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Showing posts with the label Small Business

The Best Teams Hold Themselves Accountable

Want to create a high-performance team? Want to limit the amount of time you spend settling squabbles between team members? It turns out those two issues are closely related: Our research shows that on top-performing teams peers immediately and respectfully confront one another when problems arise. Not only does this drive greater innovation, trust, and productivity, but also it frees the boss from being the playground monitor. I first saw the connection between high performance and peer accountability years ago when consulting with a very successful financial services company. It had an unparalleled return on capital, breathtaking sales growth, and the highest customer renewal rate in the industry. In my first face-to-face meeting with the CEO, whose name was Paul, and his direct reports, I committed a major faux pas. I discovered halfway through the meeting that I was calling the wrong guy, “Paul.” It was an innocent mistake. When it was time to begin, one member of the executive tea

10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Social Media Content for Your Brand

As a brand, social media is one of your biggest assets. Here's some advice from the experts at VSCO. As an  entrepreneur  or small-business owner,  social media  should be a top priority. From promoting your products to building a community to developing your  brand's voice  -- the benefits of having a solid grasp on your business's social media presence is essential to the success and appeal of your company. But don't worry, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on fancy equipment or hire a third-party agency to do it for you. But that doesn't mean just throwing a bunch of random pictures up on Instagram either. Instead, it's important to be thoughtful, listen to your audience, learn a few quick and easy camera tricks (yes, you can use your smartphone) and eventually, build a voice, a community and a large following. To help you achieve all of these things, we've brought in some help from photography app  VSCO 's Kendal Kulley, an a

4 Lessons Learned in Getting Bank Financing

Lending isn’t quite as tight as it was after the recent economic downturn, but it’s still a delicate process. Many small- and medium-sized businesses find it difficult to obtain bank financing because they don't know how to navigate the process. But, if you’re persistent enough, however, raising the necessary capital is still possible. At Blank Label, we were offered over $500,000 in debt financing. To help you secure the financing you need, we’re going to share the four important lessons we learned about getting bank financing. 1. You might not need financing. The most important step in the process is figuring out if you even need financing. Moreover, make sure debt financing is right for you. If you don't have the cash-flow to support interest payments, but anticipate high future growth, equity financing might make more sense for you. At Blank Label, before we raised our debt, we first   raised a $1 million equity   round. Some reasonable things to take out a bank

Microsoft and ICRISAT’s Intelligent Cloud pilot for Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh increase crop yield for farmers

Visakhapatnam:  Following the launch of the pilot in June 2016, that tested a new Sowing Application for farmers combined with a Personalized Village Advisory Dashboard for the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the results show a 30% higher average in yield per hectare. The Sowing App was developed to help farmers achieve optimal harvests by advising on the best time to sow depending on weather conditions, soil and other indicators. The pilot was implemented in Devanakonda Mandal in Kurnool district and the Advisory applied only to the groundnut crop. This was made possible through a partnership between the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Microsoft, and the Andhra Pradesh government. The pioneering digital tools were released as part of the Andhra Pradesh Primary Sector Mission (APPSM) also known as Rythu Kosam. The results of the pilot were announced today at a panel discussion at the 20th National Conference on e-Governance taking place

Business: A Small Business Taskforce for Post-Brexit Britain

The vote to leave the European Union was a shock for many of Britain’s entrepreneurs. Business owners don’t like political uncertainty, and the potential disruption of trade and travel with the continent hasn’t gone down well. However, as economic indicators attest – it’s business as usual for most entrepreneurs, not least because the key decisions around Brexit have yet to be decided. Whatever the final negotiations, we should ensure it limits the damage and discouragement of Britain’s small business owners. That’s why a group of organizations have come together to create the Small Business Taskforce. Besides us at  The Entrepreneurs Network , the Small Business Taskforce includes  Enterprise Nation  (whose founder Emma Jones  leads it) ,   ICAEW ,  IPSE ,   Bright Ideas Trust ,  Global Entrepreneurship Week ,  NACUE ,  Social Enterprise UK ,   Coadec , CFE ,  National Enterprise Network ,  RSA  &  EISA .  Together, we represent over a million small businesses and self-emplo

Business: How To Woo Millennials To Your Small Business

Millennials have gotten some bad press over the years, particularly in relation to business matters. But don’t let it fool you. These are high-value customers you absolutely want to attract to your business. The first thing to understand about millennials is that most of them aren’t kids anymore. They’re full-grown adults. While there’s no official start date for the millennial generation, Pew Research defines them as anyone between 19 and 35 as of this year. These are people who are well underway with all the trappings of adult life. By their late twenties, many people have gotten married, even started a family. They might have seen a few promotions at work, too. Some of them will be in mid or possibly even upper management. There are also  more millennials now  than any other age group. They’ve got the  buying power  (an estimated $2.45 trillion in 2015) to prove it, too. All those things make millennials a group any small business would love to attract. So here’s a few t