Knowledge Base

Entrepreneurship: Being the Trailblazer Instead of Following the Trail

[dropcap style=”2″ color=”#f50a0a” text=”B”]eing an entrepreneur means more than owning your own business. At its most basic definition, entrepreneurship is…

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[dropcap style=”2″ color=”#f50a0a” text=”B”]eing an entrepreneur means more than owning your own business. At its most basic definition, entrepreneurship is undertaking a new business venture. However, modern entrepreneurs do more than just open a new business. They go after new products and new markets that require more risk with more reward in return. You might call an entrepreneur a trailblazer. They lay the groundwork for others to follow them. They do not follow on the coattails of others. They might take someone else’s idea and take it in new directions. The idea is innovation and trailblazing instead of playing follow the leader.

Where are the qualities of modern entrepreneurs? If you ask a number of experts, the definitions you hear will be unique to each person. However, most can agree upon a few common traits. One of the most common characteristics is that a modern entrepreneur is a typical loner. They are the ones who always liked to work by themselves instead of group projects while in school. They are the ones that do better when left alone instead of micromanaged. Another common characteristic is that a modern entrepreneur is naturally competitive. Whether they have competed in sports or academics, these individuals always wanted to be at the head of their game.

entrepreneurs-Risk-Taker
The risks of entrepreneurship are very real

The modern entrepreneur loves to take risks. They are the ones who see new opportunities and jump right in. They do not wait for others to blaze trails. They are the one blazing trails. That does not mean that they are foolish about. Most people describe the modern entrepreneur as having a head for business. While they are willing to take a risk, they are also willing to look at information and research before jumping in with both feet. If they see the potential rewards are worth the perceived risks, they are ready to go ahead. Some modern entrepreneurs live and breathe their business. However, more and more of them are making time for themselves as well as their family. They realize that to have a fully successful life, they have to integrate all parts of their lives.

As with anything else in life, there are risks involved with entrepreneurship. One of the classic pitfalls for entrepreneurs is putting their business above everything else. In the early stages of any business, you will spend a good number of your waking hours focusing on getting the business under way. However, it should not be at the expense of your family or your health. No one ever wish that he had spent more time in his business instead of with his family on his deathbed. It is important to spend time with family and friends. It is also important to take care of yourself through the process. You cannot enjoy the fruits of your labors if you neglect your health. Balancing your life will give you more energy and focus for your business.

Another classic pitfall is thinking that your great idea is the only thing you need for a successful business. Many people have great ideas every day. But to get it passed just being a great idea takes time, risk, and resources. That means surrounding yourself with the right people and using their expertise in order to keep your idea on track. You may be the only person at first, but in order to keep going forward you may need other hands. For individual business owner, it may be finding the right bookkeeper or accountant to do your taxes. For those that want to increase their online business but are not technically savvy, it might be finding an independent contractor who could build a website.

Another pitfall for many entrepreneurs is lack of understanding of their own business. You may be making great sales numbers, but if your cost for material and labor are too high, you are not making a profit. When you try a new sales or marketing strategy, it is important to link new sales back and see if that strategy is working or not. It can come down to making sure you are not spending too much on office supplies or on company coffee. It is all a matter of monitoring and making sure there is nothing dragging your business down unnecessarily.

Where is entrepreneurship going in the future? Entrepreneurship is going global. More and more people see opportunities all around them. As people become more educated, they have access to more opportunities to start their own businesses. There are dozens of new academic programs focused solely on entrepreneurship. The emphasis is going to be on taking what you know and making it your own. Whether you live in a modernized western country or Third World agricultural society, more and more people find gaining control over your own destiny appealing. As technology evolves, opportunities evolve as well. The most common business startups now may be things of the past in 10 years. Being an entrepreneur means being ahead of trends before they are ever heard of.

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Holding a Bachelor Degree in Strategic Marketing from Hariri Canadian University – Lebanon. Endowed, with a verified record of deeds in planning and leading marketing strategies for the past 13 years. Established success driving growth in targeted markets in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Dubai, Syria, Singapore, Italy, South Africa, United States and United Kingdom.
Knowledge Base

Apple employees keep hitting HQ’s glass walls! What you can learn for your new office?

