Want A Successful Business? Focus On These 5 Things

It shocks me to see how many entrepreneurs continue to get in their own way by focusing on the wrong things in business. There’s no reason to make success hard when it’s easy.

Don’t focus on what you don’t know at first you’ll just get frustrated and stuck. Focus instead on what you can do and keep going to gain momentum. This means focusing on the easy parts first, then coming back to the more difficult aspects of building your business. Hopefully, by then you’ll have built up enough momentum that it won’t break your productive focus.

The following are some of the basic business skills (especially soft skills) that drive you to success with ease. These basic skills are what truly set you up for success.

  1. Focus on what works for easy success. Many entrepreneurs believe they’ll succeed, but they lack the basic business skills and common business sense to back up that belief. They waste a lot of time focusing on expensive details.

For instance, when I work with entrepreneurs in building or reinventing their businesses, I help them develop or re-create their branding. Occasionally, I get a client who gets stuck on such details as perfecting the font on the logo when he should be focusing on areas of the business that generate profits. People like this make it hard for themselves, instead of making it easy by trusting the process.

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Introducing how to succeed in business. 6 Secret steps to success. Part 2 – How to achieve your dreams in real life – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHwxR…

Obsessing over perfection or the wrong details isn’t cost-effective. You must learn how to prioritize. Know how much time to spend on each aspect of your business, and don’t waste time on less important tasks.

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  1. Avoid “Squirrel Syndrome.” It’s not uncommon for a business owner to spin their wheels and lose focus. When this happens, many people start looking for the next bright, shiny object to grab hold of. This is called Squirrel Syndrome.
  • Squirrels have a severe inability to focus.
  • Squirrels often dart back and forth—doubting their deci­sions—unable to choose a direction.
  • Squirrels have something to teach us: what not to do.

The Squirrel Syndrome may cause abrupt dashes from one idea to another or one project to the next. When this happens, you become unfocused and may even become frantic about not getting things accomplished. The result is, you delay or never complete important projects to reach your goals.

You can avoid Squirrel Syndrome by learning to recognize when a squirrel shows up in your life. Refocus by taking the time to define the project or direction in which you need to go. Then stay on task and turn off all distractions. Remember, every time you stray off course, it takes that much longer to reach your goals.

  1. Focus on activities that create results. Focus is one of those basic-but-critical, habits you need to master if you want to be successful. Improve your focus on the day-to-day basic business activities you do best, and from which you produce extraordinary results. If you don’t, you’ll create higher stress levels and may experience burnout. When you spend most of your time and energy doing the business tasks you’re brilliant at and allow others (like employees or subcontractors) to do the rest, you reap the biggest rewards.

For example, don’t try building a website unless you’re a webmaster, and don’t try learning technical skills if that isn’t the best use of your time. Outsource those things instead, and focus on running your business so it can grow and prosper.

  1. Multitask mindfully. The key to multitasking is to do it strategically and mindfully. Mindful multitasking means that you check in with yourself and determine how you need to focus in each new situation.

Mindful multitasking allows you to stop reacting to distractions, such as the automatic reflex to answer the phone or read an incoming text. It allows you to focus on the actions that provide the best results and disregard everything else. After you set your intentions for the day, create a to-do list that you can tackle using mindful multitasking, allowing yourself to be present in each action you take for the day.

  1. Focus on developing one big project at a time. Don’t try to start multiple projects at once—it fragments focus and time. Entrepreneurs are creative people, often with many good business ideas. And it’s hard turning off the desire to act on multiple ideas at one time. But if you split your attention between more than one big project at a time, you’ll run into trouble completing anything at all. You’re going to need all your energy and focus to get your one new project off the ground.

