7 Keys to Success When Starting Your Small Business (Career attraction)

by Steven Biehl

Source: careerattraction.com, 7 October 2014

Shopping for a social media management tool is like buying a car. There are basic requirements (you need it to get from point A to point B, you need to know how fast you’re going) included in every make and model, and optional features that may make or break the deal for you—but another driver will never use these features on their everyday commute.

With so many new social media management tools entering the market with offers to enhance your social media strategy, it can be difficult to see what your business really needs to get the job done. There are, however, several essential features your social media management tool should have—that apply to the needs of a small business and a Fortune 1000 company. So whether you’re shopping around for a social relationship platform, or just looking for some free social media management tools to enhance your strategy, these are the seven features you should consider.

7 features on a social media management tool to enhance your social media strategy

  1. Choose the Right Niche or Industry

Whichever niche or industry your venture falls in, makes sure it’s really in your wheelhouse. You either need to be extremely passionate about it or have specialized expertise — ideally, both.

If you don’t know a serpentine belt from a timing belt, getting into the auto repair industry is going to require too much of a learning curve for you to be successful. Make sure you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your business before pulling the trigger.

  1. Get Your Financial House in Order

Once your industry or niche is chosen, get to work on firming up your own finances. Budget your money, work toward eliminating personal credit card debt, get an emergency fund in place and see where you stand on your retirement savings.

You’re about to embark on a serious roller coaster ride, and the more control you have over your personal finances before you take the plunge, the better off you’re going to be.

  1. Invest Your Own Money — When it Makes Sense

If your business requires $100,000 in working capital just to get out of the starting gate, you’re probably going to need a small business loan or help from angel investors or venture capitalists. If you don’t need quite so much, try investing your own money.

Don’t cut yourself so short you can’t pay your monthly bills, but by shouldering some startup expenses on your own, you set yourself up for greater financial success down the road.

  1. Get Social for Marketing

When it comes to advertising, save some serious money by going social. Social media marketing is a free and powerful tool with unprecedented reach.

Get started with Facebook and Twitter, and explore LinkedIn and YouTube, as well. You should also dip your toe into the Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram waters. There are a great many platforms with which to advertise your business — explore as many as you can and find the right fit for you.

  1. Go Solo If Possible

You’ve got to wear many hats as a small business owner, and you should be careful not to take any of them off too quickly. Only hire additional employees after you can’t keep up with your work. Doing so too early can mean wasting precious dollars.

Be as productive as you can on your own, and consider hiring freelancers as opposed to full-time staff members in the beginning. You can reach profitability in a shorter period of time by doing so.

  1. Save Money on Startup Costs

Write off expenses associated with finding a location, incorporating your business and getting market or demographic analyses done. See IRS Publication 535 for more information.

Get your office supplies for free by participating in the rewards program at your preferred retailer. After paying full price for things like pens, pencils, printer paper and more, you receive that money back in the form of a rewards coupon the following quarter.

There are plenty of additional ways to save money on startup costs — just research the Internet for help.

  1. Make Your Time Count

One overall strategy that can give you a much greater chance of success? Effective time management. Cut back on your Internet surfing, TV watching and any other time-draining activities that are part of your current lifestyle. Work from an organized to-do list every day and save multitasking for minor items only, focusing your efforts on major projects one at a time.

New eBooks in our collection

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Five keys of powerful business relationships :how to become more productive, effective, and influential / Sallie J. Sherman, Joseph P. Sperry, Steve Vucelich. New York: McGrawHill, 2014.

A game-changing guide that will help you leverage every critical relationship in your organization for greater success. The authors combine their knowledge and experience to show you how to get maximum value from virtually every relationship–both internal and external. You’ll learn how to spot those relationships that are not generating their full power–and turn them into drivers of profit and growth. You’ll discover new ways to eliminate barriers to performance and boost the energy of individuals, teams, groups, and your organization as a whole.

Creating value in nonprofit-business collaborations :new thinking and practice / James E. Austin, M. May Seitanidi. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2014.

With over a hundred case examples from around the globe and hundreds of literature references, the book reveals how collaboration between businesses and nonprofit organizations can most effectively co-create significant economic, social, and environmental value for society, organizations, and individuals. It features the ground-breaking Collaborative Value Creation framework that can be used for analyzing the sources, forms, and processes of value creation in partnerships between businesses and nonprofits. The book is a step-by-step guide for business managers and non-profit practitioners for achieving successful cross-sector partnerships. It examines the key dimensions of the Collaborative Mindset that shape each partner’s collaborative efforts. It analyzes the drivers of partnership evolution along the Collaboration Continuum, and sets forth the key pathways in the Collaboration Process Value Chain. The book concludes by offering Twelve Smart Practices of Collaborative Value Creation for the design and management of cross sector partnerships.

