Category Archives: Entrepreneurship Article

5 Keys To A Successful Mindset In Business

When it comes to having success in business, it might well be that your mindset has more to do with your success or failure than you realize. You also may have a negative mindset and not be aware of it. Here are some keys to achieving and keeping a successful business mindset.

1. Focus

Focus is definitely a key to a successful mindset. Continually remind yourself of what your business is about, what its purpose is, and why you’re doing it. Keep focusing on your goals by having them somewhere that you can see them.

2. Self-assessment

To achieve a successful mindset, you need to ferret out that negative mindset you may not even know you have. Here are some things to watch out for that may indicate a negative mindset:

  • Having excessive back-up plans and being over-cautious may mean you are doubtful about your success. Safety nets are understandable, but they can become a tempting escape when things are less than perfect. To be successful, you need to press through those imperfect times, not run from them.
  • Believe you deserve it. You may think that you really don’t deserve to succeed in business. You just aren’t “that type.” To be successful, though, you need to believe you are that type!
  • Uncertainty can be a manifestation of a negative mindset – you are not sure of yourself. There are resources out there; you can learn what you need to succeed. You just have to go for it.

3. Think Like an Entrepreneur

If you are starting your own business, it won’t work to think like an employee. You need to think like your own boss! This means the freedom and responsibilities that come with being the head of a business.

4. Believe In Your Product or Service

Whether you are selling something for a company or something of your own creation, you need to really love and believe in the product to succeed. If you are offering a service, you need to believe that you are offering something unique and excellent. Keep that mindset that says your product or service is absolutely worth it.

5. Not “I’ll Try”

If someone asked you if you plan to succeed in business, would you say, “I’ll try”? Then you have a negative mindset! You need to think more along the lines of “I will” or “I can.” Thinking “I’ll try” is a non-committal mindset that is not conducive to success.

5 Keys To A Successful Mindset In Business

When it comes to having success in business, it might well be that your mindset has more to do with your success or failure than you realize. You also may have a negative mindset and not be aware of it. Here are some keys to achieving and keeping a successful business mindset.

1. Focus

Focus is definitely a key to a successful mindset. Continually remind yourself of what your business is about, what its purpose is, and why you’re doing it. Keep focusing on your goals by having them somewhere that you can see them.

2. Self-assessment

To achieve a successful mindset, you need to ferret out that negative mindset you may not even know you have. Here are some things to watch out for that may indicate a negative mindset:

  • Having excessive back-up plans and being over-cautious may mean you are doubtful about your success. Safety nets are understandable, but they can become a tempting escape when things are less than perfect. To be successful, you need to press through those imperfect times, not run from them.
  • Believe you deserve it. You may think that you really don’t deserve to succeed in business. You just aren’t “that type.” To be successful, though, you need to believe you are that type!
  • Uncertainty can be a manifestation of a negative mindset – you are not sure of yourself. There are resources out there; you can learn what you need to succeed. You just have to go for it.

3. Think Like an Entrepreneur

If you are starting your own business, it won’t work to think like an employee. You need to think like your own boss! This means the freedom and responsibilities that come with being the head of a business.

4. Believe In Your Product or Service

Whether you are selling something for a company or something of your own creation, you need to really love and believe in the product to succeed. If you are offering a service, you need to believe that you are offering something unique and excellent. Keep that mindset that says your product or service is absolutely worth it.

5. Not “I’ll Try”

If someone asked you if you plan to succeed in business, would you say, “I’ll try”? Then you have a negative mindset! You need to think more along the lines of “I will” or “I can.” Thinking “I’ll try” is a non-committal mindset that is not conducive to success.

The Importance and Advantages of Digital Marketing

Marketing encompasses all of the ways you can reach your target audience. It involves getting noticed by putting your brand in the forefront at the right time and in the right placed, increasing the chances of reaching the audience you desire.

Digital marketing for Mornington Peninsula businesses is one of the best strategies to use in order to interact with customers on various platforms. Because of how much businesses and their audience can interact, online marketing is a highly important facet of business. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of online marketing and how they can help your business.

However, we must first look at what digital marketing is in order to use it effectively.

What is Digital Marketing?

When you reach out to the public and promote your services or products via any online platform, you are engaging in digital marketing. Mornington Peninsula is a hub for growing businesses, so getting yourself noticed and setting the business apart from the rest is key to success. Any efforts that you make to further your business using the internet is defined as digital marketing and can result in many advantages.

One of the benefits is that you can see your results quicker than you would solely relying on traditional marketing. You can also be more interactive and watch your client base expand in a very short amount of time depending on how much you invest in online media marketing.

Now that you’re familiar with the definition of digital marketing, let’s get into some of the many benefits of making the most of digital marketing strategies.

Improved Rates of Conversion

When compared to traditional marketing, converting customers online is not nearly as difficult. All it requires is an engaging online strategy. One huge benefit of the internet and social media platforms is that you can effectively target your audience. This targeted marketing highly increases the chance of converting users into loyal customers, so there’s no need to reach out to random individuals and waste resources and time.


Digital marketing efforts tend to be a lot more affordable than traditional marketing avenues, such as television ads or getting listed in the yellow pages. Affordable and high quality marketing programs have the ability to send automated emails to interested users and boost leads. You also have the ability to build a large and loyal customer base simply using online platforms and internet marketing.

