If It Ain’t Broke … Innovate It ~ 15 Reasons Why You Should

The old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ was a famous catch cry of yesteryear. Unfortunately many still live by it.  What if they were to replace ‘don’t fix it’ with ‘innovate it’?

Innovate

Change is often seen as difficult, confronting and easier to avoid, rather than embrace

15 Reasons Why You Should Innovate

Competitiveness

The world as we know it is becoming increasingly more competitive. The way people are now looking at solving problems and the way they are delivering solutions is becoming more attractive for customers to try different options.

If your business is not in a position to compete, you may not lead, win, place or even be in the running for your customer’s loyalty or dollar.

Training your people and business to be competitive is like training an athlete for a marathon.  You must plan how you will run the course, develop a strategy to overcome obstacles, and understand your competitors to know how to position yourself to take advantage, and gain market share as you run the race.

Relevancy

Do you remember when you used to buy something that you now refer to as a ‘so yesterday’ way of doing something?  At the time you probably thought you would never do without it, and it was the only way to solve your problem.  That was until someone came up with a smarter way of solving your problem and now you would never do it the old way again.

Can your business afford to be seen as irrelevant in the way you solve one or more problems? How can you think differently to solve other problems, or solve the current problem you are already solving differently, for existing and new consumers?

Opportunity

If you open your eyes and assess the market you play in, and consider other markets that have adopted innovative approaches that may bring opportunity for your market, what do you see?

Being aware and open to change and the opportunity it can bring seems to be common sense, however, many still choose complacency and fear that opening the door to opportunity may create more problems than it solves.

What are you doing in your business to discover opportunity, and when you do discover it, what are you doing with that knowledge, how are you applying it, and where can it lead your business?

Viability

At first glance the word viability might seem odd when referring to an established business, however, it is a crucial word to consider.  Your business’ viability is only as robust as your business mindset.  If you encourage or allow complacency or cost-cutting as your primary option to remain viable, you are setting your business up for performance to decline.

Is your business mindset one that focusses on growth and expansion rather than cost-cutting and contraction to solve challenges caused by the changing market you operate in?  Balance is important, but it is how you think about this question that determines the direction of your business.

Diversification

Do you have only one revenue stream that powers your business? One speed revenue models can limit business potential and will create vulnerability in operational capability, capacity and stability.

If that revenue stream diminishes or dries up how will your business survive?  How can you diversify what you offer to solve your existing, and new customer problems?

If you tap into how you can innovate your products and services to diversify what you offer your customers, how will this create an opportunity for your business?

Collaboration

You know you can’t do everything yourself, but despite this, more often than not, we continue to try to deliver solutions that are better done by someone else.

  • How does your business collaborate with other businesses, individuals and organisations?
  • What have you learnt, and continue to learn, from these relationships?
  • What value does your network offer, and how does this benefit your business and those you work with?
  • How do you collaborate to accentuate the strengths of both parties to innovate and create?

Redundancy

The fear factor of the possibility of redundancy of a business in a marketplace is often hidden under a blanket of ignorance.  Ignorance to the fact that unless the business chooses to evolve and innovate, it will rapidly lose worth in the eyes of the customer, and risk becoming redundant.

What do you do in your business to ensure that you will not become an ‘industry dinosaur’?

Scalability

To be able to scale, your business needs a strategy to guide you.  That strategy must be agile and intuitive to change and embrace innovation to enable success.

Understanding your customer, who they are, what they want, how they want to be communicated with, and where they want to engage and interact, must underpin your business strategy.

Are you building a customer-centric business strategy that demonstrates your plan to scale? If so, what framework and benchmarks are in place to measure that journey and accelerate that growth in a timely manner?

Responsiveness

Customers like to be seen, heard and feel important.  We should now consider replacing the old saying ‘Content is King’ with a new saying, ‘Customer is King’.

