Story is not just a thing we can enjoy during our childhood. It is almost always related to various things in life. Even a game is set with particular story line to make it more interesting to play. We also like to hear how successful people tell their story of how they build their business to success. With this, you can use story to maximize your brand. Storytelling can be a great weapon for you to help your brand reach its optimum potential in the market.
Storytelling and successful brand
Nowadays, lots of entrepreneurs and business leaders use story to make their brand more standout. Telling a great story of your brand can help make your business look more interesting. It will help your brand to gain more attention from the people and potential customers alike.
Find the ‘X’ factor that makes your product different
Keep in mind that you have competitors who also sell similar products or services as you. You have to convince people to choose you over your competitors. Providing high quality product or service is not enough sometime. Not to mention that it you need customers to make a purchase first before telling whether or not you provide good quality products or services. Thus, there should be an ‘x’ factor that can make significant impact. One of the best ways you can do is to tell your own story. It is one of the most effective ways to hook your customers. Telling a story that resonates with your potential customers is a brilliant idea.
It is not as difficult as it sounds. You don’t have to make up illogical or fairy tale-like story to make your brand standout from the crowds. You can make a simple story behind your choice of your brand name into something more interesting to hear. It is as simple as that. However, the story doesn’t always have to revolve around your company, product or service. There are many aspect in your business where the behind story can be revealed in more interesting ways.
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Finding your own story
Finding your own story can be challenging but it is not impossible. Maybe you feel like your brand is not so special and its story is not even interesting to share. However, it is not always true. The main key is how you reveal the stories. There are various options of stories you can reveal to your customers such as the story of why you sell what you do, how you started your business, how you helped customers, how the teamwork works in your company, what you have learned so far, or what revolution you want to make through your business.
Right strategy to uncover the story
After finding out what kind of story to tell, you have to use the right strategy to uncover it. Choose the right place to tell the story. For example, you can tell your story on website, in blog posts, or in social media post. Then, pay attention to the reaction of people. Story can help build more relevancy and connection with your audience and potential customers alike.
It is said over and over again that running your own business is not an easy feat. It can turn your axis upside down. Lots of people get mentally and physically sick due to work stress and pressure. It is not something new. Of course, running your own business is also rewarding and promising. There is no limit of how far your business can reach success. Successful business is not to be achieved in a month or two. It may take years before you can finally sleep peacefully without thinking too much of problems you face at work.
The importance of healthy life balance for successful business
The key to have successful business is healthy life balance. Lots of people thought that running your own business means you have to sacrifice your health, time, and family. However, it is not entirely true. In fact, having healthy life balance is the main factor for you to reach success building your own business. How can you reach your goals with unhealthy body and stress mind?
Healthy life balance is when you pay more attention to your own self-care. It is important to develop a habit of self-care and encourage your team members to do so. Give your body and mind a time to be free. You can do it by indulging yourself in your hobbies such as cycling, hiking, reading, or simply playing with your families. Giving your body and mind to be free of work related-things allow you to have a break. Thus, your body and mind don’t overuse or overwork. Doing physical activities in regular basis in healthy for your body and mind. It can release all toxin causing stress and negativity.
You can also implement healthy life balance by relaxation or meditation. It is a great practice to empty your hectic mind and let it free for awhile. It is great time to free your mind from any stress triggers mostly caused by your problems at work. Running a business can eat your mind with its problems and obstacles you may face on daily basis. Thus, doing meditation or relaxation before and after bed can be very helpful. Thus, you are always ready to face the day with fresh, positive mind.
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Embrace healthy life balance at work as well by implementing healthy work culture. It emphasizes in transparency, authenticity, and gratitude. Toxic working environment can affect your business significantly because your business rely on its people to grow. If the people are full of negativity during their work, it will be more challenging to be more productive and give contribution. Since you are the leader of your business who lead the team, you should implement positive leadership to cultivate a successful business. Lead by example is more effective.
It is also important for you to encourage your team to implement healthy life balance. Encourage them to work hard but not to the point they get burnout. Spread positive working attitude and environment so you can reach the goals together successfully.
