TONIKA BRUCE

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Top 3 Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs to Apply for Today

Top 3 Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs to Apply for Today

The modern woman plays a substantial role in shaping the business landscape. Women have become more involved in entrepreneurship, resulting in productivity surges, enhanced innovation, and economic growth.

Statistics indicate that more than 40% of businesses are owned by women today. Yet, in stark contrast, only 2% of startup venture funding is awarded to women.

Too often, women face inordinate challenges in qualifying for business loans and other forms of financing compared to their male counterparts. With stereotyping and social-economic factors like running a business, making deals seen as male territory.

Where is this money, and how can women ensure slightly fair distribution?

Considering the difficulties of accessing loans and other investment financings by women, they can look into grant awards.
This article seeks to bridge that gap by empowering and enlightening you on the top three grants in the U.S. that women can apply to obtain funds for their businesses.

If you are a female entrepreneur running a startup or thinking of setting up one, find out if you qualify for a business grant. There are several small business grants specifically for women entrepreneurs.

But before we dive in, let us first answer the question: what is a grant?

A grant is essentially free money that you do not have to pay back. Sounds pretty great, right?
Grants can come from the government, local organizations, corporations, or foundations. They are typically awarded based on need or merit.

Below are three small business grants for women entrepreneurs that you can apply for in 2022:

The Tony Burch Foundation Grant

First on this list is the grant by the Tory Burch Foundation. The foundation offers an annual program for women entrepreneurs in early-stage companies, a business education grant, and access to capital.

The Tony Burch Foundation, in partnership with the Fearless Fund, promotes black women-owned businesses through business capital, workshops, and peer-to-peer networking.
Inside the program is an online community of peers to collaborate and engage in workshops with expert instructors according to individual business needs.

Requirements
The applicant criteria dictate that eligible candidates must be women in a qualifying business that is 51% or more owned or controlled by women. They must also be 21 years old, proficient in English, and legal residents of the United States. The candidates who qualify for the program get a $5000 grant to advance their business education alongside a highly educational one-year fellowship and a trip to the Tory Burch Foundation offices in New York. Amazing, right?

Are you a new or aspiring business leader? Try this short online leadership course for beginners: The Impactful Leader

The Black Founder StartUp Grant

The second grant is the Black Founder StartUp Grant which provides $10,000 and $5000 to black women and nonbinary entrepreneurs.

Requirements
Applicants must be black women or black non-binary entrepreneurs running a legally registered business. One must also plan to seek investor funding to grow and have a scalable, high-impact solution that has the potential to become the next billion-dollar. The application process involves filling and submitting an online form, after which the vetting and selection of the applicants happen.

The Amber Grant

The third grant is the Amber Grant by WomensNet. Amber Grant was set up in 1998 to honor the memory of a young woman, Amber Wigdhal, who died before realizing her business dreams.

Requirements
The application process is simple since it involves sharing about one’s business irrespective of the niche or sector. The selection and judging criteria consider the woman behind the enterprise.
So, it counts to build a solid profile for your business. Women whose applications stand out to the selection committee receive an award of a 35,000 dollar grant. The good news is this award is usually up for grabs every month.

A few Pointers That Can Help Women Entrepreneurs Ensure Funding

Although grant awards are purely on a merit basis, there are a few things women entrepreneurs can do to increase their chances of winning grant money.

First, it is essential to understand the process and requirements for grants in your specific industry.

Second, create a well-thought-out and professional business plan that outlines your business goals and how you plan to achieve them.

Lastly, put together a strong team of experts who can help you with everything from developing your proposal to marketing your business. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to winning the funding you need to help grow your business.

Conclusion

There are plenty of small business grants available for women entrepreneurs seeking financial help to get their business off the ground. We’ve outlined three great options for you to consider, but these are by no means the only ones out there. So don’t hesitate to do your research and see what other opportunities might be a good fit for your small business.
And if you need help getting started on your business, don’t worry. Coach Bruce is here to help. Book a 15-minute consultation: Book Consultation.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Apply today for the business coaching program!

Already running a business online? Increase conversions with this guidebook on how to find, nurture potential clients and build a customer database: Dominate Your Market

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Translating Critical Care Nursing into Innovative Business Processes

Translating Critical Care Nursing into Innovative Business Processes

At the heart of entrepreneurship is innovation. It is the key that unlocks endless possibilities of products and services for any business venture. Speaking of business, if you are like most entrepreneurs, you are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve your business processes, but critical care nursing isn’t the first place you look.

You may not realize it, but critical care nurses have a knack for using their knowledge and experience to develop such innovations. The Covid 19 pandemic has just begun to highlight this.

We will explore some of the business innovations that healthcare professionals have pioneered and how you can learn from them.

Why Critical Care Nurses Spearhead in Innovation

Nurses are often the unsung heroes of the hospital. Critical care nurses, in particular, have some of the most challenging and crucial roles in the medical profession. Daily, they deal with life and death situations. For that reason, they must quickly assess patients’ conditions and administer life-saving treatments.

The pandemic made this creativity even more urgent not only for the survival of patients but also for theirs Reports show that 1,500 nurses, 7,000 healthcare workers died, and 3 million health workers were infected]. In addition to their clinical skills, critical care nurses also need to think innovatively and translate their knowledge into creative processes that improve patient care.

This level of creativity can especially be helpful for nursing professionals who want to create new businesses or improve existing ones.

Nurses in critical care units are constantly innovating to improve patient care

There is a common misconception that nurses are all cut from the same cloth. In reality, nurses come from all walks of life and have a variety of talents and strengths. Critical care nurses, in particular, are renowned for their creativity and innovation. In emergencies, they always find ways to make the patients comfortable-whether that’s developing new protocols or making existing treatments more effective.

Here are ways critical care nurses have used the pandemic to improve patient care outcomes. According to a report by neuroscience nursing, the motivation for these innovations falls into three categories:

  • To reduce the use of unnecessary PPE
  • To promote staff safety and support
  • To improve the readiness of nursing professionals while reducing foot traffic

Now, let’s dive deeper.

Using the Pandemic to Innovate for Better Patient Care

With the Covid 19 causing restrictions in contact with ICU patients, many critical nurses found it difficult to manage care for their patients.

Preventing and Controlling the Spread of the Virus
Nadia Andrade, a critical care nurse at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center is one of the many who have implemented the use of extended infusion pumps allowing them to tend to patients without being inside the rooms. Moving infusion pumps to the hallway allowed nurses to replace the bags and tend to alarms without entering the ICU rooms.

