Tyler Sheff | Entrepreneurship

Tyler Sheff and the Cash Flow Guys talk real estate, investments, and entrepreneurship.

Category: Entrepreneurship

How Important Are Team Meetings and Events?

A fundamental part of creating a positive and engaging work environment is to foster a sense of inclusion amongst your employees. Entrepreneurs and corporate leaders have long been aware of the importance behind inclusion. Other than simply making employees happy, promoting an inclusive environment can have a substantial impact on the company’s revenue. Team meetings or outings are valuable occasions that are the perfect opportunity to boost morale, so long as they’re effective.

More often than not sales meetings can be perceived as a waste of time to employees. If the story you’re telling isn’t inspiring, you’ll lose engagement. Sales meetings and team outings are a great way to convey the strategic direction of the company. By sharing such information with your employees, they’ll feel as though they’re apart of ‘the big picture’. These meetings are also the optimal time to obtain feedback. Take some time to give employees the floor, and encourage them to share their experience within the company and working with customers. Ensure that each sector and every department is present during these meetings. In facilitating a company wide meeting or event, it will help improve cross-functional team work. Having different departments included will give employees insights on company initiative that they may not have been aware of.

When facilitating these types of events, it’s imperative that the CEO, along with senior management, is present. A lack of inclusiveness or engagement can often times stem from a company’s hierarchy. If employees feel as though their superiors are unapproachable, they’ll be less likely to feel connected to the company and consequently less engaged. A best practice would be for senior management to take part in the event and lead certain sections of the meeting.

Team building exercises or meetings can be highly effective, if done correctly. Facilitating team events can help generate lasting cohesion amongst the company and in turn, lasting results. As a business owner, or even as a manager, it’s important to acknowledge the value in these events. Team building is a fundamental component of your success, invest in inclusion!

The Key To Communication

As an entrepreneur there are many qualities that come into play in correlation with your success. In a previous blog post of mine I shared some of the attributes that were typically found to be most admirable in a leader. Personally, I’ve found that along with those attributes, what’s of grave importance for entrepreneurs is having the ability to communicate. If you’re unable to connect with people, listen to the opinion of others, or convey your ideas in a collective manner, how can you expect to find your ultimate level of success?

When approaching any conversation it’s important that you’re mindful of your emotions. Being overly emotional, in any situation, is a recipe for disaster. Often times, we can be quick to lash out when an issue arises. Before you communicate your concerns or opinion on the situation, be sure to take a moment to collect your thoughts and approach the manner logically. Go into the conversation with clarity on the point you wish to make, but also be mindful of the other person’s thoughts.

Should the conversation that you’re about to partake in be of an uneasy nature, take a few deep breaths to rid yourself of nervous energy. With every interaction or conversation, it’s important that you’re honest. You’ll want to use your discretion here, as being overly honest can come with a negative connotation, but being truthful will ultimately help you establish credibility and rapport.

Another key component in communication is being an active listener. Often times, this is where most leaders are lacking. As important as it is to convey company direction and opinion, it’s equally important that you listen to feedback. When you listen to the opposing party, with intent, you foster a better relationship with people. It’s important that you understand the value in listening to others, and look at it as much more than just a passive task. It is an active process that requires more than digesting information from someone else.

Being mindful of your emotions, remaining honest in conversation, and listening with intent will certainly improve your communication skills. Foster these behaviors and others will acknowledge and appreciate your ability to effectively communicate with others.

Building A Personal Brand In Support Of Your Career

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a student fresh out of college, creating a personal brand for yourself is no longer an option. In today’s digital age, your online presence speaks volumes to potential business affiliates and employers. Prior to even considering an interview or meeting, most people will almost immediately turn to search engines to research the party in question. Careerbuilder.com recently released their findings in a study, which suggests that 35 percent of employers are less likely to interview an applicant if they can’t find them online. Eliminate the qualms of a potential employer by establishing a personal brand for yourself. Ensure your online presence is an accurate depiction of your character and is reflected in your search results!

Your Biography

Writing an autobiography can feel unnatural, but it’s a great way to convey your brand’s story. Rather than draft your story in the first person try writing in the third person. Be sure to highlight all of your achievements and make the reader aware of your aspirations and experience.

Creating Your Platform

Build a professional website that showcases all of accomplishments. Ensure that the front page of your website tells your story, as this is your landing page and will be what visitors read first. Include previous projects, your interests, and career goals. Add links to the social media platforms that you’d want business affiliates to see.

Social Media Platforms

Take some time to sift through your properties. If there are things on these properties that are questionable, delete them. Know that if a potential business affiliate or employer is looking for something, they’ll find it. Stick to more professional platforms such as LinkedIn and Google+. Should you choose to maintain more personal platforms, make them private and be conscious about what you post moving forward. Your social media platforms should be aligned with your brand and portray the same professional demeanor.

