02.27
2019

6 Ways to Build a Successful Business

Contrary to popular belief, creating a successful business doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and effort to build and then maintain success. In today’s business world, having time is a luxury that most people, including owners, don’t have. So how does a growing business thrive, survive, and become successful in a world where there’s so little time? Easy. Success is built over time. It may take a few years, or even a decade, to reach the pinnacle of successfulness, but it’s all worth it in the end. To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible, and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find it is much more difficult than they thought.

Here, six easy ways to help build the successful business that you’ve always wanted.

Understand your Brand
Know your brand more than your logo. By knowing your brand, you will know what you do and how you do it. You’ll even know what your customer interactions are like, and what type of information you should share on your social media channels. The concept of a brand extends far beyond just your company logo. It includes your business’s core values and every interaction you have with customers and suppliers. In effect, your brand creates and maintains your reputation and so reflects your customers’ experiences with your organization.

Stand Out
What makes you stand out from your competition? Standing out means that you have to find a different means to make your product more irresistible than your competitors. Once you figure out what sets your products apart from the competitors, weave your differentiators into your company’s marketing messages.

Marketing
Your marketing material should connect to the needs of your audience. You’ll want to develop and determine your niche, so that you can know who you are marketing to. It is critical that you know who your audience is so you can determine the best way to reach them. Some products and services are geared toward a wide audience, while others target a more specific market. You need to know as much about your audience as possible.

Have Great Products and Service
Word of mouth is often a great lead generator for getting more sales. Having top-notch products and services that people can talk about is a critical part of your brand. Refine your product, test it out, and then refine some more. Be sure to always put developing your product first, not the money.

Respond to Pain Points
Think about the struggles and challenges your customers face. Every successful business has products or services that respond to a customer’s biggest and most important needs. Our suite of solutions, for example, addresses the pain points of companies that manage mobile employees. We provide companies with the ability to send out recurring work orders, email notifications, manage timesheets, execute workflows, and much more. Since we know our customers, we’re able to build products that make it easy for them to manage their mobile employees. Make sure you know what problems your customers face most, so your products will be needed.

Communicating the Brand Values to Employees
Many companies fail to spread their brand’s way of thinking. The soul of the company may be totally clear to the founder, but that doesn’t mean it’s clear to the employees. Remember that your branding isn’t only for management, but everyone who is a part of the company should be able to understand and communicate the branding.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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02.13
2019

Reasons Why a Website Makeover May Be Necessary

The virtual world is an obscure place where anything and everything goes. With such freedom in the cyber world, many businesses can be complacent in their interactions with customers. Although many businesses know that the potential of their success can rest in one simple customer review, some still seem to think that maintaining a well-rounded and innovative website isn’t important.

We live in a world where people Google before they shop, visit online review sites like Yelp before they dine at restaurants, and check in via Facebook as they go about their days. In addition, the online presence of a business is just as important as the brick and mortar shop. In the physical world, a successful business owner wouldn’t want broken lights, smelly rotting garbage, or hazardous sidewalks in front of their business. This same mindset should be seen for the virtual world. Each day, businesses should be updating their websites with the appropriate security codes to make sure that their sites are secure for their customers. One of the primary ways hackers gain access to a site is through outdated software. The visual aesthetics should be trendy, relevant, and up to date.

Let’s face it: Millennials are running the show now, so staying up to date on the most popular ways to reach the masses should be at the forefront of every growing business. Apple Inc. is one of the companies that does an amazing job at engaging with the masses. Each time, a new iPhone (or any new Apple product, really) debuts, people flock and wait in lines for days to purchase it. Essentially, before a new Apple product makes it to the stores, its online presence not only says, “Here’s the new Apple product, it does this and that …” but it also, “This Apple product fits your needs in this way.” Apple Inc. develops materials centered on the needs (and wants) of the customer.

But having a site filled with outdated or irrelevant material simply makes you look inefficient and disinterested in your visitors’ needs. If you can’t proudly promote the website you have currently and available for the world to see, take it down. A bad website is far worse than no website. But let’s be clear: Both are bad for business.

