Do you swear to yourself every night saying “Tomorrow, I will be very productive and get all the stuffs done?” And the next day, always find yourself not feel like working at all? Everyone wants to be productive but it is very hard to stay self-motivated every single day. If it describes you, this article will be the solution that actually works to establish your productive daily routine.
The right mindset plays a great role of establishing the productive daily habits. There are 2 major types of approaches to stay motivated, which are completely different from each other. Depending on your personality, determine which method would work more efficiently for you.
1. Give-Yourself-Rewards Approach
This is the method to motivate yourself by giving small rewards whenever you could follow your plan or achieve something. Being productive does not mean that you have to be stressed out by working after working. If you could successfully finish your job as scheduled, for example, treat yourself with your favorite snack. Scheduling small breaks periodically is also the way to reward yourself so that you can stay focused during work. By rewarding your efforts and hard work, you will be able to establish the good daily routine to stay productive.
2. Make Yourself Always Accountable
If those rewards cannot motivate you enough, this approach may be for you. In this method, you simply try to be always accountable with your work team or other communities. The community, which you are a part of, can help you go through what you are supposed to do because the accountability encourages you to work productively.
When you don’t feel like working and just want to put off the things…
Always Remember “Just Start It”
When the task is hard, has a huge responsibility, or takes a long time to finish, we all tend to put it off. However, once you start it, it is always much easier to continue working. All you need to do is just to start it. I believe most of you have felt the same way when you had to deal with some troublesome tasks. So always remember to start working, even for a few minutes will work, if you just feel like being lazy.
KNOW ALL THE STEPS TO TAKE TOWARD YOUR GOAL
You might have been told this since you were in kindergarten, but I want to say it again here. Scheduling is everything about being productive. If you don’t know what you need to get done, there is no way you can stay focused or motivated. Here are some tips to follow to make the ideal plan for your work.
First, the Clear Goal & Its Deadline
First of all, you need to know the clearly defined goal, and by when you need to complete it. Find out your short-term and long-term goals, and determine the specific deadlines for those goals. The goals can be finishing a project, or boosting the sales by 10%, or anything you are intend to achieve. And always remember, the goals with specific numbers/ details will help you motivate yourself hundreds times more than the vague ones.
Know What Your Next Step to Move Forward
Once you find out the goals, calculate, from the goals, what you need to complete monthly, weekly, and daily. By knowing what you exactly need to do at this moment, you will find it much easier to stay productive. Additionally, the scheduling enables you to avoid running out of time to complete a task and missing the deadline.
Never Make a Unrealistic Plan/ Expectation
Staying productive does not mean that you have to cram your schedule with the unrealistic plans. When you have your expectation too high, you will end up overwhelmed and give up following the schedule. Try to adjust it immediately if you find out that your plan is too crammed after trying it for a few days.
FIND THE BEST ENVIRONMENT
The environment is more important than you may think. Of course the right mindset is the key, but the better environment you put yourself in, the easier for you to improve the productivity.
Remove All Possible Temptations from Your Working Environment
The hardest part of the self-control is to fight with the temptations. Then why not put all those distractions away from you so that you can make it easier for yourself to stay focused? If it is the social medias that district you, turn the notifications off, or hide your personal cell phone. There are many different kind of tools that can help you dealing with the temptations when you are online, which you will find later in this article.
Change the Working Environment Helps You Feel Refreshed
Besides taking a short break, there is one more thing you can do to feel refreshed and keep on working productively. It is moving to the different space/ environment during work. If you are working in the office, it can be another room, the roof top, or even in the different seat in the same room. If you have to stay at your desk to work, then try leaving your desk at least during your short break. Maybe you can go outside for a little while to get the fresh air, which will dramatically increase your productivity later on. And if you are working from home, try working in the different places sometimes; a cafe in your neighbor, a library, or a park could be the good examples.
Keep Personal & Working Environment Separated
If you are working from home, this is the essential one. There are many benefits of working outside of office, including to reduce the stress. However, you cannot stay productive when being too relaxed. To avoid that, you should separate your personal space and working space at your house. Do not ever try to work in the bed or the dining room. Find one space that you will use only for work, it could be a desk in your bedroom, the balcony, or anywhere you prefer. It will help you to shift yourself to “working mode” even if you are at home.
