It’s an age-old struggle: the introvert at the networking event. Luckily, the cards are falling in your favor as there are many tried and tested techniques people have been using for years to network efficiently. While you will probably still feel far from your comfort zone at such events, this can actually be worked to your advantage. Here are five modern methods for getting through a networking event as an introvert.
Connecting with new contacts doesn’t stop at the networking event. Handing out high-quality corporate gifts is a great way to make a positive impression that lasts as your contacts have something to remember you by. Choose your memento wisely and keep it classy; don’t go for a box of sweets when the event is for the dental health industry, and be sure to choose something small and lightweight. You don’t want your fellow guests to have to struggle around with something heavy or bulky out of politeness. Though, they’d certainly remember you for it!
Being early can seem daunting, but the period before the event starts is actually one of the best times to meet people at any networking function. Everybody is usually a little awkward at the beginning of these things; people are trying to find their places and will look for someone to engage with to help them feel settled. You can easily start a conversation by helping someone find their place. Alternatively, you can be patient and wait for one of the talkers to come to you. This is the time for ice-breaker questions like, “Have you been to one of these before?” and “How did you hear about this?”
An unbelievably easy way to be involved in the group and swap a few names without having to rack your brain for conversation starters is to hang out in an area that’s designed for communal activity. This could be by joining in on a game or going to the area where the food and drinks are being served.
Whether it’s a business associate, friend, employee, or your spouse, if you have the opportunity to bring somebody along who you feel comfortable with, you should consider it. The only thing worth noting is that you should be sure your “plus one” is a little bit more open and can help you with introductions or simply be a positive presence. Since you want help in meeting more people, you probably won’t have much luck if you invite somebody who is painfully shy or not interested in socializing.
It’s the same advice we give to children who are going into an unfamiliar class for the first time, and you can be sure that it applies to us all in adulthood. Remember the reasons you have for attending these events; are you looking for collaborators? Potential business affiliations? Or tips on working in your industry? Chances are, most other attendees will have similar questions and experiences to you. Nobody is looking for an entertainer, and you do not need to put on a character to connect. Be yourself, remain professional, and be honest in your introductions.
Keep these five tips in mind, and you’ll not only survive your next networking event but thrive. Don’t forget your business cards and a bag or generously sized pockets so you can politely accept business cards from others.
The idea of networking and putting yourself out there can often be a daunting thought for entrepreneurs and business owners. You might be worried about saying the wrong thing, not saying enough or not looking knowledgable or professional. However, it’s important to remember that networking is really all about talking and being social. If you are a social person in your personal life, networking in a business context will come to you very naturally. On the other hand, if you are more introverted, it might take a little more work but it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience.
Networking, making new connections and communicating with those in your industry, is necessary to get ahead in business and something you need to take seriously to succeed in business. Collaborative coworking spaces are an amazing resource, not only for regular everyday office work but to broaden your network and make more connections. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when using these spaces, in terms of what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Continue reading to learn how you can network effectively in shared office spaces and make meaningful connections to help your business to be more successful.
Coworking communities are often made up of a diverse group of international people and everyone in the space will have different expectations in terms of how they show respect for themselves and others. To be able to communicate effectively with the other people in the space, it’s important to be aware of these subtle differences. It’s crucial that you treat others as you would want to be treated. This means being aware of personal boundaries, cultural differences, and respecting people’s workspace. No one is going to like someone who invades their space without being invited, so show people respect by keeping the proper distance at the right times.
When you are working in a shared space, you need to make sure you clean up after yourself and that you are respectful of your surroundings, as well as the people you share the space with. Respect breeds more respect and your fellow coworkers will take note of your efforts and be more likely to connect with you when you reach out to try and connect.
Premium coworking spaces will have a huge online presence that you can tap into and take advantage of when it comes to building your network. Some of the larger providers have upwards of 50,000 members registered to their online community or social network. These big numbers mean more that there are more networking opportunities within these communities that can benefit your business.
You can utilise these communities to get advice on all things business related, to share your own knowledge, and even create opportunities for joint projects. Access to a global network of like-minded people can open up doors for an up and coming entrepreneurs to expand their reach and grow their business.
