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Business Focuses: Turning Negatives Into Positives

*Collaborative post.

When it comes to starting your own business, in those early days you can’t help but be full of positivity, passion and motivation to make it a success. This idea you had that you just couldn’t shift, that you finally took that leap of faith to create, is finally happening. So you are not even contemplating the fact that so many startups fail in their first year, and that if you are not careful your business could fail as well. 

While there is an element of truth to that, there is no point dwelling on the negative side of things. After all, you believe wholeheartedly in the product you supply or the service that your business offers, so there should be no reason why this isn’t going to work and be built upon to become the success you imagine it to be. However, there can be elements of the day to day running of your business, the things that can go wrong, that can be seen as negative. So with that in mind, here are some of the ways you can turn those negative things into positives and, in some cases, use them to your advantage.    

 

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Avoiding creating a business plan from day one

Were you one of those entrepreneurs that didn’t see the value in creating a business plan? You are not alone! But if you happen to have not done one in the past, who says you can’t start right now? Creating a business plan, or at the very least, setting some goals and intentions for your business can highlight areas that you may want to work on and also things that you can take action right now to help you to get where you need to be. It isn’t a negative when you start making some positive changes, and this could be the ideal way to help you get back on track. It can also prove useful if you do feel like you are at a bit of a crossroads with your business. We can all get to that stage where we are unsure of the direction to take and what we can do to help choose the right path. Setting some goals and thinking about the future could help you get there. 

 

The emotional strain on yourself 

One of the things we don’t really take into account is the emotional strain that running a business can have on you. Originally, starting your own business can seem like the ideal option to strike the right balance between work and home life. But often, in those early days it can be far from that. You put all of the hours in to get your business off the ground, and this can cause emotional strain and stress on your mental health and your relationships. However, the best advice would be to not focus on this as a negative thing. It can actually be a huge driving force to get your business where you want it to be, and to also help you to move the business along quickly. It can also work hand in hand with setting goals and intentions for your business. So you can take some time for yourself as well. 

 

Expanding too quickly 

Expansion is a key area of business growth, and one of the ways that you can determine the success, but often expanding too quickly can cause more problems than good things. It is often trying to find the right time to do these things so that you can build upon it. Expanding into a shop when you may not have found the right place or even have the right investment in place for it. Expanding your products or services without the necessary research to check whether there was a market for it. Many business owners have made these mistakes in the past, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Expansion is something that you can’t undo, but you can make the best of the situation. Ensure you focus hard on the marketing aspects of it, and try and thrive under the pressure, rather than worry about it. Things will work out in the end. 

 

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Losing decent members of staff 

There can be many different reasons why you lose decent staff members, and often you are never too sure of the reasons. It might be down to the workplace environment, and the leadership that you provide, or it could be that they find that they can get better benefits and workplace incentives elsewhere. If you are noticing a trend, then it may be time to start thinking about an exit interview and the questions that you can have. Websites and articles such as https://getsling.com/blog/exit-interview-questions/ have some great suggestions. This can give you some excellent insight into things and to also help you to make some great improvements to the workplace and to your business. The fact that this has happened can actually be a positive thing for you. 

 

The wrong sort of marketing focus 

Marketing is such an important aspect of your business, and these days it can be one of the easiest and best ways that you attract new customers into your business. But, having the wrong marketing focus can cost you. This is when you may want to think outside of the box from traditional methods and explore other options. The positive is that it gives you the push you needed to look at what else you can try. It might be that you really want to up the ante when it comes to your social media. Or you could look at the local community and focus on your advertising there. Many people want to support local businesses, so this could be an amazing focus to shift your marketing campaign towards.  

 

Not focusing hard enough on the digital aspect 

On the subject of the marketing side of things, we all know that the digital element of it can prove to be very useful when it comes to your business. So much is done online these days that you may want to focus more energy on how your output looks on your social media platforms. Are you consistent enough/ Is your content on point with your rband? These things can be changed quickly and can start to help you see improvement. 

 

The worry of investment 

One of the biggest worries that businesses have when it comes to moving forward is the worry of investment. Finding it at the beginning, but also the worry of reinvestment and how you can make it work for you and to make the business work. This isn’t always going to be an easy one to switch to a positive, but investment is a means to an end, and can get you to where you need to be. So it may be worth focusing on that aspect of it. 

 

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Not having the work and home life you imagined 

It is never going to be easy to start your own business. Some people have big plans and think that working for themselves is going to be an easy ride, but the truth is, it can be hard to overcome at times. Especially when you know you need to push through those early months and years. However, your own business can give you much more flexibility, and the way you work and how you use your time wisely can help you achieve the work and home life balance that you crave. Sometimes it can be about creating a routine, and understanding when you are at your most productive. 

 

Dealing with the undesirable side of things 

There will always be undesirable side of things when it comes to business, and dealing with them without it affecting your mental health and also your own work productivity can be a challenge. There may be bad review to contend with, issues with social media or your marketing plans and campaigns. Knowing when to move the business forward and to expand. But this is all positive news, because it often means that your business is doing well and you are on the right path. Embrace it!

