You Need These Five People to Succeed in Business

If you were asked to drum up a list of people crucial to your business’s success, who would be your first five picks? It’s hard to imagine success without support, and this usually involves a wide network of contributors. This is true for start-up companies sprinting towards the jump; your momentum determines how far you’ll go, and there should be people supporting you all the way.

You need all the help you can get, but if you had a choice, who are the people you want to propel you to success, with less time and minimal effort? We shortlisted them into five types; your business is probably already partnered with several of them. Complete your dream team if you want to fast-track your success.

1. The Adviser / Coach

Spare yourself from false starts and countless mistakes; learn all you can from those who’ve been there and done that. Advisers ideally have years of gleaned experience to offer – imagine all the pressure and anxiety you’ll skip with mentoring! You may already have insider knowledge and wisdom, but you can’t best good advisers when it comes to experience.

Many mentors are also well-connected in the industry, something you can tap onto as you expand your initial network.

2. The Industry Insider

Insiders are different from mentors because they exponentially boost your network. They’re well-connected and willing to refer you to the appropriate channels. An insider’s introductions are precious! You could find someone who knows someone, who knows someone important. You’ll join smaller and smaller circles as you zero in on your best contacts.

Insiders boost your reputation and influence by mere association; a good insider is like having Obama re-tweeting your tweet, exposing your handle to his millions of followers.

3. Peers

You’re on equal ground with peers, which means you have everything to gain by earning their approval. It’s true they don’t have the upscale insights advisers offer, but their network is still crucial if you really want to be part of the community. Peers share your struggles and triumphs, and there’s reward in knowing you’ve hurdled roadblocks the hard way, with colleagues.

You’ll tackle similar problems with peers, and there are plenty of opportunities to handle. Find solutions as a team, and move forward.

4. The Specialist

They keep your business (and the community) from falling apart. They’re also the grinding gears of your business. That’s a crude analogy, but specialists do ensure every piece is in its rightful place. They’re skilled in focus areas you want to press, and they’re immediately accessible in your network. If you’re outsourcing jobs, specialists can be freelancers, fresh graduates, or free agents rapidly moving between projects. Some may even be working on their own start-ups on the side.

5. The Investor

How deep are your pockets? You’ll know by the quality and quantity of your investors. Yes, you can be frugal with resources, but you also need a consistent stream of working capital if you want to succeed long-term. Investors boost your resources until you can stand on your own, and they also help get you out of tight situations. You’ll find them in unlikely places, and they’re so hard to spot, so elusive – you’ll only know when you’re introduced by the right connections.

Investors rarely (if ever) advertise their services, so the best way to meet them is to be properly introduced. You usually need a good reputation to make this happen.

There’s always a better way to jump start a business, but you’ll cut a lot of corners if you’re partnered with the right people. Ensure you’re on board with them if you want the shortest possible (and feasible) ­route to success.

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4 Smart Solutions When Your Capital Isn’t Enough

It takes serious commitment to start a business. It also takes courage to persevere through the highs and lows of management, expanding operations by outsourcing jobs. Unless you’re set with a huge fortune to back your capital, you’ll need supplementing funds more often than you would admit. If you’re heavily invested in your business, then it’s likely you’re built to take on the risks, starting a business with capital insufficient to last the long haul.

Here are four smart solutions to tide your business over, in times you’re running low in capital:

1. Start Small

Startup businesses do not necessarily require massive capital, just enough to sustain about a year’s worth of expenses. Most large corporations start from small enterprises, others were acquired by other companies at hefty markup. You want your products or services to be known around the world, but you have to start local to achieve this goal. Take it easy and one step at a time; make the most out of whatever you have right now. With a feasible business plan, your company will grow through stingy and wise management.

2. Curb Your Expenses

Creativity is crucial at the start of small business, especially when it comes to spending. Innovation in products and services is also important, a secret to streamlined operations. If you think you do not have enough capital to start up a business, at the very least minimize your expenses. You may not need to outsource jobs you can manage (not yet), especially if you can’t afford the service. Your priority should involve looking for resources. Don’t limit yourself to expensive tools when free or cheaper alternatives are available.

3. Partner with an Angel Investor

Angel investors throw money at startup businesses, allowing these to spend on development and improvement. This is first benefit of partnering with an angel investor, but you also gain experience from mentorship and coaching; years of hard-earned experiences imparted to your gain. Looking for angel investors can be a challenge, but easier if you’re well exposed and connected in the relevant industries.

4. Advertise for Free, Use Social Media

Social media is a free, effective promotional platform, and the accounts are easy enough to set up. Make sure you’re established on these free platforms before you invest TV commercials, multimedia, and printed advertisement. Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar sites where you can introduce your products or services. How can you resist the appeal of free advertising?