Networking in business does not have to be an overly-complicated task. Essentially, you just need to be kind to those around you and engage with the people around you in a positive way. Saying hello or offering a hand with a simple task is a great icebreaker for potential networking opportunities. People will see that you are easy to approach and helpful and it will go a long way in helping your social standing in the coworking space. Never underestimate the power of a smile and always be friendly and helpful when you have the opportunity to do so.
One of the major benefits of a premium coworking space
is to bring people together in the business community, allowing them to work side-by-side and connect in a meaningful way. Networking opportunities in coworking space are abundant but you need to have the confidence to reach out and connect with those that you share the space with. It’s important that you do whatever you can to survive and grow in the business world as competition in the market place is as fierce as ever. Connecting with the right people can help you to find collaborations that can lead to your business thriving in the near future.
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You try your best to build your business online through quality ads. You want people to know what you have to offer. You engage with target audiences through social media and other online platforms. Your primary goal is to increase awareness about your brand. You want to tell people that your products are worth choosing.
Building your brand is one thing. The problem is that in the process, you might face fierce competitors. They will not only build their brand but also try their best to pull yours down. As such, it is crucial that you find a way to manage your online reputation. Do not only focus on placing positive words about your business out there, but also prevent your competitors from destroying your reputation.
Hire a full-time reputation manager
You never know when your competitors will attack you by spreading false information about your business. Therefore, it helps if you have a dedicated person who will ensure that the incorrect information will not spread. This person can counter the narrative and correct what is out there.
Another reason is that apart from your competitors, random individuals who do not know your company will also spread false information or negative reviews. You want someone who will deal with the online posts and comments and ensure that they do not continue to spread.
Learn how to apologise
It is inevitable to commit mistakes along the way. If it happens, you need to learn how to apologise if you want to maintain a good reputation. Take responsibility and move forward with the necessary changes. If you are too proud to apologise, many people will feel turned off and decide not to patronise your brand. They are not only after the quality of the products you offer but also the value of your business.
Post regular updates
If you have social media pages for your business, you need to update them with positive information about your business regularly. You can talk about upcoming changes, deals and promotions. You want to retain the engagement level among the followers. It is also easy for them to see you as a reliable company when they keep seeing updates on your pages; otherwise, they might think that you are not doing anything, and your business is going down the drain.
Do not fall for negative advertising
It is easy for you to retaliate if you are the subject of negative ads. Even if it is tempting, you need to stay focused. No one wants to listen to negative ads all the time in a world where everything seems messy and chaotic. Stick to your values and focus on your own positive ads. If your competitors decide to continue pulling you down, it is their choice, but you cannot stoop down to that level.
For now, you can decide how to craft your message for the next marketing campaign and do not just worry about your online reputation. You can opt for a pop up banner since it is effective and appealing to many people. You can also continue spreading positive information about your business using this method.
To read more on topics like this, check out the entrepreneurship category.
In a world where technology is advancing so rapidly, it makes sense that more and more work is completed online. From ecommerce businesses to social media marketing, you can actually earn a decent salary by working from your computer in 2019. Not only can online work pay for your life expenses, it gives you the freedom to work from home or from across the world.
For these reasons and more, lots of individuals are deeming themselves as “digital nomads”. This term was coined several years ago in the wake of technological advancements and online-based businesses. To be a digital nomad basically means using your computer and an internet connection to earn a living – from anywhere in the world.
Sounds nice, right? As long as you have a computer and a solid WiFi connection, you can start earning money today. Here are some of the top jobs for digital nomads in 2019.
Online English teacher
Teaching English overseas or online can actually be a lucrative position. Depending on your credentials and your hiring company, you could be earning $22-$25 USD per hour. There are tons of platforms for teaching English online, and some of them don’t require you to have any experience at all.
These jobs involve you teaching basic English skills to someone overseas (typically in China). You’ll have one-on-one (and sometimes group) sessions with your student(s) and teach over through your computer screen. The most reputable company for online teaching is VIPKID, but VerbalPlanet and QKids are also popular.