The reality is that without your customers you do not have a business

If your customers do not feel like you are hearing them, or they feel like they are invisible to your business, they will react by not engaging with your business.

How do you talk to your customers and where do you engage and interact with them?  Is this by your design or theirs?

When you deliver your products or services to your customer they will judge you on how responsive you are to them, and how you make them feel.  Investing in finding out how your customer thinks, and responding accordingly, tells your customer you are putting them first.

Intuitivity

When your business plans how you deliver your products or services do you do you think like your customers think?

This question is an important one to ask if you haven’t done so already.  Creating an intuitive customer journey for each of your customer types communicates to your customers that you have recognized, acknowledged and are delivering what they want.  When done well this creates ‘customer utopia’.

Investment

Do you have an exit strategy and why is this important?  An exit or/and an acquisition strategy helps communicate growth and innovation for investment.  Cash injection through investment is a necessary tool to innovate and scale, to establish an attractive investment opportunity to make acquisitions, to diversify or expand or to innovate, nurture and grow to scale and exit.

How attractive is your business to investors?  What does the evolution of your business look like and how are you planning to make this happen?

Capability

What are your capability gaps?  Like your regular doctor check-ups, analysing your business capabilities gives your business a health check and insight into where your business needs attention and where your offering is not being optimized for your customers.

This process also identifies where you can identify trends and innovate to increase not only capability but also capacity, to solve problems that you may not have realised needed solving.

When did your business last make an appointment for a business check-up to discover how healthy your business really is?

Culture

Culture can make or break a business’ ability to reach its potential.  The challenge is always to bring your people along on the journey with you.

Traditionally we create top-down hierarchies which may only serve to create divisions and disconnect.  Consider flatter hierarchies based on operational competencies and strengths that are measurable. This can enable you to innovate with agility.

Do you structure your work environment to create open communication, transparency, collaboration, engagement and ownership of tasks and processes?  What yardsticks do you use to measure performance based on responsibility and accountability?

By structuring your teams to become empowered, and not just to engage, you are able to create an environment that is collaborative and conducive to setting goals and achieving outcomes.

Appeal

We live in a world of lots of bright and shiny things that capture people’s attention and imagination.

How do you inspire, excite, shock and delight your customers?

If you are creating an experience that your customers will enjoy, remember and share, then you are building brand engagement and evangelism.

To continue to enjoy this relationship with your customers you must innovate.  Immediacy demands innovation, to not only get the attention of existing and new customers but to convert that attention into a relationship that is reciprocal, and satisfies the needs of both your customer and your business.

Sustainability

Business is facing becoming more transient than it ever has before.  To remain in the game your business needs to determine how to sustain existing customer patronage and understand how to entice new customers to come on board to grow your business.

To do this you need to have a business strategy that has sustainability at its core.  This simply means that you need to build a foundation that is true and pivot off this proactively to innovate and behave in an agile manner, to take advantage of change, trends and opportunity.

If it ain’t broke… break it and put it back together differently.

Chances are what you will find is that doing business in different ways may bring better and more measurable results than the way you have always done business before.

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Successful mentoring how-to #infographic

Successful mentoring happens if both the mentor and mentee are paired well and are aligned with like-minded objectives.  When this happens mentor and mentee are both are off to a good start.

Therefore the mentor-mentee relationship needs to be established on a foundation of trust and respect. This establishes a relationship that encourages both parties to approach the relationship in a manner that also encourages open communication.

Let’s look at the 10 Must Do’s for Successful Mentoring…

successful mentoring

 

Want to learn more about how to be a successful mentor or coach?

Mentoring 101 by John C. Maxwell

Ask the best leaders in any organization how they learned to be successful, and you often hear the same answer.  They had a good mentor.

Now international leadership expert John Maxwell gives the bottom line on mentoring in one short, easy-to-read volume. In Mentoring 101, he gives the steps needed to effectively reproduce your success in someone else. He explains how to choose the right person to mentor, how to create the right environment for leaders to thrive and grow, and how to get started.