Building a successful team when running your business is essential to achieve the goals. However, it is not something easy since a team consists different people with different tendencies and personalities. Not to mention that they may have have educational and cultural background which make them have different perspectives. However, it is also important to remember that diversity in your business should be treated as potential not a threat. As for building a successful team, one of the most essential things to improve is productivity.
Increase the productivity of your team for successful business
How you know if the productivity of your team is lacking? It can be seen by how they meet the deadlines, or how their learning has progressed. You can also see from their engagement to the team. When your team members work less productively, it can impact negatively to your business as well. Therefore, it is important that you know how to boos their productivity to reach its peak.
Consider their physical productivity
Before blaming on your team members for their lack of productivity, you need to consider maybe the physical environment is the problem. The work environment plays significant role to make your team members focus on doing their job. For example, they will not be able to work properly if the environment is too noisy, dirty, or uncomfortable in general. Thus, investing in improving physical work environment is also essential. If you don’t have enough budget for major improvement, start from minor things such as putting office plants, repainting your office, etc.
Pay attention to member’s health and wellness
You should also pay attention to your team members’ health and wellness. Their productivity may be affected by their bad condition either physically or mentally, or even both. However, you cannot just tell them to go exercise or eat healthy foods. Instead, you can encourage them to do it in another way. For example, you can promote preventive care, deliver healthy launch program, provide healthier snacks, etc. Or, you can also offer various vacations to help them get rid of their stress.
Showcase positive display of appreciation
When your team members feel less appreciated, their productivity tend to get lower and lower. Appreciation can be in many forms such as salary, praise, recognition, etc. When you provide more virtuousness, the more likely for the productivity of your team members to improve significantly. Thus, make sure to display appreciation positively such as by acknowledging their accomplishments, providing supports, never blaming them blindly, etc. Treating your team members with respect and integrity is also a show of appreciation.
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Sufficient and proper tool for team members
Provide sufficient and proper tools for your team members to work effectively and proficiently. Sometimes, the problems is on the tools they use to complete their task that hold their productivity. Thus, make sure to balance the tasks with proper resources and tools. It is also highly suggested to stop having meaningless meetings. If the meetings can be replaced by emails then it is much better to bypass them since it is more efficient that way. Thus, your team members can do other more productive things.
Anyone can become an entrepreneur because it is more than about having enough capital to be a successful one. However, becoming a successful entrepreneur is not an easy thing to achieve either. The reason is obvious. There are many types of challenges you should face on daily basis especially in the initial stages. There are also many things to learn if you don’t have background or experiences in entrepreneurship before. You can become a successful entrepreneur by working hard and working smart.
Get over things holding your success
It is often that people who have been working their best in business still don’t get the success they aimed. They face the same challenges with others but they seem to be harder to be successful. There must be a reason if you also experience this. One of so many possible reasons is that you cannot get over things holding your success yet. Here are those things.
Not thinking big enough
When you have little plans, the smaller things you can achieve. It also means you limit yourself. Therefore, it is highly suggested for entrepreneurs to not be afraid of planning big. It is common to feel scared of big plan. However, big plan can spur you into actions. It will motivate you to keep trying. If you are persistent with your big plan, you will get small wins at the very least. Those small wins will encourage you to aim for the bigger ones.
Negative opinions of people around you
These can be the main thing that prevent you from becoming a successful entrepreneur. You should get over with those who give negative opinions without giving you constructive input. They may not know that you already plan everything to a T. No matter how great you did with the plan, there will always be people who against your idea. There will always be people who doubt your plan but you should not let that discourage you.
Feel like it is not the right time to start your business
This is what almost every entrepreneur feels in the beginning. Thus, you are not the only one if you feel that way. You feel like it is too soon for you to start and run your own business. To start is the biggest challenges sometimes. However, you will know the drill once you start. You will get the motivation to learn more things.
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Afraid of being a failure
This is also one of the most common feelings experienced by every entrepreneur. Starting and running your own business has its own risk and challenges. There is possibility that your plan doesn’t go your way. However, keep in mind that there is always solution for every problem. Obstacles are to be expected when you decide to dive in entrepreneurship. To keep you motivated, treat those obstacles like fun challenges to solve. Besides, it is also about mindset. If you view things as failures then they are. Therefore, don’t label obstacles as failures to soon.
