21 Survival Strategies For Small Business Success by Sir Richard Branson

richard-branson-virgin-airlines

As a small business owner i know that running and continuously maintaining a small business can be very challenging, here are a few strategies by one of the most successful entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson.

1. Remain focused on fulfilling your business mission. Never allow adversity divert your attention and efforts.

2. Don’t wait till you are big before you begin building your brand. Build a brand from scratch alongside your business.

3. Learn to use your brain power. Critical thinking is the key to creative problem solving in business.

4. Build your own business team. Survival in business requires a synergy of skills.

5. Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it’s the life blood of business.

6. If you are a new startup company, try not to arouse the interest or suspicion of your competition; especially if they are a bigger company. They can crush you while you are still in your startup phase. Lie low while still strengthening your bottom line.

7. Grow internally first. Strengthen your bottom line first before considering external growth.

8. Focus on your business strengths and keep its weaknesses away from the competition or public.

9. Be swift to take advantage of business opportunities. Bigger companies are too cumbersome to move quickly; this can be a competitive advantage for you.

10. Learn to live on the edge.

11. Be creative. Innovate consistently on the little things that the big companies ignore. Little things often make big differences in business.

12. Listen to the customer’s complaint and act fast.

13. Meet regularly with your business team and brainstorm. Intricate business problems are mostly resolved at brainstorming sessions.

14. Run lean; avoid unnecessary expenses.

15. Don’t hesitate to seek external help or advice where need be. Sometimes, it takes an external, emotionally unattached individual to detect your business flaws and render unbiased advice.

16. Follow your instincts and live with the consequences.

17. Avoid litigations. They are expensive and consume loads of time but if you have got a good case and a better chance of winning; then fight it out.

18. Free publicity and word of mouth is probably the best and cheapest form of advertising. Learn to use it to your advantage.

19. Learn to raise capital by any means necessary. That’s your primary job as an entrepreneur. You must continually raise capital from family and friends, banks, suppliers, customers and investors.

20. Seek out strategic alliances; they are essential to growth and provide resistance to bigger competition.

21. And if after all this you eventually fail; don’t take it personal. Don’t be ashamed to start all over again.

This article was extracted from: www.addicted2success.com by Joel Brown is the CEO and Founder of Addicted2Success.com. With a long time passion for Entrepreneurship, Self development & Success, Joel started his website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people all over the world to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. Joel’s passion for what he does shows through the continual growth of Addicted2Success.com‘s online community.

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7 Principles To Live By To Be Successful Entrepreneurs

I remember sometime last week i tweeted something of which i said “As a man you must have principles to live by of which you must try by all means to stick to them”.And then a friend of mine saw it and then he said what i actually mentioned on that tweet applies in all spheres of life and then he forwarded me this article by Josh Smith of which i found it worth to share it to everybody here….Hope you going to enjoy it like i did.

principles

1. Consistency

When I was at the very starting line in my journey I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month, to achieve what I set out to. Entrepreneurship felt like this world of never ending to do’s and places to be, calls to make, and people to talk to.. and whilst that’s always true, there’s a certain perspective needed here, and that’s this: “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither will your business.. In fact if you do it right, you’re business will never be technically “complete” because there’s always fine tuning and evolution at play.. But to get to this point you have to be consistent. Show up when you say you will, work and push through your comfort zones when they scream at you, and always be moving forward, even if moving forward means a baby steps to start with. One brick at a time builds the wall- consistency is key.

2. Persistency

As an entrepreneur you are going to be challenged.. You’ll be turned away, told no, hung up on, laughed at, and refused many times but what you have to know is that this probably isn’t a reflection on you as a person.. In my experience you have to be a real slime ball to have that effect on people in the business world.. I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of working with some of these people, but that aside.. You have to be persistent. If you have a vision for yourself, your business, your idea, and it sets you on fire then you have an obligation to yourself and maybe the world to see it through. Persistence could mean early to rise late to bed, it may mean not taking no for an answer, but certainly above all, it means never ever giving up. You have to knock and knock and knock on the doors of your dreams. Then if that doesn’t work, just kick the door down.