What if you spent your entire life achieving but never shared your wisdom with anyone else? don’t let your success end with you.

As a mentor, you can create a legacy that will last long after you are done reading.

How to Find a Mentor in Business by 21 Studio

This is a talk on aligning yourself with people who do great work. You will learn to soak up the work ethic and character traits of leading entrepreneurs, and get hands-on, real-world experience that will set you on a career path you love.

In this presentation you will also learn :

– How to ensure your success with anything in life
– The best way to maximize your success in business
– How to dramatically speed up your learning process

Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships  by Keith Ferrazzi

Disregard the myth of the lone professional “superman” and the rest of our culture’s go-it-alone mentality. The real path to success in your work and in your life is through creating an inner circle of “lifeline relationships” – close relationships with a few key trusted individuals who will offer the encouragement, feedback, and generous mutual support every one of us needs to reach our full potential.

Whether your dream is to lead a company, be a top producer in your field, overcome the self-destructive habits that hold you back, lose weight, or make a difference in the larger world, Who’s Got Your Back will give you the roadmap you’ve been looking for to achieve the success you deserve

Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives  by Henry Kimsey-House

“Co-Active Coaching remains the bible of coaching guides. . . . No other book gives you the tools, the skills, and the fundamentals to succeed.”—Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Originally posted 2016-01-09 16:34:02.

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Together we can build anything – Mentoring How To

Working together with a mentor, collaborator or partner will empower you to do great things.

Choose who mentors you,  who partners with you, and who you wish to collaborate with wisely. The decision you make will accelerate or decelerate your entrepreneurial journey.

Make no mistake working together for a common objective, with the right people, will make a real difference.

working together

Want to learn more about how you can work together?

Mentoring 101 by John C. Maxwell

Ask the best leaders in any organization how they learned to be successful, and you often hear the same answer. They all say they had a good mentor.

International leadership expert John Maxwell gives the bottom line on mentoring in one short, easy-to-read volume. In Mentoring 101, he gives the steps needed to effectively reproduce your success in someone else. He explains how to choose the right person to mentor. He articulates how to create the right environment for leaders to thrive and grow, and how to get started.

What if you spent your entire life achieving but never shared your wisdom with anyone else? Don’t let your success end with you.

As a mentor, you will learn how to also create a legacy that will last long after you are done reading.

How to Find a Mentor in Business by 21 Studio

This is a talk on aligning yourself with people who do great work. You will learn to soak up the work ethic and character traits of leading entrepreneurs. You will also get hands-on, real-world experience that will set you on a career path you love.

In this presentation you will also learn :

– How to ensure your success with anything in life
– The best way to maximize your success in business
– How to dramatically speed up your learning process

Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships  by Keith Ferrazzi

You must disregard the myth of the lone professional “superman” and the rest of our culture’s go-it-alone mentality. The real path to success in your work and in your life is through creating an inner circle of “lifeline relationships”. These are close relationships with a few key trusted individuals. These individuals will offer the encouragement, feedback, and generous mutual support you need to reach your full potential.

Do you dream to lead a company? Maybe you want to be a top producer in your field? How do you overcome the self-destructive habits that hold you back? Do you want to lose weight, or make a difference in the larger world? If so, Who’s Got Your Back will give you the roadmap you’ve been looking for to achieve the success you deserve.

Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives  by Henry Kimsey-House

“Co-Active Coaching remains the bible of coaching guides.  No other book will give you the tools, the skills, and the fundamentals to succeed.”—Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Originally posted 2016-01-09 15:32:04.

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Survive to realize the entrepreneurial dream

Below are some questions to ask yourself to help you visualize what you need to do to create an action plan to survive as an entrepreneur. What should that look like? This is a ‘reality check’, as once you embark on your venture, the way you have answered these questions will be pivotal to your success.

survive as an entrepreneur

How to survive Q & A

Q1 How do I manage my money?  I need to make sure that I can look after myself and my family while I build my business.

