1: VALUE EVERY RELATIONSHIP
When building a business, you’re going to encounter sales assistants alongside senior executives. Even if you’re 100% sure that you won’t ever need their help again, establish a stable relationship and reconnect with them as time passes. Connect with people you know during conferences or by commenting on their social media posts. Never let them feel that you have forgotten who they are or what their business stands for – you might need their help in the future.
Tip: Send handwritten notes, it expresses ultimate fellowship and makes the receiver feel grateful.
2: MAKE PEOPLE FEEL IMPORTANT
What defines a great leader? – The ability to engage every single person in the company and make them feel indispensable. Be equally generous towards your employees and partners. Always show your appreciation and make everybody feel they’re essential for the well-being of your business. If your employees feel empowered and self-conscious, the business will yield higher results as well.
Try this: Go to your best-performing team members and praise them by sincerely saying “I truly appreciate your input and hard work”.
Everyone likes to be praised but when the praise is specific, it comes across as sincere – not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good. Remember we all crave appreciation and recognition and will do almost anything to get it. But no one wants insincerity. Nobody wants flattery.
– Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
3: LEVERAGE YOUR EXISTING NETWORK
People often forget this easy business hack that returns great results. Do you know someone whose field of expertise lies in sales, marketing or journalism? It’s time to dust up old relationships and make use of your network. Don’t be afraid of asking people for help or a favour to improve your business’s status. You’ll be surprised how well this lifehack works – many people feel grateful for your trust and working together side by side reinforces the relationship between you.
Start today: Make a list of successful people in your existing network and add problems/tasks that they could assist you with.
4. HIRE ONLY THE BEST
When starting a new business, you can not afford to hire employees who don’t care about the company’s future. Look for people with high ambitions but a loyal heart.
Here are 5 essential interview questions you should ask:
- How would your last boss describe you? Why?
2. Name 3 things you want to achieve professionally.
3. Describe the perfect candidate for this job.
4. Tell a story that proves you have the qualities you just listed.
5. Tell me about your past job. What did and didn’t you like?
5. FOCUS YOUR TIME ON WHAT’S WORKING
Never do something just because everyone is doing it. Take time to find out what are the key activities leading the growth of your business and focus 80% of resources and energy on implementing them. Anyhow you must keep in mind that some commitments take time to return results. Be careful not to kill a project that seems currently ineffectual but would deliver a large profit in the future.
Tip: Apply 20% of your budget to innovative projects that have an unpredictable outcome but could deliver huge success.
6. PREFER LONG-TERM BENEFITS TO SHORT-TERM SUCCESS
Everybody loves instant gratification and fast results. Implementing less demanding small tasks that deliver quick results makes you feel good in the short term. But what your business actually needs is a comprehensive long-term strategy that grants results for years to come. Take time to figure out an enduring plan and spend the best of your time on achieving long-run goals.
7. BE INNOVATIVE
Leading a business is all about innovation and understanding of your industry. Present to your customer’s original products and services that they can’t even dream about. That’s what Steve Jobs and Apple did with iPads. By creating a completely new product you’ll have a huge advantage over your competitors.
It is better to know and be disappointed than to not know and always wonder.
– Michael S. McKinney
8. THINK ABOUT ADDING VALUE, NOT HARVESTING
Successful companies were not created in the faith of earning huge amounts of money. If you want your business to succeed, ask yourself what is the unique value proposition your product can bring to the market. There is always demand for new solutions so find your niche and satisfy the demand. Another opportunity is to provide an existing service or product with a better user experience. Be careful not to lower the price while making amends on the quality.
9. ESTABLISH STRONG COMPANY CULTURE
Want your business to really stand out? Create traditions and build a story around your company. A successful company culture makes employees feel like part of the team and focus their skills on improving the business. Be it free lunch every Friday or collective vacations, a standout company culture makes talent and renown come your way.
Business hack: There’s no need to spend a fortune on your company culture, but small benefits like free muesli bars work like a charm.
How much are you willing to pay for 10 extra hours every week (this makes 520 extra hours per year)? Good news – it’s not as expensive as you thought. There is countless business software that helps you automate parts of your workflow. For example, you can make a program collect and analyse data for you. Or transcript all your phone calls into text so that you’ll save time when searching for information. You can automate every facet of your business and make everyone’s job more cost-effective and efficient.
11. KEEP PEOPLE MOTIVATED
Great leaders inspire action. No employee is willing to work hard for a grumpy and self-centered manager. Motivating your team begins with yourself. Be demanding, but prove you work hard yourself. Praise people for good work and constantly remind them how appreciated their help is. Another great way to motivate people is to present quarterly bonuses for those who deliver results on time and really shine out of the crowd.
12. USE BIG SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES AS AN EXAMPLE FOR YOUR OWN COMPANY
No senior officer comes up with all splendid ideas by himself. By keeping track on industry news and examining best practices, you will have the perfect playbook for building your own successful business. Explore the websites and social media presence of big companies and read about their success stories in order to apply the same techniques to your own company.
13. BE TRANSPARENT. LIKE REALLY TRANSPARENT
People love transparency, especially when it comes from a successful company. Buffer is a great example here. They publicly display their salaries, revenue and explain users on which tasks and expenses the service’s monthly fee is spent.
Read more about Buffer’s ultimate transparency mission.
14. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE AND CUSTOMERS
You can’t sell your product to someone you don’t actually understand. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to start selling their products to everybody, without previously determining target groups. It’s like shouting out at a rock concert – nobody will hear you. In the heart of a successful business plan are your buyer personas, people who are most likely to be interested in buying your product.
15. FIND YOUR VOICE
There are tech startups with funny and quirky ways of communicating with the rest of the world and there are large businesses with strict corporate voice. Depending on your target audience and industry, construct a voice that best describes the core values your business stands for. People usually prefer friendly communication that reflects the wide knowledge and creates trustworthiness.
Business hack: If you’re a small company, showcase images of your daily work in the office on social media. It will give your company a more human reputation.
Credit; Scoro.com / Karola Karlson
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