Six Ways an MBA Can Prepare You to Launch Your Startup

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If you want to become your own boss, run a successful business in the future, and have a great startup idea in mind, then you may be considering your options for improving your business knowledge and skills now, in order to achieve better results in the future. If you’re considering going to college, then getting an MBA can be a great foundation for starting your own business, providing you with all the core knowledge that you need to understand pretty much every aspect of your startup and so much more.

In addition to what you’ll learn from classes and reading, studying for an MBA has a wide range of benefits for aspiring entrepreneurs. We’ve taken a look at some of the main ways an MBA can help you run and grow your own successful business.

#1. Become a Respectable Member of the Business Community:

No matter where you go, an MBA is a very well-respected qualification. Whether you’re in your hometown or traveling across the world, everybody in the business community will know what an MBA is and the amount of work and dedication that it takes to get one. Having an MBA as a business owner can be a great way to improve your standing in your business community, earning credibility and respect.

#2. Experience New Places and Cultures:

You don’t have to stay at home to get an MBA – there are several awesome business schools all around the world offering this program that you might want to consider. If you’re not sure where you’d like to study, then why not consider attending an event held by The MBA Tour? Check out The MBA Tour to find details of upcoming events which are held all over the world. As an attendee, you’ll have the chance to meet with people from business schools around the world, research different schools and programs, and make an informed decision when it comes to finding the right one for you. You can find their website here: https://www.thembatour.com/.

#3. The Confidence and Knowledge to Start Your Company:

Many people dream of starting their own business, but their company ideas sadly just never become a reality as they lack the knowledge needed to get started, or the confidence to take the plunge. So, if you want to make sure that your business idea becomes a successful reality in the future, then studying for an MBA is a great way to ensure that you have the foundation of knowledge, skills and confidence that you need. During your time studying the program, you will learn about all the different facets of running a business; as a result, you will likely require less trial and error than most when starting your own company.

#4. Improved Earning Potential:

So, you want to start your own business, but don’t forget that earning an MBA can also be a great back-up plan if your startup doesn’t work out as hoped. If your product or service idea doesn’t take off like you’d hoped it would, or if you change your mind about entrepreneurship down the line, then having an MBA qualification to your name can certainly help you land a career position with more responsibility and a higher paygrade. But even if you do decide to continue along the route of starting your own business, the skills and knowledge you’ll learn will give you an advantage when it comes to maximizing business profits. Either way, you’re likely to earn more with an MBA.

#5. Improve Your World Perspective:

Studying for an MBA – especially if you travel abroad to get your qualification, can be a great way to broaden your horizons and improve your view of the world. When you study in a country different to your own, you will be able to better understand a new place, a different culture, and how things function overseas. As a result, you will be able to develop a broader understanding of the global market, which can be an excellent step for your future business, especially if you plan to sell your product or service in overseas countries along with at home.

#6. Expand Your Professional Network:

Finally, another great reason why getting an MBA can help you with starting your own business is that it’s a great way to build and expand your professional network. As an MBA student, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with other business professionals – not just your tutors and professors, but also other students on your program. MBA programs are usually the type of qualification that individuals tend to go for after working in the business industry or running their own company for some time. So, you can expect to be studying alongside entrepreneurs, business managers, CEOs, marketing professionals, HR professionals and many more people who you can learn a lot from.

If you hope to start your own business in the future, getting an MBA is a great way to prepare.

Why Choosing Executives That Suit the Phase of Your Business’s Growth is Important

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When you are choosing to add new executives to your business, whether to head up new departments that you’ve decided need to be created, to replace people who have left, or to take a share of the management off your own hands if you were doing all of the decision making yourself at the start, picking the right people is extremely important. Executives provide leadership and direction to the business, and one new person in the mix can have a big impact on everything from company culture to strategy.

It goes without saying that you need talented people, and people who you think gel well with you and the rest of the leadership team, but when it comes to experience, it can actually be more about picking people whose experience is the most relevant, rather than the most prestigious.

Executive Work Varies a Lot at Different Stages

Businesses go through all kinds of different stages on the route from starting up to being successful, sustainable, profitable ventures. The work that executives spend most of their time on is very different depending on what the current phase of the business is. If your business is undergoing significant growth, the work will be different to if your business is preparing for an IPO, or is looking to diversify into a new market. Executives who work for very established businesses may be very experienced in looking for small innovations and improvements that can boost things or make savings, but less experienced in things like growing a new department or a new site.

