How to Shine at Events With Social Media

SocialMediaMarketingAre you attending a trade show, conference or some other event? You absolutely need to be active on social media! Why? Every business wants their prospective customers to know they exist. With so many product and service offerings out there, it can be difficult to stand out in the crowd — especially at events that are saturated with businesses that are just like yours! You may be asking yourself, “how do I rise above the rest and attract people at events to connect with me and learn more about my business?” or “how can I get the most out of the time and money I invest in attending such functions?”

Below are a number of ways to use social media before, during and after your event to help attract prospective customers to your business and build buzz around your brand.

Before the Event:

  • Let your audience know you’re attending weeks/months in advance. Include your booth # in your post, if applicable. This helps to create buzz very early on.
  • Create a countdown. Create and post content 5, 7, or 10 days before the event to share your anticipation for attending. Countdown ideas: a simple image/gif/video  with numbers counting down to the event with your logo and the event hashtag, a different reason daily as to why you are excited for the event, a variety of stats about your business/product/service, testimonials, etc. Get creative!
  • Use the event hashtag in posts leading up to the event across any and all social platforms your business uses.
  • Consider creating a hashtag specific to your business and the event.
  • Follow the event host, association, organizers, vendors, attendees, etc. on Twitter.
  • …and communicate with them! Let other attendees know you’re excited to connect with them at the event!
  • Consider creating and posting teaser videos/photos leading up to the event if you are launching a new product/service, or are unveiling new features to your product or additions to your team.
  • Give a “behind-the-scenes” look or a sneak peek at your team, strategizing sessions, booth setup, materials, swag and more! This will build excitement in your audience and hopefully encourage them to visit you at the event.

During the Event:

  • Snap photos and post them to your social networks in a timely manner. Don’t forget to include the hashtag and a geotag (share your location) so that others who are at the event are aware of your presence!
  • Experiment with video. If you’re super tech-savvy, make a time-lapse of yourself setting up, or capture video of your business interacting with visitors throughout the day.
  • Consider live streaming components of the event, such as setting up your booth, announcing the winner of a contest/giveaway, providing a sneak peek of your promotional items, encouraging others to visit your booth, etc.
  • Incorporate an activity at your booth that encourages others to post about your brand. A great idea is to have visitors snap selfies using your product/service, share it on social media, use your hashtag, and tag your company in the post to be entered into a draw.
  • Use other marketing methods in conjunction with social media. Include your social media links on all handouts, and use these handouts as a takeaway for visitors. Another great idea is to consider looping testimonials (video or text) on a monitor at your booth so others can quickly see just how great your product/service is.
  • Don’t forget about the folks at home! Unfortunately, not every one can attend such events, so consider utilizing social media to get a message out to your audience letting them know their presence was missed and perhaps offering some sort of incentive (such as a coupon code, a chance to win a prize, an exclusive offer, etc.) If you are taking this route, try to ensure that the people actually attending the event walk way with something of higher value than the ones who didn’t attend — especially if the ones who are attending pay to be there.

After the Event:

  • Make connections. Once you get back to the office, flip through the business cards you receive and connect with absolutely every single person you met at the event on social media. Be sure to follow their business accounts, too. Once connected, use built-in messaging on the platform of your choice to send off a quick, personalized note letting these individuals know you were pleased to meet them. Don’t get “salesy” in this message — save that for an email.
  • Follow up. Be sure to send off emails to individuals you feel would benefit from your product/service. Don’t forget that you can also send off emails to those individuals who couldn’t make it to the event and offer them some sort of perk, too. Be sure to include your links to your social platforms and encourage attendees to continue the conversation about the event on social media and use both your personal company hashtag as well as the event hashtag when doing so.
  • Blog about it. Why not sit down and take some time to recap the event in a blog and highlight special moments that occurred during the event? A blog post is another great way to encourage others to continue the conversation surrounding the event on your social media platforms, or share their experience directly on your blog post! Optimize your post settings to include tags that align with the event. Once you publish your post, be sure to share it on all your social accounts and include the event hashtag when doing so.
  • Give thanks! When the event is over, send out a quick Tweet to the event hosts, organizers, sponsors, etc. thanking them for producing such a great event!

