How to Identify the Dominant Personality Styles of Your Team

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In an organization, all individuals must work together for a common goal. However, each individual is unique, they have different needs, they communicate differently, and they are motivated in different ways. As a manager, a supervisor or a trainer, it is important to understand the dominant personality style of each individual, in order to know how to approach and help each and every one of them reach their full potential. To do this, we advise you to use a personal style inventory, an effective learning and growth tool based on Carl Jung’s personality theory.

The importance of self-understanding

By using a personal style assessment, you will first help your team discover their unique personality traits. Based on the results of the assessment, the members of your team will be armed with the right knowledge to grow as individuals and get along better with other team members. Without a proper self-understanding, your team will never be able to reach their full potential, nor will they ever learn how to improve their relationships with coworkers and superiors. The Personal Style Inventory (PSI) has been on the market for more than twenty-five years, and its efficiency has been proven over and over again. The PSI identifies numerous personality styles, based on 4 major dimensions:

  • Introversion/extroversion
  • Sensing/intuition
  • Thinking/feeling
  • Perceiving/judging

This valuable tool will help your team understand what makes them think, feel and act the way they do. Armed with this knowledge, they can move forward to improving themselves, thus improving the overall communication, leadership and teamwork of your company.

How the PSI works

The PSI can be printed or the assessment can be taken online It includes a series of 32 statements based on the 4 previously mentioned dimensions. Based on the answers of each individual, the result will be a comprehensive personality profile. The score will be delivered as a combination of four letters, each letter symbolizing a predisposition for a certain dimension (for instance, EIFJ= extroversion/intuition, feeling, judging). The test takes only 15 minutes, with an additional hour that includes the interpretation of the results, as well as topic discussions and plans for action. The PSI can be used as a standalone assessment or it can be included into a training program. It is suitable for both individuals and teams. The tool comes with a facilitators guide, containing instructions and a PowerPoint presentation. This tool can be used by anyone, regardless of their certifications or current position in an organization.

Advantages and applications of the PSI

Most assessments based on Carl Jung’s theories ask people to assess how they usually behave. On the other hand, the PSI asks people to assume different frames of reference. In simple terms, it guides people to choose how they would prefer to behave in different situations. So, instead of just giving a definite personality profile, the PSI is a tool that helps individuals grow into the people that they want to be. Moreover, the PSI considers the strengths and weaknesses of each dimensions, which is very helpful for helping people flex their personal styles, when the situations calls for a different approach.

  • This tool ca be used in numerous ways, by both individuals and teams. It is particularly useful in the following situations:
  • As the main tool for a communication/leadership training program
  • As a career planning/personal counseling diagnostic tool
  • As a personal counseling discussion starter
  • As an instrument for mapping a team profile and improving team spirit
  • At the end of the assessment, individuals can expect the following learning outcomes:
  • Understanding their unique personality style
  • Learning about other personality styles, thus improving their communication with other people
  • Learning the strengths and weaknesses of each personality style
  • Learning what type of work is suited for each style
  • Learning how to improve their work performance and relationships.

Get Set, Go! – 5 Tips to Help Get Your Business Off to a Great Start

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Entrepreneurship is fast-becoming a popular career option for plenty of good reasons. It enables you to flex your creative muscles, be your own boss and, in many cases, work from home. However, for all the benefits of becoming an entrepreneur, there are equally as many hardships you must endure. To avoid common pitfalls and get your business off to a great start, consider these five tips:

1. Be Smart with Money

It’s a given, starting your own business can cost a lot of money. In the early stages, it can be tempting to access capital by accruing debt in the belief that you’ll soon be generating sufficient revenue to repay it. However, in most cases achieving financial stability takes longer than people think. Rather than saddling yourself with mountains of unmanageable debt, shop around for small loans online from responsible providers for selected necessary expenses and exercise restraint for discretionary items.

2. Advertise

On your first day as a business owner, you might have had grand visions of fast growth. The reality is often entirely different. To give your business the best possible start and build your client base, you have to advertise – regardless of your industry. However, advertising costs money, so choosing the most cost-effective form of advertising is crucial.

