Tag: business

Notable Business Quotes Pt: II

business-quotesHello everyone and welcome back for the second installment of Notable Business Quotes. The purpose of this series of articles is to inspire business professionals no matter the age or industry. All of the people who spoke patented these quotes have made millions and even billions of dollars doing what they love, inspiring passion and innovation, and above all changing the landscape of business forever.

These quotes have definitely meant something to me and have given me the drive and push to better myself as a professional working in New York City. If you haven’t seen the previous version you can view it here. Enjoy the list and please share!

Steve Jobs – CEO, Apple Inc.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Les Brown – International Motivational Speaker and Author

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts  will take you places that will amaze you.”

Richard Branson – CEO & Founder of Virgin Group

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

Andrew Carnegie – Founder of Carnegie Corporation

“The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

Larry Ellison – CEO, Oracle Corporation

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.”

John D. Rockefeller – Founder of Standard Oil Company

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”

David Packard -Co-founder of Hewlett Packard

“Take risks. Ask big questions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; if you don’t make mistakes, you’re not reaching far enough.”

Thank you for reading!

Nona Black

Notable Business Quotes Pt: 1

business-quotesThere are so many powerful business men and women out there that have years and years of experience and knowledge that have allowed them to ascend the corporate ladder. This knowledge and experience is able to be passed on to young professionals, entrepreneurs, and really just about everyone. There are millions of quotes out there from top executives, A-list celebrities, and more on how to acquire wealth, how to influence people, how to make friends, and how to put your best foot forward. One of my passions is to read these quotes, really think about the meaning of it and see how what someone else says affects me personally. The following list is part of a series that will showcase some of the more notable and inspirational quotes that I have absorbed and try to incorporate into my daily life. Enjoy and please share!

1. Warren Buffett – Business Mogul and Investor Extraordinaire:

“Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre”

 

2. Albert Einstein – Theoretical Physicist and Brilliant Mind:

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value”

 

3. Henry Ford – Innovator and Founder of Ford Motor Company:

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business”

 

4. John Quincy Adams – Sixth President of the United States:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”

 

5. B.C. Forbes – Journalistic Icon and Founder of Forbes Magazine:

“When you delve deep enough, you find that practically every great fortune and great enterprise in America has sprung from the courage enterprise of some individuals. It was Commodore Vanderbilt’s enterprise in switching first from running a ferryboat to running other ships, and then, when he was well along in years, his enterprise in switching into railroading that created what was to become one of the most notable fortunes in the history of the world”

 

6. Andrew W. Houston – Founder and CEO of Dropbox:

“No one is born a CEO, but no one tells you that. The magazine stories make it sound like Mark Zuckerberg woke up one day and wanted to redefine how the world communicates [by creating] a billion-dollar company. He didn’t.”

 

7. Biz Stone – Co-Founder of Twitter:

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success”

I hope you will all join me again soon for the second installment of notable business quotes. It is one of my passions and may become one of yours

Thank you for viewing!

Nona Black

Seven Things You Need to Know About Management

Hello everyone and welcome back to my site! I would love to share this video I found on 7 things you need to know about management when you start a new job. It is so essential to the success of your position and career path that you understand how managers work and their responsibility.

This video comes from MaRS Discovery District and it showcase a strong speech from Charles Plant. Mr. Plant has years and years of experience with working directly with managers, studying them, understanding management techniques, and more. Mr. Plant is an entrepreneur who founded the Market Intelligence Team at MaRS, the entrepreneurs toolkit, and the entrepreneur’s toolkit workshop. As Mr. Plant has been an integral member of the MaRS team, and has a lot of success in managing managers of big organizations as well as managing over entrepreneurial ventures I felt it would be a great fit for the beginnings of video posts to help provide more corporate and professional information and guidance.

Over his professional experience Charles Plant has coached over 1,000 managers, held numerous chief executive office roles, provided guidance and aid to over 2,000 technology startups, and much more. With out further adieu, I would like to share the video and would love to hear what you think.