Here are five ways to remain focused on whatever your task at hand may be:

  1. Write out what you need to accomplish each day so you don’t forget important tasks. When a new idea comes to mind, don’t stop what you’re doing. Simply make a note of it and come back to it at a more convenient time.
  2. Focus on your overall ideas and then implement an effective action plan. Keep your top three goals in mind and commit to achieving them each week. Write down the specific actions you need to take to achieve those goals.
  3. Tackle creative work first. Mindless work will drain your energy, lower your focus, and waste your time. When you start with creative work at the beginning of the day, you can work on the most complex projects when your energy is highest before moving on to simpler tasks, such as answering emails or returning calls.
  4. Understand what’s worthy of distraction. Don’t allow last-minute, nonemergency issues to kill your focus. Stay on task and stick to your commitments. Prioritize other tasks and put together a timeline so you’re not needlessly distracted.
  5. Unplug from email, social media, and phone calls. Take a break from all outside distractions and focus on the task at hand. You’ll get a lot more done when you’re not constantly interrupting yourself.

Debbie Allen

By:Debbie Allen / Speaker, Business Mentor & Author

Source: Want a Successful Business? Focus on These 5 Things

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Should You Use Your Own Name or Create a Brand Name for Your Business?

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A friend and ex-colleague of mine recently left her full-time job and started freelancing as a consultant. Like any freelancer seeking new business opportunities, she planned to create a website showcasing her past work and detailing her capabilities. But first, she had to answer a critical question: Should she create a new to represent her business or simply use her own name? Since I run a brand consulting agency with one full-time employee (me), she asked for my advice.

No matter what kind of freelance work you’re doing – from brand consultant to bookkeeper – this is a question you’ll have to answer. Using your personal name means presenting yourself as an individual contributor and keeping the focus on you. Coming up with a brand name, on the other hand, will require a thorough naming process and will create some “daylight” between you and the business. Either path can work, and deciding which is right for you depends on a range of personal factors. I’ve outlined five reasons below to take the first approach: creating a new brand name for your freelance business.

A brand name suggests scale

In the past, many companies took on their founder’s . Think Lipton, Ford, or . But these companies’ modern-day counterparts are more likely to develop unique brand names like , Tesla, or (For the record, Starbuck is a fictional character from Moby Dick, Nikola Tesla died 60 years before the founding of , and it’s unlikely Robin Hood was a real person, much less had any involvement with the financial services app.). Because of this shift, a unique brand name, rather than a founder’s name (i.e., yours) can create an impression of a larger organization, which implies more breadth and depth.

If you’re thinking, “But I don’t want anyone to think I’m more than one person,” don’t underestimate the disadvantage solo freelancers can face in competitive situations. Remember that people who’ll never meet you – whether they’re decision-makers or procurement personnel – may be making judgments based on your name alone. For example, imagine having to select one of the following brand consultancies: Catchword, Lexicon, or Sally Flakowitz. The personal name creates an awkward, apples-to-oranges situation you’re probably better off avoiding.

Related: Why Brand Name is Important for Start-Ups?

A brand name gives you room to grow

Speaking of scale, another benefit of a brand name is its potential to stretch as your business changes. You may not plan on building a 15-person team – but plans often change. Should your business become more than a one-person operation, a brand name provides room to grow.

This logic applies even on a project-to-project basis. When you take on a large assignment, you may need to subcontract work or hire other freelancers as teammates. When showing up at a client’s office with a colleague, introducing yourselves as independent freelancers who happen to be working together at the moment does not inspire confidence. It creates a temporary, noncommital feeling. It’s much easier – and sounds more professional – to say, “Hi, I’m Rob, and this is Sally. We’re from [BrandName].”

A brand name provides an opportunity to express ideas

What ideas and feelings does your name evoke to those who hear it? Hopefully, amongst your family and friends, at least, a host of positive adjectives are associated with your name – perhaps smart, creative, and hardworking. But for those who’ve never met you? Never heard of you? It’s just a name. Unless you go by “Sting” or “The Rock,” your name doesn’t really convey any meaning. It doesn’t tell prospective clients that you’re smart or creative. It’s not even a name you chose.