Social media advertising is the first choice for many small businesses, but there are also other channels available as well. Find out who your target market is and choose the best way to reach them. The most popular option may not always be the best for you.

3. Know Your Market

If you’ve started a new business, it’s crucial to conduct exhaustive research to carefully identify and define your client base. The key to getting your business off the ground is knowing who you are targeting with that product or service and how to best reach them with the right messaging that resonates with that cohort. Once you’ve done this work, it’s critical to get feedback from them to help you continually improve your product or service offering.

4. Virtually Working

If you work from home, it can often be tricky to establish a perception as a stable, reliable business. While working from home keeps your overheads low, it doesn’t instill much faith in your potential clients. For this reason, it makes sense to pay a monthly fee for a mailing address and call forwarding service through a virtual office. Your mail and calls will be directed to a prominent business hub, giving you the professional appearance at a mere fraction of the cost.

5. Be Social

In the early days of your new business, it can be easy to forget that networking and socializing are likely to be a critical part of your success. After all, with so many administrative tasks taking up your time, the last thing you feel you have time for is networking. However, to get a new base of customers, getting out and about and introducing yourself can do your business and profile the world of good.

Attend trade shows, conferences, and align yourself with influential figures. Given that 95 percent of employees surveyed say that face-to-face meetings are essential for building and maintaining a relationship, there’s every reason to head outdoors with a pile of business cards.

Your business isn’t going to build itself. It needs your loyalty, dedication, passion, and willingness to go the extra mile. Implement these five tips to get your business off to a great start and reap the ongoing rewards of a growing client base and business success.

Tips for Closing More Deals with Your CRM Software

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As a passionate entrepreneur, you are highly dedicated to your new company’s success. You may have already purchased customer relationship management (CRM) software and you are excited to use the system to help manage your customer data, clients and contacts, and automate sales. Now that you have it up and running, you are probably wondering how you can use this innovative software to close more deals.

Fortunately, using CRM software to close more deals is quite doable — check out the following ideas:

1. Stay Up-to-Date on the Updates

Like other types of software, CRM will be updated from time to time. As an example, Infor CRM was recently updated to version 8.3.10 and you’ll find articles explaining the difference between 8.3.09 and the new files, as well as how these new changes will help entrepreneurs to maximize their success using this software. In order to help ensure that you get the most out of your CRM software, you might consider investing in CRM consulting; this way you can use your CRM to its full advantage without having to be an expert in all areas pertaining to the software.

2. Reduce the Amount of Time You Spend Entering Data

One of the coolest things about CRM software is automated data entry. Instead of manually reporting every potential customer lead that you obtained at a trade show, a networking event, or a webinar,

CRM software has list importing tools that can automatically keep tabs on this data. As a result, you and your sales team will have more time to follow up with leads on your own, and you can work directly with customers to make more sales.

3. CRM Software Knows What Your Buyers Need

Thanks to your CRM software, you can see when a customer is most likely to buy something from your company, as well as the most effective ways to engage them. When CRM is used along with a marketing automation platform, the data that is collected prior to a sale can help you learn how to more effectively close a deal. For example, the metrics will show you what info a potential customer has downloaded, what types of selling tactics have worked with them in the past, and how they learned about your company.

4. Keep Potential Customers Engaged

Another key way to use CRM software to close more deals is by knowing how to engage your leads. Instead of a traditional spreadsheet, you can launch and monitor your various marketing campaigns with the CRM software and easily identify and keep track of potential customers who are showing interest in what you have to sell. By focusing on these hot prospects and pitching your products and services to them you are more likely to increase sales rather than always looking for new leads.

5. Determine How Long it Takes for a Prospect to Become a Customer

Another effective way to use your CRM software to close more deals is by determining how long it typically takes for a potential customer to become a paying client. Using this info, you can then time your email campaign more effectively. For example, if you see that leads become customers after a week, you and your sales team will follow up on an email with a phone call after about seven days.

You have invested in the technology, now it’s time to use it. By staying on top of the various CRM updates as much as possible, letting it do the data entry work, and learning how to take the information it is collecting, you will be closing more deals in no time.

