Every entrepreneur has suffered from it. The ones which deal with it normally manage to succeed in business. The ones which ignore it or believe it not to be true end up seeing their business go up in flames, metaphorically of course. We’re talking, of course, of entrepreneur bias.
A business is born.
When you are starting a business you inevitably need to make assumptions. Carrying out market research, doing your homework and getting genuine feedback are all great ways to help you shape your business, but, in the end, only once you’re out there can you see if your decisions were right or not.
No one gets it perfectly right the first time (or the second, third, fourth…), in fact, succeeding in business is not about getting it perfectly right, just right enough. However, what you do when things are working out as you expected makes all the difference.
If you are suffering from entrepreneur bias, chances are that you will blame anything and everything which you cannot control, and ignore the necessary internal changes which you can control. The probable result is that your business will join the majority of startups and fail.
On the other hand, if you accept the possibility that you may have made some wrong decisions and work to rectify them, you stand a good chance of success. Admitting being wrong is nothing to be ashamed of, even by an entrepreneur who might feel the need to constantly be right. Admission of a wrong decision is the first step in the process of reaching a good decision.
The decisions go on and on.
Entrepreneur bias is not simply a problem in the early stages of a business. In fact, this bias tends to get worse the more confident and reassured a business leader becomes. A pattern of being right more often than being wrong can become dangerous, allowing the bias to grow unnoticed until a major unexpected situation causes the entrepreneur to ask “how could I have been so wrong?”
Without a doubt, entrepreneur bias was one of the reasons behind some of the worst business decisions in history. There is no such thing as too big to fail or getting it right every time. Bad decisions are taken all the time in business, but the important thing is to quickly identify such a situation and seek to rectify it quickly.
The baptism of entrepreneurs.
Since I referred to entrepreneur bias as the original sin of entrepreneurs, I chose to refer to its removal using the same analogy. I certainly don’t mean any disrespect to followers of various religious faiths.
There are several ways in which you can eliminate, or at the very least reduce the effect of entrepreneur bias in your decision-making process. Here’s how:
Consider each argument for or against a decision. What is your basis for calling each argument factual? Are you basing it on factual evidence, a hunch, or something in between? Hunches can very easily be taken over by entrepreneur bias and must, therefore, be treated with a lot of caution. Concrete evidence, such as in the form of facts and figures is always better to compliment a hunch, however, make sure not to skew the numbers to make a favourable argument.
Can you get qualified independent or unbiased persons to evaluate your arguments and decisions? Qualified doesn’t necessarily mean holding a particular degree, it just means having the necessary skills, experience or background to provide you with a valid opinion.
Is there a way to implement the decision in stages so that it can be put on hold or reversed back in case of issues? A complete overhaul is difficult to stop once it has begun. Carrying out change one store or one employee at a time can more easily be paused or reversed.
Once a change is taking place as a result of your decision, what is the feedback you are receiving? Are you getting feedback directly from the front line, or is this feedback being filtered through various levels of management? If you want the freshest fish go directly to the docks. Similarly, if you want the unfiltered truth ask for it from the people at the bottom of your organisation.
Do you need to make a change? Did the decision turn out to be terrible in ways you could have never imagined? Is most of the feedback negative? It’s ok, get your team together and work on making a new decision. Start from Step 1.
When you set up a business, there are many things you have to consider. From finding the perfect office or retail space to setting up the legal framework you’ll need, there are many things which might take your time. One important thing you should always consider is the security of your business. Smaller businesses generally make less investment in security than larger ones, leaving them more vulnerable to attacks. Here are some of the security practices you should make sure you have in place.
Trying to remember your passwords can be a bit of a nightmare. It is important that you always pick ones which are strong and difficult to guess. Unsurprisingly, the most common passwords often include things like “password” and “123456”. Neither of these is going to cut it.
Ideally, you should want a password which is over 8 characters in length and what a computer deems to be complex. This means it needs a mixture of lower and upper-case characters, as well as numbers and special characters. Most people use names or places familiar to them to create their passwords. Take a look at them and see where you could replace a letter with a number or a symbol.
