Profits for an entrepreneur rise by 5.5% with an education. Becoming effective, knowing the market, and driving success are keys for financial success. There are those who would tell you that experience is enough. However, a strong educational background gives you access to a powerful knowledge base. These are some examples of how you can apply the tools you learn from a solid education to your business.
Education Gives You More Options
You are not going to get anything done if you know little about your industry. By having a degree in a related field, people are more likely to take a second look at you. While many schools are different, degrees are meant to be a standardized form of mentorship across all areas. You are more likely to hire an accountant with a degree as opposed to someone who tells you he or she has the experience. By extension, people are more likely to take your coding startup seriously if you have a degree in a computer-related field. A college degree also teaches you a lot of applicable skills that you might not be able to learn elsewhere.
Education Creates Connections
When you go to college, you are likely to make some friends. Whether those people are your fellow students or professors, the friends involved in your mentorship are excited to see you grow. Making connections is an important step in establishing your startup. In fact, connections are one of the reasons Daymond John calls education the “key to success.”Cramming a bunch of future financial advisors, biochemists, and lawyers into the same space is a lot of talent. Even those seeking similar degrees have a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. These are experiences that you don’t have. These people can provide you with anything from a new perspective to a new business partner.
Education Gives You New Experiences
According to the Association of American Colleges & Universities, many people make the mistake of going to college for one reason—to get a better job. You already know that college brings many types of people together. These people often get to do things that they normally wouldn’t have done without college. Studying abroad and internships are a few good examples. These unique experiences can add more dimension to your business.Startups need those with strong educational backgrounds to bolster the knowledge behind the scenes. With a general business degree, they are introduced to the idea of critical thinking and leadership strategies. These experiences and resources are necessary to ensure awareness of the best practices to ensure success in your startup.An important part of starting a business is establishing a solid brand identity. Are you struggling to develop one? Let us help you.
It can be dispiriting to be at work and see your employees dragging their feet on their tasks. It can also be seriously bad for your business. You can only remind tell your employees to pick up the pace so many times. You have to find ways to make them do so in a way that works for everyone. Use these strategies to encourage your employees to be more productive.
The best way to be productive is to have a tangible goal to accomplish. If your employees don’t know what the ultimate purpose of their work is, they might have trouble being productive. Be transparent with your employees about what needs to be done and why. Hold staff meetings and one-on-one discussions to elaborate on what each step needs to be. Having this kind of understanding will make your employees feel like there’s a much greater purpose to their duties. Work is made much more fulfilling when employees know that there’s actually something to come from the effort that’s put in. Source: 7 Tips for Effective Employee Goal-Setting to Boost Engagement and Productivity
Enhance the Surroundings
Our minds are sharpest when we let our senses be stimulated. Your office set up is important, as it can determine how invigorated your employees feel. If you don’t believe this, imagine trying to get work done in an office that’s completely devoid of any kind of decoration. You don’t want to overwhelm your employees’ sensory input. Just find ways to enhance their senses that will make them more motivated. One option is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy works by targeting specific feelings and emotions that the scent attempts to bring to mind. Consider bringing in things like candles or diffusers to let magnificent scents travel around your office. Source: doTERRA vs Young Living (Review After Using Both Oils)
Give Positive Feedback
Hardly anything is a better motivator than positive reinforcement. Employees aren’t going to be productive just because you tell them to do something. They need validation that shows you value their efforts. This should not be effusive or nonspecific praise. If you notice that an employee has improved in a certain regard or they do something that really impresses you, tell them. They should know that you’re proud of them and all that you provide to the office. Source: How to Deliver Positive Feedback at WorkBeing productive is accomplished by working hard and working smart. Your office is full of talented individuals who might not realize just how much talent they have. As a leader, you need to encourage them to be as productive as possible. These strategies can help to make their workdays far more fulfilling and give them further confidence.
All business owners understand that advertising drives traffic to their store or website. Yet, not all entrepreneurs realize that marketing should be a structured advertising campaign designed for specific results. Competition is keen in the contemporary marketplace, and staying a step ahead of your competitors is always essential. After all, everyone is hoping to attract the same clientele in any given industry. Top-of-mind awareness is a real advantage in any product market. Being the first one potential customers turn to when it is time to purchase is the primary goal of any marketing campaign.