Thank you for reading and watching!

Nona Black

Tips for Today’s Entrepreneur

entrepreneur

Welcome back for another entrepreneurial and business based article. If you’ve taken a look at my other articles, presentations, and websites you probably have seen that I think of myself as being quite business savvy. I love to read up on new ways to increase productivity, remain focused even at 3:00pm, and generally excel each day work. The post you will read below is another helpful, quick read on how to be the best entrepreneur you can be, because the more you know, the more you can accomplish. Enjoy and please feel free to share!

Take Risks:

When you decided to pursue your dreams, quitting your job, and striking out on your own, you took a risk. Most people don’t have that strength and fortitude, so in a sense you’ve already completed the hardest step. Don’t be afraid of making calculated risks over the course of your business because they will give you help you learn even more and could prove to be extremely beneficial for you and your business.

Use Quora:

If you’ve never heard of Quora, you should definitely look into creating an account like yesterday. This social platform allows you to follow blogs, topics, profiles, and questions on specific niche topics. You can ask questions on anything and even share your own answers to other people’s questions. Answering questions helps solidify your authority on different topics and aids you in building a following. Social networking and user interaction on social profiles is a big factor in growing your business. You can find my profile on Quora by clicking here.

Cold Email:

Don’t be afraid to cold email anyone and everyone. Sending out emails on news stories and updates with your business to loyal or new customers will help grow your company and solidify your brand name in the customer’s mind. You will become their first and last provider for whatever goods/services you are providing.

Use a Journal:

Some of the greatest minds in history have been known to write down all their thoughts in a journal so they never forgot a great idea. It didn’t matter if it was during the middle of the day or middle of the night, these brilliant people would always have a pen and paper near by so they could cement their ideas in ink to come back to later. Yes, some of the ideas were probably a little out there, but where would we be without some of the mind-bending books, movies, and other entertainment we currently consume so much of. Check out this article from Supercompressor on brilliant people and their thought journals: http://www.supercompressor.com/tech/9-creativity-hacks-geniuses-use.

Network Like a Boss:

Stay connected and be up-to-date on networking events that you can attend. Be sure to stay in touch with alumni and professors from your college or university, join LinkedIn, and look up local meet-ups in your home city. Networking allows you to share valuable information on your business with others, meet new people, seek out investors, and more. Make sure you have your elevator pitch nailed down.

 

Thank you for reading!

Nona Black

Starting a Small Business Pt: II

businessWelcome back for the second installment of starting a small business. If you’re reading this then you must have read the first piece on starting a small business and the important factors that must be considered and enacted early on. In the first section of this two part series I highlighted the importance of multiple factors like setting team expectations, managing your employees without an ego, having a clear set of processes, creating a solid foundation, and getting open and honest feedback from your team or employees. In this new installment we will discuss some more variables to keep in the forefront of your mind and lock down immediately to ensure the success and growth of your new business.

Transparency is Key:

You want to be as open and honest with the people working with you and for you as possible. Your small business shouldn’t be hiding anything from the people that are dedicating their time and efforts to growing your company. The more your employees know the better because they will be more involved and committed to the cause rather than being in the dark.

Document Progress:

Start documenting your company’s progress and recording all your milestones. Knowing where you started and where you are at any point in time will give you a realistic point of view as to how your company is performing. It can also be extremely useful to share with potential investors when they ask about your progress from the beginning. Documenting your progress will also show you real time numbers and data so that you can accurately map out the future of your business and the potential ability to scale.

3 P’s:

There are 3 P’s that exist in each and every business that are extremely important to your business. The first P is “Process” which alludes to knowing and understanding all of the processes your company uses on a daily basis. The second P is “People” which is related to filling your company with good, hard working individuals that are going to propel your business to the next level. The last P stands for “Product” which is the main point of your business when it comes down to it. Product is what you sell and what makes your money, so knowing the ins and outs of the product(s) you are selling is vital.

