This is an area that many businesses approach later throughout their growth and expansion. You are probably asking what exactly is ‘company culture’, Wikipedia defines it as – ‘the collective values, beliefs, and principles of organizational members and is a product of such factors as history, product, market, technology, strategy and etc…’. In the early stages of your business, you started with this vision and strategy in how you would take your company to new heights. As you progress, hiring extra hands to help with the workload and daily tasks. It seemed ideal to search the market for someone with talented skills like yourself. In reality, You should thrive in looking for employees that are aligned with your companies vision, values, and strategy. Because this part gives people within your business the opportunity to grow and learn from the companies DNA, the vision, values, and strategy, that makes your employees challenge themselves to grow in unexpected and rewarding ways.
If you have company culture
Many times owners do not take the time to look into their own company behavior. Traditionally, many managers ran a company to execute day-to-day workloads. Employees would show up to work on their tasks and call it quits after 5:00 p.m. But, If you look closely into your employee’s behaviors and see how they interact with one another. Identifying what drives them to perform well or what motivates them should give you leads in what current state culture your company has. Learn how you can begin in aligning the companies vision and values to the existing culture. This process will take time in adjusting to the current culture.
Look how other businesses culture function. Heck, take a tour at facebook or google, since they are leading companies that inspire culture within their organization. However, you do it, just remember this will make your business standout within current and future employees. People will want to be working for you because of the culture your company has to offer.
If you know a thing or two about company culture. Please leave a comment below.
If you are someone who lives in the Central Valley of California then you know how hot it can get during Summer season. The record shows high 116’F and average 90’s during July. If your job or business has you out in the field jumping from one job site to another, make sure to wear protected layer of clothes to prevent any sort of sunburn. And yes, drink plenty of water when on the move. On average, an adult should consume about 2 liters or half a gallon of water a day. Take your breaks, don’t just put them on your timecard for record proof. Literary, take your 10-15 minute breaks when dealing with severe hot weather conditions. Many small businesses who provide outside services, for example, pool cleaning, plumber, AC repair, landscaping services, towing services and etc… Start their day early to beat the heat wave. Re-organize your weekly work schedule to prevent working long hours in the summer heat. If you are not a morning person, consider moving your work schedule into the evenings (“if allowable”).
It’s not all work during the summer
Don’t forget to enjoy your summer with family and friends. Many memorable moments happen during the summer time. Take the family out to the lake, or to a steak house. Fire up that grill and slap some ribs onto the grill. Who doesn’t like a backyard gathering? Remember, give time to your loved ones and have a balanced life.
This info does not imply to just California. Many others who deal with summer conditions should consider in actually taking their breaks and drinking plenty of water. Or, think in how to reschedule your weekly work to prevent from working in hot weather conditions.
If you have suggestions or tips. Please leave a comment in our comment section below.
As a human being, we have responded to stress differently there’re no “one size fits all” in managing stress. We explain stress as if “I just have a million things going on right now” and/or “Things are always crazy around here.” Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events?
Be in Control of Stress
Take charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems.Â Identify what causes you to have stressed throughout your work day. For example, at your job site is it a particular job task or co-worker that causes you to have stress? Look into specifics why this causes problems: does the job task have a short deadline that causes you to worry about time, does your co-worker constantly ask for assistance in everyday tasks that causes to lose track of your priorities? Making sure to step away from your daily activities in order to effectively find what causes you to stress.
Keep the mind healthy
It does not mean to take on a challenging puzzle, believe it or not doing puzzles only activate certain part of the brain. Many doctors suggest that you take on a physical activity. This causes your blood vessels within your body and brain to dilate which activate certain chemicals that help your neurons stay healthy. Get up from where you are sitting and stretch out those muscles. Find something that will get you outside, like hiking, beach walks, dance clubs, etc… Many say that the mind is shaped by all ideas, experiences, and thoughts that you are exposed. What you choose to consume for your mind will make more-or-less healthy.
