Good managers get the best out of their employees. They offer a motivating and exciting work environment which affects the team’s productivity and mood! Employees most of the time do not quit their jobs, they leave their bosses. To avoid losing valuable staff, it is important to for amateur and full-time entrepreneurs to hone and managerial skills. Below are some helpful tips with regards to this issue:

Pass on some of your work to your team

You have to leave some of your work to your employees. Doing it all by yourself will not lead to progress, even if you are competent. If your team cannot perform these tasks, then why did you hire them to begin with?

Also, you will not always be available to cover all tasks. Another person must be able to do some of your work. If necessary, train your staff to make them more competent. By assigning some of your workload to your team, you save time for yourself to manage the most important tasks. Employees feel more valued when their manager trusts them enough to let them take care of their work. If someday you cannot be there, they will also know how to handle your work so that everything runs smoothly.

Apply the same rules to everyone

To become a better manager, the second advice is to apply the same rules to everyone. This includes yourself. You have to set an example. Do not take days off when the workload is heavy, especially when you are asking your staff to work.

If they see that you follow your own rules, they will become more comfortable with your leadership.

Avoid excessive control

Micro-management refers to an obsession with “insignificant” details and the control of all aspects of your employees’ work. This is counterproductive and makes your employees unable to think and take decisions independently. These types of managers are also not very popular.

To avoid stressing out your employees, refrain from checking their work at all times. Set goals with deadlines and let your team work. Do not intervene until the end to verify the results.

Communicate with your staff

Experience and expertise will not make you the best manager. You will need great communication skills. Clearly communicate the deadlines assigned to employees to achieve the desired results in a timely manner. Always listen when your staff speaks to you and pay attention to everything they say.

Even if you are not always free, be available for your employees. They need to be able to communicate and share their ideas with you. Many technological tools are available for you to keep in touch with your employees. Skype and other such communication programs and apps can help you stay connected on the go.

Be honest with your team

If the work is not good, a good manager should get the point across. Set your expectations and make it clear to your employees that you expect quality work from them. Be clear to your team so as to avoid slacking and to raise productivity.

However, this does not mean that you should reprimand your staff for every single mistake. Stay fair and honest to allow your colleagues to improve. Ensure that your feedback is open, constructive and linked to the overall objectives.

As your team learns how to work with you, your leadership skills and position as manager will improve. Just make sure to communicate, to stay fair and to avoid keeping all the work to yourself.

Entrepreneur is a job, and as with every job, it has its requirements. While this career path does allow for a certain degree of flexibility and uniqueness, some attributes still remain essential. Here are five of the most common and important qualities of an entrepreneur.

1. Entrepreneurs are brimming with determination

Entrepreneurs should be resolute about going through with their projects. Once they create their own company, they must know how far they want to go with it. They should do everything they can to make the start-up grow.

A determined person will find no excuse not to move forward.

However, one should not confuse determination with obstinacy. Determination is about having a specific goal and doing what it takes to achieve it. Obstinacy is repetitively doing something that does not work and thinking that it will work someday.

You have to accept failures as necessary steps in your path to success. An entrepreneur also has to accept criticism and should not yield to discouraging comments or events.

 

2. Do not be afraid of running out of money

Starting as an entrepreneur is not always easy. Unless you are setting up a web business via a blog, you will probably spend quite a lot of money. You might even have a loan to repay and sales will not flare from the beginning.

Entrepreneurs are not afraid of not getting a salary in the early months. They have already planned savings and know that the company’s income goes to its growth first and foremost. Profits will come in later when the entrepreneurs manage to find enough clients for their business.

 

3. Be organized & create plans

Entrepreneurs are also very organized, know exactly when to go to work and precisely what to do.

They also have everything planned in advance, be it their daily schedule or their company’s yearly goals.

Of course, we cannot plan everything. There will be contingencies and the entrepreneurs will then have to use other skills to improvise. However, dealing with these unforeseen events does not imply forgetting the plan and the objectives!

 

4. Entrepreneurs want to be free

In general, entrepreneurs have a strong thirst for freedom. They wish to take control of their life, their future, and do not want to be accountable to anyone. They are willing to work hard even at the expense of a big salary, all for the sake of freedom. Without being tied to a boss, to a regular nine-to-five job, the possibilities are endless.