Late last year, Apple finally opened up their newest Apple campus, Apple Park. The smartphone manufacturer built what is now…

Late last year, Apple finally opened up their newest Apple campus, Apple Park. The smartphone manufacturer built what is now called the “Spaceship,” creating one of the most aesthetic working locations yet.

The buildings follow the industrial look that the manufacturer is famous for, using clean steel and glass to provide their workers with some of the best workplace views. Unfortunately, the glass walls may come tumbling down.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s employees are running into the very glass walls that are meant to help foster teamwork and a more open atmosphere.

Distracted by the iPhones that were made famous by the company, employees are unable to notice the walls until it is too late, according to sources.

Some even started sticking post-it notes to the glass walls as warnings, but those were taken down as they don’t fit with the building’s aesthetic.

It’s not the first time that Apple’s love for glass had consequences. In 2011, 83-year-old Evelyn Paswall walked into the glass wall of an Apple store, breaking her nose. She sued the company, arguing it should have posted a warning on the glass. The suit was settled without any cost to Apple, according to a legal filing in early 2013.

But it asks an important question, should we be making glass wall partitions? How much can we use?

 

Why and why not.

Glass partitions/walls have been having a great time lately, becoming a popular choice for many companies who are building or remodeling.

This is due to some of the great benefits it can bring.

Glass walls take less space and are able to maintain an illusion of openness, even if you’re office has a lot of rooms. It provides natural light for all employees, which is proven to improve productivity, and reduces your utility bills.

It allows employees a space to write and scribble, making it a great addition to brainstorming sessions, and is great at encouraging teamwork.

These are some of the reasons why glass has become widely selected for new offices, but as we can see with Apple, it does have its own drawbacks.

 

Disadvantages of glass partitions

The “Fishbowl” effect may have team members unable to cope with pressure, as they may feel like they are always being watched and unable to relax. This is a common feeling, with some people leaving the office or hiding in enclosed rooms to take a breath.

Sitting in your own office should be focusing and orienting, but many are actually having issues with distractions.

It may be hard to concentrate as people walk by, or you can see coworkers talking and joking together. Glass makes it harder to shut out the world around you.

Glass may be used to foster teamwork and open communication, but individual privacy takes a big hit with only glass walls. In an office filled with glass or with an open plan, you may find conference rooms taken as people need space for private calls, or even just a small space to take a break.

It also makes it harder for some team member to enjoy the small things. Taking breaks, relaxing and napping, may become difficult. Although these relaxing activities help with productivity, many may opt for coffee instead of being seen openly.

Glass office owners must also close doors softly, which can be saddening for the door-slamming lover.

The “Bird” effect of glass partitions, as we learn from Apple’s Spaceship, walking around the office can become dangerous when distracted.

Lastly, soundproof doesn’t always mean soundproof. While you may not hear everything clearly, glass does allow for sound to go through, unlike a solid drywall. Those with loud voices may have to lower their voices, and people outside the area will need to keep it down a notch.

 

What to do?!

If you are truly into the trend of glass partitioning, you may try adding something to your glass walls to ensure people can see them.

A sleek logo made of vinyl frosting may be a perfect addition, or patterns of frosted glass may give your office a chic and personal look. You could also try a slightly tinted glass, it may be enough to provide your team members with some warning before they crash into it.

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Knowledge Base

7 Must-Have Skills Every Marketer Should Master

It’s already the second month of the new year, how have your resolutions been? But seriously, let’s talk about what…

It’s already the second month of the new year, how have your resolutions been?

But seriously, let’s talk about what our resolutions should be, as someone in the marketing business, or soon to be.

Every single year we tell ourselves that we’ll get healthier, leaner, work hard, and etc. What about improving ourselves for work? What and how should we be improving anyway? In the marketing business, we know that everything can change in a week.

