More and more businesses are moving towards a subscription-based mode because it works. If you’re not adapting to this trend, you’ll only end up out of business while your competitors thrive now and in the future. If you’re using funnels, selling products, selling content, or even services, you’ll need a place where all of those items are 100% protected.
Along with that, we’re now living in a time where consumers want more value, more bang for their buck, and community with their purchases. Simply put, if you want to thrive in the months and years to come, you can’t afford to ignore having a membership site regardless of what business you have.
Most online businesses or local agencies rely on having to make consistent sales every month to meet the bills. This causes stress and pressure to produce that only ends up putting most in the red. And it’s even more challenging since the pandemic. Ever since we’ve come into the new normal, people are more apt to purchase memberships because they want to get more value for their money.
There’s no need to be tech savvy when it comes to using the app. You simply choose which options you want and drag them into the site area and edit. This allows you to customize your new membership site instantly. Because we’ve created an extremely easy to use intuitive platform, you’ll be able to build sleek looking membership sites that wow your customers in absolutely no time.
These sites look so good that your customers will swear it was built by a professional designer! See more details here..
If only half of startups survive more than five years and only one-third make it to 10, what’s the one thing you could do to ensure your company is sustainable? The answer is to create a growth strategy for your business, of course.
A growth strategy involves more than simply envisioning long-term success. If you don’t have a tangible plan, you’re actually losing business — or you’re increasing the chance of losing business to competitors.
The key with any growth strategy is to be deliberate. Figure out the rate-limiting step in your growth, and pour as much fuel on the fire as possible. But for this to be beneficial, you need to take the following steps:
1. Establish a value proposition.
For your business to sustain long-term growth, you must understand what sets it apart from the competition. Identify why customers come to you for a product or service. What makes you relevant, differentiated and credible? Use your answer to explain to other consumers why they should do business with you.
For example, some companies compete on “authority” — Whole Foods Market is the definitive place to buy healthy, organic foods. Others, such as Walmart, compete on price. Figure out what special benefit only you can provide, and forget everything else. If you stray from this proposition, you’ll only run the risk of devaluing your business.
2. Identify your ideal customer.
You got into business to solve a problem for a certain audience. Who is that audience? Is that audience your ideal customer? If not, who are you serving? Nail down your ideal customer, and revert back to this audience as you adjust business to stimulate growth.
3. Define your key indicators.
Changes must be measurable. If you’re unable to measure a change, you have no way of knowing whether it’s effective. Identify which key indicators affect the growth of your business, then dedicate time and money to those areas. Also, A/B test properly — making changes over time and comparing historical and current results isn’t valid.
4. Verify your revenue streams.
What are your current revenue streams? What revenue streams could you add to make your business more profitable? Once you identify the potential for new revenue streams, ask yourself if they’re sustainable in the long run. Some great ideas or cool products don’t necessarily have revenue streams attached. Be careful to isolate and understand the difference.
5. Look to your competition.
No matter your industry, your competition is likely excelling at something that your company is struggling with. Look toward similar businesses that are growing in new, unique ways to inform your growth strategy. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Ask yourself why your competitors have made alternate choices. Are they wrong? Or are your businesses positioned differently? The assumption that you’re smarter is rarely correct.
6. Focus on your strengths.
Sometimes, focusing on your strengths — rather than trying to improve your weaknesses — can help you establish growth strategies. Reorient the playing field to suit your strengths, and build upon them to grow your business.
7. Invest in talent.
Your employees have direct contact with your customers, so you need to hire people who are motivated and inspired by your company’s value proposition. Be cheap with office furniture, marketing budgets and holiday parties. Hire few employees, but pay them a ton. The best ones will usually stick around if you need to cut back their compensation during a slow period.
Developing a growth strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. In fact, due to changing market conditions, making strategic decisions based on someone else’s successes would be foolish. That’s not to say that you can’t learn from another company, but blindly implementing a cookie-cutter plan won’t create sustainable growth.
You need to adapt your plan to smooth out your business’s inefficiencies, refine its strengths and better suit your customers — who could be completely different than those from a vague, one-size-fits-all strategy.
Your company’s data should lend itself to all your strategic decisions. Specifically, you can use the data from your key indicators and revenue streams to create a personalized growth plan. That way, you’ll better understand your business and your customers’ nuances, which will naturally lead to growth.
