will contain many important points. Firstly, you will need to look at your budget. Do a cost count and do a projection of the setup costs for the first 12 months of operation. When doing this, look at the costs month to month. If you can, factor in both the worst case scenario and the best case scenario.
Next, define your business strategy. Define your target market. Who are going to be your clients/customers, and why have you chosen this group. Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). By considering the current state of your market you can look at what sets you apart from the others and where you stand.
When starting a new business, you need to access what makes you unique. You are competing with already established business. You need to give potential customers a reason to come to you instead! This leads on to the next item you need to consider; an exit strategy. If you cannot draw the customers, you will need to have a plan to get out. Is it therefore wise to get others involved? Can you be prepared to sell your business? These questions are tough but you need to have answers for them.
On top of a business plan, you should also consider getting a mentor. A great mentor is an important asset to your business. They can give you a different perspective on your business decisions, and provide wise advice. As long as you are prepared to listen to tough advice, a mentor will be of great help to you.
The next question for you to ask is who should be your mentor. Don’t only look to advisors within your business field. You are first and foremost an entrepreneur. Look to a successful entrepreneur who has a proven record in business.
Lastly, be sure you register as a business. To register in Australia, choose a business name with the ABR (Australian Business Register), the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission) and your state’s Department of Fair Trade. Make sure your business name is available. Otherwise, your business will not be counted!
Starting a new business can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry; its not that hard! The important thing is to keep a cool head and not get overwhelmed. With these tips you should be setup and running in no time.…

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Starting a Business? 5 Step Reality Check Helps You Know If Your New Business Will Succeed

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How can I be sure my new business will succeed?” There is no crystal ball that can accurately answer that question. However, if you are serious about starting a business there are five steps you can take that will begin to give you a clearer picture. By following these steps you will gain tremendous insight into what lies ahead. Whether this reality-check convinces you to dive in, or hold back, you’ll be well served by what you learn. While we are huge proponents of founders developing a well written business plan, the steps below can be followed even before you start your small business plan.
Step 1: Write a simple elevator pitch to see if your business idea is compelling to others. If you haven’t created an elevator pitch before, you can stitch together the essentials very easily. Write a one sentence answer to each of the following questions. What problem will your company solve for its customers? Who has this problem and how large is that group? What will make your business unique so that customers will buy from you instead of a competitor? Finally, what are your qualifications to run the business? If you force yourself to write and re-write the very best one sentence answers to each of these questions, you will have the elevator pitch you need for this purpose. Now, try out your elevator pitch on 10 people you trust and respect to get their feedback and reaction to your well-formed business concept. This is the warm up for steps two and three.
Step 2: Talk to would-be customers to find out if there is a true need for your product or service. When you are thinking about starting a business, you obviously feel there is a void in the marketplace. Don’t wait until you open your business to find out if the need for another business is real or imagined. Armed with your elevator pitch, go have face-to-face discussions with future customers. You are not going to them to sell, or pre-sell. You are doing market research. After describing your business by generally following your elevator pitch, go into “ask and listen” mode. To get the information you are seeking, ask questions like, “How are you currently meeting your needs for (insert the products or services your company will provide)?” Listen carefully-this is the voice of the customer. In step one, you spoke to friends and respected colleagues. In step two, you are talking to people who currently buy products or services like those you will be selling. Select individuals who will be focused on the content of your ideas and less concerned about simply wanting to be encouraging.
Step 3: Become an expert on the competition. Identify 5 other companies that are already doing what you plan to do. Learn as much about them as you can. One of the best things to learn is if they expanding or shrinking. You want to be entering a business where the market and demand is growing! Take everything you learn and ask yourself what it says about the opportunity for your new business. If you can’t find any companies that already do what you’re planning to do, there two likely reasons: 1) There is not enough demand to support a business; 2) You didn’t look hard enough. The third possibility, and the one most often cited incorrectly, is that a genuinely new opportunity has been discovered, one that nobody else has ever thought of, and so there is no competition. Rarely is this the case.
Step 4: Develop a rough estimate of your breakeven costs. Think about the process of engaging the customer to the point of making a sale. What are all the things that you must have in place to make that sale? Do you need an office? A building? A sign? Computers? Phone service? Special equipment? Employees? Will you need to take a salary from the business from its inception? How much will you spend on marketing so that customers find out about your business? List all of the major items and estimate their costs for the first full year. Divide this number by twelve to see your total monthly fixed expenses.
To calculate their breakeven sales number, some types of businesses must also take into account their “cost of sales” or the additional cost that is incurred for each sale made. In a pure service business, such as consulting, there will be little or no “cost of sales.” A consultant sells his or her time. The breakeven revenue for this type of business would be the total monthly expenses calculated above.
Other businesses, such as restaurants or retailers have to take into account the cost of the goods they sell. For …

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Use Mobile Marketing To Put Your Business In Your Customers’ Pockets

Getting started in mobile marketing can seem daunting because there are so many options available to you. The following tips will bring mobile marketing into perspective and help you choose a viable strategy.

