10 Powerful Habits Every Successful Entrepreneur Should Adopt

Regardless of the niche that you want to focus your efforts on, you will face many obstacles, uncertainties and risks with your new venture. While each situation is unique, the most successful entrepreneurs often share several factors in common. For example, they may have profound experience in their industry and refined personality traits. More than that, they also usually have exceptional habits that guide them to success. These are some of the habits that you can cultivate to increase your chances of success with your next venture.

1. Pay Attention to Customers

You may think that you would need to aggressively market your products and services or refine a high-pressure sales pitch to be successful, but this is not the case. The most successful individuals are focused on improving their customers’ experiences with the company. Consider your own past experiences with different ventures. If you had a great experience, you are more likely to do business with the company again and to tell others about your experience. Successful entrepreneurs incorporate customer service into their activities because they understand this critical element.

2. Show a Positive Attitude

Whether you are drafting an email, presenting a seminar or hosting a meeting in your office, you must always communicate with others in a positive way. Regardless of how tired, unhappy or stressed you may actually be feeling, you must always present yourself positively. Learn to control your emotions so that you never yell or pout when you are unhappy with a situation.

3. Behave Respectfully

Regardless of whether you are speaking with the janitor in your office or a high-powered executive who you are trying to woo, you must always treat others with dignity and respect. The most successful entrepreneurs understand the inherent contributions that each person makes, and they know the value of these contributions. Verbal and non-verbal communication should always indicate respect, so keep that in mind.

4. Socialize with Successful People

If you want to be successful in life, you must surround yourself by successful people. When you do this, you will also surround yourself by their positive energy and can-do mentality. And before you know it, you will absorb such a mindset. They may also inspire you, offer helpful tidbits, or even support you in your endeavors. On the other hand, steer clear of people who drain your energy and detract you from your goals.

5. Don’t Be Late

Punctuality is one of the most significant non-verbal signs of respect that you can show someone. It shows that you value their time and that you understand that they have important tasks to complete throughout the day as well. More than that, when you are prompt and punctual, you prove to others that you are responsible and dependable. Some people avoid working with people who are continuously late because of how unprofessional or ill-prepared they may seem. Do not let this happen to you. Get in the habit of leaving early so that you can always arrive early or on time.

6. Constantly Set Goals

Successful entrepreneurs never settle for less. They are constantly setting new goals for themselves that push the limits in different ways. These are highly motivated individuals who strive to move forward and who are unhappy with the status quo. They may evaluate programs, analyze progress, set new goals and work daily to achieve them until those goals are accomplished and new ones can be set. Be a goal-setter and success will follow!

7. Gain New Experiences

If you want to emulate the success of top entrepreneurs, focus on exposing yourself to new things. Avoid monotony, and shake things up in both small and large ways. For example, try new meals at restaurants, rearrange your office furniture periodically, take an exotic vacation to a new destination, attend a professional seminar and more. By doing so, you can bolster creativity, meet new people, and constantly keep your mind active and inspired.

8. Commit to Lifelong Learning

Entrepreneurs do not see education as something that is attained or completed. Instead, they see it is a lifelong effort. They are always curious, and they read books, watch documentaries, or attend seminars and trade shows to learn about different things. They may also sign up for podcasts or webinars, take an online course, or download an educational app ─ today, educational technology offers almost limitless possibilities. So, remember to keep your mind open and always strive to learn more.

9. Take Care of Your Health

The most successful individuals understand that mental aptitude is linked to physical wellness, and both are necessary for success and profitability. Avoid working nonstop as this can lead to burnout and fatigue. Instead, leave plenty of time in your week for downtime, such as yoga and meditation to de-stress. Also, focus on favorite hobbies, exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet that gives you the energy and nutrients necessary for productivity.

