How to Know If You’re Intimidating Employees (and How to Stop It)

Take a step back from being the scary boss. January 15, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You’re not one to intimidate employees. You lead by example, strive for a collaborative environment and value input from your staff. All of which is why you may be surprised to hear — or maybe just sense — that you intimidate your team.  There are warning signs: Everyone agrees with you, even when you’re asking for honest feedback; staff tends to quiet down when you walk into a room; or you see a quick look of nervousness on a junior employee’s face when you ask them to complete a task. A recent study by Hult International Business School showed about 34 percent of junior employees surveyed were likely to stay silent on issues of concern, even one of malpractice in the workplace. Further, researchers found 39 percent of survey […]

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Why You’re Hurting Your Bottom Line If You Only Care About the Bottom Line

Fixating unhealthily on profits could backfire, but there is a better way. January 8, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In business, the bottom line matters most. There’s no way around it; you need to make money to stay afloat, and so it feels natural to manage employees with money in mind. This may be doing more harm than good, however. According to research from Baylor University, entrepreneurs or supervisors who use a “bottom-line mentality” (BLM) were less effective. They often lost employee loyalty and respect.  The researchers surveyed 866 people, half of them employees and the other half their supervisors, and found that high-BLM supervisors tended to create low-quality relationships with staff members. Workers could feel their supervisors were focused on the bottom line rather than on effectively managing them as individuals. In turn, team members became disengaged and withheld strong performances. It turns […]

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5 Strategies to Keep Your Customers Long-Term in 2020

From flash sales to follow-ups, a handful of methods to ensure consumer loyalty in the coming year. January 1, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. With New Year’s sales happening all around us, it’s critical to implement customer-retention strategies that will keep your buyers loyal beyond peak revenue periods. After all, why should Amazon be the only retailer or e-commerce brand to grab so much of the sales? Your customer-experience strategy should also encourage customers to stick around long after January, and into the decade ahead. Here are five customer-retention strategies for long-term customer engagement in 2020 and beyond: 1. Focus on the user experience. Customers want to enjoy shopping, but they also want to get it done quickly. That’s why they want to partner with companies that understand their expectations. The takeaway here is that you’ll most likely keep customers coming back if […]

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How Burned-Out Workers Are Jump-Starting Their Careers

Plenty of professionals are resetting with mid-career internships. December 20, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The old tradition of sticking with one or two major employers over a lifetime and eventually retiring with a gifted gold watch to enjoy grandkids and travel is no longer the reality for most of us. Workers who fall within the younger end of the baby-boomer generation will hold an average of 12 jobs over their lives. For millennials, the numbers are even higher. Almost half of them will quit their jobs by 2021, according to a 2019 Deloitte survey. The simple truth is that most of us don’t like our first adult jobs enough to stick with them for decades. At some point, many of us find ourselves longing for a sea change in terms of position, job duties, industry or all three. But one way to effectively explore career […]

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How Entrepreneurs Can Develop Healthier Holiday Work Habits

Don’t let email and other work tasks eat up the time you should be spending with family. December 11, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. With year-end holidays less than two weeks away, how are you planning to spend time with family? Will you be logging off of your business entirely during that time, or will you try to steal away a few minutes here and there to respond to “important” emails?  Entrepreneurs and business owners are often in the habit of being a little overly connected to their work. After all, if an after-hours emergency occurs, they need to be the ones to answer it. But with this constant connectivity, many find it difficult to truly log off, even on popular occasions like Christmas. Cloud-identity firm Okta recently compiled data from more than 7,000 customers and 6,000 apps and integrations on this topic, and the results revealed […]

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How Apprenticeships Can Benefit Your Company’s Bottom Line

Training entry-level workers is a rare win-win for workers and their employers. December 3, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A recent report by McKinsey found that approximately 14.7 million U.S. workers under may face job displacement due to automation by 2030. Younger folks entering the workforce have traditionally turned to jobs in retail and food service, and both of these sectors are due to turn toward automation to replace human employees. That means a significant portion of the population will be out of a job. While apprenticeships are already well known as a job-training opportunity for electricians and others with skilled trades, they can also be a solid alternative to technical college or other classroom instruction. Apprenticeships not only benefit employees in a changing world, but also can be beneficial for companies. Here are a few reasons why small business owners should leverage apprenticeship training to help their […]

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What Are SMART Goals and How Can You Set and Achieve Them?