Q2 What do look after my health? I need to make sure that I don’t fall ill or become overly stressed.

Q3 How will I prioritize my family time? I need to make sure that I spend time with them as a priority.

Q4  How will I make time for socializing with friends? I need to learn to shut off from the pressures of starting my own business.

Q5 What will I do to prioritize my time to make fitness a priority?

Q6 How will I manage my time to be productive while creating balanced?

Q7 What processes will I adhere to that will protect and nurture my business? I need to ensure ongoing cash flow to keep it cash positive.

Q8  How scalable is my business idea and implementation or will it stall after initial success?  How will I overcome this?

Q9 What does my ‘proof of concept’ look like? What do I need to do to make this happen?

Q10 How do I determine and who do I identify to collaborate with to grow my business while protecting my interests and IP?

Q11 What can I do to keep myself focused on the end game while still enjoying the journey?

Q12 Where do I look for investment and funding to make my idea a reality?

Want to learn more?

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

The Start Up of YOU by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession.

How to start a business with no money  by Trent Dyrsmid

Originally posted 2016-01-09 15:26:50.

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Startup formula for success

Sorry…there is no fool proof startup formula for success but you can put yourself on the track to success by following the below formula as a guide.

startup formula

 

 

 

 

 

 

The startup formula positions you to become customer centric.  Your next step is to ask yourself the following questions. The answers you give to these questions will help you determine your strategy as an entrepreneur. You need to be sure that your strategy will support you and help you to realize success.

Startup Survival Checklist

1/ How am I going to live and pay my bills while I work on my business ideas and they are being incubated?

2/How do I look after my health?

3/ What is the Unique Value Proposition that my business idea has that sets it apart from its competitors?

4/ Who will be my customers or audience?

5/ How is my business idea going to make money?

6/ Do I spend too much time playing with the ‘fluffy’ stuff?

7/ Who should I align and collaborate with to get the best outcome for all stakeholders?

8/ How will I get people to invest in my business idea?

9/ How will my business grow?

10/ How will I plan to overcome isolation, insulation and demotivation?

Balance and focus are key to being successful as a startup.  Your journey may be long so you need to be well prepared to weather the challenges ahead. Many great ideas have never been realized due to lack of due diligence on the part of the entrepreneur.  One of your best assets as an entrepreneur is to find at least two mentors who can advise and guide you.  Collaboration with complimentary or like-minded businesses is another tool that can strengthen your path to success.

If you live in the business always make sure your can still see outside the business.

Robyn Gunnis

 

 

Originally posted 2016-01-09 14:10:44.

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Survival Of The Fittest Checklist – Entrepreneur’s Guide

Survival for the entrepreneur is all about balance and focus. Your personal and business life also needs to be considered wisely to survive the challenges that  working with a startup brings.

survival of the fittest

 

Being an entrepreneur can be very rewarding but it comes with its fair share of challenges. To make your dream a reality you need to be dedicated and focused. The only way to do this successfully is to plan in advance yet you also need to be able to anticipate the ‘what if’s’ and how to’s’ to try to avoid them impacting or derailing what you are trying to achieve.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your strategy as an entrepreneur. You need to be sure that your strategy will support you and help you to realize success.

Top 10 Entrepreneur’s Survival Checklist

1/ How am I going to live and pay my bills while I work on my business ideas as they are incubated?

2/How do I look after my health?

3/ What is the Unique Value Proposition that my business idea has that sets it apart from its competitors?

4/ Who will be my customers or audience?

5/ How is my business idea going to make money?

6/ Do I spend too much time playing with the ‘fluffy’ stuff ?

7/ Who should I align and collaborate with to get the best outcome for all stakeholders?

8/ How will I get people to invest in my business idea?

9/ How will my business grow?

