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How to Set the Stage for a Successful Entrepreneurship

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How to Set the Stage for a Successful Entrepreneurship


If you’ve been dreaming about entrepreneurship, chances are pretty good it’s a career you should consider. After all, being an entrepreneur is one of the most fulfilling ways to make a living.

However, it can also be one of the most difficult. It requires you to have a passion for the work you do and the perseverance to push through hard times. And if you want your business to succeed long-term, there’s a lot you will need to put in place and strategize before you begin. We’ve provided some advice and information below to help you do just that.

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Determining Your Business Structure

There are many legal structures to choose from for a business. The most common ones include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and three kinds of corporations—standard corporation (C corp), small business corporation (S corp), and benefit corporation (B corp).

The type of business structure you choose is critical because it will affect the taxes you pay, the risk and liability you will have in your personal assets, and your opportunities to raise money from investors. For example, many entrepreneurs opt for an LLC formation due to the ease of setup and the limits on taxation. And it’s easy to form an LLC through online services, but check your state’s requirements first.

Setting Up a Workstation

Along with choosing a business structure, you will want to make sure you have a comfortable space where you can work. The most cost-effective solution is to set up a workstation at home. This way, you won’t have to pay overhead or rent. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate a desk, chair, and any equipment and storage you need.

When determining where to put your home workstation, look for a spot with access to adequate natural light and that also will help you minimize distractions. A garage, basement, or spare bedroom can all make for great home offices.

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Creating a Website and Marketing Your Business

No matter what industry or niche you are specializing in, you will need a quality website to market and sell your products/services. Your site should be eye-catching, easy to use, and provide relevant information for your audience.

In addition to a well-designed website, a top-notch marketing strategy can take your business to new heights. However, if your experience in marketing is limited, your best bet is to turn to seasoned experts. ZUMZU offers advanced marketing apps designed to grow your business so you can generate leads and expand your reach.

Getting All the Tech Tools You Need

To be a successful entrepreneur these days, you will need to invest in tech tools. For example, research the best video conferencing software that will allow you to hold meetings with clients, partners, and freelancers. Look into collaboration tools that will allow you to chat, share files, and manage projects within your team.

Establishing Successful Habits

Finally, to give yourself the best chance at long-term success, you will need to develop habits that allow you to consistently produce good work and grow your business. For example, many entrepreneurs, especially those who work from home, find it difficult to find a rhythm with their work hours. From the very beginning, establish concrete work hours, and make sure everyone in your household respects them.

Also, come up with a daily routine that helps you stay productive. Here are some examples of how to build a healthy routine as an entrepreneur:

  • Exercising on a regular basis
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Taking breaks at specific times of the day
  • Designating a small chunk of time for responding to emails
  • Setting up your workday the night before
  • Getting a good night’s sleep

For those looking for a fulfilling career, it’s hard to top being an entrepreneur. But you need to properly prepare before you dive in headfirst. Weigh your options with business structures, create a comfortable workstation at home, and invest in a top-notch website and mobile app. Lastly, get any tech tools that you need, and build a routine that will lead you to long-term success.



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Varför interna kunder kommer att döda din innehållsstrategi

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Why Internal Customers Will Kill Your Content Strategy

I see one mistake derailing great content marketing strategy again and again in my rådgivning practice.

Businesses set up their content teams as internal agencies to serve internal ‘customers’ in other departments.

Why is that a problem?

Sometimes this approach incorporates some priority planning. Usually, this planning involves internal “stakeholders” who decide the significant themes or the priority for tackling content requests.

But just as often, no planning or prioritization occurs. The content calendar is a to-do list based on ad hoc requests from various other teams. And the content team becomes Kinkos, racing to churn out assets as orders pour in.

Eventually, the content team fails to live up to expectations, the content is imbalanced, and the creators and producers burn out.

So, when the content strategy needs a reboot – and it will – how do you align the new content approach with internal customers’ expectations?

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First, stop thinking of them (or letting anyone else think of them) as your customers.

To reboot your #ContentStrategy, stop thinking of internal teams as customers, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Klicka för att tweeta

Stakeholders are investors, not customers

In marketing, we throw around the term stakeholders to refer to people affected directly by your efforts. That list is long – content and marketing touch almost every other function (business leaders, IT, sales, communications, public relations, product, and external groups like partners and investors).

But a funny thing happens when I ask the content team if they consider themselves to be stakeholders in sales or comms. The content team leaders laugh softly and say, “Oh no, they’re our customers.”

That’s not ideal. I once worked with a B2B company where the content marketing team existed to respond to the product marketing team’s requests for “thought leadership” to accompany new product launches. But the product marketing team viewed thought leadership as lightly veiled customer success stories or fact-filled technical schematics of how their product worked.

How did this approach work? Not well. The product marketing team loved the content. But the potential verklig customers didn’t.