Experience with the Right Environment and Challenges

This all means that someone who has an incredibly appealing resume in terms of having held senior positions with well-known businesses, may actually not be as good a fit for what you currently need to do than somebody who has worked through a major growth phase in a smaller business. Often it is not the amount of money the person has had in their budget that defines what they can bring to the table, but the phase-specific challenges and different business environments they have navigated through. Someone who has rescued a failing company is always impressive, but if your business isn’t failing, someone who has built on existing momentum before may be more what you need.

Finding the Right Executive

If you’re looking for the right experience in your new executive, then you’re going to need access to a good pool of potential applicants, so you can delve in to what different qualified people have done that may be similar to what they’ll need to do for you. Using a good executive staffing agency or executive search firm, such as TruPath Search, who have a lot of experience in matching executives with businesses, is the best path to go down. They can make sure your vacancy is communicated to a large pool of skilled people, and can discuss your specific business needs to make sure only the most suitable people are considered.

Good luck in finding the right people to help lead your business to greater success!

Digital Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them

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Everyone is doing digital marketing these days. The growing number of digital marketing instruments available and the fact that they are all incredibly accessible lead to the use of digital marketing by organizations of different scales. The digital marketing landscape is highly saturated at the moment. That can only mean one thing: there are more challenges to overcome in order for your messages to be delivered successfully through digital marketing campaigns.

Those challenges, however, are solvable. Through carefully crafted campaigns, a better understanding of the audience, and improved digital marketing know-how, the most common challenges in digital marketing can turn to opportunities to seize.

Targeting

Targeting is the first challenge to overcome. Before you can craft an effective digital marketing campaign, you have to select a target audience that suits your organization best. You cannot expect to deliver key messages successfully when they are delivered to the wrong audience groups.

Targeting doesn’t have to be complicated either. Listening and research tools are widely available, and they can help you gain more insights into the suitable target audience for your business. At the very least, you can start by identifying your target consumers and working your way to suitable audience segments from there.

More importantly, you can learn a lot about the audience using the same listening tools. More insights lead to a better understanding of the audience, and that leads to a better understanding of how to best shape your key messages and deliver them successfully.

Planning

Planning is the next challenge to tackle. The availability of digital marketing instruments leads to businesses using them incidentally rather than as part of a bigger campaign. If you find your messages or digital marketing execution to be inconsistent, this incidental approach to digital marketing is the reason.

Rather than focusing on one program at a time, build a longer narrative that ties multiple campaigns together. A longer narrative offers a handful of benefits that you cannot afford to miss in today’s competitive digital landscape.

For starters, a longer narrative gives the audience that sense of familiarity. You can expect them to follow your stories across multiple campaigns. A good story is also powerful in developing a closer, more personal relationship with the audience.

The only challenge left is making sure that the long narrative you use to represent your brand gets represented correctly – and in a consistent way – across multiple campaigns. That leads us to the next challenge to solve, which is….

Execution

When you have multiple campaigns or programs running at the same time, it is easy to lose track of your key messages. This is an issue faced by many businesses, small and large, when they start utilizing digital marketing instruments more extensively. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem as well.

Better project management is a must. More and more digital marketers use Agile methods to better organize campaigns and tasks associated with them. It is even easier to organize large, complex campaigns when you begin implementing Kanban as a way to manage tasks.

A Kanban board can be customized to suit your digital marketing needs. Kanbanize, one of the best tools on the market, lets you set up custom Kanban boards for individual campaigns. You can then use the standard Agile project management structure to maintain alignment and ensure smooth completion of tasks and campaigns.

The implementation of a Kanban board also brings an added benefit: the ability to monitor your campaigns visually. There is something about seeing tasks as cards that make organizing complex campaigns easier.

Monitoring

Digital marketing is never a one-time thing. You cannot expect to stick to a single strategy without closely monitoring the results of that strategy. Monitoring, in the end, becomes an inseparable part of every campaign you run. A failure to monitor digital marketing campaigns will result in your key messages being buried under a pile of noise.

Monitoring is how you learn about key metrics around your digital marketing activities. Do you want to know if your key messages reach the audience in its original form? Are you wondering if your ad spending goes to the right advertising networks? You need close monitoring of campaigns to answer these questions.

 One more important thing to keep in mind is that you cannot expect the campaigns you craft to work immediately. There will be times when you make mistakes or execute the wrong strategy; monitoring simply lets you identify those times and allow you to make corrections immediately.

You’ll start optimizing your campaigns without having to wait until the end of the cycle. That’s how you know you have implemented the Agile project management methods successfully. In fact, that’s how you know that you are on the right track of refining your digital marketing efforts.

So, are you ready to solve these digital marketing challenges? Use the tips and tricks we covered in this article to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.

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.