This is a simple process but it is incredibly important if you have clients who are going to be signing up to your website in any way. It can also be used to verify customers if they place an order. The identity verification process offered by cognitohq.com is quick and simple to use. It is not as intrusive as other processes and all it requires from your customers is a phone number.
With identify verification, you can be certain that it is a real person on the other end of the transaction. This should result in a lower chance of the package being intercepted or sent to the wrong address. It will ultimately help to give your customers more peace of mind.
Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt
Encryption is one of your best bets for ensuring that everything is protected as much as possible. When buying new hard drives or USB drives to use for the business, try to look for ones which have encryption already built in. You should also check the encryption status of your wireless network to ensure that there are no interlopers hanging on. Have a look at VPNs, they might also be able to add a further level of encryption to your network and any communication you might have.
Enacting these security practices into the setup of your business should always be of paramount importance to you. If your business is adequately protected, you know that your data is never going to go anywhere you don’t want it to. You can rest easy knowing that the personal data of your clients is secure.
Security is an on-going challenge and you should look to manage it as much as you can. Don’t neglect it, and make
it the best it can be. Do so and you will be able to focus on other parts of your business which will also need your attention.
Earning business coaching qualifications is often overlooked by many business owners as they don’t understand the real benefits. They might also think that such courses are expensive and do not represent any real value. However, if you’re looking to take your business or career seriously, a business coaching course could well be the difference between success and failure. Here are five reasons why you should consider business coaching today.
1. Increase Employee Morale within Your Own Business
Increasing morale among employees is something many business owners struggle with. On many occasions, this can prove problematic, especially when you’re trying to take a business forward. If you’re willing to put time and effort in obtaining business coaching qualifications that companies like the The BCF Group provide, you could help keep employees motivated through open discussions, which could give them the freedom to share any problems or new ideas that will help take the business forward.
Such businesses offer different levels of business coaching depending on your needs and requirements. The BCF Group, for example, has ILM level 5 and ILM level 7 coaching, so you could take a look at the difference between each one and see which would suit your employees.
2. Qualify Yourself for Future Roles
Whether you currently run your own business or you’re a bog-standard employee looking to climb the career ladder, business coaching can help you flourish in the future. A lack of business operating experience could be holding you back from fulfilling your true potential. Perhaps business coaching is something you’re interested in offering to help propel other businesses to the top. Indeed, business coaching courses could be the difference in helping you become the success you dream of being.
3. Get Proper Business Experience
You could easily gain the business experience you need by setting up shop and creating a business of your own. However, it’s a huge risk, especially if you don’t have any experience running a business at all. Therefore, business coaching could also help you understand other aspects of running a business which could be highly desired in the future.
4. Get an Unbiased Opinion
One of the many reasons why you should look to a business coach to help you run your business or develop your career in business is simply because they will always tell you how it is with an unbiased opinion. If they feel you are going about something the wrong way, they will tell you. Of course, they aren’t going to be horrible about it to try and hurt your feelings. They will provide insight into how and why it’s better to go down a different route.
Taking business coaching qualifications may seem over the top or a waste of time and effort. However, being able to motivate your employees as a business owner, helping other businesses reach their goals or landing higher-paying jobs in the future, is certainly worth their own weight in gold.
Consider a business coaching course today. You could find yourself as a leader of a successful business in the future.
Women wanting to start up a new business could be better off leaving it until they reach age 33. This is what a study released this week seems to suggest. The study from fashion retailer Missy Empire includes stats on 30 female celebrity entrepreneurs.
Each of the entrepreneurs featured have been scored based on a range of criteria such as:
In this ranking exercise, female entrepreneurs could get a maximum score of 66 points. This helped form the result of who are the top celebrity women in business.
How many are #SelfMade?
Defined as ‘having succeeded in life unaided’, more than two-thirds of the women in our list can be classed as self-made. Interestingly, the research reveals that the self-made women in the list have fortunes worth a staggering 141% more than their non-self-made counterparts.
Turning millions into billions!