MeganSignature

Customer Retention 101

Customer Retention

I’m not one who typically brags but when it comes to StaffStat, I never hesitate! One of the stats we’re proudest of is our 100% retention rate. After 3 years of providing our solution to various organizations within the health care sector, we have yet to hear “we’re not interested in continuing or renewing with your services”. The following outlines the 3 basic principles that we’ve adopted to ensure that our success rate in this department never changes:

  1. Customer Service:

It’s not only expected but mandatory that everyone on the StaffStat team delivers exceptional customer service! Whether we’re speaking to the CEO of a corporation, a scheduler in one of our homes or a front-line staff… everyone can expect the same level of response, attention and excellence. Our goal is to build believers in our product. Anytime someone has a question, we’re on it! 4 quick tips to help you elevate your level of customer service:

  • Never state on your voicemail that you’ll respond within 24 hours or any timeframe for that matter. It’s a turn off! Respond as quickly as possible to inquiries and if you’re away, leave people with an alternate contact via telephone and email.
  • When you receive an emailed inquiry, call your customer to discuss the matter directly rather than crafting a response! It takes less time, ensures there’s no miscommunication and your customer will appreciate it.
  • Offer 24/7 customer service. You would be surprised the difference this offering can make to both prospects and long standing customers.
  • Smile while you’re talking on the phone during a customer service call. They can’t see it but they can hear it! If they can hear it, they can feel it!
  1. Check/in:
  • Based on the product or service you provide, establish a timeline to check-in with customers. There’s multiple ways you can make this happen: Send a Survey Monkey to get your key questions answered. Leave it open for feedback and expect both positive and negative comments. I’m a firm believer that you can only get better by tweaking your product or service based on your current customer’s feedback.
  • Call them up! Schedule a time for your customer to provide you with a real conversation regarding your company. This conversation should include everything from the time they were approached to the time they’ve renewed their services. Check-ins should happen at a minimum on a bi-monthly basis.
  • Find an excuse to chat! When we add a new feature, we send out detailed emails to our customers. These people, in return, send back a “that’s amazing” or “have you ever thought about…”. A response back via email allows us to make them feel like they’re part of the process and who doesn’t want that!
  • My favorite by far… schedule a visit! Come prepared with their data and progress so far. Sit down one on one or with their team and prepare yourself for eye opening conversation!
  1. Stay humble!

Remember that while you came up with a genius idea, you would be nowhere without those who believe in what you’re doing and what you’re selling. People tend to stick to people and things they know. That trend will follow you provided you take a glance in the rear view mirror every now and again and remember where it is you came from. How?

  • Write a hand written note every now again to those who were early adopters!
  • Take them out to lunch or out to a networking event.
  • Pay attention when a current customer gives you feedback, whether it’s positive or negative.
  • Ask them for a testimonial… I know this sounds like a favour but people like to see their name in print! Can you say win-win?

There you have it: 3 simple tips on how to help with your customer retention.

melblog

The ABC’s of Business – 3/3

abc (1)

Two weeks ago, I started a new series entitled The ABC’s of Business. It’s a series where I break down some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years as the CEO of a tech startup. Today’s post is the final of this series. If you missed part 1, click here. Need to read part 2? Check it out here.

Let’s go!

Q- Quiet – How can you learn if you’re busy being loud and expressing your opinions to anyone who’ll listen. The only time I’ve ever “learned” is when I took the time to ‘shut up’ and hear from someone who was speaking based on experience. In business, you need to always be listening – to customers, to advisors, to investors, and to your team members. When you do talk, concentrate on making it effective. Responsible, effective listening is a rare skill that will give you a sustainable competitive advantage over your peers and your competitors. It’s also a skill that can be developed with practice. You can never know enough in business, so even top entrepreneurs find time to be quiet and just listen.
R- Rest – Every now and again, get away from the hustle and bustle of your business. If you operate out of your home, give yourself permission to get away. As a business owner, your mind is likely running a mile a minute, 24/7. If you’re entrepreneurial, and my guess is you are, you need to turn it off in order to get back into brilliant mode. Avoid burnout by granting yourself some serious ‘you’ time.
S- Structure – Sitting down, first thing in the morning, and writing out your goals for the day can be a work-altering experience. Define your day and prep yourself for an absolute ‘winning’ mentality – it could look something like this:

8-9am – prep for prospecting calls
9am-11am – attack: make 30 calls
11am-12pm – prep for follow-ups
12pm-1pm – re-group (whatever that looks like – going to the gym, having lunch away from the office…)
1pm-3pm – organize and prepare for tomorrow
3-4pm – attack, yet again: make some follow-up calls and send out emails
T- Trust – This is honestly one of the hardest elements when it comes to business. You have this amazing idea, you develop it from the ground up, you fund it and then you hand it off to someone else. Whoa… that’s tough. BUT (and this is coming from someone who hates the word “but”) you must. Despite the fact that you think no one is capable of being YOU, there needs to be some serious trust applied to the person who’s receiving the hand-off. There’s a reason you’ve appointed them, after all. You believe in their belief that this is the best thing since sliced bread and in that spirit, you need to support their movement toward the goal. Let go of the small things, the unimportant facets. Quit playing the ‘I trust you/ hang on… maybe I don’t’ game and get on with it. If you trust, set them free and know that you can rely on this person to get things done. If you don’t… you need to re-evaluate your structure.
U- Unicorn – When running a start-up, you need to be many things to many people. You need to know and understand every in and out and if you don’t, you best have an explanation as to why you’re unsure. It’s a rough position to be in because startups on the whole are unpredictable and uncertain. You need to play the role of whatever is needed at whatever time.
V- Vision – Your product or service was developed because you saw a problem and you found a way to fix it. Your vision is your staple. It’s what you, and only you, can have a fighting passion for, an understanding of and a vigor beyond anyone else’s understanding. You felt there was a need, you developed a solution and now, you need to drive that vision home.
W- Work it! – Never underestimate the power of networking. Take advantage of every business related community event to shake hands, practice meeting new people and perfecting your pitch. Three networking tips:

  1. It’s about quality, not quantity. Your goal at any networking event is to have meaningful and purposeful conversations. You shouldn’t be whipping out your business cards and handing them out to everyone in attendance. Of course, you want to try to meet numerous people and you want to impress the powers that be but best to make use of the quality over quantity analogy here.
  2. Be kind to everyone. You never know who you’re talking to and making assumptions about who is relevant and who’s important could really come back to haunt you!
  3. Every hour you spend networking is an hour away from everything else. I actually enjoy networking but believe me, I make the most of every single event! Why? Because I understand that I could be at home, hanging out with my boys and enjoying my family. I’ve opted, however, to come out to this particular event. Why would I EVER waste one single moment.. seriously!

X- X-ray – Everyone has a different word or set of words for this. Ours is ‘strat plan’. Every month, every quarter and every year, sit down with your team and examine every facet of your business. This could be in the form of a SWOT analysis or if you prefer, you can go over the 5 main components of any business (Growth, HR, Financials, Marketing and Operations) and break out your goals for the next month, quarter or year.
Y- Yield – Here’s the thing.. I wear my heart on my sleeve. This means that I’ve made rash decisions, made the wrong comments at the wrong time and overstepped in times of feeling under-appreciated. None of the above noted behaviour was ever worth the outcome. Had I been wiser (and had a little more experience) I would have known that all I needed was a 24 hour yield period to think it over. To ponder over the situation, it’s potential outcome and my subsequent decision. There’s NEVER a need to make a rash decision. Better to be prudent than regretful in most cases and I genuinely believe that this is a lesson I’ve learned along the way that I hope to impart, so as to avoid anyone ever having to feel the brunt of a quickly made and under thought-of decision.
Z- Zest – This is a simple and great way to end this blog series. Zest is what I live for. I have never had a day where I’ve dreaded driving in to work. I love every day at the office. I love our team. I love our product. I have a passion that I could never even describe for what it is I have the pleasure, scratch that, the honor of representing every single day! I only hope that’s what all of you reading feel when thinking about your day to day. If you have that kind of zest, you’re bound to find an unrivalled success and ‘win’ every single day of your work life!