Some people may prefer very quiet environment in working. For the others, if you feel tired after working for a couple of hours, the background music can actually help you feel refreshed and be productive. It is proven by a lot of researches that people will stay focused and finish a given task more quickly with the background music. The music with lyrics could be distraction sometimes, but the ones without lyrics will work perfectly.
A BUNCH OF TOOLS THAT CAN HELP YOU STAY FOCUSED
It is not easy to avoid all the temptations, especially when you are working online. But don’t worry. As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of tools that can help you eliminate the temptations for you. Each one has unique features and characteristics. Here I will introduce some of the tools that I found interesting.
If the Social Media Has Been Bothering You…
[Focus Time] This is the app to track your activity. It will show your progress on the graph, and also remove all the social media notifications from your devices during a certain period of time.
Time Management & Productivity
[Promodoro Technique] This tool will help you not only with the productivity but also your time management. It removes the distractions, schedule short breaks, and establish the good work-life balance. With Promodoro Technique method, you will learn how to “work with time, not against it.”
If Saving the Environment in Real Life is Something Motivating You…
[Forest] Does helping the environment by focusing on your work sound interesting for you? In this app, when you stay focused for a certain period of time, the trees grow in the virtual world. And guess what? Those trees will be planted in the real world. If you are a kind of person who find motivations outside of yourself, this app may be for you.
Motivating yourself to stay productive can be very hard. But with the right approaches and helpful tools, you will soon be able to control yourself and manage your work just like all the successful people. If you have any other advice or idea, share with us in the comment below!
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You have been preparing to start up your own business. The products look great, your got your work team, everything is all set. Now you are ready to let the world know about your new, amazing business! But how? Creating your own website is the very first and important step to promote your product to the large group of the audience. However, there are almost 650 million active websites…Sure you don’t want to let your webpage be buried in tons of other website, but it’s not a simple work. If you want the thousands or millions accesses to your website every day, here is the solution for you. Those tips can help you to create the outstanding website that attract people and convert the potential customers, or even the random visitors, to the fans of your company.
FIRST THING FIRST…MAKE MAXIMUM USE OF THE WEB FUNCTIONS
Purchase Domain Name
Not many people pay attention to the domain name, but the successful web owners do. Your own domain name will separate your website from the personal users or the ordinary small businesses by showing the professionalism. Almost all of the successful companies have their own domain names for their websites. Obtaining your own domain name will be the first easy step toward building the professional and successful website
Choose Reliable Host
There are so many, too many, options for the platforms. It is important to choose the reliable one for your company. Carefully compare the cost and their options; the more customizable options it has, the better your website will be. There are some free themes/ platforms, but do not choose to go cheap if you want your company to grow large in the future. If you want to compare the providers, here are the useful list of top 15 WordPress hosting, and its price.
Make Full Use of “Calls to Action”
Think about what you want people to do while they are on your website. Make a subscription for your channel? Or try your product? Utilize the Calls to Action, and tell them loud. The effective Calls to Action require some techniques. To learn some tips, check these 31 hacks you can use to create the Calls to Action that people cannot help clicking.
CLEAR & CONCISE CONTENT IS THE MUST
What is the Purpose/ Goal of the Website?
When thinking about the web content, first ask yourself “What is the purpose of creating the website?” Without the defined goal or the purpose, you cannot efficiently structure your website. Based on the purpose, you will decide the website hierarchy; what content should be on the main page, how many different pages you need, and so on.
The Content Creation is the Key
Even if you decided to hire an editor for your website, you have to complete the content creation by yourself. Because you are the only person who knows what the company’s goal, and what the message to the customers would be. So the content creation must be done by nobody else but you. Not confident about it? Don’t worry, you will find some helpful tips as you continue reading this article.
Content must be Concise!
Do you know, on average, how long each person stays in your website? No more than 59 seconds, or the others estimate it even less. That means you need to make a point, and get people’s attention within 59 seconds. List the essential points that you definitely want people to know, and also take advantage of the Calls to Action, which always draw their attentions visually.
Make People Feel Connected.