With an average net worth of over $355,000,000, the four billionaires on our list certainly account for a significant chunk of this. Prior to 21-year-old Kylie Jenner announcing her billionaire girl boss status, the average age of the billionaires on our list was 50. Kylie brought this average down to 43.
Paying it Forward
Almost all (90%) of the 30 female entrepreneurs featured in the research had made charitable contributions. Ellen DeGeneres, Beyonce, Jessica Alba, and Kim Kardashian accounted for 42% of these charitable acts. Out of the 30 female entrepreneurs in our list, the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely is the only person to have joined The Giving Pledge. This means she will donate the majority of her wealth to this worthy cause.
Drive-thrus at restaurants have a long and storied history, beginning in the early 20th century. From drive-in windows to carhops on roller skates, to the modern golden arches, the look of the drive-thru has certainly changed in the past 100 years.
However, the same considerations that were important to drivers back then are actually still important to drivers today. According to a recent study from QSR Magazine, there are a multitude of factors that fast food franchise owners must perfect in order to rise above the competition. These factors affect the experience that people expect when they go through a drive-thru. In short, these are a speedy and efficient service combined with good, cheap food.
These factors include menus that are easy to read, food that is manageable while eating in the car, order accuracy, ease of drive-thru access, the speed of service, and more. For example, data from the QSR study shows that KFC delivers orders correctly only 70% of the time! That’s definitely an area for KFC ownership to improve upon in order to increase customer satisfaction levels.
You may not have guessed this, but drive-thrus are actually the most lucrative part of any fast food restaurant. Reports have shown that fast food locations make up to 70% of their total yearly revenue from drive-thrus. By the year 2020, total fast food spending in the United States is expected to reach $223 billion! That averages out to about $1,200 per day for each person in the U.S., or $60k in a lifetime.
There is obviously a lot of profit to be made in this industry. Fast food franchise owners have to step up their game in order to stay at the top. Take a look at the graphic below from our friends at CarRentals.com for more details on drive-thru history, current statistics, and surprising facts.
It can be a tricky balance knowing whether or not you are ready for a new hire in your company. There are lots of things to consider, such as finances, the amount of work readily available, and lots of other things. It could be that you are not quite sure if you are at the point where you need to hire an executive. We’ve put together a list of signs together which should let you know if you are ready or not.
1. You don’t have the right work/life balance.
If you are so busy that you don’t really have time for a personal life, it could be time to hire an executive to help take some of the strain. You need some time away from your company to recharge. That way, you will be much more productive when you are back in the office. Make sure you take some time out for yourself, and your company will reap the rewards.
2. You aren’t being productive.
Delegation is key to making a company successful. If you are completing a lot of tasks, but none that are really driving your business, you may need a key member of staff that will take some of those tasks away from you. This will give you the time you need to really drive your business forward. It will also help you to focus on the most critical areas that need to be worked on. Be as productive as you can with the hours you spend on your business.
3. You don’t have enough support.
If you feel that you don’t currently have someone to bounce ideas off of, then you might want to hire an executive to support you. It can be stressful having to make all of the key decisions on your own. Sometimes it can be a great help to have someone that you can trust and who has the necessary experience to provide you with a valuable opinion. If you’re struggling to find a recruiting provider, take a look at the services offered by The Recruiterie who are executive recruiters in Pheonix and who are able to match candidates to company goals and cultures. They work with businesses of all sizes (including non-profits) so they could definitely help you out with your hiring needs if you need the support.
4. Your business isn’t growing.
If your business remains stagnant, but you are in the financial position where you can hire an executive, it could be exactly the breath of fresh air your company needs. Someone can come in with brand-new ideas and suggestions that you haven’t heard before that could give you a much-needed energy boost to push things forward.
5. Managing your team is too time-consuming.
If you have a lot of entry or lower-level staff and find that you are spending a lot of time managing them, this is another task that takes you away from other strategic elements of your business. By hiring an executive to take care of some of these operational duties, including team management, it will free up even more of your time to do the job you really should be doing.
