Understanding what it takes to make it big

According to the article “4 Tips for Building a Million-Dollar Business” by contributor Peter Daisyme on Entrepreneur’s website, 75 percent of startups fail every year, but even of the 25 percent that do survive, only a small fraction will go on to take in an impressive revenue every year. Daisyme claims that the reason not every successful startup goes on to make the big bucks is due to “expectation misalignment,” meaning that most new business owners do not understand what it will take to make an extremely successful business. As such, Daisyme offers four tips to help new entrepreneurs get on the track towards faster business growth and a burgeoning business:

  • Grow in secret. It’s a common characteristic of entrepreneurs to want to share the details of their business vision with others. However, not everyone is meant to know this vision, as others can either distract you from it or impede you. Don’t reveal your business moves until you’ve completed them.
  • Stay focused. Remember that there is no such thing as an “overnight success story.” It will take copious amounts of time — even all-nighters — and intense focus to make your business successful. You will be hard-pressed for time, which will be the one thing you cannot get more of (as opposed to capital or employees), so it is important to manage your time well and learn when to say no to other opportunities that you may be interested in pursuing but where your time will not be well-spent.
  • Be open to feedback. It’s difficult to separate criticism of your business from criticism of yourself, but in order to be successful, you must do so. You must also be sure to keep your personal bias out of decisions and make sure that the truth found in those criticisms comes to light.
  • Be adaptable. In this ever-changing world, you must also be adaptable, especially when you appear to have a series of failures. However, Daisyme notes, it is those entrepreneurs who shine when, in the midst of a series of failures, step up and tackle the problems, thriving on finding the solutions.

Read the full article here.

Related: Wash Wisdom: 8 tips for creating a successful business

Maintaining and repairing your online reputation

According to the article “Basic Reputation Management Tips and Suggestions” by contributor Amanda Marie on www.business2community.com, online reputation repair is a significant part of today’s business management, as online reviews have been shown in severely impact business whether by encouraging it through positive reviews or derailing it with negative ones. As such, Marie provides nine tips on managing your online reputation:

  • Set up a Google Alert. You need to monitor yourself online if you want to know what’s being said about you. Set up a Google Alert for your name, your company’s name and any key employees’ names. This way, you will get an email every time something comes up.
  • Respond positively to bad reviews. According to Marie, 70 percent of customers who complain will do business with a company again if you work to resolve the issue quickly and politely. Always reply to negative comments peaceably and with an effort to make a resolution.
  • Do not respond to bad reviews in certain situations. For instance, if someone is bemoaning your business on an attack site, don’t try to respond to the issue there, as you may only make it more prominent. Instead, resolve the issue offline.
  • Remove smear campaigns. Sometimes, people simply post information, true or false, in order to bring down a business. Assuming that the content is untrue and simply negative, you can contact the author or site administer and politely ask if the content can be taken down. If that person refuses, focus on creating positive content in order to drown out the negative content.
  • Try to solve the problem. Simply removing comments doesn’t fix the problem, and it can present a missed opportunity. Let your customer service shine by fixing problems before removing any negative reviews.
  • Aim to control search results. Often, it only takes one or two bad reviews or stories for a customer to decide to take his or her business elsewhere. But most people also don’t scroll past the first one or two results or review pages. Therefore, try to pack positive content/reviews on those two pages by working with other reliable sites and customers and by optimizing your own SEO efforts to paint a positive picture of your business.
  • Use social media. Social media allows you to develop positive relationships with customers and further promote a positive image. The more you interact and the better your relationships, the better your customers will be able to withstand a few negative comments about your business.
  • Look for the lesson to be learned. Negative reviews are often a way to take a look at your company and see how you can improve it. See if you can find the faults in your business and accept them so that you can figure out how to fix them.
  • In extreme cases, hire a professional. A negative comment here or there is something you should be able to handle, but if you’re suffering from a torrent of negativity, it might be time to hire a professional to help you repair your reputation.

Read the full article here.

Related: Wash Wisdom: 11 online branding mistakes to avoid