Increased Revenue

It makes sense that as conversion rates improve, revenue will increase as a result. If your marketing techniques are effective, you can generate higher conversion rates and bask in the benefits of more revenue. Make sure that your website or social media profile is easy to navigate, learn the patterns of customers, and strive to meet their needs. By showing that you care, more customers are likely to consider your brand trustworthy and reliable.

Digital marketing is a highly important part of being a modern business in today’s world. By curating your social media and interacting with customers online, you can reap the benefits of internet marketing.

Tips To Follow For Using New Technology in Your Business

With rapidly advancing technology in almost all aspects of daily life, a lot of small businesses are constantly struggling to change and adapt to the way successful businesses have to operate in this super-competitive market. Recently, a lot of small business owners have succeeded in using simple yet proven tactics. Here are some tips that experts have recommended –

Building a Chatbot for Business Websites – A Small yet Very Important Step

Using chatbots is already a tried and tested function for a lot of high-end businesses. In this modern age where customer attention is sparse and businesses need to do their utmost to make sure that they can retain the attention of their customers, chatbots have been an effective tool for practicing prompt and efficient customer service. For businesses that have not yet employed chatbots in their websites, it is first very important to recognize how to accurately use this technology –

A chatbot or simply a bot is essentially a virtual assistant. Chatbots can be programmed to function as responsive personal assistants for customers logging into a website. This software automates the function of communicating with users over the internet.

Building a chatbot also helps in handling certain user enquiries in an automated manner. An effective implementation of the chatbot can –

Increase brand kinship and customer loyalty

Strengthen brand voice and individuality

Maintain a certain distinctiveness from competitors

Improved engagement and communication times with potential customers

Better conversion rates

Useful data can be extracted to better appreciate users

Expand the Security Measures

In addition to being customer responsive, being secure from all kinds of on and offline threats is crucial for a small business. With customer data and financial progress for a small business, there comes an added responsibility of security that small businesses must extend to their customers and to themselves. There are a number of efficient security methods a small business must consider in order to keep both its material and virtual properties secured –

Having an Efficient System Before Ending Daily Operations – From double checking which programs are left open to making sure the security alarm system is up to date – technology has really allowed small businesses to flourish during the day and keep their properties protected when it’s time to close shop.

Educating Workers About Potential Scams – Naivety is perhaps the worst enemy of security. A lot of online and offline scammers tend to exploit the naivety of uninformed workers to gain access to important company information. Educating workers on how to secure the information that they possess about the company is very important to avoid any form of disruption in the future.

Having an Emergency Plan – If things go wrong, make sure there’s files backed up and clear and professional assistance on how to reduce any damage caused!

Using technology and upgrading it every few years is on the whole a very good thing for overall productivity and industrial growth. But, it can also become impossible for business owners to constantly renovate their facilities. Using these tips will definitely help.


It is important for small businesses to incorporate new and trending technology to keep at par with the competitive marketplace. Instead of constant renovation which may be quite a money drainer, businesses need to improve the efficiency of the security measures as well as implement customer-friendly technologies such as chatbots.

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When you want to come up with unique ideas, one way to accomplish that is to take some time out to actively brainstorm. Brainstorming simply means that you’re going to basically dump the ideas out of your brain onto a record of some sort, be it on paper or electronically.

There are different methods of brainstorming that work for different people. What works for you will depend on your own personality, so it’s smart to try out more than one method.

What Would _____ Do?

Ask yourself what other people would do, specifically someone who is well trained in the area. For example, if you’re trying to figure out how to properly cook mushrooms, who would you ask? Probably Julia Child or Martha Stewart, or maybe you have a favorite chef. Try to put yourself inside their head to figure out they’d do.

Use a Mind Map

You can use a large sheet of paper that sticks to the wall or an easel to create your mind map. Start in the center with the main topic and work your way out, writing down everything that comes to mind as you go.

Set a Timer

One way to come up with lots of ideas quickly is to set a timer. If you have others working with you, ask everyone to write down their ideas as fast as they can (silently so everyone can do it together). Set a timer for five minutes and shout “go” and see what happens. When time constraints are there, often you can force your mind to work harder to come up with something.

Try Music

The music needs to be instrumental only and not be distracting to thinking. Play that music whenever you want people to be more creative. Many people swear by listening to classical music.

Ask a Group

There are many benefits to getting a group to brainstorm with you. The more people, the more ideas. However, sometimes it can be hard to contain too many, so stick to a smaller group of less than ten to ensure it works best.

Learning to separate yourself from thoughts that interfere with your ability to brainstorm will help too. Some people like to meditate for a few minutes before they start a timed brainstorming session. Remember, brainstorming is designed to get it all out and recorded so you can sift through it later. It doesn’t have to be right. Just get it down. When you live with people that share the same purpose and passion, you have more time to share your thoughts, emotions, adventures, and growth together. Go to to join them.

