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18 Must-Read Books For All Entrepreneurs

Learning, entertaining and breaking out of everyday life for a short moment. One could go even so far as to say reading is the second most beautiful thing in the world! Whether it is non-fiction or a novel of all the world’s man has created, the book is the most powerful tool.

Here are 18 books to look out for:

Read Also: 12 Critical Ways Of Creating A Solid Brand Image For Your Startup

1. Prediction Machines — Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

The book “Prediction Machines” helps to classify the development of artificial intelligence and deal constructively with uncertainty about changes. The book first appeared in October and highlights the changes that AI inevitably brings with it. The three renowned economists give an overview of the possibilities of AI and deal with economic issues related to this technology. This book offers some illustrative examples of use.

2. Growth Hacking with Strategy — Hendrik Lennarz

The book by Hendrik Lennarz provides numerous tips and practical examples for the successful introduction of a growth hacking strategy for companies. The spectrum ranges from organization through product development to marketing and customer loyalty. The growth-hacking-readiness checklist is particularly useful here. In my view, the book is a must for anyone looking to maximize user growth.

3. 7 Ways to Effectiveness — Stephen R. Covey

A classic among the business advisers, which appeared in 1989, but has since lost none of its topicality. Covey describes the habits of successful individuals and derives universal principles from them. They help me both in my professional and personal life and are reflected in the successful development of extremely strong teams.

4. Digital Offroad — Ulf Bosch, Stefan Hentschel, Steffen Kramer

“Digital Offroad” shows that digitization should not be considered one-dimensional. It touches just every area of a company and must, therefore, be understood as a holistic challenge and an opportunity. The authors argue that digitization has an impact on a variety of factors, including corporate culture. Provocative thesis that reveal important questions, as well as best practices, make “Digital Offroad” an absolute must-read for me.

5. The Startup Code — Johannes Ellenberg

In seven chapters, the book sums up clearly and pragmatically what middle-sized companies can and must learn from startups. It clearly represents startups and why they are better prepared for the future. Johannes Ellenberg, who helped set up the startup scene in Stuttgart, explains how companies have to change their course and adapt to changing market conditions in order to remain sustainable. A new mindset is postulated: cooperation instead of competition!

6. From Zero to One — Peter Thiel

“From Zero to One” is full of unconventional perspectives on starting a business. The basic idea of the Silicon Valley veteran Peter Thiel is to build something fundamentally new — a monopoly. He explains what has to happen to ensure long-term success and how to protect this monopoly from imitators. From the book, I was able to draw many valuable ideas for our own startup — a real must-read for anyone who wants to start their own business!

7. The Platform Revolution — Geoffrey Parker, Marshall van Alstyne, Sangeet Choudary

Although the book was published in 2016, the content is more relevant than ever. The authors clarify all important questions about the development of a successful platform business model and the concepts can be applied to both B2B and B2C. The examples are very practice-oriented and the analysis of how established companies can adapt to new requirements in the market is sound. Whether founder of a startup or established player in a changing market, this book is a must for everyone!

8. Artificial Intelligence — Peter Buxmann, Holger Schmidt

Holger Schmidt is an economist and journalist on platform economics and has even developed a stock index exclusively for listed companies with platform business models. In his new title, he and some colleagues are scientifically dedicated to artificial intelligence and its impact on the economy and society. The book deals with many myths and provides exciting facts and case studies. The book is very inspiring for me.

9. Fast thinking, slow thinking — Daniel Kahneman

It helps to reflect on how decisions and assessments – which you as a founder and entrepreneur must constantly make — actually come about and this often does not go as rationally as you would wish. Admittedly, it takes some time to read — definitely not easy reading — but it is worth it.

10. Founder to CEO — Matt Mochary

It covers the most important start-up and growth topics: competencies and motivation in the team, knowledge transfer and productivity, cash flow, finances and scaling — all in all, the perfect sweeping blow. Founders who are CEOs for the first time will find guidelines and answers for challenges. Long-time CEOs can use the guide to reassess their own and the company’s performance.

11. Rethinking Agility— Klaus Leopold

The book “Agile Rethinking” by Klaus Leopold is my book highlight for 2019. Just 136 pages of concentrated knowledge with precise illustrations of why agile teams alone are not enough if you want to re-think the entire company and be agile. A case study, which shows all the problems and the appropriate solutions in the practical example. My clear recommendation for every leadership team at C-level — from 50 employees to a global corporation.