And with that… we wrap up this series. Hopefully you walk away with some great advice to help you with running your business. Have any other tips or tricks you’d like to share with others? Leave a comment below!

melblog

Social Media Marketing Tips – Part 3

linkedinA few weeks back I created a new series on The A Dot Blog that outlines tips to help businesses bolster their social media presence across various platforms. If you missed the past two posts, you can view them here: Social Media Tips for Facebook & Social Media Tips for Twitter.

In today’s post I will tackle a very popular social media platform among professionals that is often overlooked by businesses who are considering where to spend their marketing efforts online. You may have guessed it — I’m talking about LinkedIn.

Did you know that LinkedIn’s user base exceeds 450 million users and that its average number of users is roughly 105 million per month? Amazing!

Here are a few more LinkedIn stats to consider:

  • There are roughly 40 million students & recent graduates on LinkedIn
  • The majority of users on LinkedIn are men (57%)
  • 40% of LinkedIn users visit LinkedIn daily
  • 2 new LinkedIn accounts are created every second

There’s no wonder why 79% of business-to-business marketers view LinkedIn as an effective source for generating leads!

If you’re considering using LinkedIn to market your product or service offerings, the following tips can aid in your efforts!

  • Focus on your own profile. Make sure that before you create your company’s LinkedIn page you spend time filling out your own profile first. Why? When your name is featured on your company LinkedIn page, people will likely check out your profile to learn more about the role you hold in your business. Be sure to add skills, achievements, company milestones, etc. — basically anything that you want others to know about YOU and anything that sets you apart from the rest!
  • Build your company page. Be accurate and thorough when creating your company’s LinkedIn page. Boast about your products/services. Let potential customers understand why your business is better than the rest. Link your team members’ profiles to your company page so that viewers can have a “behind the scenes” look at who is a part of your business and how they’re championing your brand.
  • Claim your custom URL. When you first create your company page, you will be assigned a random URL containing numbers. Be sure to edit your URL and choose one that better matches your brand. If possible, use your business’ name. This will ensure your page appears in searches both on and off LinkedIn. Plus, it’s easier for you and others to remember.
  • Get your team on board. Encourage your own employees to create a LinkedIn profile, fill out pertinent information, follow your LinkedIn company page, and share your brand’s content frequently.
  • Keywords are key. Be sure to fill out your company page with keywords that match your product/service, business, industry, target market, etc. This will increase the likelihood of your page being listed in search results.
  • Share your LinkedIn url every where. Link your company page to your website, email signature, other social media accounts, marketing materials & anywhere else you can think of to help grow your company’s following. Don’t be afraid to search & connect with your current customers on LinkedIn, too.
  • Post engaging content. Stand out in the crowd by using images that contain faces and evoke some sort of emotion — these types of images are what people are naturally drawn to. When your followers like, comment & share your content, their connections see this activity, which increases both the reach of your messages and the chance to gain more followers.
  • Interact with others. Be sure to also share, like, and comment on any other content that you find interesting and aligns with your brand and industry.
  • Cross-post/promote content. Share LinkedIn articles that you publish to your company page or personal LinkedIn profile on other social media accounts and vice versa. This will help increase visits to your profile/company page, and will ensure you’re sharing great, consistent content across all social platforms.
  • Sponsor your best pieces. Have content that is performing very well? Consider sponsoring it directly on LinkedIn. There are various advertising outcomes you can achieve when sponsoring your content that depends on the parameters you select; such outcomes include increasing your company page’s follower base, getting your updates seen by your target market across every device, directing your audience to your website, and more. Learn about sponsoring your content on LinkedIn by clicking here.

That concludes this series! I hope you have gained some valuable knowledge about social media marketing for your business! Which platform (or combination of platforms) works best for your business? Let me know in the comments section below!

Until next time…

MeganSignature

 

The ABC’s of Business – 2/3

abc (1)Last week, I started a new series: The ABC’s of Business, where I expressed what I’ve learned while running a startup over the last 3 years. Read part 1 by clicking here.

