Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

The amount of small businesses that appear every day are a reflection of society’s desire for independence and prosperity. Millions of people start their own companies and thrive by doing what they know best.

Entrepreneurship can be exciting, but it also brings certain challenges. When you become your own boss, all of the decisions fall on you. It can be tricky to find a trusted person to ask for advice.

Countless podcasts exist for business owners to learn from. Experienced entrepreneurs share wisdom and tell us about their journeys to success. Some of these podcasts include:

1- How I Built This with Guy Raz

Humans often learn best when a lesson is given in narrative format. How I Built This is a podcast in which entrepreneurs tell their stories in engaging ways. The guests are friendly and relatable. Listen to their successes as they tell you how they worked through challenges and found victory.

2- HBR IdeaCast

Hosted by Harvard University, HBR IdeaCast prepares you for the stumbling-blocks of entrepreneurship. Hosts Curt Nickish and Alison Beard tackle daunting topics like burnout, making successful deals, and networking. Each 30-minute episode of this podcast will give you the knowledge you’ll need when facing these issues.

3- The Tim Ferriss Show

Known for his relatable background and down-to-earth commentary, Tim Ferriss features all sorts of businesspeople on his podcast. These guests range from scientists to local shop owners. Not only does he offer tips for running a business, but his insightful conversations and advice make you feel as if you were listening to a friend.

4- Startup Stories – Mixergy

Many of the most inspiring business stories surround smaller companies. Andrew Warner’s podcast features small business owners who followed their dreams by working from the ground up. Each episode will inspire you, proving that the right amount of work can lead to success, no matter how your walk began.

Conclusion

Are you looking to become your own boss? It can be rewarding to run your own business, but be sure you’re prepared for the hurdles that the process can throw at you. Listen to these podcasts so that you will never be caught off-guard!

Should You Pivot Your Business Strategy?

A company changes direction, or pivots its business strategy, for various reasons. Success is linked directly to the customers and the competition, so a company may need to analyze the competition and customer experience to find what isn’t working. Everything may need to be revised, including the company’s methods and set of goals. Once a business has seen its progress plateau, a pivot strategy may be the best investment.

Plans change, and it’s important to recognize when plans should change so as not to waste more resources going in a direction that isn’t benefiting the company. Companies should expect to invest money and resources before they ever see a return on investment. However, something needs to change when the return doesn’t help the company turn a significant profit.

A company might also need to change its methods when there are too many competitors in the industry. It takes a long time to build a customer base; long-standing companies tend to have a loyal customer base. Those who want to compete must offer something better, something different, or a solution to an existing problem.

A strategic pivot might be necessary if the customers haven’t responded to a company’s products and services as expected. The company may need to change its marketing strategies or its products and services. It may need to direct focus to one well-received product or service. In some cases, businesses would do well to improve a single feature of the product or service of interest. It may even be the case that the product doesn’t need changing—perhaps the product is just better suited for a different audience.

Finally, a thorough analysis can change one’s perspectives on the whole industry. Perhaps there’s too much competition, and there’s no way to compete. Maybe no one wants to buy the currently offered products. A product, or even the company, may need re-branded.

Many companies benefit from pivoting from their original business strategies. Regardless of the type of change, the change should be slow and steady. Too many changes or an overabundance of new products or features can be overwhelming to customers. Analysis of the company’s progress and the industry can help owners decide the right course of action.

When is it time to fire an employee?

It is never fun to fire an employee, and the decision can be very stressful. While conflicts with employees can happen, and everyone has bad days from time to time, sometimes companies are better off without problematic employees. There are some signs that it is time to fire an employee.

Bad Performance

Managers hire employees to do a good job. So if they consistently are not doing a good job, why are they still with the company? If an employee is not getting their assignments done or providing work that does not meet company standards, it is crucial to talk with them about it and give a warning if necessary.

Lack of Improvement

Employees who are not performing well deserve the chance to recognize their mistakes and improve. However, if a manager tries to help an employee learn how to do a better job and that employee does not make an effort to improve, it might be time to let them go.

Negatively Affecting Coworkers

If an employee is bringing down their coworkers or being a bad influence regarding efficiency or effectiveness, that employee is not the right fit for the company. That employee’s supervisors should speak with them about the issue, and if they still affect the work environment, that is a dealbreaker.

