Busting the Myth of Multitasking

If you’re an entrepreneur that thinks of yourself as the consummate multitasker, this is one article you must read. Let me begin by stating the main idea: Multitasking is a myth! It’s important to debunk this myth and set the record straight so you know what’s really involved in boosting your productivity.

The human brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. In this sense, there’s really no such thing as multitasking. Your brain just can’t do it. Some people do get really good at quickly switching from one task to another, but it’s not what we all think of when we say we’re multitasking. And even that is hard to do. 

The one exception is when you’re talking about things that are totally second nature. Think walking and chewing gum at the same time. That is true multitasking, but it’s not going to do much to boost your productivity, right? The plain fact of the matter is that if you try to do two complex, non-habitual tasks at the same time, they’re both likely to turn out badly.

Many of you may be familiar with the name Daniel Goleman. If you are, it’s probably because he’s the one who popularized the concept of emotional intelligence. What you might not know is that he’s been looking into concepts related to multitasking and published a book about it a few years back called Focus

He would say give up on the idea of multitasking. What you need to do is totally focus on just one thing at a time. But even that is difficult given all the distractions and pace of life in the digital era in which we live. But there are things you can do to increase your ability to focus and concentrate.

When you need to focus on a particular task or issue, the first thing you need to do is to consciously eliminate as many potential distractions as possible. No, you won’t be able to preemptively prevent all distractions, so then you have to practice ignoring the ones that still come up. 

Perhaps the single-most effective thing you can do to increase your focus is anything that qualifies as mindfulness. Focus is what you need to produce superior results in your business. But it’s very easy to lose your focus. When your mind starts to wander, what can you do? There’s simple four-step process that can bring you back to the task at hand:

  1. Pay attention to your breath.
  2. Admit your mind has wandered off and why.
  3. Consciously set aside that train of thought.
  4. Now re-focus your attention back to your breath again and hold it there for a bit.

You’ll find you’re then ready to get back to work with greater clarity and focus. This little four-step process, however, is much harder than you might think. It takes practice to be able to recognize when you mind goes off-track, and even more practice to train your mind to come back and focus. You may find yourself needing to the do this four-step process many times a day until you get really good at it – but the health of your business will benefit from the effort.

How To Build Customer Loyalty For Your Franchise

The success of your franchise depends to a great extent on the number of new customers that you can attract. A steady stream of fresh clients will ensure that your sales volumes continue to grow at a healthy clip. Your business will register increased profitability and consequently strengthen its financial position.

But adding new customers should not be your only focus. You should devote at least as much time and energy to retaining your existing clients. Getting additional business from a customer who has already bought your product or used your service should be much easier than constantly adding to your client list.

Repeat business from a client has one distinct advantage for your franchise. It costs much less to convince someone who has had a positive experience with your company to use your services again. But it does require a special effort from your side.

How can you build loyalty for your franchise and increase the volume of your repeat business? While the following is definitely not an exhaustive list of the steps that you can take, it will provide you with an idea about what you should do:

Make them feel special

When a new franchise is launched, the entrepreneur would make every effort to ensure that each customer is provided with service of the highest order. But as the business grows and gets established, there may be a tendency to take customers for granted. If a franchise does well, you may not notice if some of your clients drift away to the competition.

Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. A successful business operation can quickly find itself in a position where it finds it difficult to generate an adequate level of sales. Remember that every customer interaction is important. Even if the work becomes routine for you or your staff, the client should feel special every time that a transaction takes place.

Establish a loyalty program that works

Give your customers a reason to remain loyal to your franchise. One of the most effective ways to do this is to reward them for increasing the volume of business that they do with you. If you can structure a loyalty program to offer greater discounts for higher purchase amounts, it will be more effective.

Experiment with different types of programs. In addition to a “tiered” program with stepped-up discounts for greater dollar volumes, you can try to target specific groups within your customer base.

Remember to keep your program easy to understand and honest. No one likes to register for a program and to be told about the “fine print” when they try to get a discount or claim a reward.

In addition to this, the rewards should be within the reach of a significant number of your customers. This will give you a dual benefit. Not only will your franchise register higher sales, you will also get free word of mouth publicity from the customers who benefit from your program.

