Doing What You Love In Business

1. Why You Should Base Your Business On Doing What You Love

Starting your own business can be a real roller coaster ride, particularly these days. New business owners are likely to experience both highs and lows that will either make or break their business. While anyone is able to start their own business, not all are able to grow their company from the ground up so that it's able to thrive. The key to a successful business is to simply base it on something that you love doing and you're passionate about. By having a real passion for your business and line of work, you're likely to stay committed throughout the journey, ensuring that the company continues to rise rather than come to a screeching halt.

Growing Your Business

When individuals chose to base their business on doing what they love, they're typically already familiar with the industry and have the know-how that can set them ahead of the curve. Passionate and knowledgeable business owners will be able to hit the ground running so to speak, getting their business going in a shorter period of time in most situations. When working with something you love and know about, it's easier to spread the word about your business and the services and/or products that you offer.

Building A Customer Base

By working with and doing something that you truly love, everyone else around you will be able to sense your passion, which is obviously extremely beneficial for the business. This includes employees, advisers, teammates, investors and even customers. If your heart isn't in it, it's likely that others won't feel excited about your company, services or products either. In addition, being enthusiastic about the business will help you to grow your customer base. When you're excited about the prospects of your business, potential customers will grow excited as well, resulting in sales, new clients and new fans across the board.

How To Do What You Love For A Living

If you have a great idea but aren't sure how to jump into opening and running your own business, there are a few key ingredients that will help you to get the ball rolling. First and foremost, it's important to surround yourself with others who share your same vision. There will always be people out there who will tell you that your dreams are simply not a reality and that doing what you love won't get you anywhere in life. However, that simply isn't the case. Personal drive and shared values among your team will translate to a better business model and a positive experience for your customers.

There's no better way to get started than by jumping in, feet first! While you may not have everything planned at the beginning and changes may need to be made as you progress, the primary benefits of basing your business on doing what you love are that you know what you're doing and how you can overcome struggles/obstacles that you may face along the way. To sum it up, inspired engagement with the products/services is key to a successful business, one that you're sure to love in the initial stages - and in the years ahead.

2. Five Building Blocks For A Successful Startup Enterprise Business

One of the first things you should know before starting any business is whether or not there's an interest in your idea. Without any interest in your idea, it will likely be very hard for you to succeed. This is why many enterprises start small with an idea for a new product and/or service.

Always keep in mind that once you've generated some interest in your idea, then the fun begins and this is precisely why researching and finding out whether your idea has already been in the market for some time may well save you a lot of grief later on. It's also during that initial research period that you uncover competitors, mentors and others who have worked on similar ideas.

Online groups and organisations offer a wide variety of services to help launch your business and don't forget that financial concerns should, of course, be included in your initial research. You should focus in on accessibility, usability and promotion. So, let's break this down:

Initial Strategy - Formulating Your Idea

During this phase, you're basically brainstorming how your idea fits in with what's already out there either on the Internet or physically out in the world. Your strategy is to focus in on what your product/service will look like if there are any similar products/services and what resources you can tap into that will help you to launch your product/services. Focussing on what need(s) your product/service will address is only one way to prepare for a successful enterprise. This phase is also when you find out whether or not there will be any interest in your product/service. It's very important to do this now.

Researching And Finding Mentors

Once you've brainstormed and focussed in on where your idea fits, you can then reach out to groups and organisations that provide those services. Mentors offer both support and vital information for you. Joining groups online, for instance, forums or membership programmes with active communities can help you navigate the waters when you're ready to establish your online business. Excellent business tools are available for anyone starting a business online. Overall, mentors can provide a solid sounding board to let you know what worked for them and what didn't.

Working On A Business Plan - Strategy For Success

Every business should have a solid business plan in place before startup. Your customer will want to see how your product works, what services you will provide and how you'll provide them. A good coach will help you strategise what you need to start your online business. He/she should outline what you need for your business to succeed such as financials, mission statement and/or motto and of course how you'll go about promoting your product/service to the public.

Decision Time - Online Vs Physical Locations

Many enterprises have decided in recent years to concentrate on their online business because it's more versatile overall and can be quick-and-easy to use with the right CRM platforms. Online businesses also draw many who don't visit physical stores, not to mention that the cost of starting an online business is comparatively less expensive than opening a physical location. Once you've worked on a business plan, you then need to decide if your business will be strictly online or will open physical locations. Physical locations are obviously more expensive to maintain but they provide needed jobs to your local community.

