Owning a business is what most people would call living the American Dream. The ability to create your own schedule, hire amazing people, and the ability overall to make your vision a reality is a dream that not too many people are able to do. But it’s also important to know that a business venture such as entrepreneurship is also one that’s not easy.

In achieving success, you have to look at business like a game… if you don’t know how to play, you’re going to lose. All too often, budding entrepreneurs will enter businesses with hopes and dreams of success, only to be blindsided by the realities of what it actually takes to run a successful business.

Well, one thing’s for sure… if you’re playing for the long game, it’s going to take a considerable amount of patience because success isn’t going to happen overnight.

So now the question is, what does it actually take to achieve business success for the long game? In short, the answer to that question is three things:

  1. Smart business decisions
  2. Having the right team behind you
  3. Hard work

These three success factors are vital to any business, whether it’s a small startup or a major Fortune 500 business.

Let’s take a closer look at these three success factors

Success Factors

Business Success

Smart Business Decisions

Smart business decisions have two qualities. The first quality addresses and solves the issue at hand. The second aspect of making smart business decisions is that they actually are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Your business decisions need to be clearly defined.

Strategic and Tactical Plans of Execution

This plan is what’s going to give your business purpose and the direction as to where you want it to go. Things like hiring/firing, outsourcing services, and mergers are factors that contribute to the overall execution of your business goals.

Marketing Plan of Execution

Your marketing plan is the actions you plan to take in order to reach your targeted audience. Lots of businesses still utilize traditional marketing methods like mailing postcards and radio ads but most businesses have turned to digital marketing methods to enhance their online presence and grow their customer base.

One of the best ways to grow your customer base is to start a business blog. According to statista.com, 3.8 million search queries are conducted every minute on Google. Do you know why that happens? It’s because people are constantly looking for information on various topics, and with a business blog, your business could be that trusted source of information internet users turn to for answers to their questions.

Operations Plan of Execution

Your operations plan is the plan that lays out how you intend to run your business, including the SOP (standard operating procedures) for the development of products and services, employee information, and other functions that keep the business in operation. Ideally, you want a solution like JDE software to provide you with all your business management needs.

Having the Right Team Behind You

Leadership

Nothing is worse for your business than not having the right people behind you, and the leadership within your business is an integral part of your business’ success. As the business owner, you’re not going to be able to run the business and manage your employees too. That’s why you need a leadership team of people who are capable of running departments with the long game in mind too.

Your leaders need to have the same vision and mission as you, and be able to communicate the vision and mission to their team as well, for the greater good of the business.

Effective Communications

Effective communication comes in two simple forms: speaking and listening… ultimately, it’s a two-way street. As the owner of the business, you, of course, will be speaking to your leaders as well as employees, and they will listen.

But on the opposite end of the spectrum, your team leaders and upper management will be speaking to you, and it’s up to you to effectively listen to what they have to say in order to make smart business decisions. This is what will help get everyone on the same page.

When your team leaders can come to you and discuss what’s wrong or what needs to be fixed, you can guide them as to how they can effectively communicate your decision with their team members. This is how everyone will not only know what matters and what’s to be expected but they’ll know why it matters.

Hard Work

Continuous Improvement

With any business, there’s always room for improvement, and the sooner you learn that, the sooner your business can start flourishing. A big consideration with continuous improvement is the changing demands of customers.

Your customers are the “bread and butter” of your business, so being able to adapt and adjust to their changing wants and needs is how you’re going to be able to achieve success for the long game.

In addition to customer needs continuously changing, so are your competitors. In order to play for the long game, you also need to be able to keep up with your competitors and exceed them as well.

Production Efficiency

Working smarter, not necessarily harder, is the name of the game. Finding ways to cut costs and do more in less time is the key to production efficiency. Every single member of your team should be doing their job with efficiency in mind.

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The Unbreakable Rules of Social Media Marketing

The buzz surrounding Social Media Marketing would seem to suggest that it is the ideal way for any individual or business to increase their online presence.

Now, Social Media Marketing (SMM) firms are springing up like mushrooms and devotedly spreading the message of the importance of social media like Facebook and Twitter.

But is this form of marketing worth the hype? One thing is for certain; social media has now indeed become a favourite choice of platform for marketing a plethora of products and services.

But to succeed in the highly competitive SMM arena, one has to go far beyond the so-called tried and tested methods of “community engagement” to turn the marketing campaign into a success. This is where the golden rules of marketing come into play.

The unbreakable rules of social media marketing

So what are the fundamental rules that can lead to a successful SMM campaign? These are not overly complicated or time-consuming methods, but simple ways that are often ignored by marketers.

Rule 1: Content is king

Yes! Marketing on social media is unlikely to succeed by posting fluff content with little or no value. To gain attention from the audience, your content needs to be unique and through provoking.

The ideal way to engage the audience while building your brand reputation is by posting quality content on a regular basis, which is not just a collection of information from other websites.

Try to match your content to your product and your market, as this will have the most chance of being well received by your audience as well as generating revenue.

An example, this post on The Canvas Factory blog, about photographic techniques. Great match to the product and the audience, no doubt it performed well.

Rule 2: Listen more

Far too many social media marketers are involved in making posts on such a frequent basis that they forget listening to the feedback of their audience. Y

our marketing campaign will fall flat on its face if it does not aim to build a rapport with the public and fails to deliver what they want. It’s very easy to buy likes on Facebook but getting people to participate on posts or conversations is an entirely different ballpark.

Rule 3: Be genuine

You’re probably saying to yourself “what’s up with all these clichés?” but this rule is as important as any other. You would want your marketing campaign to be community driven and genuine in its approach.

What does this mean? It means you’ll have to interact with the audience as a human and not a corporate gizmo. If you truly want organic likes and followers, your marketing strategy better involve prompt replies and round-the-clock help.

A great example of failing to be genuine can be found in the ‘Fresh in Our Memories’ promotion from Woolworths on Anzac day. Huge backlash, huge miss.

Rule 4: Expand your reach

Don’t just put your all your money on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube because there are dozens of other social networking sites that you can leverage.

To make the most out of your Social Media Marketing, utilize different platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumble, and others. You may be shocked when you find out how much all these lesser known social networking sites can contribute to the growth of your online presence.

Rule 5: Give it time

If Rome wasn’t built in a day, you shouldn’t expect your brand to be known throughout the world at the same time. No, you’re not building a city but what you’re doing is going take time and effort.

An effective SMM strategy always focuses on attaining long-term results and seeks to establish a reputation by consistent service. If you can prove that your business is trustworthy, followers will automatically increase.

Final words

If you follow the five unbreakable as mentioned above with a passion and have the presence of mind to adapt to changing scenarios, it shouldn’t take you long to establish your business as a reputed online identity.

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