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  • Avoiding the Pitfalls of Rapid Startup Growth
    long run You ll likely end up wasting precious hours fixing sub par work or searching for a more competent replacement Make sure potential hires have a proven track record and consider taking on new hires on a trial basis to make sure they re a good fit for the role Be careful not to make too many hires at once either You won t be able to provide the training and guidance necessary Poor Financial Planning Before taking on new work make sure your finances can cope Growth usually means additional expenses and if you can t tackle them in the short term your medium and long term future might be in jeopardy Create a budget that anticipates rapid growth and if needed contact your bank manager to negotiate extended credit Where possible secure a deposit from clients for new work Ignoring Established Clients As an early stage business there is a temptation to say yes to every bit of work available But taking on a high volume of new clients often leads to the needs of already established clients being neglected A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush so a reliable long term client should not be taken for granted You may undermine your business growth if you don t tend to the needs of your original core clientele while pursuing new opportunities Remember that building a steady network of repeat loyal clients is a more sustainable model than having to search for brand new clients every other month Losing Sight Finally as your business starts to expand it can be easy to lose sight of your company s original raison d être While your business should always be evolving it s important not to lose touch with its core ideals and values Image

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/avoiding-the-pitfalls-of-rapid-startup-growth/ (2016-02-11)
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  • How to Know It’s Time to Make Your First Hire
    the issue But if you start to experience some of the problems listed below the time could well be right to take on a new team member Time poor Are you spending lots of time doing menial or bureaucratic tasks that don t directly help you achieve your core objectives If the answer is yes then you would probably benefit from taking on an employee Mundane but necessary activities in an office can swallow up time that could be used to attract more clients secure partnerships and otherwise grow your business Burnt out You may feel the stress of a huge workload is affecting your performance Perhaps you re bringing work home with you and are struggling to switch off If so that suggests you re close to burnout and could benefit from hiring someone You can delegate tasks to your new employee giving yourself a bit of breathing room This will improve your performance and peace of mind Lacking Specialist Skills New Perspectives With new clients you may also find you require skills you don t personally possess Specialists such as coders and market consultants can perform tasks which will enable you to take on new business Building a versatile start up team is all about recognising the skills gaps that exist in your business and hiring the right people to fill them You may also find that your original founding team is lacking inspiration and in need of a new voice in your brainstorming sessions A new team member can bring a different perspectives and fresh ideas If your business is expanding your cash flow is positive and there are identifiable gaps in your team then it sure sounds like it s time to make your first hire Image courtesy of flazingo photos used under Creative Commons Share

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/how-to-know-its-time-to-make-your-first-hire/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Getting the Most from a Mentor
    your field you should grasp the opportunity with both hands Know what you are looking for To find a useful mentor you need to first decide what you re looking for What skills or knowledge does your business lack Do you want someone with a similar background and career path to you are you looking for someone with a completely different perspective If your mentor isn t a good fit for your business then you will end up wasting your time and theirs Set clear goals Wishy washy targets and vague deadlines will lead to disappointing outcomes So set achievable objectives with your mentor Maybe you want help completing your first business plan Maybe you need some advice on your first product launch Having a concrete target to aim for will motivate both you and your mentor and will ensure your partnership doesn t go to waste Leave your ego at the door Entrepreneurs can be a proud and stubborn bunch But it s important to leave your ego at the door when you seek help from a mentor If you re going to act like a know it all you re better off not wasting their time Getting the most out of a mentorship means sometimes swallowing your pride and accepting constructive criticism Your mentor has got where they are for a reason so don t let their advice fall on deaf ears Maintain your relationship While your mentorship may be finished within a number of months the business relationship you have developed can last far longer But remember like any relationship it needs to be maintained and developed to be worthwhile on a long term basis Share want to be the natural choice 4 customers Commit to RaisingABrand workshops BrandDevelopment ie Islandbridge https t co 0UBrDrzQH5 30 days

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/getting-the-most-from-a-mentor/ (2016-02-11)
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  • How To Enter - David Manley Awards
    be 7th September Download 2013 Call for Applications PDF 113KB And fill out the form below Your Name required Your Email required Subject Your Message Your Application Form want to be the natural choice 4 customers Commit to RaisingABrand workshops BrandDevelopment ie Islandbridge https t co 0UBrDrzQH5 30 days ago which brands did right did wrong in 2015 VirginMedia eir DonaldTrump FIFA Supervalu volkswagen IrishWater https t co g6KOeWbx90 38

