How to Create Powerful Business Strategies that Improve Your Chances of Success

Guest Blog by Kym Wallis

Regardless of the industry or business model you choose, setting up a successful company is very challenging. Aside from logistical and financial obstacles, you’ll also have to create a brand that speaks to your target audience. And, even if you do everything right, there’s a chance the market itself can change, which may require some action on your behalf. This means that you have to be flexible and make the right adjustments to secure a great outcome.

With this in mind, most entrepreneurs and business owners can increase their chances of achieving success by creating a comprehensive business strategy. This can serve as the blueprint for their business and remind you of the goals you set out at the beginning.

Creating a business plan is necessary, but it’s not simple. Let’s go over a few tips to help you create a powerful strategy for your company.

1. Why Should All Companies Have a Business Plan?

A few decades ago, terms like business plan and marketing strategy were only relevant in large corporations with huge budgets. Today, having a business plan is a critical requirement for all companies.

From local stores to tech companies that provide online services, having a strategy for your business can bring a number of benefits. By thinking strategically you can identify priorities, measure the right success metrics, and get a general overview of your business.

2. How to Create a Powerful Business Strategy

Creating a plan for your business may sound simple. But, you need to take your time and collect all the information you need to make an informed decision. Here are some tips to help you put together a business strategy with good chances of success.

3. Write Out Your Goals and Objectives

Aside from staying profitable, all companies need to have a clear set of objectives. Remember, the more specific they are, the easier it will be to stay on track.

4. Design a Plan that Can Be Adjusted

As mentioned before, all entrepreneurs need to keep an eye on the trends that shape the industry they work in. Likewise, you should design a flexible strategy that can be adjusted even in the most unlikely scenarios.

5. Be Realistic

Setting realistic objectives and being reserved about your projections will help set up your company for success. In case you underperform, you’ll be able to follow the contingency plan you set up. If you’re successful, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

6. Technology and Innovation Are a Must

There’s no denying that today’s world is driven by technology and innovation. From mobile devices to ultra-fast connection speeds, business owners need to consider how these technologies will affect their organisation.

7. Create a Robust Marketing Plan

Marketing has become a pivotal part of all successful businesses. But, modern advertising goes way beyond billboards and television ads.

Today, launching a marketing campaign means creating a holistic ecosystem that revolves around user experience. Make sure you create a robust marketing plan that allows you to build your brand and attract the customers that generate the highest revenue.

8. Study Your Audience

Whether you have a B2B company or serve consumers, knowing your audience will give you an advantage when it comes to creating a business strategy. You can collect information from a variety of sources, just make sure you prioritise demographic data as well as your targets’ interests.

9. Cultivate a Great Brand Image

Contrary to popular belief, most consumers prefer branded ads, which means you have to make an effort and cultivate a positive image. Besides marketing your product, also shine a light on your company and try to give your customers a good impression.

10. Find a Consultant You Can Trust

Creating a reliable business strategy is not easy, especially if it’s your first venture. The tips above can help you create a robust plan for your company and pave your way to success. If you want to learn more about our services and how they can complement your strategy, get in touch with us today and our team will be glad to help.

Author’s Bio

Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for PK Simpson. Kym has several other blogs on this website.

 

5 Ways to Invest in Yourself

Guest Blog by Kym Wallis

An investment in yourself is the best thing you can do to advance personally and professionally. Whether your goal is to climb up the corporate ladder or build a successful startup, you need to develop certain skills first.

Make no mistake though: Working on yourself isn’t easy. There will be numerous challenges standing in your way. But when you take the steps to improve your performance and consistently put in the effort, new opportunities will open up to you.

Here we’ll look at some of the best ways to invest in yourself.

1. Set Goals

Many people work hard but still seem to be stuck at the same level either personally or professionally. A key reason is simply because they haven’t set goals.

Why is setting goals so important?

Because a goal gives you focus. It helps you better organise your time and resources to accomplish a worthy objective. Goals let you see clear progress in what may have been thought of as unattainable. Even if you have no idea how to accomplish a certain goal, just the act of putting it down on paper gives you a focal point to start brainstorming the first steps.

