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Don’t Start a Business if You Don’t Have these 7 Things

Don’t Start a Business if You Don’t Have these 7 Things

Startups emerge constantly, and many young entrepreneurs are encouraged to start their own business and invest a great deal of time and money into them. However, there are some things no one tells you at the beginning, and are related to your skillset and abilities. Let’s go through the most important traits and abilities you need to possess in order to successfully start your own business.

1. Grim determination and willingness to sacrifice

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    Starting a business isn’t easy, and the fact that many businesses and startups emerge constantly on the market, doesn’t mean you should rush into becoming a business owner. You might think you are determined enough and prepared to make sacrifices, but the question is will you feel the same way when problems start to occur.

    Problems will occur, and you’ll make mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, if you fall to pieces, then your business will fail as well. The most important thing is to learn to benefit from your mistakes, and stay motivated and determined no matter what happens.

    As a young entrepreneur, you belong to the millennials who are taking over the market. However, according to many studies conducted, millennials will face a lot of challenges in their career journey. When it comes to sacrifices, the hardest ones will be those related to private life and your family. Others are related to taking the right business opportunity, risking and making decisions, of which not so many will be the right ones.

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    2. A financial safety net

    As a business owner, you will need to make a lot of investments, but still make sure that you don’t suffer a huge loss that can lead your business to fail. If you aren’t familiar with bank systems and investments, consult with a professional, or several of them. If you consider their advice in the same matter, you will be able to make a good decision.

    Sometimes, whether you will profit or lose your money is a risk, which you need to take. However, at the beginning don’t make rash decisions and risky investments.

    3. Understanding of modern business technologies

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      Startups usually focus on technology helping them to be noticed on the market, which is the right move, but shouldn’t be the only one. You need to develop your professional profiles and gain followers.

      But, small businesses and startups need to focus on technology that will make their work hyper-productive by helping employees to work efficiently, and creating a great experience for the customers. There are many types of software made to improve CRM and track your goals, and you should definitely find the right one for you.

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      Depending on your business, go through different reviews to find great small business software and see if it suits your needs. Ask other business owners which they find the best, and why.

      4. People skills

      One of the most important must-have skills for every entrepreneur, and business owner are people skills. You need to have good verbal communication skills and you have to be friendly. These will help you make the great first impression that can land you a lot of good deals. Everyone will want to have a meeting with you, but the point is that they want to have a second meeting with you and work with you.

      Therefore, if you don’t have much experience working with people, call your friends and start practicing. Also, you can apply for different job interviews, even if you don’t want to work there to practice introducing yourself, and don’t be nervous when it comes to your meetings.

      5. A talent for haggling and problem solving

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        Problem solving is most important for business owners, as you will face many problems, and you shouldn’t point out all the problems, but try to find a solution to them. Don’t focus on the problem, but on finding the solution. Many people fail, because they don’t know how to deal with problems, and just become discouraged. If you are one of them, you might want to consult with someone who faced many problems and how they solved them.

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        Also, haggling is one of the things you will need to perfect. You might not love it, but it’s the key to getting some things at a reasonable price, as you are new on the market. For this one, you will also need people skills, and some help from people who are doing it for some period of time.

        Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, because it’s better to see their mistakes and successes in order to learn how to perform certain task.

        6. An idea that has something truly unique

        Your business and your idea must be different from others, and it’s up to you to find something original. You aren’t the only company that does offers certain products or services, and because of that you need to come up with a unique approach. Your customers need to know why they are choosing you, so you need to have a truly unique idea.

        If you don’t know how to make yourself differ, do a good research on different companies, and see how they made themselves unique. This way, you’ll certainly get a grasp of it.

        7. Great attention to detail

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          The whole business deal and project can fail because one small mistake. In the business world, it is something that shows your true value. Don’t let your talents go unnoticed or even decrease your value as a professional because of one small error. Also, it may happen that small detail ruins your whole effort in developing your business. Therefore, make sure you have your eye on every little detail and not make small errors.

          Starting a business is a risk you have to take, but also you can make sure you don’t fail after few months. Before you start your business, make a good business plan, consult with different business owners and work on yourself in order to create a successful business.

          Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gato-gato-gato/ via flickr.com

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          Ivan Dimitrijevic

          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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          Last Updated on December 5, 2018

          How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

          How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

          Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

          We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

          How do they do it?

          By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

          1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

          There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

          If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

          2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

          Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

          According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

          Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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          3. Demand Learning from Your Team

          CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

          “The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

          His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

          Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

          “We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

          Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

          4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

          Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

          Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

          • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
          • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
          • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
          • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
          • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
          • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

          5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

          Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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          Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

          • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
          • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
          • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
          • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
          • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

            “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

          Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

          6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

          The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

          Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

          You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

          7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

          Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

          But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

          On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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          • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
          • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
          • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
          • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

          8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

          Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

          When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

          9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

          The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

          What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

          Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

          10. Empower Your Employees

          Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

          They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

          Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

          You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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          If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

          11. Nurture Your Company Culture

          Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

          Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

          However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

          Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

          Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

          Be a Leader, Not a Boss

          Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

          However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

          In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

          Reference

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