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/how-to-enter/#wpcf7-f743-p744-o1 (2016-02-11)
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  • Crowdfunding your Business Idea: The Pros and Cons
    crowdfunded project a lot of that flexibility goes out the window For example some hiccups are inevitable but any extensive delay in delivering your promised end product to funders could damage your reputation This may tarnish your brand and put future funding in jeopardy Similarly you can t drastically alter the specs of your product or idea once funders are on board PRO Saves time and money Fundraising by targeting individual private investors banks and venture capitalists is often time consuming and costly You can find yourself organising endless meetings lunches and calls in pursuit of investment While an online crowdfunding pitch takes time to put together effectively it tends to be a quicker more efficient process CON All or Nothing Be aware that most crowdfunding platforms work on an all or nothing basis That is if you don t reach your funding target the project defaults and you get nothing So be realistic about the level of investment you can expect to attract before you sign up And remember some business ideas are ideal for the crowdfunding model but many are not If there isn t a compelling story behind your business idea it may struggle to grab the attention of funders PRO Engagement with Customers Crowdfunding serves a purpose beyond the direct raising of capital Crowdfunding websites allow you to interact with your customer base You can seek feedback test market create buzz and increase the visibility of your brand long before your product has even been released CON Pleasing Everybody Pleasing Nobody Dealing with so many individuals some crowdfunded projects have 10 000 micro funders all of whom now have a stake in your idea can be extremely stressful You may be dealing with a lot of people who have very different ideas about how your idea

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/crowdfunding-your-business-idea-the-pros-and-cons/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Bouncing Back After Start-up Failure - David Manley Awards
    hoping to attract investment or take out a business loan then a carefully crafted business plan is a must Not knowing your market Understanding supply and demand is absolutely essential If you don t know have a detailed understanding of your target customers and main competitors then you are destined to fail Insufficient market research is the downfall of many start ups You Are Not Alone C S Lewis once described failures as finger posts on the road to achievement You only have to look at the entrepreneurial icons of the last century to know that when it comes to first time failure you re in good company Walt Disney When his first cartoon studio went bust after a business deal collapsed Walt packed himself off to LA with his easel and a suitcase full of suntan lotion He would go on to establish the most successful animation studio of all time Harland David Sanders In 1955 at the age of 65 the man known as Colonel Sanders was forced to close his small restaurant after a new interstate highway dramatically reduced his stream of customers Seeing the potential benefits of franchising he embarked on an epic transcontinental trip which saw his business expand to over 600 locations worldwide Henry Ford The phrase If at first you don t succeed try try again was made for auto industry heavyweights like Ford When his first two automobile companies crashed and burned Ford decided to have one last bite of the cherry His third attempt almost collapsed due to low sales but was saved by a last minute investor There is no failure only feedback The key to bouncing back after your first start up has failed is to learn from your mistakes Feedback can come from various sources such as customers

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/bouncing-back-after-start-up-failure/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Closing Time - David Manley Awards
    to their team you can be forgiven for being delighted However leaving the ball in someone else s court is an easy way to lose it You re better off agreeing a time definitely a set date and ideally a specific time of day where you will call to talk about any issues that have come up internally Remember it s not a done deal until the contract is signed so don t sit back when the job is 90 done An Email Nudge After a meeting it s always good practice to email a recap to the participants with notes on what was discussed and any agreed actions This is particularly true after sales meetings While you don t need to structure it as a minute by minute rundown of the meeting you should obviously thank the person for their time and confirm your answers to any questions they raised in writing Also include the agreed follow up actions Aside from reassuring your client that you weren t just spoofing when you offered an explanation to queries it serves as a reminder of the next steps especially if you send the mail a day or two after you meet Set Deadlines If your proposal and quote has no defined end your potential client can hum and haw indefinitely about taking it up For that reason it s a good idea to set a deadline indicating that your quoted price for goods or services will only be valid up to a defined date 28 days is a good expiry date for services or goods that aren t particularly volatile in their pricing it doesn t put undo pressure on the buyer but it doesn t allow a decision to be stretched out more than a month Bring a Contract After

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/closing-time/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Making Work-From-Home Work - David Manley Awards
    left undone as accountability and team communication slides Fortunately the technology that enables telecommunicating has also enabled solutions to its potential problems Track Progress One of your biggest priorities will be to ensure that staff members currently working from home actually work For this reason you ll need to monitor progress on tasks more carefully than you would if your entire team shared the same office Many organisations like to use Google docs as a way to track progress or establish some kind of spreadsheet system on Dropbox Asana is another hugely useful and entirely portable tool Once you get used to the intuitive system your entire team can assign and check off tasks share attachments and notes on how varied projects are going As a purpose built tool for project management in varied groups it s hard to beat Communicate Email and telephone communication is simply too clunky to work optimally as a team particularly if you or your team will be working on the go An instant messaging tool of some kind lets people communicate extremely quickly often without really interrupting what they re doing Google is once again a strong provider here as their chat hangouts service lets people communicate in real time both on mobile devices and workstations However anyone who has ever used Skype professionally will attest to its effectiveness you can send instant messages have multiple conversation participants and speak in a quick Skype call for free if anything needs to be clarified immediately Schedule As you ve probably guessed maintaining an environment and attitude of professionalism is key to making work from home arrangements productive With this in mind you should take care that working from home isn t something that a team member decides to do on the morning otherwise it can

    Original URL path: http://www.davidmanleyawards.ie/making-work-from-home-work/ (2016-02-11)
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