Set personal and business goals for yourself. Your goals should be SMART which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Writing your goals down in this manner provides a strong foundation for seeing things through.

2. Read More Books

What do some of the most successful entrepreneurs have in common?

They’re voracious readers.

Successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates read 50 books a year. “Every book teaches me something new or helps me see things differently,” says Gates. “Reading fuels a sense of curiosity about the world, which I think helped drive me forward in my career.”

He’s not alone either. Other entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have made reading a daily habit for several reasons. It provides mental stimulation and exposes you to new ideas. Everything you read also builds up like compound interest.

Books like ‘Good to Great’ and ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ are great starting points. But don’t ignore fiction books either. Elon Musk credits the Lord of the Rings with shaping his vision of his future self.

Making reading a daily habit is one of the best ways to invest in yourself.

3. Take Care of Your Health

Data from the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of the deaths arising from non-communicable diseases include cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes – most of which are preventable with a healthy lifestyle and diet. By taking better care of your health you greatly reduce the risk of being diagnosed with such diseases.

Make regular exercise part of your daily routine and focus on eating healthier. Replace sugary sodas with water and incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Just these two alone will get you on the right track towards a healthier lifestyle, resulting in fewer health problems later on.

Although there are exceptions, you can’t hope to achieve anything meaningful if you’re constantly sick or bedridden. Make the choice to invest in yourself by making better decisions about your health.

4. Invest in a Personal Coach

Even the most successful CEOs work with coaches to bring more insight and new perspectives for the visions and goals of their organisation. If you own a business or are thinking of starting one, a personal coach can assist with setting up your business and bringing to light any common pitfalls people face. And even if you don’t have a business, a personal coach can help you focus on your career goals and show you how to be more effective at work.

You don’t have to necessarily get a coach to improve yourself and work on your ambitions. If one of your goals is to be more financially stable, you can hire a financial advisor to look over your finances. Just remember that a coach is there to help you create and implement an action plan. Their success depends on your success.

Coaches can be expensive but it’s an investment that aims to pay for itself.

5. Learn a New Skill

More employers are now looking for employees with a diverse set of skills. Learning a new skill not only pushes your career prospects further but shows that you are a valuable asset willing to invest in yourself.

You don’t need to enroll in classes or spend a lot of money either. There are plenty of free resources online such as YouTube and Khan Academy that teach valuable skills you can implement in your job. Talent doesn’t just magically appear overnight. You have to actively put in the time to build your skills to overcome hurdles and accomplish your goals. Set aside time in your schedule and make a commitment to learn a new skill.

References

  1. https://www.inc.com/carmine-gallo/bill-gates-other-billionaires-say-this-1-habit-is-secret-to-their-sucess.html
  2. https://5-dimensionz.com.au/2018/05/21/are-you-a-smart-manager/
  3. https://5-dimensionz.com.au/2016/12/19/reading-is-not-just-for-christmas/
  4. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases
  5. https://5-dimensionz.com.au/2014/01/23/networking/

Author’s Bio

Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Konnect Salon Software. Kym has several other blogs on this website.

 

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Productivity

This is the third blog by an external guest contributor, this time the blog is provided by Integral Media (https://www.integralmedia.com.au/) We hope you enjoy it and find it useful. It’s a great time of the year to give due consideration to increasing your productivity. Happy New Year and all the best for 2019.

Boosting productivity can be difficult for many of us but there are ways and means. There is an art to it, however. The key is working smarter rather than harder and longer. It’s how you use the hours you have at your disposal that increases your productivity. For instance, it’s a good idea to take regular breaks, which helps your concentration. So don’t slog away for hours on end, it will only cause fatigue and lack of focus. Try these simple tips instead:

  1.  Say No to Notifications

Notifications are a major reason people fall behind in their productivity. The beeps and jangles will take your focus off your task, so the advice is switch notifications off, permanently if possible. If you can bear to do it, remove Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media apps from your phone. You’ll feel a sense of freedom and see the difference in your productivity levels. Also, if you’re on a deadline and must concentrate, close your emails and put the phone in Aircraft or ‘do not disturb’ mode. You probably won’t miss anything vital by going off-grid for an hour or so.