 

5. Being disciplined

Entrepreneurs are also disciplined. This attribute follows organisation closely. Once again, entrepreneurs put a lot of emphasis on planning appointments and tasks weeks and sticking to that schedule.

What differs discipline from organisation is that it affects the entrepreneur’s decision-making and undertaking skills. They can set their feelings apart when necessary so as to be objective when taking important decisions.

Also, when managing a team of employees, discipline is important to maintain a certain order. However, it should not be overbearing so as to not create a suffocating atmosphere. Finding the right balance is key.

 

There are surely many other qualities that entrepreneurs generally possess and that accompany them on the path of success. Sometimes, they display all of these attributes and sometimes just a few. As mentioned earlier, each entrepreneur is unique and will have their own way of making their company grow. This freedom is, after all, the appeal of entrepreneurship.

Communication is the key to promoting your start-up. However, getting a website, promoting via phone calls and/or advertising through the web are not enough in 2019. There is a lot of work involved in making your start-up known to its market/audience. Take a look at the alternative marketing strategies below for a glimpse 2019’s advertising trends:

 

1. Develop a content marketing strategy for your start-up

Content marketing is one of the best strategies you can turn to. Not only is it affordable, it is also effective and renders tangible results.

To attract the attention of your audience, you can create any kind of content. These can be blog articles, infographics, videos, podcasts, guides, white papers, etc. You can also distribute the same content through various forms of media. People are more likely to share interesting content on social networks and make it become viral. This will likely garner the attention of your potential clients and will eventually lead to sales.

However, any content marketing strategy requires special attention to SEO. It is essential to boost your visibility on search engines. You can call on SEO professionals for this task.

A content marketing strategy should allow you to:

  • Become a reference brand in your industry
  • Be credible in the eyes of netizens
  • Inform your audience about the products or services you sell
  • Improve your SEO and your site’s traffic

Make sure you know your target before you start creating content. You should also regularly measure the performance of your strategy to improve it.

 

2. Go for videos and webinars

The video format is currently extremely popular and versatile. You can use it to create all types of content: interviews, testimonials, presentations for your company, and even webinars!

You can present your company, the products or services you sell and their features and benefits live on Facebook or YouTube. This allows your audience to react in a more immediate way. You can also answer their questions and thus get closer to your customers. Make sure to promote your webinar a few days or even weeks in advance for a bigger audience.

As long as you make your videos or presentations interesting and lively, you are sure to reap great results.

 

3. Use influencers to advertise your products

Similarly to videos, influencer marketing is in full hype. While famous influencers are expensive to hire, you can still increase your visibility with micro influencers.

For this strategy to be effective, choose web stars who communicate to target that you want to reach. This will allow them to effectively promote your products to a wider audience.

Another advantage of using this method is that it will make your company appear trendy. Your audience will see your start-up as innovative and it will gather more interest. It also increases your chances to go viral and gain the attention of investors.

The above-mentioned strategies can help increase your visibility as well as your credibility. Depending on your target audience, some methods might work better or less well than others. Carry out research about your competitors and differentiate your business from them. While tactics will work for your 2019 audience, the future is still open to innovations. Therefore, do not hesitate to adapt your method according to the changes in your market.

Should you start your own business? If you are asking yourself that question, you are almost ready to go for it. This is how the biggest adventures begin: weighing the advantages and disadvantages, the benefits, the risks, etc. There is no lack of motivation when it comes to becoming your own boss. Rather than asking yourself “if” you should launch a start-up, why not ask “why” you should do it? So, why start your own business?

Becoming an entrepreneur to earn more money

Money is one of the primary factors that most people consider when thinking about launching their own business. It is, of course, a valid motivation. However, starting a business often means making less money at first, or even no money at all. Subsequently, entrepreneurs end up earning more or less the same amount of money they did when they were employees. Profits and growth depend on the economic model, the market, the sector, etc. That being said, bosses still generally earn more than the average wage earner. Therefore, you can start your own business to make more money. You just have to be patient and to remember that it can take time.