3. Selective Deafness

Yes you read that right.. You have to know when to stop listening to certain people around you and start listening to what’s going on inside you- your intuition, your soul, your gut, whatever you want to call it. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road for a while.. I’ve lost people who I thought were friends, and I have family that really don’t know what I do yet still look down on me because it’s not “conventional” according to their definition. As an entrepreneur you’ve got to train yourself to only take advice from people around you who’ve achieved the results you’re looking for, in the area that they’re giving you advice on. That might sound obvious but it’s harder than you might think.. You’ll find that when you’re doing the kind of stuff you do as an entrepreneur, everyone is going to have an opinion and it can distract you and cost you time and stress. Focus on what you’re doing, and seek mentors who have actual valuable input to add.. Let everything else be white noise.

4. Vision

If you’re an entrepreneur then chances are you have the ability to see things that 99% of other people don’t let themselves see. What makes an entrepreneur is that he or she has the ability to see something where there’s nothing and take tangible steps towards creating a result. Never stop cultivating your vision that which you wish to achieve. Focus energy on the end product of your goals to give you the steam to do what you have to do right now to get there. Vision is the fuel behind your project, your business, your everything. Keep one eye on the prize, and another focused on where you are right now..

5. Self Motivation

Like I said before.. Entrepreneurship can be a long and lonely road where you have to battle your innermost demons to stay alive and motivated. The truth is, is that there’ll be times when you’ll want to give up, throw in the towel and get the hell out but I sincerely hope you don’t. We have the ability to change how we feel and view any situation in a moment’s notice if we’re willing. All of our emotions are the product of the thought patterns we engage in, and all thought patterns can be consciously controlled. Learn to focus on what matters and what’s really true when times are tough. Temporary defeats are often just roadblocks on the path to success, and you need to know that you can bust through them with the right mindset. Focusing on WHY you’re an entrepreneur in the first place, and what the result of your success will be is just one way to keep yourself on track. Muhammad Ali said this: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Accept defeat as temporary and not as a direct reflection on who you are as a person, take stock of what really matters, and focus on what makes you a winner. Winning is about picking yourself up an eighth time after falling down for the seventh.

6. Be Congruent

As an entrepreneur you’ll find that there is always distractions around you.. You’ve always got something to do, people wanting something from you, and just when everything seems to be going right a spanner will be carefully placed in your well oiled machine. But on the other side of that, sometimes everything will be going swimmingly and an opportunity will fall into your lap unexpectedly which requires your focus and energy. Believe it or not, opportunities can be stressful! I’ve had opportunities come up that would have pulled me miles away from my course at any one time. Some of these opportunities were lucrative, exciting, yet poles apart from my desires and I’d turn them down.. The trick is for you to be crystal clear on what you want, so that when distractions or opportunities come up, you can make calculated decisions as to how to act moving forward. Never put yourself in a position where you’re going against what you believe, or what you want to achieve, even for the sake of money.. Remember that as an entrepreneur, you’re a brand too, and your reputation is a massive element of your value. Be congruent with who you are as a person, and as a professional, and I guarantee you won’t go wrong.

7. Fail, fail, and fail some more.

Yep that’s right, run into as many brick walls as you can.. I’m reluctant to say this next bit but I will- make the mistake of blowing cash (your own preferably) on business decisions.. and be willing to graze metaphorical knees on your journey. As an entrepreneur, and as many of my mentors have said to me “You’ll make more mistakes and get it wrong more times than you’ll get it right… But it’ll be that one time you get it right, that you’ll get it very very right.” That’s kind of daunting, and it does take a lot not to fight that belief but trust me- when you have a win straight out the gate you’ll get a pat on the back and it will stroke your ego.. but when you lose a battle, and when you make mistakes, you’ll earn an education. Education, especially in business is currency, and worth it’s weight in gold. The entrepreneur who accidentally makes millions overnight (whilst very very very rare) is a lucky guy or gal with a nice payday.. an entrepreneur who’s fallen out of a tree, hitting every branch on the way down, to get up and climb again is a superstar, who WILL make a real difference in this world. Sara Blakely, the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire was brought up by her dad with the philosophy of making sure you fail at least once a day and actively learning from it. She took that attitude and openly attributes her $5,000 investment which turned $1 billion profit, to that philosophy in failing forward.

Of the many principles I could have rattled off here, it’s these 7 that scream to me. It’s these 7 that have carried me through some of the steepest hills in my journey, and gotten me through some my lowest lows. Be brave, be pioneering, listen to your heart, and don’t be afraid of getting a bruise along the way.