  1. Get Your Thoughts on Paper

It isn’t easy to get your thoughts organised, especially when you’re busy, but the more ideas you have banging around in your head the more difficult it is to concentrate on what’s happening now. If you don’t write your thoughts or ideas down, it blocks your creativity. Get into the habit of writing it down, even though you might toss an idea out later. No matter what program you use, or if you simply have a ‘to-do’ list, (which you need as well) getting your ideas on paper means your next great idea won’t get lost in the maelstrom in your brain. Knowing your ideas are safe means you can deal with what’s in front of you and you won’t make the mistake of trying to multitask. Research (1) shows multitasking lessens productivity by up to 40 per cent.

  1. Hydrate

If you’re even slightly dehydrated you won’t be able to concentrate properly, and if you’re very dehydrated you might feel dizzy or nauseated, or have a headache which doesn’t help with your productivity. How much water you need in a day will depend on your age, any medications (especially diuretics) your diet, daily environment and level of activity. Some need more than the recommended eight drinks of water a day and some need less.

  1. Eat Healthily

Don’t race out at lunchtime and get greasy takeaway, or eat cakes and sweets at morning tea. It’s hard, but you should think about the fuel you’re putting into your body every day if you want to feel good and be productive. Make your own work lunches. You’ll feel so much better and save money.

  1. Get Regular Exercise

Your mind and body are a double act; they work together, and if your body is not functioning at an optimal level, it will affect your brain and the stress will, in turn, affect your body. It’s a vicious cycle. The answer is exercise. The latest findings suggest that exercise rather than painkillers are better for treating chronic back pain, for instance, but it takes time and you must start slowly. A few stretches during your break may ease painful joints.

  1. Be a Reader

Most of those who inhabit the lofty realms of business success have one thing in common: they read, and they read avidly. Reading provides you with further education, relaxation and increased creativity. Reading also exercises your brain muscle, helps you create new images and teaches you new words to increase your vocabulary and it all boils down to better productivity.

  1. Do Something Different

If you become deeply involved in your work and exclude everything else it will become stultifying. You’ll stagnate for lack of variety, relaxation and fun. Spending day after day on the same treadmill will make your work a bore, even if the task is one that you love. You need space, a work-life balance, a change of pace and a break from your major goal. Being balanced means you’ll avoid tunnel vision, and your brain will have space and time to come up with new ideas. Some ways to relax and take a break include:

  • Walking the dog
  • Doing some yoga
  • Baking a meal
  • Lazing in an Epsom salts and lavender oil bath
  • Going to a Zumba class
  • Having a manicure
  • Gaming
  1. Habits: Make Minor Changes

Nobody is really sure how long it takes to form a habit, and it’s probably different for each of us. But forming good habits is important, even Aristotle thought so (2). Habits and routines are fundamental to consistency, which is fundamental to achieving goals. Making small changes rather than dramatic ones cements an action or reaction into an automatic response or habit. So start small and add to your goal gradually.

  1. Keep Track of Progress

It’s so easy to forget where you’re headed, especially if your project is a long-term one. By tracking your progress you can appreciate how the smaller tasks add up. The truth is, talent doesn’t get you far in life. It’s what you do with it. It’s the hard slog, showing up for work every day, even if things look grim in other areas of your life and you just want to give up. Tackle the smaller tasks first, then you’ll feel as if you’re getting things done, which you will be. Be tenacious and determined, follow all the above tips and always tackle the harder tasks first thing in the morning. The longer you keep at it in a healthy way to sooner your productivity will grow.

  1. Healthy Sleep

Try some sleep hygiene – it involves more than just cleaning your teeth – it’s a routine that can begin an hour before you actually hop into bed. You could turn your phone off, read a book or take a hot shower. Your routine should include things that don’t stimulate so no alcohol or coffee. The more you follow your routine the sooner your body will become accustomed to knowing it’s a lead-up to sleep. Sleep hygiene helps you get a good night’s sleep so you can wake up energised and enthusiastic, and it will show in your productivity.

