If you’re riding the big wave of small business ownership, entrepreneurialism or surfing in Orange County, California, to achieve results you need to understand that form follows function. Dreaming and preparing are the driving forces behind taking action, whether it’s surfing, owning a small business or exploring entrepreneurship. To deliver results, a fast, flexible, fundable and scalable vehicle is essential. The top three connections between surfing and small business ventures include the following:
Sharpening your board. Surfers know that the sharper the tip of a surfboard, the faster it will go. A unique selling proposition is a good starting point, but many entrepreneurs make the mistake of stopping there. You have to sharpen your pitch by clearly articulating a product or idea for your target audience.
Accelerating success by mitigating risks. Starting a small business is similar to surfing for the first time. Planning for reduced risk in anticipated or uncertain situations enables you to establish methods for handling that risk. The result is accelerated success.
Creating value. Nearly anything of value is risky, including the big wave or a new business venture. The key is understanding the risks before you leap into diversification. Establishing a winning concept, whether in surfing or entrepreneurialism, allows you to create value and manage whatever circumstances you encounter.
Few small business owners or entrepreneurs start by taking on the big waves. The difference between those who just imagine and plan and people who design and develop is taking action. The immediate intention of a surfer is to jump in the water, stand up on the board and stay on top of it. The long-term objective is riding a great wave. As an entrepreneur, the immediate focus is on self-funding or finding creative financing for the business venture quickly. The long-term goal is to ride a great wave of innovation and produce significant value.
One of the utmost intimidating things someone can do in life is start their own business. Entrepreneurship is a high risk game that doesn’t pay off for everyone. With so much invested — time, money, and family sacrifice — it takes a lot of drive and passion to pursue dreams of entrepreneurship. However, high risk can result with high reward. Many small business entrepreneurs will tell you that the business model of a bigger competitor don’t always work in their own business model.
Here are three tips for small business entrepreneurs to help with the success of their business.
1. Ensure Your Customer Service is on Point
Nothing will kill your business faster than providing clients with with bad customer service. As many businesses thrive off of word of mouth recommendations, you can’t run the risk of providing a bad service. In a world where big competitors are in many small towns, it’s important to create strong bonds within your community. Creating partnerships and sponsoring events will help make you a staple in your town and known for your dedication to help it. As a result, your sales should continue to grow more and more by the day as your business is exposed to the locals.
2. Don’t Try to Beat Prices Set By Competitors.
Smaller businesses does not have the luxury that other retailers do when it comes to setting the price of their products or services. Sure the prices offered by other big retailers like Target, Amazon and Walmart are attractive, but more often than not, small business cannot afford to have the same prices. However, a price is not the only thing that attracts clients to a business. Focus on offering a positive experience that bigger brands cannot. Combining a unique and positive interaction will help clients to overlook just the price and outshine the competition.
3. Reward Your Customers
It’s been proven numerous times that reward programs will ensure repeat customers that spend more. When customers have something to work towards, it helps to motivate them to reach goals quicker. Think about it — you have a coffee shop that gives you punches for every coffee you buy. Once you reach 5 coffees, you get one for free! You are most likely going to return to that specific shop to get that free coffee as opposed to the one that offers no reward. Create a program that is tailored to your business! You are the one who knows your clients better than anyone so giving it a little thought will provide you with a leg up in your customer service.
Money is one of the major concerns people have in life. Concerns range from not making enough to spending too much for having too much debt, but the bottom line is people have some kind of financial worry. Creating and developing a budget is essential to ensure your way to financial security. With the national student loan debt being over 1 trillion dollars and a multitude of adults neglecting their saving for retirement, it’s important to take control over your financial situation. If you don’t know where to begin, it can be alarming for those dipping their toes into the world of budgeting. Below I have listed four apps that will help to begin your journey towards financial stability. Mint – Iphone, Web, Android, Windows 8 Available on a variety of platforms, Mint has received a considerable amount of press over the past several years. Mint’s technology is fantastic for viewing the big picture of where your money is being spent or saved. It tracks your bank accounts, investments and credit cards so a clear picture is defined of how you should be dividing everything up. The program allows you to create different budgets and project for future expenses. With beautiful visuals, Mint is a great tool to add to your daily routine. Budget Boss – Iphone Available only on the iPhone, Budget Boss is fantastic for an easy way to make a budget. Providing stunning illustrations to give you a visual reference, it helps to ensure you are not accidentally spending more than you expect. The one thing that really sets this program apart is the fact the app can predict your spending habits based off the information you provide. So, it may open to your eyes to how much you are really spending on that Starbucks coffee! Yodlee – Web Originally set up for banks, Yodlee has expanded into the private market. As a free tool, Yodlee gives people a great overview of their expenses with detailed diagrams. As it’s a read-only device, you never need to worry about anyone obtaining your information and using it. Currently Yodlee has over a million consumers and works closely with over 750 banks. You Need A Budget – Web, Windows, Mac YNAB is one of the leading apps in creating a budget and sticking to it. With a clear design, it makes it very easy to see where your money is going and providing tools to reach your goals. Outlined by their four “rules”, YNAB turns you into a financial superhero.
