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6 Difficulties Faced By Entrepreneurs And Ways To Overcome Them

6 Difficulties Faced By Entrepreneurs And Ways To Overcome Them

All entrepreneurs have certain things in common. These extend to their personality traits, their attitudes and most importantly: to the problems they have to solve. Here are eight difficulties facing most entrepreneurs, and advice on how to handle them based on facts and statistics from the 2015 Infusionsoft Small Business Market Research Sales & Marketing Report.

1. Managing a website

It’s hard to think of a business that wouldn’t benefit in some form from having its own website. But for them to benefit, entrepreneurs have to put some amount of time and effort into creating and updating those websites. The business of entrepreneurs won’t gain any traction if the site isn’t built on a solid foundation and if they don’t regularly add new content to keep readers coming back – that’s why it’s so disappointing that only 38% of businesses have a site that receives regular updates. For entrepreneurs to succeed they should always be in that 38%. Best practice is to get people who understand web design to build your site and to find writers who can make your site more than just a promotional vehicle.

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2. Marketing their business online.

Entrepreneurs need to know the best resources for marketing their product or service. Major ways to promote a company include compiling email lists, creating original content, engaging in search engine optimization (SEO) practices and understanding pay-per-click advertising. Perhaps most importantly in regards to social media however, is…

3. Effectively utilizing social media

Social media for your business is as expensive (or inexpensive) as you want it to be, which is why it’s used by 71% of businesses that have websites. Entrepreneurs can benefit from a large budget for social media but real success comes from quality and consistent content on a variety of platforms. It’s important to know specifically which social media services will benefit your business. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the Big Three (Facebook specifically is used by 76% of companies with websites) but it can pay dividends to research your industry and discover what will generate the most leads.

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4. Overcoming small marketing and PR budgets

It’s hard to afford someone who will work full time on marketing and public relations if your business is still small. A scant 24% of companies can afford to spend even $1,000/month on it. Part of the way to overcome that small budget is to use affordable services like the ones mentioned above (especially email lists, SEO and social media), but another trick is hiring employees who can wear multiple hats. When you can’t afford to bring on someone new to market your company, you better have someone on staff who can do it well – if not exceptionally.

5. Leaving customers satisfied.

As important as marketing is, an impressive 62% of business comes from making existing customers happy. Provide great customer service and a great product so that buyers will refer their friends to your business. Entrepreneurs struggle so much to get people in the door that sometimes they forget to focus on the experience when they come in. As much as marketing matters, the number one priority should be on perfecting the buying experience and the thing being bought; so that customers come back and tell their friends to stop in too.

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6. Budgeting time

Time is one of the least available resources for entrepreneurs, with 55% of entrepreneurs agreeing that there’s not enough of it to do everything they need to get done daily. To overcome this, learn what tasks you can afford to delegate to other people on your staff. Do this by thinking hard about what needs your personality behind the work, and what’s mundane enough that the person behind the curtain isn’t significant. With that kind of consideration – and by heeding the other advice in this article – managing a business doesn’t become easy (it’s never easy, nor should it be) but it becomes doable.

Featured photo credit: Fabrice Grinda, Internet Entrepreneur, angel investor,Co-CEO, OLX @ LeWeb 11 Les Docks-9127/OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 22, 2019

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

A cover letter is an introduction to what will be found in the resume. In a cover letter, the applicant is able to use a conversational tone, to explain why the attached resume is worth reviewing, why the applicant is qualified, and to express that it’s the best application the reader will see for the open position.

Employers do read your cover letter, so consider the cover letter an elevator pitch. The cover letter is the overview of your professional experience. The information in the body presents the key qualifications, the things that matter. The cover letter is the “here is what will be found in my presentation”, which is the resume in this case.

Something really important to point out- a cover letter should be written from scratch each time. Great cover letters are the ones that express why the applicant is the best for the specific job being applied to. Using a general cover letter will not lead to great results.

This doesn’t mean that your cover letter should repeat your most valuable qualifications, it just means that you don’t want to recycle a templated, general letter, not specific to the position being applied to.

Here’re 10 cover letter tips to nail every interview.

1. Take a few minutes to learn about the company so that you use an appropriate tone

Like people, every company has its own culture and tone. Doing a bit of research to learn what that is will be extremely beneficial. For instance, a technology start-up has a different culture and tone than a law firm. Using the same tone for both would be a mistake.

