The Top 3 Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

The Top 3 Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

1. Being led by too many opinions

If you own a startup, more than likely you will be given plenty of advice by friends and family or, if you’re proactively seeking out answers, like-minded business people. You need to be wary of being overwhelmed with too many opinions. Listening to too many various opinions can lead to a lot of confusion and indecision. When there are a lot of opinions flying around in your head, you may end up making a split-second decision which can be bad for business.

To help you avoid basic mistakes in your daily dealings, work with someone who you can trust and has had business experience or even consider hiring a consultant to look at your business plan and give you their professional opinions.

2. Underestimating or ignoring the competition

Although you should not obsess over your competition, you also shouldn’t ignore them either. All businesses have competition and if you don’t know why your business is better than your competitors, you’re not going to get ahead of the pack. You need to convey your message properly to customers and learn from, not only your mistakes, but also your competitor’s mistakes. Sometimes the toughest competitor is you.

3. Doing everything yourself

We all know the phrase, ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself’ however, sometimes we don’t give anyone else a chance to prove themselves. The sooner you learn to let go of some of the work and delegate efficiently, the better it will be for your business and mental health!

As tempting as it is to do your design work, finance and administrative work by yourself, it may not be the best use of your time and there may be someone out there better at some of the jobs than you. (Sorry!)

Being an entrepreneur is one big learning curve, just remember when you make a mistake, learn from it, and don’t dwell on it!

This guest post was written by Sarah from Drones On Demand who specalise in drone survey services.

What Makes an Effective Leader?

What Makes an Effective Leader?

When you are the head of your own business and run a team alongside your own responsibilities, you need to have brilliant leadership skills.

Here’s a list of key qualities that every good leader should possess and learn to develop:

Positive attitude – If you want to keep your team motivated and get their energy levels up, you need to have a positive attitude! Have a mix of playfulness and productivity in the workplace to get your team feeling happy and upbeat – this will result in good quality work.

Delegating – Delegating tasks to the right people is important to develop your team’s skills as your business grows. The key to delegation is to identify the strengths of your team and focus on them, along with the tasks they enjoy, as the more they enjoy doing it, the higher the chance is that they will put more into behind it. Remember, as the work begins to pile up, the more you take on yourself, the more the stretch yourself thin which means the quality of your work will suffer so remember to delegate!

Confidence – There are going to be times when things aren’t going to plan or the future isn’t looking so bright, but the most important thing you can do is not to panic. As a leader, you’re here to put out the fires whilst maintaining the team morale. Stay cool, calm and collected and your team will follow.

Commitment – You need to lead by example, there is no greater motivation for a team than seeing their boss getting their hands dirty with the rest of them! You want to demonstrate that hard work is being done on every level and by doing this you will earn respect from your team and encourage that same hardworking energy.

Inspire! – Inspiring your team to work hard and create success is vital. You want to generate enthusiasm and encourage your team to focus on future goals (whilst also putting maximum effort into current issues). When work is deep, energy levels will fall and morale is low, you need to acknowledge that everyone is dedicated, committed and working to their greatest ability. Your job is to keep spirits up, and that starts with showing your appreciation for the hard work done.

NEWS: ABS UK Ltd Offers Lending Hand to New Businesses

NEWS: ABS UK Ltd Offers Lending Hand to New Businesses

Leading printing solutions firm based in Elland, ABS UK Ltd, is set to launch a new Business Incubator service to a start-up business offering a free desk space and expert business mentoring.

Eligible new businesses up to two years old, and operating in the Halifax and Huddersfield area, are invited to apply for the free desk space for a period of one year based in ABS UK Ltd’s company offices.

The package available for one local business person will include free use of WiFi, telephone line, meeting space and warehouse space, as well as access to experts within sales, administration and marketing.

The initial online application process, which opens on 1 February, will consist of a simple questionnaire. The deadline for application is 11th March. Applicants will then be invited to present their business plan in a face-to-face Dragons’ Den style interview to the ABS Business Incubator Panel in March, before a decision is reached.

