Five Soft Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Five Soft Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

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Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? While hard skills such as bookkeeping and marketing can be worth learning, it’s also important to develop the right soft skills. These skills can be largely determined by your personality, however you may still be able to cultivate these skills later in life. Below are just five of the key soft skills every entrepreneur needs.

Problem-solving

Running a business is a constant cycle of identifying and overcoming problems. Only by doing this can you improve your business and conquer any obstacles.

There are many ways to develop your problem-solving skills from completing puzzle games to working out directions to new places (without a GPS). Optimism can be a vital ingredient of problem-solving – always try to focus not on the problem, but on the solution.

Time management

Becoming an entrepreneur gives you the freedom to use your time as your wish, however this also requires you to develop time management skills. You need to be able to prioritise important tasks while also ensuring that less important tasks aren’t forgotten.

To improve your time management skills you need to get into a habit of creating daily schedules and setting alerts to ensure that you keep to these as best you can. Finding ways to eliminate distractions could prevent you from being thrown of schedule.

Leadership

If you plan to hire employees, leadership skills could be vital. This involves a good understanding of how to manage people and get the best out of them.

There are courses in management skills training that can help you to develop leadership skills. Volunteering to organise social activities and lead clubs can also help you to gain leadership experience.

Communication skills

Entrepreneurs need to be good communicators. The involves being able to articulate your points well, as well as being able to maintain communication with multiple people at the same time whether they be customers, employees or suppliers.

There are similarly many courses out there that can help you to develop communication skills. Written communication is just as important as verbal communication in today’s world – it could be worth practicing your email and telephone skills.

Confidence

Being confident is important in all walks of life, but can be especially important when starting your own business. Confidence will help you to take risks and make decisions. It will also help to inspire confidence in others.

The key to confidence is learning to be proud of your strengths and learning to be accepting of your weaknesses. We all have moments of self-doubt – but a confident person knows when to suppress these doubts or when to seek approval from others. There are many courses, self-help books and support groups that can help people to become more confident.

Four Investment Suggestions For Your Cash

Four Investment Suggestions For Your Cash

Most people believe that they have to be rich to have any money to invest. It’s a common misconception given that the wealthy DO tend to invest their cash. Here’s the thing: it’s something you can do, too – and you don’t even have to put your money in the stock market. There are so many more places you can invest cash that will give you huge returns, and these could set you up for life when done the right way.

As with anything, there is an element of risk when you are investing your money. There are a variety of benefits, timelines, and interest rates to work with, and your decisions will depend on how much you know about investments. It’s for this reason that you have come to this article! You have some cash as a first time investor, and you’re ready to put your money where your mouth is. Let’s take a look at safe and profitable places to put your cash!

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  • Real Estate. The easiest way to invest money – well, in theory – is in real estate. You do need a significant amount of money to invest, but it’s the market that can make you big money if you go about it the right way. You can make your fortune by buying up, doing up, and selling on, or you could purchase with the view of renting out. It’s up to you, and you can even hire someone to do it for you!
  • Gold. While you won’t be panning for it yourself in the mines, gold is still a lucrative investment in today’s economy. It’s an asset with real value, and with companies like ABC Refinery on your side, you can invest well. Gold isn’t something you just find in earrings and other jewelry, it also comes in bullion and coin form, and you can keep it in a vault at the bank. The value of gold changes over time, but it’s still worth investing in when the economy is high and selling when the economy melts down!
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending. Borrowing from others or lending to others who aren’t banks or loan companies is known as peer-to-peer lending. When you go for this option, you spread out your investments among more than one borrower should you want to you can get started when you hop online and check out the many lending sites. You could lend to others and know you’re giving back when you do!
  • Bonds. A common option for investment, bonds are popular with first time investors. These are debt investments where an investor will loan money to a corporate entity at a variable rate for a more extended period. The higher the interest on the bond, the higher the risk, so always be careful about which bonds that you invest in. Always look at the interest rate first.

Investing your money is supposed to be a brand new adventure, so don’t be afraid to dive right in and try something new now.