A one-size-fits-all strategy implies vague indicators. But a specific plan is a successful plan. When you tailor your growth strategy to your business and customers, you’ll keep your customers happy and fulfill their wants and needs, which will keep them coming back.
Some say strategy is vision, others say strategy is process and tactic. It’s one of those things everyone has a different take on. To pin down what strategy is, I started by looking at how today’s thought leaders — McKinsey, Harvard Business Review, and Monitor Deloitte — see strategy, and I’d like to share those insights with you.
McKinsey’s Take on Strategy
Strategy is… 1. An integrated set of actions to create a sustainable competitive advantage over competitors.
2. A way of thinking, not a procedural exercise or a set of frameworks.
The 4 Lenses Framework
McKinsey believes a firm should look at strategy from four lenses: financial, market, competitive advantage, operating model.
Through the financial lens, we benchmark our financial performance against peers. It’s an objective baseline for us to assess and prioritize new initiatives, and to understand what the future looks like if we follow our current trajectory.
Through the market lens, we consider:
Which market segments we can grow profitably in over time
Other attractive markets we should consider entering
Through the competitive advantage lens, we try to figure out what it takes to capture value and win in our current markets. We determine if we can win, win quick enough, and win sustainably.
Finally, through the operating model lens, we allocate and design our people, process, and technology resources to inform strategic objectives.
Below are the core building blocks McKinsey identified.
They will ensure alignment on key decisions and that the company is prepared and willing to act on the strategy adopted.
HBR’s Take on Strategy
Strategy is… 1. A plan to create value.
2. Choices to do some things and not others.
The Big I
Harvard Business Review (HBR) says strategy is about expanding the top side and the bottom side of the Big I:
To capture additional value, a firm must either expand willingness to pay (raise the top bar) or expand willingness to sell (lower the bottom bar).
When you apply for a job at your dream company, you’re hoping, maybe even praying, that you’ll be successful in the interview process and receive an offer. After all, it’s the company you’ve always wanted to work for. So when you don’t get an offer, it can feel devastating — but it doesn’t have to. Here’s why rejection happens and how you can learn from it to position yourself for success in future interviews.
Why rejection happens
The second you receive the rejection phone call or email, you immediately try to figure out why. But the answer may be elusive, especially if the person on the other end doesn’t give you much information to go on. There are a few possible reasons why you didn’t receive an offer:
There was a “better” candidate.
This may seem like the most obvious reason, but “better” doesn’t always mean better than you. Sometimes it just means different. Once a job is posted and candidates are interviewed, hiring managers sometimes realize they could use skills or experience they didn’t know they needed.
Or, your skills and capabilities may be right in line with what the hiring manager needs, but there are always intangibles that aren’t listed, like wanting a product manager who has worked on a novel product or wanting someone who is insatiably curious about the world around them. If another candidate demonstrates those intangibles during the interview process, they may be “better” because they can contribute and bring value in a different way.
You didn’t tie your skills and experience to the role.
You may have all the necessary capabilities and experience, but the hiring manager needs to understand how you’ll apply them to this particular role. Too many people focus on making sure they talk about their accomplishments but ignore the actual job description. Truly understanding the role and articulating how you would apply your skills and capabilities to it is key to helping the hiring manager visualize how you can bring value to the team and organization.
You have a mismatch with the culture.
This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! Every company has a specific culture. For example, if your success has come from making unilateral decisions but this company makes all decisions through consensus, you may become frustrated quickly. The last thing a hiring manager wants to do is hire someone who doesn’t fit in with the team or company culture.
While you may believe you can adapt to fit the environment, the hiring manager will predict your success based on how you describe your work style and preferences during the interview process. There is nothing you can do if they don’t believe you’d fit in with the team or overall company culture.
The job scope changed.
Once a job is posted, changes at the company could change the scope of the job — for example, maybe someone departed the team or there was a reorganization of functions. While a company should update and repost the job accordingly, not all of them do.
The job was paused or cancelled.
In uncertain economic times, hiring for new roles can be placed on hold or even canceled as companies figure out their short- and long-term strategies. While the job may still be posted, a company may not be interviewing for it or may stop the process after you’ve already interviewed. Some companies have been rescinding offers after making them, essentially firing employees before they even start. It’s not personal or a reflection of your skills and capabilities — it’s the business resetting itself.