10. Be Persistent

Perhaps one of the most important habits that entrepreneurs develop over time is persistence. While there may be a time and a place to throw in the towel knowledgeably, such as when cutting losses, entrepreneurs do not give up simply because the going gets tough. Instead, they dig down into the trenches, avoid feeling discouraged and keep their eye on the prize.

Final Words
As you can see, there is far more involved to being successful than simply getting a good degree at a top school. You also must adopt the right habits. Did you notice that the first five habits listed here are people-oriented and that the second five habits are self-oriented? Both are critical if you want to be as successful as possible in life. So, don’t waste another minute and start adopting these habits today!

 

Helen Eagleton - Headshot

BIO: Helen Eagleton, a freelance blogger from Boston, follows topics in the realm of education, technology, digital marketing, and business in general. When she’s not researching for her next article, she enjoys watching documentaries and exploring the nature. Reach her @eagleton_helen

Dos and Don’ts of Using Social Media for Customer Service

Using social media for customer service makes sense for businesses and customers alike. J.D. Power published data showing  more than two-thirds of all customers who contacted a company via a social network did so for customer service. It is no surprise that companies have learned the benefits that come with a public display of customer service excellence.

Despite the attractiveness of leveraging social media as a customer service channel,  companies that have tried often deliver disappointing results. As an example, another study reveals that more than one-third of consumers who have tried to use social media to get help were disappointed.

Unlike traditional situations where customers privately interact with companies via either telephone or in-person visits, social media dialog occurs in public for everyone to see. Although this can present valuable opportunities, they may also lead to damaging negative publicity. Read the following dos and don’ts for great social media customer service.

DO

1. Respond quickly

Customers want immediate results. In response, you offer expedited shipping options, same day shipping and similar perks that compress the gap between order placement and fulfillment. Why stop there? Customers also want to receive prompt replies to their inquiries.

Did you know more than 40% of customers want to receive a response within one hour of contacting you? In fact, one third of your customers want to receive a response in 30 minutes. Even if you need more time to achieve a final resolution, a quick response to customer contacts to achieve a high level of satisfaction.

2. Be Polite and Empathetic

While online, people often speak more candidly than they might in face-to-face conversations. When an irate customer rants all over social media about a problem, you understandably might want to fire back in a similar manner. Don’t. Always use a respectful and empathetic tone when using social media for customer service.

When others see you and your team maintain a professional attitude under pressure, they will have confidence in your commitment to them. When an irate customer speaks via social media, accept their concerns as valid and guide them to possible resolutions.

A customer first attitude will make it much easier to find a mutually satisfactory resolutions. When this happens, your brand will shine.

3. Add a Personal Touch

Get personal with your customers, prospects and leads and you will endear them to you, your company and your brand. People want to feel important and valued, and allow that desire to guide their buying choices. Use names and personal details while interacting with customers and you will build long-lasting, profitable relationships.

With its Happiness Heroes initiative, Buffer sets a standard that every firm can follow. The brand’s cheery customer service specialists always sign their messages with their first names, helping to humanize the brand. As a result, the company has built a reputation as being friendly and helpful, leading to loyal customers who freely promote the brand.

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Another way to add a personal touch to your social media customer service effort is to write well. When you and your team take the time to properly spell words and construct grammatically correct sentences, you appear professional and communicate that you value your audience.

4. Admit You Made a Mistake

Sometimes your company will make a mistake and do something wrong. Win the hearts of the social media world by admitting the problem and apologizing. When you interact this way, you connect with customers who understand that “stuff happens.”

Rather than ignoring complaints or playing a blame game, take responsibility for mistakes that your company has made, take steps to make sure they never recur, and then take steps to make things right. When you take an open, honest and transparent approach, your customer service effort on social media will earn a solid reputation for your firm that will translate into sales revenue and profits.

DON’T

1. Let the Issue Linger for Too Long

In the hope that problems disappear, some people will either ignore or delete negative social media comments. Never let an uncomfortable situation cause you to run and hide. Doing so sends the wrong message to the public. In spite of the discomfort or embarrassment you feel when something goes wrong, you must promptly and positively respond to inspire confidence of the community of social media users.