Let’s jump back into it…

I- Integrity – Do the right thing, even when no one is looking… a piece of advice provided to me a long time ago that I still remember every single day.
J- Juggling – You can call yourself the Founder, the CEO, the one at the helm… regardless of your ‘title’, if you’re running a startup, you’ll likely be wearing ALL hats — for a little while anyway. Juggling is my preferred word to the concept of time management. You need to learn to prioritize, get things done efficiently and manage yourself and your company to the best of your ability. It’s a large task and one that usually requires 60-80 hours/week. It’s a tough gig but again, I say: “Remember why you started this venture in the first place”.
K- Knowledge – In this particular case, I’m not talking about learning your craft. I’m talking about imparting your knowledge onto new entrepreneurs. In my opinion, it’s part of the gig. If someone asks to meet with you, give them a bit of your time (you may end up learning a thing or two yourself). Always remember those mentors who helped you along the way, and if you didn’t have mentorship, remember those moments where you wish you had someone as a sounding board. Give back — it’s as simple as that.
L- Listen to learn NOT to reply – To make my point here, I’ll use an example.

Scenario 1:

  1. Boss walks in after discovering an issue.
  2. Boss sits the entire team down and tells everyone his or her idea to resolve it.
  3. Boss now asks everyone for their input and ideas.

Result – the team is not only swayed (the person who is responsible for paying their bills has already expressed their brilliant idea) but also shies away from presenting an alternative because the inevitable outcome was already been presented by the person who manages them. The result here is a boss seeking reinforcement of his or her opinion from the team.

Scenario 2:

  1. Boss walks in after discovering an issue.
  2. Boss sits the entire team down and asks for their opinion on how to resolve the problem.
  3. A brainstorming session ensues.

Result – the team provides their opinions openly and freely leading to multiple potential solutions. The result here is a boss who’s willing to listen and a team who’s willing to contribute.
M- Mastery – You should know the sector/s you serve like the back of your hand. The language they use, their pain-points and the solutions they’re currently using or that are considered a competitor in your market. Join their memberships, attend their conferences/tradeshows and if you don’t have it your own arsenal, seek out a mentor from their vertical. Know their numbers as well as you know your own. This is information you should be able to rhyme off at the drop of a hat.
N- Never dull your shine – Being a woman leading a tech company, I OFTEN get asked: “What’s your biggest struggle as a woman in the tech industry?” The answer is multifaceted but for the purpose of answering to my concept of ‘never dulling your shine’, I’ll provide 2 points:

  1. Women are outnumbered by men in the world of tech. This starts in the Computer Science programs offered everywhere and leads to those numbers being translated to programmers employed by tech companies and the C-level executives within those companies. It’s simple math and it’s going to take a little while for us to grow those numbers across the board. When you choose to go against the current grain and trends, be steadfast despite the odds against you.
  2. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel that you have to tone down your personality, your looks or your opinions for the purpose of being taken seriously. Stay true to who you are and you can’t fail.

O- Open – Be open to ideas. Be open to criticism. Be open to anything that may have an impact on your business. Understand that someone’s ideas may have no fit or may have a massive impact on your day to day. Keeping yourself open to others’ opinions can be difficult, I get that… It may also have a pivotal effect on your business’ bottom line. In other words, be open and you never know what the outcome might be.
P- Price point – Set it and believe in it. Don’t hesitate when discussing your price point. Know your differentiating factors and be confident when expressing the cost of your product or service. Whatever sets you apart is what will allow you to set a price that makes sense to both your bottom line and your customer’s budget.

 

That wraps up part 2! Stay tuned for next week’s post as I conclude this series! Feel free to share any business advice you’ve learned in the comments; whether you’re in your first year of business or your tenth, I welcome all advice!

melblog

Social Media Marketing Tips – Part 2

twitter-blog-post1.pngA few weeks ago I created a blog post outlining a few tips to help businesses market themselves on Facebook. The key pieces of advice I listed were to help businesses not only learn the basics, but to cover some of the more “advanced” areas in regards to Facebook marketing. If you missed it, you can check out that post here: https://theadotblog.com/2017/10/26/social-media-marketing-tips-part-1/

Today, I am back with some more tips and tricks to help you excel at marketing your business on Twitter.

