Considering the advances in cloud technology, access to personal financial credit records, and emerging management protocol, what are some recommended best practices for new entrepreneurs and small business owners?
First, we should recognize that business is not the same as it used to be. Becoming an entrepreneur does not mean you must resort to stereotypical, self-centered marketing and obsessing over your brand image. Rather, business owners have come to understand that they have the ability to contribute to society in a powerful way.
For some CEOs, that equates to a stronger sense of corporate social responsibility. For entrepreneurs who want to contribute their part to the restructuring of business models in this country, here are three ways entrepreneurship is changing. Find out how you can be a part of the next generation of mobile, socially responsible business owners.
- Social Entrepreneurship & Online Marketing
If you have any doubts about the tenacity of CSR’s staying power, Forbes contributor MeiMei Fox recently explained why social entrepreneurship has become so influential as a business model. Fox writes, not only are 94 percent of younger Americans desirous of using their skills to benefit a cause, but only fifty percent of us have confidence in the free market system, anymore—signaling that something needs to change.
Not only are younger people—both as consumers and as business owners—becoming more selective about the businesses they choose to support, but they’re also more technologically savvy and constantly connected via social media and apps. Therefore, it’s in entrepreneurs’ best interests to establish a strong, community-minded presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat—basically, all the social media platforms they can think of.
In addition, companies should have a strong online presence via a unique, user-friendly website and related apps that allow customers or clients to easily access their accounts and prospective products or services of interest, via their smartphones. Moreover, business owners should never underestimate the power of social media to make or break a business, in terms of reputation and social acceptability. When it comes to generating interest in a cause, social entrepreneurship ventures can use social media to tap into increased awareness about issues related to marginalized groups or sustainability issues.
- Financial Management Strategies
If there is one thing that prospective business owners should master before they take the leap into business ownership, it should be finance and money management. However, in order to have any finances to manage, you’ll first need some capital and equity to manage—such as property, equipment, or supplies necessary for starting your business. Many small business owners utilize federal loans like SBA 7(a) loans. These loans are guaranteed by the government and specifically created to help owners get their businesses off the ground and protect them from fallout, in case they default on the loan.
After all, starting a business and keeping it open is a classic part of the American dream. Sometimes, however, we need assistance building our credit and getting things rolling with business investments like office space, equipment, and staff. In order to successfully establish our business credit with banks, lenders, and other businesses in the community, it helps to develop strategies to maintain a steady cash flow via regularly scheduled transactions in accounts receivable, reliable profit cycles, and a backup reserve in the event that one of your A/R accounts fails to come through as scheduled.
- Technology & Business Education
Today’s business practices are in flux and changing at a breathtaking pace. To keep up, focused leadership should become a priority. A degree in management could compliment whatever goals you might have when it comes to a career in business. For example, one might opt to seek out a larger company where one can take on project management—which, in turn, would help understand how to start a business and manage those in charge of various projects. If overseeing and reviewing specific business practices to improve efficiency on a more meta-level is more appealing, a career as a management analyst might be more enjoyable.
Those drawn to the more administrative side of things may be drawn to learn about administrative services or human resources, while those who enjoy working with people with strong listening and communication skills may enjoy customer service management. Regardless of personal aptitudes, the great news is these areas of focus have ample resources for graduate and undergraduate-level education—either online or in person.
* * *