A Van And A Plan! Promoting A “Mobile” Business

A Van And A Plan! Promoting A “Mobile” Business

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It’s a trend that many businesses are following. Because so many companies cannot afford physical premises but they need to retain clients, the ideal solution is to go to them. Running a mobile business in this respect is not easy. Running any sort of company that requires covering a lot of miles can be a logistical nightmare. As well as this, there are promotional aspects to consider. Promoting any business is tough, but promoting a mobile business can be even tougher. What can you do to attract and retain customers and clients when you don’t even have a physical office?

Using Your Vehicle As A Promotional Material

When we start to think about the importance of marketing 24/7 it can be about lingering in the subconscious of someone who we’ve just driven past. In this respect, vehicle wraps are a simple way to continually show off your business. If you want to find out about vehicle wraps you can see more about this and how it impacts your business but also can show off your brand and style. It’s like the traditional ice cream van; you know when it’s coming and you know what it looks like. If you want to get the attention of people you are driving past you’ve got to make your vehicle stand out.

The Importance Of Social Media

It’s not something that can be ignored. One of the main selling points of your business is that you are on the move. Using social media to communicate your journeys as well as your varied clients can be one of the most important elements of any marketing campaign. Going from customer to customer is the big draw but when you are are looking to draw customers in, social media gives you the ability to fill in the blanks. For example, if there’s only a certain distance that you cover or specific specialties that you offer, these need to be communicated through your social media channels. The great thing about a mobile business is that you can upload videos showing your journeys each and every time which will lend you a sense of credibility.

Don’t Underestimate Your Prowess

Marketing is all about that positive word of mouth. When you understand the type of clientele you want to attract, you’ve got to make sure every aspect of your brand is complete. Don’t forget, you are a brand as well. As everything you do will determine your services and your positive feedback when you are running a mobile business and you are interacting with people up close and personal, you need to think about the entire package. What you do will have a significant bearing on how well your business does. A mobile business where it’s just you going around to people’s homes is convenient for them but if you really want to loom large in people’s minds you’ve got to do something extra.

Marketing can be difficult for any company looking to make an impact but when you run a mobile business it’s not just the fact that you go to the customer that should be the key selling point.

4 Tools & Hacks To Save Your Company Time

4 Tools & Hacks To Save Your Company Time

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Your business needs to use every moment productively, in order to facilitate the highest levels of success. The key to time saving is getting organized and evaluating your performance. Beyond this, there are plenty of hacks and software tools which can support your productivity.

Zapier

Zapier is a nifty platform which helps connect a wide range of apps together, allowing your business to save time and automate workflows. Zapier functions to automatically exchange info between your apps, so that you’re free to pursue other tasks. The software works via using ‘zaps’ which are like digital blueprints of repeated tasks. The ‘zaps’ will automatically open the correct apps and complete the task, according to your programming. You don’t need to rely on developers to create integrations because this app puts you in the driving seat. The software also arrives with plenty of premade integrations to get you started. To use multiple apps together, and automate your repetitive tasks; it doesn’t get much simpler than this. 

Toggl

Toggl is handy piece of software which tracks your time spent on different tasks. When you can access a clear picture of exactly how your time has been spent, you’ll be able to evaluate your productivity and see exactly where improvements can be made. Toggl allows you to monitor your time using bar charts that show which projects are the most time consuming. You can use Toggl offline if you prefer, the software will re-sync to the cloud once your internet connection is back on. All of your data is shared between your mobile and desktop solutions, so you can track your time no matter where you are.

Outsource IT

Companies looking to save time could really benefit from outsourcing their IT to an external provider. When your team are spending time on IT maintenance or troubleshooting issues, this can put pressure on your projects. For your IT systems, solutions are best achieved by experts- freeing you up to focus on your workload. As well as this, an expert IT provider will be up to speed with the latest effective infrastructures. Consequently, you can rest assured that your company will be accessing the best options. Outsourced IT Support often provides 24/7 monitoring of your system, to ensure that no matter what- your business is productive and protected. 