In support of this, Jason Farley of Johns Hopkins developed a portable plexiglass testing booth for nurses that prevents the exhaled air by patients from reaching the care provider while in the room.

Telemedicine Innovations

Although telemedicine had already been in existence before the pandemic, it has become one of the best opportunities for nursing professionals to innovate patient care.
Like many other nurses, Whitney Fear, an NP at a clinic for the homeless in North Dakota, transitioned to using technology to consult with patients after being quarantined.

Another innovation spurred by the pandemic is the Facebook group Social Distance Powwow creating experiences for ICU patients. Through its now 200,000 members, people can share stories of healing and survival.

Staff Safety and Support
One thing stands out as far as nursing professionals’ physical and emotional well-being is concerned- the role of social media in offering support, encouragement, and information. As nurses invented better ways to care for patients and protect themselves, social platforms were the place of ideas exchange.

Tonika Bruce, a former critical care nurse and business leader, has been at the forefront of innovating ways to support and connect nurses. One of her ventures, the Network Nurse, provides nurse empowerment through training and networking.

Starting as a place to connect healthcare professionals to business and healthcare training opportunities, The Network Nurse has become the hub of other healthcare inventions. It has given rise to Thrudemic; an anthology by healthcare professionals that captures the Covid experiences in the industry, and MBBCH; an online health encyclopedia simplifying nutrition and illness management for the public.

But like many great achievements and inventions, there is always an immense deal of support going on behind the scenes.

Bruce credits the fast tracking of these innovative projects to the dedication of a solid network and community of supporters. These partners include the YEC by Forbes platform providing entrepreneurial resources, the NBNA for awarding her the graduate studies scholarship, and Common Ground’s sponsorship and support to the Young Professionals Council membership.

Critical Care Nurses Innovations in Business

Critical care nursing innovations also translate to ventures that solve specific problems within the emergency care setting. Below are a few examples of businesses started by nurses:

  • A company that makes and distributes specialized medical equipment for use in the ICU
  • A home health care agency that provides skilled nursing visits to patients recovering from critical illness
  • A web-based training program for critical care nurses
  • A mobile app that helps clinicians track patients’ vital signs and provides clinical decision support tools

In conclusion

Often when we talk about innovation in healthcare, we think about the invention of a vaccine or an endoscopic robot, yet, the chief innovation during this pandemic period has been the ability of critical care nurses to innovate patient care on the go.
Critical care nurses can translate this knowledge and experience into innovative business processes.

References:
Bode, Lisa De. “Innovating “In the Here and Now”.” Issues in Science and Technology 37, no. 2 (Winter 2021): 50–55.

Newby, Jamison C.; Mabry, Madison C.; Carlisle, Byron A.; Olson, DaiWai M.; Lane, Blair E. Reflections on Nursing Ingenuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: October 2020 – Volume 52 – Issue 5 – p E13-E16
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000525

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How to Become a Persuasion Master and Attract More Customers

How to Become a Persuasion Master and Attract More Customers

Every brand and consumer is different, but the goal for all business brands and entrepreneurs is to sell more and, for the consumer, to satisfy a need.

The only way the two goals intersect is through clear and persuasive communication.

There have been studies on persuasion for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the early twentieth century that psychologists began to investigate powerful persuasion techniques. Persuasion’s ultimate goal is to get the target audience to internalize the persuasive argument and adopt the new attitude as part of their belief system.

Here are a few persuasion strategies to help you attract more customers and increase sales.

Different Persuasion Techniques You Can Use to Attract Customers

1. Make an Anchor Point

The anchoring bias is a subtle cognitive bias with significant impacts on negotiations. Marketing and advertising firms understand this and use it to reinforce people’s perceptions of a product.

How does it work? When attempting to make a decision, the first offer made tends to become the anchoring point for all subsequent negotiations. The first number you suggest will serve as the starting point and may result in a higher offer in the end.

Here are a few ways anchoring bias is applied in persuasion:

Using multiple unit pricing
When pricing items, say 4 hygiene wipes for $2 usually perform better than 1 hygiene wipe for $0.5.
Although the price is the same in both cases, multiple pricing performs better. Psychologists Brian Wansink, Robert Kent, and Stephen Hoch’s study on multiple unit pricing found the brain uses the number 4 as an anchor.

Initial price technique
In sales negotiation, the initial offer price always becomes the anchor point. Anything below that appears reasonable regardless of its legitimacy. After this initial anchor, any lower price is a good deal.

Using product range
Pricing two or more similar items on a price range can influence your ability to persuade a customer. For instance, when you place a cotton T-shirt at $45, people will see it as expensive. However, put it alongside another cotton T-shirt labeled as a premium at $99, and people will see the $40 one as cheap. That type of anchoring is super popular with digital marketing solutions pricing, such as web hosting.

Clever marketing uses cognitive biases to persuade.
The anchoring effect happens subliminally on everyone, experts and non-experts- learning about it doesn’t change.

2. Create a Need

Creating a need or increasing the appeal of an already existing one is a powerful method of persuasion.

This type of persuasion appeals to a person’s basic need for love, shelter, self-actualization, and self-esteem. All business startups hinge on meeting a need in the audience or demographic they choose to serve.

That is useful for persuading your customers to buy the product once it hits the market. You can use this strategy to sell your products by telling potential customers that they should buy your product because it will make them happy, loved, safe, and admired.

People go for Uber because it meets the need for safety, household brands like Chanel and Giorgio Armani for fame and class.

Already online with your business? Increase your conversion rate with a step by step guidebook on email marketing and digital marketing strategies: Dominate Your Market

3. Make an Appeal to Social Needs

Another effective persuasion technique that you can use in your business is to appeal to the desire to be popular. A good example is how companies use television commercials to persuade viewers to buy products.

Persuasion using social appeal focuses on motives and customer needs such as status, fame, respect, recognition, etc.

It is a fact that you can convince a person to buy a product if they see that everybody is buying it. That’s why people check reviews before making a purchase.
Influencer marketing is also based on this principle.

Some excellent examples of brands with high sales because of social appeal include WordPress, YouTube, Masterclass’s celebrity endorsements. All these are part of social proof based on popularity.

If you want to understand your target market or audience, you can also read: 8 Keys to Understanding Your Target Market As a Small Business Owner

4. Start With a Foot in the Door

Another effective method for getting people to comply with a request is the “foot in the door” technique. It entails persuading someone to agree to a small request, followed by a much larger one. You can get your foot in the door by convincing them to agree to a small initial favor, making the person more likely to comply with a bigger request later.

How does this work?