12. The Startup Way — Eric Ries

Eric Ries is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who helps large and small organizations with transformation processes. He helps them to focus on their customers and their requirements with little capital and lean processes in order to bring the right products to the market. Based on his experience of the past twenty years, Ries has developed a system of corporate governance that leads to stable growth and sustainable effect.

13. Homo Deus — Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari describes in his bestseller how people have striven to challenge the status quo from the very beginning. At the same time, he explores the question of what a world in which man has become “homo deus” through technological progress looks like. A must-read for the entire tech industry, which deals with future topics and looks for the appropriate modus operandi. Harari points out the potential of innovation and warns to think about developments from the potential end.

14. The Design Thinking Playbook — Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, Larry Leifer

Design thinking is a great approach that defines customer needs and practical use cases for these needs for constant innovation. Too many companies are still pursuing an “inside out” approach, focusing on internal skills and innovation plans in the development of new services and products. The book provides a playful approach to the methods and tools used. It also provides sufficiently detailed and clear explanations for those who want to get directly involved in the practical application of design thinking.

15. Smart Business – Alibaba’s Strategy Secret — Ming Zeng

Alibaba looks at some digital transformations we are about to face and which an almost unbelievable success is the group’s platforms attract more users than the US, and earn higher margins than Amazon. Alibaba’s chief strategy officer Ming Zeng, who is also a former professor, discusses the guidelines for the world of artificial intelligence. Spoiler: human creativity and innovative ability are essential.

16. Hard Things about Hard Things — Ben Horowitz

The book gives an open and realistic view of entrepreneurship, with all difficulties. Through the own experiences of the author and Silicon Valley investor Ben Horowitz, the tips and advice are very practical and have a real added value for the reader. After reading, you are prepared for the next lows as an entrepreneur. Many books and guides ignore the negative aspects of founding. That is not the case here. A real recommendation for every entrepreneur!

17. Digital Vortex — Michael Wade, James Macauly, Jeff Loucks

A vortex described in fluid mechanics is a mathematically not precisely formable circular flow, which sucks things with increasing speed into their center. Metaphorically transferred to organizations, they whirl chaotically along the flow, collide, merge or dissolve completely. They head for the center of the movement — a digital revolution. For entrepreneurs, the question of what role they play with their company in the wake of digitization is decisive. Therefore, the question of what incumbents should know as they move in the digital vortex is at the heart of the book.

18. Measure What Matters — John Doerr

My must-read for 2019: “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. He describes how goals and responsibilities can be defined and controlled by means of objectives and key results. In particular, the case studies and knowledge resources in the book help to understand the approach and to find starting points for the implementation in their own environment. In summary, a very practice-oriented book that shows possibilities for direct involvement.

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12 Critical Ways Of Creating A Solid Brand Image For Your Startup

Brand reputation drives the success of businesses, irrespective of what industry you are in. When you’re just starting out, your brand reputation is a blank slate. There is no negative yelp reviews, no social media meltdown, or inactive website traffic. But all this will change quickly. When you get positive customer reviews from the start, it becomes harder for negative reviews to weigh down the average star rating. 

Your primary target should be to build brand reputation and positive associations. Here are 12 things you need to think about:

Read More: Success Tips: 5 Ways Of Building Success

1. What Do You Want to be Best Known For?

What does your business stand for? What kind of a brand do you want to build? Give yourself the time to consider how you want to be perceived and what it is that you want to be known for. When you are clear on how you prefer people to see you, it will direct your business decisions.

2. Start With Your Website

If you’re looking for your customers to find you, your site should rank high in the search engine results. Poor online ranking can be a death warrant for your brand. Regularly add content to your website and collaborate with reputed sites. Make good use of tags and SEO keywords to give you the best visibility to the right search terms.

3. Have a Social Media Presence

You may not use all social media platforms, but it’s always a good idea to secure your company name on all the platforms and even purchase related domains if necessary. Keep your pages fresh and updated, and use your content to interact with customers besides cultivating brand awareness. This will not just help you build a reputation quickly but will also allow you to monitor how your audience responds to your brand.

4. Blogging

Blogging is another excellent platform for you to control the information and messages you put out there about your business. Actively use your blog to share new information and updates about your business. Encourage your readers to make use of the comment section and actively interact with them.