Gen Y now :millennials and the evolution of leadership, second edition /John W. “Buddy” Hobart, Herb Sendek.  San Francisco: Wiley, 2014.

In this book, top team leadership gurus Buddy Hobart and Herb Sendek explore all the myths about Gen Y and show you how Millennials can be your most creative, motivated, and loyal employees. This book goes from demographic research to concrete practice, explaining that Generation Y is more than we’ve been led to believe. They value authenticity, flexibility, and recognition. Using the strategies in Gen Y Now, you can hire and retain these demanding workers, and the payoffs could be huge. Keep up with current trends and technologies to move your organization into the future; Attract the best young talent in preparation for the mass retirement of Baby Boomers and Gen X; Understand how demographic trends impact the way your intergenerational teams think; Inspire motivation in Millennial employees, reducing dissatisfaction and turnover costs. There are 80 million Millennials, and they are transforming the modern workforce. Gen Y Now contains the leadership strategies you need to manage and motivate the Millennial generation.

Serve to be great :leadership lessons from a prison, a monastery, and a board room / Matt Tenney. New Jersey: Wiley, 2014.

In this book, the author offers his life experiences and unique insights to help leaders apply the powerful principles of servant leadership. Servant leaders are not weak or timid. Motivated by the aspiration to serve, they achieve true power by empowering others to achieve excellence. This is a practical guide to becoming a leader people want to follow. By shifting focus from short-term gain to serving others, leaders can create great workplace cultures that deliver superior, long-term results. Serve to Be Great is the perfect playbook for realizing the ultimate in personal and business success.

Connected by design :7 principles of business transformation through functional integration / Barry Wacksman and Chris Stutzman. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2014.

Some highly valued companies–including Amazon, Apple and Google–have harnessed a new business model of functional integration to build highly interactive ecosystems of interrelated products and digital services, gaining new levels of customer engagement. This model a unique competitive edge by using transformative digital technologies to deliver high-value customer experiences, generate repeat business, and unlock lucrative new business-to-business revenue streams. The book shows how to use functional integration to achieve transformative growth within any type of company. Based on R/GA’s pioneering work with firms at the forefront of functional integration, this book identifies seven principles companies must follow in order to create and deliver new value for customers and capture new revenues. It explains how functional integration drove the transformation of market-leading companies as diverse as Nike, General Motors, McCormick & Co., and Activision to establish authentic brand relationships with their customers, enter new categories, and develop new sources of income.

Strategy for the corporate level :where to invest, what to cut back and how to grow organisations with multiple divisions, 2nd edition /Andrew Campbell … [et al.].  San Francisco, 2014.

This book covers strategy for organisations that operate more than one business, a situation commonly referred to as group-level or corporate-level strategy. Corporate-level strategy addresses four types of decisions that only corporate-level managers can make: which businesses or markets to enter, how much to invest in each business, how to select and guide the managers of these businesses, and which activities to centralise at the corporate level. This book gives managers and executive students all the tools they need to make and review effective corporate strategy across a range of organisations

The enlightened organization :executive tools and techniques from the world of organizational psychology / Catherine Berney. London; Philadelphia : Kogan Page, 2014.

Focusing on more than just corporate governance and organizational structures, this book explores how individual leaders can develop their own skills to contribute to the success of the business by developing an engaged, empowered and transparent organization. It discusses the organization and its responsibility to enable success by putting in place processes that support an “enlightened” culture where people are involved and invested in the organization. An organizational psychology expert, the author draws on her background to show leaders and managers how to enable others to become accountable for their individual and collective potential and create a culture of free and authentic dialogue. Providing useful tools and techniques to apply in practice, she discusses the types of processes that need to be put in place, such as leadership, culture, remuneration, reward, communication and collaboration, and examines the leader’s role in building an enlightened organization.

Building a global learning organization :using TWI to succeed with strategic workforce expansion in the LEGO Group /Patrick Graupp, Gitte Jakobsen, John Vellema. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2014.

The book outlines the organizational and planning models used by the LEGO Group to create the internal ability to give and receive tacit skills and knowledge. Describing how and why TWI is used as the foundation for success in knowledge transfer across diverse languages and cultures, it provides step-by-step guidance on how to establish a solid organizational foundation for your own learning organization. Providing expert insight into the work of culture change, the book explains how to work with people to create motivation for moving to a new system of learning. It details the critical elements that made the implementation at the LEGO Group a success, identifies the stumbling blocks they encountered along the way, and explains how they were overcome. Case studies describe in detail what these efforts looked and felt like in actual application. The TWI program has long been recognized for its ability to generate results.

