Is there a guaranteed formula to follow (as the headline suggests?)
Of course not. A quick look at the people who have become successful entrepreneurs shows the paths they took are as unique as they are.
But—and it’s a HUGE but—while their behaviour was idiosyncratic, their thinking was not.
A study shows that serial entrepreneurs—people who have successfully started two or more companies—all followed the same approach. And if it has worked for them, it may very well work for you.
According to reports, 250,000 new products are introduced to the world each year. We’re overwhelmed by so many new product entries, which range from sophisticated new technologies like the Nest thermostat and infomercial sensations like Pajama Jeans. To complicate things, brands are introducing new line extensions like Kraft Sizzling Salads, Disney Appmates, and a wealth of “new and improved” products from venerable brands like Gillette and Kleenex.
But the fact remains that the success rates of new product introductions and innovations have improved little over the last 20 years. Reports show that 66% of new products fail within two years, and a startling 96% of all innovations fail to return their cost of capital. This is due to a number of factors, including economic conditions, an explosion of consumer touch points, shifts in decision-making behaviour, and the deluge of information marketers have to sift through to ensure they are up to speed with the latest trends.
How do you signal to the world you’re leadership material?
According to a new year-long study of over 4,000 college-educated professionals and 268 senior executives, you must be viewed as a leader in order to get promoted into top jobs. That takes executives presence, which is defined as having gravitas, excellent communication skills and a polished appearance.
These skills are required, but that doesn’t mean you rack up bonus points for having them. Instead, you get demerits for your mistakes, as superiors silently cross you off their good lists. So what are the pitfalls to avoid? The study uncovered the 10 worst communication mistakes that will instantly derail your promotion hopes.
Good customer service goes a long way in business; a happy customer is a customer who will recommend you to other shoppers, a returning customer,…. But so many companies just can’t get this right. They’re either putting their needs ahead of their customers’ or too wrapped up in finding new customers that existing ones become expendable.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences with bad customer service. Here are some horror stories… and what you can learn from them:
I’ve recently bought 30 books from a man who started the negotiation with “I do not negotiate.” True story. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t want to give a discount for buying multiple items, but what was most frustrating was his attitude in general. It didn’t matter how much I was spending, or how pleasant I was trying to be, he does “not negotiate” (or he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed) and nothing was going to change that.
Do you know if your customers are happy? If not, you should.
It’s imperative that you fulfil your customer pillars of delight. Otherwise, you might lose customers to your competitors. 48% of customers who had a negative experience told 10 or more people.
Unfortunately, more of your customers are likely to talk about your poor customer service or a bad experience compared to those individuals that love your company.
Your customers are your biggest assets. Don’t give them a reason to leave. Customer loyalty should be your ultimate goal, but it cannot be accomplished if they aren’t happy.
The holiday season is fast approaching! In the business world the holiday arrival often comes with an increased workload, more demands, and tighter deadlines. Even with all the tasks and stress taking up attention, it’s always worth taking a moment to show gratitude to those who support your business. Staying top of mind with your clients (in a positive way) is important.
One of the best ways to show your clientele that you appreciate them is by taking advantage of the Christmas season and sending gifts for clients as a heartfelt thank-you!
How to market effectively is one of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs today. There are many marketing techniques that can be used, and choosing the right approach for your business is not easy. Small businesses also have limited budget to use on marketing which makes it even more challenging.
A good marketing strategy is a very valuable tool for any business, whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years. In order for your business to be successful, it is essential for people to know about your brand as well as the products and services you offer. This is where a good online marketing strategy can help.
The decision to embark on an international expansion can be both exciting and frightening: seemingly endless growth opportunities exist, but there can be significant risks involved.
The checklist for setting up international operations is lengthy and varies country to country. And what’s worse, one missed detail could mean serious negative consequences for your business, in the form of fines and frustrated employees.
Not sure where to start? Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when thinking about international expansion:
Raising prices is never an easy thing to do. Despite most people understanding that prices have to be increased on a lot of items, from fuel and food to insurance and utilities, it remains a delicate task.
Here are a few tips on how to do it in a way that puts your company in a better financial position and not a worse one caused by an exodus of irritated customers.
Identify where your prices need to go
Once you’ve established the exact percentage of your price rises, there are two trains of thought: phase them in with smaller increments over a period of time or institute one larger price increase in one fell swoop. There are pros and cons to both methods.
Success means different things to different people whether we are talking about business or private life. In Business, the obvious assumption is that a successful entrepreneur is someone who is financially secure. What they earn, what they own, what they spend can give the impression of success. More, more, more is what we all ultimately strive for in terms of success – or is it?
Stop and reflect on your own life. Think about what success means to you. Don’t limit yourself by focusing on the big things. They are important but they also seem to demand way too much of our attention.
Take a moment to focus on all the little successes you have had – either in the past or today. These are the everyday things that make life worth living. To be able to make choices. To be able to motivate and inspire others. To share life (both the joys and the sorrows) with others. To feel and to show feeling. To love and to be loved. To make the most of every situation no matter the circumstances.
For those who haven’t charted a course for a secure financial future, there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news? Without at least some solid financial planning, retirement may come with more sacrifices than security. The good news? It’s never too late to start and you have a lot of company.
Some 40 percent of people polled described themselves as “Informal,” having a general sense of their goals and how to meet them, but no specific plan in place.
When it comes to financial planning most people say life gets in the way. Some 69 percent feel the pace of society makes it harder for them to stick with long-term goals. Twenty-six percent say they either often or always feel too busy to think about long-term goals. Ironically, many people who plan their meals, plan their travel, or plan their wardrobe, won’t spend as much time planning for their future.
Joining up with partners can result in offspring where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In today’s era of globalisation, the ability to form successful partnerships plays a vital role in your company’s success. It’s not enough to get engaged, you want to get married and you want that marriage to last a long, long time.
Here are a few important steps in forming a long lasting and fruitful relationship with the right partner company: