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Believe it or not, 90 percent of startups fail.

And to get in the 10 percent of successful business takes a lot of hard work. Knowing how to start a business takes experience and effort.

Some consider that the most important aspect to watch when starting a business is a budget. Because it’s how you survive each day, you need to be an expert on managing money.

Lucky for you, we’ve written this article to tell you everything you need to know about managing your startup budget. If you listen to our advice, you’ll be ready to take care of your new business.

Read on for five tips for budgeting your startup.

1. Estimate Your Income

The first step in figuring out your budget is knowing how much money you will make for the first month. Of course, this is difficult because you have no way of knowing how much income you’ll have.

Despite this, you can figure out a rough estimate with what you do know. Consider the price of your product or service and the demand for it.

For example, imagine that you give haircuts for $15 each and expect to have 200 customers each month. You can assume that you’ll make $3,000 before taxes.

It’s unfortunate that the math is not this simple for a business. You can control the cost, but you cannot know what the demand will be like.

To avoid any negative consequences, you should estimate a low demand. This worst-case scenario will make sure you don’t go over budget.

You might want to consider estimating your income by researching what similar business make. While your direct competition may not help you with this, others might.

Knowing what you think your income will have to be your first step. Before you move on, figure this out.

2. Figure Out Your Startup Cost

Next, you need to figure out how much it will cost to start your business. This is different than knowing how much your business will cost to run.

Startup costs depend on the type of business you do. Construction companies, for example, often need to get permits to start their business. Restaurants need to buy silverware and tables.

No matter what your business is, you’ll have some kind of start-up cost. You may need to buy a laptop and nothing more, but you have to consider it still.

The problem with startup cost is that you haven’t made any money off your business yet. This is where angel investors or your own money comes into play.

While investment helps, you need to scale back your startup costs as much as you can. You will not be able to buy everything you want for your business at the start.

Waiting a few months to buy more can save you valuable money that you don’t have yet. You want your business to be perfect, but it can’t survive if you avoid saving startup money.

3. Know Your Regular Expenses

The next expenses you need to calculate are your regular expenses. These are the expenses you have to pay for on a regular basis.

They can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even annual expenses. No matter what they are, you have to take them into account.

The two types of regular expenses are fixed expenses and variable expenses. Variable expenses are much more difficult to account for than fixed expenses.

Fixed expenses are what they sound like: they stay the same each month. These are always going to cost the same. Here are some common examples:

  • Rent
  • Insurance
  • Loan Repayment
  • Employee Salary
    • Salary is a fixed income if you do not pay employees on commission. If you do, that is a variable income
  • Property taxes

Variable expenses differ because they don’t cost the same amount each month. Some variable expenses are those like the cost of production, credit card fees, production supplies, copy paper, and more.

You should watch your variable expenses each month. After some time, you should be able to know how much you’ll be spending.

4. Don’t Freak Out About Debt

When creating your startup budget, you might have to go into some personal debt. While this is normal, it can still be a stressful situation to enter.

But whether you freak out about it or not makes no difference in how risky the situation is. And if you stress too much, you might not take out enough to run your business.

Instead of worrying about the risk of getting loans, focus on improving your business. The best way to take care of them is to work hard to avoid paying for them out of pocket.

5. Take Advantage of Free Advertising

In the beginning stages of your business, it can be hard to decide how to advertise your business. Finding the money to do so can seem impossible.

This doesn’t need to be such a worry though. You have plenty of options to get your name out there for free.

One free advertising option is to start a blog with great Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This makes sure that people see you when they search Google.

When writing a blog, think about what people are asking about your field. Then, if you can answer that question, and you’ll soon see traffic on your site from Google.

Also, make sure your business is on every form of social media. This is a great way to find potential customers around you.

Having a social media account is not enough though. You need to post on a regular basis with good content. Otherwise, you may end up hurting your business.

Using these free advertising options will help you get the exposure you need. Then, you can later use more traditional forms of advertising.

Ready to Get Your Startup Budget Going?

Now that you know how to manage your startup budget, you should be ready to take on the difficulties. While it might be hard in the beginning, remember that you can’t succeed without trying first.

Did you like this article? Check out our startup life blog for more. If you’re ready to get your business started, contact me for professional consulting.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Managing Your Startup Budget appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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Trying to be a successful entrepreneur?

Looking for the best productivity hacks to help you succeed?

The greatest entrepreneurs often have more than a few things in common. They have all learned some special ways to remain productive and meet their lofty ambitions. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you may just want to take notice and adopt a few of these productivity hacks and work hacks for yourself.

Below we’ll look at the most important productivity tips that every aspiring entrepreneur needs to know about to succeed.

1. Plan Your Day the Night Before

You probably already understand the importance of goal setting and to-do lists already. However, one of the best tricks you can use to more productive is to get into the habit of always planning your to-do list the night before your coming work day.

If you create your list during the morning of the workday you’ll feel rushed and it won’t feel as set in stone. You may be tempted to change it throughout the day. By setting your intentions the night before you’ll prepare yourself for action as soon as you wake up the next morning.

Creating your to-do list the night before your work day will also give you a lot of flexibility for planning. You can create it based on what happened during the previous day. Planning out your schedule a whole week ahead of time or multiple days in advance, on the other hand, can be a bit too inflexible.

2. Have a Plan for Tackling Your To-Do List

While creating your to-do list is important, it’s just as important to know how to approach crossing items off of it. There are different to-do list methods for approaching your tasks and some are better than others.

While many people just cross items off in a random way, it’s a great idea to have a solid process for getting it done consistently.

One method is to always tackle the item that you consider to be the most difficult first, and then continue by order of difficulty until finally, you get to the easiest tasks.