Communicate regularly with your clients

It is extremely important to remain in constant contact with your customers. But this does not mean that you send them the same message repeatedly. Your communication should be both meaningful and made at appropriate intervals. You have to find the correct balance between retaining top-of-mind awareness and communicating too often.

Your messages should include information about your new products and the ways in which they can provide a benefit to your customer. Use professional language, but avoid industry jargon that some clients may find difficult to understand.

Many businesses miss the importance of replying to the messages that they receive in response to their communication. You should revert within a reasonable period of time and your reply should answer the query effectively.

If you are not able to do this, your communication strategy could backfire. Instead of getting your franchise additional business, it could lead to disgruntled customers.

Tell them about your services and ask for their feedback

Do all your customers know about the excellent service that you provide? Or about the quality of your products? The answer is unlikely to be yes. It is a good idea to include the positive aspects of your products and services in your messages.

Encourage your customers to make suggestions about how you can improve. Even if you can’t use their advice, the fact that you have asked for it will tell the customer that you care about their feedback. Of course, you must remember to thank them and explain your position.

Loyalty is built on trust

If your franchise is successful in establishing a loyal customer base, you will find it easier to achieve increased sales and profitability. But getting your franchise to a position where it can attract large volumes of repeat business from customers is not an overnight process.

You will have to ensure that your products and services are of the highest quality. It is also important to develop an emotional connection with your customers. Small gestures like sending birthday or anniversary greetings can help if they are used appropriately. An occasional note thanking them for their business can also play a role in strengthening the bond that you share with your customers.

Above all, remember that you will have to work continuously to retain your loyal customers. Their loyalty is dependent to a great extent upon how well your franchise can fulfill their requirements. It is up to you to ensure that you maintain the highest standards in the products and services that your franchise deals in. 

Photo by Kevin Curtis on Unsplash

Entrepreneur Bootcamp: 4 Exercises to Help You Launch a New Business

Launching a business is not for the faint of heart. It requires long hours of dedication, research, planning, trial and error and deep introspection to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few DIY entrepreneur bootcamp practices you can try out to get your feet wet.

Determine Your Strengths & Weaknesses

If you really want your business to succeed, you need to fully understand your personal limits. This is crucial because, once you have determined your strengths and weaknesses, you can hire a team of people with the necessary attributes to help balance everything out.

There are many different approaches that you can take to uncover these qualities, including personal introspection, journaling and personality tests. One way that offers some great guidance through the process is called SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and is a method that has been used for decades to help people better understand their business roles.

Take some time to dig deep and write out what honest answers to the prompts to uncover your assets and challenges. Share your discoveries with trusted friends to get their feedback and see if there are any other aspects that you may have overlooked.

Get Networking

When it comes to building a team of people to help you build your business, networking is always an effective strategy. While it may feel a bit forced in the moment, it is actually a much more natural way of connecting with people than putting out a job advertisement and interviewing a bunch of strangers.

To begin, use a website like LinkedIn to find local business groups and find networking events happening near you. Or, make money while you network by becoming a part of an organization like Amway that can help you diversify your income while you are working to launch your own business.

Make the most of your time spent networking by also using it as an opportunity to perfect your elevator pitch for your business. As you continue taking steps forward toward launching your company, this type of experience with selling your idea is especially valuable.

Find a Mentor

A great mentor is an invaluable asset, most especially when you are on the cusp of launching a new business. The ideal mentor will have years (or even decades) more experience than you do, work in a comparable field and a deep understanding of the challenges that you will face as you begin on the path toward building your business.

In order to help connect with a mentor, put your feelers out to friends and family to see if they have any connections who might be beneficial for you to learn from. You can also reconnect with past colleagues or you may find a mentor while attending a local networking event. You never know who could be a life-changing mentor for you, so it’s critical to remain open to the possibilities that come your way.

Learn About Your Audience & Competition

Once you have your business concept fully fleshed out, dive into learning everything you can about the market, from the intricacies of the audience to the field of competition. Get to know your competitors’ and what they offer so you can better distinguish your own offerings from theirs and find out what works and what doesn’t so you don’t waste time and money making similar mistakes.