Launching a business to become your own boss

This factor is motivating enough. Do you want to manage your own schedule? Want to be independent and accountable only to your clients? Are you tired of following someone else’s strategy? Want to take control and test your ideas? If yes, the time has come to create your own company. Entrepreneurs need to have a certain drive and thirst for independence to thrive for success. Being an entrepreneur means having to do everything on your own, taking on all the risks and moving forward. Some may find it too taxing while others will flourish through it.

Creating your own company for the sake of passions and dreams

Another reason people often choose to become entrepreneurs is to devote themselves to their passion. In these cases, other motives and constraints become secondary factors. The only thing that matters is to do what they want to do. While launching your business for this purpose can be a bit risky, passion is a quintessential element in entrepreneurship. It is what will help you overcome obstacles and hard times. If you are passionate about what you do, you will easily convince your customers, partners and employees. Your entrepreneurship experience will also be much more fun and fruitful.

Simply for the sake of work

If you cannot find a job, create one. Jobseekers make up a big portion of entrepreneurs. They often start a business with work as the sole motivation, which is just fine. These entrepreneurs who create their own jobs have a lot to gain in the long run. They end up acquiring experience and knowledge about the world of entrepreneurship. Gradually, they also become more motivated to grow as entrepreneurs.

Or because of great timing

Several elements often become major catalysts in a person’s pursuit of entrepreneurship. One may have every type of motivation and the economic backing to want to launch a business. However, sometimes the conditions are not met. Factors that one might overlook become crucial turning points. The market or the suppliers might not not ready. Even the season or the general local business atmosphere can affect the success or the launch of a business. In other words, timing is important and can be a motive all by itself.

There are a myriad of other reasons why you should open a business. The driving factor however still lies within you. Do you want to become your own boss? Do you feel confident about your service or product? Will you be able to work on your own? Are you willing to learn everything about becoming an entrepreneur? Do you have the patience for it? All of these, any many more unlisted questions, are determining factors that you may want to consider. Entrepreneurship is an adventure. It is up to you to join.

Marc Israel is Turbine’s newest addition to the team of coaches who accompany our startups. He’s an engineer by qualification, having majored in Robotics which he claims was not a very sexy choice at the time that he was in university. He made up for that by serving in the French army for some time.

He has subsequently developed a very impressive professional track record in launching his own IT services company which he sold with the intention of catching a break from the hustle and bustle of his Parisian life, little did he know, he would never be returning there as a resident.

Marc started consulting for Microsoft and was subsequently appointed as Director of Marketing in Cloud Computing there. After 17 years of service, he left Microsoft last year. He explains that he had been experiencing an increasing amount of pressure from the corporate world and that he felt the need to start something of his own again. He moved to Mauritius and now has a company in Technology and Digital Transformation in companies around cloud computing and slowly exploring AI.

Mauritius being a tiny market, he was lucky to have had Mauritius as a target market when he was working at Microsoft. This means that he knew a lot of people in the industry before starting his own venture. Despite this, he was still bootstrapping at the beginning. He knew that he had to expand beyond Mauritius and use technology as a leverage for that.

Our incubated had quite a few salient questions that Marc candidly responded to. Here are a few of them:

  • How do you convince your customers that the solution you are offering is the right one?

He asks for pain points within the company, he explains. Be it in the production line, or in IT, or in anything that they can come up with. He says it is important to know to ask the right questions that need solutions. This may not come over night, but can become apparent after a couple of meetings. Once this process is complete, he says it is important to obtain a proof of concept for the proposed solution.

He emphasizes that there are still certain myths around AI. This is the reason why he has decided to launch a series of Talks called AI Tuesdays: To educate more people in Mauritius around AI.

 

  • When you don’t have a big brand’s credibility behind how do you go about creating trust with your target market, especially Mauritius?

First of all, it isn’t always the best thing to be associated to a big brand, beyond positive brand equity, it can have tons of opponents. If your target market is Mauritius, then you need create awareness around your project.

If your target market is not Mauritius, then forget about Mauritius and try tackle international markets. Scale from the get go. Think about what you can offer for free now that you can get money from later: Think about how you can attract as many people as fast as possible. Scale is the essence of the game.

It is also important to give some thought to your value proposition and think about what you are you offering that other people are not and how you are doing it. Think in terms of customer benefits, don’t fall in love with your features.

 

  • With regards to scaling to Africa, what is the advice you would give?

