Doing it yourself
Any time you can get your product or service on the air it’s a good thing. It’s even better if you can get yourself some airtime and do the plugging first hand. That’s the beauty of Youtube: Acquire a channel, shoot some videos, get some followers and before you know it you have your own duck-taped version of the QVC Network.
Some pretty awesome and lucrative endeavors started out just like that. I don’t try to make more it than it is. If you want to beef up your sales presentation you can ratchet your efforts up a notch and produce a Podcast (just your voice or you and a guest). What do you have to lose? These days the need for product is so great your chances are as good as any that you have your finger on the pulse of some original programming.
Amazon Audible is going the same route (OK, maybe they have a little bigger budget to work with) with original content voiced by professional talent. In fact, Nieman Lab explains that “Long-anticipated original content has finally arrived in the form of a new “Channels” section in the Audible mobile app.”
The Channels section (currently in beta and rolling out on iOS and Android to some Audible members even as I write), streams collected short-form audio: Ranging from read-aloud versions of New York Times articles to complete shows from PRI’s The World to episodes of Charlie Rose. Nieman Lab also points out that “Audible is even serving up its own multi-source collections of content (i.e. “The Daily Rush” and “The Weekender” among others)
Podcasting is the new blogging
Audible is looking to push the boundaries of audio content. They refer to it as “short form content” of 60 seconds or less. Perfect for the complete lack of attention that impacts everything we do in to shorter and shorter clips: Movies are shorter, songs are shorter. Heck, let’s make news content shorter as well. You can snicker all you want but podcasting (in whatever form) is the new blogging. Podcasting is to now what blogging was to the early 2000’s.
Now wrap yourself around this: When it comes to platforms (as in, how can you get your podcast on the air), podcasting has been a remarkably open one. All you need is access to a server and you can publish to the world. Think of what that means to your business! The possibilities are endless.
Show me the money
Believe me when I tell you, this podcast stuff is a good thing. Oh wait, is the word podcast too “millennial” for you? Ok, let’s call it a program. And because these programs are a good thing, the mass availability of distribution through an RSS feed for example is going to privatized and quick. Which is why you have platforms like Audible Channel coming online that, by the way, comes complete with an audience that is already paying $14.95 a month to download virtually every Kindle book in existence.
A podcast by any other name is still a podcast. The sooner we learn to harness its power for good the sooner we all make a buck.
Keep your company’s operations lean by following these proven strategies
(BUSINESS) Keeping your operations lean means more than saving money, it means accomplishing more in less time.
The past two years have been challenging, not just economically, but also politically and socially as well. While it would be nice to think that things are looking up, in reality, the problems never end. Taking a minimalist approach to your business, AKA keeping it lean, can help you weather the future to be more successful.
Here are some tips to help you trim the fat without putting profits above people.
Artificial intelligence frees up human resources. AI can manage many routine elements of your business, giving your team time to focus on important tasks that can’t be delegated to machines. This challenges your top performers to function at higher levels, which can only benefit your business.
Consider remote working
Whether you rent or own your property, it’s expensive to keep an office open. As we learned in the pandemic, many jobs can be done just as effectively from home as the workplace. Going remote can save you money, even if you help your team outfit their home office for safety and efficiency.
In today’s world, many are opting to completely shutter office doors, but you may be able to save money by using less space or renting out some of your office space.
Review your systems to find the fat
As your business grows (or downsizes), your systems need to change to fit how you work. Are there places where you can save money? If you’re ordering more, you may be able to ask vendors for discounts. Look for ways to bring down costs.
Talk to your team about where their workflow suffers and find solutions. An annual review through your budget with an eye on saving money can help you find those wasted dollars.
Find the balance
Operating lean doesn’t mean just saving money. It can also mean that you look at your time when deciding to pay for services. The point is to be as efficient as possible with your resources and systems, while maintaining customer service and safety. When you operate in a lean way, it sets your business up for success.
How to apply to be on a Board of Directors
(BUSINESS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.
We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.
Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:
1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.
As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.”
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).
The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.
Average age of successful startup founders is 45, but stop stereotyping
(BUSINESS) Our culture glorifies (yet condemns?) startup founders as rich 20-somethings in hoodies, but some are a totally different type.
There’s a common misconception that startups are riddled with semi-nerdy, 20-something white dudes who do nothing but sip Nitro Brews and walk around the open office showing off the hoodie they wore yesterday. It turns out that it’s extremely rare that startup offices resemble The Social Network.
However, the academic backdrop for the real social network story (AKA Harvard), produced statistics that will serve to put the aforementioned misconception to rest. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average age of people who founded the highest-growth startups is 45. Say what?! A full-fledged adult?!
In fact, aside from the age category of 60 and over, ages 29 and younger were the smallest group of founders that are responsible for heading the highest-growth startups. I guess you can accomplish a lot when you’re not riding around the office on a scooter all day.
The study also found that older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed. The probability of extreme startup success rises with age, at least until the late 50s. It was found that work experience plays an important role.
Many will argue, “Well, what about someone like Steve Jobs?” You could easily argue right back that it took Jobs until the age of 52 to create Apple’s most profitable product – the iPhone.
The study continues to answer questions like, why do Venture Capitalist investors bet on young founders? This goes back to the misconception at the start, and there’s a notion that youth is the key for successful entrepreneurship. Wrong.
There is also the idea that younger entrepreneurs are likely working with less financial options, so it may be common for them to take something from a VC at a lower price. As a result, they could be viewed as more of a bargain than older founders.
“The next step for researchers is to explore what exactly explains the advantage of middle-aged founders,” writes Pierre Azoulay, et al. “For example, is it due to greater access to financial resources, deeper social networks, or certain forms of experience? In the meantime, it appears that advancing age is a powerful feature, not a bug, for starting the most successful firms.”
Business Entrepreneur1 week ago
Entrepreneurs face higher rates of mental illness [part one]
Business Entrepreneur1 week ago
Many entrepreneurs facing mental health issues don’t get help [part two]
Business Marketing4 days ago
The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world
Business News3 days ago
How to apply to be on a Board of Directors
Business Finance1 week ago
Follow these 7 steps to get outstanding invoices paid to you ASAP
Opinion Editorials2 days ago
3 reasons to motivate yourself to declutter your workspace (and mind)
Tech News2 weeks ago
Sometimes tech is a sight for sore eyes – others it’s the cause of them
Business Entrepreneur1 day ago
Having client difficulties? Protect yourself with an exit strategy clause