Another good option is to bundle several tasks together. If certain tasks are similar to one another, then you may choose to do that group of items all at once. Then, move onto a different group on your list.

Whatever way you decide to approach your list, make sure it works for you and allows you to knock your to-do list out day after day.

3. Focus on the Process

While we’ve already discussed some ideas for systematically tackling a to-do list, the bottom line is that it’s important that you focus on the process with all of your entrepreneurial and business tasks.

It’s great to have big ambitions and goals, but your everyday goals should consist more of carrying out processes, meeting your routine, and sticking to the positive habits that you’ve set for yourself.

You should be setting routines that allow you to consistently get things done and move your business forward. Learn to stick to these positive habits. Then work each day to make sure you’re following your routine closely and putting in your time.

If you pay attention to and prioritize the process of the work you do, the results should come automatically.

4. Don’t Try to Do Everything

The best entrepreneurs also know that they can’t do everything on their own. Because of this, they are experts at delegating tasks and know when to seek outside help on a project. Aside from using your employees, it’s also possible to seek outsourcing help either when it comes to nearly anything that you need to be done.

Don’t make the mistake that some entrepreneurs do and work yourself too hard by refusing to delegate tasks or outsource. Believe it or not, you can train someone else to do the tasks that you think only you can do.

Sometimes it’s worth paying the money to another person in order to free up your time for more important things.

5. Change Your Location

Sometimes it’s important to mix things up in order to get a new perspective on your work and to feel refreshed. Consider working from home on certain days of the week or just when you’re in need of a change.

Changing your work location temporarily can help you get some time to yourself to think about the big picture and to avoid some of the daily stress of the office.

Working from home or at least heading to a coffee shop for a couple of hours may be just what you need to get your head on straight when you’re particularly stressed or overwhelmed.

6. Avoid Common “Time Sucks”

Increasing productivity doesn’t just mean performing tasks more quickly or efficiently. It also should include eliminating certain distractions or tasks that you shouldn’t be wasting your time and energy on.

Of course, you should avoid the big distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube while working. However, other distractions aren’t so obvious.

Checking emails is one big culprit that makes you feel like you’re being productive but often just wastes time. Make sure you’re answering emails wisely.

Filter your emails and only focus on the most critical ones. Set a time for checking your emails so you’re not refreshing your inbox too often.

Also, keep in mind that meetings are overrated. Consider having fewer meetings or inviting fewer people. Overly long meetings that go nowhere can slow a business down so make sure you’re using the time wisely.

7. Keep Your Body Healthy

You also need to remember to stay healthy if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. The condition of the body and mind can have a big effect on your efforts in the business world as well. It’s important to consistently stay healthy and to ensure you’re getting enough energy.

Make sure you’re doing the simple but important things to keep your health up such as drinking enough water, exercising, and getting the right amount of sleep. You may even want to try some yoga or meditation to handle stress and make sure your mental health is doing great as well.

8. Learn to Understand Yourself

It’s also important that entrepreneurs learn to listen to the natural rhythms of their body. Learn to understand yourself and get to the bottom of what makes you tick.

For example, some people tend to do their best work at night while some do are at their most creative early in the morning. Listen to your body and your mind and determine what’s right for you.

As an entrepreneur, the path is not set in stone. Figure out what works best for you for staying productive and don’t be afraid to accommodate yourself and organize your schedule accordingly.

Using These Productivity Hacks Effectively

If you’re trying to be a successful entrepreneur consider implementing some of the productivity hacks above into your work week. You may be surprised at how making some small changes and adopting a few simple habits can influence your productivity in big ways.

Looking for help with your entrepreneurial goals? Contact me today to learn more about what I can do for you.

The post 8 Productivity Hacks Every Entrepreneur Should Know appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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As your business idea grows you’ll have to determine what your business model is. Take a look at the difference between a startup vs small business to see which fits your idea best.

The entrepreneurial spirit can take many forms. Driven by its vision, it can lead to the creation of a small business, a corporation, or a startup.

But wait a minute, doesn’t that statement sound a little redundant? Often when people talk about new companies, they use the terms “small business” and “startup” interchangeably.

Yet while the two have their share of similarities, there is a significant difference between a startup vs small business.

The distinguishing factors start with the company’s objective.

Understanding Startup vs Small Business Mentalities

While all businesses start with an idea, what that idea is and how it’s execution determines whether you embark on the path of a small business or startup.

The difference between the two lies within your objective: are you planning to create a stable business that ramps up its profit each year or are you intending to introduce an industry-changing product or service that will change the way people do things?

Although both paths hold their share of risks, one chooses a steady course of growth while the other chooses the big risk, big reward gamble.

Startups are the game-changers. They use grants and shareholder investments to produce a product or service that projections show will take its industry by storm. It’s a big stakes game where you know if you succeed the payout will be incredible.

The end result is less about building a successful business or corporation as it is about creating a successful product or service. In fact, many startup founders end up selling the license to their product or even their company to industry competitors after it achieves success.

These kinds of entrepreneurs may end up becoming serial startup creators not because they constantly fail, but because once one idea achieves the success they sought after, these founders move on to the next big idea.

And why not? Statistics show that after an entrepreneur creates one successful business, the second projections show will have a 30 percent chance of success. That’s significantly higher than the 18 percent chance of success for your first go-around.

Small businesses, on the other hand, are a bit more conservative in their approach. They seek stable, steady growth through a business plan geared toward reaching a profit goal.

The Benefits of Small Business Plans

There are multiple advantages to building a small business. For many entrepreneurs, this path becomes their starting point. By creating a small business, you learn the ropes of entrepreneurship while pursuing a business plan with a bit less risk involved.

While startups gamble on the idea that their product or service will have a substantial impact on their industry, small businesses focus on building a solid customer base that brings in a steady profit.

The comparison here is that small businesses usually don’t discover the large-scale success of a well-executed startup. Their growth is slower but often less risky.

Sometimes startup founders actually fund their startups from the profits gained from a reliable small business, while using the experience they gained in the process of building that business to make their second entrepreneurial venture more successful.

The Benefits of Startup Plans

As I stated before, the simplest way to define a startup is that it utilizes a bigger risk, bigger reward approach. With the “global takeover” mentality of producing a product or service that will revolutionize his or her industry, a startup founder really goes for the gold.

Those who choose the startup route can’t be afraid of taking risks. After all, you’re aiming to create something that has never been done before. The stakes are higher, as is the likelihood of failure.

But you never know what could happen until you try. Smart entrepreneurs explore the potential of an idea prior to beginning the startup itself. This could be months or even years of research weighing the cost and payout of bringing their concept to life.

This includes exploring not only how to bring that concept into reality, but also its effectiveness. A good startup leader embraces the test phase and invites others with insight to play devil’s advocate.

It’s almost like being a mad scientist in a lab creating, testing, and refining your idea until the creation and execution seem flawless.

Sometimes you explore this avenue only to discover that it won’t work. That’s part of the risk of this innovative pursuit. However, this process of creating new solutions to modern day problems, testing them, and then introducing them into the world is the heart of a startup’s purpose.

Which is Better: A Small Business or Startup?

Both of these business plans are worthy paths for hungry entrepreneurs. Neither a startup nor a small business is necessarily better than the other. What matters is simply choosing the right business path for your ambitions.

If your goal is to create a steady business that reaps a growing, long-term profit as it builds upon its customer base, a small business route may be the best course for you.

However, if your passion is in the creation or something innovative and rocking the industry with its introduction in a way that reaps large financial and influential benefits, then you have the potential to be a startup founder.

If you are taking your first steps into entrepreneurship and you don’t know where to start, your efforts should begin with finding a mentor. Seek out a professional with proven success in building a startup or small business.

Many offer consulting services or programs to help aspiring entrepreneurs succeed in bringing their businesses or innovations to life. Choose the right expert to learn from and the investment will be worthwhile.

After all, it’s more affordable to learn from others experiences and failures than to make them yourself.

Seize the Startup Mentality

Now that you know the difference between a startup vs small business, have you decided what kind of entrepreneur you intend to be?

If you have the desire to be a market disrupting success, talk to me about how to launch a successful startup. My consultation services will help you uncover and utilize knowledge and resources that will bring your concept to fruition.  Be sure to download the Ultimate Startup Checklist from my startup page too!

The post Startup vs. Small Business: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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When you have great idea for a tech startup you want to get it off the ground quickly. Here are some tips that will help you launch before your competition.

Early stage startups often move really slowly.

You may have a great idea, but something (or more than one thing) is holding you back. You’ve been working for months and seeing no progress.

Despite your hard work, you can’t get the business off the ground. Meanwhile, your competition is getting their product out there and swooping in on your potential customers. In the time that you delay your product could become obsolete or someone else may do it better.

It’s time to set yourself apart from the many startups that can’t seem to move past the idea stage.

So how to start a tech startup quickly?

Keep reading to find out. If you’ve ever wondered how to move faster, these are seven tfors on launching your tech startup more quickly.

1. Figure Out the Money and Where It’ll Come From

If your tech startup needs financing, now’s the time to find out where you’ll get it from. Most companies spend more than they expect at the beginning of their life cycle.

You may have savings, however, unexpected expenses still need to be accounted for. Think about if you’ll need to keep your day job or if your family or spouse will help.

A great way to speed up the process is by getting your product to start generating revenue ASAP. Resist waiting until it’s absolutely perfect to start selling.

2. Find the Right Cofounder

This tip is especially important if you’re looking for investment. Find a cofounder to inspire you and bolster the skills you lack. A VC firm is highly unlikely to invest in a one-man show.

The right cofounder can take you to the next level in half the amount of time you’d spend solo. Decide early on who will do what and then put that in writing. Disagreeing with your cofounder can stunt your growth and even destroy your company.

3. Find an Expert

Starting a tech startup is going to take more knowledge and skills than you have on your own. When you need advice, find the person who can give it and let them do the work.

The advice you need is going to be in a wide range of areas. You’ll need an attorney to help you figure out your business structure. You’ll need a designer to help you with your logo.

Get these people to work for you instead of wasting time trying to do it all yourself. Find the right person and then hire them immediately.

4. Remember Marketing Is Worth the Money

Marketing is an investment you need to make early on. It serves to get your tech startup idea in front of the people who will buy from you. You can build the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, you’ll never grow.

The amount you spend on your marketing doesn’t have to be huge, either. Investigate budget-friendly ideas like building strategic partnerships with well-known peer companies.

5. Talent Matters

When you launch a startup there eventually comes a time when you can’t do it all alone. The next step is going to be crucial to the speed of your launch. You’re going to want to find good employees to help you on your journey.

Be flexible with your requirements and consider hiring remote workers. The best talent may not be in your city, state, or even country.

Contract workers are also a great option for a couple of reasons. One, there’s less baggage on your part versus hiring a full-time employee. Two, the workers themselves may not want to take the risk of becoming an employee of an unproven startup.

While you’re building your team, keep in mind the culture you want to promote. A team that’s engaged and happy works better and contributes to a company’s fast growth.

Startups in Silicon Valley like Stripe have the “Sunday test”. This is a great way to make sure that your hires are a good fit in the long run. It increases retention, avoiding the timewasting of having to look for new workers too often.