Consider looking into someone whom you admire
Is the person that you admire have good behaviors that you would like to adopt into your lifestyle. Ask them what they do on a daily basis, what they are thinking throughout their day. Consider putting the practice in developing new behaviors, because they don’t happen overnight.
Remember stress can be managed. You just need to stop and look into your daily activity and identify what is causing you to have it. Consider into talking to someone about your current situation, it will help clear your mind in understanding ‘how’ and ‘why’ you are having stress.
If you have any comments or suggestions. Please write a comment below.
Value is the name of the game. It is the critical part of your marketing efforts. The faster your customer can understand the value, the likely hood of your product has achieved product-market fit.
For businesses who are looking to achieve product-market fit fast, here are three tips:
Understand your Customer
Learning the needs and solving their situations requires time and experience. If you don’t have a grasp of who is your ideal customer, please read a previous post about “Who is your ideal customer?” this will guide you in how to identify your ideal customer.
Focus on one core value about your product or service
Whether you are a startup or have a traditional business, understanding the core value of your product or service is a vital piece in achieving product-market fit. Looking into if your competitors fail to solve problems. Does your product or service solve one major issue that your customers are facing?
Having a story is a critical element in creating credible value for your company. People like to connect to a story, it’s the best way to how your customer are going to make sense of your product or services.
For example, check out our blog post “Our Story” regarding how Edifica become a SAAS product for construction contractors and subcontractors.
Product-Market Fit will take your company on a journey of constantly having to change your product or service to match exactly what your customer is looking for. Remember, if your customer can understand exactly the value your company is offering and can explain it back to you. Then you have achieved product-market fit.
If you have been in situations where your company has released a new product or service. And want to get a better understanding of your service or product then this will be the best approach.
Please leave a comment below if you have examples or experience achieving product-market fit.
Every business wants customers storming into their front doors by the thousands. You could spend a few thousand in outbound marketing to get the word out about your business. And yes, you would get a huge audience to look into your product or service. But, your outbound marketing efforts are more likely to produce “lack of qualified leads”.
Let’s move away from just casting a net into a large mass of water and hoping we will catch a few good fishes from the batch.
Ideal Customer Profile
Ideal Customer Profile or “ICP” – just to sound cooler when you are around other marketers. Start by asking these simple questions to form your ideal customer.
Question #1 – What type of person uses my product?
Does this individual belong to a certain age group (Millennials, Baby Boomers, etc…)? Does your product or service attract to one gender over the other? Or does it depend on their occupation or educational level? Ask questions that will narrow your search for your ideal person who will use your product.
Question #2 – Where are they spending time?
Once understanding your ideal customer. Find out how they spend their time. Look into what types of activities they are involved in. Do they spend most their time online? Understanding their interest gives you better leverage in what makes them tick. This insightful information will lead in develop content relevant to their interest. For example, how-to videos, productivity ebooks, PDF fact sheets, and etc…
Question #3 – Why do they buy our product or service?
This is base on all the information you collected from question 1 and 2. Is your product or service solving an issue for your ideal customer? Underlining what makes your product or service better than your competitor. Understanding your client’s problems or needs, and how they benefit from finding a solution.
Once you have created your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), your company can focus their marketing efforts on your target customer and remove resources that will not close a deal.
If you have suggestions on how to better target and create an Ideal Customer Profile, please leave a comment below.
A great number of small businesses get handed down from one generation to the next. Along with an existing business is a unique skill or trade also gets passed down from generation to another. It has been this way for a long time and there is nothing wrong with that. However, the understanding of marketing doesn’t get passed down. Marketing is a crucial part of business. You could have the best product or offer the best service, but if no one knows about it would be difficult to generate business.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is an umbrella which covers various channels like advertising, public relations, sales, and promotions. A simple way to put, marketing is getting the word out about your service or product. You want to reach as many people as possible who you consider your potential customers by employing the most suitable channel(s) from the ones mentioned above.
