ow Successful Entrepreneurs Are Shaking Up the Business World

FOUR WAYS TO HELP PUT NEW LIFE INTO YOUR ESTABLISHED BUSINESS

For years, traditional business owners have followed the mantra of "Do what you know" and "Find a need and fill it." Today's entrepreneurs are turning that conventional wisdom on its head by doing what they love, inventing a need and succeeding. Here are four ways that entrepreneurs are shaking up the business world. Established businesses may be surprised by what they can learn.

1. Simple really does sell
Conventional wisdom dictated that more was always better: more product features, more choices, more locations. Young entrepreneurs are teaching us the opposite. Google, founded by college students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, is a great example of how simplicity sells. Despite much resistance at first, the search engine has kept its main product no more complicated than a single, empty box. What can you learn here? Simplify, simplify, simplify. This could mean consolidating your product line, bundling products or services into one solution, streamlining your website to make it easier to find and buy products, or making your invoices easier to read.

2. Don't wait for perfection
Many entrepreneurs realize that perfection is a goal — not a prerequisite — and the best way to reach that goal is to keep moving forward. Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg had waited to start Facebook until his product had all of the functionality it has today. We might be connecting with friends and family through another service with a very different name. The takeaway for established business owners? If you see an opportunity that no one else sees, focus and execute — even if it's only a scaled-down version of what you envisioned. It's easier to sell a "pretty good" product or service that no one else can offer than a "perfect" idea on a piece of paper.

3. Make your marketing personal
In today's environment of social and personal communications, mass marketing is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, businesses must make personal connections with customers and prospects. Many entrepreneurs favor personalized messages that target individuals where they live: in online forums, through social media and on mobile devices. The takeaway for traditional business owners seeking greater financial success? Consider smaller, more frequent one-off efforts to fewer people rather than "broadcast" marketing programs that target more names but offer a smaller return.

4. Play by the new rules
Entrepreneurs have taken a new path toward employee management. The days of having different rules for managers and staff are gone. Continually communicate with your staff so everyone knows you are being transparent. Acknowledge mistakes and share in the responsibility — your employees will admire the honesty. When organizing teams for a project, think about the tasks you are asking the members to do and be sure you play to their strengths. For rewards, it's not always about money. Some of today's younger generation of workers have other goals and values. Learn what motivates your team and reward accordingly. This may be time off or helping with a cause they care about.

Every business has a story to tell, and City National Bank can help you find your happy ending. Let us suggest new ways to help manage and grow your company. Contact us today.