12 Secrets Of Success For Young Entrepreneurs

Young, would-be entrepreneurs should note that success in business comes from making products that customers need, and from providing quality customer service which will make customers want to come back, thereby raising profits. However, research has shown that for every one thousand new start-up businesses, ninety percent fail within the first five years of operation, due to various factors. But the ten percent that succeed owe their success to certain qualities displayed by the entrepreneurs operating them. So what are these qualities? Here are some of the qualities that would-be young entrepreneurs can develop themselves and deploy in their businesses:
1. An Agile Mind: It is useful for entrepreneurs to possess an agile mind; that is, a mind that thinks quickly and intelligently to identify a need and move swiftly to fulfil it.
2. Business Consciousness: True entrepreneurs are business-conscious people who are completely obsessed with business opportunities and can easily identify one even when others see it as a problem. For example, when Jimoh Ibrahim bought NICON from the federal government it was a failed public corporation and constituted a problem to the government, but to him it was a cash cow waiting to be re-structured and provided with good management.
3. Dynamism: A true entrepreneur must possess the energy and enthusiasm to convert business ideas into reality. And this usually plays out in the ability to put together a bankable business plan which assists them to secure finance to execute their business idea. It is also the ability to work hard to pull out their business from a state of declining profit to a margin of profitability through the introduction of new ideas; to create a new business environment, spotting trends and adding new product lines to meet the changing tastes of customers; and to create awareness of their activities to turn around the fortunes of the business for the better.
4. Leadership Skills: This is very key to success in entrepreneurship because an entrepreneur should be able to select a team, delegate and direct, initiate actions, communicate, control, inspire and motivate employees towards achieving organizational goals and objectives.
5. Courageous: Successful entrepreneurs are courageous people who usually cope with the risks associated with running a business concern such as low patronage, a harsh economic environment, the risk of losing one’s total investment and the dwindling fortune of the business, etc. Despite all these aforementioned risks they sum up the courage to run their business successfully.
6. Discerning: The capacity to exercise a good sense of judgment plays a significant role in your being a successful entrepreneur because entrepreneurship involves making decisions, i.e choosing between alternatives. For example, before opening a shop an entrepreneur may decide to either employ a full-time member of staff or outsource most of his/her activities.
7. Ability to understand the market: Having a good knowledge of your prospective customers and target market coupled with information on what their specific needs are, before executing decisions associated with the market, mixes variables such as product, place, price and promotion which are critical issues in successful entrepreneurship.
8. Hard Working: Successful entrepreneurs usually display the capacity to work for a long hours in their business. And very often they do not see the long hours invested as working but feel as if they are having fun. This attitude is attributable to their love for their business. Perhaps this explains why it is extremely necessary for you to engage in a business which you truly love. Indeed, engaging in a business that your heart is not in is a recipe for disaster.
9. Ability to Accept Mistakes: As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, you are going to experience a lot of strange things in the business arena. And when you do, you can look so stupid. And you will begin to say to yourself: why do you allow this to happen with all your experience. My candid advice to you is to quit bothering about it. Accept you made a mistake and move on. To succeed as an entrepreneur you must develop the capacity to take mistakes as practical experience that equips you to be able to pursue your entrepreneurial dream to a successful venture.
10. Having more than a profit motive for setting up a business: The chief aim of an entrepreneur in setting up a business is usually to make a profit, but if you make profit-making your dominant goal for being in business, you’ll never succeed. This is very key because of the get rich-quick-attitude among youths in recent times. For example, a supermarket operator who refuses to destroy an expired tinned food item because doing so will lose him money, and sells the item to unsuspecting customers. If the expired food causes food poisoning resulting in the death of customers, he could be in serious trouble. Even if the customers merely discovered that the food sold to them was expired they will not return to the supermarket again. And worse still, if they decide to tell prospective customers of the supermarket of their experience, the net result will be lack of patronage and poor sales turn-over which will directly affect the profit margin of the supermarket. No business can survive without repeated customer patronage and favourable word of mouth recommendation from satisfied customers.
11. Networking: Actually, true entrepreneurs are always networking with others to enhance the success of their business. And they do this through joining trade associations, social clubs and relevant business associations for ideas and contacts to promote their business.
12. Capacity to stay on course: True entrepreneurs often demonstrate the capacity to hang on to their entrepreneurial dream against all odds. If they try one method and it does not work, they will try another and another until they eventually get the one that works. Those close to them are naturally going to think that they are out of their mind for persisting. Indeed in entrepreneurship you will constantly have to draw from the reserves of your resilience to weather through the storm of ups and downs, strains and stresses, pains and gains that are part and parcel of the entrepreneurial drive to excel. It has never being a game for quitters. I will see you at the top.

14 entrepreneurs share their secret tips to success

We asked some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs for advice on cracking the industry

Why work for someone else when you can make your own dream come true? The appeal of starting your own business is clear: work on something you’re passionate about and, if successful, potentially bank a couple of million pounds in the process.

Yet, for every Raspberry Pi, Skyscanner or Huddle, there are plenty more that don’t succeed. A report from the RSA Group suggested at least half of new businesses don’t survive past five years, and three-quarters of venture-backed firms don’t return investor capital, according to Harvard Business School research.

That doesn’t stop thousands of people from trying each year, though. “Tech entrepreneurs are entering one of the most exciting industries around,” said Marko Balabanovic, innovation director at government-backed startup supporter Digital Catapult. “In 2014, 581,173 businesses registered with Companies House, while 98% of digital companies analysed in Tech City UK’s recent report were small businesses. This also means competition is frenzied and it takes a lot of determination to bring products or services to market. No road to success is smooth – there will be hurdles, but they can be overcome.”

“At least half of new businesses don’t survive past five years.”

You’ll need a good idea, the skills and wherewithal to make it happen, and plenty of luck. To make the road to startup success a little easier to traverse, we asked several leading British tech entrepreneurs to share their advice. Here’s what it takes to find success – from those who have made it.