There has been reports stated that the majority of workers neglected their vacation days. Those days were left unused and the most common reasons is the fear of returning with more works to be done. Others also didn’t take their vacation days as they are supposed to do because they fear of appearing to be more replaceable to their superior. However, it is highly suggested for you to take advantage of your vacation days. Besides, those days are there for you to use. It is what can help you to stay sane because pressure of works can be unbearable sometimes especially when you have been stuck for a very long time dealing with pile of work. Your body and mind deserve to earn happiness aside from well-deserved salary.
Why you should take your vacation days
Vacation days are as valuable as any other things because they can help improve your happiness. Vacation days can help lift up your mood and spirit. Don’t expect your return from vacation to face something horrible. There are high chance that you will return with new spirit and motivation to work better. Positive mood will help improve your productivity after all. Why is it so important to take your vacation days?
Humans need rest. Period.
Having few days free from all responsibilities and pressure can do you good. It help relieve your stress. It is a great time for you to take few days off and be free to do everything you want. It is great idea to have a vacation to natural places. Nature is good for your body and mind. It has healing and soothing elements. Getting out of your office and spending few days exploring forested or agricultural lands can benefit your body physically and mentally.
Nothing to lose. More things to give yourself
Another reason why you should not neglect your vacation days is because there is nothing to lose. You are not going to lose anything by giving yourself a time to relax. Besides, it is only for a few days during your weekend. You are not going to miss any major things around your work environment. You don’t have to travel abroad if you are afraid returning with exhausted body. You can go to travel destinations that are not too far or those you can reach with a short flight.
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A time to catch up
Making connection to your old friends during your vacation day is a good idea. It is because human connection is good for your well-being in general. It can help maintain your blood pressure, improve your immune system to fight against particular diseases such as cancer, as well as lower your risk of having depression. If you don’t have old friends you can meet up during vacation days, you can just travel to a place and meet new people during your trip. You can make connection with them. It help improve your humanity. It also improve your social and communication skills, along with your open-mindedness. As the result, you will return with more positivity inside your body and mind because you feel more happiness, joy, and confidence.
Business experts and practitioners agree that starting as early as possible contribute to the successful of entrepreneurs. However, it must be a crazy to handle college life while attempting to explore entrepreneurship. Assignments, exams, and classes take so much time of college students. Therefore, starting their own business sounds too much. Well, it is not entirely true because there are so many college students who are brave to start building their own business. They challenge themselves to handle studies with becoming entrepreneur at the same time. It is not easy for sure because more challenges to come.
Becoming entrepreneur while still being a college student
The best thing to start business as early as possible is that you have more time to make mistakes and fix them. You also have more passion to drive you through any challenges. It is indeed challenging to balance college life and entrepreneurship. Both requires time dedication and hard work. So how is it possible for you to start your own business from college?
Chance to Differentiate Yourself from the Peers
Starting your own business means you have more chances to differentiate yourself from the crowds especially your college peers. Thousands of students graduate from the same universities every years. They have read the same books, been given the same lessons, taken the same tests, and taught by the same professors. Starting your own business from college is a great idea because it means you aim for not only graduating but also practicing and implementing things you have learned.
So Many Potentials as A Weapon
Another reason why starting your entrepreneurship from college is good idea is because so many potentials you can use as weapon. Many companies target college students because they are full of fresh, creative ideas, as well as execute effective strategies to break through the market. You can use all your potential to start your own business instead. When you start your business from college, you will require many skills at relatively young age. Those are great contribution for you to reach success in life even when one day you choose another career path instead of staying on entrepreneurship road.
More Chance to Become Successful
You have more chance to become successful entrepreneur even when you are being a college student because you don’t have to worry about who to go to seek professional advice. You have professors at your fingertips and you know where to find them. You can ask for advice from professors. They are great resources. You don’t have to ask only to the professors who teach you at class. You can try seeking for advice from other professors as long as they are willing to.