Chatbots

Chatbots are handy pieces of AI software that can deal with your customer service queries via your website, app, or even social media. Chatbots are pre-programmed to answer a huge range of queries via instant messaging systems. Many customers in fact prefer a quick instant message exchange to deal with their query. Whether it’s a question about shipping or a problem with your app, a Chatbot can serve your customers efficiently- around the clock. Your staff can only deal with one query at a time, whereas Chatbots are scalable to deal with a large number of queries simultaneously. To save yourself time and boost your customer service, AI is a top choice.

Finally, when it comes to your social media strategy, be sure to use a good social management platform like Hoosuite or Sprout Social.Such platforms allow you to manage multiple accounts in one place plus save time by automating your scheduling.

Self Employment Tips From Those Who Have Been There

Self Employment Tips From Those Who Have Been There

Making the decision to become self-employed can be one of the biggest and life-changing Decisions of your life. So people have to take the plunge for various reasons, but others have decided to do so to be able to better their lives for themselves and their families. But it’s not always plain sailing, it’s not always as easy as you think it might be calmer and there are plenty of things that you need to consider before you can go ahead. Unfortunately, you will hit some bumps in the road but if you are prepared, do your research, and listen to any advice that you received, you may find you will be successful quicker than you thought. So here are some tips from people who know about self-employment, who have been there, and would like to share the knowledge. 

Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

Be organised

Being organised is considered one of the most important aspects of being self-employed. If you aren’t able to manage your workload effectively Palmer you may not find yourself getting anywhere fast. If you don’t find yourself getting anywhere fast, you may find that you will end up in a bit of a vicious circle. So from the very beginning finding pieces of software that will help you become organised, even signing up to online scheduling software, and being able to manage your workload through various tools, you will find you should be on the right track. Not everybody is a born organiser, and some of us need to work on it. So what we need to consider is how we will go about doing this, and put a plan in place. Because being organised will help you gain more customers, be more productive, and also keep you calm and level-headed especially when you are very busy. 

Take time out

When you first become self-employed it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of constantly working, many self-employed people become workaholics because at the end of the day it’s very important that they succeed. It’s understandable to be committed, and understandable to be as hard-working as you can be. However, it can be a false economy to work too many hours, and not take any time for yourself. Even just taken out an hour a day for your own relaxation can be life-changing. Many people have reported that once they started their own self-employment business, they found the ended up burning out. This is a very common problem and something that most business owners would caution against.

Be confident 

When you start your self-employment journey, it can be easy to feel Imposter syndrome quite quickly, this means that you feel as though you aren’t worthy of the role that you are in, however, if you have worked hard up to this point too, and your intentions are good, then there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be confident in your endeavors. If you are becoming self-employed in an area that you are especially skilled at, then owning this and being confident will give your potential clients and customers confidence in you. This will be a positive step in the right direction for your self-employment.

The Benefits of Personal Branding

The Benefits of Personal Branding

There are plenty of opportunities in the world, but there’s also a lot of competition for those opportunities, too. As such, to get the positions that you want, it’s important that you’re taking steps to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Alas, sometimes people do bring attention to themselves, but not the right kind. If you haven’t worked on your personal branding, then it’s possible that a recruiter could find something that compromises your application for a job. 

There can be a lot of confusion surrounding personal branding, but it’s essentially just a way to control your message. It’s about promoting the qualities that you want people to see, and not the things that could compromise your professionalism. This is important because, well, the internet is important. If you’re applying for a job, then it’s highly likely that the hiring company will conduct a search of your name online. So it’s extra important that what they’re finding is positive, or at least non-negative. 

It’s not just would-be employees that can make the most of personal branding, either. It can help CEOs to boost their brand, and is, in many ways, a form of under-the-radar advertising. Having a strong personal brand can also lead to any number of opportunities, both for you on a professional level and for your business. 

While it’s a relatively new trend, it looks like it’s one that’s here to stay. To learn more about branding, take a look at the infographic from the University of Maryland below. 


Infographic design by University of Maryland University of Maryland

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