6. Keep Your Customers at the Heart of What You Do

Customer feedback is going to be vital as you try to launch your startup quickly. It allows you to tailor your product as well as your go-to-market plan and make it better.

Dive deep into why your customers need you, what your competition offers, and how your offering is different. There’s no such thing as knowing too much about your customers. How they feel about your product is going to make or break your company.

Whenever you can, talk to them and use what you learn to pivot faster and serve them better.

7. When All Else Fails, Just Start

Indecision can kill your startup before it even gets off the ground. The time spent on “maybes” and not making decisive moves is time wasted.

Here’s the kicker though. Whatever is currently stopping you from getting your tech startup off the ground, is exactly what you need to tackle. Either that or ignore it completely.

Just. Get. Moving.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple task like registering your site’s name, or a bigger one like a prototype that needs to be designed. Just get started on it, today. Do the first thing that you need to do to get that process in gear, and everything will speed up after that.

Get Your Tech Startup off the Ground Today

All startups are races. The big winners are those who can go the fastest. Keep in mind, however, that scaling is a process that happens over time.

By starting fast all your resources go into the important part of your work: getting it up and running. After that, the sky’s the limit.

You don’t have to go through launching your startup alone. I’m here to help you through the process. Check out the free tech startup checklist I’ve created to get started.

The post 7 Tips to Launch a Tech Startup Faster appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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Your employees are literally walking human assets for your startup when you look at the big picture. Learn how to cater to your team and get the most out of their hard work.

If you’re in the beginning steps of getting your startup off of the ground, you may be strapped for cash. Not only can startups be overwhelming, but with so many aspects that are seemingly equally as important, it can be hard to decide where your money should go.

You may feel tempted to lower your employee salary or hire fewer employees in order to save money. However, this may not be the best plan.

Human assets are the most important part of your startup. The best employees follow companies with good salaries, benefits, and company culture. This means that you’ll need to invest a nice chunk of money to get the best employees for your startup.

Keep reading to discover why your team is your greatest asset in a startup.

They Can Provide Positive Word-of-Mouth

Positive word-of-mouth may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a huge impact on a budding start-up. Word-of-mouth marketing is an excellent way to get your company’s name out there without it costing you a dime.

Studies show that people are more likely to trust a company they heard about through word-of-mouth marketing rather than through traditional marketing. People are also more likely to buy more products and stick with your brand when being referring through word-of-mouth.

So, how can you initiate successful word-of-mouth marketing? Well, one of the best ways to do this is to hire a great team and keep them happy. People who like their jobs will be more likely to talk about them and frame the products and services in a positive light.

They Have Good Communication Skills

Have you ever tried to call a company for a simple question and got stuck in a never-ending phone tree? Nothing is more frustrating than just wanting to talk to a human but constantly being transferred to machines.

Your employees bring a personal touch to your startup. Finding employees with good communication and customer service skills is vital to making your business run smoothly.

Your customers will feel relieved when they have a real human answer their questions and help solve their problems.

They Are the Face of the Company

When thinking about why human capital is important, just think about the image you want your startup to portray. When you utilize the best employees to create great customer service, they’ll become the face of the company. When the front line of your startup is excellent, it reflects very well on your overall company.

Have you ever dealt with frustrating customer service or in-store employees? Remember how that altered your opinion on the company? You may have been less likely to shop there again or refer them to a friend.

To ensure that your customers stay happy (and maybe even tell their friends about you), you should be sure to invest in the best employees. Viewing employees as assets will motivate you to treat them well, so they are motivated to continue to work hard and please your customers.

They Can Successfully Manage Social Media

Social media marketing has become an important part of any online marketing campaign. It’s a great way to communicate directly with your customers and engage with them in a fun and effective way. It can be extremely useful to utilize in a startup as it’s very affordable as well.

While managing a social media account may not seem like a time-consuming job, it does take a lot of effort to keep it afloat and to keep posting great content.

While you may be able to automate many aspects of your startup, social media relies on human assets. If you want to create effective social media sites, you’ll need to hire the best of the best to focus on building your online presence.

They Can Bring Unique Ideas to the Table

If you’re still wondering about human capital importance, just think about all the decisions you’ve had to make this far. How many times were you torn between two different ideas or didn’t know how to solve a problem?

When you view employees as assets, you can utilize the most human part about them: their creativity and ideas. It’s important to admit that there’s always room to grow as a leader. Having quality employees who can add unique ideas into the mix can be really helpful.

Everyone has their own different viewpoints and problem-solving strategies. When you’re first starting out and money is tight, it’s more important than ever to have as many options presented to you as possible before making a decision.

They Can Help Identify Problem Areas

When you’re startup is up and running, you’ll probably run into some problems. Every startup has it’s own hiccups and snags that need to be smoothed out as soon as possible.

Your employees will be there on the front line. They’ll likely be the ones dealing with any problems that your company is facing. This means that they can alert you if something just isn’t working and needs to be thought over again. They may also have some great solutions ready that could solve the problem entirely.

The important thing to remember is that by treating your employees as company assets, they’ll be more likely to approach you with potential problems instead of not telling you and letting them get out of hand.

Human Assets in Your Startup

When you’re planning to launch a startup, you may feel overwhelmed with just how many things need your time, attention, and money!

With such a tight budget, you’ll probably be looking for a way to cut your budget. While cutting your employee’s salary (or cutting down on the number of employees you hire) can seem the best option, it may end up backfiring.

Human assets are extremely important to any company. But, they can be even more important to new startups. They can provide positive word-of-mouth marketing, offer good communication skills, become the face of your company, manage your social media, bring unique ideas to the table, and help identify problems.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out my startup page for more great content like this.

