Starting a business can be a huge undertaking that involves planning, money and exceptional leadership skills. Even rookies with deep pockets and amazing entrepreneur skills can make some common mistakes that can put a wrinkle in any well-laid plans. Learn from other entrepreneurs and their first-timer mistakes. Here is a quick guide of common mistakes to avoid as you set out on your new business adventure.
- Keep an Eye on Finances – Watching the bank balance can be nerve wracking but is in your best interest. Always have your finances updated and keep a regular check on your money owed and money earned. Cataloguing each can save you lots of heartache later. Knowing your cash flow will help you keep your mind on the ultimate goal of your company.
- Making Poor Hiring Decisions – Your team is one of your more important assets at your company. One bad hire can mean your business downfall. Hire for skill, talent and intelligence rather than convenience or pay scale.
- Poor Management – There is a balancing act between laissez-faire managing and micromanaging your company. Learn to balance by delegating and relying on experienced managers.
- Failing to do Research – New business leaders need to be aware of the changing market, sales, and the ins and outs of your competitors by researching completely. A dedicated development team can keep you up-to-date if you have the wallet for a team member who can keep you informed.
- Failing to Create a Business Plan – A great plans need to be changed and adjusted but failing to start with a goal and steps in the process can be deadly for a new business leader. Always have your eye on the goia whether it is long term or short term.
For many of us in the business world, we understand what branding means and how it works to help consumers recognize and understand a product or service. Rebranding is something that many marketing agents are weary of and may be nervous to start fresh, so let’s look at what rebranding is and what the common steps are to do this.
Rebranding is the creation of a new look and feel for an established product or company. The usual goal of rebranding is to influence a customer’s perception about a product or service or the company overall by revitalizing the brand and making it seem more modern and relevant to the customer’s needs.
If your company is getting lost in the busy internet world of marketing, you may want to consider rebranding your company name or product. To do this you will want to consider the following suggestions.
- Obtain Customer Feedback – Talk to your customers through questionnaires either online or in person, and ask what they would like to see from your company. Find out what your clients feel, think and want from your company. These suggestions can help you set a course to branding success. Be sure to find out what is NOT working for your customers as well.
- Gather Employee Feedback – Your employees are a vital part of your company. They will have important feedback about how to improve your company and your overall brand name.
- Start promoting your New Brand – Use any new channels whether social media or traditional methods to start getting the new branding out there. If you want to transition from an older branding strategy you may want to spend a little bit more on your advertising for a month or two.
- Be Consistent – Keep branding your service or product consistently. According to Open Forum, “Once you have established who and what you want to be, do not change it except for tweaks and slight adjustments. It takes 10 to 12 ‘touches’ for a customer to even notice you.”
At some point or other, all businesses have disputes whether it is about contracts or employee benefits or any other number of issues. While most disputes can be resolved fairly quickly and quietly, occasionally disputes escalate into something that needs intervention. In these cases, mediation can be helpful to resolve the issue.
This arbitration between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise. This increasingly popular form of alternative dispute resolution serves as a viable option for business owners who choose to resolve conflicts through a forum other than arbitration or a conventional jury or bench trial. Mediation tends to try to accommodate the needs of each party and helping the parties formulate a workable solution. Here are some of the benefits of using mediation to solve business issues.
- Input and Control on the Outcome – In a court case to resolve dispute the judge casts the final decision. In mediation, the two parties come to a mutual resolution that hopefully makes both parties happy. Mediation enables parties in a dispute, be it during or before a lawsuit, to have control over the final settlement.
- Cost Savings – Hiring a lawyer can be costly and means an investment for the entire case. Mediator’s fees are usually divided between the various parties involved in the dispute. This cost savings can really add up.
- Preservation of Relationships – Business disputes often involve friends, employees and long time clients. Mediation can help to develop solutions based upon mutual interests rather than adversarial positions.
- Time Savings – Court cases, whether done by a judge or a jury, can be lengthy and drawn out. This method can be completely efficiently as opposed to a trial or hearing.
- Confidential – Mediation stays between the parties and the solution to the dispute is private and confidential.
Do you have a sick family member, just had a baby, have a medical condition or need to fulfill military service? If so, you may be looking to take some time off from work. A Leave of absence is approved time off work from the management or leadership of our business. It can be granted for many reasons including: active duty call-ups for reserve military personnel, or to attend to the health needs of the employee or of a family member of the employee.
Depending upon the type of business you are in, you may be able to informally request time off or you may need to use the FMLA Family Medical Leave Act to have your request approved. Requests for unpaid personal leave are normally made in writing to the employee’s department manager with a copy to the Director, Human Resources, and should indicate the reason and the length of leave requested. If the workplace is more casual, a verbal request may suffice.
Here are some common questions about Leave of Absence that you will want to discuss with your employer.
- Will I get paid while I am on a leave of absence? Leaves of absence are without compensation with the exception of Long-Term Disability Leave.
- What if I have to care for a seriously ill family member? Employees can request a Family Care Leave to care for a seriously ill family member.
- I have been ill and have exhausted all of my sick time or PTO time and my extended sick time. What do I do now? Employees can request a Medical Leave of Absence if paid-time has been exhausted and the employee is still medically unable to work.
- What laws are there about Leaves of Absence? Federal and/or state laws govern a mandatory leave of absence. These leaves include medical absences governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), military leave, jury duty and other state-mandated leaves. Whether the laws surrounding these leaves of absence apply to you is often based on the number of employees working for your company and where an employee is working. Your business must grant job-protected leave to eligible employees in these situations.
- How does an employee qualify for FMLA? An employee qualifies for FMLA leave by working 1250 hours.Here are some reasons an employee might take FMLA leave: Childbirth, adoption and foster care, serious health condition, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or certain military reasons (including care of a service member).