This one takes some programming knowledge, but if you have that you can start developing websites to make some cash on the road. If you have basic web developing skills you can use platforms like WordPress to create beautiful sites for your clients. You’ll be responsible for creating the layout, design style, and overall functionality of a site.
Social media marketer
There is no major brand or celebrity out there that does not have a strong social media presence and following. Typically these popular social media accounts are managed by experts called social media marketers. A position like this involves scheduling future posts and commenting to fans and customers.
Basically a social media marketer is responsible for maintaining a brand’s reputation and keeping followers happy. Since this position requires you working for another person or company, chances are you’ll have to apply and interview to show your worth. Check out this resume summary to help you build a flawless resume for a social media marketing position.
Where do you think all of that writing content on the internet comes from? A good portion of the time it is created by a digital nomad who is working as a freelance writer. Writing content is what makes websites, social media accounts, advertisements, and much of the internet possible.
Many freelance writers are hired as SEO content creators. This means that they write informative articles for a client in order for the brand or product to rank higher on a search engine. SEO is the lifeblood of digital marketing, and the need for SEO writers is constant. Words are everywhere, and someone needs to write them… so why can’t it be you?
According to Smallbiztrends, 50% of startups fail in the first four years. A business is actualized from just an idea to a reality. The excitement of having a new venture is uncontrollable, and sometimes you want to try everything that looks like a growth factor.
For a business to be successful, it needs a lot of input and cooperation from the owner to the employees.
How do you make your startup successful?
1. Come up with a good business plan
A business plan could either make or break your business. How do you plan to finance your business? Most people have savings intended for their startups. However, you may need extra funding as your capital may not be enough.
A clearly written business plan will help you find financiers. As long as you can demonstrate how profitable the business will, you can get venture capitalists or angel investors willing to fund you.
Funds are an integral part of the business. They are a huge determinant of your business’s success. Inadequate funds could lead to bankruptcy which in turn hurts your credit score. However, there’s a way on how to remove a bankruptcy so that it does not deter you from getting future financing.
2. Consider customer service
According to a survey by PWC, 59% of consumers in the U.S. will stop using a brand they love after a series of one bad experience, while 17% will be after just one bad experience. This shows how much customer service is crucial in the business. Today you could have 1,000 clients, but after the employees talking rudely to them, only a handful will return. And that is the power of customer service.
Customer service is a delicate matter which could see you make over 100% profit or 0% depending on how you treat the clients.
Invest in staff training or merely hire somebody to deal with customer queries.
If you value your clients and treat them right, they’ll keep coming back and referring their friends who will see you grow your client base.
3. Diversify your marketing
Marketing is quite broad, and every business has its own style. What marketing techniques do you use? Email marketing and social media marketing is a great way to promote your products and services. S
Most people nowadays are spending more time online, and they want to find what they need quickly. Coming up with a website for your company is an excellent way for them to find you.
A website is almost a must-have tool that gives your business visibility. Make your site SEO-friendly such as making the loading speed more efficient and ensuring the content on it is relevant.
A great thought-out marketing strategy will definitely see your startup grow.
4. Treat your employees right
Always remember that employees are crucial to making your company grow. From the hiring process to the retention of employees, you need to have the right strategy. Hire people who share the company’s visions and objectives as they are more likely to stay.
Employee motivation should be a consideration all the time as they hold the success or failure of a business. Simple appreciation gestures such as acknowledging when they achieve a set target goes a long way in making them know you value them.
Salary increments once in a while also motivates them to even working harder as their efforts are rewarded.
5. Seek more knowledge
Who are your competitors in the industry? What is that they do differently? What are their loopholes? Identify a few competitors you think they have made it. Scrutinize them and see if there is anything you could leverage on.
Most often, there will be something different which you could incorporate into your business. Find unique ways to relay your new product messages.
6. Keep your finances right
Finances should be something you always have to be keen on when making both long-term and short-term goals. Get a good accountant who can keep all the accounting records for the business. Get to know how the company is fairing on and how much profit you are making. Such information helps you make financial decisions that will propel the business.