One of the first things to keep in mind when thinking about scaling to Africa that Africa is a continent, not a country. Often what works in one country will not work in another. Target is key!

Secondly, it is also important to note that out of approximately 1 billion people in the entire continent, you will probably only be target about 30% to 40% of the population, which as a percentage seems small but would still represent approximately 300 to 400 million.

As a final piece of advice to entrepreneurs wanting launch their startups Marc suggests to go swift and to go fast. Acquiring business is one of the main priorities that you must set for yourself.

To raise money and start a small business, there is nothing better than investors. These individuals and/or companies pour money into your project, leaving you free to make it thrive. However, sponsors do not provide funds easily. They may also not invest at all if they do not find the idea to be profitable enough. To raise your chances of getting sponsored, you need a truly brilliant idea and solid preparation. Find some tips on ways to get funding below:

Consider joining an incubator for your start-up

You just got your idea for a start-up and you are new to the idea of entrepreneurship. If your project is an innovative one, you can consider joining an incubator. These organisations assist entrepreneurs and help them grow their idea into a flourishing start-up. They provide various types of facilities, such as access to legal services and to a work space. These incubators, such as Turbine, can help you to connect with like-minded individuals and thus create a professional network. They will eventually provide you with the means to get funding for your start-up to grow.

Make your activity visible to investors

Sometimes, businesses do not need much funding to launch on a small scale. Once this is done, you can attract investors by making your activity as visible as possible. Become trendy. Get media attention and work on your popularity on social media. Use influencers and SEO tactics as much as possible. Getting popular in Mauritius is easy since its population is quite small. Journalists are also always on the lookout for innovative subjects to cover. Make your business famous even before you present it to potential investors. This will considerably increase your chances of getting a sponsor.

Know your business from A to Z

The key is to arrive to your presentation well-prepared. If you are unsure about your idea and/or your charts and figures, you will not paint a reliable picture of yourself. The investors will not deem you capable enough to carry out the project. In other cases, they will not deem the project itself worthy enough. An investor is looking for a leader, a ship’s captain. A captain who does not know its ship cannot lead it on a successful journey.

Prepare a rock-solid business plan and revise accounting and management basics. Work on your public speaking skills and rehearse your presentation before the actual day. Focus on communicating your vision and on displaying its potential. You already know your project and your market by heart. So you need to impress with figures to bring credibility to your project.

 

Once you obtain funding, you should work on building sales rapidly. A start-up will only become a fully-fledged business if it demonstrates rapid growth. Investors will also be more at ease about sponsoring your project if they see quick and satisfying results. A fast-growing company will give less opportunity to competitors. Aside from sponsors, you can consider other options to raise capital. These are crowdfunding, money-saving and loans, amongst others.

Social media has been gaining more and more importance across the years with the rise of digital advertising. At the local level, various Mauritian entrepreneurs have opened sustainable social-media exclusive businesses. Others have boosted their start-ups thanks to well-timed and focused social media marketing strategies. Others still use their accounts to create online portfolios for their products. What makes these communication and socializing platforms so lucrative and advantageous to entrepreneurs? Find the answers below:

 

Social media is free/inexpensive

Be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, all of them enable users to create free accounts. Entrepreneurs do not have to spend a rupee to set up their business online via these platforms. The advanced advertising options also do not cost much. This makes them especially convenient for beginners and small businesses who cannot afford an actual website. They do not have to pay monthly rent, labour costs and/or invest in merchandise to display. For instance, various on-demand food businesses have flourished with these low-cost options.

 

Social media is user-friendly

Most of the popular social media platforms are easy to use. They are designed to make users comfortable and they make business-running easy. Young entrepreneurs excel at working with these sites and apps and can expertly launch their start-up online. On the other hand, some members of the aged population might find the technology daunting. However, if taught properly, they will surely be able to use the platforms. Busy people also find it easier to use online means of browsing and shopping. Social media is, after all, less time consuming and location-sensitive than traditional brick and mortar stores.

 

The platforms have a large daily user-count

Social media platforms provide entrepreneurs with access to an important number of local and foreign potential clients. They offer opportunities for mass viewership and for a considerable rise in popularity. This also applies in vice versa. Users can easily access information and pictures about entrepreneurs and their businesses. This helps to build a reputation and increases communication between businesses and clients. Additionally, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and databases, potential customers receive advertisement campaigns according to their interests. This maximises chances of them visiting the advertised page and buying the product.