10/ How will I plan to overcome isolation, insulation and demotivation?

If you live in the business always make sure your can still see outside the business.

Robyn Gunnis

Want to learn more?

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

The Start Up of YOU by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession.

How to start a business with no money  by Trent Dyrsmid

Originally posted 2016-01-08 17:32:16.

Please share and like us:

10 Must Do’s for Successful Mentoring

Finding the right mentoring can mean the difference between failure and success. A mentor can guide and advise you to make the right decisions and give you the confidence you need to be successful.  In different spaces in your life you could be a mentor or a mentee or both. The role you play depends on your willingness to give and receive your skills and experience willingly.

Mentoring must dos

Are you looking at mentoring or interested in becoming a mentee?

The mentor-mentee relationship can and should be mutually beneficial for both parties. To determine what the mentor and mentee individually and collectively are looking for from the relationship each party should invest in a self-initiated mentor-mentee assessment process prior to entering into a mentoring relationship to get the best outcome for both parties before engaging.

5 Things a Mentor should understand about a Mentee

1/ As a mentor your aim should be to want to not only help your mentee achieve their goals but be able to do so in a way that the mentee feels confident and comfortable for the duration of the mentoring relationship. The benefit will be knowing that this will make a real difference in not only what they learn but how they implement it.

Takeaway: Mentoring should be the optimum environment for learning.

2/ A mentee is looking to enter into a mentoring relationship where they can enjoy growing and evolving as they learn. The mentee will benefit more if the mentor can educate the mentee to be mutually responsible for giving back to the mentor. A mentor-mentee relationship that is reciprocal and mutually benefits both parties will be a benchmark for the mentee to recognize and learn from in their future interactions post mentoring.

Takeaway: Mentoring should be a a reciprocal growth process.

3/ A mentor needs to be able to recognize what a mentee’s potential really is and how best to nurture it rather than set a mentee up for failure by setting the bar too high and raising their expectations beyond their capabilities.

Takeaway: Mentoring should be a safe learning environment conducive to self-improvement.

4/ A mentor needs to ensure a mentee participates in the relationship and is not positioned as a passenger. To learn the mentee needs to be proactive and interactive to make the most of the mentoring opportunity. When the mentor invites the mentee to participate any lack of engagement will be detrimental to the learning process and ultimately the longevity of the mentoring relationship.

Takeaway: Mentoring should be interactive to benchmark what success should look like.

5/ A mentor needs to be able to K.P.I. the mentee’s progress to be able to give constructive feedback to facilitate the mentee’s journey. An intuitive process that measures and is transparent for both the mentor and the mentee allows for reflection, review, goal-setting and planning. This recognizes what has been learnt and what still needs to be achieved to maximize the time the mentor and mentee spend together.

Takeaway: Mentoring should be measurable and transparent to make both parties accountable.

5 Things a Mentee should understand about a Mentor

1/ A mentee should be able to have a clear understanding of what they are looking for from a mentor. Your mentor will want to have some background to better understand how to help you. You can assist by revisiting your past performance reviews, identifying where you are struggling or want to grow. Make sure you are able to communicate that clearly with your prospective mentor to get the best outcomes from the relationship.

Takeaway: Mentoring should be anchored by communication that is clear, concise, open and reciprocal.

2/ A mentee needs to be able to determine and communicate their objectives from the get go for a mentor to be able to plan the best approach to take. They will then be able to guide the mentee and successfully mentor them. Don’t be afraid to innovate and share ideas with your mentor. This allows your mentor to understand how you engage, collaborate, ask questions and to learn more about how you think. Ask to observe how your mentor works, if possible, to better understand their motivations and approach.

Takeaway: Mentoring should encourage innovation and initiative.

3/ A mentee needs to be able to be honest with their mentor about the obstacles that are stopping them from moving forward. This will enable the mentor to be able to help them overcome those obstacles. The relationship needs to be built on trust and honesty from the outset. A mentee should take advantage of the opportunity to be mentored by a fully engaged mentor. A strong mentor will rise to assist you to meet challenging goals.