Of course, every prompt response might not result in a positive result. In fact, some conversations involving complex issues can seem to drag on forever. In such circumstances, consider inviting customers to an offline channel where you can work together without exposing the extended saga to the world.

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In fact, after two interactions in public, moving to a private message other than social media might help create a positive customer experience and promote the reputation of your brand. By limiting the “dirty laundry” on your social media profiles you do yourself a favor while offering improved opportunities to affected customers.

2. Neglect Customer Feedback

Your exposure to the social media community gives you access to almost unlimited feedback streams that include both suggestions and criticisms. All such information comes to you free, at no cost, so make sure you and your team pays attention to it.

Some companies fail to spend the time or attention necessary to digest all the feedback left for them on social media, but they do so to their detriment. Even more so, businesses that acknowledge feedback and fail to act upon it hurt themselves. Act upon the information you receive via social media, even when it seems negative. Use it to improve your business.

3. Send Them to Another Channel

You’ve already learned about the damaging effect prolonged discussions can have on your brand. Aside from that, you need to accommodate your customers on the same channel that they choose to initiate contact. For example, if someone reaches out to you on Facebook, don’t immediately tell them to call your customer service telephone number.

Customers have a reason for contacting you via social media, so you should accommodate them on their preferred channel as long as possible.

4. Rely on Canned Responses

Automation has snagged many headlines in the marketing and tech world, but sometimes automation can cause major turnoffs. When you use social media for customer service, give your audience the luxury of interacting with a human being. If you lack the time to respond to comments, enlist the help of your staff. When your staff lacks the time, consider employing some remote workers to engage your customers.

Canned responses give your brand an inhuman, austere character and can quickly lead customers to wonder whether they will ever receive the attention they crave. A seemingly countless number of brands have tried to cut corners with automated responses and they have paid the price. Learn the lesson and rely on human, personal interactions instead.

Social media has forever changed the online landscape. Through it people interact with friends and their favorite brands. In contrast with companies that have made mistakes, learn from the above dos and don’ts to give your brand an edge over your competitors, and your firm a promising and profitable future.

Author byline:

Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon

5 Ways to Market Your Business Online

With technology only improving, businesses and consumers are becoming closer than ever before. Social media is more prevalent in society than in the past, and small businesses everywhere are embracing the new ways to market their services using online tools to help promote further customer reach. Here is a list of 5 ways to help market your business online:

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  • Facebook

Facebook is a great way of advertising and raising awareness of your product. By creating a page for a business and adding its location you are opening up the possibility of having customers digitally check themselves into your venue. Customers are then able to engage and review a businesses services and share this with their social network. It is important to remember to reply to comments to continue to build the rapport between business and consumer. Facebook also offers paid advertising and marketing campaigns through their business portal

  • Twitter

Twitter is another way of attracting customers, although it does take longer to build a large network on Twitter. The key to a successful Twitter is to always engage in relevant posts, follow any relevant profiles and be smart while still being funny. Engagements are what build your followers on Twitter. If you’re worried about having the time of running your social networks, organisations out there to provide social media help to develop a content marketing strategy that will help build your online growth.

  • Website

Having a website allows you a stronger online presence, and gives businesses the opportunity to display a list of the services available to customers. A website is also a great way of sharing the products, events, sales and opening times. Services such as WordPress are simple website builders. For a low cost it is possible to buy your own domain from these sites, with the option of an email address attached.

  • Emails

In the modern world email is the best form of contact for most customers. Whether you sign up for a free email service or get one through a website, email is a great way of responding to customers enquiries in a professional manner. Customers respond positively to speedy responses from businesses. Through having a registered email address assigned to your business, you can provide subscription services directly to customers, providing them with the option of being notified of sales or further events.