Five Benefits of Multichannel Marketing

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If you still believe that having a website is enough to succeed with a new business, you might be up for a surprise. Most large brands are now creating a multichannel marketing campaign to improve their communication and branding results, while reaching more customers in a more effective and appropriate way. Below you’ll find a few benefits of creating a multichannel marketing plan for your new business to beat the competition and improve your conversion rates.

Better Reach

Not all customers are happy to visit you in your store. Likewise, some will research the internet for recommendations, and will not be happy to order from your website before they read real customer reviews about your company. Some use LinkedIn, others prefer Facebook groups. You need to be present where your potential customers hang out, therefore, to reach them, you will have to create a marketing plan that involves email, online, and social media advertising, as well as print materials, telemarketing, and SMS.

More Effective Sales Funnels

No online business can survive without an effective sales funnel. You will need to design your customers’ journey from the moment they first hear about your business until they become buyers. If you are present on various channels, and your potential clients can get in touch to ask questions on social media, as well as via email and phone, you can increase your conversion rates long term.

Improved Brand Awareness

Being present on the internet doesn’t get you noticed. You will have to find different channels to get visitors to your website and turn them into followers, who will – eventually  become customers. You need to grab every opportunity to improve your brand awareness in your target market. Using social media and video market can make your content go viral without having to spend a lot of money on advertising, and increase your brand’s reach within your niche.  

Customer Communication

Another great benefit of being present on different channels is that you give your customers plenty of opportunity to contact you and give you feedback. When things go wrong, your clients want more than sending an email and waiting a week to get the issue resolved. Having an online chat on your site and social media pages will improve your customer communication and build your reputation at the same time.

Added Value

You should learn to take advantage of the latest technologies to communicate your offers to your target customers. You can offer incentives for members and repeat customers, or make the ordering process easier. Adopting a simple-to-use shopping cart system can improve customer satisfaction. You might also find professional app developers to design your branded app and get your offers out to your target market.  

Whether you are looking to increase your brand awareness of conversion rates, adopting a multi channel marketing and communication strategy is a good idea. You will be able to benefit from higher conversion rates, improved brand awareness, and reputation. Furthermore, you can take advantage of viral marketing and recommendations.

Combating Negative Thoughts While Starting Up

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If you are in the middle of getting your business off the ground and up into the clouds, you have perhaps have had some negative thoughts once in a while. It doesn’t matter if you are launching the next trendy cupcake business or a business IT consulting company – sometimes our thoughts are the ones we have to combat.

I’m struggling with the work-life balance.

Unfortunately, when you are one-person company things do get a little lopsided. It does get better eventually, but in the early days, weeks or maybe even months it all lands on your shoulders. However, a lot of entrepreneur’s rush to earn big bucks. Thus, often causing more work than is needed. Another point is, you’re unlikely to be able to manage your time efficiently yet. The best advice would be, go and do some research on time management and methods that you can put into practice and nail your balance.

Taking it all as a personal bullet.

When you have put so much time, and effort into something, and a client says you aren’t quite right for them, or a friend mentions something they’d change about your design – it isn’t meant as a personal slight. A potential client has to go with what fits their vision and just because you don’t at the moment, doesn’t mean that you won’t be perfect in the future or that you won’t be ideal for someone else.

Friends – often well-meaning – don’t always understand how much time and effort has gone into something, and how you felt after a comment wasn’t their intention.

I am doing so much, and no one knows.

Unfortunately, no one knows how much work the founder of a company is putting in unless they are right there with them. You have to do all of the jobs yourself until you can afford to hire people to help or you manage to get a healthy work-life balance. A common theme is that if you are working from home, people make the assumption you are in your bed till midday and do a little bit of work mid-afternoon – the reality is a lot less sleep than many people think. If you are feeling like this, there is not much you can do, and you don’t need to prove how much you are working to anyone. When you’re done building, it will all be apparent.

I wish I wasn’t the boss, and I had a boss.

When you are the one making all the decisions, it can be a short road to utter decision-making fatigue. You might wish you had someone to ask – what the hell am I doing? In the end, the reason you chose to start your own company is that you wanted to be your boss, and that comes with all the responsibilities.