Thanks to the rise of social media, successful entrepreneurs are treated like superstars. Probably, not a day goes by that your feed doesn’t feature at least one lesson based on the experience of an entrepreneur. It got to the point that everyone wants to become one. However, this is far from possible. Becoming an entrepreneur is hard work, and few people have what it takes.
Ask anyone why they admire a particular entrepreneur. Their reply will help you determine if they have the entrepreneurial spirit within them, or if they are just a different form of groupies. You can test yourself in the same way, and if you are truly honest in your answer, you might find out whether being an entrepreneur is something you are or something which you just like the sound of. You are not an entrepreneur if you…
1. Like to stay in your comfort zone.
It is practically impossible to learn something new if do the same old thing over and over again. If you are unwilling to leave your comfort zone and experience a full ride of emotions, then you are not an entrepreneur.
2. Want to fit in.
You might run or hope to run your own grocery shop or retail outlet, doing what everyone else is doing because you believe in a tried and true method. You might be successful, you might be rich, but you are not an entrepreneur.
3. Your main business priority is making money.
When people ask you why you started or want to start your business your immediate reply is to make money. Your business and life decisions are primarily based on facts and figures. Playing it safe has proven a successful strategy in your life, and that’s ok, but you are not an entrepreneur.
4. You’re set in your ways.
There is no age to starting a business, but no matter how long you’ve been operating, you might have found a system that works and stuck to it. You love the security which comes with a routine, and you’re afraid of changes and unexpected events. You might feel comfortable in your ways, but you’re not an entrepreneur.
5. You believe in one day.
You’ve got plenty of dreams and plans and one day you will turn them into reality, but for now, you have other priorities or responsibilities. The timing isn’t right or you don’t have enough money, perhaps your idea needs improving or you don’t have the experience. But one day you’ll do it, for sure, no doubt. I’m sorry, but you’re not an entrepreneur.
What if you’re none of the above?
Well, there’s no guarantee that you are an entrepreneur, but there a number of traits common amongst many entrepreneurs worldwide. Do you realise that within yourself you have the potential to change the world, one small step at a time? Would you prefer looking at the challenges successful entrepreneurs faced, and the way they tackled them, or would you rather know much money they make?
Do you get excited knowing that you can revolutionise your business, by thinking outside the box and doing things that no one has dared to before? Do you understand that even though you haven’t gotten everything figured out yet, you’ll figure most things out, others will fall into place, and a few might not work out, but that’s ok? Are you excited about tomorrow, even though you do not know what will happen, because it will be an opportunity to put into practice what you’ve learned today?
Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and not everyone is cut out to make it. That’s OK, because one element which makes the world we live in great is the immense variety. In fact, only a small percentage of the population is geared towards being an entrepreneur, just like there is a small population who is licensed to fly into space. However, just like an astronaut, you are not born to be an entrepreneur, you become one. The choice is yours.
A business management system can revolutionize the routine and results of your business. But do you know what this software actually is, and how its benefits are useful in practice?
If you think about it, in order to handle your business administration you have to deal with the finances, send documents and data to the accountant, take care of inventory and purchases, watch operational processes, generate reports and cash flow, issue invoices and much, more. There are so many different processes that it is difficult to measure how much attention you devote to each one of them.
Do you know how much time you spend on each of these tasks? What if you could improve efficiency and, instead of typing all this information you used software to handle the majority of this manual work? You can simplify all of these tasks by the automation provided in a business management system. In some cases, you can also potentially remove the work normally carried out by a person.
How much would you make if you could devote more time to actually implementing your business strategy? What’s more this kind of software provides powerful insights and data for decision-making.
So, what is a Business Management System?
A business or enterprise management system, is software that allows you to manage different tasks relating to the management of your business. It is a smart platform that automates several operational processes and connects the different areas of the business. Through the use of such software, the employees are more dedicated to the strategic tasks and contribute to the achievement of the established objectives.
The system also centralizes information from one or more sectors. This measure provides a broader view that helps make accurate business decisions. Therefore, it is common for such software to bring benefits that go far beyond just the financial aspects.
Will my business really benefit from using such software?