The post Employees: Why Your Team is Your Greatest Asset in a Startup appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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The best leaders lead by example and there is psychology to this. Leading by example will help you influence people’s lives for the better. You should learn how you can be your best self before you can set an example for someone else. Keep reading to learn about the psychology of leadership and leading by example.

Close your eyes and think of the leaders whom you’ve looked up to the most throughout your life. Maybe the best leader you ever knew was your middle school basketball coach or one of your college professors.

Maybe it’s someone you didn’t learn from directly, but rather a well-known leader in your industry.

Either way, there is one thing all great leaders have in common: they know how to lead by example. Leading by example shows you’re not someone who gives orders and lets everyone else do the work.

It shows you’re committed to success and that you’re willing to put in the same work as everyone else.

You’re more likely to be effective when you work with the people around you than when you expect them to just follow commands. To help you understand the psychology of leadership, use the guide below.

What Is Good Leadership?

There are many ways to define leadership. Some people think being the boss automatically makes them a leader, or that leadership is something you need a title to express. In reality, it can be shown in all levels of business, and the higher you go, the more necessary it becomes to lead by example.

Leading by example encourages a genuine buy-in from your followers. Instead of making people feel like they have to do something, you make them want to do it. you show them how to take leadership into their own hands, creating trust and unity from the top down.

Such leadership is essential to creating success as a business. If you understand the concept of leading by example but aren’t sure how to do it, check out the following five tips.

How to Lead By Example

Leading by example shouldn’t completely transform how you do things – unless you’re a bad leader, that is. Instead, it should enhance the things you already do and make you more aware of the habits you could do more of.

This is a little easier to accomplish than you might think. Just use these tips!

1. Hold Yourself Accountable

Accountability is an essential skill for all leaders to master, and it goes hand in hand with leading by example. When you hold yourself accountable, you follow through on what you said you were going to do. This goes beyond dedication or commitment, it’s all about honoring your word.

You have to hold yourself accountable to major tasks as well as minor duties. It’s not a deadline to meet, though, it’s something to practice every day. Think of accountability as discipline and honesty in one – you have to be honest with yourself about how well you’ve performed as a leader and discipline yourself to be even better than before.

All of this shows others that they can depend on you. Followers feel more comfortable going to someone who sticks to their word than someone who makes up excuses.

2. Welcome Feedback from Others

Speaking of followers and the people around you, make an effort to include them in the conversation you have with yourself. Use employee feedback to find more opportunities to improve your leadership style that you can hold yourself accountable to.

Such feedback can be anonymous or personal. It’s something you can formally ask for or leave the door open for others to give you as things come up. No matter how you choose to gather feedback, though, it’s a tool you absolutely need.

Feeback gives you guidance when trying to lead by example. It shows you what you’re doing right and where your areas of improvement are.

Who knows, you may have a blind spot in your leadership that you weren’t aware of, or you may be doing much better than you give yourself credit for. The only way to find out is to talk to your team.

3. Be Transparent

As you’re having conversations with your team about where you can improve, don’t hold back. Be honest and transparent with them, and yes, there is a difference.

Honesty comes into play when you’re being asked something and have to give an answer; transparency is when you’re upfront about information that needs to be shared.

For example, say you didn’t hold yourself accountable to something or that, for whatever reason, you fell short of a goal. Be transparent about a situation like this.

Go to someone on your team and tell them how you missed the mark – they can help you analyze the situation and come up with ways to better approach it.

4. Admit When You’re Wrong

Sometimes, you just have to admit when you’re wrong. If you don’t do this, how can you expect your followers to do so? Admitting a mistake or a bad move helps others do the same.

It gets rid of this sense of fear that followers tend to have when talking to their leaders about their shortcomings. Instead of making them feel guilty by trying to come off as perfect, relate to them by being honest. Tell the people around you when you’ve made a mistake and find ways to fix it together.

5. Encourage Your Team

Last but not least, encourage your team. Motivate them and inspire them to be better versions of themselves, and to be leaders, too. This is a part of the psychology of leadership that many people overlook.

True leadership shows others how to be good leaders. It paves the way for followers to find their voice and learn how to use it for the good of the group.

When you lead by example, you’re not just guiding everyone to a common goal or a successful year, you’re showing them how to take the building blocks you’ve provided and do something amazing with them.

Using the Psychology of Leadership to Build a Business

Building a successful business takes time, and it starts with a unified, hardworking team. A team like this needs to have a strong leader at the front who knows how to lead by example and how to build others up. This is someone who understands the psychology of leadership and uses it for the benefit of all, not just themselves.

Start applying the leadership rules above and watch how your work culture transforms. For other startup tips and tricks from leading to budgeting, marketing, and much more, check out my startup page!

The post The Psychology of Leadership and Leading By Example appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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There are so many hours in a day, so why are you wasting your time on tasks you should delegate to other people? Find out what tasks you should delegate and why in this article!

So, you’ve finally taken the leap to start your own company. Congratulations!

You may feel tempted to take on all the work yourself. However, doing too much work can be detrimental to your health and your new business. The truth is that there is simply too much work to do it all yourself.

Bogging yourself down with tasks you should delegate can take your attention away from the tasks that you actually need to focus on. With every task vital to the success of your company, it can be hard to decide which tasks can be delegated.

So how do you decide? Keep reading to discover the 9 tasks you should delegate to others and why.

1. Clerical Work

Clerical work is important to keep your new company organized and running.

Data entry, ordering office supplies, creating spreadsheets, filing documents, and fielding phone calls are all examples of administrative tasks to delegate. Hiring an office assistant is an easy way to ensure that all this is getting done.

Organization and attention to detail are the key traits to look for in a potential office assistant. Once you find one, you won’t need to worry yourself with these tasks.

Are they important? Absolutely! Are they tasks that you can only trust yourself with? No.