In today’s technology-driven world, where smartphones control the marketing industry, online reviews are businesses’ golden tickets for to becoming just as influential as Oprah. Businesses need to have the latest technology so it’s easy for customers to download content, make payments, and purchase items. There are two common approaches to accommodating new technology. You can either make regular but smaller incremental changes over time, or you can do a complete refresh every few years.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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12.05
2018

Martial Arts and Management

The martial arts of East Asia have long fascinated people in the West. The proliferation of martial arts through the film industry only served to boost the aforementioned fascination: Images of ninjas; Shaolin monks; and the late, great Bruce Lee performing gravity-defying kicks have captured the hearts of audiences for decades. These techniques, however, were not acquired overnight and only through the basic foundations of control, training, self-discipline, and continuous learning were they mastered. These fundamentals not only lend themselves to mastering forms of combat, but also to mastering management processes and dominating your market.

Control
Martial arts differentiates itself from the casual street fighting with its emphasis on control. This is what defines it as an art form; reckless punches and kicks are replaced with precise forms. Three core aspects compose the foundation of a martial art’s control:

  • Concerted actions
  • Think before acting
  • Environmental awareness

Applying these core aspects to your business can generate positive results. Making controlled decisions in the business world is the only method by which you can effectively allocate resources and personnel. A wild decision is a gamble and, while gambling is both exhilarating and can carry the potential for a high reward, the result of a bad gamble could be fatal to your business. Taking time to contemplate your decisions before acting on them reinforces the aspect of making controlled movements. Patience can go a long way in the business world, especially when you have yet to become aware of your environment. Understanding how your environment is set up and how it changes is a crucial key to victory. The market your business occupies is your environment and, in order to dominate, you must know how it moves in the present and how it could potentially move in the future.

Training and Self-Discipline
Like any other art form, martial arts require practice and conditioning. The mastery of the various katas, or forms, necessitates repetition until the movements are intuitive. Forms are learned slowly and in small segments, which are then strung together until the practitioner appears to be performing a long dance.

  • Smaller goals lead to bigger targets
  • Repetition leads to perfection

Your business must function in the same way in order to establish and maintain a presence in your market. Whatever your product may be, you must set small benchmarks for your team to reach. For instance, the first benchmark could be closing five sales. Once those sales are closed, you can add on five more for the second benchmark or even increase it to ten more. If you only close two of those sales, you must analyze what differed between the two sales and the three that did not close. Repeat the process until you reach your benchmark and then press forward. Domination of your market is not an overnight process. Like learning and mastering the steps of a kata, it requires time and dedication to perfect your form until that which was once difficult becomes easy.

Continuous Learning
When studying martial arts, practitioners operate under the guidance of senior students or a master. Under their tutelage, the practitioner learns their forms, step-by-step, until they reach the level of mastery. While they may have “mastered” their specific form of combat, there still exists myriad other forms they can explore in order to become a “complete fighter.”

  • Utilize your resources
  • Remain open to learning

When managing your business, you may believe you do not have anyone to offer guidance through the process. Sitting at the head of a company can feel like being lost in the wilderness without any direction. However, there exists guidance from other entrepreneurs within your field in the form of books, seminars, and more. Utilizing these resources provides a compass to help circumvent the common obstacles of management.

Upon reaching success, you may feel that you mastered your craft; you are the quintessential businessperson, a sage of the sales world who can learn nothing else. It is when that thought occurs that your business begins its demise. There is always room for improvement within some aspect of your company. There are always new processes and new technologies that you can implement into your operating processes. Lastly, there is always a bigger market to expand into with new challenges and new benchmarks to reach.

Seemingly unrelated, the world of business management and the realm of martial arts have greater similarities when given a deeper examination. The application of controlled, precise actions at the most opportune time is the vehicle to success in both fields. Trial-and-error and the constant tweaking of processes run through the veins of both disciplines, while the ability to constantly learn and improve create the room for expansion in both fields. Never be rigid to the point that you cannot adapt. In the words of the late Bruce Lee: “… be formless … shapeless … like water …now, water can flow or creep or drip or crash! Be water, my friend.”

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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