It is natural to have negative thoughts when some things get tough; the trick is to remember – why you started this in the first place? To build something for yourself, by yourself.

Creating A User Centered Website

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A lot of companies create a website whilst only thinking about the money they’re going to make from it, rather than the experience the user is going to have whilst on it. It’s no secret that a business website is one of the biggest selling points, and for some, it’s the only selling point. So, what effect do you think creating a user centered website is going to do for your business? Well, it’s going to encourage sales and conversions for one. Plus, it really isn’t hard to set it up. All you need to do is have a vision in mind, and let the person creating your website know what you want from it. If you already have a website, there’s no time like the present to switch it up to create the best design possible for your consumers. We’re going to talk you through the process so you have the perfect website ready to use.

Navigation

The thing that so many businesses seem to fail to achieve is perfect navigation. Some of them can be clunky, and you can lose the navigation bar once you’ve clicked on one of the categories. If you want to create the perfect way for your customers to navigate, you should always make sure that you’ve got the bar on show, no matter what page they’re on. They might suddenly change their mind at the checkout, and wish to add something different. If the bar is there for them ready, it’s so easy for them to dip in and out of the sections they need. Plus, it makes it more professional on your end as well. The website looks smoother, and if it’s easier to navigate, you’re always going to be able to generate more sales through conversions. You can also use things such as woocommerce shortcodes to make the whole navigation process easier for them. They have shortcodes that allow the user to view their cart on the page, showing an order tracking form, and many more. These are little codes that you can add into your website yourself by going into the coded view of your website. All you need to do is find the right place to insert, insert it, and make sure you preview it before saving the changes.

Focus On Design

If your website is already designed, and you’ve followed the same color scheme and layout for a while now, then you might benefit from a little switch up. Like with anything in life, we focus on how good things look before we decide to buy it. Your website is no different. Customers like it to be aesthetically pleasing, if it isn’t, it’s so easy for them to turn away and find another company. Try and keep the design simple in terms of how many things you’re cramming onto a page. This will for one, make the website nicer to look at, and secondly, allow the loading time to be as quick as possible. There’s nothing worse than having to wait ages for a website to load when you’re desperate to buy something! Try and use some nice colors in there, the more plain the website is, the less attention it’s going to attract. However, be careful not to go tacky with this. Focus on using pretty and eye catching colours, rather than something that is perhaps a little too bold.

Sitemaps

Sitemaps are a form of orientation for the user that a lot of businesses feel their customers no longer use. However, believe it or not, a customer likes to see exactly what they’ll be able to find through your website from the sitemap. It doesn’t take long to sort, and a good developer will be able to whip up a quick and easy one in no time. It lets the user know where they are in relation to the other pages on the site, and helps paint a clearer picture of the website in general. The sitemap section can usually be found at the bottom of the page in the footer, but it’s up to you where you put it. It’s best to let the sitemap have its own page through a link. You don’t have to clog up all of the footer by making the sitemap visible on the home page. Always be careful to make sure the sitemap does not have too many links either, no matter where you put it. It can over complicate the process, and it’ll just look nasty on your website. So many companies seem to over complicate the process for no reason, so keep yours as simple as possible to try and improve usability.

Hopefully after reading this you will be armed with a few facts that will allow you to create a user centered website.

Common Web Design Mistakes Start-Ups Make

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In today saying age, there is nothing more important and having a quality website. Your website is more than just a pretty picture. It is a representation of your brand. It should tell customers exactly what your business is about. It also needs to function effectively and provide an amazing user experience, which includes everything from loading quickly to boasting seamless navigation. With that being said, read on to discover some of the most common web design mistakes that startups make.

Using a free website builder

There is only one place to begin, and this is with relying on a free website builder. This is something that far too many business owners do today. It is understandable that you would be attracted to a free website builder in an attempt to save money. Nevertheless, if you do this your website will look amateur and this will have a negative impact on your brand image. Not only this, but your website will look identical to all of the other sites that were created using the free website builder in question. This is why is imperative to use a professional service.