  • Coupons Vouchers

Everyone loves to think they’re getting a good deal. Sharing coupon vouchers through your social platforms will drive business and grow the customer base. New companies that have provided new customer discounts or free delivery have been successful in entering the market in major cities across the globe. Through having a campaign offering free services or VIP sales to clients, for things such as signing up to your email subscription service, discounts on their birthdays, free delivery or new customer discounts, consumers are urged to try a product for the first time.

It is important to not to put all your eggs within one basket, and be able to see the broader picture. One method of marketing may work better for you than another, however the important thing to remember is that all this does not have to be done alone. Consulting with services that provide provide social media help can alleviate some of the stress that can be added when struggling between traditional face to face services and online services allowing the balance to be achieved within the business.

 

 

 

 

How to Climb the Corporate Ladder

Climbing the corporate ladder, which ultimately ends in you sitting pretty at the helm of a successful business as the boss, is something that people all over the world, every single day, seek to do. Because of the sheer volume of competitors out there, even in the market in which you are seeking to get to the top of, you have to be able to stand out from the rest. Below are a few hints and tips on how you can climb the corporate ladder and leave all your computers in your wake at the bottom of it.

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Image source

And standing out from the rest is, first and foremost, what you need to do. If you are seeking to climb the ladder on your own terms, i.e. by starting your own business venture, you must be able to spot gaps in the market in which you are climbing. You must be able to tap into a previously untapped area — in doing so, you will never lose customers that are seeking for something new or seeking to do business with someone who has their finger on the pulse of the market. There are a plethora of ways in which you can spot a gap in the market: you could partake in a bit of ‘creative’ swiping, where you take ideas from another company and twist them, or relocate them, so that you are not doing anything legally wrong and so that you are providing something new for the customer; or it could entail you absorbing all the latest trends and make use of them, i.e. by tapping into the usage of specific social media sites and the services they offer. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, and take your own business with you, then you must be brave enough to try things that you may not have tried before, and you must be brave enough to stand on the toes of a few of your competitors.

But you don’t just have to start your own business in order to climb the corporate ladder: you can do so by making your way to the top of a business that is already there. However, to make your way to the top of somebody else’s business you have to be just as brave in your attempts to stand out from as you would be if you did in fact own your own. You need to be able to stand out from your colleagues, and most of the time simply getting on with your work and doing it well isn’t a good enough way to do so. You need to be brave enough to bring visibility to your work; this means  that you should do all you can to demonstrate your work, skills and efforts to your superiors, whether that be by telling them or showing them. And when it comes to the process of making them aware, you should always seek to do it directly in order to ensure that the message has been sent and not become lost in transit (either purposely or accidentally). Having an active and open relationship with your boss will help in this situation. As well as this, you should always seek to take recognition for your work and never allow for others to take credit for it — you have to make sure your boss knows it is your work, and you need to show to them that you are proud of the work you have produced, which could itself convince them that you are ready to take the next step in the corporate ladder.

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Image source

Another way to climb the corporate ladder, or even start on it a few steps above the bottom, is to seek professional qualifications. Specifically, you could devote your time to taking a degree that teaches about the world of business so that you can enter the business world with a built-in knowledge of how it works. Taking such a degree will allow you to learn about aspects such as economics, finance and marketing from knowledgeable professionals. In completing a degree in business you will be able to enter the world of work with the skills to be able to interpret business concepts and make informed decisions regarding them. However, you should be aware that taking up this sort of venture is very demanding: it is demeaning in the sense that it is over a prolonged period of time, it means you may not be getting as much ‘real’ world experience as is desired in certain areas and it may even mean uprooting your life completely. But, if you’re the type of person that thrives in educational environments and would rather do this than find hands on experience in the sector, then you should go for this option and not let anybody tell you otherwise — and there will be a lot of people willing and waiting to do that. And you don’t even have to completely uproot your life and go to a university or college: you can look to the Internet for the solution through an Online Business Management Degree. This kind of option is asynchronous, which means that you can simply log on and complete assignments at a time that is convenient; all you need it a strong Internet connection and the discipline to be able to take the work into your own hands and complete it even with the lack of an authority figure looming above you.