5. Stay Responsive

Whether it’s on social media, email or the comment section on your blog, make sure to respond at the right time and with diligence. Interacting with customers through social media platforms or on the web is just another form of customer care, albeit better. Use this medium to connect with your customers on a personal level.

6. Tempted to Purchase Reviews?

Let’s be real, even Donald Trump has millions of fake followers on twitter. By starting early, it will give you a strong online presence that won’t be affected by a few negative reviews every once in a while, and you won’t have to buy fake reviews. From Presidential candidates to reputed Healthcare marketing campaigns, they have all shown that social media presence is not something you can afford to leave to chance.

7. Take An  Early Step

If you want to build a positive online presence, it is important to control your brand reputation early on. As a new business, you start with a blank slate. Take advantage of that and focus on cultivating a strategy for brand reputation management that will set you up for some massive success.

8. Build trust

Great brands succeed because a) they offer quality, and b) customers trust them. The quality you deliver, the messages you send out, and your customer care, all affect the trust that your customers have towards you. Transparency is another way to win over your customers’ trust. Your customers will respect you for being honest and open even when you have made a mistake.

9. Focus On Proactive PR

Simply sending out a Press Release whenever you have a big announcement to make will not take you very far. Find ways to join the larger industry conversations even when you don’t have any company news to share. By actively recognizing PR opportunities, it will continually put you under the spotlight.

10. Have an SEO and SERP strategy

There is no denying your search result performance has a massive impact on your business and its bottom line. SEO also plays a significant role in building a strong brand reputation for your business and overshadow any negative results. It doesn’t stop there. You have to continuously work on your SERP so that when someone searches for your Company, it is your content that they find first.

11. Know How to Handle Criticism

Don’t shy away from negative comments or criticism online. Negative feedback will make your business stronger and hence, more successful. If people are slamming you online, find a way to address them appropriately and quickly. Paying no attention to it will not make it go away. When you respond professionally and promptly, you are nipping the issue at the bud and saving your Company from a potential mess.

12. Accept That It’s Never-ending

Brand reputation management isn’t just for startups. You may have an excellent reputation today, but it could all go away in the blink of an eye (no kidding). Search engine results and algorithms, customers’ expectations and opinions are continually changing on a daily basis. If you want to maintain your positive brand reputation, you will have to keep working at it always.

 

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Success Tips: 5 Ways Of Building Success

Building success is a painful process of hard work and other critical factors that segue into a worthwhile experience.

What do people want when they talk about being successful? Some of us might want things such as a yacht, private island, or a jet. Others want to feel like they belong and have great relationships with their family and loved ones.

We end up wanting things without knowing exactly why. We end up creating images in our heads of what it would be like to own these things, to have these relationships, to live these lives, but we casually ignore the negative things that are bound to challenge us along the way.

Even if we end up building these lives for ourselves, we forget that all life comes with suffering, and anyone who experiences great success will also have moments of frustration and perceived failure.

Here are five ways of building that success.

1. Build a firmer foundation on values 

Just as you wouldn’t build a skyscraper before excavating deeply underground the construction site and setting the foundation, you wouldn’t start to develop the foundation for a successful life without first understanding where you come from and what drives you. Dig deep to understand what core truths truly motivate you and what you really care about before you start building yourself up. A career built on a shaky foundation will never stand the test of time.

2. Have a good network 

The Pando is a tree colony on the border between Colorado and Utah. What makes the Pando unique is that it is thought to be one contiguous organism, with a combined underground root network covering over 100 acres. The Pando is thought to be the world’s heaviest living organism, and one of the oldest at over 80,000 years old.

Consider what the journey towards success would be without a strong network. Without security and a strong foundation, you won’t be able to weather the storm when inevitable challenges come your way on the path to great success. In order to be truly successful, you must also be willing to share your victories and your defeats with others.

This isn’t about finding fair weather friends who are happy for you when you have a great accomplishment and disappear in times of trouble. You need to build this strong network and ecosystem which will support you in times of need and through times of plenty.

3. Have a strong mentality and mindset

Take responsibility for the habits you choose to strengthen and cultivate, and be ruthless with the habits you choose to cut out. The Basal Ganglia is the part of the brain responsible for the development of habits, while the Prefrontal Cortex is the part of the brain responsible for complex decision making and thought processes.

The Basal Ganglia is effectively the less developed, most basic part of the brain. This “monkey mind” must be strengthened by building strong habits if you want to teach your subconscious to focus on the right things at the right times.

