It’s time to rethink delegation.
Too often this means distributing routine tasks so we can focus on bigger projects. But that’s not delegating — that’s unloading busywork. Delegation should be strategic. If you’re not taking advantage of employees’ skills, perspectives, and interests, you’re missing opportunities to build your team and your business.
A 2013 survey reported 53% of business owners believe delegating would grow their business over 20% — yet less than 15% say they already assign everything they should. We know delegating helps our bottom line, but we’re stuck on how to do it well.
According to the book Lincoln on Leadership, Abraham Lincoln’s delegation strategy included three main concepts: persuade, support, encourage. Although much has changed since the 1860s (indoor plumbing for one!), his effective techniques serve as the following timeless lessons for us all.
1. Persuade Through Shared Vision.
William Seward, Secretary of State, believed Lincoln was “totally unqualified and incompetent.” Undeterred, Lincoln earned Seward’s respect. They visited troops, discussed strategies, and shared patriotic vision. Lincoln convinced Seward they shared values, and then fully tasked international diplomacy to demonstrate trust in Seward.
We’re onto our next ‘B’ in our “ABCs of Small Business Industries” installment! Today’s ‘B’ is for builders (or, general contracting)! If you’ve dreamed of construction since you were organizing your building blocks as a young child, now might just be the perfect time for you to make your move. Not sure where to start? We’ll help you out. Continue reading
User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content that is produced by consumers or users. It can take the form of social media updates, reviews, blog posts, Q&A forums, photos or videos. Many businesses use different kinds of UGC as part of their overall marketing strategy and the benefits getting involved with UGC provides are nearly endless for your business.
- Enriched user experience – UGC allows your customers and prospects to interact with like-minded people and share their opinions – this could be through posting comments on a blog, on discussion forums or status updates.
- Enhanced understanding of your audience – User-generated content offers you an excellent opportunity to listen to your customers and be able to better understand their needs.
- Established trust – Consumers usually base their buying decisions on what other people are saying. Having positive reviews on your site enhances the chances of prospects using your service or buying your product.
- Search engine optimization – Search engines like Google rank sites based on how unique and relevant their content is. Having user-generated content on your site can play a major role in improving your search engine rankings and even make your site more visible.
- Cost effectiveness – Hiring designers and writers to create content for your business site can be very expensive, but if you work with an in-house team instead, it’ll help you save on money and time.
What are the defining characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? Passion, tenacity, and flexibility all make the list, for sure, but how about being a bit of a control freak? That probably figures somewhere in there too. And undoubtedly, the determination to constantly succeed can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to let go of the reins, even a little.
However, learning to loosen your grip marks a coming of age for any business owner; it’s an essential part of growing a business. It’s those who cling on to controlling every last operational detail that are often the ones holding their business back from reaching its full potential.
So why is it beneficial to detach yourself from your precious business venture? The main reason – and it may seem a little at odds with itself – is that while you may be a veritable business-building machine, part of becoming a truly great business leader is recognizing that you possess neither the time nor the expertise to do everything by yourself.
In order for any business to develop and grow, it needs to be equipped with the right tools to succeed. For eCommerce websites especially, a marketing automation strategy is vital for improving sales opportunities. And building and implementing this kind of strategy has never been easier than without the aid of web sales marketing automation solutions.
When devising any strategy to follow, you should set certain goals that need to be achieved and be able to measure your progress towards completing these objectives. This holds true for web sales automation strategies as well – setting clearly defined goals is the first step towards success:
1) Increasing the number of inbound leads.
With the help of a good web-sales automation solution, you can expand your opportunities for attracting inbound leads. This is how you can fuel your lead generation through marketing automation:
- You can identify your anonymous site visitors and gather a wide range of data about them.
- Real-time reports allow you to track each one of your leads individually.
- You can set up notifications to inform you when a visitor completes a certain action
- Gathered data allows you to optimize your landing pages, audit your website for a better user experience and add identified leads for lead nurturing.
- You can also prioritize your inbound leads and group them into categories based on their preferences.
Have you ever witnessed – or even experienced – a workplace dispute that seemed to get worse any time somebody tried to intervene? Even good intentions are not effective in resolving work conflicts sometimes. Trained managers who have the focus to mediate have demonstrated time and time again that they can succeed in supporting the aggrieved parties to reach an amicable agreement.
If your managers know how to handle problems between employees, they will find it much easier to motivate their teams and protect against hits to productivity. However, according to a 2008 survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), 66% of respondents reported that their managers needed to improve interaction levels with their staff and 27% stated that their managers had received no training whatsoever in dealing with workplace conflict. This suggests that there is definitely room for improvement within UK businesses on the use of mediation and skilled practitioners in managing difficult situations. A study in the U.S. found that an overwhelming majority ( 85% ) of employees at all levels experience conflict to some degree. Furthermore, it was found that U.S. employees spend 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict, so these issues are proven, not surprisingly, to be affecting workplaces all around the world.
In the early days of a start-up, you have to wear pretty much every hat possible. You have to develop your products, sell and support them, keep your accounts and other legal documentation up to date, and never take your eyes off cash flow. All of which, plus managing a few people, takes up lots of time and energy.
Marketing is one of those things that are a bit ethereal. It’s not concrete. It doesn’t deliver immediate results. It’s so intangible that it’s easy to push it to another day. Isn’t it?
You may want to reconsider doing that. Ignoring your marketing could be the biggest risk to your company’s survival. There’s still time to get started though, if you keep a few of these tips in mind.
As the owner of a small business, you no doubt receive a lot of advice on how to run your brand from friends, business associates, management books and leadership TED Talks, and blogs, but a lot of that ‘conventional wisdom’ is not worth taking. Here are 7 pieces of small business advice that you should NOT listen to.
1.) “There’s No Additional Room for Your Product (or Service) in This Market.”
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, nor do you always have to go to a completely empty area to start or enhance your small business. Starbucks wasn’t the first company to sell coffee at retail, but they were able to win the market by not just selling coffee. They sold an “experience” along with a wide array of coffee products as well as pastries. And despite the dominance of Starbucks, there are many other boutique coffee retailers across the country, even though there may be a Starbucks on the next corner.
You don’t have to come up with a completely novel idea. Just look to fill a niche that has a large potential market.
Have any questions about starting your own business? Not sure where to even start? Not to worry! We are proud to announce that, in conjunction with the Google Small Business Community, our CEO Deborah Sweeney is going to be fielding any and all questions about the legalities of starting your own business this Thursday. The Hangout starts tomorrow at 12:30 PM, and if you want your questions answered, you’ll need to RSVP and submit them to the moderator here.
So don’t forget to tune in! We’re really excited about this opportunity, and look forward to a great discussion.
Added to the list of pros that comes along with incorporating your business is that now, when we help you out with your filing, you get a free domain name to call your very own!
Thanks to our partnering with Arvixe, when you incorporate with MyCorporation you’ll also be scoring on a great domain name deal that includes…
- One free domain name for life (.com, .net, .org, or .us)
- Unlimited disk space and data transfer
- One year of website hosting, absolutely free
- Unlimited email addresses
- Arvixe forum support
- Secure and reliable hosting
- Automatic installation of software
Domain names are an important part of starting a business. Today, there aren’t many businesses out there that don’t have a website attached to their name. It’s how they’re found and, oftentimes, evaluated by customers. The perfect website can make or break a business, and that all starts by obtaining a domain name.
Get the ball rolling by incorporating and claiming your free domain name today!
Give us a call at 1 (877) 692-6772 and we’ll be happy to help you out every step of the way.