1. Know who’s in charge

Going into business with friends or former colleagues is fraught with risk, not least if there’s no clear hierarchy. Even Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page brought in Eric Schmidt to take over the day-to-day running of the company, before Page took the reins back in 2011.

Divide power, said Sara Murray, co-founder and CEO of home-care tech firm Buddi, arguing that 50-50 partnerships “don’t work”. She added: “Make it 51-49, because one day you’ll need the extra vote.”

Make sure the chain of command is clear, both internally and legally. “Seek legal advice from the start and have a clean structure,” said Serge Didenko, co-founder of modular smartwatch startup Blocks. “Don’t obsess over details, but try to find a lawyer friend or a firm that can help you structure correctly.”

2. Start early

Got a great idea? Don’t sit on it. “Start today,” said Buddi’s Murray. “It takes around eight years for a business to become bankable. Don’t wait for a better idea – get started today.”

Blocks’ Didenko agrees. “Just do it,” he said. “It’s all about starting hands-on. If you wait for everything to be perfect, you’re never going to start. The perfect idea will come to you when you’re working on another idea. The perfect co-founder will come when you’ve already started working on it. Start doing something and then refine it.”

And that means starting young – if that’s still possible. “Do it early,” said Debbie Wosskow, founder of Love Home Swap, the travel home-swapping site. “Starting my first business at 25 meant I had nothing to lose.”

3. Find the right people

Surrounding yourself with the right people is critical. It’s not only staff who have to buy into your company’s philosophy, but outsiders too. “Take the time to assemble a really top-flight team: top-flight investors and top-flight customers and partners,” said Pilgrim Beart, founder of smart-home firm AlertMe and Internet of Things company 1248, among others. “Getting to success usually takes longer than you think, and there’ll be plenty of challenges along the way, so choose your fellow travellers carefully.”

Co-founder and president of collaboration-software firm Huddle, Alastair Mitchell, said finding the right staff is the “classic struggle” for startups. “You need a team of people who can deliver the expertise, and who are the top of their field, whether it’s development, sales or marketing,” he said. “A truly successful team should also be full of founders, of people who when they do something will do it better than you could, rather than doing what they’re told. It’s really exceptional, but it makes the difference between an okay business and a great business.”

“Take the time to assemble a really top-flight team.”

What does he look for when hiring? “People who think big, who are motivated and who have the entrepreneurial instinct,” Mitchell said. “In my questioning, I’m looking for almost the rough edges – the things on their résumé that look different or reveal an inner drive.”

The company culture your staff create can be the difference between success and failure, added Jon Reynolds, co-founder and CEO of the virtual-keyboard firm SwiftKey. “One of the most important things I’ve learned along the way is the impact of the people that you surround yourself with and the company culture that you cultivate together,” he said. “From the beginning, we’ve found that investing in great people is one of the best ways to grow the company and increase our chances of success.”

4. Drop the ego

While every business needs a good leader, success is all about finding a team that works together. In fact, Human Innovation’s CEO Lee Powney believes that for any entrepreneur to succeed, they have to drop the ego.

“People say that ego drives success and that it’s just a natural product of being an entrepreneur,” explains Powney. “I think that’s absolute bullshit… From my experience you have to let that ego go.”

While ego can surely drive a business in meetings and the public eye, it’ll only get you so far in the workplace. “Ultimately, you want to find people who are better than you and inspire you, because setting up a business is the most painful high-and-low roller coaster you could possibly ride.

“Lose the ego and map out the type of people you want around you. Go find the stars and don’t build a business around yourself.”

5. Do what you love

One of the most successful tech ideas to come out of Britain in the past decade is the Raspberry Pi, the barebones microcomputer designed to help get children interested in programming. Five million of the devices have been sold, but Raspberry Pi creator Eben Upton pointed out that he doesn’t measure success based on his bank balance. “It would seem kind of strange to start a business because you’ve got to make money,” he said. “You’ve got to think that you’re going to accomplish something that’s worthwhile.”

“It’s easier to “sustain the work level” if you enjoy what you’re doing.”

It’s more fun that way, he said, and while that may sound flippant, Upton points out that it’s easier to “sustain the work level” if you enjoy what you’re doing. “Most startup companies fail… but one of the things that makes a difference is the work rate that the people who have started the company can sustain,” he said. “It’s much easier to sustain a high work rate if you believe in what you’re doing. I don’t know many people who can sustain a high work rate because of the prospect of a big payday.”

6. Do things your own way

Learning from others is always key, but to retain that true entrepreneurial spirit, you’ve got to keep your core ideas in focus. If Brin and Page had taken some of the terrible advice they were given in the early days of Google, would it be the powerhouse it is today? Probably not. If you want to grow, you’ve got to stick to your guns.

“The primary lesson is that you have to build a company your own way,” explains Zendesk CEO and co-founder Mikkel Svane. Sure, you have to go to somebody and look at their formulas and learn their lessons, but you can’t have them making all the decisions for you, that’s how Zendesk jumped from being three of guys coding in a Copenhagen kitchen to one of the largest SaaS companies in the world.

“It’s like [having] kids. You can’t tell them how things are, you can’t tell them how to do things, they have to try them on their own. Our lives are all unique in many different ways.”

7. Look after your own mental wellbeing

Working your way through the early days of any startup is no easy feat. While it’s obvious that setting up a new company won’t be a breeze, Udemy CEO Dennis Yang believes many young entrepreneurs may not realise just how stressful it can be.