These five steps will help you determine the attainable goals that will have the biggest impact on your company. November 25, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Chances are, you’ve come across the phrase “SMART goals” before while reading entrepreneurial content on the web. Search Google for “smart goals business” and you’ll get over 260 million results. The topic is of significant interest to a lot of people, judging from the sheer volume of relevant content on the subject. But what exactly are SMART goals to begin with? What does that acronym stand for and should you be setting them for yourself and your business? What makes a goal SMART?  The concept of SMART goals first turned up in an article by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. Since that introduction, many business management experts have formulated the “SMART” acronym in various ways. Here’s how Doran framed it […]

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Quotes on New Beginnings From History’s Greatest Leaders

Everyone from MLK to Joan of Arc can help light your path to a fresh start. November 13, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Whether you’re building a new business or facing a major change in your life, beginnings can be intimidating. Starting over or starting something new often leads to feelings of fear and self-doubt. Taking a risk is usually not easy, but it’s often part of new beginnings.  But you don’t have to dread beginnings. Starting something new brings new opportunities and it can be empowering. You’ll probably learn important lessons about yourself. And your new beginning may just be the start of something exciting and life-changing.  If you’re feeling uncertain about a new business or project, then these quotes from some of history’s most notable leaders may reassure you or change your mind. The following words come from philosophers, business owners […]

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New Study Debunks Age Bias in the Workplace. What Does That Mean for Your Business?

The latest data suggests that employees of all generations prefer a diverse environment. November 8, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Over the past couple of years, we’ve all heard lots of talk about the rise of millennials (or even younger generations) in the workplace and how they’re pushing out older employees. I know older folks who feel discouraged about their abilities, and I also know many millennials who are confidently stepping up into new roles. I’ve seen the reverse, albeit less often. Recently, Addison Group published a survey of more than 1,000 full- and part-time employees, debunking some of the more popular misconceptions about the role of age in the workplace. It found that 90-plus percent of employees are satisfied with the diversity of age ranges in their workplace, while 79 percent reported they’d take a job at a company where the workforce skewed […]

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5 Top Financial Tips for Entrepreneurs

Advisor-approved ways to ensure growth and security. October 28, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It can be hard to navigate the world of finance, much less the highly competitive startup ecosystem. No matter what age you are, everyone should think about retirement planning, mutual funds, life insurance, savings and tax planning, all of which can be even more difficult if you’re already working to grow a new business (or keep an older one alive) at the same time.  What’s most important is that you plan to make your money work for you and establish financial goals, even if you’re running a company. Here are five of the best tips financial advisors offer that entrepreneurs can apply to their journey. 1. Develop financial goals. How much do you want to have in savings? Do you want your money to grow, save for a vacation or […]

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11 Quotes on Kindness That Every Entrepreneur Needs to Read

World Kindness Day serves as a reminder that benevolence can be good business. October 21, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The business world is often portrayed as a highly competitive ecosystem in which you need to fight to get ahead. To a good extent, that’s very true. Entrepreneurs need thick skin, drive and intense focus to succeed. But it’s also important for entrepreneurs to remember the value of kindness.  With World Kindness Day coming up on November 13, take a few minutes to read these 11 quotes. They can all teach us important lessons about business, entrepreneurship and being good human beings.  1. “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” — Scott Adams, Dilbert Creator and Author Businesses give you the chance to change the world and influence others. Kindness does the […]

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Keep These 4 Things in Mind Before Selling Your Small Business

October 16, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Selling a small business for the maximum value to the right purchasers on the right terms can be a tremendous challenge, even for experienced business owners. Buying and selling an existing company is a complex process, but one that should be demystified. At its most basic level, the process is straightforward, just like the purchase of a single item. The small-business owner sells the object (in this case, their own business) to a potential buyer for an agreed-upon price and mutually acceptable terms. Yet, as always, the devil is in the details — in this case how the deal is structured. With that in mind, here are four key things you’ll need to remember when it’s your company that’s being sold. 1. Understand the whole process. While every business sale has its unique features, we can outline a […]

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5 Science-Proven Ways to Improve Your Memory

From people’s names to sales data, there is a lot of information entrepreneurs need to be able to remember at any given moment. Here’s how to improve your memory and retain more information. October 14, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Memory creation and management is a complex process where the human brain collects, stores and recalls information that we need for various tasks. Yet these memories also play a more human role by helping you recognize and remember important people and special occasions. Some cognitive conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, rob people of the brain’s memory function. Yet even without these terrible diseases, busy entrepreneurs can risk losing stored memories and the ability to form and retain new ones. Our hectic lifestyles often mean little sleep which can hurt memory function.  Related: 15 Science-Backed Memory Tips to Help You Succeed (Infographic) Rather than let our […]

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Why Core Competencies Matter for Your Business

