Starting your own business means a lot of hard work. What you want to avoid is wasting your hard work on things that don’t make the business more effective. Think of all the hours you spent on the hiring process for that person you had to fire two weeks later. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to enhance the effectiveness of your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Hire Attitudes, not Resumes
Resumes seem like a great tool for sorting candidate, but they often fail to account for a major success criterion: attitude. Why the disconnect? Resumes show aptitude markers, such as training and experience. Research suggests that attitude accounts for 80% of success. The reality is that anyone with a basic grounding in an area can learn additional skills. It’s extremely difficult to train attitude. Hire people that express the attitude you want and you take a huge step toward a more effective enterprise.
Learn to Communicate Your Vision
As an entrepreneur, you will spend a lot of time talking about your business. When you aren’t talking to your existing customers, you’ll be talking to potential customers or potential investors. It’s not enough to just list features and benefits. You need to communicate your vision to them in a way that makes them as excited as you are about your business. This means honing your message through constant practice and revision. Watch for signs of engagement and retain the things that cause engagement. Keep trimming it down until you get down to a 30-second elevator pitch.
Marketing Project Management
Marketing projects are frequently studies in chaos. Chaos also happens to be a common element in many marketing project failures. A few telltale signs of chaos taking hold are swelling budgets, missed deadlines and scope creep. You can take a couple approaches to controlling the chaos. You can micromanage the projects, but that usually alienates your staff. An alternative is marketing software, which gives you oversight and helps steer the project in the right direction. Either way, keeping a tighter rein on marketing projects will save you stress and money.
Remember the last time you hired someone with no online footprint or discernable expertise? It was probably never. Writing a blog, publishing an ebook or doing volunteer projects may feel like massive ego stroking exercises. They are, however, very straightforward ways to demonstrate expertise and build credibility. People don’t have to take you on faith when they can see you expressing knowledge and doing the work. You sell yourself without ever looking like you’re overtly selling yourself. This, in turn, increases the chances that you’ll get sales from people you didn’t target for marketing.
Find a Mentor
It’s nigh impossible to be an expert in every facet of running a business. Securing a mentor gives you access to someone who went down the same road before and survived. She’ll be able to tell you about her mistakes, which can help you dodge some bullets. More importantly, she’ll probably also help you spot your own weaknesses. That gives you the chance to shore up those weaknesses before they become lethal to your business. If nothing else, a mentor can offer objective opinions backed by experience.
Making your business more effective isn’t just about making one or two changes. It’s about recognizing where you’re weak and shoring up those weaknesses with good processes and good people. It’s also about discovering where the biggest inefficiencies are and repairing the flaws that allow them to flourish. By tackling your own weak spots and your business’s weak spots with open eyes, you’ll be positioned to create a stronger, more resilient business.