Tag Archives: Advice

Trust In Your Team

12 Mar

jared-friedland-ceo-catalyst-prep

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Jared Friedland, founder and CEO of the national test preparation company Catalyst Prep:

“One of the hardest things that I’ve had to do in the last year is really trust the people that I’ve hired and understand that a lot of them are actually much better at their jobs than I would be at their jobs.”

When Friedland founded Catalyst Prep in 2005, he did everything from bringing in sales to managing his staff to actually teaching the students — who were also his clients.

But as the company began to grow exponentially, Friedland realized that he would have to put his faith in his employees to do the jobs they were hired to do.

He says that one of the best decisions you can make for your company is to hire efficient, self-starting employees. This will relieve you of the day-to-day operations and allow you to focus more on the ideas that will drive your company’s growth.

“I always knew that if the business was going to grow that I had to divorce myself from the day-to-day operations. And I’ve certainly had my role evolve in that way. Right now I’m about 90 percent divorced from the day-to-day operations and there’s a tremendous, tremendous team of people behind me.”

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Advice for Entrepreneurs from Richard Branson

16 Jan

Since Branson founded Virgin in 1970, the company has grown from a small record outlet to a global powerhouse. Can the brand continue its success without him?

Your Business Needs More Than Great People

18 Oct

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Jim Burleigh, CEO at Cloud9:

“If you have to have the best of the best, you’re relying on your people to carry your organization; this won’t scale. You need process to ensure success.”

Aside from understanding your customers and “treating sales as a science,” Burleigh says that constructing your team is one of the most crucial elements in sales success.

To be the best, Burleigh told us you don’t actually have to hire the best. Instead, you should rely on great process which will allow you to “optimize your people, scale the organization, and produce superior results.”

“Now, of course I’m not advocating hiring and rewarding mediocre employees. Rather, evaluate what – or who – you’re expecting to drive your organization’s success.”

Know Your Consumers Better Than Your Competitors Do

16 Oct

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Jeff Jervik, CEO of Elements Therapeutic Massage:

“We continue to do the research to make sure that we’re delivering, that we have customer satisfaction, tools that tell us what our consumers say we’re doing well, what we could do better, and we continue to listen to the consumer, and continue to improve.”

Entrepreneurs looking to launch a business in a market already saturated with competition shouldn’t be deterred by this fact.

Instead, Jervik says you just need to know your customers better than your competition does.

When you run a company in an industry with a lot of competitors, it’s important not to assume you already know what your clients want. Talk to consumers and allow them to tell you themselves; it will give you a leg up in the market.

“Make sure that you’ve done your homework and that you know what it is your consumer is really looking for so that when you start your business you’re not trying to figure that out once you open your doors.”

Why Are You Doing This?

13 Sep

Today’s advice comes from Dave Morin, co-founder of Path, via his interview with Inc.com:

“We went through a period of time where we were listening to a lot of what everyone else was saying. We tried a few things. We thought it might increase the growth, might increase the engagement of the product. None of it was working.”

When the mobile social network first launched, adoption was slow and the company didn’t receive good press immediately.

In fact, the new business actually experienced a lot of negative feedback and had issues trying to figure out what they wanted to do with the business model.

After many failed attempts, Morin says that he and his co-founder had to sit down and think about why they were doing what they were doing.

“We realized the best products are designed by people who are designing it for themselves.”

In 2011, the co-founders redesigned the app and it has since been downloaded more than three million times.

“We’re trying to create a future and simplify it so that the most people in the world can use it. You need to stay true to your vision and your values.”

Don’t get stuck on the original idea.

22 Aug

Today’s advice comes from Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, via Broughton Advisory

“I think the most important thing in business, and life in general, is to not be stuck on the original idea. Be willing to learn from your mistakes and think about what you can change to make things better for the customer.”

When Zappos began, part of their business model was not holding inventory in their warehouse and simply taking orders, while manufacturers would ship directly to the customer. Today, Zappos keeps everything in their own warehouse.

Being able to adapt to change is age-old advice that still stands true in an ever-changing environment. This is especially important today, when technology is growing at an exponential rate. As a company, you should be able to assimilate to your surroundings, tweaking your product to accommodate for a growing or shift in demand. Part of being adaptable to change also includes expecting it. If you plan to be in business for a while, change is certain.

“We are always making changes because, no matter what, things don’t always turn out the way you plan. If you chose to embrace that, than ultimately that’s what’s going to make the business successful.”

Sell out, without selling out!

11 Aug

Today’s advice comes from skateboarder Tony Hawk in his interview with Entrepreneur.com:

“People don’t call you a sellout until your stuff finally sells.”

When Hawk, a professional skateboarder, gained attention for his video game, others in his industry began to suspect that he had become a “sellout.”

He says that, instantly, there was a backlash and it was because he was gaining too much popularity and getting successful for someone who’s just “a skateboarder.”

But Hawk says you can’t worry about things like that. You have to do what you believe in, and if people think you’ve become a sellout, it’s because you’re now someone they’ve heard of.

“Skaters are very finicky about anything where skating is maybe taken outside of the core industry and taken elsewhere. I feel good about how I represent skating and I just keep going.”

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