This article was extracted from: www.youngwebbuilder.com by Josh Smith is a (Speaker, presenter, author, go getter, and all round good guy. My passion above all is helping others get the wins they want in life. Live 2 learn live 2 teach.)

Image by www.vaughanmerlyn.com

The power of saying NO!!!

JUST SAY NO!!!!

JUST SAY NO!!!!


Saying no is perhaps the most important productivity tool that exists. Saying no is an art. It is also perhaps the most difficult thing to do for most people. I used to dread the occasions where I knew I will have to say no and I used to prepare for such situations for days. Now, I almost look forward to saying no to people and I actually enjoy the process! Find out how the change happened.

1. You are doing everyone a favour by saying no.

Whenever you are saying NO to someone, remember that it is for their benefit! By saying no, you are

-Giving the person an opportunity to look for someone who can do the job better.

– Avoiding negative feelings about the person.

2. Visualize the alternative (to saying no) in vivid detail.

– You will feel bad and will curse yourself for accepting the task.

– You will do a bad job.

– You will hate the person for putting this on to you.
– The person will hate you for doing a bad job.

– You should not have said yes, if you were not going to do a good job, the person will tell you later.

3. Remember what happened the last time you said yes!

4. Use the situation as an opportunity to build a better relationship.

If you like the person and don’t want to burn your bridges then having to say no can actually be a great opportunity to improve your relationship with this person. This is very much possible, provided you take the extra effort to honestly explain to the person why you cannot do this and why you value the relationship and that you really believe that by doing a half-baked job you will be hurting the relationship.

5. Enjoy!

Sometimes, saying no is just pure joy! The joy gets magnified if you do not provide any reasons at all!

6. Go overboard explaining why you cannot.

The explaining might make the person feel better than if you had said yes!

7. Use the big–picture test.

Focus on the big picture. What are your ultimate goals and objectives? Is this task in sync with your goals? If not, just say no and rest assured that you have made the correct decision.

8. Use a bit of cunning if you need to (in this order).

a. Negotiate. If you can take this off my plate, then I can do that. Or if I can get resources for this, then I can do that.

b. Postpone. Let me think about it and get back to you on email.

c. Deflect. I cannot do this BUT I can help you with that.

d. Bluff. Carry around your dummy calendar (choc a bloc of course) and show it to the person!

e. Throw the ball back. Ask for help in deciding how you should fit in the new task on the list of priorities (especially if it is your boss).

f. Lower expectations. Point out that you might be able to do everything, but not to the usual high standards that are expected.

g. Googly or curve ball. Say yes, then call back or SMS in the next 10 minutes to say why you cannot do it. Why 10 minutes? Well because that is the average time required for homo sapiens to come up with a good excuse.

h. Scare them off if nothing works! It’s just that I have this crazy flu and I don’t want you to get it

9. If they get really pushy, switch gears and think of it as a game.

There is no way you can say yes NOW! Smile and tell them so.

10. And before we end, here are a few statements for you to practice!

I have another commitment.
I have no experience with that.
I know you will do a wonderful job yourself.
I am in the middle of several projects.
I am not comfortable with that.
I need to leave some free time for myself.
I would rather decline than do a mediocre job.
I am not taking on any new responsibilities.
I would rather help out with another task.
Let me hook you up with someone who can do it.
I am not the most qualified person for the job.
I do not enjoy that kind of work.
I do not have any more room in my calendar.
I hate to split my attention among projects.
I need to focus more on my personal life.
I need to focus on my career right now.
Some things have come up that need my attention.
This really is not my strong point.

REMEMBER!!!! It’s very easy to over-promise and then under-perform. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and don’t feel like you have to agree to your client’s every wish. If you can’t do it, you can’t do it and you’ll occasionally have to tell your clients the truth. Being overloaded, but still promising to meet their needs doesn’t bode well for you, and will only result in disappointed clients later. Also, though it’s hard to turn down new projects, you’ll have to do that from time to time if you’re already overloaded. If you take on more than you can handle, you’ll short-change current projects and disappoint new clients.

EXTRACTED FROM tickledbylife.com
Shalu Wasu is a creativity consultant and trainer based in Singapore apart from being guest faculty at select institutes.