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How To Get Out of Startup Mode and Grow Your Business

Your vision is not improved by staying in startup mode.

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Entrepreneurs stay in startup mode way too long. Keeping a small business in startup mode requires you to stand on the brake. If you keep telling people you’re “just a startup,” you will never take actions for real growth.

It’s time to move from startup to grown up mode and from planning to doing. In two years, you want to look back at your startup phase as an important part of your thriving business’ history. You want to say, “I remember when I was sitting on my floor packing boxes myself. Now I employ over 100 people.” This is the mindset to move towards and here are five ways to do it:

1. Delegate. When you’re in startup phase, you are handling everything. To become a going concern you have to start investing in people to do tasks you can no longer do. Three quarters of all small businesses have zero employees, which underscores the resistance people have to delegating. You have to grow your business. It is a misnomer to think people cost money. A lack of production and failure to grow your businesscosts far more.

2. Pick your battles. Don’t get wrapped up for a week deciding on a logo when it ultimately doesn’t matter. Your brand will evolve as your business evolves, so your logo is likely to change. There are more important things to obsess over – gaining customers and making money. When you are hunting big game, don’t swat mosquitoes.

3. Get attention.The single biggest problem every startup has is becoming known. Your most important task is to get attention for you and your company. It’s the gateway to every dollar you raise. Muhammed Ali told the world he was the greatest long before anyone knew him. He got attention and infuriated people. But he proved himself, which turned criticism into world admiration. Get attention. Get critics. Then get admiration.

4. Change your pitch. Instead of saying “I own a small web design company,” say “I own a web design company like none other that guarantees your company increased sales.” Notice the difference? The first makes you seem small and insignificant. It makes no claim. The second makes you seem unique, confident and capable of being a money maker. Know how to pitch yourself and your business. Be ready to quickly explain what your company does that is better, faster and of value to the marketplace. Then, make big claims to the world.

5. Create urgency. If you start a business venture without setting specific timelines for action and achievements, you will be stuck forever with excuses. One of the biggest mistakes I have made in business was not operating with enough urgency. Being an entrepreneur is a marathon activity with lots of sprints. Win a lot of little races and you will provide your people and company with momentum.

We recently shot a television show at my office and I told the editing staff that I wanted rough cuts in half the time they thought necessary. Then I called every day for a progress update. This pressure to perform doesn’t lead to inferior products; it get products to be finished. Urgency is key to getting things done.

Remember: Your vision is not improved by staying in startup mode. It’s time to accelerate and become a going concern that is grabbing market share from the other bigger more established players. It used to be the big who ate the small. Today, it is the fast who eat the slow.

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Business

5-Step Guide to Achieving Effective Communication for Business leaders

Kimani Patrick

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As an entrepreneur, communication is a very important facet if you are going to grow your personal brand and grow your business to the next level

For you, is not just about exchanging information, it’s about understanding the emotions and intentions behind the information you relay and receive.

Effective communication is also a two-way street. It is not only how you convey a message so that it is received and understood by someone in exactly the way you intended, it is also how you listen to gain the full meaning of what’s being said and to make the other person feel heard and understood.

Apart from building trust, being an effective communicator means that your team can rely on you. You will build stronger relationships, employees will adopt your ideas, and you will reduce breakdowns as well as get more results for your business.

Being an effective communicator will also help you to understand other people better and when you understand them, you will relate to them in a meaningful way.

While you already know how to communicate, learning a few simple principles that can be applied immediately will make you an effective communicator and give you a huge advantage in today’s ultracompetitive business world.

Step 1: Be Friendly

When someone steps into your office to say hello, step out from behind your desk to shake his or her hand.

During a networking event or coffee break, don’t hold your beverage in a way that blocks your body or distances you from others. The higher you hold your coffee, the more of a physical barrier you put up between yourself and the person you’re talking to. Hold it closer to your waist, that way you will seem open and engaged.

Step 2: Keep Your Word

Doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it is the highest attainable level of disciple. When you promise someone something make sure you deliver within the agreed upon timeframe. If you are not able to meet your promise, communicate it in good time so that the other party can prepare for an alternative to avoid inconveniences.

Being disciplined in keeping your word communicates to people that you are a reliable and trustworthy person. This will help them want to keep you close and conduct business with you.

This also extends further to building your positive reputation and people will find it easy to recommend you whenever an opportunity shows up.

Step 3: Be Clear and Never Assume Anything

Assumptions are a major problem in communication, whether they are self-fulfilled assumptions or merely assuming that others see things in the exact same way that you do.