What you should always remember is that it is is the little things that makes a big difference in business: it is the little things that you do every day that contribute to making your way up the corporate ladder. When doing anything in the world of business, you have to do it in a way in which it reaches its optimum potential. As well as this, you must be brave. You must be brave when it comes to making decisions, when it comes to showcasing your work and when it to the choices you make in life regarding your development.

Why The Natural Connection Works Much Better Than Ad Bombardment

Every business needs to work at getting the most out of their target market. For a lot of businesses, advertisements are a crucial part of reaching more people and creating leads. When they’re targeted well, they are certainly good at doing that. However, a marketing strategy that relies entirely on advertisements is far from cost-effective or even time-effective. If you want marketing efforts that cost less and have longer-term benefits to offer, then you need to think about fostering the natural connection customers. You need to think about making your marketing inbound.

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Take part in conversations

When you get people interested in your brand and in your products, capitalize on them. The best thing you can add to a brand is positive word-of-mouth. For instance, consider asking for testimonials and building them up until you have enough to feature on your site to make good use of positive social proof. Make sure you’re working on keeping social media channels active and participating in conversations about the industry or other topics relevant to what you do. Don’t be afraid to even have a little fun with online communities. The personable, human approach on social media shows that there’s a human core to the business. That’s what makes a brand memorable.

Make your business easier to find

On the internet, you’re not just competing for the customer’s money but for the attention you require in order to convince them that your business is worth that money. Visibility is crucial and while outreach might inform more people of your business’s existence, you might be able to see more cost-effective results by targeting those who are actively looking for your services. Search engine optimization ensures that your site appears in those kinds of searches and in a better position than your competitors. Techniques like using meta-data properly, content marketing, and link-building as mentioned in http://theprauthority.com/link-building-and-why-you-need-it/ all contribute to giving you a place of prominence on search engines. It’s well proven by now that people trust what they see on the first page of Google much more than they do what they see in a corporate branded advertisement.

Have the site do more

The website is supposed to do a lot more than giving people information on what it is you do. It’s supposed to convert visitors into customers. As https://conversionxl.com/ways-to-increase-your-conversion-rate-right-now/ states, there are plenty of ways to create a site that is better at making customers. Elements like calls-to-action, clean navigation, and concise text providing a clear value proposition are all necessary. Too many businesses make their websites too complicated, too crowded, and not truly focused on the customer at all. A strong website can be a fantastic tool for building leads naturally if you use it right.

The best marketing strategies weigh heavily on the inbound side, using advertising when they can capitalize on a new offer or a seasonal high in the business. If you’re just constantly trying to throw ads out there, you’ll find that the customers you do win might not be enough to support your marketing costs.

 

Finding the Best Deals for Your Company

As you pour over the ways to make your small business as successful as possible, what are you doing when it comes to locating deals for your company?

By saving money whenever and wherever possible, you will have more green to spend on other things that are relevant to your business.

That said don’t automatically look for the cheapest products and services out there, figuring you will always win with a deal. Although it is perfectly fine to save money (and it is encouraged), make sure you are getting quality products and services in return.

With that in mind, the Internet offers an array of information for you, information that can lead to locating some great opportunities for your small business.

From office products to finding the best mobile app for your brand, use the worldwide web as often as possible to track down savings.

So, are you ready to find the best deals for your company?

Delivering Quality and Savings for Your Brand

So that you are able to deliver quality and savings for your brand, remember these pointers:

Promoting awareness

As a small business owner, one of your greatest needs is making customers (present and potential) more aware of your brand.

That being the case, you have a myriad of means in order to do this, with some typically working better than others.

One such way is by having a mobile app aboard for the ride.

As countless small business owners have discovered in recent years, a mobile app is a great means by which one can tout their brands to customers.