4. Do not settle for less

As the saying goes, “shoot for the moon, so you’ll land among the stars.” I honestly hate this saying, as I think it is incredibly corny, but it illustrates the point well. If you aim for a big goal, you will be more likely to reach some level of success and acclaim no matter what happens.

What the saying misses is the amount of planning and preparation that goes into “shooting for the moon”. When John F Kennedy announced his plan to land a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s, he set the United States on a road to investing more on a single project than at any other time in human history.

The combined efforts and finances of the most powerful nation on earth all went into making sure the mission would be a success, and as a result humanity came together to accomplish something magnificent.

So, when you’re aiming for something big, don’t half ass it, make a bold announcement, loop in your supporters, and try to change the world. Sometimes when you aim big, you’ll be surprised by who jumps in to lend a hand.

5. Find joy in what you do

One of the most important factors that defines true success is the ability to do something on a regular basis that brings you joy. While your job won’t always be interesting, and all things done with regularity become monotonous, you should strive to find what makes your heart sing about the work you do and the world in which you live.

Only if you are able to tap into what makes your heart truly sing will you be able to call yourself a success in your daily life. Don’t ask yourself what you love about your job, or even what made you first get interested in your line of work. Instead, ask yourself, what about your current role makes your heart sing.

If you don’t know how to answer that question, perhaps you should go back to step one and start excavating your foundation.

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6 Sure Ways To Stay Motivated As A Marketer

Marketers are one of the critical individuals that propel the growth of a company. However, your work as a marketer is not cast in stone. A day may go so well that you may think a bad day will never arrive. That is why you need to be motivated beyond all uncertainties to keep moving and becoming successful. 

Here are 6 surest ways to keep your motivation from dying as a marketer.

Read More: Making Money: Great Lessons To Be Learnt From The Life Of Some World Billionaires

1. Create a calendar to see what lies ahead

It is only reasonable that marketers are going to feel anticipation and anxious at the thought of the hurdles that they might have to face in 2019. Therefore, the first step to motivation is to create a marketing schedule that can spread out all the trends that they can expect in 2019 evenly throughout the year. Once they have an understanding of the trends of the year, they can immediately start working on their strategies to make the most of the New Year.

The list can help you get excited about what’s coming down the road. They can start to think about the kind of technology and processes that can help them succeed this year. They can also evaluate what went wrong in the last year, learn from the mistakes and come up with a foolproof plan. The calendar can state out the Do’s and Don’ts for the year.

2. Freedom in experimentation and implementation

Marketing is all about experimenting and no one really knows what will work and what won’t. And the only way to hit the right note is to implement as much as possible. Marketers need the freedom to experiment their way through different types of campaigns. It is through the ability to experiment, that they are likely to find success. Trying out new tactics can keep things interesting.

Marketing is all about creativity and innovation. Every marketer is a creative communicator at heart and therefore having the freedom to try out things according to their taste can keep their chin up. This way even if they fail once, they will have the enthusiasm to pick themselves up and make another attempt.

3. Measure success and improvement

Unless you get an idea of how your tactic is working, you will not make the necessary changes. When a marketer sees that one of his/her designed campaigns is yielding the desired results, he or she will get a reason to work harder. Marketers will give their best only when they get constant iteration.

Tracking the progress and being able to understand the overall impact on business success will help them utilize their passion. This way, they can create a business strategy that has great market potential. Moreover, measuring data to track progress will help them understand how close they are to their goals.

4. Focus on the previous clients

Right at the start of the year, your business is bound to be slow, and it can take a month or two for things to fall in place. Instead of trying to bring in new clients, target your existing customers to build a stronger relationship with them.

Marketers can even try and push new products to the existing clientele and reconnect with the ones who have been inactive for a while. This will help them understand the customer’s psyche and increase the rate of customer satisfaction

5. Freedom to choose the work environment

Right after the yuletide, it is normal to miss the holiday season and work in the sluggish winter months. The sheer task of getting yourself up from bed in the frosty morning and dragging yourself to the office can be quite challenging.

When marketers enjoy the freedom to work from home, they feel more comfortable which in turn increases their efficiency. With the prerogative to choose their shift timings and work whenever and wherever, they are at their productive best. Providing them with the freedom to choose their work environment can bring about significant improvement in their performance.