2. Tasks That You’re Not A Pro

Alright, so you created your own company and built it from the ground up. You’re probably an expert in your field, making you a vital part of the company.

You may think that your years of experience have given you the tools to do every task, but everyone has their weaknesses. There are so many aspects to running a business that one person can’t possibly know how to do everything and be a pro at it.

Take some time to consider the things you aren’t good at. Whether that be marketing efforts, accounting, or human resources. Then find people in your company with these backgrounds (or hire someone on) and delegate these tasks to them.

3. Anything That Doesn’t Help Your Business Grow

As the owner and founder of your company, you’re most important job should be ensuring company growth. Successful delegation means that you will be left with plenty of time to brainstorm and work on building your company.

It’s important to take the time to find good employees you’ll trust to delegate important tasks to. This way you’ll have less work to worry about, and you’ll feel confident that your employees are doing a good job.

4. Tasks Surrounded with Regulations

Dealing with regulations can be time-consuming, frustrating, and complex. While it’s important to stay up-to-date on various regulations, these are tasks you should delegate to others.

Legal regulations, insurance regulations, and tax regulations are all things that your employees should keep an eye on. Instead of trying to stay on top of all these yourself, have your legal department focus on legal regulations and your accounting department look at tax regulations.

5. Things That Will Help Your Team Grow

The more you grow your company, the more tasks you’ll need to delegate. It’s no secret that the largest companies delegate the most tasks.

The key is focusing on helping your team grow so they can be there to pick up more tasks or become managers who will then delegate tasks to those below them.

While your company is small and still growing, take the time to learn about your employees. Find out their skills and where they’d fit in with the company in the future. Then delegate tasks that will help them grow within the company. This is one of the best ways to create leadership for company growth.

6. Tasks That You Dread Doing

Everybody has tasks that they absolutely hate – yes, even company founders! But the beauty of founding your own company is that you can delegate boring tasks or tasks that you hate to other people.

You’ve worked hard to create a company, and you hired employees to help you run it. So, let them handle the tasks you dread doing. This will free up time to focus on the things you enjoy and be creative.

7. Tedious Tasks

Tedious tasks can be draining and time-consuming. Worse yet, they can make you feel like you don’t have enough time to be creative and brainstorm ways to grow your company.

Not only are tedious tasks boring, but they are usually simple. This means that you can delegate boring tasks like this to almost anyone in your company.

Instead of wasting large chunks of time transferring files, delegate this to an office assistant or another employee.

8. The Beginning Steps of Large Projects

Chances are that your company will have quite a few large projects to complete. While you may want to be involved in these projects, you might not have to be involved in the beginning steps.

Researching and taking care of small, tedious tasks at the beginning of a project can be delegated to other staff members. Once all that is out of the way, you can ask your employees to present their findings and bring you up to speed. Then, you can step in when the project is about to take shape and give your input or take charge.

9. Tasks That Aren’t Really Priorities

So, we’ve already talked about delegating small, tedious, and clerical tasks. But sometimes we have big tasks that need to be done that are fighting for a spot on our priorities list.

In order to achieve successful delegation, you should decide which tasks are actually priorities, and delegate the rest. This way the task will get done on time and you won’t have to stress about having too many big projects to do at once.

Tasks You Should Delegate to Others

Starting and growing your own company can be a challenging feat. In order to keep your company running smoothly, you should master the art of delegation.

Clerical work, researching regulations, starting large projects might all be vital tasks. However, these are all tasks you should delegate to others.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out my startup page for more content like this.

The post 9 Tasks You Should Delegate to Others and Why appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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Reasons Why SEO Marketing Is Crucial For Your Business’ Success Long gone are the days of slapping any old slogan on an ad and hope it does the trick. Today, businesses need to have an SEO marketing strategy if they want to achieve success. Find out why when you read this!

Do you feel like your current marketing strategy leaves a lot to be desired?

Are you growing frustrated with your stagnant profits — and are worried that it’s starting to impact employee morale?

If so, then it seems like you need to implement a stronger search engine marketing plan ASAP.

But does SEO marketing really make all that much of a difference when it comes to your profitability and marketing tactics?

In a word: absolutely.

Read on to understand more about why marketing using SEO is absolutely essential to brand success.

1. Search Engine Marketing Shortens the Sales Cycle

Are you frustrated by the fact that your average sales cycle is much longer than you’d like it to be?

Do you feel like you’re sinking tons of time pitching to leads that never seem to end up actually doing business with you?

One of the most important things about SEO marketing is that it helps to shorten your overall sales cycle — and boost your revenue in general. It does this by working to connect you with the people who are actually the most interested in buying and the most likely to buy your products.

But how?

Usually, through the use of SEO keywords.

Keywords are what people type into search engines like Bing or Google when they’re in need of a product, a service, or just an answer to a question related to your industry.

For example, if someone needs an emergency plumbing service in Dallas, Texas — and you’ve used the keyword “Dallas emergency plumber” in your website content?

That person is much more likely to end up on your website — and end up scheduling an appointment with your company.

You’re not marketing to random people, billboard-style, in the hopes that one of them will just happen to need what you’re selling. Instead, you’re directly marketing to consumers who, whether today or in the very near future, will likely do business with you because they’re in need of what you have.

2. It’s a Cost-Effective Form of Marketing

Lots of businesses make it a point to dedicate anywhere from 20-30% of their overall operating expenses towards their marketing budget.

But especially if you’re a smaller or newer business, that percentage can seem next to impossible.

Instead of sinking your profits into a television spot or a print ad that no one will read, why not take a DIY approach to digital marketing?

One of the best ways to generate serious clicks, shares, and conversions is by starting a blog.