But creating a brand name allows you to say something. Some brand names are straightforward and descriptive (e.g., Best Buy), while some merely suggest an idea (e.g., Zipcar). Others venture into the abstract – they don’t carry any relevant meaning but can nevertheless convey a sense of personality, like Apple (simple) or Virgin (irreverent). No matter what approach your brand name has, you can use it to tell people something about yourself and the work you do.

Related: The Do’s and Don’t’s of Naming Your Business (Infographic)

A brand name may be easier to spell and pronounce

Some first and last names are easier to pronounce than others, but chances are the brand name you create will be shorter than your personal name (one word rather than two, for example). And since you’re building the name from scratch, you’ll have an opportunity to ensure its . While there are exceptions, most of the best brand names are short and sweet. Names built from one or more real English words are more likely to be understood, pronounceable, and correctly spelled than many people’s names.

If you have any interest in doing business overseas, you may find your personal name has additional drawbacks. Names that are commonplace in one language or culture may appear strange or unpronounceable in other parts of the world. Your name may lead people to assume – accurately or not – that you’re from a particular country or region and, whether or not it’s fair, that assumption may come with prejudices. English, however, has become the lingua franca of global business. A real English word or two is likely to be understood and pronounceable by many business people for whom English is not a native tongue.

A brand name may be more distinctive

The flip side of the point above is that, in some cases, personal names are so common that they fail to stand out. If your name is “Niamh Moloughney,” good luck getting people to spell and pronounce it correctly. But if you’re one of the over 11,000 Ann Millers on LinkedIn, your prospective customers may have trouble remembering you or telling you apart from other freelancers.

Reviewing competitor names is a critical step in any brand naming process. In creating your brand name, you can choose to use a different naming style, pick one that’s significantly shorter or longer than competitors, or find an initial letter that’s unique to the category.

Ultimately, this decision depends heavily on your given name and surname. How common are they? Are they hard to spell or pronounce? Will they associate you with a specific language, country, or region – for better or worse? Some people’s names almost beg to be used as brand names, like Smart & Final (named after founders J.S. Smart and H.D. Final) or Fox Racing (named after founder Geoff Fox). They’re short, simple, easy to remember, and have built-in meaning or imagery. Unless you’re lucky enough to have such a distinctive, evocative name, consider creating a brand name for your freelance business.

Related: 10 Secrets to Master Your Personal Brand

Rob Meyerson

 

By: Rob Meyerson/ Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

 

Source: Should You Use Your Own Name or Create a Brand Name for Your Business?

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3 Key Steps to Make Your Business More Efficient and More Profitable

The Covid-19 pandemic has arguably imposed more challenges to the way companies have done business than any other single event in living memory, if not longer. Whilst the external pressures on a business have increased, many enterprises are still handicapping themselves by not building-in even the most basic system efficiencies. By effectively managing and prioritizing your business’ inputs, most particularly the labor-hours of you and your senior team, you can release greater outputs and ultimately revenue.

Related: Manage Your Company More Efficiently with This 22-Course Project Management Training

Here are three key principles for optimising efficiency, to release your business from self-imposed constraints, in 2021.

1. You are not a manager, you are a leader

Leadership and Management are both the same, right? Wrong, couldn’t be more wrong – stop it! Warren Bennis, Professor of Business Administration and an Organisational Consultant is quoted as an opening: “The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it

Even this simple change of mindset will release you from one of the most pervasive inefficiencies in business. If you see yourself as a manager you are strategically no better than a caretaker, taking what you have and merely preserving it. Entrepreneurship rests on the foundation of leadership: identifying a business’s strengths and weaknesses, implementing positive change whilst taking others on the journey with you. Use the ‘Plan’ ‘Do’ ‘See’ ‘Act’ system. Develop an efficientcy idea, trial it, review and then roll it out for system-wide effectiveness

True leadership has a compounding effect on efficiency. If you identify yourself as a leader you will improve your business through efficiencies. If you teach your team that they are leaders too, then they will identify efficiencies upon efficiencies at every level in your business.