Supreme Customer Service:

A rock solid customer service team can be the difference between a sale, a continuing customer, or a good review online. Your customer service team must be well-versed in all aspects of the company and be able to handle tough situations or questions with potentially upset individuals. Your customer service team will help lay the groundwork for your company’s reputation and growth from the very beginning.

Data-Driven Decisions:

This is your business, this is not a gamble at the casino, so make sure all decisions you make are rooted in numbers based information. Before making any decision with your small business make sure it makes sense from a numbers point of view because in the end numbers don’t lie and if it doesn’t make sense on paper, it most likely won’t off paper either.

I hope you enjoyed all the tips I had for owning a operating a small business. It was my pleasure to provide you and young entrepreneurs with some helpfuls ideas on how to ensure the growth and prosperity of their businesses. Be sure to check back again soon for more helpful information.

Thank you for reading!

Nona Black

Starting a Small Business

businessStarting a small business can be quite an experience. There is so much going on that it can be hard to keep everything straight and staying focused. One of the major goals you should have if you choose to set up your own small business is to lay out the rules and expectations as early on in the process as you can. The last thing you want is a tumultuous relationship with employees or have minor systematic breakdowns which will slow down your business processes and overall growth. I have taken the liberty of listing out some of the most important things you need to accomplish when getting your small business off the ground and moving forward. Enjoy!

Set Team Expectations:

In your company the whole employee base is one big team. All employees must work together cohesively if the business will ever succeed. The whole system is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Be sure to be extra clear with employees that they need to work together and there are expectations of them and strong accountability for their actions. You should always make sure everyone is on the same page and that employees are understanding and okay with the processes that are set in place.

Managing Without and Ego:

Always keep a level head and never go on a power trip. What do I mean by powertrip? Never feel that you as the owner and boss are entitled to take shortcuts, take frustrations out on employees, or treat others as though they are beneath you. Always keep a calm and level head, and your employees will recognize it. People are more likely to relate to someone on their level rather than the one of the pedestal.

Clear Process:

Having a clear and understood process of events and ideas is what helps a business run efficiently and effectively, while promoting growth and innovation. No one in your small business should be left in the dark on how to accomplish a certain goal or be lost in terms of finding specific information. There needs to be easy to use and understand processes of events that will sure the company thrives with you at the helm.

Create an Unbreakable Foundation:

Everything starts somewhere, and for your business that place is the foundation. A strong foundation is said to be able to help whatever grows on top of it withstand any adversity. Make sure from the very beginning that what you are growing and changing has a targeted direction and there is sound data and information backing up why you are doing what you are, where you plan to be, and everything else in between. Create an unbreakable foundation before moving on to anything else to ensure success and prosperity.

Getting Feedback:

For many small business owners it is their first time managing their own company or people in general. Sometimes a first time boss can accidently turn a blind eye to certain things going on. This is something that naturally happens, but a great tactic to help combat unseen variables is by encouraging open, honest, and frank communication between employees and boss. Employees should feel comfortable going to a boss with ideas for change and not intimidated by authority titles or fear of resistance.

Hope you enjoyed part one of tips for starting a small business. Be sure to check back again soon for more.

 

Thank you reading!

Nona Black

Tips For Business Owners

nona-black-business-ownerIf you own and operate your own business you need to grow your business and always keep an eye on the prize. When you envisioned being the leader of your own company you had a vision and ideas that you wanted to see come into fruition. It is your job to make those visions and dreams into reality. Below you will find some helpful tips that will aid in the growth and success of your company. Enjoy and feel free to let me know if you think there should be more on this list.

Focus:

Its easy to get distracted in today’s world with technology, friends, and more. Focusing on your business is the most important thing you should be doing. You should be dedicating most of your time to the growth of your company and forgetting about the extraneous things going on around you. Don’t get caught trying to juggle multiple projects outside your business or you’ll be destined to fail. The best advice I can give for this point is, do one thing perfectly, not a bunch of things poorly.