6. Take a pause

Marketing comes with its share of rejection and failure, so you must have the attitude to accept it. Even when your marketing assumption goes wrong, you must see the bigger picture. Even through failure, you can learn something that may get you closer to the goal. Since marketing keeps on evolving, you get to explore and learn new channels and tools.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail. Take a break to determine what you want to do, and realize that everything you do cannot go right all the time. What is most important is that you remember to enjoy the things that you do.

It is imperative to keep marketers motivated because it is their productivity that can drive a company to the zenith of success. A motivated marketer can work harder and be more creative with their ideas. In the end, remember that as a marketer you must be true to what you do and work ethically! Have the patience to see your dreams come out in tangible results.

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Making Money: Great Lessons To Be Learnt From The Life Of Some World Billionaires

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of any of the billionaires? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury.

However, there are a handful of people who have chosen to walk the simpler path rather than flaunt their stature. It is quite remarkable how these powerful people chose to be meek in their different ways.

Let us take a look at how these billionaires have exhibited that being on the Forbes List doesn’t automatically come with a lavish lifestyle.

Empowering others

Humility is also expressed by acknowledging your beginnings and being able to give back. These noteworthy people put “paying it forward” to a whole new level. Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Limited, is a symbol of austerity.

He is described as a scrooge by some executives with reports of him monitoring toilet paper consumption to save corporate money. However, his 8 billion dollar personal contribution to charity tells us, “he’s no scrooge, he’s Santa.”? These wealthy personas seemed unaffected by their elite status.

Latvian-born self-made billionaire James Richman maintains a low-profile despite making a name and fortune growing generational wealth for himself and people close to the private fund. People close to him know him as someone who understands what it’s like to be on the other end of the spectrum as he does not fail to lend a helping hand to people who need his help.

On one occasion, he reportedly bought an entire parcel of land for a group of farmers who have been tolling the land they live in a remote area in the Philippines. After learning that the group has been working on the farm for decades as he wanted them to feel appreciated and give them a fair chance and continue their work on the land which they ultimately worked hard for and eventually owned.

Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of DFS group, donated 99 percent of his fortune to various charities leaving him with 2 million dollars. His “giving while living” mantra, made it possible for him to do this in anonymity and live a simple life in San Francisco.

Keeping low profiles 

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has stayed true to himself despite his increasing monetary value. People close to Hsieh describe him as someone who would be with a dollar in the bank, and being around with people he cares about and cares for him.

Amancio Ortega, fashion retailer tycoon, remains a picture of simplicity despite his 61 billion dollar net worth. He wears the same three piece suit almost everyday, and comfortably eats with fellow employees at the company cafeteria every afternoon.

Maintaining frugal habits

Why would someone choose to buy something cheaper, if he could afford something more expensive or perhaps better? These types of people are driven by their priorities.

David Cheriton, with a $1.3 billion net worth, openly disagrees with lavish spending. His recent purchase of a 2012 Honda Odyssey is testament to that.

Similarly, Warren Buffett, CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, still drives himself to work daily in his gold Cadillac. He routinely picks up his breakfast at McDonald’s, a choice from his three favorites, the most expensive of which is $3.17.

While Christy Walton, widow of Walmart heir John T. Walton, with a net worth of 7.3 billion dollars, chose to raise his son in National City, California. She did so to provide her children with a normal life, and being primarily a blue-collar population, National City helped that cause.

Not blinded by money 

From time immemorial, money has always been the instrument of power. As such, people tend to be blinded, fall in love and be obsessed by it. These humble billionaires, through example, has shown that man makes money, and not the other way around.

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5 Must-Know Before Transitioning From A Side-Hustle To Full-Time Entrepreneurial Adventure

If you are thinking of moving your side-hustle from a pass time experience to a full-time adventure, there are some critical steps that must be taken.

1. Do You Have Repeat Customers?

Initially, after you go full-time, you will have to rely on repeat customers to fuel your business. Repeat customers are what help to maintain the vitality of your business from year to year; not the one-time users. Is your product or service on the tip of people’s mouths? Will they want to (and are they able to) utilize your business again and again? Review sales from past customers to determine how many repeat customers you have from month-to-month.

If you don’t have repeat customers often, work to assess the scale of your business. Can you acquire the interest of a new group or subgroup of customers? Can your business increase its exposure on social media sites, such as Instagram? Create more buzz about your products to drive attention to the business to increase your customer size before transitioning full time.