Build the personal connection between the visitors and your company. It is one of the most effective ways when converting the visitors of your website to the actual customers. But how can you make the special connection that appeals to the visitors? There are two easy tricks that anyone can do to achieve this. The first tip is to put the photo of you, or your team members, on the website. People are tend to find the company trustworthy when they can see its founders or employees. The other strategy is to tell your own story; for instance, why you decided to start your business, and what you desire to achieve through your business. It can make the visitors more comfortable about your company, and they feel close to you and your product.
Tell What You Can Do for Them
Many people often miss this point, but this is one of the most important things to know. When you create the content, make sure that you are telling the potential customers what they can get from you; in other words, what benefits they can expect from you. Did you find it ordinary advice? If you have already written the content, I want you to review it once again. Because many people finish up their web content with just telling what their companies do. What your company does, and what benefits to the customers are not always equal. That is not enough for the website to convert the visitors to the customers. As mentioned earlier, you have to make the clear points, and persuade people to be your customers within 59 seconds. So put yourself into the customers’ place, and consider what kind of content would appeal to you.
GOOD DESIGN TALKS TO THE VISITORS
Learn from Other Websites & Pre-made Themes
Not everyone has enough budget to hire a web designer. But you can still learn from others’ work. There are millions of websites on the internet. Try to find the ones inspiring you, and learn from them. Or you can even purchase the pre-made themes, which will enable you to create a great website with much cheaper price than hiring a designer. Utilize the available sources to make your website look catchy and attractive.
Do Not Hesitate to Make a Small Investment
I know you want to save some money. Everybody does. But be willing to make a little investment for your website. The website is a face of your company, and not a few people get the first impression of your company from it. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that your website has the best and professional look. When you choose the platform, theme, or the image, don’t be reluctant to spend a small extra money for the better quality. Those costs will not be the huge amount, and I can assure you that it will bring you the great payoffs.
Visual Images Make the Stronger Impressions
Imagine how all-text website would look like…Horrible, right? The visual images are the key to get people’s attention, and make them stay on your website. Again, make a little spending to find the great value of the image. Do not use the cheap, crappy photos. It will ruin your website and make it look unprofessional.
Your website will be the face of your company; many people will visit your website before knowing about your company at all. So it is crucial to ensure that everything is organized, and that it will give the impression as you intend to. But also remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect from the beginning. You can always make changes later according to the visitor’s responses. Learn as you go, and try many things so that you can improve your website for the further success.
Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!
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You have been reading so many books about the business strategies? But could not find “the one” for your company? If you are seeking to find the best solution for your business, you’re lucky to reach the JTBD (Job-To-Be-Done) theory here. JTBD can put a period on your endless journey of browsing the random sound-good books. The principle of JTBD is completely different from any other business advice or strategies. Here, you will find what exactly the JTBD is, and how it can lead your business to success.
This article explains JTBD theory based on the book “When Coffee and Kale Compete.” If you want to learn more details after reading this article, you can read it online, or find e-book/ free PDF in the link below.
Why JTBD Is Effective
Have you heard of this proverb from ancient China?
Give a man fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
The reason why the books you’ve red actually didn’t work is that they only give you the fish. Because we all, in general, tend to be attracted by a simple and quick solution, those books mainly focus on what to do, and not the theory or logic behind it. However, each company has its unique characteristics and needs, so it is almost impossible for “one simple solution” to solve all companies’ issues. In JTBD, on the other hand, you will learn how to fish; the theory explains “why” and how it works. Understanding the JTBD concept will helps you apply the theory to a variety of real-world situations according as a problem comes up.
Creative Destruction Cycle
In JTBD, you will focus on customers’ motivation, and why customers want to purchase a certain product. Why is it important to pay attention to their motivation? It is because the customers’ motivation is relatively stable and even invariable sometimes, while the technologies and solutions are continuously changing. This phenomenon, in which the new/ innovative ones take over the incumbent one endlessly during the companies’ competitions, is called creative destruction.
As shown in this model, the popularity growth of a product always slows down and stops at some point; this is the time the new product replaces it. Therefore, it is essential for companies to predict what customers want next so that you can be the one to take over the market.