When starting with low prices and increasing them gradually. A company like Apple has been increasing its prices over the years despite protests. People use the initial price as a reference point seeing the increase as a small one and accept it.

5. First, Go Big, and Then Go Small

This method is the inverse of the foot in the door approach, which requires you to start with a broad, often unrealistic request. The chances are that the person will refuse, allowing you to respond with a much smaller request, which is more likely to be accepted. People frequently feel obligated to respond to such offers.

Already running a business online? Increase conversions with this guidebook on how to find, nurture potential clients and build a customer database: Dominate Your Market

6. Use a Powerful USP

Apart from persuading using emotions and their hearts, you can also reach them using their brains- rational appeal. You can use logic with measurable results indicating statistics, facts, or benefits. That is usually a company’s unique selling proposition.

If someone told you they wanted to sell you a cup of coffee at $5, for instance, you would think it ridiculous. Yet Starbucks does, and thousands pay for it. Starbuck isn’t just selling coffee, it has created a lifestyle and culture around it with its unique flavors and relaxing cafe ambiance- the benefit/USP.

Logical fallacies are not uncommon in customer persuasion, but giving honest, tangible results, nothing can match that in sales.

In Summary

These are just a few effective techniques you can employ to persuade people to buy your products or services. Look for examples of persuasion in your daily life and consider which ones you might be able to apply to your business.

Be knowledgeable, learn more, apply and keep testing what works for your market demographics

Learn how to create a social media and email marketing campaign with this package: Dominate Your Market.

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The Top 10 Leadership Strategies to Create Winning Teams

The Top 10 Leadership Strategies to Create Winning Teams

A winning team has a strong sense of teamwork. Building a winning team takes more than getting a group of people with the right mix of professional skills to work together. They must blend and move in harmony like a well-oiled machine. They are highly productive, communicate efficiently, collaborate, and innovate in an environment of mutual respect. A winning team always has clear goals, strong leadership, and diplomatic means of conflict resolution. As a leader, you know you have a winning team when everything is well organized and everybody knows their duty. But this is easier said than done.

What do leaders do to achieve this goal for the business?
Well, hiring great talent is good; delegating to allow autonomy is great for motivation. Nevertheless, what is better is being present as a harmonizing influence to ensure the group works well and focuses on the priorities. Gaining such levels of success takes excellent leadership skills and effort on the part of the leader. According to indeed.com, leaders of successful teams ensure that all members have fulfilled their assigned duties. Luckily, there are some strategies that help leaders to create a winning team. These are ten time-tested tips that can apply to building organizational teams with employees as few as five to as many as thousands.

1. Build on Strengths

One trait common among leaders with high-performing teams is that they consistently encourage members to use their strengths every day. They focus on building the talents of the people around them. Recent studies indicate that strength-based leadership boosts the performance and output of employees in workplaces. In addition, another research by Liquidplanner shows that building on the strengths of team members is more effective in elevating performance than trying to improve flaws. Carry an audit for your team and assign them accordingly.

2. Foster Psychological Safety

The number one struggle for employees in workplaces is the thought of underperforming, failure, and making mistakes. Psychological safety ensures that the team can work without worry and fear of the consequences of such incidences. As a leader, creating space for vulnerability helps with this. Leaders who practice vulnerable leadership build trust among members, thus, creating winning teams. For instance, leaders who use suggestion boxes or anonymous messaging applications, receive continuous streams of feedback and truly understand their team members. As a leader, you should seek feedback, listen, and show that failure sometimes happens. According to the advisory board, leaders build winning teams by motivating their members that a mistake is not a sign of defeat but a step towards growth.

3. Manage Conflict

Teams that perform do not necessarily run without friction. Disagreements are natural in-group settings. Depending on how you deal with them, they produce either positive or negative outcomes. When you deal with them openly and fast, they strengthen and bring the unit closer. Although avoiding conflict is the best, high-performing teams may engage in conflict that is productive and healthy. According to tools-here, leaders of winning teams solve conflict using various styles such as compromising, collaborating, and competing.

4. Build Relationships

Leaders of winning teams build professional capacity through good work relationships. At the heart of effective relations are trust, acceptance, and open communication. Tap into your emotional intelligence to improve your interactions with colleagues.

5. Encourage Team Communication

Teamwork is necessary to create a high-performing team. Typically, people grow closer through interaction. Therefore, encourage open and honest conversations where everyone can express their opinions without fear of reproach. Leaders who encourage effective communication among team members in the workplace often yield favorable outcomes such as greater agility, smoother team building, increased focus, diminished workload, and efficient performance. According to Forbes, leaders ought to improve the quality of communication in the workplace, to ensure that members have purposeful communication, which is key for creating a winning team.

6. Manage Time and Productivity

For teams to be successful, time management and productivity must be a priority. Juggling multiple tasks and working under pressure or remotely can often lead to stress and wasted time. However, there are ways to help streamline workflow and improve overall productivity. Watch the video to learn how:

By learning how to manage your time efficiently, you can help your team achieve its goals.

7. Establish Ground Rules

It is vital to lay down rules for operation even more, where you are dealing with a cross-cultural team. These include decision-making, reporting, communication, and frequency of meetings. The uniformity accorded by the guidelines will help reduce friction. A report by Harvard shows that leaders who set ground rules and consistently enforce them are likely to create winning teams because the rules can substantially improve how the team makes decisions and solves problems.

8. Manage Diversity

Leading a diverse group is inevitable. Differences play a significant role in breaking down team cohesion. If you are to build a solid team, prioritize managing the work culture to accommodate the diverse people on your team. According to PeopleScout, leaders who can successfully manage diversity in the workplace are likely to have a competitive advantage over others due to enhanced innovation, differentiation, and employer branding.

9. Be a Team Member

Do not forget to be present. Leading from the front is an excellent approach to leadership that allows the team leader to be a role model and maintain effective communication. When a team leader guides by behavior rather than words, the members are inspired and emulate their leader, thus creating a winning team.

10. Evaluate Progress

A leader is a facilitator. That means you periodically check to ensure everyone is still on track with his or her role and contribution to the goal. The evaluation keeps teams in line and guarantees results. A leader can use various tools to evaluate the performance of their employees to ensure that they become more successful and stay ahead of the competition. These evaluation tools include key performance indicators, performance appraisals, 360-degree feedback, personal development plans, and management by objective.

Conclusion

Even as you strive to build a winning team, remember that most go through the stages of development before they start to produce efficiently. The model by Bruce Tuckman presents these as forming, storming, norming, and then performing. In addition, for a leader to develop a winning team, they must be part of the team and guide by example.