Social platforms update, programs and websites change, new algorithms introduced. All these things can subtly and drastically change how we do our work, but there are certain skills that we can build upon to help us through the tough times.

So, these are 8 skills you should improve or master in 2018

 

1- Talent Management

For those in HR, this may be a familiar term, but we want to take a deeper look at the most important part of its job.

Talent Management is the ongoing process of developing and retaining employees throughout a company. It is also coined as an organization’s commitment to recruit, hire, retain, and develop the most talented and superior employees available in the job market, and so much more.

Mainly, it is all about ensuring your company has enough of the right employees to keep your company functioning correctly, and developing them.

For entrepreneurs and marketers, Talent Management means an important skill, in which they must be able to understand the skills and talent of their team members to assign the right tasks for the best efficiency.

Knowing exactly what your team members can and cannot do, as well as their potential, is a crucial skill that we continue to see rise in importance throughout the year.

 

2- Design Thinking

Design Thinking may not be a new concept for some, but for many it still is an important yet misunderstood ideology.

You don’t need to be a designer, or know all the principles of design, to learn and develop this growingly important skill.

Design thinking is a problem-solving thinking process that focuses on the user/consumer, integrating user needs, possibilities of technology, and the requirements needed for success. It is a method for practical and creative solutions for problems that was inspired by designers, but one that ultimately can provide a lot of help in the marketing business.

 

 

The focus on users really help in targeting your audience with even more relevant solutions to their issues, or more relevant content to capture their eye.

While the chart above isn’t set in stone, it is a great set of guidelines that you could use to help zero in on your problem’s solution. You can learn more about Design thinking here and here.

 

3- Omnichannel Communications

Don’t get lost with the word’s “Omnichannel,” no, it’s not the same as Multichannel marketing/communications.

Omnichannel communications is ensuring that all communication platforms are working so seamlessly that there is no difference between them, allow customers to choose the right communications method/platform that is right for them at this exact moment. Their experience continues the exact same way when they switch to another platform is another example of good Omnichannel communication.

This means that there must be a flexible yet ironclad set of communication rules attached to your overall communication plan. Unfortunately, it takes time, and a lot of effort, to get the experience as seamless as possible.

But in a world where people expect rapid answers, and a great experience that continues whenever they switch devices or channels, it is definitely one skill you should be improving.

 

4- Storytelling

There isn’t much to explain when it comes to why our storytelling skills need to be upgraded. Storytelling has become an integral part of any branding, marketing or content marketing strategy and planning.

As Rachel Gillett wrote in Fast Company, “when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well.”

The way we tell our brand stories have to keep evolving, to keep entertaining and capturing the attention we want. We must continue developing this skill to catch up to memes, viral content, whatever else we have to fight against to capture attention.

 

 

5- Content Creation

Content Creation is such a broad term, which makes it such an impressive addition to anyone’s list of skills.

A content creator is someone who creates and publishes original content, content can be created for both online and offline platforms. They are the jack of all trades, able to use most creation software and capable at photography and videography.

For the everyday marketer, the basics of creating any original content will help tremendously. You can now control the narrative; through writing blogs, posting images and short phone-filmed videos, and etc.

Knowing these skills will also provide you with a wide range of applications, as well as a better understanding of the skills and jobs your team does.

 

6- Data and Metrics

Want to future-proof your resume and career? A deep understanding of data and metrics will ensure you are ready for whatever comes your way.

Currently, we have access to a ton of data, from online data providers to accessible APIs by companies. Because of this, there are prime opportunities to get deeper and more meaningful insights on customers and the marketplace.

Marketers who are able to understand, collect and analyze this data will be able to create better decisions, think up relevant and enticing campaigns and better optimize running campaigns.

Just remember; although creative thinking maintains itself as one of the most important things when creating a campaign, data-backed decisions and optimization will ensure a great campaign.

 

7- Understanding the Principles of Design

You may think that the principles of Design, just like with Design Thinking, is something that only designers and artistic types should be thinking about. It’s not.