 

5-Dimensionz is a Melbourne-based company working with business owners and company directors to improve their performance and profits. Contact us for a free no-obligation confidential business review. We will discuss your vision and concerns and identify opportunities to lift the performance of your business.  Call us on 0488 480 402 or email david@5-dimensionz.com.au.

 

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References:

 

  1. http://routineexcellence.com/psychology-of-habits-form-habits-m
  1. https://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx

Why is Having a Digital Presence Vital for Your Business?

This is our second blog by an external guest contributor, Kym Wallis that should be of  interest to our subscribers. Kym’s bio is at the end of this blog. Our aim is to publish a business or management blog on the first day of each month.

Why is Having a Digital Presence Vital for Your Business?

Today we live in a digital society and having an online presence is easier than ever before. A couple of decades ago, business websites were only employed by large companies with huge budgets.

Thanks to the proliferation of affordable development technologies, search engines, and social media platforms, companies of all sizes can now take advantage of the internet.

Below, we’ll go over some of the major benefits that come with having a strong digital presence for your company.

Migrating to a Predictable Model

Before delving into the importance of having online representation, let’s look at the value of moving to a predictable marketing model. Besides lacking granular targeting capacities, traditional marketing methods are characterised for being unpredictable and expensive.

It’s extremely hard to calculate their profitability, therefore you never really know if your investment is worthwhile.

Digital platforms allow intricate tracking and provide a large amount of data you can use to turn your marketing campaign into a predictable source of revenue. You’ll be able to see the number of visitors you have and how they behave. What’s more, you’ll get an idea of the return on investment and make sure your funds are actually being used to improve your company.

6 Reasons You Need to Have a Digital Presence

Although it’s extremely important, there is no exact definition of a “good” online presence. This will vary according to your location, the industry you’re in, and the niche you serve. Some companies can get away with setting up a good site, while others need to deploy social media accounts and other digital channels simultaneously.

Here are some of the benefits of having good representation on digital platforms.

1. Showcase Your Products and Services

Showcasing your products is extremely important, regardless of the marketing channel you’re using. For instance, most business owners would choose to put their best selling products in the storefront in order to attract attention.

Online platforms work exactly the same, except that you have unlimited storefront space. You can create a page dedicated to your products and services to give potential customers information about the different offers you have available.

2. Open Communication Lines

More and more people turn to the internet as the first point of reference when looking for products and services. Opening online channels will help improve communication with your audience as they’ll be able to reach you without going out of their way.

3. Invest Into Trackable Marketing

There are dozens of different online marketing strategies out there, but all of them provide the ability to track your campaigns. Not only this, but the vast majority of digital platforms also allow you to adjust your ads or promotions after they have been launched in order to get the best results.

4. Build Trust with Your Audience

Creating a strong online presence through reviews and testimonials can help build trust with your audience. This works exceptionally well for small companies that serve a local community, even if they don’t offer online services!

5. It’s More Affordable Than Ever

As mentioned before, the cost of developing websites has significantly decreased since the early 2000s. This, plus the development of free social media platforms make it more affordable than ever before for any company to have a strong digital presence.

6. Reach Potential Customers Through Their Preferred Channel

There are more than 3.5 billion active internet users that browse the web on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles, and other devices. Even if you don’t sell products or provide services over the internet, simply having your information online can help your potential customers find you easily through their preferred channels.

Find a Reliable Business Performance Firm

Building a strong online presence requires a significant amount of work. Besides identifying the best platform, you also have to develop attractive content that entices your audience. You’ll also have to find a reliable firm to help you achieve your vision through actionable plans.

At 5-Dimensionz, our team of business performance builders will be happy to assist you in building your online presence. Learn more about our services by contacting us and we’ll be glad to help find your keys to success.

Author’s Bio

Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Catalyst Computers.

Starting a new business?

This is first blog that will be of interest to our subscribers from an external contributor, Kym Wallis. His bio is at the end of this blog. Our aim is to publish a business or management blog on the first day of each month. We hope you enjoy this initial blog.

  

Starting a New Business?

Here Are 10 Things You Need to Prepare!