7. Be ready to make sacrifices
A business requires persistence and sacrifices. Most times, you’ll have to put in more time than already existing companies especially when starting out. Be ready to spend less time with your loved ones as you create a foundation for it.
Have mentors who’ve been in the same business as yours who will walk with you through the journey. A support system helps you get back up even when you think you can’t.
The growth of a business depends on your input. The above seven tips will help you make the right decisions affecting your business.
Although a business plan is recommended for all businesses and entrepreneurs, the reality is that most small businesses only both when they need to acquire funding. Any investor or bank will require a well-researched and thorough business plan, with feasible financial forecasts and (if you’ve been running for a while) all of your existing profit and loss information.
However, a good business plan really should be something you produce even if you’re not actively looking for funding, as it can help you validate your business idea and bring into focus any challenges or difficulties you might encounter.
Similarly, a business plan can help you understand the finances of your business. Whether it’s through a complex Excel sheet with multiple years, forecasts and calculations, or a more informal list of how you expect to spend and make money. Often, entrepreneurs will be surprised by how much money they are actually going to need, and don’t discover this potentially critical problem until they sit down and complete a financial forecast. Just make sure you double check all of your data, particularly if you’re using a spreadsheet – there are numerous examples of businesses losing substantial sums of money due to a minor Excel error!
Moving away from the financial side of things, a business plan can also help you understand your market, policies and guidelines you need to follow, how you will market your product or services and, crucially, who you will market them to. The difference this can make to the overall success of your small business cannot be overstated, and it allows you to move forward with a clear plan of action. Having a roadmap and an understanding of how you will approach your business and any potential problems can be the difference between success and failure, particularly in competitive industries.
So, if you’re running a small business and you’ve never really sat down to complete a business plan, now might be the time to start. Even if you’ve been up and running for several months or years, it’s never too late to think about the future of your business. If you’re struggling, this simple guide will help you understand how to write a business plan and what you should include.
Congratulations! Your new business has made it past the 5-year milestone.
And, it is doing amazingly well!
You were actually able to beat the odds outlined by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. The organization estimates that close to 50% of small businesses close down within 5 years of opening.
Now that you’ve made it past that first possible pitfall, it’s time to think about how you’re going to sustain business growth and take your company to the next level. You’ll want to add more products and services to your list of offerings and perhaps, capture customers from a more widespread geographical radius, demographic, and markets.
To make sure your company is able to sustain those growth levels, you may want to take a few prudent steps. Here are some of the main factors to keep in mind.
The wider scope of your business operations may need advanced skills and talents that you may not have. If you intent to sustain business growth, you’re going to need the expert advice and assistance of a one on one leadership coach. To run a larger company, you’ll need to develop certain leadership skills and personality traits. These skills can help you communicate better with your employees and team members. You’ll learn to prioritize tasks and stay organized for the streamlined functioning of your business operations.
Given that a growing business will need you to devote more time and attention towards it; you’ll also need counseling on how to keep a balance between your professional and personal commitments. Rely on your coach to help you maintain focus and stay grounded while you grow your company.
Conduct extensive research to remain connected with the changing trends in the market. Keep close watch on the new and competing products being launched and how the customer is receiving them. This information will help you improve and enhance your own products so your company remains competitive and continues to grow. Like this feature on the Entrepreneur advises, focus on the identifying a particular requirement that you can fulfill and work on developing new solutions for that need. Creating add-ons or peripheral accessories for existing products in the market is also a smart move and can help you sustain business growth.
Every smart entrepreneur needs to be aware of the importance of digital marketing and advertising. In an era where close to 80% of consumers look for the products they need online, you cannot ignore this vital advertising tool if you’re looking to sustain business growth. Develop an interactive website and create on online presence on all the social media channels possible. Talk about your products and encourage dialog with customers so they can offer feedback. Be aware that before selecting a particular brand, customers are likely to read up reviews from past users before making a final decision. Regular posts and reviews will help you develop a recognizable brand that your customers will learn to trust and choose above other products.