Failing to pay attention to Analytics

Another huge mistake is failing to pay attention to Analytics. The only way that you are going to improve your web presence is by understanding how you are performing at present. If you do not use Analytics to find out how many people are visiting your website, where they are leaving your website, what pages are performing badly and so on, you will never be able to improve your website and achieve more.

Lack of responsive design

Another huge mistake that you need to avoid is failing to use responsive web design. Nowadays, most people use their mobile phones when they are searching on the Internet. Therefore, if your website is not optimised for use on a smaller device this means that you were going to be missing out on a massive chunk of potential customers. There are a number of reasons why having a website that is not responsive is so bad for business. Not only do you neglect the customers that are attempting to access your site via their mobile phone, but you will also be punished by Google in terms of search engine ranking.

Copying what the competition is doing

Last but not least, another error that is especially prevalent with regards to startup is merely copying what the competition is doing. While it is important to take a look at competing websites and to assess what they are doing good and what they are doing wrong, you should never simply copy. Yes, you can take inspiration, but you need to offer something better and something different if you want to stand out and make an impact in the industry.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the most common errors made by startups when it comes to web design. Make sure you stay away from the blunders mentioned above and you will give yourself the best chance of success online today.

Are You On-Brand Enough?

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In this incredibly digital world, a lot of people talk about things like content, engagement, and growth hacking. But while these may be the on-trend topics of the time, they aren’t the only things you should be focusing on if you want to ensure that your business is going to blossom. Not in the slightest. In fact, you could be working real hard on all three of those factors, but if you have one thing missing, you may not be able to make any waves. Of course, we’re talking about branding. Because branding can make sure that you have the right impact on whatever you do. From your brand colors to the way that you talk, you need to nail it all. So let’s take a look at how you can do that.

Everything Online

First of all, you have to be able to look at everything that you’re doing online and ensure that it’s on brand to attract your customers. From your logos to your social media icons, and even the graphics or videos that you put out – it should all be branded. So when you’re making videos or images, be sure to find someone that can put these together for you. And when they do, they need to make sure that they are on brand with the design. But you also need to make sure that the content is branded too, and that you’re showcasing your brand personality to project the right brand image.

Documentation

Whenever you create a document in-house, you should make sure that it’s on brand. Create a set format that everything gets written on created in. That way, whenever you’re sending anything out, you’re branded. It’s also a great way to ensure that everyone gets into the brand zone, and feels part of something bigger.

Vehicles

If your business has a fleet or any other kind of vehicle (even if it’s just your own car), you’re missing out on an opportunity if you don’t brand them. Take a look at the different way you can use fleet graphics to brand up your vehicles. This is also a great promotional opportunity for you too. So be sure to create a call to action or showcase your contact details too.

Event Presence

Whenever you’re at an event, or you do anything in a business environment, you need to be on brand. Luckily for us all, there are some great branding options that you can have at events. And you can go all out. From your stand complete with banners and signs to the materials you hand out and even uniforms that you wear, you can brand your presence completely to make a bigger impact.

Every Action

Last but not least, you’re going to want to ensure that you and any members of staff that you have are acting on-brand and representing your brand as best as possible. Establish your brand voice and stick to it, and be sure to choose the right representatives so that you know your brand can stay consistent.

Want to Start a Manufacturing Business? Read On

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Starting a business is always tricky and challenging, but the challenges are often even greater when you’re starting a manufacturing business in particular. It takes a certain set of skills and priorities to make a success of a brand new manufacturing business. It’s something that you need to think about and plan out now rather than later if you can help it because you’ll regret things if you don’t.

If you’re really serious about making all this happen, it’s important to know what to prioritize and which steps to make as you grow your business early on. You can’t just make things up as you go along because this definitely isn’t the kind of industry that rewards that kind of strategy at all. So read on now and find out all you need to know about getting your manufacturing startup off the ground the right way.

Research First

You should always be sure to carry out research before doing anything else because this is when you find out where your gap in the market is going to be. You can then start to think in more detail about how you’re going to exploit it. But you can’t do any of that stuff if don’t first carry out research and find out what the situation looks like right now. So don’t be tempted to skip past this.