2. Do You Have a Focus Before Your Transition?

If you had more time to work on your business, would that automatically equate to you selling more of your product? Transitioning to full-time status with your business usually doesn’t mean you are going to make a million dollars within the next 6-9 months. What it should mean is you took the time before you became a full-time business owner, to assess what impact it would have on your business.

It’s not enough to be able to “work on your business more,” once you quit working at XYZ Corporation. Is your focus on doing more research, heavier marketing, offering a better quality product? Don’t just start working on something you couldn’t because you were juggling between two jobs. Use your time wisely before the move to assess what key issues need to be addressed as soon as you leave.

3. Do You Truly Have a Passion to Develop This Side Hustle Into a Full-time Business?

Do you have a passion for talking about your product or service for hours at a time? Marketing your services or goods digitally is great however, the offline talks you have with potential clients about the urgency they need to have with obtaining your product, needs to be a constant additive to your weekly routine. Initially, you are most likely the only representative of your brand. If you can’t sell yourself day in and day out to people outside of your friends or circle, you won’t be able to sell your brand.

4. Will Sales From My Side Hustle Be Able to Equip Me With Paying for My Expenses?

If your product or service is too unique that a substantial number of people would not benefit from it and/or very expensive, your hustle may be unable to handle the terrain of a full-time business launch or taking care of paying your electric bill each month.

Calculate how much money you will need to handle living expenses for a month (which should also include the cost of health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and your 501k), plus current business expenses. Use the total from these two figures to determine how much you will need to sell to keep your business afloat (or break-even).

5. Are You a Doer?

Once you head into full-time entrepreneur mode, there is no human resources department, supervisor doing performance reviews, or team meetings to strategize how to remedy certain business issues.You will need to do the work, follow up with clients, discover new customers, promote your business, research and attend additional training programs, seek out key players to help your business succeed, etc.

For the business to thrive, you must be willing to do and do so with finesse, Monday through Sunday. Before you leave any well-paying full-time job, I highly suggest you assess your will and desire “to do” (regardless of the fact you will reap the benefits of doing); which will without a doubt impact how long you will be in business and how successful your business will be during that time.

Stepping into the unknown and transitioning any side hustle into a full-time business will always be a risky decision. To lessen the plunge into uncharted territory, one should always merge their fears with a well thought out strategy. By determining before the transition whether your business model is capable of providing an adequate need to consumers on a recurring basis, in addition to solely supporting you on a financial basis, you’ll be better prepared for those first six to twelve months of full-time entrepreneurship.

Lastly, you must gauge how well your personality will mesh with the passion, grit, and sense of urgency needed to cultivate and manage a successful business, from year-to-year.

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7 Ways To Maintain Your Financial Health As An Entrepreneur

Do you know why most enterprises or businesses fold up within a short period of operation? Your guess may be as good as mine. Maintaining a positive financial health is the backbone of every venture. Therefore look out for these steps and inculcate it into your entrepreneurial mindset for success.

1. Track Your Performance

This is the main rule of any financial strategy – to know the real price of each of your actions and evaluate it in terms of business profitability. And for this, you will have to work with real numbers, track financial indicators, analyze, and create interim reports.

READ MORE: 5 Negotiation Skills Of Successful Entrepreneurs

For example, if you’re the owner of the site participating in an affiliate program, you must accurately understand the cost of each lead attracted to your site and correlate this value with the commission that you receive from the sale. If you launch a contest on Instagram, you must first predict the desired results and understand the cost of each new subscriber from the perspective of the total cost of the prize that you promised them.

2. Optimize and Automate

This is the best way to reduce costs and allocate free money for your development. Modern technologies make it possible for a business to achieve maximum efficiency simply by automating businesses and optimizing labor. Of course, the practical steps will depend on your type of business.

Some examples include transitioning to a remote form of work allowing you to eliminate the need to pay for office rent. Another example is to automate your marketing efforts to save the marketer from routine tasks.

3. Keep Different Accounts for Personal and Business Finances

The best way to create a complete mess in your finances is to not separate personal expenses from business payments. Have you heard of the rule that the owner of a business gets his salary last?

For a business to stand the test of time, it is first necessary to pay for the work of employees, make payments on all debts, pay off suppliers, set aside a little non-combustible fund, invest in development, and only then dispose of the remaining money at your own discretion.

4. Pay Your Obligations on Time

If you want your company to be financially stable, it is important to avoid debts. This applies to all types of payments you need to make within a month. Above, we already listed the main items of expenditure, but the essence of this rule is that by paying everything on time, you will increase the value and profitability of your business. Employees will be loyal to you because they can be sure of tomorrow, suppliers will want to work with you, and loan interests will not grow exponentially.