Identify Your Customer Base
It is usually futile to attempt mass blast marketing in any business. Knowing who may want your product line helps streamline efforts to get the word out via advertising specific offers. This is a mistake many business operators make with email subscription lists and social media posts, as many recipients among a large group will mark a communication as spam if it does not appeal to them. Know who may want your product, and be focused on converting sales or driving customers into your business establishment. When it comes to social media marketing, be sure to get an understanding of what posts grab your audience’s attention. Also, always ask for reviews when a sale has been made.
Implement Big Data
There are countless performance tools available for any business person who is serious about growing their customer base. Monitoring trending products and what would make a viable addition to your operation is always a good tactic to include in your program. But, being responsive to those who show interest can be even more critical. Persistence can pay, and a good marketing plan will help your business grow by identifying solid leads among the crowd of respondents.
Shop Your Competition
One long-standing marketing practice is “shopping” your competition. This helps to see what you offer that gives you an advantage over others and vice versa. Knowing who you are up against in the marketplace can be a useful measuring tool. It can help you to understand your business growth pace and see what can be done to improve that margin. Evaluating your competition on a regular basis can also help. Doing this can give you good ideas of how to stand out from the crowd, especially in highly competitive industries.
Don’t Overlook Traditional Methods
Some of these more traditional methods such as signage, flyers, standard advertising should not be overlooked. Yes, the use of the Internet and social media are essential. But, sometimes the old-school way is what some people want and enjoy. 68% of American consumers have made a purchase because a sign caught their eye. So, just remember to think about the appealing nature that some customer enjoy.
These are just a few suggestions to help entrepreneurs build their business in as many ways as possible through marketing. Having a general idea of the business model before even beginning your operation is always a good decision. It is a well-known axiom of business that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And it all is anchored in having a solid marketing plan to help your business prosper.
Any business owner or up-and-coming professional understands the power of having an excellent brand. Once you define and grow your brand, maximizing your exposure and increasing sales can be nearly effortless. Whether you are an entrepreneur, social media influencer or someone looking to build their personal brand, consider this advice.
Develop a Visible Brand with a Message
Many small businesses neglect to develop their brand because they do not recognize how fundamental it is for attracting attention and improving sales. A brand that is not visible, seems uninteresting or is distant toward consumers often falls out of tune with its target audience. You should stay consistent and ease into developing your brand over time by establishing brand pillars early.It is essential that you make your brand synonymous with good qualities, like reliability, consistency and high quality. Creating a unique message that represents your brand is important for standing out and building a credible reputation among consumers. As people start interacting with your brand, ask them to share their experiences. Collecting customer reviews is a great way to establish your online reputation. When customers identify with your brand, they become long-term supporters and may help spread knowledge of your brand.
Capture Attention with Promotional Giveaways
Offering promotional products is one way that you can spread knowledge of your brand quickly. Many people love the idea of getting something for free, and if you emblazon your promotional products with your company’s logo or slogan, people are more likely to remember you. The type of promotional products that you offer should be something your target audience wants or needs. Writing instruments and similar office supplies are kept and used on a daily basis. These simple promotional products can serve as a reminder of your company and the services you offer while customers are signing checks, filling out applications, writing down reminders and taking notes.Useful promotional products are always more welcomed and likely to remain with the consumer longer than other types of giveaway items. Whether you choose T-shirts, USB drives, car chargers, bags, baseball caps, earbuds or pens with your logo, it is vital to get them out there.
Showcase Your Brand’s Merchandise
If you want to get consumers to associate your brand with excellent merchandise, consider setting up a vibrant retail display in local hot-spots around your small business, and spread awareness of the event on social media. Expos and trade shows are also a great way to put your products in the spotlight. Looking at images of top-notch merchandise may inspire many to buy online, but there is nothing like getting the opportunity to touch and examine a physical product before you buy it. Setting up an attractive retail stand to display your products gives consumers a hands-on experience with your brand. If you want to maximize sales, providing a product demonstration on the spot is also a superb idea.