Let’s jump in…

  1. Choose a Twitter handle that makes sense.  Ensure it resembles your business’ name as closely as possible so that your audience can easily find you.
  2. Pay attention to the details. Fill out your profile and keep it concise. Add information that is relevant. Add a website URL (link) if you have one. And remember, don’t remain an egg; add a picture to your profile ASAP!  Twitter accounts with profile pictures have 10 x as many followers than those that don’t.
  3. Familiarize yourself with what hashtags are and how to use them. There’s no need to use them for #every #single #word, be sure to #CapitalizeEachWord & #KeepThemShort. For more tips on how to use #hashtags, check out my post here: https://theadotblog.com/2016/02/25/how-to-use-hashtags/
  4. Understand what “@” means. The @ symbol is always displayed next to each and every username, but it is also how you will communicate on Twitter. If you compose a Tweet and begin it with someone’s @username, not everyone will see the Tweet. For example, “@StaffStatSuds I love filling shifts in seconds!” will be seen only by users who follow you and the user you are mentioning. Adding the username anywhere else in the Tweet is called a mention and the Tweet is visible and public to all. For example, “Wow! I love using @StaffStatSuds to fill shifts in seconds!” will ensure the account mentioned and all others will see your Tweet.
  5. Tweet your own content. Do this once daily at the very least; share a photo from an event, a blog post, information surrounding enhancements to your product/service offering, etc. Doing so will not only help build your brand, but it will help keep your feed current and fresh.
  6. Re-tweet at least 1-3 times daily. This step is easy and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Use hashtags that are relevant to your industry, product, service or brand. If you’re in software, search something like #TechNews, #SaaS, #Software, etc. You should be able to find reputable content that aligns with what your business is doing. Once you find something you like, click the re-tweet button, and add your own personal opinion as a comment (A.K.A a quote Tweet); this will ensure when others search for your content (or content related to what you re-tweet) they will see your thoughts which can help position you as an expert for that specific subject matter.
  7. Reply to others. If someone re-tweets your unique content, thank them for doing so and spark up a conversation by tweeting back to them. Hint: reference point 4 in this post to understand how to best converse with individuals on Twitter.
  8. Be engaging. Some businesses are guilty of constantly promoting their products/services. While it’s okay to Tweet about a sale or promotion or a new product launch, be sure to share content that your audience wants to see, such as a blog about the latest features of your product, an explainer video highlighting the benefits of your services, or a series of teaser videos to build excitement for your holiday collection. Putting a spin on the “generic” content you share will help increase the quality of conversation that surrounds your brand.
  9. Tweet links to your blog — and do so often. If you have a company blog Twitter is a great space to share your posts! Don’t be afraid of tweeting the same blog link more than once a day to ensure you reach people in different timezones, or anyone who didn’t get the chance to see your tweet the first time it went out. Try not to spam your audience, however. Three of the same blog tweets per day is more than enough!
  10. Use Twitter as a customer service tool. If a customer has a concern or complaint, they may choose to Tweet you about it. Don’t be afraid of responding directly to them via Twitter to help resolve their issue. For tips on providing social customer service, click here: https://theadotblog.com/2015/11/05/6-tips-for-providing-exceptional-social-customer-service/
  11. Create lists. Ever feel like your newsfeed has A LOT going on and the tweets you’re seeing throughout the day aren’t necessarily filled with content that matters to your brand? Get into the practice of creating lists. From the desktop site, simply click on your profile photo in the upper right hand corner of the screen and select “Lists”. The page will then show you any lists that you have subscribed to (when viewing others’ accounts you can check out their lists and subscribe to any that interest you) and lists that you are a member of (those that others have added you to). You also have the option of creating your own list, naming it, and adding accounts you exclusively would like to group together. For example, you can use keywords such as “entrepreneurship” or “quotes” and group similar accounts under their respective lists. To view lists, go to your personal Twitter timeline and select “lists” from the bar that portrays all your other Twitter-related stats, such as Tweets, Following, Followers etc.
  12. Use images. Tweets containing only text tend to get lost in the shuffle. Stand out in the crowd by using images that contain faces and evoke some sort of emotion — these types of images are what people are naturally drawn to.
  13. Don’t be afraid to recycle. Do you have a certain tweet that has a lot of likes,  retweets & replies? Either tweet it again, pay to promote it, or pin it to the top of your page so anyone new visiting your feed can see it — no matter how much time has passed since it was first created!
  14. If you’re tweeting a link, shorten it using a URL shortener such as bit.ly. This will ensure you have enough space to add additional wording to the tweet, and will allow others to retweet your content and add their own thoughts about it.