The most important factor for a company is to build trust with their client base. There are steps that companies can do to ensure that the customer service experience is the best they can provide. Check out the slideshow below to see 5 traits companies need to build this trust up.
We all know that starting a business from scratch is a lot of work. Of course it’s rewarding to see the business you have invested so much time, energy and emotion into succeeded, but that doesn’t mean there are not many bumps and bruises along the way. In fact, there are normally two words that come to mind when talking about the foundation of a business: entrepreneurship and stress. The responsible for all the ins and outs of the business can lead into extremely high pressured moments and a ton of pushing your bodies to the limits.
One thing to keep in mind is that creating the business is not a sprint – it’s a marathon. One’s success will depend on the ability to keep steam up over a long period of time. In fact, the majority of startup founders go through their own form of burnout. However, there are ways to prevent a burnout before you hit that wall. I’ve listed my favorite ones below.
Take Care of Yourself. This is the one I cannot stress enough as your number one priority in life should be to take care of yourself. You want to make sure that you are eating healthy foods, sleeping well, exercising and doing an activity that relaxes you. Don’t neglect your friends and family as these are the people who will help reign you back to earth. If you set the clear boundaries as quickly as possible and adhere to them, it will only benefit you in the future.
Learn to Prioritize. Not everything has to be done the minute it arrives on your plate! Yes, time is a very valuable thing and there will always be work to accomplish, but it’s learning how to prioritize these tasks in order of importance that matters. As a business is building up, it’s natural to want to take every door that opens as it gives you the chance to expose and network your business more and more. However, you want to avoid doing this as it will just lead to exhaustion. Passing up some things is okay! Remember, it’s not about taking every single chance but picking the ones that will benefit you and your business the most.
Reset Expectations. Unrealistic expectations are a common thing amongst entrepreneurs. They often have set goals that are unachievable and then end up disappointed when they don’t get accomplished. Instead of realigning to goals that are achievable, people will push ahead full throttle. This will cause a burn out and discourage you more than you know. Don’t compare your business to others in the field! Just because they have seen sudden success doesn’t mean it will maintain at that level and there is no use in comparison. Celebrate milestones instead!
Don’t isolate yourself. Most of you know already that isolation is common among startup founders. The hours are different than your typical nine to five and there are more levels of stress than someone who works for an already established company. Seek out the company of people who are going through a similar thing as you are. These are your peers and they will understand the stress you are going through. Believe me when I say no one wants to hear you talk about the same thing over and over again. Check out places like Meetup.com orStartupDigest.com for events or meets up with other founders. Who knows, it might be the start of a new friendship as well.
In today’s world, everyone is looking for the next big thing. From internet startups to the hot new gadget, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. According to the Small Business Administration, only a third of new businesses survive their first decade. But how do you survive beyond that and grow your business? Follow some of these helpful tips along with hard work to help you succeed!
Find The Right Team
This goes beyond finding the most experienced people. Sometimes finding the right people who share the same passion as you are just as important when hiring. What kind of business do you want to be? What do you want people to think of when they think about your company? These are questions you need to consider early on. Make sure everyone around you sees your vision and believes in it
Keep Customers Happy
Customer service is maybe the most important thing for your business. How do you keep the customer satisfied and happy? Everyone at your company needs to know what their own role in retaining customers. Making sure your employees know what their role is as a brand will add value to your customers. Even external factors like shipping, and services you need to operate on a day-to-day with are all part of this experience as well.
Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes- Learn From Them
You will make mistakes. There’s no shame in making them. But the key is to learn from them. When you make a mistake, make sure you solve the problem properly. Not only solve it properly, but know what will fix the problem that one time and then keeps the problem from ever happening again.
Find The Brain Power
Like with making mistakes, you will find people who are smarter than you. You can’t know and do everything, so you must rely on others. Hiring the right people as I mentioned above, is essential. The key is to hire the right people for the right job, if someone is very knowledgeable in one area that you might not be, that’s the person you are looking for.
Establishing your philosophy and having everyone buy into it is a huge component of success. Providing a lifetime of quality goods and services, will in turn keep customers for life. Word of mouth is an important component in spreading your business and what you will be known for as a company.
Love What You Do
The road to success is not an easy one, and you will find many pitfalls along the way. But the one thing all successful entrepreneurs have in common is they love what they do. They love their company inside and out and believe in the service they provide. Keeping your optimism up so important because once it’s gone, you’re done.