Make Your Brand Memorable
Companies that invest the time to create an impactful logo and slogan can outshine the competition. A memorable brand always has a logo and original name that differentiates it from others in the marketplace. Consider that some corporations have created a popular slogan that can still be recited and recognized by consumers years later. Without a doubt, a catchy slogan helps people to remember your brand and what your company stands for as you expand your influence. Promoting your brand on business cards and flyers that you pass out at networking events helps consumers to become more familiar with your brand.Keeping your brand unique, trustworthy and straightforward can go a long way toward helping you reach your goals for your business or personal brand. Building long-term, interactive relationships with customers can help them develop a stronger appreciation for your brand. Although maximizing your brand’s influence won’t happen overnight, if you take steps to solidify your brand, you can start sowing now to reap the fruits later. Your brand is your biggest asset. Get it right the first time. Contact us today to see how we can help you create and grow a lasting and memorable brand that consumers will love!
Business finance 101 has a little more rules to it than personal finance 101, but the general principles on being careful what you spend funds on are usually the same. The main thing to know when managing your company budget or discussing reports with your accountant is what you or your employees will invest in the short-term, and what you should be doing in the long run. But in either case, since every penny spent can affect your business considerably especially if it’s still small, you should follow five financial management practice tips to keep it in good financial health.
Make Sure You’ve Set Your Own Salary Wisely
As this article points out, you should be careful not to sacrifice so much of your own personal capital and paycheck to the point that you aren’t getting paid. For tax purposes and other reasons, it’s good to have your business funds and personal funds in separate accounts, but your salary can be recorded in the payroll documents. It is also a way to recoup some losses if the unfortunate happens and your business fails.
Know How to Collect Accounts Receivable
Offering financing to your customers can be a great way to encourage them to make bigger purchases. But if your company makes its revenue mostly from billing customers, you want to make sure you know how to collect money from your invoices, so you aren’t running short on cash flow. Sometimes it’s good to incentivize customers with discounts on billing for signing up to make automatic payments on due dates. Also know when you need to be a little more aggressive about collecting from late paying customers. The bottom line is you don’t want to put your company short on cash.
Set Appropriate Limits on Business Credit Cards
Business credit cards can be quite a convenience for being able to make essential purchases, because at times they can offer more flexibility than bank loans and can allow you easy financial reports. Their interest rates can be quite costly, and without guardrails in place, they can be a significant liability on your company. You definitely need to limit the number of employees with credit cards as well as possibly limit credit card usage to those with a specific ranking. Even though well-defined credit card usage policy can help, sometimes shared company credit cards can easily become a financial trap. They can wreck the company budget and open the doors to employee fraud. Instead, look to other alternatives such as virtual credit cards, or you could even use gift cards or prepaid cash cards. Many big corporations have begun providing employees who travel frequently with prepaid cards for certain increments for food and other necessities to cut down on the risk of misuse.
It might be tempting to start spending as soon as your business starts making a little money, but this kind of thinking is a fast track to bankruptcy. Save as much as you can, because eventually you’re going to have to face a rainy day. Look for discounts, rebates, and other ways to save money on routine or large expenses. For example, some utility companies (especially electricity providers) will provide rebates for businesses who decide to invest in energy-efficient equipment. There’s also no shame in buying equipment used or renting instead of buying. Be smart with your business’ money, and you will be rewarded.
Have Your Growth Plan Be Something Your Team Can Be Happy With
As you’re making or planning for new company expenses, growing your company should be about more than just more products and higher profit margins. You should look at investing in things that can make your employees happy and make for a more comfortable work environment such as a new building with office space, or spending more on employee benefits and incentives. Making your finances count for good employee morale is a highly important move for your company and internal brand equity.
The bottom line to running a business is even if you have innovation and ingenuity, those can only get you so far without sound financial management knowledge and practices. Just as with personal finance, it’s good to be able to meet business expenses with cash from savings as opposed to running in high debt. Before you use any loans or even perhaps opening your doors for business, you should talk to a business financial planner about good ways to use company money.
Your fiscal practices is just as important of a branding decision as what your logo will be! Chances are your brand identity hasn’t been planned out in this area, or hasn’t been updated in a while, so let’s change that! We help with all parts of the branding process, and even if you’re just curious to see how we can help, we can schedule a short consultation to show you what we can do. Check us out today!