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How To Think Like An Entrepreneur

How To Think Like An Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur sounds so exciting and tempting. No bosses anymore, no pressure from a job which is not satisfying you, and no limited pay check. Sounds like a pretty cool deal, huh? Entrepreneurial life is definitely really exciting. But 9-5 will almost immediately turn to 24/7. Your customers become your new bosses and the size of your paycheck will vary from month to month. If you persist, work hard enough and innovate, you can join the “club” of successful entrepreneurs. How can you make your journey easier? Start thinking like the world’s top entrepreneurs.

Surround yourself with successful people

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Do you want to be successful? Meet successful people and hang out with them. Create a small mastermind group. Learn from each other and share your ideas. Their support and positive example will motivate you to do more and make the right decisions.

Find your passion

Take a few minutes and think of what makes you feel great, what energizes you and what you cannot imagine life without. Write it down. Then think of which activities can make you money and reduce your list to that which you are passionate about and can make you money. Passion is your fuel. Your business will have its ups and downs, but passion will make you stay in the game. Plus, it can be contagious. Your vision and energy will motivate people in your team. Steve Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world.

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Brainstorm and create ideas

James Altucher suggests that you write down 10 creative ideas every day, so you will accumulate about 3500 ideas a year. Maybe 3-4 will work, but isn’t it worth it to do this small exercise every day? Look at Sir Richard Branson. He is an innovation machine. Virgin Records became successful brand, but he didn’t stop there. He decided to bring fresh air into the aviation industry, which was not in demand that time. The biggest businessmen of that time were running from the airline and aviation industry. Virgin Atlantic now has a stable position in industry and Branson’s Virgin Galactic is just about to expand the limits of human experience to outer space.

Make quick decisions

With entrepreneurship comes responsibility. You are the person who is making decisions. Over analyzing can cost you a lot of time and you can miss many opportunities. I am not saying that every decision is good and you shouldn’t ask more experienced people for advice. But when you have to make a decision, act quickly, but accordingly. Create more space for big decisions and reduce the small ones, which are not important. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, wears the same T-shirt every day, so he doesn’t expend time and energy on things which don’t matter.

Take risks

The road to success is not smooth and sometimes you need to take risks to gain more. But take the risks that might bring you much more than you invested. Bill Gates dropped out of school and started a business in a new industry. He had a vision that people will use computers for work and at home. His risk paid off and Microsoft now has a value of billions of dollars. Start by overcoming one little fear a day. You will gain self confidence and trust in yourself.

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Do not take failure too seriously

Everyone fails from time to time. But it shouldn’t stop you from trying. Donald Trump could, probably, talk about that for hours. The man, who is now worth approximately 4 billion dollars, came through bankruptcy, huge personal debt and a few ideas which were total failures. He is not the only millionaire or, better said, billionaire, who experienced failure like this. The problem is giving up. Learn from failures and quickly get up. Failure is just opportunity for new beginnings. Whenever you fail at something, imagine it happened to one of your closest friends. What would you suggest to them? This little exercise will help you to see the situation from a better perspective.

Think big and do not limit yourself

Jordan Belford is not the type of businessman people adore for his innovation and creativity. He didn’t make his business 100% legally, and he cheated many people to get to the top. But he was damn right when he said, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the BS story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” Believe in yourself and dream big. You can achieve anything you can think of. Start writing down your goals and dreams. The probability that you achieve them will be much higher.

Stay focused

Without focus you are wasting time on unnecessary activities and slowing yourself down. Because of this, maybe you never reach a goal you set. The best entrepreneurs are focused; they see where they want to be and they do everything to get there. Every morning when you wake up, write down your main focus for that day. This exercise will help you to finish your stuff. 

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Stop worrying what other people think

Unless they are your customers. When you achieve some sort of success, people around you change. You will see who really matters and who doesn’t. There will be a lot of them who do not believe in you and your vision. They might think it is too unrealistic or you succeeded just because you were lucky. Ignore it. Successful entrepreneurs just do not waste their energy on something as insignificant as other people negative thoughts.

Learn to trust

You might believe that you can do this and that job better than anyone else. Instead of watching someone failing, you take the wheel and do the job instead. This behavior is not very beneficial in business. Even though we could have a discussion about Steve Jobs and his managerial style, learn to trust people and delegate. It will pay off. Richard Branson is a role model when it goes to trust and delegation. 

Are you thinking like an entrepreneur? Whether you decide to be one or not, these ideas may help you to achieve more in any aspect of your life. Feel free to share in the comments your insights about entrepreneurial thinking. For more inspiration, read this great article 42 Quotes From Highly Successful Entrepreneurs That Will Inspire Greatness In You.

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Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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