In fact, brands that have a blog end up with over 400% more indexed pages than their blog-less competitors. This means that you’ll be able to rank above your competitors in search engine results — which is one of the most important parts of any sound digital marketing strategy.

Additionally, your blog can help you to increase your brand awareness and sense of authority within your industry. When you’re able to write a blog post on a niche product, offer a review of a popular service in your industry, or even help your readers to break down industry trends and analytics?

People will come to rely on you and your services when they want to work with the most informed and up-to-date businesses.

Finally, search engine marketing also allows you to conduct free target market research.

You can learn about when and where your visitors access your site, identify your most and least popular pages, rank your most successful keywords, and much more.

All of this will allow you to create even more effective digital marketing campaigns in the future.

3. SEO Helps you to Segment your Market

Earlier in this post, we spoke about the importance of using search engine optimization tools to help you get to know more about your website visitors.

However, SEO marketing doesn’t just provide you with valuable information about the kinds of people who are interested in your products.

It also allows you to pitch to a market that’s far broader than your initial target market and even your general service area.

For example, you might think that your main demographic is a 25-35-year-old American single woman making under $75,000 a year. But what if, through website analytics, you learned that the people who most often bought your products were actually 40-50-year-old married Canadian men?

That would certainly influence your advertising strategy.

In this same way, SEO allows you to segment your larger market into several smaller target audiences. You wouldn’t market to a young, single woman in the same way that you’d market to a married father of three who is nearing retirement age.

SEO and the analytics it provides you with allows you to understand in greater detail exactly who is viewing your website. With personalization in marketing trends on the rise, it’s easier than ever to create segmented content that speaks to each client on an individual level.

SEO Marketing Isn’t Rocket Science

Hopefully, this post has helped you understand that SEO marketing doesn’t have to be complicated in order to be effective.

When you take the time to conduct market and keyword research, as well as to create engaging content that is actually useful and teaches your site visitors new information?

You’ll notice that you rise in the search engine rankings, see an increase in both traffic and conversions, and much more.

Looking for more digital marketing advice?

Be sure to keep checking back with the startup page to learn more about how digital marketing and SEO will help your profits to soar.

Get in touch to get one-on-one, personalized startup coaching that will help you to reach all of your goals.

The post 3 Reasons Why SEO Marketing Is Crucial For Your Business’ Success appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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For most people, saying “no” is very difficult. As the founder of your business, it can be that much more difficult. However, after you read these 7 reasons why you need to learn how to say no, you may be more inclined to put your foot down more often!

How often do you take on more responsibility at work just to please others? What about your personal life? Are you the type of person who’s always trying to keep everyone happy?

Despite your best intentions, this attitude doesn’t help. It can actually work against you and hurt your productivity. Every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.

Statistics show that workplace stress is the primary cause of stress in the U.S. Workload accounts for over 46 percent of it. While some stress is beneficial, too much can harm your health and overall performance.

As a leader, it’s essential to prioritize your tasks and focus on what really matters. It’s not your job to do other people’s work or waste precious time on useless activities.

The only way to reduce stress and get more done in less time is to learn how to say no.

The Art of Saying No

Every day, you’re working hard to ensure that everything goes smoothly at work. You support your team and do whatever it takes to keep them motivated. Sometimes, you take on responsibilities that all outside of your job description.

Be honest: how does that make you feel? Sure, you’re satisfied with your team’s performance and results, but what about your own life? At the end of the day, you’re too tired and drained to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Learning to say no is part of your role as a leader. If you’re constantly trying to please others, you’ll have little time left for your priorities. Not to mention that being a people pleaser simply doesn’t make sense.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t please everyone. In the worst case scenario, employees and superiors will take advantage of your kindness. This will not only raise your stress levels but also affect your work and personal life.

A staggering 77 percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms due to stress. Approximately 73 percent report psychological issues, such as anxiety and depression. Some have trouble sleeping at night or find themselves unable to focus because of it.

Stress affects your life on every level. It can ruin your career as well as your relationships. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to learn how to say no to employees and set your priorities straight.

Getting started is the hardest part. For a boost of motivation, check out these seven reasons why you need to learn how to say no:

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Constantly trying to please people can be draining. This habit is stealing your energy and raising stress levels.

Once you learn how to say no, your life will change forever. You’ll feel happier and less stressed, have more time for yourself, and achieve better results at work.

Boost Your Productivity

Each year, work-related stress results in $300 billion in lost productivity.

Whenever you’re saying yes to something, you’re missing out on more important things. You no longer have the time needed to focus on the core aspects of your business and grow your revenue.

Reduce Healthcare Costs

Being a people pleaser can literally make you sick. This habit skyrockets your stress levels, affecting your health and well-being. As a result, you’ll spend money on hospital bills and medications.

Studies have found that up to 90 percent of doctor visits are linked to stress. Employees who are constantly stressed spend 46 percent more on healthcare compared to their peers.

Stress impacts every system in your body. It has both short and long-term effects, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Insulin resistance and diabetes
  • Higher risk of cardiovascular problems
  • Poor memory and decreased mental focus
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Fertility problems

These are just a few of the many reasons why you must learn how to say no. Think about your health. If you get sick, you might not be able to work at all!

Avoid Costly Mistakes

Like it or not, no one can handle everything in a business. You might know a little bit of everything, but this doesn’t make you an expert.

Every leader has a few primary skills that set him apart. Focus on those skills and use them to the fullest. Stop taking on projects that fall outside of your role.

Does one of your team members need help with web design? Put him in contact with the right person. If someone needs help with the latest software, call an expert for in-house training.

Don’t waste precious time trying to learn things that are none of your business.

Improve Your Communication

When you have too much on your plate, your communications skills suffer. You might lose your temper, raise your voice, and get angry more easily.