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Four ways to giving a great speech (Business Day)

Source: BDlive.co.za

IF YOU are a great writer, do not assume that your writing will translate immediately to the spoken word. When giving a speech, simply reading an essay to an audience can bore them to tears.

Here are some ways to adapt. A speech is not an essay on its hind legs, and great speech writers and public speakers adapt accordingly:

  1. SIMPLIFY. The average adult reads 300 words a minute, but people can only follow speech closely at around 150-160 words a minute. It’s important, then, to write brief and clear speeches. Ten minutes of speaking is only about 1,300 words.
  2. SIGNPOST AND REVIEW. In a written essay, readers can revisit confusing passages or missed points. Once you lose someone in a speech, she may be lost for good. In your introduction, state your thesis and then lay out the structure of your speech ahead of time (for instance, “we’ll see this in three ways: x, y and z”). Then, as you work through your speech, open each new point with a signpost to let your listeners know where you are with words such as, “to begin,” “secondly” and “finally,” and close each point with a similar, review-oriented signpost (for instance, “so we see, the first element of success is x”).
  3. DROP THE STATISTICS AND TELL A STORY. Lead or end an argument with statistics. But never fall into reciting strings of numbers or citations. Your audience will better follow, remember and internalize stories.
  4. YOU ARE YOUR PUNCTUATION. When you’re speaking, your audience doesn’t have the benefit of visual signifiers of emphasis, change in pace, or transition — commas, semicolons, dashes and exclamation points. They can’t see question marks or paragraph breaks. Instead, your voice, your hand gestures, your pace and even where and how you’re standing on stage give the speech texture and range. Vary your excitement, tone and volume for emphasis. Use hand gestures consciously and in accordance with the points you’re trying to make. Walk between main points while delivering the speech — literally transitioning your physical position in the room to signify a new part of the argument. Resist the urge to read your speech directly from the page. Become the punctuation your audience craves.

The 10 most important things in the world right now (Business Insider)

By: Dina Spector

Source: BusinessInsider.com

1.As pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong enter their fourth day, Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying has demanded that the Occupy Central founders “stop this campaign immediately.” Meanwhile, the Occupy Central movement issued an ultimatum to Chun-ying: Meet their Oct. 1 deadline for greater democracy or step down.

2.Omar Gonzalez, the man who was arrested for breaking into the White House, reportedly made it as far as the East Room, much deeper into the building than the Secret Service originally said. 

3.The US is set to become the world’s largest producer of petroleum, overtaking Saudi Arabia for the first time in over two decades, the Financial Times reports. 

4.Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared ISIS to Hamas in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Monday. “When it comes to their ultimate goals, ISIS is Hamas, and Hamas is ISIS,” he said. 

5.Apple has received the go-ahead to start selling iPhone 6 in China, although it’s not clear when the devices will be available for purchase. 

6.Islamic State militants have released a third propaganda video featuring captured British journalist John Cantlie.

7.Spain’s central government has suspended Catalonia’s vote for independence scheduled for Nov. 9.

8.New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will continue talks with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.

9.A new report by the World Wildlife Fund finds that Earth has lost 50% of the animal population in the past 40 years. 

10.Scientists have made a direct link between last year’s oppressive heat waves in Australia and climate change.

And finally

Netflix will release the sequel to Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” at the same time that the film hits theaters. 

How the ‘aspirationals’ are changing the world (World Economic Forum Blog)

“Solutions to some of our intractable global challenges could be found in 2.5 billion empowered, young and urban shoppers. These are the “aspirationals”, and the way they are uniting style and social status with sustainability values represents both an opportunity for business and a lever for change. Aspirational consumers love shopping, but they also want to be socially and environmentally responsible and they respond to brands that take initiatives in this direction.

Aspirationals are redefining modern consumption, unlocking the market for sustainable products and services, and propelling the economy forward through new business models.”

Source: forumblog.org

Mozambique economy 2014: recent developments and prospects

 

Mozambique’s offshore fields hold a combined 150 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, estimated to be enough to meet world consumption for more than two years. Negotiations between international consortia and the government to build a USD 40 billion LNG plant are dragging on with several players competing for the contract. The main consortium leaders, the US company, Anadarko, and Italian company, Eni, have reduced their investments in the project, selling stakes to new partners primarily from power hungry emergent economies. This has a two-fold outcome of diversifying funding sources for the LNG projects, while also potentially securing new markets for the final product. New entrants from India (ONGC Videsh) and China (CNPC) joined India’s Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Japan’s Mitsui & Co, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production, and Galp Energia from Portugal. With an international partner yet to be selected, LNG production along with the sizeable contribution it will make to public finances is unlikely to start before 2020.

Source: www.clubofmozambique.com