There you have it — 14 tips to help you out with your Twitter marketing efforts. Be sure to check back next week as I share more social media marketing advice for your business!

MeganSignature

The ABC’s of Business – Part 1/3

abc (1).jpgDisclaimer: I was quoted for the first time on Twitter last month. It was kind of cool to see something I said get posted by the organizers of the event and to see some retweets on the quote itself. It went a little something like this: “Running a startup is the best education you can’t buy”. The following is a glimpse into what I’ve learned over the course of the last 3 years.

A- Accountability – It’s inevitable. You’re going to mess up. Whether you work for a company or you run the company, you need to be able to learn to be accountable. Running a business means that you’ll be dealing with vendors and customers on a daily basis. Think back to the last time you know someone messed up and how insulting it was when instead of taking the high road and apologizing, they had their back up and insisted it was everyone else’s fault. It’s frustrating when you’re on the receiving end. Never be the person who feels they have to prove they were right, you’ll save yourself a lot of energy and the other party a lot of frustration.
B- Bravery – Doubt, fear, anxiety… it all comes to the forefront when you’re responsible for bringing something from concept to success. There will be days where you feel confident in your product, your service, your team, your direction and your vision. There will be days when you can’t find your footing and you’re uncertain about everything. I’m not saying it’s easy in those moments to spring back to ‘optimistic you’ but ultimately, you need to find it within yourself to continue. Remind yourself of why you started this venture in the first place.
C- Celebrate – …everything! Milestones — small and large — deserve to be talked about, applauded and acknowledged! We have a bell at StaffStat and whenever it rings, everyone gets excited. It could mean something small (ie. a new sales person got their first contract signed) or something big (we were awarded a huge contract). One thing’s for sure: EVERY milestone gets a ring because every step in the right direction is a step toward our goal of bringing our solution to the masses!
D- Delegation – Everyone has a weakness and this just happens to be mine (although I am working on it). It’s easy to get attached to every task or find it more convenient to do everything yourself. If you ever want to get to the place where you’re able to focus on the higher-level conversations, meetings and decisions, you need to delegate some of those tasks you’re possessive about and move them downstream. Everyone wins! You are freed from feeling like you have one more thing to do and the person you assigned the task to feels trusted. Not to mention, if you assign the task to someone whose strengths are aligned with it, odds are good that it’ll be done right.
E- Energy – Self-care is a huge component to your business. If you run a company and/or a team, you need to be at your best. Learn to ‘turn it off’ every now and again. You would be amazed at the impact when you hit the power button back on after a reset!
F- Fail – While there are many quotes on failure, my favourite is by Colin Powell: “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence”. Failure presents with it an opportunity: we can either learn from it or we can dwell on it. Your character decides which road you want to travel. My guess is a successful business would be led by the individual who takes the opportunity to learn from the situation.
G- Growth – It’s always risky to add to your team. It’s a hit or miss and the bull’s-eye is a very small, finite mark. When hiring, you’ll stumble upon amazing and questionable people alike. In my opinion, each person you bring on is there for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Growth is inevitable, it’s up to you to make the best decisions you can along the way and learn from all hiring experiences for future additions.
H- Humility – Business is NEVER a ‘me’ effort. Even if you don’t have a team in-house, where would be without your customers? Every business that survives and thrives is of the ‘we’ mindset! Always remember to be thankful and grateful and everything should line up nicely.

That wraps up part 1 of this series! Stay tuned as I tackle the rest of the alphabet in parts 2 & 3… coming soon!

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