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Three Effective Ways to Increase Customer Trust

Three Effective Ways to Increase Customer Trus

Building trust with customers is one of the most important goals for new businesses. Potential customers want to know that they are dealing with a reputable and dependable company that will deliver on time and to their satisfaction.

While getting customers to spend money is a great way to start any business, the only way to get them to buy from you again is to build a healthy relationship based on positive experiences. Therefore, customer trust is crucial to developing and fostering long-term relationships with your core targets. In addition, increasing customer trust enables a business to provide better customer experiences, enhances loyalty, and retains more clients.

Here are three effective ways to persuade potential customers to put their trust in your company.

Make Help Desk Resources Available

The best way to show your customers that their concerns are important to your company is to create a comprehensive customer service department that is accessible via multiple contact methods. Entrepreneurs willing to nurture customers should learn about social media and email marketing by getting this eBook.

You will want to offer assistance via phone, email, web forms, and online chat. In addition, by utilizing a centralized interface, you can use help desk software to manage your IT support needs, save time, and make things easier.

Availing a customer service desk enhances process efficiency, thus increasing customer trust. Most businesses are systems of interconnected departments working harmoniously. Although solving customer issues is the responsibility of the customer service department, some customer problems may require the intervention of another department. Hence, availing a customer service desk will act as a centralized venue for receiving all the communications from the clients and channeling them to the appropriate department for various solutions. For example, if a client complains about purchasing substandard goods, the help desk resource will direct the issue to the quality control department to address it.

Businesses with help desk resources provide proactive customer support that boosts customer trust.

Traditional customer service only offered reactive support, in that, customers had to contact the support team for problems to be resolved. Currently, advanced help desk resources are enabling businesses to offer proactive customer support to their clients. For example, a business can predict a problem such as a delayed delivery in a certain area due to logistics turmoil and notify the other customers in the area about the issue rather than waiting to receive multiple complaints. According to Help Scout, Trader Joe’s, Rackspace, Ritz-Carlton, Wistia, CVS, Buffer, JetBlue, and StudioPress are some of the companies with the best customer services.

Accurate Product and Service Representation

Only promise what you can consistently deliver

Once you have established a dependable support system that is up and running smoothly, you can avoid customer dissatisfaction by making it a policy only to promise what you can consistently deliver. This will also assist you in promoting an impeccable brand reputation.

In addition, make every effort to describe the features accurately while avoiding the use of tricky fine print or hidden fees. You should also clearly outline your terms of service so that all of your customers know what to expect from your company each time they do business with you. You may also want to consider using high-quality images and videos to show your customers what they will be getting ahead of time to instill trust in first-time customers.

Accurate product and service representation increases customer satisfaction because the customer gets the product or service that was described in the sales pitch. While most clients expect and appreciate accurate product or service descriptions, misrepresentation or dishonest descriptions are likely to cause customer dissatisfaction and consequently cause customer distrust.

When customers grow to trust your brand, it is an invaluable asset to your business. When customers trust your brand, they are likely to come back for more products and even recommend your brand to their friends, networks, and family.

Forbes shows that transparent companies such as Oatly, Southwest Airlines, and Patagonia continue to make profits due to increased customer trust. Therefore, we can confidently attest that accurate product and service representation increases customer trust and consequently elevates customer loyalty.

Already online with your business? Increase your conversion rate with a step by step guidebook on email marketing and digital marketing strategies: Dominate Your Market

Communication and Presentation are Critical

One of the most important steps you can take to build trust with your customers is always being available to them and presenting your company with utmost professionalism. The initial belief is primarily motivated by aesthetic appeal. However, ongoing trust in a company can only be gained through great products and customer service accompanied by stellar support for each customer. Once you have won over your customers with your initial offering, it is critical to building the trust necessary to keep them as a customer for life. This will take time, but with the right approach and commitment to putting your customers first, you can do it.

Great communication skills such as transparency, providing multiple communication channels, getting to understand your customers, quick responses, and inclusion of live chat in the business website can help an enterprise build customers. Companies that effectively communicate and understand their client’s needs, eventually provide more relevant solutions than companies that just depend on traditional communication.

Responding quickly to any inquiry by the customers enhances customer satisfaction and clients find such companies reliable.

In addition, businesses that offer more channels of communication give their customers the freedom to select the most convenient and cheapest channel. Customers are likely to trust a business with multiple communication channels as it is an indication that the enterprise is committed to serving its customers.

Conclusion

Developing robust relationships with your clients is vital for the success of your business. Increasing the level of customer trust is a fundamental way to strengthen your customer relationship. Building customer trust attracts new clients and enhances customer retention. Availing help desk resources, accurate representation of products or services, and effective communication are some of the proven ways to increase customer trust in your business.

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7 Books To Read Before Enrolling in an MBA Program

7 Books To Read Before Enrolling in an MBA Program [Essential Business School Reading List]

Business and Leadership Coach, Tonika Bruce, shares a list of seven books that have helped her journey through her MBA program.

All MBA aspirants must cultivate the habit of reading because books always offer a broader perspective of the world outside their knowledge zone.

Books provide information and serve as the window to explore expert thoughts on a specific subject and subsequently link your opinion and concept with that of the author. In addition to aiding you to pass the MBA entrance examination, books also help you to build managerial skills, become innovative, and develop business excellence.

An MBA can be a valuable investment in your career, but it’s important to consider what you’re getting into before enrolling. These seven books are a great starting point for learning more about the world of business and will give you a better idea of what to expect in an MBA program.business school reading listWhether you’re still considering whether or not an MBA is right for you, or you’re just getting started on your studies, these books will help you to gain skills and hone business and innovation capacities.

In this article, I’ll share a brief review of each book to give you a peek to help you decide.

1. Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robert Sutton

Sutton addresses a challenge that every enterprise experiences as it tries to scale up or expand. The book keenly analyzes case studies and inside accounts of various industry segments to determine the vital scaling challenges that confront every company at a particular time.

The author handles the tough trade-offs and discloses how good leadership, team development skills, and instilling the right mindsets can result in business excellence.

The book further explains the principles to help in advancing excellence and innovation throughout the firm. The book is recommended for all MBA aspirants as it will help them grow and navigate evolving technologies while delivering quality work. The principles explained in this book are so valuable that it is listed among the mandatory reading requirements of Harvard Business School.

2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Sometimes as a business leader, you may underestimate what you can accomplish with the limited resources at your disposal. The art of winning an unfair game shows you how to creatively use your weakness to your advantage.