The main objective of the business management system is to manage variables inherent in the financial and management flow. These include issuing invoices, purchases, expenses, sales, cash flow, work orders, and production. Whilst not all systems are created equal, here are a few industry-standard benefits:
Integration of Company Areas
The adoption of the tool makes it possible to leave aside the different worksheets used for management. This measure still allows all sectors to work towards the same goal. In this way, a more efficient management is achieved . A practical example of this is the relationship between sales and inventory. If the person responsible for inventory is not aware of current and upcoming marketing efforts, he/she might order the incorrect quantity of particular items, leading to potential lost sales or too much stock.
Optimization of Working Capital
With a strategic view of inventory, for example, financial resources are spent efficiently whilst preventing day-to-day hiccups. Less money is wasted ordering too much or too little of any item since sales trends provide a good indication of what to order and when.
The business management system provides more accurate and reliable data which is then communicated with other stakeholders. The data is entered just once, decreasing the number of manual processes and the potential failures resulting from them. For example, when a sale is processed, the order information is sent directly to the inventory manager to prepare the order and the finance department to issue the invoice. This is all done automatically and instantly.
Support for Decision-Making
The data of the management system make it possible to identify vital information, such as:
Month-to-month revenue evolution
Cash Flow Management
Sales trends and marketing successes and failures
An important advantage of enterprise management software is to increase operational efficiency. With process automation, managers can focus on business expansion, team leadership, customer service, and strategic decision making. This function is vital for any business, especially one which is looking to expand quickly.
Different types of Business Management Systems?
The market offers various software possibilities for companies of all sizes and segments. Here are the main ones:
Business Process Management (BPM)
Its purpose is to systematize a business’ processes by collecting and organizing information. The system gathers data on the execution of activities and allows better visualization of the workflow. In this way it is possible to view opportunities for improvement. The greatest benefit of BPM is continuous improvement, although this solution is usually bureaucratic because it imposes different rules for the execution of activities.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
The company’s resource planning is the best-known system in the financial sector because of its features and facilities. Its focus is managed resources, which ensure the improvement of fiscal, financial and accounting control of the business. In general, the manager is able to centralize the financial transaction data and calculate the taxes of each entry and exit operation. The main benefits of this solution are:
Reduce time to manage inventory and finance
Enable focus to other sectors of the organization
Decrease bureaucracy to issue invoices
Eliminate errors by manual data entry and control for more precision
Integrate data to simplify access
Back up automatically in the case of the cloud solution.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The focus here is on customer data. The goal is to gather as much information as possible to create specific strategies for attracting and retaining users. Therefore, CRM stores items such as:
Personal information (name, address, telephone number, etc.)
Contacts made with the company (such as phone calls, site visits, emails and other interactions).
What is the best BMS for your business?
The most appropriate software depends on the needs of your business. However, there are fundamental tips for making a wise choice.
1. Analyze the Practicality
The business management system should be easy to handle to avoid resistance to change. The ERP wins in this sense, because it enables the integration of departments. You should be able to easily arrange the data in a dashboard that presents a broad view of the organization. Be aware that practicality directly impacts the execution of business management activities. With this, it controls finances and processes.
2. Check the Cost-Benefit Ratio
ERP implementation is certainly an investment for your company. It may seem like an expense at first, but the cost savings and benefits it provides quickly outweigh the initial and running costs. In addition to automating operational and bureaucratic tasks, it facilitates visualization of data to make strategic decisions. This means that wrong decisions become less likely. The time to implement action is also reduced, because the information is consolidated, rather than incomplete and distorted.
3. Consider a Cloud Management System (CMS)
Software hosted on an external server is online and available at any time. You, or a colleague can access this solution from any device with an Internet connection, as long as you have the necessary password to access the files.
4. Evaluate Security
Management software should have security as a priority. The files need to be encrypted and SSL code must be used for the exchange of information between the access devices and the servers. This will ensure that the communication remains confidential.
Our friends at Zoe Talent Solutions have developed this detailed infographic to help you better understand the benefits and types of business management software. Let us know if this article has helped you in the comments below.
