Handle Entrepreneurial Stress like a Professional

geoffrey-byruch-stressIn being an entrepreneur, you have to learn to juggle many different ideas, projects, and tasks all at the same time. This must all be done while you are also trying to build up your own company and create success within your business. One of the significant issues that come into play when entrepreneurs are dealing with multiple things at one time is stress.

Stress is something that hits us all in different ways when we have too much on our plate. The way we handle stress is essential to whether we are successful or not. Not managing your stress can lend itself to a great deal of failure in the entrepreneurial world, and your business will suffer because of it.

Understanding the effects of stress and what causes stress are the first steps to success and also healthily dealing with stress. When you are stressed, your mind automatically begins to think negatively and therefore, shuts down the possibilities of innovation and utilizing your brain to its full capacity. The best thing you can do is realize you are indeed stressed and make a choice to think positively with a small amount of stress. This way, you will continue making plans and ideas that will push yourself and your company forward.

Another way to handle your stress is by removing unnecessary worry. A lot of times, entrepreneurs and business leaders take on a lot at once, and many times, they worry about things that are out of their control. Take the time to make a list of everything that is currently on your mind and stressing you out. Then go through and either delegate things to others or shift your focus from the things that aren’t yours to handle to the issues you can personally deal with.

Instead of continuing to take on project after project or even more clients than your company can handle, just to grow your business, only take on what you can complete right now. If your business is not ready for the influx of clients, then do not take the extra work onto your plate. The same goes for projects. Learn to delegate and take work off of your plate and give it to others who have the extra time to do it. This removes the continued downward spiral of work piling up on top of the work that is already there. It will also help to remove that stress for you.

Managing Customer Relationships in Your Small Business

geoffrey-byruch-handsThere are a few key items that your small business should value, but the most important are the customers. They form the backbone that helps the business achieve its goals, fulfill its mission, and realize financial growth. Experts advocate for small businesses to invest heavily in the realization of their goals by taking a series of measures that focus on managing customer relationships. Here is an idea of how your small business can approach the entire concept of customer relationship management.

Understand your customers first
The first thing to do is to build an overall and individual understanding of your customers by coming up with an appropriate profile of every customer in the business. The profile should be comprised of valuable information such as the customers’ details among other personal but insensitive details. The profile created helps your business to gain an overview of what to do in the bid to nurture a good relationship.

Express passion and sympathy in customer service
The next step is to develop a well-integrated system within your customer service department where customers are handled passionately and with emphasis on empathy. When serving your customers, expressing genuineness gives them the impression that your business is caring and thus outstanding.

Invest in CRM solutions
The entire concept of managing thousands of your businesses’ customers can be so complicated and challenging. To make your work easier, you may need to invest in the various CRM solutions designed for small businesses. Such solutions come in handy in helping your small business to manage its customers efficiently without having to worry about the multitude of data that you will have to deal with.

Build a long-term relationship
Customer relationship management should be approached as a long-term project and idea. The relationships you target and build upon can exhibit benefits if they are nurtured to maturity in the long term. It, therefore, requires patience and emphasis on resilience to ensure that such relationships endure the test of time.

Incorporate CRM in your marketing
When marketing yourself to your existing and potential customers, it is important to consider nurturing good customer relations. You may, for instance, focus on giving your existing customers incentives and offers to help build a strong and continuous relationship. Incentives such as offers, discounts, and other forms of customer engagements by your business help create a good impression.

Incorporate Pinterest into Your Marketing Strategy

When your business is trying to find the right digital marketing strategy to utilize, there are so many options to choose from. This is especially true when it comes to social media platforms. Because there are lists of different profiles to use, it’s essential to know which is best for your business and which one will give you the most bang for your buck.

One of the great things about digital marketing is the fact that it can be relatively less expensive than regular marketing tactics such as magazines, billboards, and television ads. This is one of the main reasons small businesses look to digital marketing to achieve their goals without having to put all of their money into a few methods that may not bring in their target audience.

To many business owners, Pinterest may not always seem like the “go to” social profile to use for engagement and gaining followers. But, it is in fact, beneficial when you are in the business of selling products rather than services. Pinterest has such a broad reach which can help your business gain a new audience with the proper utilization.