Content teams achieve consistent success only when they’re elevated to stakeholder status. In other words, content strategy and content marketing teams only succeed when they lead strategic content efforts alongside their peers instead of serving as on-demand content production resources.

#ContentMarketing teams succeed only when they lead strategic content programs instead of producing on demand, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Klicka för att tweeta

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Marketing and content teams are skilled practitioners of a professional discipline. They’re not there to “service” the stakeholder groups but to learn, align, and work with them. Those groups are invested in content’s success because it means that, as a result, they succeed.

Internal stakeholders (also like investors) can serve as independent sources of information. They can offer details to inform priorities and insight to improve processes, and cooperation to attract new investment. Or they can also sabotage every effort you make and profit from your misery.

So, interviewing and getting stakeholder alignment is critical when implementing a new approach to content strategy or content marketing.

Here are three steps you can take to treat stakeholders as investors in your process and get alignment on your proposed approaches.

1. Segment your investor stakeholders

One of the keys to getting alignment is to identify the different types of stakeholders that will be critical to ensuring traction for your new content approach:

Influencers. Get input from and align with stakeholders who hold an influential position or control your budget. Influencer stakeholders may not have much to do with the content or even care much about it. But unless you win them over, your cause is sunk.

Champions. These cheerleaders will stand behind you, support your efforts, and be early adopters of new ways of doing things. Identify these quickly (some might also be part of the influencer group).

Detractors. You’ll potentially encounter two categories of these naysayers. One set includes people who oppose change because they see nothing in it for them. The other set consists of those who are apathetic. When you ask about their participation or agreement, they say something like this: “Well, it’s not no.” They sit back and see how the politics play out before helping or actively detracting.

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Decision makers. Decision makers are just what they sound like – they’re the people who make decisions that help or prevent your efforts from turning into success.

Participants. These individuals have an active stake in your approach and will be responsible for making it work. They have functional expertise in one of the adjacent areas your content strategy will affect.

As you might expect, people may share multiple attributes. You may have champion influencers or detractor participants. The key is to not view them in terms of how to get their nod of approval or “buy-in” to the content team process. Instead, see them as investors in an additive piece of your shared process.

2. Design discussions, not interviews

Once you’ve identified who’s who, it’s time to meet with them to gather information and gain alignment.

Remember, every objection to change is an explicitly stated fear of uncertainty.

A common mistake in stakeholder alignment is to hear objections from detractors as “customer” requirements that you must meet to pass their approval. But the objections may be simple concerns about their own challenges that, once addressed, disappear.

Another mistake is to consider approvals from champions as full-throated agreements. The approvals might be lukewarm – like the “not no” detractor response.

Stakeholder interviews aren’t focus groups that show you what your customers need. If you treat them that way, don’t be surprised when those same stakeholders don’t care about all the features you added to your service – even if they were the ones to suggest them.

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So don’t design your discussions solely around what information or requirements you need to gather to complete your business case or plan. Instead, use the chance to uncover what each stakeholder needs to become an investor in your mutually beneficial approach.

With that understanding, you’ll gain the ability to lead them, leverage them, or learn from their needs.

3. It’s a process, not a project

The investor relations part of your job begins once you get your initial buy-in and continues throughout your tenure in whatever role you have.

You’ll have multiple discussions with stakeholders before you’ve built your case, once your case is approved, after implementation has begun, and again as you manage your overall process.

I remember one successful, award-winning content marketer hearing her project invoked as a best-in-class case study for the zillionth time at Content Marketing World and saying to me: “I wish somebody would tell my stakeholders that. I’m still fighting for budget, relevance, and buy-in every single day.”

HANDPLOCKAT RELATERAT INNEHÅLL:

All customers are stakeholders, but not all stakeholders are customers

Now, of course, customers are the one missing group in my list of stakeholders. And they’re the critical stakeholder in any marketing content strategy.

But they’re a different class of stakeholder. Don’t conflate them with internal stakeholders.

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Don’t conflate internal stakeholders with customers, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Klicka för att tweeta

The strategist and author Eli Goldratt once wrote, “Tell me how you measure me, and I will tell you how I will behave. If you measure me in an illogical way, don’t complain about illogical behavior.”

Seeing content teams as internal vendors built only to delight internal customers sets the wrong objective. It encourages the idea that all internal stakeholders are the same as customers – and that success means meeting all their needs.

But while all customers are stakeholders, not all stakeholders are customers. Most are better treated as investors – a key constituency that benefits from a co-created approach to content as a strategy.

Don’t serve them. Instead, lead them. That’s how you’ll make their investment of time, money, effort, and information more and more valuable.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

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Prenumerera till arbetsdags- eller veckovisa CMI-e-postmeddelanden för att få Rose-Colored Glasses i din inkorg varje vecka. 

Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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