Breaking Company Rules

Employees should always respect their supervisors and the companies they work for, and breaking policies is a sign of disrespect. If they continue to break these rules after receiving warnings, they most likely do not deserve to work there anymore.

Consistent Lateness and Absence

While people have been saying that the idea of employees working from strictly nine on the dot to five is becoming outdated, employees should never be consistently late or fail to show up. This type of behavior suggests that they do not take their job seriously.

Harassment

Any form of harassment should never be acceptable in any work environment. If an employee is harassing their coworkers, clients or supervisors, managers must take the situation seriously and fire the person showing this behavior.

All of these behaviors are reasons to fire an employee. If a manager must fire an employee, they should avoid making it a surprise, stay calm and be honest.

How to Properly Delegate Work

There is no doubt that delegation is an important part of leadership. After all, one person simply can’t do everything all by themselves. The truth is, however, that effective delegation is truly an art form. If you delegate too much, too quickly, you can lose too much control. If you don’t delegate enough or quickly enough, you can become overwhelmed yourself or lose some of your best people who will go where they are more challenged and trusted. Here are three tips to effective delegation.

1. Make sure they are properly trained

One of the key differences between good and bad leaders is how well they train their people. Poor leaders often want to protect their position, so they don’t train their people to do the most important jobs in order to make themselves indispensable. Great leaders train their people on everything so as to ensure that if something were to happen to them, their people would be able to step in and handle things flawlessly. Before you hand off a task, make sure the person you are handing it to has been properly trained and is ready to handle it. Once you do however, check in with them regularly to see how they are doing but be careful not to micromanage.

2. Make sure they are suited to the task you want to delegate

No matter how much training you might give your people, there may always be certain tasks you simply can’t delegate to certain employees. For instance, some of your employees may simply not have the right skills for performing accounting tasks and no amount of training will ever change that. Other employees may be great with computers, paperwork or accounting but may not have the best people skills, so make sure you are also delegating tasks according to skillset.

3. Delegate tasks fairly

Every business or organization has tasks that everyone hates and prestigious tasks that everyone vies for. Too many leaders delegate the unpleasant tasks or grunt work while keeping the pleasant or prestigious assignments for themselves. They can also play favorites by assigning the best tasks to their favorite employees and show their disapproval of others by assigning them the most unpleasant tasks. When delegating, it is important to share both the pleasant and unpleasant tasks as well as to assign a mixture of both to all your employees.

​​Tips on Learning More About Your Industry

Increasing your knowledge and understanding of your industry can help you develop a more widely recognized reputation as an expert in your field. It can also improve your potential for advancing in your career. Fortunately, there are several different ways you can increase your knowledge and become better informed about topics related to your field of work.

Grow Your Network

You should be consistently looking for ways to grow your professional network. In addition to networking with professionals who follow a similar career path to your own, try to connect with people in related career fields. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, it may be helpful to network with attorneys, lenders, and general contractors. Expanding your network will help you stay informed about conferences and other events that can help you learn more about changes in your industry.

Go Back to School

If you have been in your career for a few years or more, there have likely been changes in your industry that you might not know about. Returning to college to take a refresher course or to pursue a related degree can help you learn more about changes in technology, processes, or practices in your career field. You’ll also meet students who will be entering your industry in the coming years, making this an ideal opportunity to expand your network that much further.

Stay Informed Online

There are plenty of online resources that can help you learn more about your industry, while keeping you updated on new innovations related to your career field. You can follow blogs and listen to podcasts as a way of being both entertained and educated. There are blogs and podcasts on almost every possible topic, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding content related to your industry. For more formal learning, try signing up for webinars. Many webinars are completely free, but some do charge a modest fee. When signing up for free webinars, be sure to claim your virtual seat quickly since these online events tend to fill up quickly.

You can also talk to your manager or supervisor about increasing your knowledge. They may have more ideas for expanding your knowledge in relation to your industry or career path. They may offer you additional training that will help you advance your skills and understanding of your industry.

How to Find a Good Business Partner

If you have an idea for a business but feel as though you’ll need help in launching it and managing it, collaborating with a partner can be an ideal solution. In choosing your partner, you might find that a friend or family member is the right person. Alternatively, you can choose someone with whom you have been networking, or you might choose someone you met through a business course. Wherever you find your potential business partner, there are a few things to consider before making your final decision.