Many business owners (this might include you) have been doing marketing by instinct and your business might be doing very well. It would be very hard to do business without doing any type of marketing. Business and marketing are terms that go hand in hand. Marketing is very important and every business owner including yourself should know at least the essential marketing techniques. Two of the most popular reason why a small business might develop a marketing strategy are to increase sales and to build a reputation for the business or brand.
Using marketing to create awareness about your product or service will include the foot traffic into your brick and mortar store or traffic into your online commerce site. This will take an investment of time and money on your part at the beginning , but as your brand gains reputation, the investment necessary to generate sales will diminish over time.
It is very difficult for a business to generate any sales or revenue if it does not have a good reputation and the best way to build a reputation is by marketing. Using marketing you can let people know how good your product or service is. However, this means your business will be put to the test often and you have to perform well to meet the high expectations of your customers. As often as possible publicize the positive results your business gets every time it is put to the test. This will eventually perpetuate sales for your business.
This is by no means a guide for marketing. I only want to emphasize that marketing is very, very important in the business world. Also, different marketing strategies should be used for different business and industries. In no way is marketing is a one-size-fits-all situation. If you are on a budget and want to get started on a marketing campaign for you business. Look here.
Most businesses understand that many of their current clients or future prospects are connected online some sort of way. Whether it is on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device.Â Having an online reputation is very important for any business who wants to be discovered and how they want to be perceived as. But you can’t just put up a website with your fancy logo and just expect traffic to show up.
Encourage your customers
Engage your customers and encourage them to post a comment on your blog or website about your services or products. This is clearly a way to show potential customers your engagement. If your current customers don’t feel motivated to post about your business, offer an incentive. A discount or coupon can go a long way for your business.
Make sure to communicate with your online users by replying back to their posts. A simple “thank you” can go a long way for your business. Getting constant feedback about your business services and products are the effective source when developing new strategies.
Social engagement tools
Using social engagement tools can enhance user experience. Having social media login to your website can help speed up the process when making a comment on your website. Adding social sharing icons to your business can help users easy to share your content on their favorite social media. Here is a link to a blog that shares great content about social engagement tools.
Just remember we are in a new era in how we engage with customers. As a business owner, we constantly need to be aware of our customer behavior as time goes by. Keeping an online reputation with your users is key when keeping up on understanding current trends.
If you have any suggestions on how to improve online business reputation. Please leave a comment below.
Sometimes even when we like our jobs, we don’t feel working on the task at hand. This does not mean you are lazy or irresponsible towards your job, but you might just be having an off day. This happens to everyone, but how do people usually overcome this situation?
To be able to come up with possible solutions, we must first look at some possible causes for not feeling up to the task at hand.
- You feel overwhelmed or afraid of failing.
- Waiting to have “enough” information.
- The task is tedious, boring and repetitive.
These are probably the top causes we need to overcome when we have an off day.
Overcoming the feeling of being overwhelmed can be approached by not looking at the task as a daunting task and divide it into smaller pieces. Divide and conquer. This will also work on tasks that are new to you, tasks that you might feel like you don’t have the experience to complete successfully. Once you have subdivided the task into smaller pieces start working on the pieces that you feel most comfortable with and leave the tougher ones for last. This will help you stop focusing on how hard the task is and build up the confidence to tackle the most difficult pieces.
Whenever you feel you don’t have enough information remember this: Action cures fear. You know who also agrees with this? Nike with their “just do it” slogan. Just ignore your feelings and get started. I see it like getting in the pool, some people like to do it little by little thinking that it will be easier that way, but I believe in just taking the plunge. I don’t think anyone ever felt 100% ready or prepared for anything.
If you are feeling like the task is tedious or boring, take a short walk. Go get coffee or anything that will get you to step away from your desk and momentarily take your mind off the task at hand. For me, disconnecting 5 to 10 minutes usually does the trick. When I can back to my desk, my mind is fresh and I take a different approach. If you think that the task is tedious and repetitive is because you are more than capable of performing the task, whatever it might be. Bribe yourself, promise yourself that once the task is completed you’ll get to surf the web for 5 minutes or watch the latest video of your favorite “youtuber”. You’d be surprised how well this works.