Think Like A Leader – 6 Ways To Motivate Your Team

One of the most important prerequisites for a successful franchise is a set of workers who have a positive frame of mind and a strong work ethic. Your employees must have the interest of your business at heart and they should be willing to walk that extra mile to ensure that your customers’ needs are satisfied.

How will you get your workers to develop these attributes? While it is crucial to have a stringent screening process for new employees, you must also learn how to motivate them so that they perform their roles effectively.

Here are several ways by which you can boost morale within your organization. If you are able to implement some of these techniques, it is likely that productivity will rise and your business will achieve greater sales and profits.

1. Don’t try and fit a square peg in a round hole

You may recruit an individual for a certain role but after a few months you may notice that the person’s skills are suited to a different job. This happens more often than you would think.

Smart entrepreneurs are quick to take advantage of these recruitment “mistakes.” Instead of trying to persuade the worker to do a better job, they simply reallocate work. In many instances, this benefits the employee as well as the organization.

In fact, there is a variation of this technique that you can use to give your business a boost. An employee may be performing perfectly well in the role that has been assigned. But you may think that this person could be more useful to your business doing some other work.

Shifting workers from one job to another is a good way of increasing productivity and allowing them to develop different skills.

2. Work on your communication skills

 When workers come to you with their problems, you must give them a patient hearing. Many business owners tell their workers “don’t come to me with problems, come with solutions,” but this is not a good approach.

Don’t discourage employees from raising issues that they cannot solve. If you do this, it is quite likely that you will come to know about a problem when it reaches an advanced stage.

If you maintain an open door policy, you will encourage employees to discuss what is bothering them. Over a period of time, this will lead to better customer service and more business for your franchise.

3. Learn to delegate efficiently

It is quite natural to want every aspect of your franchise to work perfectly. But this does not mean that you should carry out each task yourself or constantly look over the shoulder of the employee who you have delegated the work to.

You have to learn to let go and trust others. At the same time, it is essential to provide clear instructions and guidelines. Set up a mechanism that allows you to get regular feedback about how the work is progressing. If you do this, it will be possible to spot errors at an early stage and take corrective action.

Remember that delegation doesn’t mean passing on the entire responsibility for a task. You must provide the necessary guidance to the employee. It is also important to ensure that the person who is carrying out the task has the necessary skills and expertise.

4. Lead by example

As the head of the franchise, you are the role model for your employees. Everything that you say and every action that you take will create an impression on your workers’ minds. If you speak harshly to them, they may resent it and take out their frustration on the customers who visit your franchise.

One way that you can build morale and show that you care is to ensure that your employees are not overworked. A work life balance is important for your employees as well as for you.

If the situation warrants, you must be willing to work alongside your employees. This will help you to earn their respect and encourage them to put in their best.

5. Show that you are serious about results

If your franchise is to do well, you must closely monitor employee productivity and hold workers responsible for their individual goals. Don’t play favorites, because if you do, you will build a culture where keeping the boss happy is more important than achieving results.

Establish a system that measures end results. Each worker should have a clear job description and the actual achievement should be compared with the target that has been set. Every individual’s progress should be tracked and the necessary support and training provided to help that person achieve the stipulated goals.

If you follow this practice, you will instill a culture that encourages employees to work towards the goals that you have set for the franchise.

6. Create a positive work atmosphere

 Customers prefer an environment that is upbeat and cheerful. If the atmosphere in your franchise is gloomy and depressed, your clients will leave if they have a better option.

Get to know your employees as individuals. Even a little time spent on inquiring about their families and their personal welfare will help you to establish a better relationship.

Treat your employees with respect and they will pay you back with hard work and dedication. But if you have a dictatorial management style and you are constantly berating your employees, they will leave at the first opportunity.

A little praise goes a long way

One of the most effective ways to provide encouragement is to express your approval when a job is done well. Genuine praise is a strong motivator and it serves a dual purpose.

One, it makes the employee feel appreciated and is a great morale booster. Secondly, your workers understand that you are keeping track of their their activities and that you know how each individual is performing.

