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How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur (If You Aren't Richard Branson)

Sir Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, started his first business, a student magazine when he was just 15 years old. The Virgin group has grown successfully in many sectors after creating more than 400 branded companies worldwide. He has managed to maintain the charm of his business with his distinctive personality traits like authenticity, enthusiasm, high-level of humility and warmth.

The vast majority of business owners will never be Richard Branson, and that's OK. You can still be a brilliant, successful entrepreneur.

There is a possibility that either you’ve already started up your own business or you intend to do it in the near future. Remember, the road to entrepreneurship is incredibly self-reliant. If you've got the entrepreneurial spirit, you have the tendency to look at the things differently. But there is no "magic bullet" that can make you a rich and successful entrepreneur overnight. You’ve got to pave the way. Being an entrepreneur is en vogue. But being successful is in your hands. Here are some clues to travel the road.

Ways to improve your odds of entrepreneurial success Leadership Qualities to Pave Your Path to Success

Every individual is unique and can achieve success in their own way. But leadership is considered to be one top trait a successful entrepreneur must have. True entrepreneurs have exceptional leadership qualities and know how to lead their diverse workforce. The leadership qualities you possess will actually cultivate the mindset of a successful entrepreneur. It will take your vision from dream to reality. Ideally, leaders should strive to master criticism, have a passion for what they do, connect with like-minded people, have self-confidence and self-care, and make the “right” decisions.

A To-Do List Is the Key to Success

Richard Branson credits to-do lists as his secret to success. To stay organized, it’s important for an entrepreneur to prioritize tasks on a weekly checklist of “to-do’s” and accomplishments.

Most entrepreneurs make a list of tasks on your task management software at the start of the day and aside your first few hours for high priority tasks. 

How to create a powerful and productive to-do list:

Do not include more than three things on the to-do list for a day

Estimate a close time you’ll need to perform each task

Break your project down into smaller, manageable tasks

Organize tasks as per the importance and complete them in order

Create Personal Plus Professional Goals

Perhaps the most important part of entrepreneurship is determining how you want your life to look like. Goal setting is a major part of a successful entrepreneur's life, and that includes professional as well as personal goals. Make plans to look towards the future. Things to consider: listen to your emotions, set SMART goals, a action plan, break bigger objective into a smaller plan, and be in harmony with your beliefs and values. It will be much easier for you to build your business and get what you want from life.

Study Your Competitors

If you don’t understand your competitors, your business is sunk before it’s even afloat. You are an entrepreneur, you've got the freedom to learn from your competitors. You should be doing the same.

Here are a few things you can do:

Read your competitors’ website

Keep an eye on what your competitor is up to socially

Note what they are doing well and poorly both

Join your competitors’ public mailing lists

Sign up for their services

Find out their mistakes, best practices, and their weaknesses to buck up yourself in the market.  

Challenge Yourself

Richard Branson is always on the move to challenge himself. He looks for possibilities and opportunities to strengthen and grow his Virgin empire. It’s up to you to push yourself up. You’ve got to be always on your toes.

For instance, you start hitting on the gym to build your upper body strength. But once you start doing and achieve a certain strength, will you stop there? You’d challenge yourself for the next big step. The upcoming challenges will make your other tasks even simpler. So, keep looking for the next big challenge for a smooth journey and a level up always.

Know Who Your Customers Are

The key to achieving core business goals lies in having a comprehensive understanding of your customers. Because your customers will be a major part of your business and it is the only way you can win over your competitors — identify who they are, speak your customers’ language, and have deeper engagement. Change the way you speak to your customers and you’ll always see them turning up on your doorstep.

Visualize Your Success

If you visualize what you want to achieve, it becomes easy to spawn dreams into reality realms. And there’s science behind this! A new study by TD Bank shows that small business owners use visualization to meet their entrepreneurial goals. It is actually a way to step into something deep within the brain folds, entering your creative power. Nearly 60 percent of millennials are using images to tell the story of their lives with social platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Write down what you visualize your success as or sketch it down with the path you wish to follow. You should know what you’re doing, where you are going, and how to get there.

When you’ve clearly articulated your goal, it becomes more achievable. Then feel the excitement, experience the emotions, and continue working for it with passion and enthusiasm.