 

Social media is a trendy form of doing business

The contemporary society is very receptive of innovation. Social media businesses embrace this trend and become part of the online community. Incidentally, the rise of influencer marketing perfectly highlights the increasing popularity of digital advertising. By using influencers to promote a product, entrepreneurs target the local population in a very trendy way. This can also work to increase the credibility of the business, thus attracting more customers.

As seen above, social media offers a wide range of opportunities to entrepreneurs. From setup to marketing to customer management, these platforms work to facilitate business creation and development. Entrepreneurs who wish to evaluate their start-ups before investing also sometimes turn to social media for a test run. Various other advantages include employee communication, instant company updates, maintaining an online presence, keeping track of the competition, etc…

Developing your business abroad seems simple thanks to the Internet. However, internationalisation can fail without a good prior study of the competition, the market, and/or cultural codes.

Digital activities are continuing to grow internationally, partly due to the facilities that the Internet offers to entrepreneurs. It is easy to slack off with the advantages of technology. It allows you to create an activity with the prospect of developing it internationally, all without moving from home. This does not mean that it is effortless. To expand on an international scale, you will need to grow your expertise and multiply collaborations. Therefore, staying at home and taking it easy is not a real option.

Below are some key steps to take when planning to launch your business abroad.

Analyse your business’s performance with regards to the local market

Before considering the expansion of your business on the international scale, you should conduct a study about its current performance. Are local customers happy with the services that it offers? Is your business successful at the local level? If the answers to these are yes, you should try to understand what makes your product/service appealing to consumers.

If you are unfamiliar with the local market or the behaviour of your customers, you can ask them directly. Set up a feedback form on your website, e-mail your clients with questions or conduct a satisfaction survey. The information that you gather will allow you to identify what makes your product attractive to your consumers. This data will be crucial when you start working on internationalisation.

Understand the expectations of the target foreign market

Your product may be the best and most attractive in its local market. There is still a possibility that it will not work at all in a new geographical area. Various entrepreneurs face this problem when they attempt to expand abroad without carrying out prior research.

Determining the readiness of the target foreign market to accept your product is easier after studying its demands. It is also helpful to determine whether the competition is already established and powerful or not.

Be patient and take your time to determine the above factors instead of rushing in unknown territory. If you are lucky, you might struggle a bit in the beginning and learn as you go. With a little less luck, you will most likely fail to go with the trend and you will fall behind.

To avoid wasting your time and effort in an unsuccessful foreign business adventure, study carefully and prepare a viable plan.

Make your business adaptable

Observing the market and understanding it will also allow your company to adapt to its differences.

Adapting is necessary for the successful integration of your business in its new market. Be they languages, symbolism, colours or messages to convey, some are not well accepted in certain cultures. As they, your company should work to blend into the cultural mould of the destination market.

The prior research that you carry out will enhance your adaptability. You will be able to both merge with the culture and offer something new to the market. This is one of the formulas for success that are perfectly calibrated to an international deployment.

 

International growth is one of the most exciting and complicated stages in a business’s life. It can open up the market and the number of consumers within the enterprise’s network. It can also be catastrophic for development if it is poorly managed. Take the time to analyse and understand the new market, its cultural codes, its competition and its consumers. As said above, your product may be the best locally, but it must adapt to succeed internationally.

Over the years, start-ups have grown to become crucial to the economy of a country. Now, most professional sectors demand skills that have so far been specific to entrepreneurship. The development of digital technologies within companies has given rise to new business models that are becoming more widespread. Even traditional businesses are being forced to innovate to remain competitive. As such, gaining more knowledge about entrepreneurship is today’s dynamic professional scene can only be an advantage.

Become adaptable

Many companies initially adopted new tools in order to digitalize their offers. However, it quickly became clear that this transformation had to be done more globally. Internal processes, organizational methods, management and even the company’s culture have/had to be reinvented. With the transition to digital, the work environment becomes complex and even volatile.