Photo by  Štefan Štefančík on  Unsplash

SMART New Year’s Resolutions

According to Statistic Brain’s New Year’s Resolution Statistics page, more than 40% of people make at least one resolution as a New Year begins. The site also notes that less than 10% are successful in reaching their goal while more than 42% seem to utterly fail at them year after year. Now it’s time for a moment of truth: Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? If you did, how are you doing on them? If they’re already long forgotten, it may be time to give your resolutions a major boost by making them SMART.

Most people have heard about the SMART framework for goals and objectives. It was a simple little article back in the November 1981 issue of Management Review titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives” by George T. Doran. His idea was to make sure each business goal or objective had the following characteristics:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Assignable (who will do it)
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Time-related (when it will be achieved) 

Going back to Statistic Brain’s page about resolutions, it lists some of the most common ones people make. Not surprisingly, at the top of the list is to lose weight. Writing a goal like that is about as far from SMART as you can get. It’s not specific. You could make it specific by putting a number to it: Lose 80 pounds. Now you immediately have something specific to work towards. But it’s still not SMART. Obviously it’s easily measurable with a scale. Since losing weight is your own personal goal rather than a business goal, it’s kind of automatically assignable, but you should still own it by writing it out as I will lose 80 pounds. It’s getting better but it’s still not SMART. Ask yourself if it’s realistic. You may really want or need to lose 80 pounds, but it might be better to break it up into smaller goals so you get the momentum of early multiple victories. Maybe go for something more realistic like I will lose 15 pounds. That’s better, but it’s still not SMART. The final step of the original framework would to make it time-related (or time-bound). You might write it as I will lose 15 pounds in five weeks. That would mean losing three pounds a week. Seems doable, right? And you’ll be much more likely to reach your goal if it’s SMART because it immediately shows you how achievable it is.

With that as an example, now try applying it to one of your business goals. As I said, most people have at least heard of the SMART framework, but surprisingly few people bother to actually use it, and they’re missing out on the benefits it can bring. Maybe as the New Year rolled in you were thinking to yourself how you’d really like to improve business performance. Well, you can see right away how that doesn’t meet any of the criteria. It’s not specific or measureable at all and there’s no time-frame specified. A SMART goal might look like this: Team X will increase the company’s gross revenues from product A by 10% within the next 10 months. Now that’s a goal you can sink your teeth into! 

Do yourself a big favor and review each of your business goals for 2017 and make sure they’re SMART if you want to greatly increase your chances of success this year.

Five Smart SEO Tactics Every Franchise Needs to Use

Effective digital marketing for a franchise all comes down to getting the right eyes on your website and driving traffic to your physical location. People may already know that your brand exists on a statewide or national level. What they may not know is that it exists right in their own neighborhood. That means that you’re going to want to put energy into being as local as possible when building an online presence and crafting marketing content. What does this look like? Using SEO to make your franchise location rise to the top of search rankings all comes down to using geographical keywords wisely and making your brand alive and active on the Internet.

Create a Domain Based on Your Location

Having a URL with the name of the city that your franchise is located in is going to automatically make your business easier to find. This is the first move to make if you’re serious about SEO. In addition, people searching for your business won’t have to visit a corporate website and search through the directory to try to discover if a location is available in their area.

Be as Local as Possible

While branding your franchise based on its geographical area is key, simply interjecting the name of a town or city into the content on your franchise’s website isn’t going to cut it. People are looking for personal, local experiences when they seek out businesses in their area. Adding keywords that demonstrate your franchise location’s unique connection to a town or city is a great way to engage your audience. Getting down to the exact neighborhood and street where your franchise is located is preferred over simply mentioning the city or town. You’ll want to utilize your business address, phone number and hours of operation as tools for differentiation.

Maximize Mobility

Most people are already out of the house and on the road when they’re looking up the address of a business in a town or city. This is why optimizing a website for mobile usage and using keywords that heavily utilize a franchise’s street location are essential. Include features like maps, photos, landmarks and directions that make the location of your franchise very easy to navigate to for someone who is in a hurry.

Seek Customer Reviews

A big part of your online and mobile energy should be focused on getting reviews from actual customers. Getting five stars and some nice words can instantly make your franchise seem more appealing when people come across your presence online. A highly reviewed company that shows up on a search engine makes people more likely to click on your website to learn more and actually consider choosing your business.