Don’t Skip Past the Legal Details

There are lots of legal hoops you have to jump through when you’re starting a business, and that’s even truer than every if you’re starting out in something like manufacturing for the first time. You don’t want to break laws that help to keep everyone inside your company safe. Even if you think you’re being fully compliant with the law, it doesn’t hurt to check for sure and act accordingly on that information you find.

Create an Unbeatable Team

The team of people you have working for your business will be the single most important factor you have going for your business. They’re the ones who are going to be doing the work on the shop floor, so you want them to be happy and paid very fairly so that you can keep that team together. Get a mix of good characters in your team, as well as a mix of other things. It’s important to have people willing to work hard and show commitment.

Don’t Skimp on Components or Equipment

The components, machinery and equipment your employees use each day will decide how good your final products are. You want to make sure that you buy the best machinery, whether that means huge lathes and production lines, as well as smaller but still as vital components, such as gauges or flow meters from places like FlowMeters.com. It’s up to you to find the very best so you don’t lose out big time later.

Unforeseen Problems With Your Startup: How To Manage Them

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The world of startup is fast moving and can be extremely profitable for those who are the most productive. Problems occur in every business but it is those problems that weren’t seen coming that can do the most damage. Kneejerk reactions to problems rarely are the correct response to an issue. Taking the time to think out a variety of circumstances or problems you can have while preparing for others is the wisest strategy. Proactivity can help quell many problems with a startup so it is important not to procrastinate when it comes to preparation. The following are unforeseen problems that can hurt or possibly put a startup out of business.

Employee Hurt and Suing

An employee being hurt at your place of business can be devastating if you do not have insurance to cover this. A personal injury lawsuit can cost thousands in legal fees with a settlement drying out the rest of the cash flow of the startup. With lawyers like those at the Barnes Firm it is wise to invest in some business insurance. Employee paperwork that has to do with injury on the job should be written up to protect both the employee as well as the company. Wrongful termination lawsuits can be common in startups as many startups do not have the firing process completely figured out. Allow an outsourced HR firm to handle these things as it will keep your startup safe at a fraction of the cost that it would to staff an entire HR department.

Leaked Employee or Customer Data

A data breach can spell the beginning of the end for many startups. Losing the trust of valued clients by having some kind of breach can cripple startups even if the business relationships were strong. Leaked employee information can lead to a huge drop in productivity as many employees will be checking to see if their identity has been stolen. Information can also be leaked by former employees with a vendetta against the company. This information could be sold to competitors or simply be used to ruin relationships the startup has worked hard to garner. Having employees sign NDA agreements can help decrease these happenings as nobody wants to be taken to court for leaking valued information.

Problems Getting a Client To Pay

You delivered the work at the highest quality possible and now your client has ghosted you. Even though everything went according to plan there are some clients that it will take quite a bit of negotiating or threatening with lawsuits to get them to pay. This is not a great way to do business but it is the way certain companies operate as they simply think a company will drop the issue if the sum of money is low enough. Client payment terms can help eliminate these problems as upfront payment can solve most of these problems. Clients that have had issues paying on time in the past should be required to pay upfront. A large client delaying payment can put a startup out of business as they might need to take out a loan to simply pay the staff. Favorable payment terms for smaller startups working with larger corporations are imperative in today’s startup world.

A Juggernaut Has Entered Your Niche

Having a huge corporation enter your niche of business can end a startup. The advantage that a smaller company has over a large corporation is flexibility in decision making. Larger corporations often times have to go through a variety of channels to get approval on one simple decision. A startup can often times deliver faster and for industries where turnaround time is paramount this can be the answer. The startup can also market in a much more creative way in order to get the most out of their marketing budget. Many clients would rather work with a smaller company as a personal touch can make all of the difference. One client manager instead of a revolving door of client managers is much more comforting to many people making business decisions.

The startup world will continue to thrive with billions upon billions of dollars to be made. Getting your business going will not always guarantee success but it is an accomplishment nonetheless. Take the above into account and react accordingly if your startup encounters these situations.

