ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

Entrepreneurship comes with a host of challenges. Rewarding challenges, but difficult challenges nonetheless. This is especially true if you’re venturing into an unfamiliar industry or designing the next generation of products. For new entrepreneurs there’s little to no training and sometimes no mentors to guide and support you through the process. This is why it’s so important to gather as much information before you start your new business venture. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. GATHER YOUR TOOLS

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step; make sure you’re wearing the right shoes. Before starting your business. You should gather as much information about the industry you plan on delving into. How are the thriving businesses structured? How big is the market and who should you target first? What marketing techniques work for the industry?

Speak to other business owners and find out how they operate and what success have they’ve had. Look for the potential and predicted shifts the sector is facing and how your business could respond.

Before you even begin hiring employees, you need to do the job you need them for. This means you’ll be familiar with role and its requirements and can therefore properly recruit for it.  Preserve your cash flow by avoiding unnecessary spending like unqualified employees.

  1. SET SPECIFIC AND REALISTIC GOALs

When starting a business, it is absolutely important that you set specific goals. Goals help you stay on track with your vision and inform all the decisions you make. Setting specific goals enables you to prioritise actions instead of taking random shots in the dark. While it is essential to set goals, it is also vital that you remain realistic about them as well.

In the initial stages of your business, you should set short term goals that are easy to achieve. For instance, having a five-year growth plan that is both specific and realistic will guide your efforts and ensure your actions are focused. Realistic goals are important because they are achievable. Setting unrealistic goals will only serve to demotivate you in the event you don’t achieve them.

  1. BE PATIENT

Rome was not built in a day. When you start your business, you may focus on growth and expansion. This is completely reasonable because this is the point of starting a business in the first place. However, don’t rush yourself remember that any progress, no matter how small is still progress.

In its initial stages, progress may be slow. In the pursuit of growth, you may neglect your focus on improvement. Check your systems and processes, is your business a well-oiled machine? In order for your business to achieve the success you’re working for, all the elements that make it up must be properly maintained. Be patient and persistent and you will begin to see results.

  1. GET THE WORD OUT

Marketing plays a huge role in the success of your business. Now is the time to invest in a content marketing strategy. This will get the word out on your business and draw customers in. Take advantage of social media which has grown to be one of the most powerful marketing tools available. There are many benefits to this marketing strategy such as free traffic and continuous growth as people engage with your content. Keep an eye out for all the new apps and websites that are coming up and use them to your advantage. Your business is only as big as the people who know about it.

  1. KNOW THE LAW

As tedious as it may seem, it is absolutely important that you know the law when starting a business. It is important to know the laws surrounding your industry in order to avoid penalties and legal hurdles. It is also important to ensure that you are in compliance with the legal requirements of running a small business. These include financial regulations, tax obligations and employment laws. Ensure that your new company complies with all its legal responsibilities so you can get back to focusing on growing your business.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill

https://www.success.com/11-game-changing-tips-for-small-business-owners/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2017/07/12/10-tips-for-starting-a-small-business-that-you-havent-heard-a-thousand-times-already/?sh=7a360d416e19

Effective Marketing Strategies
EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES

Growing a business is not an easy feat. To begin with, you need to have a concrete idea. You’ll then have to find your niche, decide on your target demographic and have a valuable commodity to sell them. Whether you’re offering a product, service or information, getting the word out about your venture can be quite burdensome. Without the right marketing strategies, your company may have a difficult time staying afloat. A marketing strategy refers to the approach a business takes in order to reach its desired customers.[1] It is a highly important component of business growth because it enables businesses to create products and services best suited for specific demographics in order to maximise profit. In this article we’ll look at some of these marketing strategies.

1.DIGITAL MARKETING (SOCIAL MEDIA)[2]

Social media has quickly become one of the defining pillars of the digital age. It therefore goes without saying that this is one of the best resources to use when marketing your business. Many brands have achieved massive success solely due to social media marketing.

Platforms such as Instagram and Twitter can be used to post about your business in order to get the word out. You can also reach out to other successful businesses and even communicate with potential customers. LinkedIn is a social media platform designed specifically to cater to professionals looking to network.

The most important thing when using social media as a marketing tool is authenticity. Post relevant content that you think will be useful to your audience in learning more about you and your business. You can also hire a social media manager to help you manage these accounts.

With all these benefits to social media marketing, it is important to note that there are some challenges involved. For instance, managing social media accounts can be time consuming as consumer engagement increases. Additionally, there is a lot of competition as there are loads of marketers looing to promote their brands on social media. You’ll have to invest time, money and effort in order to keep up with the competition.

2. POSTING BLOG CONTENT[3]

Blog marketing is the process of using blog content to reach your target consumer audience. Today, business owners can easily integrate blogging and marketing to make it for easier management as well convenient visitor access.