Learning from rejection
Rejection stings, and not knowing why you were rejected can cause you to engage in negative self-talk about your skills and capabilities. Here are some ways to learn from the rejection and move forward:
Understand that the perfect job isn’t always perfect.
It’s normal to romanticize a job and company based on what we read or hear about them. And part of an interviewer’s role is to sell you on the job and make it seem amazing and exciting from their first contact with you.
If you weren’t selected for whatever reason, use the rejection to reset that romanticized vision and remind yourself that no company or job is as perfect as described. To get a more realistic view of a prospective employer next time around, take time in advance to think through deeper questions than, “Tell me about the culture.”
For example, during your next interview, ask the hiring manager, “Can you give me an example of how you developed an employee?” or “Is there one common thread to being a stellar performer on your team?” This will help you assess whether a company will take your development seriously and how the company assesses and appreciates its employees.
Reflect on your values.
When we’re desperate to find a job — any job — we don’t focus on what’s important to us and whether the role will contribute to our overall fulfillment. Take a step back and reflect on the job you didn’t get and whether it truly aligned with your values. This exercise will help ensure that when you do land a job, it will be fulfilling.
Sharpen your interviewing skills.
Going through any interview process allows you to practice your interviewing skills and messaging for the next job interview. When I was trying to change careers from entertainment lawyer to human resources professional, I was asked why I wanted to make the change. I would say, “I want to help people.” One hiring manager said that’s not the role of HR; the role is to align people’s skills and capabilities to business goals. I knew that but had never said it in an interview.
So, in the next one, I changed my core messaging and landed the job. Think back to the questions you were asked and how your counterpart reacted to your answers. Which responses landed and which didn’t? Did the hiring manager rephrase what you said more succinctly? Do you have an opportunity to make your message crisper or change your messaging completely?
If you can obtain feedback from your interviewer, you’ll have some actionable information to apply to your next interviews. This is a neutral party’s perspective on how you were perceived in that short period of time they interacted with you. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback or it doesn’t resonate with who you are, consider the 2% rule: What if 2% of it was true? Use the feedback as fuel to advance your skills or change your interview approach.
The more you’re rejected, the more resilient you’ll become as you learn to recover from the disappointment. After finding out you didn’t get the job, figure out what kind of self-care you need to heal — for example, doing an activity you’re great at and enjoy, like bowling, drawing, or exercising. Knowing how you feel in that moment and what it takes to move forward will give you a formula you can apply when faced with any failure.
Hiring managers can sense negative energy during the interview process. Making rejection a part of your learning will help reframe it as taking one step closer to job that’s right for you. The quicker you learn what helps you move forward, the easier it will be to look at the next round of interviews as the next challenge to conquer.
A job rejection can be hard, especially if you are trying to break into a competitive job market. It can make you feel deflated, angry, and cause you to lose your motivation and desire to keep interviewing for other career opportunities. We understand that and have experienced this disappointment throughout our careers as well.
However, it’s important not to let a job rejection keep you from applying for other opportunities. So, this week, we’ve put together some of our best advice on how you can not only deal with job rejection but also use it to improve yourself and future career prospects.
Let’s get started.
#1 Take some time out and get your emotions in place
After any rejection, you are likely to have many different emotions, and therefore we encourage you to take some time out to allow you to process your feelings.
Being rejected doesn’t mean that your attributes and professional qualifications aren’t remarkable. When it comes to hiring, employers weigh numerous considerations. Many factors may have led to your job rejection, including being under-qualified or over-qualified, your attitude towards the job and the company, your interview experience and many more.
Often some of these factors may be beyond your control. You have to understand that in today’s competitive job market, there are often hundreds of applicants for a role, so for an employer to pick just one person is a very challenging decision. As a result, even if you are not offered the job, it may not mean that the employer didn’t like you.
Whenever you receive a rejection, start by thanking the employer for their time and follow by asking if they can give you some feedback. If feedback is not an option, begin by evaluating how you thought you did in the interview. Did you cut off the interviewer? Did you not answer questions as well as you could do?
By identifying areas of weakness, you can then focus on learning how to improve yourself in these areas.
#2 Understand that you are not alone
Every day, countless others face job rejection. If you are dealing with job rejection, the best thing you can do is reach out to others who are currently, or have previously been in similar situations.