Be Social With the Neighborhood

Don’t rely on a corporate Facebook page or Instagram account to draw traffic to your neck of the woods. A franchise should have its own social media presence that has a unique personality. Visibility comes with activity on platforms like Facebook. Updating as often as possible can increase visibility for a franchise. What’s more, the customers who interact with your social media pages are actually doing most of the work for you because friends who are likely to also live in the local area will see your franchise’s postings when they are liked, shared or commented on. It’s important to have the name of the city that you’re located in as part of your title on any social media platforms you use. Social media should be used to highlight sales, events and daily happenings at your franchise location.

Alex Alexakis is a UI Designer, SEO addict that helps businesses with their branding and SEO through his business PixelChefs. After hours he likes good food, Weimaraners, and toy robots. He has boldly build digital businesses by designing for conversion and offering a no-nonsense approach to internet marketing.

How to Measure Customer Loyalty

Entrepreneurs are in the business of selling something, whether it’s a product or service, which means you can’t afford to ignore customer satisfaction. In order to understand how customer satisfaction impacts your business, you have to measure it, and this is where most companies begin wandering off into unhelpful territory. If you want a real (and perhaps very sobering) view of customer satisfaction, read on.

Frederick F. Reichheld is a customer loyalty guru and a Fellow at global management consulting firm Bain & Company who cracked this difficult nut in his Harvard Business Review article, The One Number You Need to Grow. What he lays out is a very compelling case for what question you should be asking your customers, the scale you use to measure it, and the way you interpret the results. 

Every company wants to see great customer satisfaction scores, which inevitably leads them to include people who are only barely satisfied in their count of those who are satisfied. This simply isn’t helpful because those barely satisfied customers are highly likely to switch to a competitor and aren’t serving as brand ambassadors. Reichheld argues you have to begin by asking the right question, which is this: “How likely is it that you would recommend [company X] to a friend or colleague?” That’s it – that’s the only question you need to ask because it gets at the key customer-related driver of growth and profitability, which is customer loyalty, not satisfaction per se. Your most loyal customers are those who are willing to recommend your company to others.

Now comes the response categories, and the recommendation here is to use an eleven-point scale numbered zero to ten, where zero is the negative end of the scale (not at all likely to recommend) and ten is the positive end of the scale (extremely likely to recommend). People intuitively understand this kind of scale. The zero is obvious, and then respondents are left with a ten-point scale, and people rank things out of ten all the time. It’s easy and intuitive. 

Then comes the part where you interpret the results. Keep in mind there are two goals here: To identify the people who are your most enthusiastic, loyal brand ambassadors and to avoid the grade-inflation that makes most measurement attempts worthless. Reichheld argues for grouping respondents into three categories. Those who give answers of nine or ten are the gold standard. They are your active promoters. You want all your customers in this category. Those who give a seven or eight are passively satisfied, so while you benefit from them purchasing your product or service, they aren’t actively engaged in promoting your brand. Everyone who gives a six or lower are interpreted as detractors. They are not only likely to switch to competitors but might even be angry and actively working against your company.

The one number you need to grow is your net-promoters score – the percentage of your customers who are promoters minus the percentage of customers who are detractors. When you find ways to increase your net-promoter by simultaneously reducing the number of detractors and increasing the number promoters, your company will grow. 

If you’d like a more detailed treatment of this topic beyond the HBR article mentioned above, you might be interested in Reichholds related book, The Ultimate Question 2.0.

5 Ways to Select the Best Site For Your Franchise

If your franchise needs to attract walk-in customers, you must select its location with great care. A choice made in haste or without taking every possible factor into consideration can lead to lower than anticipated sales and even business failure.

Every new franchise that performs well owes a large part of its success to its location. Your proposed site must be easy to access. If you expect customers to come by car, you must ensure that there is adequate parking. You must also ascertain that the site attracts the sort of customer that you are targeting.

It is very easy to go wrong with site selection. A neighborhood that sees a lot of traffic may not necessarily be good for your business. Similarly, paying a high rent does not mean that your sales volumes will be high.

What are the precautions that you can take when selecting a location? Although there is no way to be absolutely sure that a particular site is the most appropriate for your business, there are some steps that you can take to avoid making the wrong choice.