The pilot project, which will begin at the start of the new financial tax year, 1 April 2016, has been designed by ABS UK Ltd with advice from Calderdale Council Enterprise Support in order to nurture and encourage growth within the local business community.

Upon completion of one year in the ABS Business Incubator the successful applicant can apply for a three month extension of the space if required.

Paul Lees, managing director of ABS UK Ltd said:

“Having been through the process of setting up and growing a successful business, we understand the challenges and pitfalls that many new businesses can potentially face. We would now like to take the opportunity to give back to the local business community and offer our own expertise and advice to the next generation of business owners.”

With the support and expertise available it is hoped the chosen business would benefit from opportunities it may not have otherwise received, ultimately aiding its growth into a successful, and established business ready to operate independently.

Eric Binns, Calderdale Council’s enterprise officer, has been working alongside Paul and the ABS UK team to develop the concept and operational process, he added:

“It will give a new business vital support in its early stages with the necessary resources and mentoring and advice available ‘on-hand’ and with the added benefit that the person will not be working in isolation but in a busy working environment. We hope other local companies consider offering similar opportunities.”

To apply to the Business Incubator Panel please contact Paul Lees at ABS on [email protected] or call 01422 880008.

New Year, New You?

New Year, New You?

We say it every year, but do we actually go ahead and make it happen? It’s sometimes difficult to find the motivation that we need once the festive period is over and we go back to our daily routines.

Being motivated means being committed, forgiving yourself for an off day and get going again. It’s not a magic switch that you can turn on & off. Choose to be committed and you’ll find yourself motivated. There really is no time like the present, so go for it now!

Here are a few positive messages to help get going and make 2016 the year of you and becoming the best that you can be!

I can do anything. It’s a simple phrase but it helps remind yourself – you really can do anything you set your mind to.
This is why I can. Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can’t do something, give yourself reasons why you can.
I deserve more. You deserve a better life – whether that means a better job, a healthier body or more money. Work for it.
It’s never too late. No matter how old you are or how many opportunities you’ve passed up before, it’s never too late to make a decision and get a fresh start.
There will always be challenges. No matter what you do in life, there will always be challenges – don’t let one set get the better of you.
There’s no “perfect” time. If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, forget about it, there’s no such thing – the perfect time is now.
Everybody starts somewhere. Nobody is born successful. Everyone starts somewhere, and usually from the bottom.
It can only get better. If it’s hard at first, it can only get easier
Today is all I can control. Forget about what you did yesterday. Today is what matters.
I’ve got support. Friends, family, and colleagues – even if they think you’re crazy, you can always find support in networking groups and support groups.

Think about these messages when you want to kick start your motivation and get the job done!

Happy New Year from the L4N UK team!

Christmas Email Marketing Tips

Christmas Email Marketing Tips

It’s come round to that time of year again, where the itchy jumpers are out and mince pies are in high demand, that’s right, Christmas is here and the build-up to the festive day will always be manic!

You may feel run off your feet during the season but this doesn’t mean your marketing has to suffer. Here are 3 top tips to keep your email marketing merry and bright!

1. Make sure your subject line is a cracker!

It’s always important to give your email a suitable subject line, one that will entice your recipients into reading the email rather than deleting it straight away! Stick to the rules below to avoid the recycle bin:

• No typos or spelling mistakes
• Nothing salesy or spammy
• Use different subject lines
• Keep it short – 50 characters or fewer
• Make it personal

Be original, on-brand and enticing!

2. Be ready for mobile

More than half of emails are opened and read on mobile devices every day that means if you are neglecting your mobile optimisation, you might be missing out on some potential clients. So, remember to focus some attention on how your email looks on smartphones and on tablets, the best way to see how it looks is to send a test to yourself and open it on your device.

3. This is Christmas, right?

What’s a better way to get you into a festive mood than to pop some traditional Christmas related touches to your emails! Think a Santa hat on your logo or snowflakes to the background of your emails… Keep it simple, keep it tasteful and remember, not everyone celebrates the holiday so steer away from an in-your-face grotto like setting.

We hope this Christmas themed blog post will help you bring joy and happiness with all your email marketing! (Remember, the first two tips apply all year round!)

Recent Posts