The book is about a baseball team that was trying to win a major league with a smaller budget than all the competitor teams. The coach and the team management carefully analyzed statistical data to defy the conventional wisdom traditionally held by big teams. Using the research information and a restricted budget, the team manager succeeded to build a winning team of young inexpensive players and affordable castoff veterans.

Michael Lewis brings out the role of critical thinking as a hallmark of exceptional leaders.

The book can be very helpful for MBA aspirants as it stirs up their innovative potential. Additionally, the book can help MBA aspirants to develop business excellence just like the team manager with the least budget to put together a winning team.

3. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffet and Lawrence Cunningham.

This book is highly recommended for all people wishing to enroll for MBA. The book is a compilation of Warren’s letters to Berkshire’s shareholders. It describes the approach to wise investing and the fundamentals of business.

The book advises that good investors must identify good businesses, buy them at fair prices and run them for the long term, rather than focusing on the market. It also disagrees with the recent finance theory that relies on market prices to determine the business value.

The book can help aspiring business leaders to hone smart investment strategies which are crucial elements of business and leadership excellence. The best take away? It will teach you how to make business decisions without using emotions.

Check a selection of popular business and personal development titles at the bookshelf.

4. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

This book is regarded as one of the most influential books in the business sector. The seven habits include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand, then to be understood, synergizing, and sharpening the saw.

These habits can be very handy for MBA students during their coursework and even after school. You will learn how to build a work discipline that will result in increased innovation and build business excellence.

Incorporating these habits into schoolwork and employment can improve your communication skills.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Despite being published in 1936, this book is still among the bestselling self-help books. The book offers solid rock advice that has propelled numerous famous people up the ladder of success in their personal lives and business.

The principles introduced by Carnegie are still relevant and can aid anyone to accomplish their maximum potential in competitive and complex business environments.

The content of this book can get MBA aspirants out of their mental ditch; give them new thoughts, new ambitions, and new visions. Furthermore, Carnegie’s timeless advice in this book can help you build persuasive arguments for your MBA admissions and later thesis. Not to mention, networking potential to increase popularity and enable you to make allies quickly and easily.

Therefore, this book enhances social skills which lead to business excellence when implemented properly.

6. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

The author, an experienced entrepreneur, commenced an entire worldwide movement around the idea of a lean startup, which has been implemented by numerous businesses around the globe. He expounds on how startups can be more innovative to minimize time wastage and be more successful. The book introduces a successful methodology on how to establish a profitable startup.

The methodology of a lean startup is not about being low-cost but about averting wastage and still performing the key duties.

Noting that one of the vital learning items of an MBA is the ability to lead transformative business tactics across different organizations. Therefore, this book is highly recommended for all MBA aspirants because it enhances innovation, management skills, and business excellence.

7. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The book provides practical insights into the challenges that may arise when operating a business. These challenges include gaining employee loyalty, employee dismissals, and different methods to attract investors. The author, a technology entrepreneur, gives his war story that indicates that the right things are similar to the hard things.

One of my favorite reads, The Hard Thing About Hard Things will make understanding people and crisis management easy.

This is an ideal read for all MBA aspirants as it will prepare them for the coursework and future business management. The author offers information on skills and a mindset that will embrace continuous change. Implementing the knowledge of this book enhances innovation and business leadership resulting in business excellence. Additionally, this book is recommended by top achievers in the business sector including Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and Peter Thiel.

Conclusion

As an MBA student, you must be aware that personal reading material can be as valuable as lessons acquired in the classroom. The path to success in the business landscape is constantly changing and reading such books will help you get ahead and stay relevant. Reading the recommended books brings new insights and fresh thinking into the studies. Additionally, these books assist in expanding your minds to comprehend international business concepts.

Find more business and personal development books at the bookshelf.

Tonika Bruce is a business and professional development coach with over 15 years experience running businesses. To get more in depth career and business coaching, connect with Coach Bruce: Book a Consultation Call.

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COVID 19 and the Business Landscape(Why Small Business Start-ups are Taking Off)

COVID 19 and the Business Landscape: Why Small Business Start-ups are Taking Off

The Coronavirus hit at the close of 2019, but its severity and global impact spread at an alarming rate reaching a worldwide scale by March of 2020. From this point on, business in all economic sectors took a progressive downward trend thanks to the disruption. Many downsizing and others completely shutting down. Just weeks after the onset of the pandemic many small businesses had experienced dislocations. From the PNAS survey of 5,800 small businesses affiliated with Alignable these statistics confirm the above trend.

Source: PNAS.ORG

The Professional service industries were less impacted by the crisis because they were able to better transition to remote work than the entertainment and hospitality industries.

However, small businesses are no strangers to crises. They are survivors that thrive on the innovative minds of optimistic entrepreneurs. In the face of challenges, they either adopt or morph into entirely new ventures.

That has been the case for small businesses since 2021. After the initial shock of the pandemic and lockdown, business owners started responding by adopting new strategies to survive the new landscape while more people started venturing into entrepreneurship.

The U.S Census Bureau reported that 4.4 million new businesses launched in 2020, 23.4% higher than the record in 2019. Here is the even more shocking news, in January 2021 alone, over half million new small businesses came into the market..

Small Businesses Statistics 2020-2021:

Source: US Census Bureau

Florida recorded the highest number of new business applications with close to half a million entries, followed by Carlifornia, Texas, Georgia and Newyork. However, Georgia had the highest record based on new business formations performance per county with a growth of 56%. Both North and South Dakota experienced a decline in the number of small businesses launched in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Economic experts theorize that the reasons for this surge in new start-ups despite the crisis are accessibility to technology, increased creativity from spending more time at home, and spare time.

Challenges give rise to creativity. It is a basic human instinct to survive. That is why entrepreneurs are born during tough times.

Covid 19 brought about layoffs, business shutdowns, and furloughs that pushed people to look for alternative means of survival.

Reasons for the Rise of Start-Ups During the Pandemic

Source: Salesforce Report SAL706

According to studies and surveys conducted by various organizations into entrepreneurship during the Covid 19 pandemic, the top reasons for the upsurge include the following:

Increased Creativity

With a long hiatus from work, lockdown, and too much time on their hands, people had to get creative to beat the boredom, if not for anything else. Fitness trainers started online video sessions, therapists and teachers launched virtual sessions and classes, employed professionals joined freelance sites to offer their skills.

The Desire to Be Self-Employed

Another reason for the increase in start-ups is the desire to be in charge. The pandemic only enhanced this desire.