It’s Called Work for a Reason
Don’t beat yourself up, work can’t be fun all the time. There will be days in which we have to push ourselves through situations like this. Just remember that the first step is the toughest. Once you take the first step, all other steps will be easier to take. I hope this post was at least one bit helpful. If it was, I want to share with you another one of my posts that you might also find helpful and is related to staying productive. You can find it here.
Change is one of the toughest things to do in business and in your personal life. Growing up we have been taught to have consistent routines.
Our life seems to be at ease or comfortable when we have an established routine. But, any successful business owner knows that constantly looking for ways to improve their business and making those changes is what sets them apart from the competition.
Awareness about your daily engagement with your small business should be the first step in identifying what is not producing results. Remember, do not go head on and completely eliminate the problem. Take the process in small steps, measure your results by making a few adjustments here and there. Gradually multiply your efforts in changing the problem as results begin to improve.
A life example of awareness is that you found yourself being inactive with your body. So you decided to exercise to get in shape. Again, don’t go head on and instantly start running a mile, you are going to hurt some joints. Rather take the process in exercising into small steps that will gradually get you into the rhythm of running a mile then eventually running 5 miles.
A lot of times small business are forced to change business practice because something happened – legal restrictions, new competition, market behavior – the list goes on.Â Rather than being forced to change, embrace the opportunity. This goes back on being aware – constantly looking at consumer behavior, looking into the new technology that will help your business.
Now, I’m not saying to go all out on changing your entire business. Just look into how you can improve your daily routines and what can you change to enhance productivity or generate more clients. We are a creature of habit, but it takes an individual to step aside from their daily routine and analyze what is working and not working.
Leave a comment below in how you overcame a bad habit within your small business.
If you are not up to date on all the modern acronyms then you might not know what SaaS means, what it does nor what it means for you as small business owner. SaaS or Software as a service is a relatively new concept and it could potentially save your business a lot of money.
Before this concept existed, software was already around and very useful for businesses. This was in the early to mid-2000’s. Internet connection speeds were not what they are now and the most viable way to distribute software was through a physical medium like CDs or DVDs. Let’s use one of the most prolific software packages Microsoft Office, as an example in a real-world scenario. If you owned a construction business in the 2000’s and you purchased the latest version of Office, Office 2000 in 2001 for your office staff to use. When the next version came out in 2002 you would have had to weigh the pros and cons to decide whether or not to upgrade to the new version. Then in 2003, when the next version came out you would have to have done the same, and then again in 2007 and again every other subsequent version. You get the point. Every version was a bunch of cash that had to be spent for your office staff to have the latest and greatest. Back in those days, legally, you only had two options (unless you were willing to take the risk of pirating software), which were skip a version or two of the product to save money or opt for the more expensive option and buy software every time a new version came out.
And there was SaaS
The significant improvements in internet connection speeds opened up another way for distributing software. By the late 2000’s and early 2010’s many software vendors had adopted the SaaS model. According to a Gartner Group estimate, in 2010 SaaS sales reached $10 billion. Now software vendors charge a monthly subscription and let you download the software and install it on your computer. Every so often software vendors check via the internet whether your subscription to the software still valid and if is not, they will prevent you from being able to use the software. When a new version of the software comes out guess what, no extra fee, usually software vendors let you download the new version and install it at no extra cost. This definitely changed the software market.
This is a win-win situation. Now, if you have a new employee coming into your organization you pay $8.25 for Microsoft Office per month instead of $229.99 upfront. If for whatever reason the new employee doesn’t work out you simply stop the subscription after a month of two and you only set your company back $16.50, not $230. This also helps the software vendor keep users on the up and up and minimize losses on revenue due to piracy losses. Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft is not the only vendor doing this Google is doing it, Adobe, Intuit (the makers of QuickBooks) and many others. If you are a small business trying to save money, SaaS might the way to go.