Establishing Your Online Presence - Your Big Day

You made it! Excitement mounts as you prepare for your big day. There are some things you should consider before pressing that button to launch your website and/or open your first store. Many online and physical stores fail in the first year. There are various reasons for this statistic, of course. One of the most popular reasons is ill planning. You need to make sure that your website says and does what it says it will do. Your promotions need to be on target with the audience you want to reach with your product/service. You need to be able to recover and adjust for unforeseen circumstances. A good coach will help you to find the resources you'll need to ensure that everything is up-and-running before the big day and you must always remember that you must keep any promises you make to your customer. Successful enterprises delight customers with their exceptional customer service, day in and day out!

A successful enterprise, whether it's online or physical, provides customers with a truly outstanding service that makes them want to come back for more. Following the above building blocks will go a long way towards ensuring your business is successful.

3. Startups With A Smile: Why You Should Have A Positive Mindset In Business

Imagine two potential partners for your startup standing side by side, wearing identical suits, carrying identical briefcases. They're both well-groomed and polite. But one person focusses on all the things that are going wrong with the company, while the other is looking at everything that's gone right. You'd want to work with the second person, right? That's because a positive mindset is critical when it comes to business, especially when it comes to startup companies.

Why Should You Keep A Positive Attitude?

Flip the example from the introduction on its head: When it comes to working with other businesses, you want to be somebody others want to work with. That's just one reason to adopt a positive, forward-thinking mindset.

Did you know that positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure? When you have a positive mindset, you're able to more clearly see the big picture, rather than getting dragged down into the details. When you're able to keep perspective, it helps you make smarter business decisions - even when under pressure. Positivity has a variety of benefits. It makes you better able to deal with bad situations. It's been proven to help you make and keep friends.

How Can You Stay Positive In A Startup Environment?

Of course, it's one thing to want to be positive and another to actually do it. If you feel like you fall into negative thinking patterns too easily, here are a few tips to help:

  • Remember that "you're the driver of your own bus," so to speak. You determine how pleasant or depressing your day will be. You get to decide if you're going to be positive about a situation or not.

  • Seek out changes that you'd like to make, and make them happen. When it comes to running an online startup enterprise, it can be easy to react to problems as they come. However, if you can be proactive about making changes, you may find that it's easier to stay positive.

  • Try adopting a positive mindset through physical actions. For example, some people swear by meditating. Others enjoy sharing their skills with people and find that it helps them look on the bright side. You may be surprised at how making small physical changes in your daily routine could help you be more positive.

  • Take a negative problem and think of the positive side. For example, if you're facing a problem customer, think about how this might be a positive situation. It could be that you're learning a lot about your skills and capabilities. They may have pointed out a problem with your website, so now you can fix it. Try to take bad situations and make them work in your favour.

The power of positive thinking has been well-documented over the years and this is why, especially when you're starting a business, keeping a positive mindset and attitude can be critical to your success. If you've been stuck in a rut or feel like your negativity is starting to impact your business and your life, try these tips for maintaining a positive attitude. You may be quite surprised at just how far a positive attitude gets you.

4. The Importance Of Setting Goals And Having Clear Direction In Your Work

The world has never been a more competitive place than it is right now. This is especially true in the world of online startup companies and as such, the rate of failure for online startups is extremely high. So what separates the few online startup companies that succeed from the many that fail? Most of the time, it comes down to setting goals and having a clear direction. While this may sound like common sense to most rational thinking adults, you would be surprised how many people dive into the online world without knowing how deep the water actually is.

Why Are Setting Goals And Having A Clear Direction Important?

To put it very simply, you really need to determine your destination before setting out on your journey. It's important for the goals of an online startup to reach far into the future. Trends, social networks and technologies will all come and go as time goes by, however, it's nevertheless crucial for a startup to remain relevant in the ever-changing landscape of the Internet. Having a clear direction allows you to decide what your goals will be with your online startup. These goals will inevitably help to define your business model and every goal you have will require a strategy to be implemented for achieving it. A startup's goals and direction are like the pieces on a chessboard; how these pieces are moved will largely determine if your online startup is a success or a failure.