5. Take Care of Your Employees

Your employees are the main driving force of your business, so they should feel valued. You need to maintain their loyal attitude, because they not only help your company remain financially stable, but also take it to a new level.

Motivated, involved, and confident ​​employees can help you take your business to new heights. As for how to make them such people, just ask a direct question, and they themselves will tell you what they lack in the workplace.

6. Build a Contingency Fund

Of course, clear financial strategies are good, but no one has immunity against sudden changes in your niche. If you use the capabilities of big data and analyze trends, you will be able to see alarm signs before others and have time to adapt. It is crucial to have a contingency fund that will give you the ability to stay afloat until you fully adapt to the changes.

7. The Best Way to Spend Is to Invest

If we are just talking about maintaining a business at a certain level of profitability, then in principle, it will be enough to use all of the above tips. But if you want your business to move from leaps to bounds, it is necessary to invest in its development. And these investments must be comprehensive.

The best areas to invest in business development are investments in technology, product improvements, and investments in employee education and customer service. Determine for yourself the key areas for business development and you will immediately understand which area requires the most immediate investment.

It is necessary to invest before you take part of the earned money into your pocket. If you don’t, your company could stay stagnant. Additionally, your competitors will not be embarrassed to take advantage of this and derive additional benefits for themselves.

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5 Negotiation Skills Of Successful Entrepreneurs

There are so many things or factors that define successful entrepreneurs or business owners. Key amongst them is their negotiation skills  and how they are able to go the table with a mentality to make the best deals and to compromise when necessary.

These are how successful entrepreneurs put to use their negotiation skills.

Read More: How To Kill Stress As An Entrepreneur

1. They come prepared

Successful entrepreneurs rely on solid preparatory work they conduct before coming to the negotiation. The preparation involves thorough research of the parties involved, check into their background and history, how they run their business and also connecting with their current or former business partners to know their area of expertise. The idea is to know your counter parties well enough, so you are able to nurture your strengths while targeting their weaknesses at the negotiation table.

As a buyer, you must know every detail of the products and services you are interested in buying, playing with the psychology of your seller through anticipating their moves and being certain about your wants in order to show up as a strong negotiator. Moreover, as a seller, you must have an empowering position at the table to strike the deal of your choice.

2. They keep their ego and emotions aside

Business negotiations are challenging because it is a tug of war between the diverging needs and wants of various parties – but, successful entrepreneurs with their prep work, have the assurance and confidence of how to go about intense haggling. Intense situations elicit emotions and embark on one’s ego easily hence, it is always advised to leave them both at the door while objectively targeting a neutral standpoint while getting what you need and subsequently, not losing too much. Letting your emotions and ego run the show will bring about negative consequences, and make you lose more than you gain. For a successful path forward, negotiate with a poker face.

3. They always take charge of situations 

Successful entrepreneurs know how to play their game. They always rehearse a scenario before actually jumping in and beating the opposing players. Going through the possibilities and opportunities beforehand brings confidence and assurance on your goals.

It also helps you focus more on your opponent’s moves and makes you less attached to the outcome. Hence, it is always recommended that you role-play a negotiation deal with your friend or colleague with your preparatory work. Remember, the more you practice, the better you get at the game.

4. They know their exit points

Negotiation is a mindset. A successful entrepreneur never makes any contract a “big deal”, rather he relies on his knowledge, goals and areas of interests to make decisions. He remains focused on his motives, thus setting aside his ego and emotions which later aids/helps him in steering through with strength and maintaining a dominating position at the negotiation table.

Coming prepared and knowing your objective, helps you determine when to walk away and not to force the deal on yourself just to get stuck on the opportunity at hand. Staying too biased on your objectives is also not considered ideal. Your neutrality is the key component here.

5. They strive for a win-win solution

Successful entrepreneurs are not too self-centered, they keep in touch with the opposing party’s priorities the same way they value theirs. Keeping in consideration your own position, try to satisfy your counter party’s interests while remaining intact with your conceding offers. Have thorough knowledge of your limitations, what you can easily give away and how to strike a deal benefiting each other.

Professional negotiators know how to effectively satisfy the other party making them believe that they got the best offer even when they didn’t. It helps bring contentment at the final hand-shake, leading to successful prospects of business dealings in the long-run.

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