Takeaway: Mentoring should be a committed, honest relationship driven by common objectives: fueled by strong engagement and motivation.

4/ A mentee needs to be able to let the mentor know how they want to be mentored. Identify the learning style that you feel most comfortable with. Do you learn visually, are you tactile, respond to audio, are comfortable with text or a combination of these?

Takeaway: Mentoring should not be assumptive or a default process. Without visibility and insight participants cannot see what the opportunities are.

5/ A mentee needs to respect the mentor-mentee relationship. The mentor’s time, position and willingness to assist will have limitations. Pushing your mentor beyond what they have committed to giving in time and resource can make for an uncomfortable relationship or could be relationship ending. Don’t take your mentor for granted!

Takeaway: Mentoring should be built on respect and recognition of boundaries to establish a solid foundation. This must happen before you start to design, plan and then build the relationship.

Want to learn more about how to be a successful mentor or coach?

How to Find a Mentor in Business by 21 Studio

This is a talk on aligning yourself with people who do great work. You will learn to soak up the work ethic and character traits of leading entrepreneurs, and get hands-on, real-world experience that will set you on a career path you love.

In this presentation you will also learn :

– How to ensure your success with anything in life
– The best way to maximize your success in business
– How to dramatically speed up your learning process

Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships  by Keith Ferrazzi

Disregard the myth of the lone professional “superman” and the rest of our culture’s go-it-alone mentality. The real path to success in your work and in your life is through creating an inner circle of “lifeline relationships” – close relationships with a few key trusted individuals who will offer the encouragement, feedback, and generous mutual support every one of us needs to reach our full potential.

Whether your dream is to lead a company, be a top producer in your field, overcome the self-destructive habits that hold you back, lose weight, or make a difference in the larger world, Who’s Got Your Back will give you the roadmap you’ve been looking for to achieve the success you deserve

Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives  by Henry Kimsey-House

“Co-Active Coaching remains the bible of coaching guides. . . . No other book gives you the tools, the skills, and the fundamentals to succeed.”—Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Originally posted 2015-06-14 10:24:10.

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Entrepreneur Survival Checklist

You have taken the leap into the world of entrepreneurism.  You are motivated, excited and enjoying the freedom you now have to create, innovate and explore your ideas and ventures. This entrepreneur survival checklist is a tool to help you stay focused and succeed.

entrepreneur's survival checklist

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs

I am sure you will agree that an entrepreneur experience could be described as a feeling that you are at last set free. You have been given permission to be what you were meant to be and do what you were meant to do. Living the entrepreneur dream of not being locked into the 9-5 treadmill and no longer being dependent on working for someone else to help them realize their dreams feels like the right thing for you.

You probably are now asking yourself. ” Why on earth did I not do this earlier” ?

…and then you need to ask yourself the next question: “Am I prepared”?

Being an entrepreneur can be very rewarding but it comes with its fair share of challenges. To make your dream a reality you need to be dedicated and focused. The only way to do this successfully is to plan in advance, anticipating the ‘what if’s’ and how to’s’ to try to avoid them impacting or derailing what you are trying to achieve.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your strategy as an entrepreneur. You need to be sure that your strategy will support you and help you to realize success.

Top 10 Entrepreneur’s Survival Checklist

1/ How am I going to live and pay my bills while I work on my business ideas as it is being incubated?

Determine a plan based on the resources you have available and a timeline for your project. This must be realistic and not assumptive.

2/How do I look after my health?

Am I engaging in regular physical exercise, sleeping well, giving myself permission to have downtime and spend time with my family and friends? It is important to be focused but try not to be consumed by your business. A hybrid 7 day week is expected, but scheduling personal time is essential to maintain a balance.

3/ What is the Unique Value Proposition that my business idea has that sets it apart from its competitors?