“People embark on their journey, but a lot of [the journey] is how to manage your own psychology in all of the [emotional] ups and downs. It’s a huge thing that I think people don’t really understand.”

Trying to keep your cool in any situation, both during the highs and during the lows is key to your startup’s success. Go overboard during the good times and you risk crashing and burning when the low times roll around again, perhaps just a few hours later. “[managing your own psychology] is hugely important if you want to be successful”.

8. Persevere

Setting up your business and developing your product is the easy part of creating a startup. The real challenge begins when you have to start convincing others of its worth. The trick is to not become disheartened and deterred from your great idea.

“There’s a lot of people out there who are ‘yes, but…’,” Nigel Shanahan, founder and chairman of Rant & Rave, told us. Obviously, some ventures work out and others don’t, but it’s about discovering that for yourself. Don’t decide your business is worth canning because someone else told you it shouldn’t exist.

“Naysayers will give you lots of reasons for why you’ll fail, but you’ve just got to persevere. The really talented people out there are the ones who end up persevering.”

9. Take your holidays

The stereotypical startup entrepreneur works 20-hour days, seven days a week to make their dream come true. While that’s often the case, you’ll burn out if you don’t take a break. “When you’re working in situations that seem to demand that you don’t take your holidays, I have learned to always take them,” said Celia Francis, CEO of Rated People. “I remember one summer working the whole three months and finding myself completely burnt out in the autumn as a result. I could not bring my usual positive, creative, fun energy to my team, and it did not help me or the company succeed. And, of course, I missed a chance to spend time with friends and family that will never come back to me.”

“While many startups appear to become an overnight success, that doesn’t normally happen.”

Starting a business isn’t a three-month effort – you’ll be at it for years, so pace yourself. While many startups appear to become an overnight success, that doesn’t normally happen straight away, said Huddle’s Mitchell. “Anyone who wants to pursue a startup in the industry needs to be prepared to make a holistic long-term commitment,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the founder, president or the CEO, you have to be in it for the long haul and you have to manage yourself, your health, and your family life. That’s why I coach founders who are currently on this journey to encourage them to find a balance in their own lives. They need to learn how to manage the pressure and expectations they place on themselves.”

Finding that work-life balance means you’ll need to cede control. “Entrepreneurs become the bottleneck to growth because they struggle to delegate,” said Buddi’s Murray. “You have to learn to let people do things you know you could do better.”

Blippar co-founder Jess Butcher agreed, saying learning how to delegate “took me far too long, aided only by having a baby and an enforced period of time out of the business!”

10. Learn to listen – and communicate

Those flappy things on the side of your head? Use them. “When you’re asking for people’s feedback, listen with open ears,” said Blocks’ Didenko. “Asking the correct question really matters in getting useful feedback that you don’t necessarily want to hear. Think about your questions.”

“Make sure you’re also telling customers and investors everything they need to know.”

But that doesn’t mean you need to heed every word of business advice. “Don’t listen to anyone and everyone who tells you it will never work,” said Wosskow. “That’s an easy thing to say. Seek out people who will motivate and support – but also tell you the truth.”

Make sure you’re also telling customers and investors everything they need to know – they’re what will make you a success, after all. “At AlertMe we – correctly in my opinion – launched our proposition to market as soon as we possibly could, when it was barely in a beta stage. This was fantastic for shaking out bugs in the technology, the UX and the proposition,” said Pilgrim Beart. “But we hadn’t realised how clear we needed to be with our B2C early adopters that this was indeed a beta, and so we had to do a lot of damage limitation, as we initially failed to meet their expectations. If we’d set clearer expectations upfront, I think we could have saved ourselves a lot of pain and still had a lot of good learning.”

11. Check your attitude

Of all the qualities required of a startup entrepreneur, mental toughness is near the top of the list. “This stuff is hard,” said Wosskow. “It requires grit. The staying power matters more than the initial enthusiasm that comes with the idea.”

Her and our other entrepreneurs offered advice that holds true to the rest of life: get up early; never burn a bridge; develop a thicker skin; keep trying. “If you feel like every day you have tried to be the best you can be, then that’s a reason to bounce out of bed the next morning,” Wosskow said.

12. Have a vision – but don’t let it overwhelm you

What’s the goal of your startup? Does it scale to tens of thousands of users and hundreds of staff? “The importance of creating a shared vision as to where we want to be as a company – it’s as vital now, with a team of over 700, as it was when there were three of us working from my spare room,” said Gareth Williams of Skyscanner, the booking site that’s disrupted how web-savvy travellers find discount flights. “I strongly believe time can barely be wasted in the communication of vision and strategy.”

“Throwing mud at the wall can be a good initial strategy, but you do have to pay attention to what’s sticking.”

And while you’ll need to be flexible with that vision, so it can evolve as you learn, make sure you stay focused, advised Pilgrim Beart. “I caused a lot of problems for my first startup as I repeatedly rushed after the latest, most exciting opportunities, when instead I should have worked out which was the most important one and stuck with it,” he said. “Throwing mud at the wall can be a good initial strategy, but you do then have to pay attention to what’s sticking.”

The vision for your startup may be so grand that it’s intimidating. “Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the task ahead and use that as a reason not to start,” said Blippar’s Butcher. “Have a big-picture vision against which you plot your course and keep referring back, but then break it down into a micro to-do list and just start ploughing through it. You’ll be amazed at how prolific and productive you can be when that to-do list is for your personal vision and not someone else’s.”