Maintaining Your Brand

Once you’ve created a cohesive brand, that accurately depicts your story, it’s important that you maintain your platforms. Should you gain experience, add that to your website and update your resume on LinkedIn. A great way to update your website is through weekly blogs. Blog about your industry and offer an insightful opinion. This shows employers that you’re a thought leader and you’re up to date on current affairs, which is often admired by employers.

Be proactive in establishing your brand’s story. Highlight valued attributes and showcase your achievements. Your online reputation can be one of two things. It can be a great tool, that portrays you in a positive light and sets you apart from competition. Or, it can hinder potential business opportunities. Be conscious about what you put online.

Increasing Productivity In The Workplace

Any successful business leader or owner knows the importance of productivity in the workplace. A successful company values efficiency in both their process and employees. When you focus on maximizing your sales and minimizing your costs, you’ll drive greater profit. The overall concept of increased productivity, in any environment, is to accomplish as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. Increasing productivity in your workplace can be of substantial value to the company in more ways than one.

Whether it be through production or client communication, increased productivity will eventually translate to the consumer. Quick turn around times on orders or customer interactions is often valued by the customer. Being diligent about addressing concerns and making the customer experience as efficient and pleasant as possible will have a significant impact on your business in the end. By demonstrating your efficiency in both of these matters, the customer feels appreciated thus, you’re creating a highly satisfying experience.

Once you’ve created these captivating experiences for your customers you’ll start to establish loyalty and rapport which, in turn, drives results. Consumers will be more likely to return for your services and suggest your business to others. When a company becomes successful, they have more resources to allocate. Whether it be through expanding departments for growth or simply company culture initiatives, those added resources or opportunities made available to employees will make for a better work culture. The success of a company will ultimately shift morale in a positive manner. When you’re generating more profit and you’re able to reward employees with such incentives, the entire company becomes gratified and motivated.

Investing resources into improving overall productivity will result in a significant return on investment. By executing more, in a shorter amount of time, you’re turning a greater profit. When a company turns a greater process, they have more resources to allocate to improving company culture. Allocating more resources to improving the workplace culture will have a substantial impact on the overall morale and will motivate your team to drive similar results. Increasing productivity in the workplace will generate positive momentum for your company in more ways than one!  

A Look At Leadership

When it comes to running a business, there are a considerable amount of variables that will determine your success. For one, as a leader, your personal attributes play a significant role in the company’s overall success. How you handle certain situations and how your employees perceive you could have a substantial impact in your profits. Although certain qualities may be more admirable than others, the following attributes are generally well-received in the workplace.

Humility

Leaders who demonstrate a humble demeanor are often more favorable amongst employees. Those who honest in their short-comings and genuinely appreciate feedback will promote a more inclusive environment in the workplace. Employees will find you both approachable and relatable, which makes for a positive culture.

Passionate

Passion leads to motivation. Thus, when a leader is passionate about the work they’re doing, employees will sense their eagerness. Those who express passion about the company’s initiatives will instill a similar motivation in their employees. When you truly believe in something, and you convey that message to people, it becomes infectious. Whether your employees have that same level of passion or not, they’ll be aware of your dedication and be more prone to drive results.

Trusting

Establishing a rapport with your employees is highly effective when it comes to creating a positive work culture. When you build a relationship with your employees, in both a personal and professional manner, you’re establishing a sense of trust and respect. By simply showing employees that you believe in them and their work, they’ll be more inclined to go above and beyond. Delegate more authoritative responsibilities to employees, they’ll feel valued in your actions and be motivated to exceed.

Confident

As a business owner or manager, you’re leading others to support and fulfill your mission. People want to work for people who are confident not only in their product or service, but in the future of their business. As a leader, confidence is essentially the most fundamental quality. You need have self-confidence and believe in your own abilities before you can lead others. When you appear confident, employees will find you competent and will generally have a tendency to trust you.

While the qualities of a successful leader will always vary depending on the situation, people are typically responsive to these characteristics. Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or a senior-level manager, it’s always a best practice to reflect on your leadership style. Take some time to evaluate your different tactics and reflect on your approach in various situations. Find what works best for you and stick with it!

 

A Global Workforce Shift

As technology progresses, it seems as though every other sector of society shifts. With technology constantly developing, the way we operate and live is affected both subtly and drastically. Take autonomous vehicles. The introduction of autonomous vehicles into mainstream society will have a drastic impact on the way we operate as a society. No longer will we be parking our cars and the need for personal vehicle will only dissipate. As with everything, technology has shaped the way we work globally. Gone are the days where you need to work for someone else, let alone a large corporation. Technology has given way to those interested in working for themselves, freelancers.