The Five People Your Startup Needs To Succeed

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In business, you won’t ever be able to find success on your own. Of course, you may become a household name, and your business may be internationally renowned – and that is on you – but it’s not something that you can achieve alone. Because you will always need a team around you to get things done. Even if you’re a great innovator or a great marketer, or you can write really well, you won’t be good at everything. And in business, if you’re going to go far, you have to make sure that every business area is covered off expertly. So, you need people. You need the best people around you to help you create your product or service it, get it in front of your customer, and then keep those customers happy. And if you’re not exactly sure how you’re going to do that just yet, you will by the end of this post. Let’s take a look at the people you need around you to grow your business.

  1. An Accountant

We’ve started off with an accountant. But really, this could be any kind of financial expert – maybe a bookkeeper or a finance manager. Either way, you need someone to be keeping an eye on your finances at all time. Yes, this is definitely something that you should be doing, but you won’t want to be doing it at all times, as you’re trying to run your business too. Your accountant should be tracking where you are financially, and can give you the advice you need to ensure that your business is being smart when it comes to revenue and profits.

  1. A Sales Person

Next, you need someone in sales. It’s easy to think that you can just handle this, but if you’re not a natural, you may be missing out on valuable sales. Just take a look at what Jozef Opdeweegh says about the factors you need for a successful sales team. You can definitely put this into practice with just one person to start with and the right support system in place. And then, when your business grows, you can expand from there.

  1. A Social Media Marketer

From here, you then need to be thinking about how you’re marketing this business. And if you don’t have time to go it yourself, you need to bring in support. Hire someone to execute your marketing strategy so that you always have content heading out on social.

  1. Customer Service Support

You know that your customers are the most important part of your business, so you absolutely need to have someone with the best customer service skills in place. If you don’t then, you may find it hard to hold onto any customers that you have.

  1. An Admin Assistant

Finally, when you’re busy trying to run the business, the last thing you want is to be worrying about admin or responding to emails. So make sure you hire someone that can help you out with this while you’re looking to push on with growth.

How to Grow Your Start-Up Internationally

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Many businesses today are made up of start-ups that are finding niches in areas people had never previously dreamed of. It is because of this that many grow to find huge success, while other simultaneously don’t live past the first year. However, if you have a strong customer base, then you will find success comes quicker than if you don’t. This is why it’s ideal that it is easier now to gain international reach than ever before, which you can convert into loyal customers. If you are struggling to make your stamp on the international market, then you can follow some key tips that will help your start-up grow.

Make your brand versatile

You may have a polished brand that has developed great roots where you are based, but it could be that this brand won’t be as popular in other countries. Having a versatile brand means that you can tailor it to suit whichever country you are hoping to crack next, where your target market will remember it rather than brush it under the carpet. You can do this by bringing a trusted team on board to refine the design of your logo and the rest of your brand so that it will make a positive impact.

Use social media marketing

A big part of marketing lies in traditional methods, but many businesses are beginning to see how social media is a great way of updating their marketing campaigns. This is because social media allows companies to run campaigns for people to see all over the world in the space of a few minutes. For example, Facebook Ads services allow you to direct your campaign onto people’s timelines, no matter what country you are located in. Such marketing is ideal for smaller businesses with a tight budget, as you can accomplish a lot with little resources and money if you have a memorable brand.

Network with international clients

Attracting and maintaining a customer base is only one part of growing your start-up on an international scale. One other important aspect is having reliable clients on hand to keep your business afloat. Although you can start attracting these clients using sites like LinkedIn, you will need to keep this working relationship going by staying in regular contact with them. This can be tricky when international calling rates can be so high, but there are innovations such as Viber that can help with this problem. For example, if you are hoping to contact clients in South America, you can look at Viber rates Mexico to see how these low prices compare to other services.

Reach out to customers

Keeping an open line of communication with clients is key, but you should also ensure your customers stay loyal after you have attracted them. In recent years, a more personal approach has seen bigger success. These techniques include instant messaging customers any offers and relevant content using a business bot, sending out emails with similar information for them to click through, and keeping flawless customer service.

3 Ways Failure in Business Can Become Strength

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No one likes failure — either when creating a startup, or doing anything else in life — and it’s certainly the case that everyone does their best to avoid it at every turn. The unfortunate fact is, however, that failure in life is inevitable. Your first startup may not fail — but you’d be a statistical anomaly, as most do — but sooner or later you’re going to run up against failure of one sort or another during the course of your professional life.