“Job” In JTBD
It is crucial to understand what the “job” to be done for your company. Job is the customers’ struggle to make changes for their better life. The job is done when you successfully offer the solution that can help people fulfill their ideal life. When a customer is looking for a product, they picture themselves in the improved situation by using it. The desire may or may not change over time, but the motivation behind it will not change right away. Therefore, JTBD focuses not on how, but on why. In other words, “job” should be defined by people’s motivation, not the activities or means of solving it.
So, What Exactly is JTBD Theory?
The main theory of JTBD is that “people buy and use a new product because they want to make themselves better in a particular way.” JTBD teaches you how to successfully predict what customers want next. Here are 5 major points that you should keep in mind in learning JTBD.
1. Improve systems instead of customers’ needs
In this competitive business world, the winners always think outside of the box. To make it easy to understand, I will show the example introduced in the book. Long time ago, when people were using letters as the main means of communication, they were not happy about how lengthy the delivery processes took. Some companies tried to come up with a new idea to deliver the letters more quickly and smoothly. It could actually improve the delivery process at some degree. However, the innovative one came up with the telephone service. The next moment, all the efforts people put in to make the delivery process better became nothing; because telephone fundamentally fulfilled people’s motivation to communicate more efficiently.
2. Product itself does not have any value
People buy products to make their life better. It is the realization of the better life that has value, and the product itself does not have any value for the customers. As often expressed in marketing strategy, “ Customers don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit, they want a quarter-inch hole.” You will be able to come up with the innovative ideas only by understanding this concept. The book introduces the quote from Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon. “In the factories, we make cosmetics; in the drug stores, we sell hope.” Revlon has been one of the successful cosmetic sellers because they knew what customers want was not to put the chemicals on their face; but to have a hope in their life by making their appearances better. In considering new business ideas, or how to improve your product, it is extremely important to know what customers really want to get through your product. It will guide you to the right direction when you try to make changes on your company or its products.
3. Data-driven operation is not always a good idea
The marketing team often spend the massive amount of time collecting the data. Those data can help you analyze the market needs objectively. However, remember that the data is helpful only if you use it in the proper way. Data does not describe everything about the market or the customers. It is just a small piece of the world showing some results of the system; the real world consists of not only the visible factors but also a number of contexts surrounding them. For instance, customer satisfaction score, often known as CSAT, is a commonly used data based on customers’ self-reports. It is not necessarily true, however, that the products customers buy always have the high rate. Customers are not happy at all about the airline services, but they purchase the tickets because they kind of have to. Like this example, the single data cannot describe everything about the market. Always keep in mind that entirely data-driven marketing could prevent you from appreciating the customers’ voices.
4. Focus on human motivation, not the solutions
As mentioned a couple of times earlier, JTBD encourages you to pay attention to the customers’ motivation behind purchasing a product. To do so, simply ask yourself why questions.
Why do people buy the clothes? —Because they want to be fashionable.
Why do they want to be fashionable? —Because they want to make themselves look better.
Why do they want to look better? —Because they want to gain self-confidence.
Keep considering why people purchase a certain product until you find their motivation. Understanding the customers’ motivation will help you to come up with innovative ideas and to predict what they want to buy next. Like the example of the mailing service, the winners know what could be the alternative solutions that satisfies customers’ motivation.
5. Progress defines the value
Customers feel satisfied if they find the progresses during the use of product. They are seeking for the better life or improved situation when purchasing the product. Therefore, the customer satisfaction will boost if they can see the progresses not only at the very end, but occasionally while using the product. Sometimes these progresses could be more important for the customer than the outcomes of a product, or goals.
Those are very brief framework of the JTBD theory. The biggest feature of JTBD is that you will be able to apply it to a variety of situations; because JTBD is the logic-based theory, not just the solution advice. I highly recommend you to read the entire book, which you can download for free through the website.
It is often said that 90% of the startups have the hard games only to be the failures. However, it is not because they are silly or unprepared. They did a lot of preparations and researches, and they created the detailed business plans just like you. It is because the business world is very severe and extremely difficult to survive. What should you do in order to be the 10% of the winners? Here, you can learn, from their mistakes, how to operate your business during the first five years.