More Social Environment to Take Advantage Of
Starting business from college also means you have social environment you can take advantage of. There are students you can have conversation with to gain unlimited feedback for your business. You also can include them to experiment some projects. There are also talented, skillful, smart students you can ask for help such as designing quality business website, creating logos, etc. College is a great place to build reputation and value of your brand.
It is important to conduct performance review of your business. Most importantly, you have to review the performance of your employees. They are your valuable resource and you have to know which one of them work diligently and contribute highly to your business. It will also help you to determine the next plan to grow your business better and bigger. The problem is, performance review can be a very stressful process in business. Every business owners or managers might use different techniques to conduct this kind of review to get to know their employees better. You can also set or adjust particular technique that fits your work environment and value.
Things to do to review your employee performance
Running your own business means there are many things to handle at one and it can be daunting. However, the bigger your business grow, the more employees you hire. It means you should conduct performance review to know their qualities and growth at work. How to make it less stressful to do?
Setting expectation throughout the years can be a great way to have stressful performance review. You can schedule meeting quarterly. Then, you meet your employees to review their performance so far. If your employees are not really talking, you can get feedback from colleagues instead. Keep in mind that not all employees are comfortable or able to talk about themselves freely. Thus, some others are harder to review. That’s why you should set expectation throughout the years and talk to their colleagues to get the feedback you need for the review.
Try a friendly-review where your employees are directly involved in the process. This is called collaborative effort. You can ask your employees to sit and talk about the business and how it has grown so far. You can make your own observation during the talk while letting your employees to be part of the success of the business. It is important to make your employees feel included into the business and its positive growth. It can motivate them to work better.
Establish goals early on
You can also try to establish goals early so you can make performance review easier, more effective, as well as manageable. Establish goals in the beginning of the year. During that period, you can monitor your employees every few weeks to know their progress. This is great way to know how far or close they have been to the goal. Therefore, it can lessen the point of surprises at the end of the year. The result will be more predictable and controllable.
You can create your own way to do it efficiently an effectively. Instead of working yourself to the bone doing the review, you can give your employees performance book to note their successes for the year. This is effective and more importantly fun both for you and your employees. They will be able to monitor and review themselves to know how far they have grown or what areas they should improve. At the end of the year, you can plan celebration and strategies to grow your business better together.
Most people certainly understand the importance of checkups. However, please also note that not only does health require an examination, but also that financial conditions become an important thing to check regularly. This financial verification activity is often performed by people concerned about their financial situation, because of the risk of financial problems that may arise suddenly. By conducting regular financial controls, you can immediately predict what problems might threaten financial conditions. In the same vein as the medical examination, a financial balance sheet is useful in determining whether there are indications that might interfere with financial conditions in the future. In addition, you can also immediately plan actions to overcome the signs of financial problems.
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Having an abundant salary does not necessarily free you from the risk of financial problems. Despite the high salary, it is possible that the way of managing finances is poorly done. You may have spent too much on things that are actually less important. The possibility of bankruptcy will also occur if this continues to be done as a result of the lack of financial control. By carrying out a financial balance sheet, you can record everything related to finance and wealth. Many things can be known, such as the number of assets owned, whether there is debt to be repaid, and the direction in which the flow of financial flows in financial controls evolves.
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Know all the income and expenses
Some of you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of money you have to pay for every month. In fact, some of you may also think that the amount of their income is not proportional to the amount of their expenses. It may be that when you have just received your pay check, the amount of the expenses has “managed” to absorb most of the income. If you’re feeling this way right now, one of the reasons may be that you never checked the financial situation. Financial statements are useful for summarizing all types of expenses and current income.
The Next Step: Financial Controls
By carrying out financial controls, you will of course be able to easily know what expenses have been used to drain income. This can certainly provide important information on how to better manage finances. In addition to knowing basic expenses such as paying bills and daily needs, expenses for secondary and tertiary needs, as well as for refreshing activities, you can immediately find out by carrying out a financial control. This can certainly provide an explanation of the needs that make the income “lost” so far. Therefore, try to make regular financial statements to know all the income and expenses you have each month.
Once you know the amount of income and expenses, you will have better control over finances. You will also have an idea of the ability to manage and set aside residual income.