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2. Don’t use generic cover letter terms — be specific to each company and position

Hiring managers and recruiters can easily identify generic cover letters. They read cover letters and resumes almost every day. Using words and terms like: “your company” instead of naming the actual company, and “your website” instead of “in your about us section on www.abc123.com”, are mistakes. Be as specific as possible, it’s worth the additional few minutes.

3. Address the reader directly if you can

It is an outdated practice to use “To Whom it May Concern” if you know the person that will be reviewing your documents. You may wonder how you’ll know this information; this is where attention to detail and/or a bit of research comes into play.

For example, if you are applying for a job using LinkedIn, many times, the job poster is listed within the job post. This is the person reading your documents when you “apply now”. Addressing that person directly will be much more effective than using a generic term.

4. Don’t repeat the information found in the resume

A resume is an action-based document. When presenting information in a resume, the tone isn’t conversational but leading with action instead, for example: “Analyze sales levels and trends, and initiate action as necessary to ensure attainment of sales objectives”.

In a cover letter, you have the opportunity to deliver your elevator pitch: “I have positively impacted business development and growth initiatives, having combined two regions into one and achieving 17% in compound growth over the following three-year period”.

Never use your resume qualifications summary as a paragraph in your resume. This would be repeating information. Keep in mind that your cover letter is the introduction to your resume- the elevator pitch- this is your opportunity to show more personality.

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5. Tell the company what you can do for them

As mentioned above, this is your chance to explain to the company why you are the best person for the open position. This is where you tell the company what you can do for them: “If hired as the next (job title) with (company name), I will cultivate important partnerships that will enhance operations while boosting revenue.”

Many times, we want to take the reader through the journey of our life. It is important to remember that the reader needs to know why you are the best person for the job. Lead with that.

6. Showcase the skills and qualifications specific to the position

A lot of people are Jack’s and Jill’s of all trades. This can be a great big picture, but not great to showcase in a cover letter or resume.

Going back to what was mentioned before, cover letters and resumes are scanned through ATS. Being as specific as possible to the position being applied to is important.

If you are applying for a coding position, it may not be important to mention your job in high school as a dog walker. Sticking to the exact job being applied to is the most effective way to write your cover letter.

7. Numbers are important — show proof

It always helps to show proof when stating facts: “I have a reputation for delivering top-level performance and supporting growth so that businesses can thrive; established industry relationships that generated double digit increase in branch revenues”.

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8. Use testimonials and letters of recommendations

A cover letter is a great place to add testimonials and information from your letter of recommendations. Mirroring the example above, here is a good way to use that information:

I have a history of consistently meeting and exceeding metrics: “(Name) rose through the company and became a Subject Matter Expert, steadily providing exceptional quality of work.”- Team Manager.

9. Find the balance between highlighting your achievements and bragging

There is fine line between telling someone about your achievements and bragging. My advice is to always use facts first, and support that with an achievement related to the fact, as shown in the examples above.

You don’t want to have a cover letter with nothing but bullet points of what you have achieved. I can’t stress this enough — cover letters are your elevator pitch, the introduction to your resume.

10. Check your length — you want to provide no more than an introduction

The general rule for most positions is one page in length. Positions such as professors and doctors will require more in length (and they actually use CV’s); however, for most positions, one page is sufficient. Remember, the cover letter is an introduction and elevator pitch. Follow the logic below to get you started:

Start with: “I am ready to deliver impeccable results as (name of company) next (Position Title).

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What you know and like about the company, what initiatives, missions, goals resonate with you: “I read/listened to an interview that your Chief of Staff did on www.abc123.com. His/her statement regarding important up and coming employee engagement initiatives really resonated with me”.

Overview of your qualifications and experience: “I have a strong background in developing, monitoring, and controlling annual processes and operational plans related to community relations and social initiatives”.

Highlight/ Back up your facts with achievements: “I’m a vision-driven leader, with a proven history of innovation and mentorship; I led an initiative that reduced homelessness in four counties and received recognition from the local Homeless Network and the County Commissioner”.

Close with what will you do for the company: “As your next (job title), I am focused on hitting the ground running as a transformational leader who is driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and committed to the growth of (name of company).

Bonus Advice

When applying for a job online or in person, a resume and a cover letter are standard submissions. At least 98% of the time, both your resume and cover letter and scanned via ATS (applicant tracking systems). You can learn more about that process here.

The information provided in a cover letter should be written and organized to be compatible with these scans, so that it can make to a human; from there, you want to make sure that you capture the recruiter and/or hiring managers attention.

More About Nailing Your Dream Job

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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