Those competitors may be active in market and in the space that your business idea will reside or they may be like businesses that have adopted parts of your idea but it may not be their core business. Networking with other entrepreneurs, especially those that are playing in your space, will help you identify your U.V.P. and potentially help you to recognize other points of difference you can leverage.

4/ Who will be my customers or audience?

Your business idea cannot be successful unless it is adopted or consumed. Don’t be afraid to research and explore a cross-section of who you think your intended audience or customers are. Find out what they think about your business idea. You don’t have to give the game away just ask questions to determine a scenario of need or want versus motivation. Take the time to look at similar ideas and where they fell short or are successful to streamline your business idea.

5/ How is my business idea going to make money?

All in all they say money makes the world go around and although this is not necessary to find initial success it does help to attract investment and resource to realize the potential of your business idea. A sound commercial strategy, that although based on projection, has robust data to support assumptions, will be one of the first thing investors will be looking at.

6/ Do I spend too much time playing with the ‘fluffy’ stuff?

High level business structure and strategy are important, but actioning these steps with a solid go to market operational plan will ensure that you adhere to your timeline, which is important and relative to Question 1. Entrepreneurs can spend a lot of time thinking and not enough time doing. Both are important but need to be balanced to reach milestones.

7/ Who should I align and collaborate with to get the best outcome for all stakeholders?

Entrepreneurs who go solo are destined for a lonely and isolated journey with less opportunity for success than those who collaborate and network ideas, equity and resource. You must play to your strengths and look to others to assist where you have weaknesses or lack of experience and credibility when building a startup team. The people you choose to align your business with can be your greatest asset when you are going through the seeding and subsequent funding rounds for your business …..so choose wisely.

8/ How will I get people to invest in my business idea?

When you have answered questions 3,4,5,6 and 7 you are better positioned to not only determine who would be likely to invest but where to find those investment opportunities and create the opportunity to make them happen.

9/ How will my business grow?

The people you recruit will either make or break your business so positioning the growth strategy of your business will make the difference between scalability and stalling. Everyone is dispensable, even you, and the smarter your decisions on the roles and responsibilities of your staff the more effective and efficient your business model will be.

10/ How will I plan to overcome isolation, insulation and demotivation?

One of the biggest downfalls of being an entrepreneur is the extreme highs that can be followed by extreme lows. One of these lows which is common is isolation and insulation from the world around you which often leads to you becoming demotivated. Identify what will make you feel isolated, insulated or demotivated to avoid this happening. Many entrepreneurs dedicate so much of their time to their business that how they prioritize and spend their time can easily become blurred. Working smarter and more strategically is always better than working harder to deliver the outcomes you want in a timely manner.

If you live in the business always make sure your can still see outside the business.

Robyn Gunnis

Want to learn more?

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

The Start Up of YOU by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession.

How to start a business with no money  by Trent Dyrsmid

 

 

Originally posted 2015-06-14 10:16:53.

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3 Tips To Transform Your Workplace Bully

I am sure that you, like so many others, are all too familiar with the impact and damage a workplace bully can have on your business.

How do you deal with workplace bullies and how do you stem the ripple effect that workplace bullies can have on your business morale and productivity?

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3 Tips To Transform Your Workplace Bully

1. Give them responsibility for a project where they need to initially work solo (so they are not impacting others). This sets an expectation for them to demonstrate what value they can bring to the planning stage and why what they believe is the right approach is valuable.

When they have done this they need to be able to communicate that value in a tangible way to the team to gain consensus.  The bully then needs to articulate what resources are needed to develop and deploy the project, and which people need to be convinced by them that they should be on their team.

Next step is to identify the strengths that those team members will bring to the project to help the bully better understand the collaborative efforts needed to make the project come together.

This process encourages the bully to think before they act and recognize that they need to prove that what they believe is the right way is understood and embraced by others.  This process puts the bully in the spotlight and exposes them, with nowhere to hide!