To Begin With, Why Do Businesses Fail?
50% of the businesses close down within the first 5 years. This is very large number, isn’t it? All of those business failures have some patterns. By learning what to avoid, you will be able to protect your precious business from ding out.
Cannot pay the bills
The biggest reason of the failures is not to have enough money to keep paying the bills. The large companies usually have very steady cash flow. They took a long time to pay their bills; the average is four to six months. It is essential to know how to control your company’s cash flow like the large companies do.
Offering the products that people are not willing to pay
The lack of the researches on the market needs always results in the failures. You need to consider extremely carefully about what kind of products you are going to offer and how much the price should be. What you want to create may not always be equal to what people want. Therefore, objective analysis on market needs is essential for the business success.
Adapt cost-inefficient marketing strategies
There are a lot of ways to promote your product, and its costs vary. Which medium is the best to promote your products to the targeted audience? Business failures often cannot find the best balance of the scale of the targeted audience and the advertisement cost.
Not have skills to manage the team & company
Management directly affects the company’s success/ failure. Even if you have a great business idea, resources, and the work team, your business could easily fail without the reliable management source. Also, companies should make sure that they are operated by certain systems; not only by the “knowing-all” founder.
Features Of Successful Companies
What 10% of successful entrepreneurs do? Just like the failures have some patterns, succeeded companies also have the patterns.
Product fits the market needs perfectly
As mentioned above, it is essential to ensure that you are producing something that people are willing to pay for. No matter how greatly the business is operated, there will be no success if nobody wants to purchase your product. Successful companies are constantly offering the products that are right on point for the targeted customers.
Pay attention to everything
Successful companies never neglect or ignore anything brought up as an issue during the business process. It is because they know that “boring stuff” could be the key aspect of the business.
Have a strong team
In starting up a company, versatile work team is necessary. If your team has the great skillset and mindset, you are very likely to survive your first five years. Startups always have a lot of challenges; constantly make changes, adjust to the market, analyze the situations, and adapt something new. It cannot be handled only by the one-man competence. Also, a data shows that the startups with co-founder have the higher rate of surviving compared to the solo founder’s businesses.
Make the business grow fast
You may think that it is unavoidable for many companies to lose their money during the first two years; because that’s the hardest period of time in starting up the business. But it does not mean that you have to lose money too. Growing fast is not a unrealistic thing to achieve. If your company grows fast, you do not have to worry about running out of cash, which is the second biggest reason of business failures. In addition, it is much earlier for them to find the good investors because we all like the immediate profits.
5 Tips To Survive The First 5 years
What specifically should you do to avoid the business failure? What do you need to be a successful business owner? Here are the 5 tips that you can practice for your company.
1. Make commitment
Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to stay in this business for at least the next five years. And also what to achieve during this period of time. The strong will is important and has a great effect on your business growth, maybe more than you expect.
2. Take notice of long-term success
Always think ahead, and do not be swayed by the thought of a quick profit. If you have a solid long-term business plan, and follow it faithfully, your company will bloom soon. It may sounds conflicted about the fast-growing companies mentioned earlier. Growing fast is still possible for the companies, however, only if you do not sacrifice the future profits for a momentary gain.
3. Build the good credit
Good credit is necessary for the leasing and other business transactions. However, you don’t need to worry about showing some losses at the beginning. It is unavoidable for many companies to have deficit when they just started operating their business. As long as your company is growing steadily, you will be able to establish the good credit for your company.
4. Plan for success, but not failure
Do not take it wrong. It does not mean you don’t need the exiting strategies; All companies should know what to do in case of closing down their businesses. However, in terms of the business plan, you should build it based on the vision of yourself being successful.
5. Know when to make changes
As you are doing business, you will face to the time when you need to make changes; on your product, branding, or business plan. Listen to the customers and the market, and know when and what to change. The proper shift in the business can give your company the opportunity to enlarge the business scale and increase the profits.
Why do companies go global? Some want to pursue further successes for their companies, and the other go global as responding to the domestic rivals/ competitors. Thanks to the technological developments and the globalization of the world, international business has become much more common and close to every business owner. It does not mean, however, that you can expand your business outside of the border readily. Without numerous researches and the thorough business plan, there is no success in taking your company to the global world. There is a lot of articles introducing the steps on how to expand the business internationally. But here, you will find “Step Zero,” the most basic but vital things you should consider before deciding to go global.