1. Study the area

Some franchises need to be situated at a place that sees heavy pedestrian traffic. This is especially true for restaurants and retail stores. If your business falls into this category, you would have to spend a substantial amount on rent. Opting for a lower-priced location that is in an area that attracts fewer people will result in lower business volumes.

But if your business involves a different type of activity, say, selling auto parts to trade customers, it would make more sense to select a site where the rent is less.

If you like a particular location, spend some time at the site and in the immediate vicinity. This will give you the opportunity to observe the level of traffic at different times. You should also make it a point to see how your competition is faring in the area.

If the territory already has a large number of businesses offering similar products, you may find it difficult to attract customers. On the other hand, this could prove to be an advantage as well. All that you would have to do would be to lure customers away from the competition. 

2. Speak to other franchisees

You can gather some very useful information by speaking to other franchisees selling the same product. Try and talk to those who have established their businesses in the recent past. Ask them how they went about the process of selecting a location. The intelligence that they provide can be invaluable.

It will be useful to ask other franchisees about the positive aspects of their location and its drawbacks. You can use what you learn from them to avoid making the mistakes they committed.

Of course, it is important to approach those franchises that are located at some distance from your territory. They should not be your competitors. If they are, they may not be willing to talk openly to you.

3. Don’t exceed your budget

Arriving at the amount that you are willing to pay as rent for your franchise location can be tricky. An expensive location will attract more customers and generate greater volumes of business. This will allow you to bear a higher rent.

On the other hand, a site in an area that attracts fewer people will probably get you a lower number of customers, but it will be cheaper.

Choosing between the two can be difficult. While it may be safer to opt for the site with the lower rent, this is not necessarily the correct choice. In fact, the general rule that you should follow is to select a location with greater potential. The additional sales that you generate will justify the extra expenditure on rent.

But don’t go overboard and lease a place that will stretch your budget. Remember that you are making a long-term commitment. If the location is inappropriate, shifting to a new place will be both expensive and cumbersome.

4. Patience pays

Your franchisor will be in a hurry for you to start operations as soon as possible. The real estate agent who is handling the property that you are interested in will also be keen to finalize the transaction.

Don’t give in to the pressure that is put on you. After all, it is your money on the line. Selecting a property is possibly the most important decision regarding your franchise. Take out the time to check if the location that you have selected will remain as attractive several years into the future. Is there any new development proposed for the area? Verify this with local, regional, or state authorities.

If a new road comes up and blocks access to your site, your business may suffer. Similarly, a new mall in the vicinity may draw crowds away from your location.

5. Understand the legal implications

The lease agreement for the property that you finalize is a crucial document. It is important that you have professional help that you can rely on. Your attorney should be an expert on real estate as well as franchising.

Study the agreement yourself and seek an explanation for the clauses that you don’t understand. Many of the points listed in the agreement will have a financial implication. You must spend time on this subject. If you don’t, you may get an unpleasant surprise months or years later.

Ascertain the costs that you will be responsible for. There will be utility bills and property taxes to be paid. There will also be other expenses like insurance, maintenance, and repairs. It is essential that you know which expenses you have to bear and how much it will cost you on a monthly basis.

Use your negotiation skills

Make sure that you see several properties. Don’t let the realtor or the landlord know your preference. If the landlord realizes that you have made a decision, you will find it difficult to negotiate the rent downwards. You should shortlist at least three or four properties. This will strengthen your bargaining position and allow you to drive the rent down.

The success of your franchise depends to a great extent on the degree of care with which you select a location. You must ensure that you give this issue the attention that it deserves. 

7 Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs

When I recently wrote about 5 Time Management Hacks for Entrepreneurs, it immediately became clear to me that people were hungry for more, so I’ve put together a more extensive list of productivity hacks for entrepreneurs. These are all tactics, strategies, and tips that have been used by successful entrepreneurs to significantly boost their productivity. Which ones sound like they could work for you?

1. Plan in Smaller Increments

When every minute counts, organizing your day by hour or even half-hour increments simply isn’t good enough. Try using 15-minute or even 10-minute increments to plan your day – it will quickly reveal where and how you might tend to waste precious time. And yes, nearly all the productivity hacks listed here have to do with making the most of your time. 