Do What You Know:

Don’t get into an industry you know little about or start a business based around products or services you aren’t familiar with. Do what you know and do what you love. Build your business on your strengths and passions, not your weaknesses. You will have a much better chance of success doing what you know rather than learning more than you can handle along the way and asking too many questions.

StartUp Mentality:

You should always feel like your pants are on fire. You should be moving around with efficiency and thoughts constantly swirling around your head for ways to improve what your business does and provides. If you’re just getting started with your business, understand you’ll need to make cutbacks and sacrifice certain things. Forget about getting a sprawling, technology filled office space in the nice area of town, and think more like your garage. Being frugal and watching all your costs needs to be at the forefront of your mind.

Learn Quick:

Owning and operating a business is tough and often requires you to learn things on the fly and figure stuff out by yourself. Business books and entrepreneurial articles can only teach you so much, but at the end of the day your business is riding on you. Understand that there will be rough patches because no plan has ever not had pitfalls or troubles, but it’s up to you to rise to the occasion and perform to the best of your ability.

Know When To Quit:

This tip might be the most important one on this list. Knowing when to quit a project or a plan with your business is something that is hard to master or even consider, but you need to realize that some plans are destined to fail and if an idea isn’t panning out and costing you too much time and money, it may be time to pull the plug. It is always an easier decision in my opinion to have a partner with you for each step so you can gain a new and different perspective, and make the most informed decision possible.

Hope you enjoyed the article and good luck with your business. Check out some of my other articles on successful business practices and corporate tips here.

 

Thank you for reading!

-Nona Black

Growing a Successful Business

nona-black-business-growthIf you own your own business or have the power to change the company you are a part of, this article is for you. I have been a working in corporate environments across the world, most notably in Japan, Paris, and the United States, and in each and every position I was in, I thought about the tips you will read about below every day. Growing a business is extremely important and there are great ways to help and great tips to keep you on track. Take a look at the list below and be sure to constantly discovering new ways to grow and help your business.

Organization:

Staying organized might be the most important tip on this list. Starting out organized and staying organized allows a company to run faster and more efficiently with all their processes. The company is only as strong as its weakest link and if the weakest link isn’t organized like the rest of the company that can tie others up and cause a slowdown in workflow efficiency.

Detailed Record Keeping:

Having all your ducks in a row when it comes to your record is extremely important for many reasons. Every successful company keeps detailed records of everything in case for whatever reason they need to look something up from 4 years ago, it will be no problem to find it because they’re organized. Keeping organized records allows you to look things up quick, known how your company stands financially, and look ahead for future challenges.

Analyze Competition:

Knowing your competition is one thing, analyzing them is completely different. Understanding their business model and how they remain relevant in lieu of your business efforts tows the line between an art and a science. Closely monitoring their moves will allow you to learn more and see if their doing something you aren’t, and should be doing.

Risk Vs. Reward:

Knowing how the risks stack up against the rewards should always be in the forefront of your mine. Knowing how to calculate risk and what the possible reward is can mean the difference success and failure of the company. You should always be considering the downside and the upside of every major decision. Knowing the proper balance between the two will allow you to make very informed decisions and create great rewards for your company

Creativity:

Having a creative staff in your organization is critical to the success of the company. Coming up with new ideas, projects, and plans doesn’t just happen, it comes from hard working creative and imaginative people. Having a creative atmosphere in your busienss allows you to be innovative, come up with new ideas, and become a leader in your industry because no one else thought of what your company is going to do.

Good luck growing your business and be sure to check back here again soon for more updates and helpful professional information.

 

Thank you for reading!

-Nona Black

The 10 Best Corporate Benefits Your Company Needs to Adopt

nona-black-corporate-benefits

If you want to attract top talent to your company, you have to care about your employees happiness. In fact, your company culture matters more than salary when people are considering joining or leaving your company. There are a ton of trendy perks companies are providing for their employees nowadays, but not all perks are created equal. Which ones are the most meaningful to your employees and ultimately your company’s success?