Necessity

The closure of many businesses necessitated the additional income stream, which led to most people venturing into side hustles. For others, the pandemic accelerated their plans of going entrepreneurial. The survey by Salesforce has shown that 12.6% of new businesses were opportunities people recognized during the pandemic.

Availability of Less Capital Intensive Side Hustles

Without the need for office space, a big team, or inventory, the barrier to entry drastically dropped for people interested in starting a business. Studies indicate new start-ups launched on a budget of fewer than 10,000 dollars, with half that number having below 5000 dollars capital. Here are a few online businesses to start on a 1000-bucks budget

Technological Advantage

Starting a business has never been easier than today in the age of technology. The rise of freelance consultancies is proof of that. With layoffs and furloughs at work, most professionals transitioned into freelancing thanks to the internet. The digital capabilities made it easier to start a business without physical space. From fitness enthusiasts offering training over video calls to professionals giving services via app-based or job platforms, the opportunities just became endless.(Get access to business start up training: From business planning to website creation and marketing strategies)

Small Businesses Trends and Opportunities for Growth During the Pandemic Beyond 2022

The rise of the post-pandemic generation of businesses is highly characterized by technological adoption and application.

Because of the lockdown and staying at home, of course, most people had to carry out their interactions with customers online.

Some of the key trends of the new start-ups in 2021 include:

  • They operate remotely
  • They use digital marketing activities
  • They apply modern customer experiences such as mobile-based communication, curbside pick-ups, etc.
  • They prioritize customer safety

Trends in Business Communication and Operation Software

Source: Salesforce Report SAL706

Opportunities for Business Growth in 2022

The pandemic brought in challenges that necessitated solutions and the savvy entrepreneurs seized the opportunities to be the problem-solvers. According to Salesforce, over 60% of startup owners ventured into new markets. Another 61% of existing owners developed new products and services to suit the impacts of the pandemic.

Technology was also a major player in propelling and enabling new startups growth.

Lastly, the government relief programs went a long way to create favorable conditions. These include federal assistance programs such as credit access and guarantees, salary subsidies, tax deferrals, and taking care of household members.

Conclusion

With so many innovative minds coming up with creative solutions for this crisis, it’s no surprise that these agile thinkers are now poised as some of today’s most successful young business ventures- not just because they were able to survive but thrive during one of our toughest times but because they’re great at solving problems.

Tools to Start Your Business

If you are interested in growing your business through digital marketing strategies or want some help making strategic decisions, reach us or make an appointment for a free consultation..

Use this online marketing ebook to start a social media and email marketing plan: https://successleaderbook.com/dominate-your-market

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women leadership skills

How a Black Female Innovative Business Leader is Leading Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

In the ever-changing business world, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve. That’s why innovative business leaders are always on the lookout for new trends and ways to improve their operations.

More and more, businesses have realized the importance of digital marketing in reaching their target audiences. But what about non-profits? Enterprising business leaders are stepping up to provide innovative solutions that allow these organizations to compete in a digital world.

Here is one such leader and her work in helping these non-profits and new ventures thrive online.

So without further ado, let’s meet Tonika Bruce!

Tonika Bruce is a business innovator who has taken on the challenge of leading digital marketing for new ventures and non-profits. She saw an opportunity to help these organizations bridge the gap between them and their potential donors or customers and seized it.

She is the founder and CEO of Lead Nicely Inc, a company helping new businesses and non-profit organizations, such as associations, schools, Christian Ministries establish an online presence and launch effective marketing campaigns.

As an entrepreneur with a passion for leadership, she has founded several ventures with the goal in mind to help people in these industries build business and leadership capacity. Currently, she hosts a 3-minute podcast that offers quick inspiration for leadership and business challenges.

Addressing the Challenges Facing Nonprofits and New Ventures

The Nature of Non-profit Organizations
There are a few different types of nonprofits, but generally, these are organizations not making money (profit) and exist to serve a social or environmental mission.

Many are run by volunteers and rely on donated time and services to fulfill their mission. Others may have paid staff, but most of their funding comes from donations and grants.

That is why they rely on marketing to generate awareness about their mission and services to reach these donors and volunteers.

However, since they don’t have the same marketing budget as for-profit businesses, they need to be more creative. One common way is through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter.
Another is getting digital marketing consultants that understand their target, needs and can craft affordable solutions for them.

Do Nonprofits Need Digital Marketing?
Many nonprofits rely on donations from the public to keep them going, and in this day and age, a big part of that donation comes in the form of online giving.

Digital marketing can help them reach new audiences, connect with potential donors, and raise money for their cause. It is also true that many do not invest in marketing for fear of coming off too aggressive, among other challenges highlighted here.

Another challenge is generating traffic to their website. The non-profit websites tend to be informational rather than transactional, so it can be hard to get people visiting the site to take action or engage.

These organizations often have a limited budget, this means being strategic about resource allocation, so most of the budget cuts fall on marketing.

So how do they do this without breaking the bank? By gaining access to effective and affordable digital marketing plans that will help them stay relevant and visible.
The same applies to new businesses.

Innovating Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

As someone who started many businesses with a good number flopping, she understands the struggles of being a new entrepreneur and having a limited budget.

Tonika Bruce is now helping level the playing field for these organizations and business start-ups that can not afford an extravagant budget.

Through her digital marketing company, the business leader helps them launch and scale by offering valuable digital solutions.

From the time clients sign up for the services, they are guided through business name brainstorming all the way to navigating their digital marketing strategies that best fit their niche – logo design, website development and optimization, and social media management.
The potential client also gets an option of selecting a specific service or going for an all-inclusive package.

What sets her business apart is tailoring campaigns to specific causes or issues. For example, depending on the nonprofit’s immediate need, she will focus campaigns on raising awareness for an upcoming charity event, recruiting volunteers, or raising money for a project.

By targeting their efforts towards specific causes, these companies can make the biggest impact possible with their time and resources.

For Ms. Bruce, it is not simply about offering digital marketing solutions, it is also about empowerment and training to manage their campaigns for the future.

With this building block, she strives to not only provide solutions but also empower entrepreneurs and organizational leaders.

On a more personal level, the female business leader offers training and coaching opportunities for clients to help them develop skills to run their ventures successfully. These innovative online courses center on business strategies and team management.

Using social media platforms, Tonika Bruce shares her passion for leadership on Youtube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Future Prospects for Clients

The business leader plans to reimagine how clients access their services by creating an automated platform.

The move will automate content marketing services by connecting clients with digital strategy experts, social media managers, writers, and designers. With this, clients can handpick their content creators directly.