2. Make Meetings Shorter

The dreaded hour-long default in many calendars mentioned above has resulted in the assumption that most meetings are going to run for at least an hour, but many successful entrepreneurs have found that most of their meetings can accomplish their agendas in far less, often as little as 30 or even 15 minutes.

3. Leverage Your Calendar

Most people live under the dictates of some kind of to-do list. You need one to know what you have to do, and prioritizing it can be something of an art, but if you stop at the list you’re missing out on operationalizing it. That’s where the calendar comes in. You have to figure out exactly when and where you’re going to actually do the prioritized tasks by putting them on your calendar. This will immediately show you what’s realistic in terms of getting things done each day and transform your to-do list from a pie-in-the-sky dream to concrete action plan. 

4. Establish a Consistent Morning Routine

Highly successful entrepreneurs tend to follow a strict morning routine. They get up at the same time every morning, and it’s usually pretty early. These morning routines often includes both exercise, which gets the blood flowing to your brain for increased focus, and checking in on various information sources in the form of blogs or social media feeds related to their business.

5. Disciplined Email

Constantly checking your email becomes a time-sink that can be hard to overcome. Successful entrepreneurs figure out how to tame the email beast. They ignore it completely when focusing on an especially important task. They also limit how often they check it – establishing three or four small blocks of time in day rather than being constantly dialed into it. 

6. The Art of Delegation and Saying No

Part of being a successful entrepreneur is putting together a great team of people – let them step and share the load. Anything that can be delegated should be delegated so you can focus on the most important work. Your ability to say “No” is also key – taking on more than is possible for you to do will hurt all your work.

7. Figure Out What Helps You Focus

Experiment with all sorts of different things to find out what sorts tactics help you focus when you need to. For some it’s listening to music. For others it’s being completely isolated away from distractions. Some need to be in a peaceful setting with lots of natural light and nature in view. Figure out what works for you and stick with it when you need to focus. 

These are some of the best productivity hacks you’ll find among successful entrepreneurs. None of them are rocket science, but they do take a consistent commitment to realize their full benefits. Do this and you’ll be on a solid path to success in 2017.

5 Signs Your Resume Screams ‘Entrepreneur’


Finding a career you’re truly passionate about can be challenging.

If you’re like most people, you were brought up to believe there was only one way to succeed in life: to get an education, get a steady job working for a respected company, and live happily ever after.

As we all know, this isn’t often the case – especially not today.

Most people don’t realize they’re not meant to work for others


Whether you’re a mid-career professional making a career change, a veteran transitioning to civilian life, or a college graduate, sending out resume after resume to jobs you may never enjoy can be a draining experience.

(And that’s before you even begin working one of these jobs.)

For most people, they don’t see that they’re meant to work for themselves – though what they subconsciously write about themselves in their resume, and where their past has taken them, can reveal a lot about where they’re destined to go.

Here are 5 Signs Your Resume Screams ‘Entrepreneur’:

1. Leadership Experience. You led teams that succeeded, whether in the workplace, military, sports teams, or elsewhere. Others looked up to you to guide them to success. Entrepreneurs are natural-born leaders – they make everyone else around them better, as they work towards a greater goal.


2. You Got Fired or Quit Jobs. Many entrepreneurs struggle to hold jobs working for others, because it goes against their inner grain. Instead of listening to the commands of others, entrepreneurs want to forge their own course of success. This can often lead to getting fired or quitting jobs easily.

3. Unique Design/Layout. Entrepreneurs love to be different, because that’s what makes the best businesses so successful. Sometimes without knowing it, their resumes will have a unique design/layout that almost gives them their own personal brand to stand out from the pack.

4. Creative-Thinking, Problem-Solving Skills. Do you highlight your creative-thinking and problem-solving skills? That means you thrive at finding solutions under pressure – something entrepreneurs need to have to survive in business.

5. Wide-Ranging Areas of Expertise. You’re not knowledgeable in one or two areas – it seems you’re an expert in many. For entrepreneurs, they need to wear many different hats to keep their business running smoothly. This could be a sign for you to take an exit route on applying for jobs, and to become an entrepreneur.

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.