Develop Some Trust

You should feel as though you can trust your new business partner to a certain degree. This can be a little easier when you chose a loved one or close friend to become your partner. However, you should be able to feel some trust in anyone you choose to bring into your partnership. If you’re considering a professional you don’t know very well, spend some time with them. If there’s any uncertainty about their integrity or honesty, look for someone else.

Set Some Boundaries

Managing your business can get very awkward if you engage in a personal relationship with your business partner. For this reason, you should set the ground rules from the beginning and be firm about them. Even if you choose to take on a spouse as your partner, you should create a system for keeping personal feelings separate from your business dealings. Since you’ll be spending long hours together, having an established policy in place can help you avoid complications.

Look For Passion

You should also consider passion and ambition when choosing a partner. If you want to see your business rise above your competition and potentially expand into an international corporation, it won’t help you to take on a partner who is content to run a small family-owned business. Make sure your potential partner’s goals and ambition match your own.

While you will want a partner who also shares your goals for the business, you won’t want to choose someone who is identical to yourself. If you can choose a partner with a different background or diverse experiences, you’ll be injecting your startup with innovative concepts and imaginative solutions. This type of diversity can help drive your business towards greater success.

How to Make Your Business Stand Out

The evolution of the internet and rise of social media has helped businesses everywhere access a global marketplace, allowing them to sell their products all over the world. Unfortunately, that also means your small business is competing with thousands of similar businesses. If you don’t take action to help your business stand out, it can get buried by all of those competitors.

Focus on Customer Service

Regardless of the great quality of your product, you’ll lose about 33% of your customers if they feel slighted by your brand’s customer service. Although you do want to sell a good quality product, you’ll also need to look for ways to enhance the quality of customer service. Read feedback and reviews left by past customers to find out what they loved and what they disliked about their experiences with your company. This will tell you how to improve the quality of service you provide to your customers.

Create a Strong Brand Image

The basics of creating a positive brand image for your company start with designing a logo for your brand. A colorful logo that uses a unique image will give your customers a symbol they can recognize anywhere in the world. As you share your company’s philosophy and values, consumers will begin to associate those traits with your brand’s logo. After awhile, consumers will look for your brand logo when they want products they can trust.

Maintain a Consistent Social Media Presence

You should be posting on your social media accounts regularly to help build and maintain brand recognition with your followers. If you’re not posting on a consistent basis, your followers are going to forget about your brand. They may even stop following your accounts. Conversely, posting regularly will keep your brand fresh in the minds of those same followers. You’ll also grow your following as consumers who are interested in your posts follow you to see more.

You must also make an effort to continually pursue these recommendations or they won’t work well for you. Repetition is a necessary aspect of marketing, and it will help you keep your brand’s name fresh in the minds of consumers. Making an effort to help your business consistently stand out will ensure your brand name won’t get lost in the shuffle.

The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Franchising

Starting a business is a complex process that involves marketing and upfront expenses. For many individuals, starting a franchise seems like a straight-forward path to a successful business. Franchise opportunities have been available for decades and can be highly recognizable companies.

Franchise vs. Independent Business

Starting an independent company and starting a franchise are similar ways of conducting business. In both scenarios, the business owner is their own boss with their own schedule. Owners can employ their own team and work in a physical location.

For new business owners, franchises are recommended because of their built-in blue print. This helps owners with marketing decisions and brand awareness. Independent businesses allow owners maximum control over their business, but do not provide working strategies that benefit the company.

Advantages of Franchising

One of the main advantages of owning a franchise is the assistance provided by the franchisor. Depending on the contract, a franchise comes with its own brand, equipment, advertising or marketing plan and additional supplies. Some franchisors are available by phone and will work closely with a new owner.

Brand recognition is key to building a reputation and steady clientele. Franchises are well-known businesses that have a built-in customer base. With less focus on marketing, franchise owners can concentrate their efforts on other aspects of the business.

Franchises are known to reach higher profit margins than independent businesses. This is due to their built-in customer base as well as existing structure.