According to Robert Kiyosaki, “It does not take money to make money.” Business is a step-by-step procedure, and you have a variety of resources at your disposal. Start small and let it grow, and then outsource jobs to keep operation costs feasible.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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Navigating Timezones: Three Strategies for Expanding Businesses

Are you having trouble calculating the difference between EST and PST? Have you ever juggled one-hour discrepancies between states and cities? The tangle of time zones can twist your business into knots, especially if you’re involved in supply and customer service. Whether you’re dealing with clients or partners, it pays to be conscious of time zones. This inconvenience is necessary, but can be mitigated by outsourcing services to teams who can handle aspects of operations round the clock.

Toggling the timezones can be messy, but becomes second nature once you get the hang of it. Here are three strategies to start with:

1. Use Your Phone’s World Clock and Converter

It’s one of the most neglected features of smart phones, also one of the most useful. You’ll find this indispensable when you’re doing business in multiple locations. If you’re trying to schedule a meeting with clients from different countries, setting the best time to meet is easy when you have all the local clocks on hand for comparison.

Use this feature as a crutch until you know the conversions by heart. You can also rely on your smartphone’s world clock for every transaction. Either way, use this often enough and eventually you won’t need it.

2. Lay Down Timezone Rules with Clients

This is an awkward way to start, but must be settled so everyone’s clear on expectations. Which timezone will be used as basis in meetings, deliveries? This depends on your relationship to the other party. If you’re dealing with customers and clients, you’ll have to adjust. Otherwise you’ll have to compromise.

What’s the use of setting timezone ground rules? No one has an excuse for missing deadlines and deliverables if there’s a standard time set. You’re also displaying good business sense if you go out of your way and adopt a client’s local time as basis.

3. Keep Your 24-Hour Workday Feasible

Round-the-clock customer support is unavoidable when you’re serving customers in various timezones. It makes sense to have someone accommodating customers at the other end, responses customized and sent as soon as possible. This is crucial if you’re selling products worldwide; a feasible solution is to outsource services to contact centers, or dedicate teams to work in rotating shifts. You can also handpick sales reps based on locations you’re serving, working from home and on flexible hours.

Outsourcing pays off in customer service, if the response times complement the customer’s timezone. Being considerate of client’s time also increases chances of repeat service; you don’t want to annoy someone by replying on an ungodly hour. Personalize service by hiring someone local (or nearby) your clients to handle calls and queries.

Managing a business with global reach is a challenge, but it’s very doable with the right strategies. It also helps if you outsource services to reliable partners. Step up your game as you expand to new markets.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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3 Outsourcing Essentials for Better Business

Business Process Outsourcing has become an all-in-one solution in today’s industries. This is evident in the Philippines, with the local outsourcing jobs exhibiting exponential growth. The country hit high margins of employment in August 2014; from 101,000 in 2004, the workforce increased to over 930,000. It’s evident why outsourcing is the byword in cost-efficiency across a variety of industries.

Outsourcing is only beneficial if you approach it with the right strategies. There are variable, essential factors to consider before adopting solutions for your business, and it’s important your decisions are backed by solid evaluations. Here are three essentials to consider before you commit:

1. Consider the Costs

It’s common knowledge outsourcing saves time and money, but this is only the case if the solutions complement the business’s needs. Yours must be realistic in terms of sales or savings, projected and actual. Anticipate problems in production / operation to preempt losses. Survey factors that can affect your income, pave a clear path for your prospects.

2. Partner with the Right People

Synergy is crucial to smooth operations, all the more important in outsourcing jobs. Ensuring a successful business requires partnership with the right team. You get to screen and choose the service, so bide your time and consider as many quotes as you can before you commit. Don’t give in to what’s most feasible until you’ve weighed all strengths and weaknesses.

Beware the pitfall of going for the cheapest offer, though; this sometimes comes with serious tradeoffs. It helps if you choose the best one as you contrast the qualities of the products and services being offered. Entertain quotes and proposals, conduct background checks, evaluate history of performance, and never, ever skip the fine print.

3. Draft a Solid, Airtight Contract

The terms of service will either ensure you get the best end of the deal, or it could leave you shortchanged. At the very least, there’s mutual benefit with the outsourced party. Closing on the contract is tricky if you haven’t fleshed out the essential details with your partner. The dynamics of your partnership hinges on the signed agreement – it’s your assurance of quality service, also your safety net in untoward incidents.

A cost-effective business involves taking advantage of every opportunity, and outsourcing jobs is proven an efficient, feasible alternative to in-house sourcing. Your business has everything to gain with the service, so long as you guard your interest, do your due diligence. In any case, outsourcing companies are well aware of these expectations, it’s just a matter of finding the right people to partner with.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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When West Meets East: Outsourcing Services and the Corporate Cultural Gap

Why Outsource to the Philippines?