13. Think big, think global

There’s no point in starting up a new business unless you have ambition, and while thinking about the day-to-day of running a company is important, you should always keep the larger picture in mind.

“By far, the most common mistake for European entrepreneurs is that people still don’t think globally enough”, says Prezi co-founder and CEO Peter Arvai. Having built his business out of Hungary, Arvai has seen many other companies believe that the UK is the real hallmark of success. However, from a global perspective Britain is small beer.

“You tend to run the risk of becoming a regional player in Europe, rather than a global player [if you only focus on the UK].”

Don’t worry about rushing into it, though – Arvai believes you should just keep the goal in mind and work towards it. “I don’t think it’s a first step, but I do think other markets offer tremendous growth opportunities.”

14. No regrets

Don’t forget that you chose to start a business — this is your dream. Throw yourself into it so you’ll never look back wondering: what if? Huddle’s Mitchell has a test for ensuring he avoids regrets: how would he feel if he were hit by a bus? Other than squashed, that is.

“One of the guiding principles in my life – and everyone I know gets very bored hearing me talk about it – is what I call the big red bus,” he explained. “It’s basically about the fear of death… The idea is to think about what would happen if I were to walk out across the street and be struck by a big red bus. In that brief moment before it hits me, what would be the thing that I would regret not doing?”

“Instinctively, people know the right answer, but it can be buried under so many layers of doubt and questions that it’s sometimes hard to find,” he added. “Starting my own business came from one of those moments. I just decided one day that I was going to do this. It was at the height of everything going well for me in my job, but I knew if I were staring down the big red bus without having gone for it, I would have died regretting it.”

10 successful entrepreneurs share their favorite advice for selling online

Are you launching a new store or trying to take your business to the next level? We recently asked some of our clients to share their best tips for fellow entrepreneurs on how to sell online — successfully. Here’s what 10 successful store owners had to say from optimization to data to social media.

1. Focus on these three fundamentals

“Quality product, great imagery and good shop navigation.”

2.  Optimize your design

“Work on a simple, clean and professional look that will be pleasing to your customers — make shopping with you an easy and pleasant experience.

3. Bring your products to life

“Well photographed images of your product make a huge impact on potential customers. Provide images that allow them to ‘experience’ your product online.”

4. Leverage data in your decisions

“Measure everything.”

5.  Build relationships with influencers

“We really, really like bloggers for our niche store. So if you’ve got a niche product, don’t be afraid to reach out to the community of bloggers that suit your product. Offer them samples and let them know of your sales. They’ll get you free publicity, and their word will be a lot stronger with their readers than your own words ever will be!”

6. Ask for honest feedback

“Find a group of people who are going to tell you the truth.”

7. Connect with your customers

“Build a community around your products.”

8.  Always be selling

“Don’t get bogged down in social media… go out and talk to real people too!”

9. Make buying easy

“Streamline the purchasing process. Eliminate the barriers to entry and customer doubt.”

10. Enjoy the ride

“If you have fun your followers will have fun and will want to support you and your store. Make your sale about creating new relationships, not just making money or getting rid of extra inventory.”

Ten dirty little secrets of successful entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs rarely have the opportunity to speak about their experiences without someone asking for their top tips or secrets for success. Over the years I’ve heard about many such prescriptions for winning at the game of business. Words like “passion,” “persistence” and “initiative” are among the more common adjectives used to describe successful entrepreneurs. It was even a staple of my own undergraduate and MBA courses that students had to devise and submit their own “Top 10” lists for success in entrepreneurial ventures.

Sometimes, though, the most valuable lessons can be found between the lines. It’s not so much that they’re secrets (despite the deliberately provocative title of this article) as they are things left unsaid. When I’ve shared this list with entrepreneurs, they generally agree – so I’ll take that as partial validation – and I’ll leave it to you to decide whether they make sense for your situation. The first seven items are what I would call observations; things that I’ve found to be true more often than not. The last three are more advisory; suggestions on how to act that are consistent with the behaviours of many of the best entrepreneurs and leaders I know.

1. People are lazy.

This may sound harsh but, really, we are. Whenever possible, people will seek to accomplish whatever needs to be done with as little effort as possible. We also refer to this as efficiency, but it really amounts to the same thing. Think of the most successful innovations in the past year, or the past decade, or even the past century. Now ask yourself whether they involved reducing effort or made our daily lives harder and in fact required greater effort. Whether you thought of automobiles, computers, mobile phones or – my personal favorite – the TV remote control, reducing effort (or increasing efficiency) pays dividends.

Another way to think of it is to ask yourself why some innovations don’t succeed. A classic example is the Dvorak keyboard layout. It is much more “efficient” than the conventional QWERTY keyboard, but was doomed to failure because it required users to learn a new skill. Entrepreneurs should be cautious when trying to launch a new product or service that requires users to climb much (or any) of a learning curve. The magic of Apple devices has long been their intuitiveness. Easy-to-use doesn’t guarantee success, but hard-to-use is a recipe for disaster.

Laziness is also found in how we think. Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman refers to a “Law of Least Effort” in regard to how much mental energy we exert to solve problems. His findings are discouraging: we tend to do the bare minimum and end up making serious errors of judgment as a result. In a nutshell, thinking is hard work and we don’t do any more work than absolutely necessary (and often not even that much). Given a choice between exerting a bit more effort (mental or otherwise) or a bit less, how many of us choose to work harder? That’s right – we’re all a bit lazy.