2. Make them accountable for a project’s successful outcome.  Sometimes a person that cannot see that they are creating challenges needs to be given one that they have to be accountable for.  If they fail it is a great learning curve and humbling experience and can help rehabilitate them.  Be warned this can be confrontational. You should do this on a small scale to avoid collateral damage, however, if a bully is not made aware that they are infallible their behaviour will continue unabated.

3. Discover their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses and the impact they are having on the morale and motivation in your workplace.

If you continue to focus on the problem you will never find the solution.

The bully can sometimes be part of the solution if you can harness their strengths for good, and position them to advantage the workplace, rather than let them try and control the workplace.

An example of this might be that this person reacts when they feel that someone is threatening their authority or role itself. This behaviour suggests that this person has doubts in their ability, regardless of how confident or in control they act.  Often this person is suffering from ‘imposter syndrome’ and when business practices change this only serves to inflame these feelings.

Giving this person an opportunity to learn as a reward or promotion seems contradictory, however, when done the right way, is an opportunity for that person to address this without the feeling of inadequacy that makes them look like they have been exposed as a fraud in front of their peers.

In short, your bully gets to save face and with that their behaviour often becomes more compliant and this has a positive flow on effect through the business.

Every situation is unique and often once the bully has been identified the damage has been done.  Being proactive towards bullying in the workplace is the only way to detect the symptoms before the disease is diagnosed.

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Compete or Face Defeat

Determining and designing our armour for battle in the marketplace is where a lot of our energies flow.  We know that if we do not compete we risk facing defeat.

Preparing for the battle should start by looking at your business from the inside out, as this is often where yours, like a lot of businesses, may trip up and fall over…even before you launch a product, platform or service.

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How do you prepare to compete in the marketplace?

The right way to prepare is to involve your people and take them on the journey with you.

Preparing your ‘soldiers’ for the battle is where the competition battle will ultimately be won or lost. By soldiers, I refer to your stakeholders.  This includes employees, suppliers, vendors, affiliates, managers, end users and any other person who interacts or engages with your business.

By soldiers, I refer to your stakeholders.  This includes, but is not inclusive of, your employees, suppliers, vendors, affiliates, managers, end users and any other person who interacts or engages with your business.

Today this post talks about the importance for your employees to be competition fit.

Competition readiness starts from within your business.

Changes that you need to make in your business to remain relevant and competitive can only be successful if your employees embrace them.  That is often easier said than done.

In theory, it makes sense that to enable your employees to make changes they need to be able to identify with them and understand how those changes will benefit themselves and the business.

5 steps to help employees embrace change to be able to compete

  1. Identify where your champions are in your workplace.  These are your employees who are not change or risk averse and are open and receptive to innovative thinking.  These employees will help you advocate change in your workplace.
  2. Give your champions teams to lead.  Encourage and incentivize them to identify solutions, get involved in what those solutions look like, how those solutions could be applied and become accountable for the outcomes of those solutions when they are implemented.
  3. Support your champions and their teams to explore how to develop and deploy those solutions to fit your customer centric delivery.
  4. Reward your champions and their teams for what they accomplish and help them set new goals to continue achieving and meeting new benchmarks of innovation.
  5. Showcase the outcomes your champions and their teams have achieved within your business to encourage others to engage and adopt change and innovation in your business.

Peer pressure will bring out the worst or best in your employees.  Often when they see something is proven elsewhere they will become believers and have the confidence to adopt and even compete to do it better in their departments.

Change is not about throwing out the old (including employees you think can’t change) and bringing in the new.  Employees need a reason to want to change and if this does not prove to be a trigger you may need to consider deploying them elsewhere in the business, performance managing them or eventually letting them go.

Words, figures, and strategies are cheap unless an employee can identify tangible outcomes.  If other employees are an integral part of proving that solution this just ups the ante.

 

 

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