You should never send messages to your customers without a good reason. You should only message them with useful information. Some businesses failed in their mobile marketing endeavors because they chose to send arbitrary and impractical text messages to their customers. Customers aren’t looking for humorous, personal messages from a business they patronize. They’re looking for valuable information and ways to save money.

Make your point but keep it short when it comes to mobile content. Mobile device screens are small, so droning on and on about a product just to get more keywords in is annoying to readers. Mobile marketing demands short, concise, and direct messages to consumers.

Check out the things your rivals are doing, you will get advantage when it comes to social network marketing. It is important that you are different than competitors.

Make sure you know when people are getting your text messages. They shouldn’t be sent when they’re sleeping or having dinner with their families. Regardless of how tempting the offer or how enticing the message may be, customers are unlikely to appreciate an off-hours text.

Mobile marketing is one of the best ways to watch your profits rise. More and more people every day use mobile phones for social networking and to download applications. Both of these serve as excellent mediums for marketing your business. You need to target your customers where they are congregating online.

Have a basic understanding of mobile devices if you want to develop a successful mobile marketing campaign so you may optimize your site and ads for a mobile platform. Try out as many mobile devices as you can so that you understand the user’s experience.

When calling or texting someone, remember there is a live person on the receiving end; therefore, it is important to be considerate of the time in which you call as well as the type of message you are sending. Act accordingly.

Apps are not difficult to create. Your customers would love to receive a free app; why not build your own? Offering your own unique app will help to improve your business and take full advantage of mobile marketing. There are many choices to make about app features; the possibilities are endless.

Although lots of people use their phones for Internet text, not all know the different kinds of abbreviations used online. Any lack of understanding in your advertisement will yield unfavorable results both short and long term.

The many different techniques used in mobile marketing are all based on a few shared principles. Usually the only differences are in the level of technology involved and how that technology is utilized. All it takes to decide between them is some research and common sense to find the best and most effective techniques to use in your plan for you, your business, and your budget.…

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Tips On How To Succeed In Mobile Marketing

Assembling a plan for mobile marketing may seem mysterious at first with so many options available, and you may not be certain where to start. This article will take some of the guesswork out of the process of promoting your business in the mobile realm.

Don’t send random messages to your customers. Every message you send them should be relevant and useful. Nothing will crash your marketing campaign faster than annoying your customers with random things. Customers like relevance, not jokes or other nonsense.

Short and sweet is an important key when it comes to appealing to all of your consumers. Your message must come across loud and clear to your customers. This allows them to understand, relate to and absorb it much faster.

If you are not an expert on designing for a mobile audience, then by all means, hire one. Giving a website a mobile device design can involve sophisticated skills. If you want the best results, spend the money on a professional with the appropriate expertise.

If you want to see your profits go up, try some mobile marketing. More and more people everyday are using their mobile phones to use social networking websites and download apps. Both of these are good ways to advertise and market your business. Make sure that you are bringing what you have to offer to the people, don’t make them have to find you.

When you get involved in mobile marketing, it is quite helpful for you to be somewhat familiar with the design and operation of mobile devices, so that you create user-friendly sites and advertisements. Start by getting different mobile phones and experimenting with them.

You always have the option of sharing apps with your customers, but were you aware that you can create the majority of these applications yourself? Your mobile marketing campaigns could be greatly enhanced by embracing this new piece of technology. Create an app that is unique to your business and offer it out. There are a lot of features to choose from; tailor your app to the kind of customers you are addressing.

You will get the best results from dedicated short code. While the price is higher, it can help your brand stay protected. You may also derive a bit of legal coverage from its use.

Make it simple for your customers to forward your mobile marketing ads to their friends. Ease of forwarding as well as incentives for doing so are great ways to ensure that your ad is packing all of the punch that it is capable of.

No matter how advanced smartphones get, remember that mobile web browsing is just not as easy as going online with a computer. If you are going to engage in mobile marketing, then your ads and other marketing materials need to be totally accessible on mobile devices. Sometimes this means that users on a computer may view a more simple page.

There are many different variations of mobile marketing methods, but they all share pretty much the same fundamentals. They only vary when it comes to technology and the applications used. All it takes to decide between them is some research and common sense to find the best and most effective techniques to use in your plan for you, your business, and your budget.…