As such, it is best to heighten the adaptability of their employees. To become more flexible, companies need to develop new systems and strengthen the following traits in their employees:

  • Their ability to manage uncertainty and change. Employees need to be flexible, but also strong in order to cope with uncertainty. They should be able to adapt to change and support it while being able to stay focused.
  • Their empathy and curiosity. This will enhance their creativity so that they can generate ideas that will fit with the client’s demand. In turn, satisfaction in their work and in your company’s services will also increase.
  • Their ability to work in a team and maintain good relationships. Digitalisation generates new ways of working, such as working from home. It also creates new forms of organisation in which employees have more autonomy and responsibility. However, you should still make sure that your employees maintain and/or increase their teamwork skills.

These skills correspond to the know-how developed in the creation of a start-up. They are valuable and will definitely contribute to the growth of your company.

Present possible paths

At school level, it would be best to introduce students to as many paths as possible. Even if they have no plans to open their own business later on, they will still benefit from an entrepreneurial experience. Various workshops have been recently developed for this purpose. However, they only attract aspiring entrepreneurs. Most students fail to see the advantages of developing entrepreneurship skills.

This is also representative of the gap between the demands of the professional world and the skills/expectations of fresh graduates. Indeed, most job adverts request candidates to be “creative, good at teamwork, autonomous, organised and adaptable”. On the other hand, a majority of students fail to acquire these skills at their schools/universities.

To remedy to this situation, students should allow themselves to gain as much work experience as they can. These will help them to develop crucial skills that will definitely be useful to them when they go job hunting. It will embellish their CVs and will. Companies that are hiring fresh graduates can also adapt their training methods to incorporate the development of entrepreneurial skills.

 

The intense competitive environment within the contemporary professional world, be it amongst job seekers, employees or companies, demands constant improvement. Students need to gain as many skills as they can. Employees also need to be flexible enough to cope with the changes introduced by the company to enhance its growth. As such, acquiring entrepreneurial knowledge is crucial to ride the wave of innovation and to adapt to its eventual consequences.

Finding a balance between work life and family life can be quite difficult. This is even more so the case in Mauritius, where companies do not adapt easily to certain situations. To keep top female employees within their ranks, various firms in developed countries are providing support to mothers. They offer several incentives and services to help women with their new commitments. Parents both get to take a paid year off work so as to cope with pregnancy and child care. In turn, these facilities work. The number of women who resign from their jobs decreases. Since parents feel less stressed when they are supported by their companies, they are more productive. All of these affect fellow coworkers, who feel more at ease knowing that their firm will take care of them in difficult times. Thus, they work more happily and increase their company’s financial rendition.

However, these services are not extensively provided in Mauritius. As such, parents have to make compromises to accommodate both work and family lives. Below are some steps that employees can follow to find a certain balance between these two different yet important worlds:

1. Look for flexibility

Time is essential for employees who have to look after their families. As such, they should try to get the maximum amount of time they can. Parents can ask their companies for options such as working remotely. They can also negotiate for flexible hours. These will allow them to save time that they would have spent commuting to their office. As they will be working from home, they will be more present for their families. This will in turn reduce the pressure that parents feel when they do not spend enough time with their children.

2. Take some time to relax

Many parents feel overworked since they have to take care of both their work and their home. They can get overwhelmed by this sentiment as they worry about being able to cope. This stress impacts on their mood and a bad mood can be detrimental to both the family and work. Taking some time to relax is therefore crucial. The amount of time that parents spend with their children is already limited. It should not be made worse with bitterness due to stress.

3. Get support and help

Women are often confronted with an impossible list of tasks that they have to complete within 24 hours. Taking the help of their partner is sure to decrease their amount of work and improve their efficiency and mood. Single parents face the same issue. Relying on other family members and on friends is another option. The more help one can get, the easier it is to find a balance between family life and work life.

4. Save money

Working parents can reduce their expenses by getting rid of expensive items that they do not need. By doing so, they will feel less pressured by debts and other financial concerns. Some may even find it more practical to switch to a part-time job following a decrease in monetary pressure. As such, they will get more time to spend with their families. This will in turn lead them to maintain the healthy balance that they are looking for.

 

As seen above, maintaining a full-time job while being present at home as a parent is not impossible. If companies begin to increase the support that they offer to parents, finding a balance between work and family will surely become easier.