In order to sustain business growth, you need a dedicated customer base that trusts your brand. Study the statistics released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and you’ll find that you have a 60% to 70% probability of selling to an existing customer while the chances of selling to a new customer drops to 5% to 20%. So you see, you need to create a community that is confident of the quality and standards of your company’s products.
And, the one way to make that happen is to go the extra mile with excellent service. In addition to providing the best of customer care by handling complaints efficiently, also focus on offering incentives, points accrual programs for long-term customers, and discounts with bulk orders. Consider Holiday season giveaways or Facebook contests to win popularity or even attract interest in any new product launches.
Read this case study on Fast Company and you’ll learn that one of the best open secrets to sustain business growth is to have an excellent team working with you. Hire the best of talent you can afford who can bring in the skills you lack. Use your newly acquired leadership skills to build a team of expert professionals that integrate perfectly for the smooth functioning of the company. Encourage feedback, innovative ideas, and infuse enthusiasm into the company work culture. Create an atmosphere of belonging to the business and making it their own. That’s the reason why the stress is on working “with” you in place of working “for” you.
Now that your business is generating a profit, using those funds for the expansion of your company is the smart way to go. But, you may also want to make sure you have backup sources of funds in case you need them during product development or acquiring new property. Arranging for additional finance in advance will ensure that there are no delays in the company’s functioning in case you do run out of money. Keep in mind that acquiring loans for an established successful business will not only be easier but also economical.
While working hard and using carefully designed strategies is essential when you’re getting your company off the ground, you’ll need to maintain that perseverance to sustain business growth. Avoid the dangers of complacency or you’ll risk getting overtaken by competing businesses. Follow these 6 proven approaches and your company is sure to cross the 10-year milestone of success and progress.
Are you a chiropractor that has spent their career working in someone else’s clinic? Have you often found yourself wondering what it would be like to start your own business and your own chiropractic clinic? Maybe you’re just starting out in your chiropractic career and have quickly come to the realization that working for someone else isn’t right for you. Regardless of what brought you to this point, starting your own chiropractic business is something that can provide you with a lot of freedom, sense of accomplishment, and challenge.
So, as you enter the beginning phases of starting your business, here are some steps you can use that will help you find your way and get your businesses off to a successful and positive start.
Deciding you want to start your own business is very exciting but saying those words versus making it happen are two very different things. Creating a business plan is an excellent place to start, as it can work as your blueprint moving forward, helping you to figure out what direction you need to go.
No matter what kind of business you plan on opening, it’s never going to be cheap to get started. You will need to buy equipment, rent office space, and possibly hire other staff. If you are just going to start out small and work out of your home, you’ll still need to put money into creating a treatment room for your patients in your home.
As for how to secure financing, it can come from a number of sources. It can be from your own personal savings, a small business loan from the bank, perhaps you qualified for a grant of some sort, or you may even think about having a partner or silent investor.
This brings us to the next consideration, which is whether or not you want a partner. A partner can certainly help with the finances, but they can also help by bringing their own list of existing patients, and they can ensure that you’ve got that extra set of hands to accommodate new patients as they join your clinic. It really depends on how big you plan to grow your business, and whether or not you wanted it to be a solo operation.
You also need to make sure that you have all the required licensing that allows you to practice as a chiropractor.
In order to be effective in your job and start to carve out a niche as a real expert in your field, you will need to do all you can to stay up-to-date on the latest news, developments, and trends in the field of chiropractic care. Website such as Echiropractor.org can certainly help you do just that.
It’s also important to put together a marketing plan to target new patients. This may mean an online and offline marketing campaign, which should differ from each other. Finding patients when you first start out can be difficult, so you may need some creative marketing approaches.
With all these tips, you will have a clearer path moving forward on your journey to start your own business.
One of things that few entrepreneurs battle is disasters. The expectation is that bad things don’t happen that are sufficiently grave to warrant pre-planning to either head them off or better deal with them should they occur. However, many times a major loss of a key person at the business due to a death or a fire at the premises is enough to decimate the operation and bring the company to its knees within mere months.
Here are a few examples of mini and major disasters and how to plan for them or resolve them.