Related: 10 Awesome Tips for Being a Better Leader

2. Get lean

Taiichi Ohno, founder of the Toyota Production System which gave rise to ‘Lean’ working said when asked about Lean thinking: “All we are doing is looking at the timeline, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the timeline by reducing the non-value adding wastes”

The key question here is ‘What are the things you are doing that people won’t pay for, and why are you still doing them?’. (1) Identify what your client wants, (2) identify what workflows are required to bring about the client’s goals and (3) automate the ‘system pull’ so that (1) naturally flows, without bottlenecks, from (2). Waste can arise from a range of sources including over-processing, unnecessary motion of goods and staff, and simple erroneous thinking within system design. Cut it out, because no one is paying you for it, but be careful not to inadvertently devalue your brand by dehumanizing your process

Related: How to Apply Lean Principles to Your Startup’s Productivity and Time Management

3. Invest in real business efficiency review

Kevin Zhang, the eCommerce entrepreneur behind HEMPX clothing brand and the Branded Niche eCommerce (‘BNE’) approach, has a unique way to ensure business efficiency is at the heart of his business. Every month, Kevin spends one-week logging everything that he did that week, hour by hour, and then closely examines any inefficiencies. Kevin looks at his schedule and determines which activities are high value-add and which can be automated through hiring new talent.

The difference between a successful start-up and a scaled-up business is the development of systems to build growth on the foundation of a verified concept. The University of Oxford identifies scalable infrastructure as one of the three key requirements for a business to move to the next level, alongside strong leadership and appropriate marketing. This includes IT systems and production or manufacturing systems, as well as office space and workforce arrangements. If a business owner is spending all of their time in the weeds of their business rather than constantly thinking about growth, then, of course, their business is not going to grow.

Related: 7 Key Steps to a Growth Strategy That Works Immediately

A focus and commitment to removing inefficiency is like removing shackles from a business’s potential. It requires courageous leadership, and ability to identify what your client needs and supply that in the most streamlined fashion, and a willingness to stop and take stock to ensure you are using your time effectively to guide your business in the right direction.

By: Samuel leach / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor Director of Samuel & Co Trading

.

TakingTheBiz

In this revision tutorial for A level Business students we examine how to improve the efficiency of a business by improving its labour productivity. Efficiency and labour productivity are topics on the new A level Business specifications for Edexcel, AQA and OCR. TakingTheBiz is a channel dedicated to A level Business revision. See more of our videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/TakingTheBiz…​ Stay in touch with TakingTheBiz via social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TakingTheBiz/​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TakingTheBiz​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/takingthebiz/

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WRAP Unveils Five Year Plan for Textile Environmental Impact http://www.ul.com – February 12[…] year plan puts in place the changes needed to reduce the impact on the environment and to improve business efficiency for the textile and clothing industry […]N/A

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3 Ways To Dominate Your Market

My area of expertise is in leadership development using the philosophy of Lean Six Sigma, in other words “process improvement strategies”. 

Now join me on the journey I call A Tale of Two Companies: One business allowed its workers to be engaged by making improvements that allowed the customer to be first in mind. The second created an environment of “it’s not my job” eliminating employees from using client-first thinking. Now you might ask, “How can the customer not be first?”

Many believe Lean Six Sigma is solely for engineering and manufacturing companies. That’s the first misconception. This managerial approach is built on the premise of eliminating wasteful elements and focusing solely on the customer. Having taken that quick glimpse of Lean, as an entrepreneur, you can now see that this philosophy applies to all businesses. Every business operates in what Lean practitioners call SIPOC, (Suppliers, Input, Processes, Output and Customers). Understanding that small segment of lean thinking will open the door for you to look at the three ways to dominate your market. 

Related: Define Your Brand Identity in 3 Steps

How can I hinder?

Meet Office XYZ, a Dental Facility that has a small staff of 5-7 individuals each having their unique jobs when dealing with patients. I called this facility to make an appointment for my mother and was told they needed to verify her insurance and would call back once they received the approvals. Two weeks went by before I realized I had not heard from anyone regarding the insurance verification.