This way, you can share your experience and emotions and get mutual support that will be enormously beneficial. They can tell you how to deal with job rejection, and you can ask them what they did to overcome this phase.
There are also various books, podcasts and youtube videos on how to handle job rejection. Hearing how others were able to bounce back from a significant job rejection can help you feel less alone and more confident when you are ready to start reapplying again.
#3 Send a thank you email to the interviewer the day you get the job rejection mail
Sending a thank-you email after a job rejection sounds odd. However, it can help your career in the long run. You can use your thank you letter as an opportunity to build your network, receive feedback and ask to be considered for future opportunities.
After you have received the outcome of your interview, respond by thanking the employer for their time and giving you insight into the company. You can also highlight that although you are disappointed to have not been offered the role, you are excited to see how the company develops and would like to be considered for any future opportunities that may become available. Lastly, you can ask for feedback so that you can find out what you did well and areas you may need to improve.
By taking a few minutes out of your day to write this email, you will leave your interviewer with a positive impression of yourself and therefore increase your chances of receiving constructive feedback or even the possibility of being considered for another role in the future
#4 Think about what you could have done differently
After every interview, sit down for a few minutes and consider what you thought you could do better. This could be from how you answered their questions to your presentation skills and even your posture.
If you felt that you were a bit shaky with your presentation skills, work on presenting to others before your next interview to help reduce your nerves. The same idea applies to answering interview questions, write down some of the questions that you struggled with and do some research into how you may have been able to respond better to them. By doing this, you will create stronger responses that you can call upon in your next interview.
Although you didn’t get the role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did not have any areas that you excelled in. So, take some time to reevaluate what you thought went well in the interview. If you were able to receive feedback, ask what areas they believed you did well in. It’s just as important to focus on your areas of strength as it is to focus on your areas of weakness.
By focusing on your strengths and highlighting them in future interviews, you’ll be able to show employers why you’re the best candidate. It can also help you improve your interviews and even help you land your dream role….To be continued..
The stock market fell so sharply at the beginning of the year that it felt at times as if it would never come back. But it did, in a weekslong rally that lasted through mid-August and would have been more widely celebrated if stocks had not plummeted so badly in the first place.Now, for the last week or two, the market has been wobbly, with no clear trend in sight.
What should investors do about these head-spinning changes in the market’s direction? In a word: nothing. Ignoring the shifts in the markets was my main advice for long-term investors throughout the winter, when stocks were cratering. And I’m sticking with it.
As it turns out, doing nothing was the second-best advice anyone could have given you for investing in the overall stock market this year. The very best advice would have required a crystal ball: You should have sold precisely on Jan. 3, when the S&P 500 stock index was at its peak, and bought on June 16, when it hit bottom. (Then, quite possibly, you should have sold again on Aug. 16, before the market turned rocky. The verdict is still out on that one.)
If you made all of those moves, more power to you. Please get in touch and explain how you managed that perfect trick of market timing, and how you’re going to pull it off the next time. For most of us, buying and selling at the right moment isn’t going to happen regularly enough to beat the market.
Instead, this year shows why it’s better, for the vast majority of people, to take a longer-term approach. Once you have set up a solid investing plan, using low-cost index funds for steady purchases of stocks and bonds, you can do absolutely nothing.
Our Coverage of the Investment World
The decline of the stock and bond markets this year has been painful, and it remains difficult to predict what is in store for the future.
Navigating Uncertainty: What should investors do about the stock market’s repeated head-spinning changes in direction? Nothing, our columnist says.
College Savings: As the stock and bond markets wobble, 529 plans are taking a tumble. What’s a family to do? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but you have options.
Junk Bonds: Firms with low credit ratings, whose debt is often referred to as “junk,” are now taking advantage of a window of opportunity to borrow more cash. A sharp decline, and then …
Let’s recap what has happened this year. The stock market was terrible for months. In fact, through June, it was the worst first half of a year since 1970, as this newspaper, and many others, stated. High inflation, war, rising interest rates and the threat of recession contributed to the dismal performance, and rising rates meant that prices in the bond market (which move in the opposite direction) fell, too.
But the handy periodization used by both Wall Street and journalism — focusing on the first half of the year — obscured a major shift in the stock market. Yes, for more than five months from the market’s peak on Jan. 3, the trend was unmistakably downward. After June 16, however, the market turned around, though of course it wasn’t immediately clear that it was happening.