Learning to say no will lead to better communication within the organization. Sure, not everyone will be happy, but the benefits will show in the long run.

Save Time and Energy

When you’re running a team or a business, every minute is important. You can’t afford to waste time and energy on the small things.

Don’t be afraid to assign tasks and outsource the most time-consuming aspects of your business. If necessary, grow your team so they can get more things done in less time.

Find New Opportunities

Sometimes, we’re so caught up with work that we fail to see the opportunities that are right in front of us. After all, who has the time to pitch clients or close new deals when there are a million other things that need to be done fast?

Learning to say no will open up a world of opportunities. This may result in higher revenue, happier employees, and business growth.

Learn How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

Being a leader comes with its challenges. One of them is keeping your team happy and productive. However, saying yes to your employees every single time won’t help.

There are plenty of ways to say no without offending people. Let your employees know what their responsibilities are and what you expect from them. Be polite and firm to show that you mean it.

So, are you ready to learn how to say no and become a better leader? Check out my blog to find out more! I’ll show you how to boost your leadership skills and grow your business the smart way.

The post 7 Reasons Why You Need to Learn How to Say No as a Leader appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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Setting goals at work is just another way for you to achieve personal growth and happiness. You’ll have an opportunity to prove things to yourself as well as make a good impression with the management. Continue reading for some tips on different goals you can strive towards.

Setting goals and sticking with them is the key to achieving success. Whether these goals are for your personal growth and development, for your career or your business, these tips can help you in any aspect of your life.

If you can see it, you can achieve it. Here are some tips on setting goals at work that will stick and make you a success.

1. When Setting Goals at Work Focus on What You Can Control First

Goals can sometimes feel daunting or unattainable because they’re out of our control. Like getting that dream job, winning the lottery or finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. So instead of getting overwhelmed by the big picture, focus on what you can control first, and have a plan for the rest.

For example, if you were a supervisor for an accounting department in a hospital and your goal was to shorten the month-end close timeline by 2 business days. Your success with this goal will rely on the skills and collaboration of your accounting department, which you can control, and the ability of other departments to deliver date on time, which is out of your control.

To make this goal more attainable, have a plan to coordinate the month-end close with other departments, remind them of the deadline and keep the communication lines open, but also have a backup plan if what you can’t control (the other departments) fails to deliver.

2. Clarify Your Team’s Structure

You need to understand the functions and relationships of your team to set tangible workplace goals. Once you have this mapping right, you can identify what you can do to help everything run more smoothly.

3. Talk To Your Boss

At the end of the day, no matter what your job is, your job is really about rounding out the team and making life easier for your teammates. That’s why you were hired, there was a problem that only you and your skillset could solve.

Talk to your boss or manager about what you can do to make their job easier so they ultimately look good.

What can you do to make their job easier and make them look good? Having a frank conversation like this about how you can support your boss, will help you figure out and define your workplace goals.

Also, it’s always better for you to initiate this conversation than have it the other way where your boss brings you into their office to call out what you’re doing wrong.

4. Think About the Long Run

What’s next for you? What is your dream next professional role? What qualifications and skills do you need to qualify for this ideal position?

Find ways to get those experiences to make your qualified for your next dream professional role.

5. Go Above and Beyond Your Immediate Tasks

Instead of just stressing out about your everyday tasks, also consider the big picture. Career progression can need a big scope of skills and experiences. Look into relevant professional seminars and educational opportunities and add that to your goal list.

Continued learning is crucial to expand your responsibilities and get that promotion.

6. Picture What Achieving Your Goals Looks Like

Now that you have a specific, attainable work goal, go beyond those basics and visualize what achieving your goal looks like.

Does reaching your goal l mean that a project might flow easier or that your team will work more efficiently? Once you have a clear vision of what your achieved goal looks like, the easier it is not only to stay motivated but to also actually achieve it.

7. Periodically Check In

Check in with yourself and your boss to see how you’re doing with your goals. Sit down with your manager and talk about the status of your goals and learn what you can still work on. You can make these conversations formal and regular or more casual.

Whatever you choose, make sure you keep the communication open so your goal plan can adapt to reflect today’s reality and priorities.

8. Get Support If You Need It

It might take a village to achieve your goals, and that’s okay! There’s a reason there’s always so many people to thank in acceptance speeches!

Sometimes what’s standing between you and your goals is yourself, which is why often goals can feel more attainable with the help of a mentor, coach or even a therapist. You also can have your friends and co-workers hold you accountable for your goals.

Find allies in and outside of your company and build a network of people who care about your success. Talk to these people, check in with them, ask for advice and listen carefully.

9. Compare Your Annual Goals With Your To-Do List

Periodically check in with how well your daily to-do list matches up with your big picture workplace goals. If the two have nothing to do with each other or it feels like they’re on entirely different pages, find a way to make it work.

10. Keep Track of Your Accomplishments

Maybe some time has passed, and you still haven’t achieved your big goal. It’s okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same is true for your goal.

Take some time to reflect on the positive changes you’ve made since you set your goal. What have you accomplished? What changes have you seen?

Then you can focus on what you still need to do. You’ll likely feel less overwhelmed when you realized the progress you’ve made. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the small victories now and then.

Achieve It!

Now that you have a clear vision of your goal and what you need to do to make it happen — go for it!

Setting goals at work can feel scary at first, but once you break everything down, you might realize your dreams are a little closer than you thought.

Stay focused, be realistic and check in with yourself and soon your goals will become a reality. Anything is possible if you stay focused! If your career goals include finally launching your start-up or connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs, contact us today!

The post Setting Goals at Work: 10 Tips for Success appeared first on Aaron Vick.

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