A sense of what looks good and what feels strange can only get any marketer so far. Sometimes, it is up to us to improve designs, videos or photographs. There is also a lot of psychology that goes behind design, and how it can be seen or felt by viewers.

Learning some of the basics, including the psychology behind certain popular colors, can help you not only understand what your designers are trying to explain to you, and they’ll be ever grateful, but also know what to say to improve something.

You can easily find a lot of free source material on Pinterest if you get interested.

 

Add-on: Understanding Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality, new social platforms and updates, IoT, social selling, Artificial Intelligence, a new loved ad that “makes” a new trend, and etc. We are bombarded everyday with things that distract us from our goals, and keeping a narrow focus on what we can do to improve ourselves and our work.

Distinguishing what is hype vs trends and what can actually provide us with new knowledge, techniques, or technology that will enable us to improve is a skill in and of itself.

Being able to prioritize what can benefit us, as well as filter our distractions, is a skill that will help any serious marketer out.

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Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Knowledge Base, Recommended Stories

When and how to start outsourcing your business?

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough…

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough local and international economy, companies have to do what it takes to maintain a steady profit, and find ways to reduce costs.

Outsourcing is becoming a big trend in many industries, due to its many advantages and low costs.

For small and big businesses alike, there comes a time when a decision must be made. Do you build a new team or primary service, buy certain tools or do you outsource for a short time?

That is another way that outsourcing can help.

 

So, when should you start considering to outsource?

Do you procrastinate when faced with a particular task?

Is it a one-time task? Is it a primary service that your business offers, or something for a specific client or project?

Is it a once a month task? Such as Legal duties, or financial accounting?

Are you still saving up for an expansion? Could you afford an expansion for this task?

Is it a non-essential function of your business?

If you’ve answered all by one of those as yes, then that is when you should be outsourcing.

A definition for outsourcing is “the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resources.”

The reason is simple, because it can be advantageous most of the time.

Your business is saving money, effort, time and energy, making it more efficient on that tasks that truly matter.

 

Why should a business outsource?

So, you know when you should be looking into it, or maybe you’re interested.

The thought still lingers in your mind, it might be a good idea but why should I?

There are many things that you can consider that could make outsourcing a great opportunity for your business.

 

1. Employee costs and non-productive hours

Office space, cafeteria benefits, hospital visits, insurance, and lunch breaks are things that cost the company profit per full-time employee.

These are also things you can save on when outsourcing.

These make a full-time employee more than twice as expensive as a short offer for a freelancer.

 

2. Efficiency

Freelancers and outsourcing give you a special opportunity, an opportunity to capture and use talented people that you may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Talented graphic designers, high-end lawyers, highly-organized accountants, and smart assistants can be found as freelancers, and at a lower-price than full-timers.

They tend to be more efficient as they have stricter deadlines than full-timers, and may be able to do the job better than you or any other current employee.

 

3. Frees up internal resources

Getting freelancers doesn’t only work as a way to do unrelated or menial tasks, they also function as a way to lift weight off of your shoulders.

Using a content marketing freelancer to prepare content calendars, or receiving content from freelance content creators, can help free up internal resources.

Freeing you and your employees up for other important tasks, tasks that they can handle more efficiently with less of a work load.

 

What are you waiting for?

As you can see, outsourcing could be a very beneficial strategy for you and your business.

It does come with its own issues, such as communication and delivery of work, but if you plan it right, it will help you and your business thrive.

So, what are you waiting for?

Have another reason why outsourcing won’t be a part of your business strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Knowledge Base

Planning For A Great 2018: Should you invest in MBA?

The world of job-hunting continues to be a difficult one. With millions of people to compete with, especially in a…

The world of job-hunting continues to be a difficult one. With millions of people to compete with, especially in a job-market that is tight and short on open positions, job opportunities are tough to find.

The main ways to separate yourself from the hundreds and thousands of people are through personal branding, previous experience, and a better degree.

Recommended Read ➤ 5 keys to start your personal branding journey

Personal branding and previous experience may be hard to come by, but what you can always find is a way to get an MBA.