Analysing The Competition

Rome wasn't built in a day. Likewise, your online startup will probably not become an immediate household name. In order for this to happen, you need to determine exactly what you're up against. Part of having goals and clear direction is determining where you want to fit into your particular market. Will you be satisfied being a company that's only in the middle of the pack in your industry? Do you have bigger goals and possibly a vision of dominating your industry in the years to come? These are important questions that need to be answered prior to your company going online. Before you fire the first shots in the world of online business, you need to develop a battle plan. Who are you up against? What do all of the successful companies in your industry have in common? Do you want to eventually take on the big boys? Once you determine your goals regarding where you want your company to fit into the crowded online landscape, you can then begin to develop a corresponding business model, moving forward.

Using Goals As A Barometer For Success

When you set goals for your online startup, you've given yourself a useful way to measure if your company is meeting your expectations. You can then use these measurements to fine-tune your SEO marketing and business model if the results you see aren't what you'd hoped for. For example, if your website isn't getting the number of hits you're looking for, begin to analyse ways to improve your SEO and visibility on social media. If you're attempting an email marketing campaign and not enough people are subscribing to your newsletter, examine the wording of your introductory email to potentially make it more enticing!

5. Why Hiring A Highly Skilled Virtual Assistant Is An Excellent Idea

In a startup, one hand is typically doing everything, however, delegating every job to the manager or owner is obviously unsustainable. With compressed timelines to market products or services and constant demands for productivity, a startup will eventually need to bring onboard one or more team members to assist with marketing, sales, admin, creative, technical and/or other tasks as well. Outsourcing to a highly skilled virtual assistant - defined as a person who works remotely and online to carry out professional duties and responsibilities for another - is an appealing proposition, for a number of reasons.

Virtual Assistants Mean Cost Savings

Startups generally have limited funds. Since the virtual assistant (VA) works off-site, usually from a home office, a startup avoids the costs of providing working space (real estate) and equipment. Furthermore, because the enterprise contracts for specific work and pays the VA only for project-based assignments, recurring tasks or ad hoc assignments, the arrangement also saves on taxes and benefits incurred when otherwise hiring full-time, in-house employees.

Virtual Assistants Bring Flexibility

Owners of startup enterprises can reserve their time and brainpower for the highest value, high growth work while delegating routine and/or other important tasks to a VA. Startups often start with a generalist VA for administrative support: answering emails, setting appointments, making travel arrangements and so on. But many specialists and even MBAs choose to work as independent contractors, so it's entirely possible to find virtual assistants qualified to do or share higher-level jobs. Highly skilled VAs may have specialised talents in areas including (but not limited to):

  • Marketing (e.g. doing competitor analysis and customer surveys).

  • Market research and financial forecasting.

  • Communications (writing or updating blog posts).

  • Social media (managing a company's online profiles).

  • SEO and keyword research.

  • Website design and graphics.

  • Branding.

Online services such as Upwork (full and part-time freelancers) to Catalant (consulting-level services) and many others, help individuals find and match virtual assistants to their businesses. Startups can use VAs for short-term or one-off projects or may develop a relationship with the contractor to provide services as the business grows.

Virtual Assistants Think And Act Entrepreneurially

The ability to think and act entrepreneurially has become a critical work-life skill. Startups are entrepreneurial, and virtual assistants are themselves micro-entrepreneurs in a world where job uncertainty is rather high. Startup enterprises, in many cases, may run better if they're supported by people who understand the entrepreneurial mindset. Also, if a startup hopes to grow by finding investors, it's obviously advisable to pursue like-minded partners.

Virtual Assistants Are The Future

If a startup interacts with customers almost exclusively online, they can even go so far as to utilise artificial intelligence-based VAs or avatars for simple tasks. Their intelligence framework allows them to remember facts for interactions such as pointing website visitors to the right service, explaining product/service offerings or responding to common enquiries. Advances in cognitive computing, improved natural language recognition and algorithms modelled will allow AIVAs to undertake more complex tasks in the years ahead. As a result, it's entirely possible that automation and IT will be able to augment the skills of professional virtual assistants in the future, at least to some degree.

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