Disadvantages of Franchising

There are a few disadvantages to owning a franchise. Business owners that run a franchise do not have as much control as independent businesses. This means the franchisor must be factored into decisions about business location, pricing, signage, products and decor.

Even smaller franchises require an initial cost. A typical low-cost franchise will still require a buyer to pay a few thousand dollars before ownership. For individuals who do not have the upfront fee, franchise financing options are available.

Owning a franchise does not provide full privacy. Financial decisions and accounts can be viewed by the franchisor. Before starting a franchise, talking with the franchisor and reviewing the overall business plan can help.

Profitable Franchises

Profitable franchises are run all over the United States and abroad. With financing available, individuals are able to run a successful business with a built-in customer base. Franchises can help minimize risk to secure a steady income.

3 Time Management Tips For Entrepreneurs

Time management is something that traditional schooling doesn’t teach but is a skill that’s absolutely crucial to succeed in business. On an average day, entrepreneurs are confronted with a myriad of menial tasks and pressing matters that require their attention.

With limited time and energy, being able to sift through these responsibilities and direct your resources towards the important tasks can be the key differentiator you need to succeed as an entrepreneur. Here’s three tips to do just that.

Plan Ahead

It’s overused advice but definitely worth repeating. Going about your day without a plan can work if it’s a weekend and you just want to let your hair down. But there isn’t a thing as a normal day or week for an entrepreneur. Things can go south in a moment’s notice, be it a problem with one of your manufacturers or distributors or a personal emergency. Develop a plan that lists your most important and urgent priorities, appointments you are scheduled for or have to schedule, and events that you’ve agreed to attend.

Avoid Multitasking

Time management fanatics used to advocate the benefits of multitasking. But as several recent studies show, multitasking does not work and oftentimes yields the exact opposite results. Trying to divide your attention and mental capacity between multiple things at once can produce lower quality output for all tasks across the board. Instead, use blocks to complete the necessary work. The Pomodoro Technique, for instance, involves working in blocks of 25 minutes, taking a five minute break after, and then starting another block. Working in blocks helps you stay laser focused.

Learn to Delegate

Delegating tasks is an important skill for every entrepreneur. No one is skilled at all things. At some point, you’ll face a technical problem that you’ll have no idea how to do, whether it’s accounting or rocket science. Delegating it to a more competent individual frees you up to focus on your strengths while still getting all tasks done. Successful delegation requires being able to trust others and knowing enough about a subject to know whom to delegate it to.

Learning how to better manage your time not only improves your results as an entrepreneur but also your personal relationships and overall satisfaction and happiness in life. 

Social Media Networks for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, networking with other like-minded professionals can benefit you in many ways. You’ll develop friendships with people who understand you, gain insights from people with practical entrepreneurial experience, and learn about social events and conferences that will get you away from your business for a brief period. While traditional social media sites are a great place to start, new sites are cropping up that are designed specifically for those with the entrepreneurial spirit.

Entrepreneur Connect

This is a site that focuses on helping entrepreneurs connect with one another, so there’s an emphasis on community building. For that reason, too much self-promotion is discouraged. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can create their own profiles to allow them to network and join online communities.

PartnerUp

If you want more than just to connect with other entrepreneurs, this may be the site for you. While this site still offers the features of other social networking sites, it’s especially intended for entrepreneurs who are looking for business partners. Here, you can find people interested in joining new business ventures.

StartupNation

This is for people who are looking for a social networking site with the content sharing of Facebook, yet geared specifically to appeal to entrepreneurs. Members of the site can post links to blog posts, webinars, podcasts, and other types of content. They can also upload their content directly onto the site. As a result of the focus on content sharing, entrepreneurs can stay up to date on the latest trends and insights.

Biznik

Here is a social media site that welcomes entrepreneurs from all walks of life. The site attracts CEOs, small business owners, self-employed individuals, and freelancers. This isn’t the site for job seeking. Rather, this site focuses on the social aspect of bringing entrepreneurs together and sharing interesting content.

Finally, it’s important to consider that every social networking site must start someplace. Just like your own business, newer sites are relying on customers who are courageous enough to give them a try. You never know when you’ll come across the next Facebook or Twitter, so don’t be afraid to give lesser known sites a try. You never know what new friendships you’ll find through a smaller yet growing site.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started