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8 Things Startups Overlook When They Expand Their Business

8 Things Startups Overlook When They Expand Their Business

In the 21st century, millennials have been more and more inspired to build their own startups. Entrepreneurship has become the cool and trendy topic of this age.

The problem, though, is that most startups fail within three years. So, why are so many startups failing? The truth is that most startups overlook a lot of things as they expand their business, which usually leads to their demise.

Here are eight things that most startups overlook when trying to expand and grow their business.

1. The Right Employees

There is nothing more important than the people on your team. Business is a team sport, after all. If you don’t have the right players on your team, you won’t be making it to the playoffs.

“One of the things I overlooked was how important it was to hire the right people. Several times, we kept people around too long that weren’t contributing to the business.

We were much happier when we got the right people on the bus and the wrong people off. It helps set a precedent for a good company culture.” – Marcin Kleczynski, founder and CEO of Malwarebytes.

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2. Market Research

Remember your parents telling you to do your homework? It was and still is good advice, especially in the business world.

If you dive in without doing your due diligence, you can lose a lot of money or maybe even all of it.

“If your business is not competitive in your home country, problems will be magnified in all other countries. Start by visiting local retailers and watch consumers. We continually improve by honing in on the local shopping preferences.” – Philip Rooke, CEO of Spreadshirt.

3. Company Culture

Employees are attracted to companies that have a culture. It is a way for them to identify whether they will be a good fit for the company.

The quality of culture will positively or negatively affect employee retention.

“The main thing that we didn’t want to overlook is our company culture as we grew. Our strategy to not overlook this very important matter was to implement an organizational structure, we call Entrepreneur-ocracy.

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It is a corporate structure with no managers and allow employees to make critical decisions because they are empowered to do so.

Instead of managers, we have weekly team meetings that are overseen by elected moderators. By allowing managerial duties to be divided among the team members, we are on pace to save $1+ million dollars in operational expenses this year.” -Jessica Mah, CEO of inDinero.

4. Hiring The Services of Appropriate Professionals

Sometimes, startup employees will try to save money by giving more of their time to do other things. However, there are certain matters that should be left to the professionals.

“The most important thing that we overlooked was to get people that were competent in doing what they do best, specifically a CPA. I wish we hadn’t tried to do it ourselves. All we ended up doing was wasting time.

It would have taken 20 minutes for a CPA to do it. Yet, it took us 4 hours and we still weren’t doing it correctly. My advice is to reach out and ask other entrepreneurs for recommendations”, says Kim Kaupe (Co-Founder of Zinepak).

5. Internal Communication

Nothing is more important than ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Miscommunication can cost the company a great loss of time and even millions of dollars.

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“We’ve been around since 2001 and still learning how to be a global institution. The one thing that we overlooked is keeping internal communication open, clear, and flowing.

With an international organization, there are time differences and it’s really easy for people to feel disconnected. I would suggest establishing a monthly meeting for everyone to connect.” – Herman Heller, CEO of Runbook International.

6. A Contingency Plan

Most of us have been told to have a backup plan. That advice is even more pertinent in business.

If you are an expanding company, you are very likely to run out of money. You will need a contingency financing plan so you’ll know what to do if things cost more or take longer than expected.

“Being in danger of running out of money can cause huge morale problems and a big increase in employee stress.” – Ray Rothrock, CEO of Red Seal.

7. Seasoned Leadership

Everybody can’t be Lebron James. However, it will help your business greatly to have such a person with those qualities.

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“A successful startup cannot overlook the importance of having experienced leaders. Leaders who have experienced the full trajectory of a startup’s lifecycle, from garage to public trading and beyond.

The seasoned leader can increase sales, anticipate common pitfalls, and establish the startup’s culture as it expands beyond its initial creators.” – Vick Vaishnavi, CEO of Yottaa.

8. Sharing The Wealth

In this age, hourly wages are not enough anymore. Unless you are paying them an above average wage, you are going to need to offer some other incentives to keep them loyal to your company.

“Simply hiring people at minimum wage won’t keep loyal employees. It is important to incentivize your employees, giving them ownership in the vision.

When we began expanding, we hired people who were overqualified and asked them to learn the business for $10 an hour. Our incentive was to give them the opportunity to become owner operators if they stayed loyal to us.

Now, those committed employees are also stakeholders of the company.” – Justin Wetherill, CEO of uBreakiFix.

Featured photo credit: Mac (by Financial Times) via imcreator.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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