Business development is strategic value, idea, plan, as well as set of activity to develop a business and make it better in the long run. Business development is a long-term value, so it is not as simple as it looks. Running your own business means you set a destination to reach. When you have arrives in your destination, you can choose to stay or set new destination. When you choose to execute business development plans, it means you set new destination for your business to reach. It is a good thing because along with growing your business, you also grow yourself to be more experienced, matured, and strong-willed.
Business development strategies
Developing your business to make it on another level of success is a great idea. It is not simple thing to execute because there are things to consider such as the current state of your business, market situation, financial setting, customers’ needs, and many more. In addition, the market is known for its easily shifting dynamics. You cannot just rush your business development plan. Here are activities you should do in the matter of business development.
Setting Clear and Valuable Goals
As mentioned above, when you determine to develop your business, it means you have to set bigger goals. You have to set long-term goals. You have to know where you want your business to be in five years. Set your own objectives. You can set goals like expanding products line up, increasing revenue to specific numbers, developing human resources, and many more. Make the goals clear and valuable for your business. Then, don’t forget to share them with relevant people in your business so everyone can be in the same page. By sharing them, you also open the gate to make plan together.
Conducting analysis of the market and competitors
Developing business means you have your own goals to reach. However, market is crucial factor you need to count in, as well as competitors. You have to understand the current state of the market dynamic. You also have to analyze your competitors to some extent. Date you should collect from the research include the products, price, promotion, and placement. This type of information will help you find out what you have to do to make better plans.
Assessing the direction and threats of your own business
You have to know the current state of your own business in order to develop nit into something bigger and better. If you don’t know about it, you cannot measure how far you have developed it after running the plan. SWOT analysis is highly advised to know about your business’s strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats. This way, you will be able to make objective evaluation of your business.
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Mapping out your plan in the paper
It is important to pour your ideas down in writing instead of let them bottled up in your heads. Putting your business development ideas in the paper will help you get concrete view of what should and should not do. Your strategies will look clearer and you will be able to make the right decision.
Being an entrepreneur requires lots of skills, qualities, and talents. It is much more than setting financial planning in order to gain profit. You also need to be creative if you want to survive the battle in business because there’s so many thing that can happen both predictable and unpredictably. Creativity will help you adapt any circumstance and survive any obstacles. Running your own business is not only about having control of others. It is about how you navigate your power into the right direction in reaching your goals.
Benefits of creativity to your business
Running your own business takes a lot of confidence and courage. You have to be brave enough to do so because there’s so many challenges. Even when you already reach your goal, you still need to scale to the next level if you want to outlast your competitors. Besides, business is not for settling. It is something you always need to improve. And to do so, you need to think creatively.
Creativity is needed to foster innovation not only invention because innovation is unique as well as it’s useful. Unique idea or what you call invention is not enough. You have to innovate to make it true and you need creativity to innovate. In business, you create ideas of what kind of products or services that will satisfy your customers. However, you have to innovate those ideas into something that will exceeds your customer’s expectation. You have to make sure that your products and services are useful to solve your customer’s problem.
Lots of people that when you are highly intelligent, you will most likely to be successful in business. However, intelligence is not enough. You need creativity to and it plays important role to bring your success. It is still quite a stigma because majority of people still consider intelligence as everything. The reason maybe because intelligence is more measurable and manageable. Meanwhile, creativity can be quite difficult to spot. But that’s when it’s needed. When you can think creatively, you can survive even the unthinkable and unpredictable. You will be able to outlast others because you have your own way to survive.
Thinking creatively is needed when running your own business because it can help transcend boundaries. When you are bound to boundaries, your way of thinking will become limited and narrow. However, creativity will transcend all boundaries, allowing you to blur them and gain more perspectives. This way, you can find more solutions to pick. You will be able to find solutions no matter how complicated the problems seem to be because creativity has no limits or boundaries.
Creativity also increase productivity as well as efficiency. Lots of people running their own business take five to ten years to gain success. However, people with creative thinking can find more efficient way to reach their goal faster than others. They have unconventional way of thinking which allow them to think of different path with more efficiency and effectivity. Thus, every process to success will run smoothly.