Be sure to become familiar with what the site is used for before developing a digital marketing strategy around it. This is true for any social media profile you decide to use in your business, so you understand the language and differences of the particular media.

One of the first things you should do when either creating your Pinterest business profile or updating a current one is making sure you are indeed registered as a business profile instead of the standard personal site. This will give access to analytics so you can track engagement, audience, followers, and people who view particular boards and pins.

When you begin to create pins, be sure to make them eye-catching to draw attention and gain followers. You will also need to fully optimize them by adding a photo, title, description with relevant hashtags, as well as your keyword.

Pinterest also offers the option to schedule your pins so they will post at certain times as well as paying for advertisements. The profile gives a wide range of options when it comes to paid advertisement depending on your company’s needs. This would include carousel ads, promoted pins, as well as video ads.

Lastly, keep your boards neat and organized. Give your site a theme that represents your company’s brand what you are all about. When you can keep your pins in specific boards organized, it allows your audience to navigate your site and find what they are looking for much easier.

The Age of Entrepreneurship

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When people think about entrepreneurs just starting in the business world, it often seems like a younger person’s game. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Entrepreneurship can come at any age and at any point in your lifetime. The key is to have the right idea that will thrive and create success.

Although many people may think it’s best to start at a young age, it’s important to note that the medium age of successful founders is around the 40 to 50 range. Beginning as an entrepreneur in this industry at a later age brings a more extensive amount of life and work experience.

One of the biggest aspects of becoming an entrepreneur later in life, is you have the time to play and become more financially stable. Young business owners may not always have the income to fall back on if their ideas falter, which is why waiting until you have the support both financially and within your family or a spouse, could help your chances of success drastically.

Another aspect of beginning entrepreneurship later in life is most people have experienced failure in some way by this point in their lives. Having the opportunity to experience failure gives you an edge over others in not being afraid of your ideas floundering. Great entrepreneurs have personality traits in which they can keep their eye on the prize despite bumps in the road.

The skills and life lessons you learn in your early years of being a businessman or woman helps to shape the kind of leader you will be later in life. Because you will make many mistakes along the way, it creates a stronger and more confident business mind, thus, making this the perfect time to start your own business. When you can take a tip from entrepreneurs who have come into the game later in life, you can see how the experience has helped them become more successful.

Don’t let your age define how you continue throughout the business world. Just because you didn’t begin a company at a younger age doesn’t mean it’s too late and you won’t become successful in your endeavors. If anything, waiting until later in life means you are more prepared and have the experience to become successful in your chosen path for entrepreneurship.

Motivation For Your Small Business Team

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Small businesses definitely have some advantages over large businesses. Smaller teams make it easier to keep everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. In many cases, small businesses actually outperform larger businesses based on scale. There are some challenges that all businesses face regardless of size, but the answers are not always the same. Small businesses will struggle with keeping their teams motivated the same way larger businesses will, but they may not have the same level of resources to throw into programs to help increase motivation. Here are 3 tips to help keep your small business team motivated.

Regularly recognize their accomplishments
You might be surprised just how far a little recognition can go towards improving employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees tend to be productive employees. While large companies may recognize employee achievements on an annual or semi-annual basis, small businesses have the opportunity to recognize employees on a daily basis. Recognition doesn’t have to be in the form of a plaque or award. Just a few words of acknowledgment of their hard work on a regular basis may actually be even more effective.

Set team goals and create a visual to measure progress
Anyone who has any experience with fundraising knows that simple visuals go a long way towards motivating donors. This is why almost all fundraising sites will have some kind of chart or measuring device to show potential donors how close to the goal the campaign is. The closer a campaign gets to achieving the goal, the more motivated donors become. Some donors may even pledge a second or even third time. The same thing that is true of fundraising is true of your small business.

Provide incentives they actually want
If everyone on your team loves Indian food, then promising a catered lunch from an Indian restaurant might be a great motivator to achieve a specific goal, but not if your entire team does not like Indian food. Providing incentives is a great way to motivate your employees, but not if the incentives are not attractive to your entire team. While they say you can’t please everyone, if you genuinely want to provide an incentive to motivate your entire team, then you will, in fact, have to find an incentive that is equally attractive to them all.