So, maybe you won't be Richard Branson, but if you've got the zeal to work hard, you might create something more robust, and just as successful in its own way. Build something that you can look back on with pride.

What Should a Social Media Audit Include?

Between content creation, scheduling posts and measuring results, it can be easy to forget to check in with other aspects of a social media strategy. Performing a social media audit on a regular basis to go beyond analyzing traffic and follower metrics is one of the best ways to identify new opportunities for improvement.

For instance, marketing teams often spend hours making sure a brand’s social channels look perfect at the beginning of a campaign; however, they rarely revisit this work on a regular basis. Not to mention, social networks change their news feed formats and content policies all of the time. Therefore, a social media audit is a good opportunity for marketers to update their posting policies for each brand, identify best-performing content and check in with competitors.

Here’s how marketers can conduct a thorough social media audit and ensure their social media campaigns are reaching their full potential.

Review the social media workflow

For marketing teams that manage multiple brands, it’s important to outline a social media workflow for each brand. Who is responsible for content creation? Who schedules the content once it is approved? Who monitors and responds to comments or questions?

Editor's note: Need a social media management tool for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

 

Outlining the responsibilities of each team member involved in the social media strategy for each brand is crucial so that everyone knows who is in charge of what. New members may join the team or client needs may change throughout the year, so keeping this workflow updated and available for the entire team to access at any time is important.

Review the brand voice

Another key element of any social media strategy is the brand voice. Everyone that comes into contact with a brand’s customers or users on social media should have a clear understanding of the brand voice. This ensures everyone on the team handles both positive and negative interactions consistently. Each social network will have different audiences, therefore requiring a slightly different voice. However, the brand voice should still be consistent enough that it’s recognizable and reflects the brand’s values and goals.

Each team member should review each brand’s voice guidelines during a social media audit, including those that might be involved with the brand indirectly, such as customer support team members. Take some time to examine how both marketing and customer support teams respond to comments and questions on each social channel. If there are any inconsistencies, now is a good time to update the social media policies accordingly.

Review social media page descriptions

A social media audit wouldn’t be complete without verifying contact information and making sure important company information and descriptions are up-to-date. Marketers should have a list of every social media page URL registered for each brand, regardless of whether or not the page(s) are being used in the current social media strategy. Tools such as Knowem and Namechk can help find social media profiles that have been forgotten about or left inactive.

Using this list, marketers should check that each page is up-to-date and includes accurate company and contact information. Every link in the bio or descriptions should also be clicked to ensure it takes visitors to the right place. Finally, it’s important to check the permissions on each page and make sure that only the right team members authorized to work on a brand have access.

Claim names on new channels

A social media audit is also a good time to claim a brand’s name or vanity URLs on emerging social apps or platforms. According to Bloomberg research, Generation Z will surpass Millennials as the most populous generation this year and the social channels this generation uses – such as ephemeral apps – are quickly gaining steam.

Even if marketers don’t have any immediate plans to add a new social channel to their strategy or target this younger generation, they should keep in mind that these channels may fit into the brand’s social media strategy in the future. New social channels can go mainstream overnight, so it’s best to be prepared and claim names early, rather than deal with inconsistent branding later. 

Review competitors’ content

It may be impossible to gather accurate metrics on competitors’ social media strategies, but it’s a marketer's job to analyze the competition and compare their efforts with the brands they manage. Ideally, marketers should identify three or more competitors and analyze:

Which social channels they use

The type of content they post on each channel

How often they post

How much of the content is promotional (or original) vs. curated

The information in their descriptions/bios and the links they use

What type of content is attracting the most engagements

Taking some time to review all of this on a regular basis will shed light on what is working well for other brands and may spark new ideas for marketers’ own strategies.

The bottom line

Any successful social media strategy involves a great deal of testing new ideas and making changes to improve results. And while most marketers analyze their social media metrics on a monthly or even daily basis, it can be easy to overlook or forget about other aspects like those listed above which also play a role in a successful social media campaign. Performing a social media audit on a regular basis not only ensures that audiences can connect with brands easily, but it helps marketing teams discover new opportunities as well.

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