Internal Referral Bonuses

The great thing about internal referrals is that you’re taking someone you (presumably) already trust (i.e. your current employee) and having them provide you with someone they would vouch for as a potential employee. When your staff refer someone to an internal job, they understand that how that person performs is a reflection of themselves. They’re only going to give you candidates that make them look good. What you end up with is quality candidates who are more likely to fit in with your existing company culture. The referrer ends up with some extra cash, a lot of gratitude, and another friend at work who’s also going to add a lot of value to the team. Allowing current employees to help build your future workforce communicates trust to your staff, instills a sense of personal responsibility to internal teams, and it makes you less dependent on external recruiters who aren’t personally vested in the company’s long term success.

nona-black-corporate-benefits-1Employee-Driven Transfer Policies

Turnover is costly for any employer. It’s better to lose an employee to a different department, than to a different company altogether. When managers block transfers because they don’t want to lose/replace them, your employees feel stunted. Its important to empower your employees to create their own path within your company. Otherwise, you’re keeping otherwise well performing employees in roles where they aren’t happy. Eventually they will feel forced to leave if they want to achieve their personal goals, and it will be more bitter than bittersweet.

Vanpools and Subsidized Transportation to Work

Getting to and from work, especially during rush hour, is a headache, and for many, it’s expensive. It might seem like a small gesture, but helping your employees get to work in a more cost effective way alleviates a lot of stress and starts everyone off on a better foot each morning.

Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall meetings aren’t just about informing your employees of the high level goals and performance of the company, they’re about utilizing the people you have working in the trenches everyday as a resource for valuable feedback, ideas, and insights that managers/executives may not be privy to on a daily basis. Creating a space for employees to communicate across team lines motivates everyone to bring their best ideas to the table, as well as inspires cross-functional collaboration to tackle issues.

Anonymous Hotlines

Reporting internal issues is not as easy as it should be. Often times employees feel intimidated, embarrassed, or afraid for their job if they speak up about something negative happening to them or their team. Confidential outlets for employees to voice their concerns lead to more honest disclosure, which means as an employer, you have more genuine insight into your company and are able to fix issues quickly and effectively.

Sponsored External Training and Development

What better way to create a more skilled workforce than by encouraging your employees (via sponsoring them) to educate themselves? Give your employees a budget for personal growth. Their teams will benefit from their new skills, your employees will feel more engaged in their own professional growth, and the company will acquire expertise without needing to make new hires to get them.

Alumni Groups

Just because your employees leave, doesn’t mean you have to lose them as connections. If you organize an Alumni group, you can utilize your former employees future growth as a source of business as well as potential hires.

Social Responsibility Programs

People want to feel like they are providing some good to the world, or at least not causing any harm. Creating a culture of social responsibility encourages employees to think about the company’s role in the world from a larger perspective, and employee initiatives that come out of these programs can often times put the company’s overall image in a more positive light with their consumers, investors, and the general public.

Matching Contributions

Matching contributions is a great way to show employees that you’re as invested as they are. Some employers match their employees’ personal donations to charitable organizations, others match their employees’ 401(k) contributions. Matching contributions makes employees feel that they are getting exactly what they give, which only encourages them to give more.

Company Intranets

Having access to training documents, benefits information, internal job openings, company updates, and any general information that everyone within the company should know so they can be on the same page is important. New hires are able to get up to speed more quickly, and existing hires are empowered to answer their own questions. Intranets are also useful for making remote employees or ones working at home feel more clued in on the happenings back at headquarters.

Implementing all of these benefits tomorrow might be unrealistic, but considering these and other benefits for your employees is crucial to attracting and retaining key members of your team. It’s also important for developing the best employees possible out of the people you have. Without the best people, your company won’t be able to achieve its highest success. Make sure your employees know just how much they mean to you.

Thank you for reading!

-Nona Black