An often overlooked rally
Consider a few numbers. From Jan. 3 through June 16, the S&P 500 fell 23.6 percent, below the 20 percent threshold that denotes a bear market, in finance jargon. The big declines got everyone’s attention. What didn’t get nearly as much attention was the move that began on June 17. Stocks started climbing — and kept doing so for two months.
From its bottom through Aug. 16, the S&P 500 gained 17.4 percent; with dividends, it returned 17.7 percent. That’s a whopping two-month return. It would be an exaggeration to claim that nobody noticed. But it’s fair to say the market’s rise wasn’t chronicled nearly as widely as its fall. Many investors may not have even realized that stocks were steadily rising.
One reason for this is entirely sensible: The math is unpleasant. When the market’s value declines by nearly a quarter, it must increase much more than that — by 31 percent, in this case — to return to its former level. The 17.4 percent climb left stocks well below their peak. You still lost money, just not as much. Another reason for the relative neglect is that the S&P 500 is still in a bear market.
Customarily, a bear market continues until the last peak of the previous bull market has been recaptured. You won’t see headlines about a new bull market until the S&P 500 reaches its Jan. 3 peak, which, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P Dow Jones Indices, was 4,796.56. As of Thursday’s close, the index stood at 4,199.12.
So if you don’t follow the markets closely, it is understandable if you didn’t notice that the 17.4 percent rally ever happened. In a manner of speaking, you didn’t miss much. The uncertainty in the stock market and, more important, in the greater economy has not ended. Not at all.
Problems with predictions
The Federal Reserve says it intends to keep raising short-term interest rates to stave off raging inflation For now, that seems to me to be the right approach, despite the problems that higher interest rates will cause businesses and working people, who may lose jobs if the Fed persists and the economy contracts.
Inflation may have already peaked. Gasoline is under $4 a gallon in the New York area, where I live, for the first time since March, and that kind of good news is being experienced by drivers all over the country.
But at an annual rate of 8.5 percent, the latest reading for the Consumer Price Index, inflation is far too high for the Fed to accept. Therefore, the only rational explanation for a sudden Fed pause would be very unwelcome, such as an unforeseen calamity that posed a grave threat to the financial system. No one wants that.
The best we can hope for is a so-called soft landing, an easy decline in inflation accomplished with just a modest further increase in interest rates without a major recession or a far deeper bear market. Perhaps that’s possible in this odd economy, which is distorted by the pandemic and the war. Or perhaps it’s not. I am not making predictions.
What I’m saying is that it’s possible to cope — and to invest well — without knowing where the markets or the economy will be next week or next month.
Back to basics
When the market drops, as it did early this year, it paid not to panic. If you had sold during the decline you would have missed the substantial gains of June, July and August. It was much easier to have remained calm while losing money in the stock market. Please note one supremely important caveat: You had to have put aside enough money to pay your bills. If you have not done that, you will be taking a big risk by investing in the stock market.
Keep your reserve cash someplace safe. Now that interest rates have begun rising, a number of options are becoming attractive: U.S. government I bonds, money market funds, high-yield savings accounts, certificates of deposits, short-term government and high-quality commercial bonds. Then set up an investing plan with a horizon of a decade or more, relying mainly on low-cost index funds that track the entire market.
I invest in the bond market, too, in the hope of finding greater stability, because the actuarial tables insist that I’m closer to retirement than to the start of my career, and I may need some of the money within the next decade or two. If you’re just starting out, though, it’s reasonable to focus on stocks and avoid bonds.
Yes, you can do even better than my buy-and-hold, total market approach, if you pick the right stocks at the right moment, and if you sell them at the right time. But you would need to be quite knowledgeable or lucky or, better yet, both. With the method I’m recommending, you don’t need to be right about much. You’re just betting that the economy will grow over the long run and that the stock market will capture some of that growth.
Follow my lead and you can disregard the market’s short-term vagaries. Keep putting money into your index funds, especially when the market falls, and you will benefit from lower prices and bolster the overall returns that you will earn over decades.
If you set things up right, your investing will require that you do nothing further except, perhaps, rebalance your holdings every so often to make sure you have the proportion of stocks and bonds that you really want.
I’ll come back with more on that subject in the weeks ahead. As for quick, short-term maneuvering, that may be fun, but I’d stay away from it in the stock market. Slow and steady makes better sense for the money you will really need.