WordPress is a blogging platform that has contributed to the massive growth and success of many businesses. In fact, many business owners use the platform for both their blog and website.

The main advantages of this marketing strategy is that it is inexpensive. It is also fairly easy to use and builds traffic to your website due to the fact that people are interested in the new content you offer. As your blog grows in popularity, other brands may reach out to post ads on your website. This can be another source of revenue as well.

3. PUBLIC RELATIONS MARKETING (PR)

This strategy is highly effective in ensuring the success of a business. Most of the big and small brands that are doing so well usually collaborate with influencers i.e. individuals who are popular or well known in society to promote their brands.

It pays, to have someone who has influence in the society tell other people why they love your brand. This form of marketing is especially popular among prominent YouTubers who get paid/ sponsored by businesses to promote their brands to their audiences.

The advantage pf this marketing strategy is that your brand is exposed to a new and wide audience and this therefore generates more customers for your business. Not to mention the fact that it saves on time and resources as well due to the fact that someone else is marketing your brand for you and all you have to do is pay them a sum of money.

4. HOSTING WEBINARS[4]

This is essentially a seminar that takes place online. These are great for marketing because they are especially engaging compared to regular videos. Here, potential customers are able to engage with you directly, in real time. They are able to ask questions about your company and you can administer various presentations and seek feedback as well.

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marketing-strategy.asp

[2] https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/types-of-marketing-strategies/

[3] https://en.ryte.com/wiki/Blog_Marketing

[4] https://buildfire.com/marketing-strategies-for-small-businesses/

company rebranding
COMPANY REBRANDING

What is Rebranding

A common misconception is company rebranding consists of a new logo, new colours, new visuals etc. but this is actually redesigning. Although there is an aspect of these elements in the rebranding process, they do not make up its entirety.

Rebranding is really an emotional shift. It is a shift in business direction, a change in customer experience and a change in the type of services you are offering. It is actually a restructuring of your actual business.

It is important to note that a brand actually has very little to do how the company looks. Branding is more about the customer experience and what they perceive about your company. The goal is to create a company that provides valuable, meaningful and high quality products that distinguish your company from competitors.

Reasons to Rebrand

There are many reasons why companies may want to rebrand. One of the main reasons is to form stronger/ better relationships with their consumers. When customer engagement begins to dwindle, companies may want to assess their branding in order to regain their market share.

Sometimes, as a company owner, your goals and mission for your company may change. This can cause the entire infrastructure of your business to shift. This could be that you are taking on a new partner, you have a different target audience or that you are implementing different strategies. All these are great reasons to rebrand your company.

The launch of new products or services are also a great opportunity to rebrand your company. Campaigns to promote these new products will draw more attention to your company and bring in new consumers.

A change in company leadership often calls for rebranding. New managers will want to bring in new ideas and change various aspects about of the company direction. This will be reflected in their rebranding.

Rebranding Process

Begin by determining the direction in which you would like your company to take. This is a great time to clearly spell out your values, mission and company vision. Use these to ensure that the choices you make during the rebranding process are reflected in your company’s core beliefs.

The next step is to consider what does and doesn’t work in your current branding. Before tossing everything out, look at what is currently working well for you and preserve these elements. This will also promote a feel of continuity that already resonates with your customers.

Carry out market research to find out what your competitors are doing differently that’s working well for them. Look at the current market trends as well in order to make informed choices when you rebrand.

Collaborate with stakeholders and get their feedback. Involve members of your company in the process and use this as an opportunity to strengthen your company culture. You can also involve your customers and get their feedback on various rebranding elements.

Finally, let the world know. You’ve worked hard to rebrand your company and now it’s time to showcase these new changes. Be transparent about why and how you rebranded your company with your customers and monitor the effects these new changes have on your company.

In all this, bear in mind that a brand is not what a company does or what they look like. Branding is all about your customers and what they perceive of your company. Rebranding is a sure way to revitalise your company and an opportunity to grow. Take it as a learning experience to better yourself and your future business ventures.

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://martinroll.com/resources/articles/branding/what-is-rebranding-it-is-probably-not-what-you-think-it-is/

[2] https://www.cope-salesandmarketing.com/10-reasons-companies-rebrand/

[3] https://www.kabbage.com/resource-center/grow/5-steps-to-rebranding-your-business/

WORKPLACE ETIQUETTE

When you work in a shared workspace, you are around people from various walks of life. Each person comes from a different background with different sets of beliefs, opinions and temperaments. Workplace etiquette is the conduct code that governs how colleagues should interact with each other. It ensures that the workplace is a conducive environment to work in and that everyone maintains a certain level of professionalism when interacting with each other. Read on to find out some basic work etiquette tips to make your workplace experience more enjoyable.