2. People are impatient.

Just as we want things to be easier, we also want them to happen faster. As in, right now. Not later. How long are you willing to wait for a web page to load? How do you react to being put on hold? For most of us, the answers are: not very long and not very well.

One of the most famous experiments in psychology is known as the Marshmallow Test. Children were given the choice of one marshmallow (or Oreo cookie) immediately, or two if they could wait ten minutes. As you might expect, some took the immediate reward, while others were able to wait. The striking thing about this research came years later, when the research team was able to identify significant differences in the life trajectories of the now vs. later groups of kids. Those who were able to delay gratification at a young age were more likely to have finished school and obtained college degrees, had lower incidences of divorce, addiction, and obesity, and tended to be better off economically.

The lessons for us? If we can delay gratification, we can attain some significant advantages. But as entrepreneurs, we should be just as wary about launching a business that requires our customers to wait as we are about one that makes them work hard (as per point #1 above). The success of the fast food industry should tell us all we need to know about the value of instant gratification.

3. Everything takes longer than you think.

Despite the tendency of people to prefer instant gratification, the process of starting and building a new business is slow and deliberate, without immediate rewards. There are always a few exceptions – Facebook is often cited – but the definition of an exception is that it isn’t normal. And the greater the degree of novelty, the longer it will usually take to educate and persuade potential customers. That’s not to mention the core activities of developing the product, building a team and raising the capital to pay for everything.

I often describe this principle as the “universal law of everything.” It doesn’t seem to matter how much time I allow for any given task – whether it’s picking up dry cleaning or writing an article. Time seems to evaporate, leaving me scrambling to catch up. Watch entrepreneurs working during the start-up phase of a new venture and you’ll find them working whenever they’re awake; they almost never sleep. They’ll tell you it’s because there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

Bob Nourse, founder and former CEO of The Bombay Company, notes that “running out of time is failing.” If you can’t generate revenue and/or profits fast enough to keep the business afloat, you fail. Half of all startups experience this outcome within the first five years. Failing to allow enough time to make things happen is a major reason why.

4. One thing leads to another.

Investors are fond of saying they’d rather bet on an “A” team with a “B” idea than a “B” team with an “A” idea. They know that business models change, technologies evolve, and customer tastes are in a constant state of flux. Those same investors will tell you that most business plans are obsolete the second they come off the printer.

Simply put, there’s no substitute for being part of a market (launching your product or service without exhaustive market research). There’s tremendous value in simply getting started and learning as you go. Accept that the first (or first 10) version of whatever you’re selling won’t be perfect. The process of trying, fixing, and trying again is how entrepreneurs figure out what their customers really want and what it will take to deliver against those expectations.

Netflix is an online entertainment company. It began life when CEO Reid Hastings mailed some DVDs to himself to see whether it would actually work. The simple act of doing something triggers a reaction – sometimes good, sometimes not so much. But the difference between a dreamer and an entrepreneur is that only one of them takes action. Businesses can’t grow if they never start in the first place.

5. There is no free lunch.

Most of us learn early in life that you can’t get something for nothing. It’s a lesson we sometimes forget and have to re-learn (more than once). Choices are necessary, if not always pleasant. There’s only so much time and money and talent available. Spending an hour on one thing means that you can’t spend this hour on something else. A dollar spent on a cup of coffee in the morning is a dollar no longer available for pizza later that night.

Harvard Professor Michael Porter describes the essence of strategy as “deciding what not to do.” Leaders who aren’t able to make tough choices doom their organizations to mediocrity when they do too many things in an adequate way and nothing with excellence as the desirable standard. The hardest thing for a new company to do is say “No” to a customer. But if you chase every shiny penny you see on the sidewalk, you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Businesses evolve, but they can’t be everything to everybody. Recognizing when trade-offs have to be made, and having the mental discipline to make hard choices often separates the winners from the losers.

6. Stuff happens.

And sometime the stuff that happens is wildly outside our set of expectations. There are a number of labels for this: The Black Swan Effect, Tail Risk, or, the more prosaic, Sh*t Happens. We have different mental models to explain why things happen, including luck, karma, fate, destiny, chaos theory, and the law of unintended consequences. But whatever phrase or rationale we might use, there’s no denying the fact that we can’t plan for everything. Moreover, sometimes the very thing we expected least is the very thing that comes to pass.

Sometimes the surprises are predictable (see Max Bazerman and Michael Watkins’s book in References at the end of this article). But when we are caught by the unexpected, how do we react? In some ways, our ability to respond depends precisely on the nature of the trade-offs we’ve made in the past. Committing to a particular technology, for example, can lock a company into a dead-end trajectory if a new technology displaces the old. But failing to commit, which increases our options, may be too costly and lead to an uncompetitive position.

One type of “unexpected” event that is both common yet sometimes hard to imagine is the dissolution of a partnership. Just as newlyweds find it difficult to envision divorce, so too do entrepreneurial founders struggle with the notion that their partnership might not last forever. Building a “shotgun” clause (also known as the buy/sell provision) into a shareholders agreement is not unlike a pre-nuptial agreement in a marriage. A tough conversation to have, but well worth the effort.