It’s time to take advantage of strategic strengths. September 27, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You may have heard or read the phrase “core competency” lately and wondered if it’s the latest example of meaningless corporate lingo, or at best another buzzword representing a basic concept that could be described much more simply. The answer is not exactly. Core competency actually holds significant importance for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. The term first originated in a 1990 Harvard Business Review article by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel titled “The Core Competence of the Corporation.” The authors identify their titular concept as the “secret sauce” of business, enabling corporate growth, especially for an executive who can leverage that competency. It’s a good idea to learn more about this critical business concept and then determine your company’s core competency for maximum gain, and here’s an easy, three-step process to that end. Define Core Competency First, let’s establish a working […]

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Assign These 7 Tasks to Your Virtual Assistant

Hiring a freelancer can cure your delegating woes. September 24, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs involves staffing and delegation. It can be hard to know when to hire full-time or put extra help in place and how to do it the right way. Small businesses and new entrepreneurs might want to consider the virtual assistant, or VA. A VA is basically an independent contractor or freelancer who performs support-staff tasks and functions, often while working from home or co-working spaces or even the neighborhood coffee shop. Working with a VA can feel awkward and confusing at first, so let’s look at seven categories of tasks that are especially suitable for delegating to this new team member. Research Most new businesses have an insatiable appetite for information. Entrepreneurs need to collect data about potential clients before a sales presentation or research new developments or products in related industries. VAs are well-positioned to take care of these research-related tasks and […]

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How to Keep Gen X Employees from Leaving Your Company

Strategies for keeping valued Gen X employees engaged in your business. September 4, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Employees in Generation X (those born between 1965-1981), have spent decades cultivating necessary skills in their industries. Many feel it’s time they should advance in their careers, however, recent research from consulting firm DDI shows 66 percent of top talent in this age group say they’ve received only one promotion, or no promotion, in the last five years.  With Gen X often not seeing the perks for loyalty to businesses or dedication to industries, you may soon have an employee turnover issue on your hands. But keeping Gen X employees from leaving your small business doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some ways to keep the often-overlooked generation before it becomes a problem.   Reward loyalty and skill  A report just released this year by Metlife […]

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How to Excel at Work Even If You Hate Your Job

It’s the only true cure for a case of the Mondays. August 22, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When that alarm clock goes off on Monday morning, many of us may groan about the start of another work week. There’s a difference between that near-universal feeling, however, and realizing, “I hate my job.” Your company’s policies and culture, your co-founder, co-workers or leadership responsibilities may be to blame for bad days. No matter the reason, hating your job can have a huge impact on your life. The most frustrating part is no matter how much you hate your job, you may not be able to quit. Perhaps you started your own business and you’ve put so much effort into it, you can’t stop now. Perhaps you make enough money to pay a large mortgage, rent or other bill. Maybe you need to support your […]

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4 Common Traps When Starting a Nonprofit

What to watch out for before launching your altruistic business. August 12, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The idea of creating, running and growing a successful nonprofit organization appeals to a lot of entrepreneurs and business leaders. That makes sense, since those who hold leadership roles tend to value the notion of improving conditions for underserved communities or want to advance environmental and social causes important to them. However, it can also present a minefield of potential traps for the unwary to navigate. That’s why it’s important to identify the following potential obstacles before you undertake the arduous process of securing 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.  1. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit is limited in many ways. The 501(c)(3) is what most of us think of when we say “nonprofit.” It’s an entity named after the special section of the tax code that governs it, and it’s limited […]

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How to Delegate Better and Become a Great Leader

From productivity to company morale, here are the many benefits of delegating responsibility. July 30, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You need to delegate if you want to be a more effective leader. Delegating to the right people is important to entrepreneurs and business owners for many reasons. Yes, it saves you time that you can then spend on more high-value tasks. However, that’s not the only reason proper delegation is so important in running a business. It also prepares employees for promotion and bigger responsibilities.  Related: 7 Rules for Entrepreneurs to Delegate Effectively If you want to help your key team members reach their goals, advance in their careers and provide more value to your company, it’s essential to learn to delegate like a boss.  1. Understand what’s holding you back from delegating now.  Frequently, micromanaging bosses shy […]

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Why Hustle Culture Might Be Toxic to Your Business

Debunking a modern myth about company productivity. July 30, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Two competing trends are fighting for the souls of millennials. On one hand, there’s the much-documented commitment to the hustle, side or otherwise. On the other, there’s a backlash to hustle culture. In other words, a commitment to long hours of hard work to earn success has been widely celebrated, but is this tendency turning toxic and actually hindering entrepreneurial goals? Here’s why glamorizing workaholism may be hazardous to your physical and mental well-being, as well as potentially damaging to your business. Hustle culture sets up unsustainable expectations.  Take this image that made the rounds on Twitter last fall, which read: “Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you are done.” It may sound admirably tough and gritty, but it’s not a sustainable approach. If you never stop when you’re tired, you’re […]

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