  1. RESPECT BOUNDARIES

When you’re working in an office with your colleagues, be sure to respect their boundaries. It is okay to be friendly, however do not take it too far. Keep it professional and try not to mix your personal relationships with your work relationships. Avoid oversharing various details of your personal life even if you are friendly with your co-workers. At the end of the day the main reason you’re there is to work.

  1. DRESS APPROPRIATELY

When it comes to your dressing, it is important to be self-aware of the appropriate attire for your particular profession. Always ensure that you are smartly dressed, your clothes are clean and you maintain good hygiene practices. Try not to push the boundaries as this will rub off the wrong way on the rest of your colleagues and may even make them uncomfortable.

  1. BE ON TIME

Punctuality is important etiquette to consider in the workplace. Showing up on time shows that you value and respect your colleague’s time. Remember that everyone has deadlines and projects that they are trying to meet so showing up on time is a basic courtesy. Sometimes we run into unavoidable circumstances that delay us. It is therefore important to let people know when you are running late as well. In addition, when conducting meetings, begin and end on time. This can be achieved by having an agenda and sticking to it.

  1. STAY PROFESSIONAL OUTSIDE THE OFFICE

The rules of workplace professionalism don’t go out the window when you leave the office space. Remember that what you do or say outside the office can sometimes impact your career. In this regard, avoid engaging in office gossip or even posting inappropriate material on social media as these will reflect negatively on you both personally and professionally.  

  1. KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE CLEAN

It is important to be mindful of your co-workers when in a shared workspace. Keep your desk and surroundings clean at all times. Throw away any trash and clean up after yourself. Avoid using overly fragrant colognes, lotions and pungent foods as well.

  1. DO NOT COME TO WORK SICK

Health is a key factor when it comes to maintaining office productivity. If you are unwell and contagious, it is important to ensure the health and well-being of your colleagues by staying away from the workplace until you have recovered. Also keep in mind the burden paced on the workplace when more and more of your colleagues are unable to show up to work because one person didn’t stay home when they should have.

  1. BE PLEASANT

As a general rule, be kind and respectful to your colleagues. Use respectful language when speaking to others and make an effort to be cordial and polite. At the end of the day, no one wants to work with a person that is rude and grouchy. And if you don’t receive the same courtesy from your colleagues, consider talking to your HR manager.

Office culture often varies depending on the environment. However, these etiquette tips apply across the board. Apply then in your workplace to achieve higher levels of professionalism and to make the overall atmosphere more agreeable.

5 OPINIONS ON THE FUTURE OF WORK

1.Change is Inevitable, Progress is Optional

4 Trends That Are Shaping the Future of Work

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This article was written by Alex Sixt, an Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you are looking to take the NEXT step in your business then we encourage you to check out Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble .

2. It’s Not Always Easy

Everyone experiences loss, but how do you cope with the tough moments that follow? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone shares three hard-won strategies for developing the capacity to brave adversity, overcome struggle and face whatever may come head-on with fortitude and grace.

3. The Future of Work is Already Here

The Future Of Work: 5 Important Ways Jobs Will Change In The 4th Industrial Revolution

In many ways, the future of work is already here. As companies continue to rely on AI, machine learning and autonomous systems, humans and companies will need to adapt. Here are five ways work will change in the future and some suggestions for what individuals and employers can do today to prepare.

4. The Digital Transformation

According to a New LinkedIn Report, You’ll Need 4 Virtual Selling Skills to Attract Buyers

Sales By Marcel Schwantes, Founder and Chief Human Officer, Leadership From the Core @MarcelSchwantes A new global report from LinkedIn is a window into the state of sales in 2020 from the perspective of B2B buyers and sellers.

5. “It’s not as scary as it looks”

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
5 IDEAS AROUND GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

1. Step by Step.

How to Grow Your Business

So you have a business and business is good. Now how do you make it better? The best businesses are always looking for ways to improve, whether that’s offering better products or adopting more efficient processes. Here’s how you can take your business to the next level.

2. Rethink. Redefine. Recreate.

3. To Think Is To Be.

Why Your Mindset Around Failure Can Make or Break Your Success

How you mentally frame the inevitable setbacks you face in life is the key to building grit and resilience and ultimately achieving success. Consider Maria Konnikova, who said that reframing setbacks is one of the most important lessons she learned in her two-year journey to becoming a professional poker player.

4. The Buy-In.

7 Steps to Master the Art of Persuasion

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses. 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Many entrepreneurs are so passionate about their new startup idea that they can’t believe any intelligent being, investor or customer wouldn’t react just as excitedly after a quick introduction.

5. The Five Key Factors.

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