If you’ve ever had to deal with banks, you know how frustrating it can get. Banks charge you exorbitant fees for payments, they require documents upon documents to open your account and demand excessive securities when you need a loan. Traditional banks have always had a take it or leave it attitude, knowing that customers have very little choice. This dated reality, however, is no longer true.
For years now, technology companies have entered the lucrative financial market. These so-called, Fintech companies have brought with them a revolution in the sector, which no traditional bank could have ever imagined. They made it possible to manage your daily business finances from your mobile phone, and even allow you to invest in seconds. These companies studied the market and found ways to improve it. Most traditional banks did not act, and fell behind, losing valuable customers and income.
Better service, lower fees.
You might be surprised to learn just how human intensive many of the traditional bank’s processes are. From processing payments to verifying account holder details, these processes cost the banks heavily. Naturally, these fees need to be provided for, and the only option for the bank is to charge them to the client.
Many Fintech companies, such as Revolut and myPOS, operate differently. They utilise technology and automation to simplify each process, whilst ensuring compliance with international financial regulations. The result is simple; processes flow much quicker and cost considerably less. Thanks for Fintech companies, businesses can offer more convenient services, such as accepting card payments, whilst paying lower fees.
The future of banking.
Tens of thousands of people in Europe, the United States and all over the world are embracing Fintech companies. Businesses and individuals are fed up and angered by the way banks operate. They act as though they are a nation’s institution, when, in fact, they are a business, out to make money. Surprisingly, even with such growth in new accounts of these new-age companies, bank’s attitudes remain unchanged.
It is always difficult to predict the future of any industry, especially one which is evolving so quickly as Fintech. Blockchain, cryptocurrency, cashless payments and legislation will have an impact. What could be said, with some degree of certainty, is that Fintech companies will remain at the forefront of innovation, providing customers with new, convenient and practical solutions to their needs.
In the meantime one can also speculate that traditional banks will remain relatively the same, believing that they are sheltered from Fintech companies because they offer loans, mortgages and trade finance. Unfortunately for them, Fintech companies, such as Mintos and Bondora are already registering growth in providing these services.
In today’s fast-paced consumer world, innovation is an essential ingredient for long-term business success. Entrepreneurs and business owners are normally the ones who need to come up with new ideas, but after a while, as more attention is given to growing a business, this can get more and more difficult. Could intrapreneurship, instead, be the key to unlocking greater innovation?
What are intrapreneurs?
The term “intrapreneurship” was coined by Gifford Pinchot III (a.k.a. “The Father of Intrapreneurship”) to describe employees within an organisation who act like entrepreneurs. Creative, determined and resourceful, intrapreneurs assume the responsibility for transforming unique ideas into profitable products or services. Without the pressure of managing or running a company, they are free to push boundaries and focus on the development of new ideas.
A viable alternative to R&D?
If your organisation is looking to boost innovation, intrapreneurship offers a more cost-effective alternative to traditional research and development. You can leverage your employees’ in-depth knowledge of the industry in order to uncover new or improved products and services. What’s more, businesses that empower their employees to innovate may find that they discover the next big thing that may be otherwise missed by R&D.
The benefits for employees.
In addition to greatly benefitting companies, intrapreneurship has many advantages for employees. For example, employees empowered to innovate relish the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution at work. It gives them a chance to tap into their entrepreneurial side while also holding onto the stability of steady employment. Giving such opportunities has been proven to lower the number of employees who leave a business.
How to encourage intrapreneurship in your organisation.
In order to successfully implement an intrapreneurship policy, management will have to take an actively supportive role. They will need to provide the intrapreneur with whatever resources and training they need to get started. They will also need to find the right balance between giving the intrapreneur the freedom they need to succeed and showing an active interest in the project.
Learn more about intrapreneurship.
If you are interested in boosting innovation at your organisation and are curious about how intrapreneurship can help you, we invite you to take a look at the below infographic from our friends at Trainwest. This helpful graphic offers a good overview of the topic. It also provides you with some tips on actionable steps you can take to start your intrapreneurship journey today!