In your search of the top app development companies, take note that you do not necessarily have to pay through the nose for the right app.

By properly researching the different app developers out there, you can narrow down your list of which ones could build you the best app possible. From there, you might even see some savings come about by not necessarily getting all the best and whistles many apps offer.

The bottom line is finding the best mobile app at the best price, so start shopping today if you do not already have an app.

Office supplies

Be honest, do you have way too many office supplies sitting around your workplace?

If so, there’s a good chance you’re solely responsible for that.

Sure, you may have your office manager or another individual in charge of ordering such supplies, but did you really need all of what you ended up with?

In many cases, you are literally throwing money out the door by ordering extras of this and that.

To cut down on such waste expenditures, have the person in charge (it may even be you) of ordering supplies keep a detailed list of what is needed each month.

From recycling paper to using money-saving light bulbs and much more, you can end up cutting your office supply expenses down month after month.

Hiring talent

Lastly, while you should never skimp on hiring the best talent possible for your small business, you once again can take a cue from your promotional efforts and ordering office supplies.

By hiring good talent with fair compensation packages, you actually end up saving money in the long run.

Keep in mind that a revolving employee door in your workplace ultimately costs you money over time.

As such, while you thought you were saving some green by paying workers low salaries, there’s a good chance they will leave sooner rather than later. That then leads to having to train more new hires.

Without overpaying for talent, try and give your employees what each is worth, finding ways to come out with the best deals for your company when all is said and done.

As a small business owner, how are you going about locating deals for your company?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.

Urgent! Make Sure Your Business Keeps Up With Trends In 2017

Things can move exceptionally quickly in business. One moment your company is doing well, the next it’s falling by the wayside. A lot of the time, this is down to trends. For whatever reason, some things become popular at certain times, and some businesses capitalize to ensure they stay successful.

What your business needs to do is ensure it keeps up with all the trends this year. How can you do this? Well, here are some ideas:

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(pixabay: http://bit.ly/2lESbU3)

RSS Apps

If you’ve never heard of an RSS feed before then allow me to explain. It’s essentially a feed where you get provided with different stories and articles relating to a certain topic. So, if you wanted a business RSS feed, you’d get given the latest articles relating to business from around the web. This is a great way of staying in-tune with the current trends and ensuring you’re on top of all the latest news. The easiest way to set up an RSS feed is by downloading one of the many RSS apps out there. Once you’ve done this, turn notifications on and get news sent straight to your mobile devices. When a new story breaks within your industry, you’ll be one of the first to know about it. Such a brilliant way of making sure you’re never left in the dark and your business can stay in the loop.

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(Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/BnEEai)

Podcasts

You can also listen to podcasts if you want to try and stay updated with the latest trends across various industries. The chances are, if you can think of a topic, there’ll be a podcast out there that covers it. You can listen to a sales and marketing podcast, and accounting and finance podcast, even a podcast about your specific business industry. It may surprise you how early you learn about trends if you listen to podcasts every day. After all, they’re essentially talk shows with experts from different industries. So, you can get exclusive insider knowledge right into your eardrums. The best thing is, you can download them on your phone and play them while you drive to work every day. So, you’ll always stay updated, and your business will keep up with current trends.

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(Credit: https://flic.kr/p/JWUkuu)

Social Media

Thirdly, you have to use social media to keep up to date with current trends. It’s not even a case of you can or might want to. No. You have to. Social media is unique in that you get to witness conversations and trends unfold before your very eyes. There are even sections on sites like Twitter and Facebook where you can see things that are trending. You can even make these specific to your interests on Twitter, so you see trends relating to your business. As a result, you can keep up with trends as they happen. It’s vital that you’re up to date with trends on social media, as they can determine the content you produce as part of your marketing campaign. After all, you want to produce relevant content that people are interested in.

By using these ideas, you can stay updated on all the trends relating to your business. Now, you can capitalize on them and catapult yourself past the competition.