So, you’ve decided to go into business for yourself but have never built a company from the ground up. Whether you are going to work as a sole trader or are planning to operate a small business with multiple employees working under you, there are things you need to get ready before you can actually open those proverbial doors to business. Here are 10 of the most important things you’ll need to prepare.

1. The Mindset of an Entrepreneur

Remember, you are not going to be working for a boss because now you will be the boss! Everything is going to fall squarely on your shoulders, from finding a sound investment loan to hiring top talent to work with you. Begin with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn from mistakes. If you understand what you need to do and any pitfalls you may encounter, you can make a successful go of it.

2. Business Structure & Type

Before you can do anything, you will need to decide between your options in business structures. Each type carries different taxation and legal requirements, so it pays to understand the differences between registering as a sole trader, a partnership, a company or a trust. As for the type of business you are going to operate, here is where you will need to decide whether you are going to work from your own home or you will need a separate base of operations. These are extremely important preliminary considerations to decide upon before you can go any further in starting your new business.

3. Registering with Proper Authorities

There are several steps involved in registering your business with the proper authorities. You must register a business name, your company, and then get all the requisite permits and licences. If you will be running an online endeavour, here is where you’ll need to register a domain name as well. You can check out the business.gov.au website for information on just how to go about registering your company to do business in Australia.

3. Write Your Business Plan

What new business owners may not understand is the importance of a business plan. This is where you lay out your business model and how you plan to do everything from day to day operations to marketing. If you are going to begin buying investment properties, for example, you would need a sound business plan long before seeking investment property loan information. No lender will even consider underwriting a loan for a new business unless they can see a solid business plan that will result in a strong likelihood of profitability. Without a strong business plan, everything else along the way is probably doomed to failure.

4. Develop a Marketing Strategy

Drawing on the business model of an investment property entrepreneur, one of the most important types of investment property tips in learning how to plan and execute a marketing strategy. Whether you are going to invest in commercial or residential properties unless you can attract renters, how can you expect a good return on your investment (ROI)? Marketing is going to be a key component of any business, but especially when beginning a new venture.

6. A Sound Understanding of Taxes

Ignoring taxation laws in Australia, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, has been the downfall of many a business old and new. From day one, you need to understand how to keep accurate records, which taxes you will need to register, and how to lodge taxes when the time comes. In fact, you’ll even need to when businesses are required to lodge taxes. This is where you might want to consult with a licenced accounting firm.

7. Learn Which Laws Apply to You

If you don’t understand business laws in Australia, you could be in jeopardy of being fined high dollar amounts or, worst case scenario, being closed down by the government for breaking one or more laws. From fair trading laws to complying with the Privacy Act, ignorance is no excuse. Just as you might wish to consult with an accountant for all things financial, you may wish to get legal counsel to help you with legal compliance.

8. Financing and All Things Financial

A majority of new businesses will need financing not only at the very beginning but from time to time throughout the life of the company. Your business’ borrowing power will depend on a number of things, and here is where you will probably want to find a good borrowing power calculator. Along with almost every other startup, you will probably wonder, “How much can I borrow?” That calculator will give you a good idea of how much you may qualify for when seeking a startup business loan.

9. Insurance and Emergency Preparedness

Not only are businesses required to carry such things as liability insurance but there are other types of cover you may wish to consider to protect your investment. Your accountant or lawyer can help you understand which types of insurance you are legally required to carry so that you can begin searching for a provider with reasonable rates. If you are going to be employing staff, an emergency preparedness plan is also going to be required. Such things as evacuation routes and authorities to contact should be posted in highly visible areas.

10. Your Base of Operations

Speaking of highly visible areas, this is the last step in starting a new business before you can plan a launch date. Whether working from home or in an outside base of operations, everything necessary should be on site and ready to go. Besides stock and operational equipment, you’ll need to have key players in place as well. In order for a smooth and profitable launch, make sure you are really ready before announcing your ‘grand opening.’

Once everything is in place and you’ve covered all your bases, don’t forget to work closely with your marketing team.

Kym Wallis1  Author’s Bio

Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Integr8IT.