Why Difficult?: International Business v. Domestic Business
Almost 90% of the companies fails in expanding their business globally. Why? It could be due to the similar reasons as the domestic business failures; such as intense competition, insufficient financing options, or lack of invention just like the failures in domestic business. However, most of the companies fail because of the lack of market knowledge and understandings of the language/ culture. Operating the international business is completely different from the domestic one. You know how the business works in your country. You can make the assumptions on how the following elements work in operating the business.
- Wage and work environment
- Government requirements
- Add/ change locations
- Customers’ preferences
- Payment method
- Social media uses
When you cross the border, however, everything that you’ve taken for granted will no longer fit your formula. The government may have much more strict regulations that prevent you from operating your business as you used to do. Customers in the targeted country may have completely different taste and preference, and there is no demand for your product. Failing to understand the differences of these elements will result in the miserable failure. Therefore, you should get rid of all the assumptions you have had, and take each step of going global carefully and steadily.
Benefits of Operating Business Internationally
Taking your company global is very risky, but there are reasons why many companies still try to do so. If you can manage to put your business on track in the new country, its payoffs are incredibly beneficial for your company.
One of the biggest reasons companies go global is that the international business can boost the sales of your company. There are new/ more resources or knowledge available in other countries. It can help your company to create the better products. Or it may greatly cut your expense in producing your products. Additionally, simply by expanding the business globally, you will gain much larger targeted audience.
Reduce dependence on the current market
Unexpected things could always happen. What if a serious natural disaster occurs tomorrow? What if your country goes into the recession? By operating business across the countries, you can reduce the risk of losing your business all at sudden. When your business is not doing well in one country, you can sift your focus to another country.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Global
Going global is not necessarily the best solution for all businesses. Some companies may be more successful when they stay local and concentrate on the small group of the audience. To determine if you should expand your business internationally or not, ask yourself these questions.
1. Will the product be sold well in the targeted culture?
Cultural difference is the huge barrier that you need to overcome. Analyze your own product to see if its features will be welcomed by the targeted group of the audience. And also, ensure that your product does not have any cultural/ religious taboo in their culture. The first impression is very important for your company’s strong brand image; you don’t want to give a wrong impression simply because of the misunderstandings or lack of knowledge about their culture. Determine whether your product is ready to be introduced in the targeted country by comparing the product’s features and the cultural trends.
2. Is the targeted market familiar with your product?
It will be much easier to set up your business foundation if people in the targeted country are already familiar with your product. But don’t worry even if they have never seen your product before. If you are the first one to introduce it to the community, the name of your company/ brand could be equal to the product’s name. Of course, you will need to invest much more time and money in introducing your product, so you have to be ready for it.
3. Do you have enough money to deal with unexpected situations?
No matter how much time you spend on researches, unexpected things will still happen to your company. There are a lot of things you can never know until you actually start operating your business. Ensure that you have enough fund to deal with those unpredictable situations.
4. Can you adopt the price level of the targeted country?
Once you cross the border, you cannot always sell your product at the same price as in your country. Each country has different price standard, and you have to much your product’s price to it. In addition, don’t forget that all other operating expense will change as well. Consider every single cost including, the office rent, employees’ salaries, supplies, transportations, and so on. Ensure that you will still be able to make a profit in stepping into a new country.
5. Do you have the exiting strategy?
Nobody wants to think about failing. It is essential, however, to make a plan on how to exit the market in case your business doesn’t do well in the targeted country. What if your business fails and you’re not ready to deal with the situation? As mentioned earlier, 90% of the companies fail after expanding their business internationally. To minimize the loss, it is essential to think ahead and make the exiting strategies.
Taking your company global is a big move for your company; it is risk-taking, but its payoff is worth it. The key is to conduct thorough researches about the targeted country, especially focus on its society, culture, economy, and politics. The more you prepare yourself, the more likely your business succeeds.
7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Global
How to Take Your Company Global
Why International Business