The Parting Shot

Considering the challenges business start-ups and non-profit organizations face, finding the right digital marketing partner can be a real blessing.

There is a lot that these groups of ventures can benefit from digital marketing. For new businesses and nonprofits, it’s a great way to get their name out and build a following.
It can also help to create awareness around important issues or causes. Not to mention, digital marketing allows them to target specific demographics, which can help reach the right people with their message.
Catch up with Tonika Bruce on her interview with Ideamensch magazine.

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business ideas

7 Book Recommendations on Entrepreneurship Success

Thinking of Starting a Business? Here are 7 Book Recommendations on Entrepreneurship Success

Thinking of Starting a Business?
Here are 7 Book Recommendations on Entrepreneurship Success

As an entrepreneur contemplating launching a business, you need a significant balance of insight, strategy, and practical advice from individuals who have been through the entrepreneurial journey. For instance, setting up a business requires guidance on the challenges to expect, the key activities to prioritize, and how best to budget resources to run a business. 

Although some entrepreneurs quickly apply for classes, training sessions, and seminars, books are the most affordable and convenient method to begin learning. In addition, well-authored books highlight the blunders previously made by startups and offer professional advice on averting similar mistakes. Therefore, despite the nature of business you aspire to venture into, here are seven insightful and recommendable books to read before you begin.    

1. Relentless Pursuit: Tips for Unlocking your Potentials by Tonika Bruce

Relentless Pursuit7 Book Recommendations on Entrepreneurship Success- Tonika Bruce compiles proven tactics that can help in unlocking the unexploited potential within an entrepreneur and eventually propel them to victory. The strategies in the book will guide you on how to handle business challenges, identify vision, and build networks to succeed against all odds. The guide emphasizes that to be successful, people must overcome their challenges, and in the process, explore their creativity, becoming prosperous business owners. Furthermore, the book inspires relentless success that individuals enjoy after accomplishing their objectives despite the obstacles. The author’s goal is to help people find true success by elevating their self-confidence, happiness, and fulfillment.   


7 Book Recommendations on Entrepreneurship Success- Tonika BruceRelentless Pursuit compiles proven tactics that can help in unlocking the unexploited potential within an entrepreneur and eventually propel them to victory. The strategies in the book will guide you on how to handle business challenges, identify vision, and build networks to succeed against all odds. The guide emphasizes that to be successful, people must overcome their challenges, and in the process, explore their creativity, becoming prosperous business owners. Furthermore, the book inspires relentless success that individuals enjoy after accomplishing their objectives despite the obstacles. The author’s goal is to help people find true success by elevating their self-confidence, happiness, and fulfillment.   

2. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to one by Peter ThielPeter Thiel, a legendary investor, and entrepreneur elaborates on the significance of businesses developing new products or services. The reading explains how the current companies are focusing on creating new products or enhancing the existing products. As the book title suggests, the author appeals to all entrepreneurs to take the world from a state of nothing to something by developing entirely new solutions and merchandise that add more value. Inside the pages, he details some actionable guidelines for entrepreneurs to follow when starting a business and developing a new product or solution. “Zero to One” is one of the best entrepreneurial books for anyone thinking of starting a business. 

Zero to one by Peter ThielPeter Thiel, a legendary investor, and entrepreneur elaborates on the significance of businesses developing new products or services. The reading explains how the current companies are focusing on creating new products or enhancing the existing products. As the book title suggests, the author appeals to all entrepreneurs to take the world from a state of nothing to something by developing entirely new solutions and merchandise that add more value. Inside the pages, he details some actionable guidelines for entrepreneurs to follow when starting a business and developing a new product or solution. “Zero to One” is one of the best entrepreneurial books for anyone thinking of starting a business. 

3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup by Eric RiesEric Ries wrote this book for aspiring entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas they would like to develop. The book acts as a validation to start the business when the entrepreneur has an assurance that the market will pick and has gathered all necessary resources to facilitate it. Additionally, the book outlines a procedure to emulate, ensuring that you invest smartly by averting unnecessary risks. It also outlines a build-measure-learn process that advocates for creating and testing a prototype rather than making assumptions of how the product will perform in the market. Eric suggests following this procedure continuously while improving and adjusting the product according to the clients’ feedback.

THE 7 TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

The Lean Startup by Eric RiesEric Ries wrote this book for aspiring entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas they would like to develop. The book acts as a validation to start the business when the entrepreneur has an assurance that the market will pick and has gathered all necessary resources to facilitate it. Additionally, the book outlines a procedure to emulate, ensuring that you invest smartly by averting unnecessary risks. It also outlines a build-measure-learn process that advocates for creating and testing a prototype rather than making assumptions of how the product will perform in the market. Eric suggests following this procedure continuously while improving and adjusting the product according to the clients’ feedback.

 

THE 7 TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThis writing by Dale Carnegie is a necessary read for any aspiring entrepreneur or leader. The author designed a book for people who wish to develop their people skills and nurture relationships that will make them thrive at work. It lists all the vital ways an entrepreneur can use to create friends and connect with potential clients. The author also explains how entrepreneurs can win over their business competitors, potential investors, or even individuals who do not believe in their business concept. Making friends is an effective and affordable way of expanding your business or dealing with the competition; therefore, this book offers wisdom that all entrepreneurs need to know. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThis writing by Dale Carnegie is a necessary read for any aspiring entrepreneur or leader. The author designed a book for people who wish to develop their people skills and nurture relationships that will make them thrive at work. It lists all the vital ways an entrepreneur can use to create friends and connect with potential clients. The author also explains how entrepreneurs can win over their business competitors, potential investors, or even individuals who do not believe in their business concept. Making friends is an effective and affordable way of expanding your business or dealing with the competition; therefore, this book offers wisdom that all entrepreneurs need to know. 

5. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown

Essentialism -The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeownEntrepreneurs live hectic lives. They have to acquire new skills, liaise with clients, monitor their competition, negotiate, read endless books, and market their products to succeed in their ventures. Not to mention, they are also human beings who have to keep fit, live healthily, and spend time with family. As such, they barely have enough time to execute their schedules, so they must learn how to prioritize their time. The book explains how best business owners can maximize their time and make the most out of it. It is a practical guide for all entrepreneurs struggling with time management. 

Essentialism -The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeownEntrepreneurs live hectic lives. They have to acquire new skills, liaise with clients, monitor their competition, negotiate, read endless books, and market their products to succeed in their ventures. Not to mention, they are also human beings who have to keep fit, live healthily, and spend time with family. As such, they barely have enough time to execute their schedules, so they must learn how to prioritize their time. The book explains how best business owners can maximize their time and make the most out of it. It is a practical guide for all entrepreneurs struggling with time management. 

6. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill“Think and Grow Rich” is a renowned business book that has helped numerous entrepreneurs in developing and implementing successful business plans. The author provides aspiring business leaders with wise advice on professional and personal development. It guides entrepreneurs on how to seek answers from within and alter their mindset. Furthermore, Napoleon Hill gives a valuable lesson on how to set an objective and accomplish it. Evidence indicates that most successful entrepreneurs have read and implemented the knowledge of this book. 

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill“Think and Grow Rich” is a renowned business book that has helped numerous entrepreneurs in developing and implementing successful business plans. The author provides aspiring business leaders with wise advice on professional and personal development. It guides entrepreneurs on how to seek answers from within and alter their mindset. Furthermore, Napoleon Hill gives a valuable lesson on how to set an objective and accomplish it. Evidence indicates that most successful entrepreneurs have read and implemented the knowledge of this book. 

7. Getting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Most business owners quickly get lost in the details of running a business and often get overwhelmed. The author of “Getting Things Done” teaches practical tips on dealing with the stress and upholding perspective on your business. The book provides wisdom to help entrepreneurs remain relaxed and have a clear mind when making business decisions vital for success and productivity. 

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Most business owners quickly get lost in the details of running a business and often get overwhelmed. The author of “Getting Things Done” teaches practical tips on dealing with the stress and upholding perspective on your business. The book provides wisdom to help entrepreneurs remain relaxed and have a clear mind when making business decisions vital for success and productivity. 

Conclusion

Entrepreneurial books have been offering invaluable wisdom to business owners when they need advice on how to improve their investments. Although entrepreneurs are typically busy, successful business owners create time to read and update their knowledge on current affairs. Therefore, you should also set up daily reading routines because entrepreneurs are lifetime students. These books are an excellent starting point for anyone thinking of launching a business.

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8 Keys to Understanding Your Market as a Small Business Owner

8 Keys to Understanding Your Market as a Small Business Owner

A target market is an assembly of people with similar traits or needs that you aim to serve. A target market represents the ideal group of customers that business management should deliberately focus most of its marketing efforts on. In this article, we will explore eight ways a small business owner can identify the market it serves.

The Importance of Understanding Target Market

A company that identifies its target market can create an effective marketing communication strategy. Understanding the target market helps a business develop the most cost-effective method to satisfy the customers’ essential needs. Knowledge of the target market, such as the demography, helps a business select marketing tools to increase sales. Acquiring actionable insights on the target market enhances the business adaptability, essential for fruitful inbound marketing. Understanding the target market and obtaining effective communication channels are arguably the most vital steps to developing a successful marketing strategy.   

Keys to Understanding Your Market

1. Develop a Buyer Persona

Creating a buyer persona is the first step to understanding your target market. A buyer persona is the general and fictional representation of an ideal audience, and developing one aids a business to acquire more insights about its ideal customers. A compelling buyer persona includes psychographic information, demographics, customers’ lifestyles, communication preferences, responsibilities, and media consumption. Creating a buyer persona helps a business to produce products or services that resonate with its target audience.

2. Analysis of Existing Customer Base

Analyzing and understanding the purchase patterns and characteristics of the current customers can give insights into the business and target audience. For example, manipulating, modeling, and profiling the data on the existing customer list helps the business understand its target audience’s age ranges, geographical distributions, and lifestyle factors. Furthermore, a small business owner can utilize the existing data to identify which marketing campaigns and communication channels worked in the past. Therefore, the analysis helps the entrepreneur to reveal crucial untapped opportunities and understands customers’ buying patterns

3. Profound Research, Analysis, and Segmentation

Profound analysis and further segmentation of every customer demographic can reveal the specific needs of a target audience. Deep analysis may include doing some social media digging. Following hashtags relating to your business give an understanding of what your target audience is doing in real-time. A business can look at what the competitors are doing on social media and utilize that information to know what content to produce for its target audience. Segmentation will help small business owners know the specific products or services for each audience group.

4. Watching the Competition

Keeping an eye on the competitors’ activities, the market they are targeting, and the strategies they are utilizing to meet the needs of their customers can aid a smaller business in understanding its potential audience. Keeping a tab on the competitors can give insights to a small business on how to develop tactics to fulfill its customers’ needs and differentiate itself from the competition. Watching the competition will help an entrepreneur to understand the market trends and target audience.

5. Challenge the Assumptions and Norms

Successful business owners do not assume that they understand their customers, despite many years in the market. Entrepreneurs continuously conduct market audits by critically reassessing the trends as the businesses evolve. Businesses must research the precise customer segmentation, purchase motivation, and the differences in demographics, then compare the research findings with original assumptions about the target market. Additionally, business owners should interview or listen to their customers’ needs. Finally, entrepreneurs should implement the feedback from the customers, even if it conflicts with their initial assumptions or norms.

6. Perform Test Campaigns and Embrace Setbacks

Small businesses should test their marketing campaigns to understand the needs of their target audience. Running test campaigns help the business to find the strategies that work best, content that captures customers’ attention, and calls to action that resonate with the potential target market. Consider applying both offline and online marketing campaigns to gauge where your potential customer lies. A further breakdown into strategies like email marketing, social media, will help give clarity on the demographic. However, not all tests will be successful; thus, an entrepreneur should embrace failure and learn from the mistakes.

7. Periodic Assessment

The audience is increasingly becoming fragmented, and the technology is constantly evolving; therefore, businesses need to reevaluate their marketing strategies regularly. Periodic assessments and continuous updates of customer persona and audience profile will help small business owners to understand their target market. In addition, entrepreneurs can use test campaign results and current data to understand and connect with the target market. 

8. Use Analytics

The audience is increasingly becoming fragmented, and the technology is constantly evolving; therefore, businesses need to reevaluate their marketing strategies regularly. Periodic assessments and continuous updates of customer persona and audience profile will help small business owners to understand their target market. In addition, entrepreneurs can use test campaign results and current data to understand and connect with the target market. 

Conclusion

Understanding the target market is essential in helping a business owner craft strategic marketing campaigns and meaningful marketing messages that resonate with the audience, resulting in increased sales. Additionally, deep knowledge of the target market facilitates a good relationship between the business and clients because the business is aware of the customers’ needs and how to satisfy them. Conducting a comprehensive marketing audit is an excellent way to understand the target market. A marketing audit takes an objective assessment of the marketing landscape that aids a business owner in gauging the current marketing tactics and identifying the right target customers for maximum return on investment