Fortunately, failure in business isn’t really the pure, unmitigated disaster that it’s made out to be. In fact, there are many ways in which failure can improve you for the mission ahead.

Here are a few of them.

Failure provides data on what doesn’t work

There’s a story that Thomas Edison, when called up on his numerous failures, once responded: “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Failure may be devastating at the moment, but each failure actually provides invaluable data on what not to do going forward, if you’re able to take a step back and have an objective look at the situation.

To experience this benefit, however, you need to become good and comfortable with reflection, self-critique, and analysis.

Why did your last attempt fail? Was it because you didn’t work enough hours? Or because you invested your money poorly? Was it that your business model was fundamentally flawed in some way? Or maybe you didn’t account for the degree of competition to be found within that particular niche?

Whatever the reasons you identify, learning from your failures in this way increases your chances of success going forward, and decreases your risk of repeating the same errors as before.

Failure builds resilience and inoculates against naive-thinking

Perhaps when beginning your first startup, you were unbelievably excited about everything you did, and believed with a certainty that everything was going to work out in your favour. And then it didn’t.

If, instead of being crushed and giving up on the idea of running your own company altogether, you dusted yourself off and had another go, then you’ve become more resilient in the process.

Failure builds callouses, and although we need to be careful that these callouses don’t end up making us jaded, a tough skin is nonetheless essential for long-term success in business.

After getting a few failures under your belt, you’ll likely find you’ve become more pragmatic. You know failure is a possibility — and you know it doesn’t have to mean the end of you.

Failure encourages us to fill in the gaps in our knowledge

Failure has a way of holding up a mirror to our own shortcomings and weaknesses. With hindsight, we can see how our own character deficiencies, or lack of awareness or knowledge might have exacerbated the problems we faced.

As a result, we may commit anew to learning to trade shares, or attend classes and conferences we previously thought we were above.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and failure can be a great incentive to seek out further knowledge.

Convincing Customers They Need More From You

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Customers can be tricky people to handle. They can be picky and impossible to impress, or they can be the sweetest people who accept anything you say. And because of this unpredictability, it feels like you have to be every kind of business all at once.

Even when you’re increasing your reach by operating online, there’s still quite a few methods to implement to make sure customers are able to find you, and then click on you and your products. E-commerce is one of the biggest markets out there after all, and you’re going to have to be clever with what you offer to make sure someone doesn’t simply click away from you.

But it’s harder for someone to pull away when they’re physically in your store, so now’s the time to really try and impress. Here’s a couple of ideas to get you started on refining your sales technique.

Be Specific with Your USP

Every business out there needs a unique selling point, and there’s more than you would think available when it comes to servicing the market. Whether you use sustainable habits to make your products, or you have a no carrier bag rule, or you simply throw in two products for the price of one, you can get a certain type of customer interested in you.

So make sure you’re being clear with your USP, and never stick to a vague statement such as ‘lower prices’ or ‘we’re better than the rest!’ Everyone has heard that from their local corner shop, so it just makes a lot more sense to actually find a message you can sell to appeal to your target market.

Think about what you’re selling and how it can help the average Joe with his daily grind; ham it up in all your marketing material, and be sure to advertise how no one else offers this at the same time. Beating your competitors involves being ruthless, and you’re going to have to learn what statements customers respond to as you go on.

Offer Promotions

It’s one of the most surefire ways to make sure someone doesn’t bypass you on the high street, even if they were never interested in coming in for a browse anyway. People like to get deals on whatever they buy, and even just a hint of saving money means you’ve got a foot in the door on validating their shopping choice.

Say you’re a supplier, but your inventory is overflowing and you need to shift some stock desperately to make sure you have the longevity to keep operating beyond this quarter. Implementing something like CPQ for Manufacturing is a great way to get customers interested in buying more than you, and even at a discount you’re making a profit you wouldn’t have made a penny of otherwise.

Convincing a customer to buy more than they wanted to is always going to be hard. You’re going against their own principles after all, but it can be done by good sale tactics.