 

Knowing what path to take

Sometimes knowing the path to take can be tricky, and when it comes to your own business you may not know one hundred percent the best options to take. However, this can be part and parcel of your business journey and can be very exciting. You will know thanks to research and spotting gaps in the market exactly what options to game when it comes to the path your business can take and also what gaps in the market there are. Having reassurance and trusting your instinct is all part of the process, and it can be one of the best avenues to explore when it comes to your business and growth. 

 

Let’s hope that these business focuses and suggestions can help you turn some of the negative aspects of running your business into something that is positive.

 

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6 Tips for Business Owners who Blog

Business owners have tuned into the benefits of owning a blog. A blog not only acts as a means of sharing information, it’s one that would help build the authority of a business and increase your customer base. But it all depends on how you use it.

 

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The truth is that a blog can help make or break a business, so you need to be careful with how you use your blog. It will take a lot of work to make a blog successful. However, if you commit to it, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Here are my 6 tips to help you and your business through your blog.

 

Stick to a schedule

You can’t expect to build a loyal audience who’ll turn into interested customers if the rate at which you create content is sloppy. Serious bloggers stick to a schedule or editorial calendar and they create blog posts consistently.

You may not have to blog daily like I do. However, if you can consistently publish content at least once a month on the exact same day every time, then chances are that you’ll have more dedicated readers than you would have if you published a blog post any time you feel like it.

Plan out blog topics for the whole month, note it in a calendar and stick to it.

 

Know your audience

A blog is nothing without its readers. Before you can even go into creating content, you should know your audience inside and out. Who are they? What are their problems? How does it make them feel? What’s holding them back? Answering such questions will give you an idea of the type of content they would be interested in reading.

 

Create valuable content

Your watchword as a blog owner should be “value”. The key to great content is value. Create quality content that your audience will love.
Valuable content helps solve your audience’s problems, informs them about the latest trends and gives them useful tips and tricks.

 

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Share your story

It’s easier to connect with a person than with a brand or business. Don’t be afraid to give your content a personal touch. Tell your brand story and what matters to you. Write about incidents that happen in your life and relate it to your business.

Showing your human side makes it relatable to your audience. It gives them a point of connection with you. So, chip in a story or two and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable sometimes.

Engage with your audience

You not only have to ensure that you provide quality content, you also have to get people involved. Engage with your readers in the comments. Build a list so that you can establish a lasting relationship with your audience.

A good way to get a conversation started in your blog is to write an engaging call-to-action at the end of your blog posts. An engaging call-to-action will encourage your readers to comment thereby giving you a chance to connect with your readers.

Distribute your content

Valuable content gets shared all the time. As you impart your knowledge and expertise in your blog posts, you should also do your part to share your blog posts online as well. One way is to share them on social media. But I must warn you that you don’t get spammy when you’re doing this.

Another way to distribute your content is to write guest posts for bigger blogs with a larger audience. Your guest post should have links to your previous blog posts to direct readers there.

Are you a business owner? Do you run a blog? How are you finding it?

Swarm Intelligence: A new way to think about business

Swarm Intelligence is the collective behaviour of self-organised natural or artificial systems. It was introduced by Geraro Beni and Jing Wang in 1989. The inspiration usually comes from nature. The agents just follow very simple rules, with no centralised structure. This act lead to the emergence of “intelligent” global behavior, which we is simply Swarm Intelligence.

 

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My Introduction to Swarm Intelligence

I got to know about Swarm Intelligence many years ago in a biology class. I am sure many others would have heard of this at school as well. To refresh your mind, you can have a look at a biology essay help service, there is a paper on there which describes how a group of scientists at Harvard University under the direction of Michael Rubinstein several years ago announced the creation of robots called Kilobot.

Swarm Intelligence is a whole new way to think about business. If done correctly, it can enhance the way your business is run.  By following the footsteps of social insects, we can see how they operate successfully as a result of these characteristics –

 

Flexibility

They can adapt to a changing environment. Being able to adapt to any environment helps. It means we can keep going even when outside our comfort zones.

 

Robustness

Even when one or more individuals fail, the group can still perform its tasks unsupervised. Being able to work unsupervised and without guidance is not for everyone but every freelancer, business person and self employed individual need this characteristic.

 

Self-organisation

The day to day activities are not controlled or supervised. It can go from 0 to 100 very quickly. Being able to organise systems to work effectively and stay organised is needed in the smooth running of a business.

 

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Swarm Intelligence and Freelancing

As a freelancer and a soloprenuer, I am a 1 woman team really. I do allocate some jobs out when I need to but I handle most of my business myself. Working from home with a family to cater for is not easy. I work round the clock everyday in order to get work done. The only way I get work done is by copying the Swarm Intelligence principles above.

I have to be able to be flexible and adjust to whatever life throws at me on a day to day basis. There is no manager or supervisor to tell me what to do, so I have to ensure I am on target and stick to deadlines. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. It is as simple as that. I don’t have access to sick or holiday pay, so I have to ensure I work as many hours as I can to get my bills paid.

Have you ever heard of the term Swarm Intelligence? What are your thoughts on this?

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

 

 

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