Never assume – the fact of the matter is that most people do not see things the way you do, nor do they have the same feelings as you do. The less you assume, the better. This falls in the category of making your communication is always clear.

Step 4: Be Authoritative

Even if you are friendly and down to earth, your relaxed attitude should never overshadow the fact that you are in control. When you are introduced to someone, stand tall, extend your hand, and introduce yourself by saying your name and what you do.

To sound authoritative, speak in a normal, conversational tone. And if you are a female, watch that your voice doesn’t rise at the end of a sentence as if you are asking a question or seeking approval.

When stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end.

Step 5: Learn How to Talk Business

If you are trying to get someone to open up then try using open-ended questions rather than yes or no interrogations. When reviewing your own tactful, analyze how you approach people. Do you bully them with close ended questions or do you ask them in a positive manner how the both of you can make necessary changes to get a project, for example, moving more efficiently.

The more effective you can be with you communication the more successful you will be – personally and professionally.

Have more ideas on effective communication? Share them in the comments’ section below.

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Africa

5 Murdered in South Africa as MTN, MultiChoice and Shoprite shut Branches in Nigeria amid Protests

News Team

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Five people, all foreign nationals, have been killed in the ongoing Xenophobic violence and protests in South Africa.

The violence which erupted late last week has seen businesses owned by citizens from other African countries looted, property damaged and truck drivers from neighboring countries being targeted and torched in the violent attacks.

South Africa – Pretoria – 29 August 2019 – Calm restored in the Pretoria CBD following burning of foreign owned shops. Photo: Africa News Agency / ANA

In a retaliatory move, Nigerian protesters took to the streets of Lagos on Tuesday evening to vent their anger by throwing stones and destroyed properties owned by SA brands such as MTN, Shoprite and MultiChoice.

Dozens of shoppers descended on Novare Shoprite Mall in Lekki, near Lagos, Nigeria and looted goods of unknown value while torching a police truck. Several other SA owned stores including PEP, MTN were looted and property destroyed in Surulere and Jakande.

Following the protests, South African television group MultiChoice has shut its offices and branches in Nigeria and Zambia, “We have had to shut branches and offices to safeguard customers and staff until further notices,” said its head of corporate affairs Jabavu Heshu on a statement on Wednesday morning.

On its case, MTN Group said it had closed its stores and service centers in Nigeria “as a precaution” after four stores in Nigeria were attacked on Tuesday evening. Sources indicate that the company also closed several stores in Johannesburg. The company, in a statement condemned the acts of violence.

Shoprite Holdings said in a statement on Wednesday that several stores in South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia were closed and extensive damage had been done to several supermarkets over the past 24 hours.

“(Shoprite) is highly concerned about the acts of xenophobic violence against foreign nationals that sporadically flare up and the resultant rhetoric of intolerance that is levelled against foreigners and the platform this creates for criminals to exploit this,” the company said in a statement.

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Business

Go For Gold: Lessons From Chris Kirubi

Inversk Review

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As an entrepreneur, you have to pursue and attempt to achieve the very best possible outcome or reward from the same activity, task or endeavor. Below is advice transcribed from a few of Chris Kirubi’s #AskKirubi show.

Gold is very symbolic to mean the fine things in life. You don’t find gold all around you, but you find at least somewhere close to you. Very scarce indeed. Does that mean it is not meant for everyone? It’s all in your mind. Reach out for the best possible solutions. Reach out for the biggest venture. Reach out for the biggest investment.

Gold is a great reward. Great things don’t come easy. You will struggle to get to it, but the fruits will be there. To be the best, you have to effect change. Don’t be afraid to effect the change. Within our comfort zones, we as entrepreneurs might feel like we have actually achieved it all. When that feeling crosses your mind, that’s when you need to move and effect change. Change is the only constant thing in the world.

Don’t say you can’t move. When you get that mindset, you will be poor. The worst thing you should avoid is being poor in the mind. Do not conform your mind to weak struggles. Conform your mind with strong struggles such that you will put more effort in your deeds. Challenge yourself and out great effort into that. Then expect great rewards.

Arm yourself with knowledge. Knowledge should be your weapon whenever you want to attack and get huge profit margins. Be hungry for knowledge and do not shy away from wanting to know more.

Go for quality. Quality begins with you. Be quality. Don’t be shady. How you look, is how you act. From what and how you dress, to how you carry yourself and interact. Look quality. Talk quality and expect nothing less of quality anywhere you venture into. When you are quality, you will definitely attract quality.

Build your own stature. No matter how difficult it may seem. It will cost you but it will be worth it. Do what you will be proud of. Quality will definitely make you a proud person.

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