According to independent research firm, Edelman Berland, more than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work, which accounts for 34 percent of the entire workforce. In an article for entrepreneur.com, researcher Bill Tancer suggests that, “there has been a fundamental shift in the U.S. job market. Incomes have stagnated and the size of the total labor pool has contracted.” Author for the article, Russ Fujioka, reiterates this shift in the workforce with research by his company Xero, “that change is still relatively new with 41 percent of respondents reporting that’ve been freelancing for a year or less,”.

I feel as though the technology that is available to the millennial age nowadays, has made it significantly easier for someone to start a business, whether that be a freelance service or startup company. From Xero’s findings, 96 percent of those surveyed, said that freelancing was a way to supplement their existing income.

There are more freelance platforms available for people today, including ride sharing services like Uber. It’s never been as easy as it is today to survive as a freelancer. Services, like Uber, allow for people to have flexibility in a job, operating as frequent as you’d like. Websites like freelancer.com has made it possible for virtually anyone to drive an income with freelance work.

Although freelance work doesn’t guarantee an income, at the end of the day it guarantees a sense of freedom for people. Technology has made the dream of being your own boss, a possibility for anyone. Whether it be to supplement the income of a spouse, or to simply generate extra income for the household, the number of freelancers will likely increase for years to come.

Motivating Your Employees: The Dos and Don’ts

Running a business is hard work, running a business with employees is even harder work. Whether you own a business or manage it for others, leading other employees can be a daunting task. Sometimes all sorts of personalities can make up your workforce, making it even more difficult to have everyone on the same page. In order to successfully lead others, you must know how to successfully motivate them. While some try to motivate their employees through bonuses, foods, and even happy hours, it may not always be the most effective approach. Both the Harvard Business Review and Time have released interesting publications on how to successfully motivate others – including your employees. Here are a few points you should especially consider.

It’s important to inspire your employees in order to properly motivate them. Work culture has to be infused with some meaning for employees to feel passionate about their occupations. According to the Harvard Business Review, people who have a sense of purpose in their workplace feel more focused and creative. The main way of instilling this sense of purpose is to stress that their work is directly impacting people’s lives, or the company itself. Client testimonials of successful service delivery can inspire workers to appreciate their own work. Other ways you can inflict inspiration is by creating workplace support programs, which allow employees to help others in efficiently carrying out their daily tasks.

As a leader, one can better inspire their employees by effectively leading. Leaders that are cooperative, dedicated, committed, and selfless in the office place promote a strong work environment. Working alongside subordinates is an especially great way to motivate employees. Lead by example, and your employees will surely follow.

Showing kindness to employees should be a given in any workplace. However, managers, leaders, and owners often overlook this very important quality. Recognizing employees for their hard work is a great motivating factor. By creating relationships, leaders instill in their employees a sense of commitment that would otherwise not exist. Asking basic questions like “how was your day” or “how is your family doing” show that you care about them not only as employees but as people as well. Although some negative feelings such as anger can also motivate employees, they can easily break bonds in the long run. Of course, keeping a professional demeanor between you and your employees is important, so make sure you show kindness and professionalism in conjunction with each other.

Finally, emphasize progress. Combining the first point and second points, emphasize to your employees that their work is not only valued but directly responsible for the company’s growth. Knowing that your work is contributing to the well-being of a company only motivates employees to work even harder. Even more important, emphasizing your company’s progress demonstrates stability, and therefore, job security. Everyone wants to work for a ship that’s up and running, but not a ship that’s still, or even sinking. Success will motivate employees to stay onboard, and as committed as ever.

 

If you liked this post, check out my blog for more info on business and entrepreneurship. Thanks for reading!

 

Marketing A Small Business

Marketing can often times make or break a business. Larger companies usually have a marketing department with a fairly substantial marketing budget, small businesses on the other hand are often lacking in the funds to market on a corporate level. So what can you do to market your small business?

 

First and foremost, you need to be well versed in your social media platforms. More and more companies are turning to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote their brands. You want to try and create as many properties under your company name as possible, this will encourage search engines like Google to recognize your business as being relevant. There are also several promotional options for you to explore, both pinterest and twitter offer different options for businesses. Many of these social media platforms also give analytics for your profile, you can than utilize theses statistics to decipher what has been working, marketing wise, and what you should revisit to meet your target market. Utilize social media to reach your local audience.

Google has recently confirmed that there are more searches made from mobile devices than desktops, so having a strong presence on mobile apps is vital. Ensure your company website is optimized mobily, as search engines take that into consideration when determining relevancy.

Aside from the tech fronts, relationship marketing is also crucial to the success of a small business, specifically when you’re just starting out. You want to create captivating experiences for your clients so they’re both enticed to come back and tell others about your business. Go above and beyond with every interaction you have, in a world where so much can be done online, getting someone to visit your business is proving to be difficult. Give them a reason to visit your business, try something promotional on a mobile app like discounts for first time visitors or locals is always an option.

Technology will forever shape the way we do business, with improving technology comes improving marketing strategies. Where technology goes, so should your marketing.

 

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