I called the office and asked to speak with the individual that was to call back, whom we’ll call Kelly. I was informed that Kelly was out of the office and had been ill for the past two weeks. My next question was: “is she the only person that verifies insurance?” The response was affirmative and I then asked to speak with a manager. I was told Kelly was the manager. Let’s stop here because now we enter that well-known rabbit hole of “it’s not my job.”

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How can I help?

Meet Office ABC, A Pizza Company with a similar-sized staff. One night I called for a pizza. Upon placing the order I was told my meal would be about 30 minutes. Half an hour on a Friday evening? This company operated far differently than the first. When I placed my order something incredible happened, I received a text with the following message:  “We’re making your order. It’s all coming together now. The kitchen staff is busy with your order making sure everything is just right.”

A few minutes later I received this missive: “It’s on the way. The driver has left the store and will be at your location shortly”, followed with, “Delivered! Time to eat. It’s been our pleasure serving you”.And it was within the time promised by the associate. 

The “go and see” mentality

These two very different experiences gave me moment to pause. Did Company XYZ know about the importance of “lean thinking” and did Company ABC know they were using the lean six sigma philosophy in their operations? Did the leader of Company XYZ actually walk the process to see if there were any wasteful elements that allowed their service to lack the three main components of customer first thinking: quality, speed and delivery? And what about Company ABC, did that leader utilize the concept of Gemba, meaning “go and see” to improve their value stream and get to the point where they asked what their customers appreciate?

When exploring Lean Six Sigma’s methodology the first step is to find the root cause for the identified waste. Then you move into seeking what the customer defines as quality, you determine the speed of getting your customer the item or rendering the service and you seek an appropriate method of delivery.

Focusing on the three lean strategies

One can’t assume to know what the clientele defines as quality unless they have actually been asked. In Company XYZ it is evident that no one took the initiative to seek input through surveys, focus groups or used any feedback techniques. There is a concept in the Lean lexicon called (VOC) Voice of the Customer. It simply means find out what your customers want and are willing to pay for. This is where you will find that notion of quality.

In the tale of Company ABC, you can attest to the fact that quality for their customers, myself included, is hot pizza, and being notified as to what’s going on with their order. How did they come to know and implement this into their operations? After receiving such great service I had to call and speak with one of their leaders. I was informed this is how they compete as a reckoning force within the market. 

The need for speed

Being the fastest in your field has a huge impact on your market.  As you can tell from the visit with Company XYZ speed played no major role in what they deemed as important to customers. Two weeks to verify insurance is beyond an acceptable practice. And, by the way, I failed to mention that I did speak with another person, upon request, who did call back within 24 hours to inform me that they did not accept the insurance.  Yet I waited 2 weeks for something that could have saved me both frustration and aggravation. Speed and convenience are major players in our buying experience.

Company ABC, epitomizes the importance of speed. On each text message I received that time stamp of delivery was also listed. Today there are ample services to ensure your customers get items and services in a speedy manner. This company has a system in place that allows employees to know time schedules for various sizes, as well as any increase in time based on selected toppings. Have you looked at your level of quickness, while keeping the high standard of quality appreciated by your customers?

Why is the method of delivery so important to your customers? Is it easy to obtain your product or service? Delivery in its simplest form equates to how a customer receives your product or service. Simple right? Company XYZ’s delivery was neither exceptional nor satisfactory. The level of professionalism of their staff created an angst for the customer and therefore any method of delivery they deemed appropriate was subpar. There was no option as to whether they could email, text me or call me. Based on their performance I don’t think any of those options would have changed the outcome.

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Company ABC created a delivery method that allowed me to select how I wanted to receive the product. They of course deliver in their vehicles, but I had an option to have it delivered to my door and left in an appropriate place, to have them ring the doorbell and I receive it face-to-face or contactless, it’s in the trunk and I come out and retrieve it. This allows the customer to select an option.

We have just visited two companies:  One eliminated waste and the other added to it. Which business are you? 

By: Sheryl Mays Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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