Getting a Master of Business Administration isn’t an easy task, but is it worth it?

 

Taking the Plunge and Knowing when to Stand your Ground

Logical risk-taking is part of any business, whether you’re at the top or just beginning your career.

Simply by reading this article, you are preparing yourself to see the risk vs benefits of getting an MBA. You’re already on track.

Risk-taking, and knowing when to stand your ground, is an important element in any business, and knowing how to take things into consideration is an important skill. Being able to listen, research and test possible solutions shows that you can take calculated risks, and know when to back down from a challenge.

Taking an MBA helps in providing you with practical and theoretical knowledge and know-how when it comes to taking risks.

 

Analyze, Manage and Solve

Three abilities you need to survive, three abilities you can find and train during the MBA journey.

During an MBA, you’ll be able to find how to analyze situations and managerial problems, how to manage people and issues, and providing solutions.

The MBA, like Paris ESLSCA Business School, are able to nurture these skills and abilities so that you’ll be able to take on any task in the business world.

 

A Leader and Team Player always get the ball rolling

Ever tried to get two male dogs who don’t know each other get along? How about two stubborn teenagers to clean up the house?

Either way, you know what we mean when we say getting stubborn people to work together is some of the hardest things you’ll have to do.

Other than helping you figure out how to be a better leader and team player, MBAs give you the opportunity, or headache, to learn how to get stubborn people to work well together.

Not everyone at your new office is going to be friendly, not to you or to other co-workers, and it may be up to you to fix that. MBAs give you the experience needed, both in leader and working with stubborn and tough co-workers.

 

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Some say that taking time off to do an MBA is crazy.

In the Evening & Weekend MBA Program, you will master the skills and build the network you need to realize your highest career aspirations while earning an MBA degree to update your knowledge and business competitive skills.

By acquiring an MBA degree, you will find the broadest array of global opportunities, an unparalleled approach to leadership development and a curriculum that builds well-rounded leaders.

Yet, sometimes, it is important to take that time.

Stepping back, even if you decided to take a break from work only for a short while, will help you see the bigger business picture. Sometimes, it is good to skip the daily grind for a little reflection and deep-thinking. It may need to some great ideas.

 

Get that International Feeling and Recognition

With an international MBA, you can get the added benefits of gaining knowledge on how international businesses work, and how to apply it here.

Many feel that international businesses seem to work better due to their ethics, tighter discipline, and knowledge about certain managerial aspects, so learning in an international environment or curriculum has special benefits. MBA degree is internationally recognized by both academic institutions and labour markets.

Some business schools like ESLSCA can provide an international type of MBA, helping you get in tune with how international companies think and work efficiently. Then it’s up to you on how to apply it to your workplace.

MBA opens the gate to its students to pursue their doctorate degrees at any of the world’s known universities. It also paves the way to its MBA holders to occupy senior posts in multinational companies worldwide. According to Business insider 2017 ESLSCA graduates earn the 9th top salaries among top 40 business schools graduates in Europe.

Paris ESLSCA Business School, which is accepting MBA submissions now, offers comprehensive MBA courses that you can take in Egypt. These include a normal MBA, and MBAs in Entrepreneurship and Finance & Banking. (Prices are in EGP and part of it is in Euros)

 

Get up to Speed

Another thing that MBAs help you with is getting you up to speed with some of the newest, and most popular software and communication techniques in business.

These can not only help with communicating better with your team, but can also support you in strategizing an organizing your work and teams.

 

Lastly, Getting Ahead of the Work-Game

Lastly, the one many work towards as their main goal while doing their MBA; an improved salary.

It’s true.

Having an MBA, or any form of post-graduate studies, increases your salary almost automatically. This is more out of respect for your time and effort, and is usually an important reason why people take an MBA.

It is important to add that many places will still prefer that you already have some kind of experience.

Having experience will separate you, from BA graduates and other MBA holders, and put you ahead of the game.

So, do you think its worth it? Let us know in the comments below.

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