A hard drive failure on a work PC can spell disaster for whichever employee it affects. Some companies will have spare hard drives on hand and personnel who are knowledgeable to fit them, but recovering the data is another matter entirely. In most cases, unless your business has someone trained in computer engineering or repairs, then seeking out a professional service like Secure Data Recovery to assist you is a good idea.
Zero downtime with storage technology is a hot trend right now. Your best bet to achieve this is to have either a spare hard drive or a spare PC sitting ready while sending the hard drive off to be repaired or the data recovered. While not all the data may be recoverable from a damaged or worn out drive, at least some of it might be. In the meantime, ensure you have a solid backup procedure in place. This way, staff can get back up and running quickly using a backup service.
A fire breaking out at the office is not seen as a likely event, but it is often unrecoverable. Not only due to the risk to personnel and the office, but the equipment too. One of the greatest business risks of a possible fire is the potential loss of confidence with client. A serious lack of preparation causing office downtime often results in a temporary shutdown of services. The setback can be so severe that no amount of reassurance or advertising can replace the trust in the business operations after the company is back up and running once more.
There are companies that provide emergency office space within a certain number of hours to move right into. A phone service along with internet is usually available immediately. Alternatively, companies can hire a temporary office from a short-term office rental company for their employees to work in until the matter has been resolved. When there’s a fire disaster recovery plan already in place, most companies tend to survive an unexpected fire; ones that have no plan often fold soon after.
The loss of a key person from the business due to a death is a sad event that affects a company profoundly. It can be the CEO or a President or Vice President, with their loss affecting the ability of the company to survive. Finding a suitable replacement tends to take longer the more senior the position.
To protect against the loss of someone important, insurance companies offer key person insurance to businesses which is essentially life insurance cover for companies. Covering the people who are crucial to the business with a substantial payout to the company should they die unexpectedly, provides time for the company to recover and replace them with someone suitable to keep the company alive.
It’s possible for an entrepreneur to protect their business if they plan well. Covering the sudden loss of key personnel, a technology failure or fire at the premises requires not ignoring each potential problem and addressing it before it ever happens.
Everyone can take photographs, but not everyone can take great photographs. Photography is a skill which is learned, and although there are some who are innately talented, even these individuals need to have their talents harnessed and enhanced in the proper way. If you have an eye for photography and would like to be a great amateur photographer or establish a career as a professional photographer, adequate training is important. But there are certain things you can do to help you on your way, too. Here are some top tips for photography beginners: what you should know.
As a photography beginner, you are probably inspired by things you see everywhere around you. And this is why it’s important to bring your camera with you at all times. You never really know when inspiration will strike – it could strike when you’re walking down the street, it could strike whilst you’re having supper, and so on. There are many opportunities to hone your craft, and the best way to improve is to take as many photographs as you can.
Note it down
If you can’t bring your camera with you all the time, there’s another thing you can do: note it down. When you are outside or at work, bring a notebook with you so you can note down the different things you see which you might want to go back to when you have your equipment. You should also note down the different aspects such as the lighting (when is the best time of day to come back?), the weather, the crowd, etc. By doing this, you can go back to something that inspired you, take proper photos, and eagerly await the results.
Learning to be a good photographer involves being inspired by everything around you. Look at your surroundings with a ‘photographer’s eyes’ and you’ll see the most ordinary, mundane objects turn into objects of inspiration. Enjoy the process of learning – even the most skilled and veteran photographers will tell you that they enjoy learning something new every day. It’s an art, after all, and the only way you can produce something great is if you enjoy it and are passionate about it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
An amateur considers a professional camera a delicate piece of equipment – and it is. But you will need to learn how to be comfortable with your equipment, so don’t be afraid to experiment, particularly when it comes to the settings of your camera. Go through the manual and take photos using different settings so you can see what you like and what works for your style.
Don’t neglect your studies
If you are serious about enhancing your skills as a photographer, you should take advantage of whatever resources are available. Take the right photography courses for beginners, so you can learn how to use your equipment properly and learn about basic elements that make up great photography, such as exposure, light, depth of field, composition, and so on. By knowing these aspects, you can at least broaden your knowledge about your favourite hobby (or, eventually, profession if you so choose).