7. We’re all animals.

I mean this in the literal sense. We are biological machines and we don’t work well if we neglect our bodies. If you don’t believe me, try a simple experiment: fast for a day or stay up all night and see how well you make decisions and get along with people. Research is continuing to show how closely our minds and bodies are connected; fatigue and low blood sugar are just the tip of this particular iceberg. Yet how often have you pushed far beyond the point at which you can think and function effectively? Don’t underestimate the value of a light snack or a power nap when it comes to making good decisions.

Taking care of our organic selves results in a lot of business opportunities. For example, what percentage of our incomes is allocated to the basics requirements of food and shelter? As population demographics begin to shift, the nature of those needs will also change; entrepreneurs are pursuing those opportunities as you read these words. So start treating your own body well and begin to think of yet-to-be launched businesses that can cater to our animal natures.

The final three items in this collection of not-so-secret secrets are less observational and fall into the category of basic, commonsense advice. They’re not magic and they won’t guarantee success, but if you choose not to heed them, don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

8. Sweat the details.

Understanding the intimate details of a venture is necessary. Not sufficient to ensure you’ll wind up on the cover of Fortune, but necessary to keep your head above water. The 2008 sub-prime lending meltdown was an extreme example of what can happen when decision makers lose track of the details. Forensic analysis has revealed how poorly corporate leaders understood the nature of the risks they were taking. Unfortunately, the consequences of their actions affected far more of us than those who made the decisions.

The example of a buy/sell clause in a shareholders agreement is another example of a detail, which, if overlooked, can literally destroy a business. When it comes to cost and revenue drivers, lacking a crystal clear sense of what influences each one, and how costs and revenues move together (or don’t) can be catastrophic. This is not meant to encourage micro-management (see point #10 below). Knowing the details is important. What you do with that knowledge is another thing altogether.

9. Learn from everything.

We can learn from success. We can learn from failure. We can learn from our own experiences and from what happens to others. We can learn from what we see and hear today as well as from history. The title of this paragraph really says it all. But just because we can learn from everything doesn’t mean that we actually do.

As an educator, I am passionate about learning. Most of the successful entrepreneurs and business leaders with whom I work share that passion. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence. When we stop learning, the world moves past us. Ask yourself what really new thing you’ve learned in the past 24 hours or the last week. And if you can’t, watch a TED talk, pick up a magazine you’ve never read before, or find a blog that sounds interesting. It might not help, but it’s hard to imagine how learning something new will do you any harm.

10. Don’t be a jerk.

Just because this is the end of the list, don’t think that this is the least important. If you want to build an organization with great people, you need them to want to be part of your team. And, since we all know life is too short to work with jerks, it’s a certainty that the best people will exercise their options to work with the best other people they can find.

You might be a technical genius, a visionary thinker, and/or a world-class salesperson. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also be kind, considerate and empathetic. The best organizations in the world (armies or companies or churches) are made up of volunteers – people who passionately believe in what they’re doing and choose to be there. If talented people are in your organization despite you rather than because of you, sooner or later they’ll be somewhere else.

Laziness. Impatience. Unpredictability. These are hardly virtues and it’s a list unlikely to appear in anyone’s advice column on how to get ahead in life. But I do believe these are characteristics that shape our lives – as do our inner animal selves. We don’t have to be proud of these particular aspects of human nature, but we should at least acknowledge them. And, if we’re willing to learn, pay attention to what matters, and be decent to one another, things might just work out all right despite our collection of dirty little secrets.

3 Things Knowing Which Will Make You a Smart Entrepreneur

The job of an entrepreneur is to solve problems with services and monetize it smartly. Hiring the right team for the job is what an entrepreneur does; for instance if you need to have your organization digitally marketed you hire a Digital Marketing Company in Dubai. The same goes for everything else. No entrepreneur can be expected to be a master of every skill necessary to develop those problem-solving solutions, but not knowing even the basic is suicidal! Here are 5 things that every entrepreneur needs to know.

Mobile Centric Strategies Are Important, but There Is More

Yes, we know you know that mobiles are big these days. Search volume on mobiles surpassed desktop numbers a long time ago and we also know that you probably have a mobile centric strategy in place already. But what about other things you need to do to make the best of mobile supremacy. What we mean is, have you optimized your ads and paid campaigns for mobile users? Perhaps not, interestingly, many are yet to know what differentiates mobile marketing centric strategies from the regular ones. If that sounds familiar, waste no time in hiring a Digital Marketing Company in Dubai.

SEO is Never Complete

SEO is not a ‘do once and forget’ project. Continuous signals sent out by your website in terms of content freshness, relevance and quality need to be maintained. This has to be done on a constant basis. Your target audience will make a search for everything and if they can’t find your brand right away in the beginning few seconds, they won’t come to your website – mobile optimized or not! If you are unhappy with your current SEO Company, don’t stop abruptly; seek a smooth transition, gap in your SEO work will suddenly cause ranks to go through the floor.

Strive for Great Content Everywhere

Great content is the basis of all SEO, digital marketing and content marketing activities you do. The moment you drop priority for good content, everything else that’s based off it will suffer. The most unique and smartly conceived content is also the one that will ensure better traction for all of your paid and organic activities. Long story short, without good content, you are going nowhere.

When you approach a Digital Marketing Company in Dubai make sure you keep all of these things in mind and the rest will pan out just as you plan.

Every smart entrepreneur needs to know what it entails to create the right digital marketing campaign before approaching a Digital Marketing Company in Dubai . Here are a few tips that will help budding entrepreneurs get started.