Shared Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs

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To be an entrepreneur, there are certain things that you will have to be good at that most people have not learned in life. The skills of being an entrepreneur are not the same as even the highest level employee. Once you have learned these shared traits of highly successful entrepreneurs, you will be able to find the massive success that these other business owners have found.

Persistence
When you are trying to start your own business, it is not going to happen overnight. You need to make sure that you are in it for the long run. If you have the skill of persistence, you will surely have a better chance of taking your dreams and turning them into a reality. The most successful entrepreneurs knew that setback were just a part of the journey. They persisted until they were able to find their own version of success.

The will to win
When you have the will to win, it will give you the confidence you need to approach vendors, venture capitalists, potential partners, and manufacturers. If you have the will to win, you will not have any trouble waking up early in the morning and staying late in the office to put in the ridiculous hours that you need for massive success.

Knowing failure isn’t an option
Deciding that failure isn’t an option is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. You will have a mindset that will keep you from giving up. When you choose to quit is the only time that you truly fail as an entrepreneur. You have the power to work as hard as you want and push through all of the obstacles as long as you know that failure isn’t an option.

Creativity
You need to have a great deal of creativity to make it as an entrepreneur. It will take creative problem-solving skills and a creative mindset when thinking about marketing, new products, and new services. If you are not very creative to begin with, it can be a great idea to partner with an individual who is very creative.

These are some traits that many entrepreneurs share. If you feel like you are lacking some of these traits, you can always learn skills that will help you move forward as a business owner.

Incorporating Innovation into Your Business

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With new inventions and the constant creation of new technology, innovation has become an essential part of the culture we live in. In order to continue innovation and to generate new product, design, ideas, we need to incorporate innovation as a core part of your company’s culture. Businesses must begin to look into adopting the innovation and entrepreneurship mentality if they want their company to succeed and move forward into the future. Here are just a few of those ways businesses can incorporate innovation into their culture.

Due to the fact that we live in the digital age that keeps on changing and moving into the future, companies that do not operate with innovation, adjusting to digital changes will not succeed. Digital disruption is reinventing how companies, products, goods, and services operate because of new technological advances. If a business does not utilize and create, they will not be able to survive in the future.

Teamwork is an essential part of innovation. In order to create new ideas, working with others within your company will guarantee a more successful invention of what your business has to offer. Building a team of employees to execute these tasks will give the opportunity to utilize different outlooks and ideas from different people and also allude to the success of future growth.

Human Resources will play a large part in creating a diverse and widely spread culture of employees. It is already their job to do so and look for potential employees with different backgrounds, but this will be essential to the innovation culture a business should be striving towards. With diverse backgrounds come different ideas and great ways to push the company forward.

One of the biggest things your company can do is appoint a Chief Innovation Officer. They will oversee and coordinate innovation teams and initiatives across the company. Although these types of roles are only seen more so within companies dealing more on the scientific side of innovation, we will start to see this position become more incorporated throughout companies across the board looking to survive and thrive.

While there are many different ways to incorporate this type of thinking into your company culture, it’s important to get all of your department heads on board, understanding what the goals for the future are. For the continued survival of businesses, entrepreneurship mentality and innovation is key to the overall culture.

How Entrepreneurs Deal with Failure

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Being an entrepreneur means you will deal with failures many times during your career. This is not always the case for everyone, but more often than not, you will, unfortunately, fail at some point. The key to failure as an entrepreneur is learning how to handle that failure, pick yourself back up, and start again. As it is with life, the way you deal with these setbacks shapes the person and professional you are and want to be. Thankfully, there is a large number of entrepreneurs who came before you, sharing their wise words of wisdom for pressing on and dealing with your failures gracefully.

Just because you will experience failure doesn’t mean it’s going to be a significant failure. Unfortunately, most new businesses will fail within their first few years of starting out. But failure can also come in the form of other losses, such as the loss of a big client. It is essential for entrepreneurs to learn from these failures which takes us right to our first lesson.

Taking the time to write down a list of the decisions you made when you failed will help to understand what you could have done better and will do better next time. It creates your failure into a learning experience in order for you to grow from the setback. Handwriting the list will help the points sink in and stick with you for future growth.

Giving yourself time to destress from the situation will also create a better atmosphere and positive outlook for yourself and your company. Entrepreneurs are busy people that work at a very fast pace, high-stress environment. Giving yourself mental clarity by removing yourself from the failure can give you time to rethink, reevaluate, and figure out your next move.

If you look into some of the most famous entrepreneurs and how they started out, you will find that most of them repeatedly failed time and time again before they became successful. Their biggest early failures paved the way for some of the most successful companies in the world. It is essential to remember that failure is just a roadblock and stepping stone on the way to success. It is necessary in order to weed out entrepreneurs who are willing to pick up the pieces and keep going and the ones who do not have the mental strength to do so and become successful.

Building A Network For Your Business

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Building a proper social network is essential for the success of any business. Very little can be done by only one person. Every entrepreneur needs a few connections to help the various moving parts of a business to run as smoothly as possible. One person can’t possibly handle outreach, public or human relations, advertising, product or service development, and so on. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help from an adequate and knowledgeable network of peers and associates. The following are ways to build the right network around your business.

Establish Relationships
Put yourself out there and make some powerful business acquaintances. Every friend you make regarding your business will, undoubtedly, help your cause, whether you befriend someone who works in digital marketing or mingle with fellow entrepreneurs. Different people come from various backgrounds, bringing a wide variety of skills to the table. Even if you don’t enlist these people for your own entrepreneurial purposes, it is beneficial to surround yourself with others that have similar goals. Perhaps you will find yourself in a symbiotic relationship, helping others as they help you achieve your business goals.

Segment the Network
Once you have added a fair amount of people to your social network, you should keep everything in working order by segmenting the pieces of your network into various categories. These are a few of the labels you can place on people within your network, based on how they affect your business:

  • Advocates
  • Helpers
  • Lurkers

How you organize your network is completely up to you, depending on your own unique and individual goals, however, as long as a system is in place you will be able to easily recall and locate contacts anytime you need to call upon someone within your network.

Share The Wealth
People within your network are more likely to help your business succeed if they also benefit from your success. Make sure to share the credit and revenue you gain with those who deserve it. Anyone who’s help you’ve employed to make your business-related dreams a reality should probably receive a pat on the back, especially your own employees. This will only strengthen your network by building a sense of trust between you, your business, and its associates.

Young Entrepreneurs on the Rise

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There is no time like the present to follow your entrepreneurial spirit in your younger years. Starting at a young age gives you time to focus and figure out your exact path in starting your own business. It can be a very scary process either diving right in out of college or leaving a stable job to pursue your passions of running your own business. Thankfully, there have been many people that went before you and followed their ideas. They were either met with failure or success, and either way, want to share what they’ve learned with the aspiring young entrepreneurs of today.

Research and Problem Solving
It is essential to do your research before you decide on your particular company and product. The research aspect assists in making sure your idea is original. If there is another type of product similar to the one you are creating, research who your competitors will be and how you can set yourself apart. Discovering who the target audience is by defining your market is an essential part of the original business plan, and a task young entrepreneurs forget to complete.  

Problem solving is an essential step in the beginning process of creating a business plan. The product or idea you have should solve some sort of a problem in order to be successful. This helps to increase the need for these particular goods and services.

Be Optimistic and Passionate
When you’re a young entrepreneur, just starting can be nerve racking but also very exciting because your future can go in so many directions. One thing to remember is that not every idea will be a successful one. Failure is inevitable, but that failure creates a drive to succeed if you have the passion behind it. Entrepreneurs who are genuinely passionate about what they do and the goods and services they produce will have a much higher chance of succeeding because they will not want to give up on their dreams.

Optimism is another crucial factor in staying on the path of success. Challenges in the entrepreneurial world are inevitable. You will hear the word ‘no’ at points in your career but staying focused, positive, and optimistic is going to keep moving you forward towards reaching your goals.

Young entrepreneurs can learn a lot from entrepreneurs who have been in the business for quite some time. It’s important to read about your mentors and the leaders you look up to and hear their success stories. Every one of them will have a list of failures and what helped them prevail and become the successful business leader they are today.